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Tallinn Old Town has a wonderful Christmas atmosphere. It's a pleasure to visit Tallinn any time of the year but December is the most enjoyable time to do it. Read our latest article sharing information and tips about Tallinn Christmas Market 2023.
Covered in the Article
- Christmas Market in Tallinn
- Tallinn Christmas Market - Tallinna Jõuluturg
- Our Trip to Tallinn Christmas Market
- Ways to Reach Tallinn
- Weather in Tallinn
- Bottom Line
Christmas Market in Tallinn
We live in Helsinki but we must admit that our neighbour capital, the beautiful Baltic city of Tallinn, offers a more traditional Christmas atmosphere than Helsinki. There is a simple reason for that. Tallinn has an extremely beautiful medieval Old Town that is missing in Helsinki. Hence, creating a Christmas atmosphere around medieval Old Tallinn is much easier than doing the same in Helsinki.
Quality beats quantity - this applies well when speaking of the Christmas markets in Tallinn. The city is small and it has only one primary Christmas market in Old Town but the Christmas market alone is a great reason to visit this enchanting city.
The lively city of Tallinn has also many other Christmas events so the town won't leave you empty after seeing the town's Christmas Market. In addition to traditional winter events, Tallinn offers a lot of interesting all-year-round activities.
Tallinn Christmas Market - Tallinna Jõuluturg
Tallinn Christmas Market is perfectly located in the middle of Tallinn Old Town next to Tallinn Town Hall. The building is the oldest surviving town hall in the Baltic countries and Scandinavia. In Estonian, the historic square next to Town Hall is called Raekoja Plats which is surrounded by cafes, restaurants, and boutique stores. Many people consider that the Christmas Market in Raekoja Plats is the most beautiful in Europe. We have visited it multiple times ourselves and we strongly agree - the market has a special festive atmosphere. Especially when there is snow, one can experience a merry white Christmas in this beautiful place!
To taste Estonian Christmas, buy a few gingerbread cookies together with mulled wine.
Tallinn Christmas Market is built in German style having outdoor stalls surrounded by a huge Christmas tree. The stalls offer Christmas goods and festive flavours which won't leave you disappointed. Naturally, you can also buy traditional souvenirs and local handicrafts.
Holiday events at the Tallinn Christmas Market fill the Town Hall square and nearby cobblestone streets. Old Town has a wide range of wintertime activities for all visitors of different ages. While older people are drinking mulled wine and listening to diverse Christmas programmes, younger guests can enjoy a merry-go-round. Surely, the diverse Christmas program of the Tallinn Christmas Market will warm everyone's heart.
In winter 2023 - 2024, the Christmas Market in Tallinn is open from the 1st of December until the 7th of January 2024. The Christmas market opens at already at 10 a.m. and is open until 8 p.m. After that, it is still possible to buy hot drinks until 10 p.m. So every day, there is plenty of time to experience the warm Christmas atmosphere of Tallinn's medieval Old Town. We recommend visiting Tallinn Old Town both in the daytime and also when the darkness has set in to experience its special atmosphere illuminated by warm Christmas lights.
In 2023, the Tallinn Christmas Market takes place from December 1 to January 7 at the Town Hall Square and is open daily from 10 a.m to 8 p.m.
A big Christmas tree next to the Tallinn Town Hall is also worth seeing. It has been a continuing tradition for 582 years now having a Christmas tree erected in the middle of the Tallinn Town Hall square. This makes Tallinn Christmas Market unique compared to many other Christmas Markets in Europe.
Estonians are regarded for their friendliness in nature which you will experience yourself fast after arriving at the market. Some Estonians may have similar facial features as Eastern Europeans though there is quite a difference between them in terms of personalities. Like Finns, Estonians love saunas and they don't talk much unless they have something important to say. Don't take it as unfriendly, because it is just a part of their social culture. Travellers might find it at first rude but once you befriend a local you will realize, they are very nice.
While visiting Tallinn Christmas Market, you will get fast and efficient customer service. People love travellers and want to serve them well in a local way. Young Estonians speak good English. With older people, you may need to communicate in Estonian, Finnish or Russian.
There is a free entry to the Tallinn Christmas Market.
The general price level in Tallinn Christmas Market is way cheaper than in Helsinki. Especially, food and drinks are more affordable. Souvenirs may be more expensive but we only recommend fellow travellers to buy only the necessary items. Spending money on services is more environmentally friendly than buying material things. After all, the experience itself is what matters most during a trip.
Hotels near the Christmas Market
There are numerous cosy hotels in the Old Town near Christmas Market. The hotels inside Old Town are not as modern as other hotels in the city centre. Check out the hotel selection in Old Town on Booking.com.
Many sources recommend a historic Hotel Telegraaf, which is only a 2-minute walk away from Christmas Market. Staying outside the Old Town in a modern hotel is also a good choice. You get even better quality but Old Town is still near. We have a few hotel recommendations for quality-contend travellers:
Original Sokos Hotel Viru is a Finnish 4-star hotel in the centre. It was known as the KGB base during the Cold War but now the hotel offers excellent 4-star hotel services in a central location 5 minutes walk away from Christmas Market.
Radission Blu Hotel Olümpia is a tall 4-star hotel within 15 minutes walking distance from the Old Town. Ask for an upper-floor room and enjoy the best views in Tallinn!
Kalev Spa is an affordable newly renovated Estonian hotel with a nice spa, saunas and pools. The hotel is in Old Town which even makes the Christmas Market so accessible on foot.
If only the best is enough, just head to a 5-star Swissotel. Tallinn is perhaps the best place to stay in a 5-star hotel because the prices are affordable despite the excellent quality.
Our Trip to Tallinn Christmas Market
We visit Tallinn a few times every year and especially, we have made it a tradition to pay a yearly Christmas visit. The city has its charm in every season but perhaps the Christmas charm is the best. We prefer going to Tallinn via newer ferries which use LNG natural gas which is more environmentally friendly.
Our last year's trip to Tallinn Christmas Market from Helsinki was rewarding and affordable as always. We reached Tallinn from Helsinki with Tallink Megastar while on our way return trip, we took a modern ferryViking XPRS, one of the newest ferries of Viking Line. The crossing of the Baltic Sea took only 2.5 hours oneway. Usually, we take a day trip from Helsinki to Tallinn but this time was an exception whereas we stayed overnight for a longer visit.
We had time to visit Tallinn Old Town and went to a spa. The spirit of Christmas Market was the best part but we also had time to climb up to Toompea Hill to enjoy the scenic winter view over the city. Kohtuotsa viewing platform where you can have the best view of the Tallinn Old Town is reachable by foot in just 10 minutes from the Town Square. And of course, after this hike, we enjoyed a delicious lunch in a cosy restaurant in the Old Town.
Ways to Reach Tallinn
Tallinn lies in Northern Estonia below the Gulf of Finland. The location is not central from the European perspective but reaching Tallinn is still easy and fast. Since travelling to Tallinn does not cost much and the hotels and services are affordable, Tallinn is a perfect destination to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere without breaking the bank.
The most comfortable way to reach Tallinn is by ferry. There is a daily ferry connection from Stockholm to Tallinn and many daily connections from Helsinki. Why not to visit Helsinki Christmas markets or Stockholm Christmas markets first and then continue to Tallinn?
The fastest and cheapest way to reach Tallinn is to have a direct flight by a low-cost airline. EasyJet and Ryanair have flights to Tallinn from many countries. To find more connections to Tallinn, compare prices on Skyscanner.
Tallinn Airport is small but modern. It is close to the city centre and it takes only 15 minutes to reach the central hotel from the airport by taxi. Try a local taxi application, Bolt.
If you are reaching Tallinn outside Europe or coming from a destination from where there are no direct flights to Tallinn, we recommend flying via Helsinki Airport. Finnair has a global network with many connections to Helsinki and the airline operates also a route between Helsinki and Tallinn multiple times a day. It could also be a nice idea to have a stopover in Helsinki.
Other Transportation Options
You can reach Tallinn also by bus via the Baltic countries. However, the journey time would be long and riding a bus will easily become uncomfortable. For example, there are buses from Berlin to Tallinn and the whole journey takes more than 24 hours. Flixbus has a new route between Helsinki, Tallinn and Riga. The best thing is that the bus ticket includes the ferry sail between Helsinki and Tallinn.
Weather in Tallinn
In winter, the weather in Tallinn is cold. And one thing is sure, the sun rises late and sets early. The temperature in December is from 0 to -7C but it may even get colder. While there is snow, the Tallinn Christmas experience will even become more magical as the beautiful Old Town will become a wonderful Winterland. Countless cosy cafes and restaurants in Tallinn Old Town allow you to enjoy Estonian food and hot drinks perfect for the cold weather.
What to Wear When Visiting Tallinn Christmas Market?
Wearing three layers of clothes, rather than one thick piece of clothing is the wise way to keep oneself warm while visiting Christmas markets. For example, wearing thermal vests or long sleeve as base layers are fairly inexpensive and can work well to trap heat. Go for warm clothing materials made from cotton, fleecy fabric or wool. Remember also to put on woollen socks and a thick scarf around your neck. And if you have more time, why not visit the spa or sauna with your loved ones?
Make yourself warm by wearing enough layers of clothing and winter accessories while enjoying the hot traditional Christmas drinks on offer.
- Are there many Christmas markets in Tallinn?
- No, there is only one, the main Tallinn Christmas Market.
- Where is Tallinn Christmas Market located?
- Tallinn Christmas Market is in Old Town next to the Tallinn Town Hall.
- Is it cold in Tallinn in winter?
- Yes, the temperature will be around 0 degrees.
- Is Tallinn Christmas Market expensive?
- No, drinks and snacks are affordable. Souvenirs cost more.
- Do Estonians serve mulled wine?
- Yes, you can buy mulled wine with snacks.
- How to reach Tallinn?
- You can come by plane, ferry or bus.
We bet you will love Tallinn Christmas Market. The market is beautifully unique in the whole of Europe. Tallinn has also many other things to see and to do so spending a few days in the city is recommended. And the best part is that the city has many charms to offer yet it is affordable.
Tallinn lies close to Helsinki, so combining a journey to Helsinki and Tallinn is simple. A ferry from Tallinn to Helsinki or vice versa takes less than 2 hours. And from Helsinki, it is easy to continue to Stockholm. Another option is to take a bus to Riga and visit the Latvian capital's idyllic Riga Christmas Market.
Have you visited Tallinn Christmas Market? What did you like the most? Comment below.