It’s certainly not Europe’s busiest Christmas market, but Tallinn’s is gloriously underrated.
The square’s usually dusted with snow and sits in the shadow of the historic town hall – the oldest of its kind in Northern Europe.
Purchase local souvenirs, try Estonian glogg and gorge on delicious Baltic cuisine – here’s all you need to know about the Tallinn Christmas market!
What’s the Tallinn Christmas Market like?
The Baltic wind of Tallinn might be biting, but there are plenty of winter warmers at its festive market!
Set in Town Hall Square – in the shadow of the oldest town hall in Northern Europe – Tallinn’s Christmas market was crowned Europe’s best in 2019.
Like Riga’s, it’s quite unassuming – not as in your face as some of the more famous European festive markets – but Tallinn’s endearing Christmas spirit, the high likelihood of snow and Baltic flair to the food, drinks and gifts make it a unique Europe Christmas break worth experiencing.
Wrap up warm (temperatures dropped to -13°C when I was there – take more layers than you think you’ll need!) and allow a couple of hours (preferably in the evening) to explore Tallinn’s festive market and take in the atmosphere.
Food at the Tallinn Christmas Market
I wasn’t as impressed with the food offerings at Tallinn Christmas Market as I was with Riga’s.
There was a dumpling stall, although it looked like only one type of (meat) dumplings were offered.
I also saw a few stalls selling local desserts, a few offering sausages and other meaty fare, but there wasn’t too much variety!
I was much more taken by the Balti Jaam Market, which is just before the Kalamaja area of Estonia. Here, there were some excellent food options including Georgian and Uzbek fare. Definitely head here when you’re in Tallinn!
Drinks at the Tallinn Christmas Market
Like near enough all Christmas markets across Europe, there’s gluhwein aplenty in Tallinn – although it’s known as glögg in the local language. Expect to pay five euros for a glass, with a two euro cup deposit (you can pay this on card and you’ll get it back in cash).
Hot Aperol’s on the menu too – this drink’s a blend of the orange spirit, white wine and orange juice and is the perfect antidote to Tallinn’s chilly temperatures.
If you don’t drink, you’ll find alcohol-free mulled wine and hot chocolate amidst a range of other beverages.
Entertainment at the Tallinn Christmas Market
Like the Riga Christmas Market, there wasn’t really any entertainment per se when I was there.
That said, there was a platform set up, so there might have been something going on at other times!
I did also find this Christmas Markets Festive Digital Game; I didn’t use it myself, but it’s an interactive puzzle that you can take while exploring the markets. Could be worth considering!
But while there wasn’t any particular entertainment, the festivities were an attraction in itself – expect soft lights illuminating the whole square, gently bouncing off the snow, and Christmas music in the air.
There were also a few children’s rides.
Plus, Tallinn’s lights, snow and other attractions make it an epic city for a Christmas break.
Go ice skating at the Old Town Ice Rink, enjoy a walking tour with Tallinn in a Nutshell and visit the many churches, museums and historical sites.
Shopping at the Christmas market in Tallinn
Tallinn’s shopping scene was thriving, with a few gimmicky tourist items but also plenty of local products. I bought some very thick, warm socks for my partner (hopefully he doesn’t see this before Christmas day!) along with an ornament for our Christmas tree.
Tallinn and Riga both claim to have invented the Christmas tree (I was recently told that Tallinn had the first tree but Riga had the first decorated tree), so it’s an excellent place to purchase a few local decorations!
You’ll find plenty of cold-weather clothes, local food and desserts and even some homeware!
Tallinn festive market need-to-knows
Here’s all you need to know about the Tallinn Christmas Market in 2023 (and into 2024!)
When is the Tallinn Christmas Market on?
The Tallinn Christmas Market is on from 30th November 2023 until 6th January 2024.
Where is the Tallinn Christmas Market?
The official address for the Tallinn Christmas Market is: Tallinn Town Hall Square. Raekoja plats, Tallinn. Old Town.
The Town Hall Square is (as you may have guessed) by the Tallinn Town Hall, which is right in the heart of the lower old town.
What are the costs of the Tallinn Christmas Market?
The Tallinn Christmas Market isn’t cheap, with mulled wine costing around five euros and mulled Aperol coming in around eight euros. I also spend 15 euros on a pair of thick woollen socks and six euros on a Christmas tree ornament.
Does the Tallinn Christmas Market accept card?
Yes, all vendors I used at the Christmas market accepted card. There was a deposit scheme for cups, the vendor took an extra two euros from my card to pay for this and gave it back to me by card.
Where to stay near the Tallinn Christmas Market
I stayed at the Tallinn Capsules Hostel. It was an interesting budget stay, with cosy little pods with high-tech lighting, USB chargers, a radio and TV!
I was a little put off by the hostel vibe of the place (but if you’re used to staying in hostels, this shouldn’t bother you!) and the fact that it was a tram ride/ half hour walk away from the city centre (although the trams are easy to use).
If you want to stay a little closer to town, I love City Box Tallinn. It’s closer to the sea (a 15-minute walk to the town hall), but has modern en-suite rooms, some with excellent views.
How to get to Tallinn
There are cheap, frequent flights to Tallinn from London and other European capitals.
Flixbus also has good connections to Riga, which takes around five hours. I took this bus (as I visited all the Baltic Christmas markets, one after another!) and found it easy and comfortable.
Lastly, you can take a boat from Tallinn to Finland (or vice versa!). I finished my journey in Finland so took this boat across the Baltic Sea.
The Bolt taxi app was invented in Estonia, and it’s a safe and affordable way to travel around the capital. Plus, the tram network works well.
Are you planning on visiting the Tallinn Christmas Market?
It’s easy to see why the enchanting Tallinn Christmas Market was once rated the world’s best.
Like other Baltic cities, the festivities aren’t “in your face”, but instead they’re secluded and intimate, oozing Christmas vibes without too much consumerism.
If you’re taking a Christmas trip in Europe, I can highly recommend Estonia!