I’ve been wanted to go to the European Christmas market for a very long time, but since the markets in Europe are focused on Catholic Christmas, at the beginning of January, when there was an opportunity to go, most of them were already closed and a couple of stalls and a Christmas tree without toys and lights.
This is most characteristic of the countries of Western Europe – Germany, Austria, France. In early January, you can find markets in Prague, Budapest, as well as in the Baltic countries: in Tallinn, Riga, Vilnius, as a rule, are open until January 6.
The blog has a great article about popular christmas markets in Europe ; for 2019, the dates in the article are relevant.
Here I will tell about our trip to the Christmas markets in Tallinn.
Tallinn Christmas Market
The Christmas market in Tallinn opens in late November and is open until early January. We went to Tallinn on December 15, in the midst of Christmas preparations. Prices at this time are much lower than during the Christmas and New Year holidays. It took us 5 days to travel (we got from Yekaterinburg to St. Petersburg, and from there by bus to Tallinn). If you live in St. Petersburg, or in Moscow, then you can go to Tallinn for the weekend and limit yourself to only 2-3 days.
The current dates of the fair, as well as the schedule of events can be found on the official website: http://www.christmasmarket.ee/
In 2019-2020 dates: 15/11/2019 – 07/01/2020
Christmas Market is located in the city center – on Town Hall Square. There is also a Christmas tree and a stage for various events.
On the eve of Christmas, a lot of concerts and performances are held.
And, of course, every day you can see Santa (if in Finland it is Joulupukki, then in Estonia it is Jiuluvana).
Even two 🙂 One is in his house on the square and anyone can take a picture with him.
And the second leads concerts and travels around the city on his Santa Mobile.
What to do at the Christmas market ?
- Firstly, you can buy New Year’s gifts and souvenirs to your loved ones. Prices are comparable to prices in stores.
- Secondly, you can have a good meal: several types of grilled sausages, Christmas goose, smoked salmon, baked piglet, waffles, gingerbread cookies. With all this you can not only have a bite, but also fully have lunch or dinner.
Here are some prices:
- Christmas dish – 8 euros
- salmon / duck with a side dish – 10 euros
- sausages, including Estonian blood sausages – 2-5 euros
- pancakes / waffles- 1-2 euros
- mulled wine / glog – 3-4 euros
Such a snack lunch will cost 15.5 euros
- Thirdly, what is a fair without mulled wine? At this time, mulled wine (in the Nordic countries, including Estonia it is Glogg) is not just a way to keep warm in the cold, but also an integral attribute of the fair and the Christmas mood. In addition to the classic mulled wine, you can try strong mulled wine – with the national liquor “Vana Tallin”, cherry mulled wine or non-alcoholic jelly and fruit drinks. Do not forget to add to mulled wine oranges and almonds 🙂
Where to live in Tallinn and what to do besides walking through markets
The choice of housing in Tallinn is huge – these are hotels of high European level in the center, and inexpensive apartments. It’s better to live in the Old Town or within walking distance from it. We stayed in an apartment a 10-minute walk from the Old Town. Apartments booked through Airbnb. All the details and my review can be found in this article . There you can get a discount on booking apartments and find out how to not pay at all for travel lodging.
From the hotels I can recommend the following, they are all located in the Old Town:
- Schlössle Hotel 5 * (rating 9.5) – from 155 € per night for a double room.
- Savoy Boutique by TallinnHotels 5 * (rating 9.1) – from 109 €
- Kalev Spa Hotel & Waterpark 4 * (rating 8.4) – from 54 €
- Hotel Old Town Maestro’s 3 * (rating 8.4) – from 47 €
Of course, it’s a bit strange to come to Tallinn and walk only around the market for all 3 days. In 2-3 days you can explore all the main attractions of the Old Town and even go beyond it.
Climb to the observation deck of Tallinn, the most popular – Kohtuotsa and Patkuli. Explore the main cathedrals and temples: Dome Cathedral, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Olevist Church, Nigulista, Church of the Holy Spirit. In addition to the Old Town, we managed to see Kadriorg (Catherine’s Palace), go out to the Baltic Sea, look into the modern Telliskivi quarter, and also had a mistical guided tour. And, of course, you can visit many cafes and restaurants, because the food in Tallinn was unexpectedly delicious!
How much does it cost to go to Christmas markets in Tallinn
What makes Tallinn perfect:
- It won’t take a lot of time to travel here (in some cases you don’t even have to take a vacation at work)
- You can get here not only by plane, but also by land transport.
- It is impossible to get lost in Tallinn, even if you have never been anywhere! The old city is so compact and understandable that navigating is not difficult.
- In Tallinn, everything is calm enough in terms of security, there are no such crowds of tourists as in Prague or Rome .
- And finally, a trip to Tallinn is a trip to any budget. You can choose high-level hotels and eat in expensive restaurants, or you can rent an apartment and eat in ordinary cafes and inexpensive restaurants (the taste and quality of food there is no worse!)
A trip to Tallinn for 5 days (3.5 days in Tallinn) cost us only 300 euros for two (road, accommodation and insurance). Plus we spent 200 euros on food and drinks (including mulled wine), without denying anything to ourselves, eating in cafes, restaurants and at the fair.
As you can see, a trip to Tallinn to the Christmas markets is an affordable pleasure.
Have you been to Christmas markets?
If you have something to supplement, or you want to share your story, leave comments! Do not forget to share the article with your friends on social networks – you will help your friend (all of a sudden he’s going to Tallinn!), And to me 🙂 Your reposts help in the development of the blog and make it clear that the article is interesting and useful!