Travel Estonia. Visit the Tallinn Christmas Market 2023

One thing is for sure. The festive season is here. Festivities and preparations are in full swing. Same goes for Tallinn, the capital of Estonia. The Christmas Market is on every winter right in the centre on the Town Hall Square.

 Travel Estonia. Visit the Tallinn Christmas Market 2023

Stalls offer local Christmas delicacies, hot mulled wine and grog, woollen jumpers, beanies, gloves, socks and slippers and handicrafts and Christmas ornaments. You can even chat to Santa, who often resides in the onsite cottage. One stallholder praises her wares and tells me "they are made from dog wool". You read that right; socks made from dog wool. So much to learn in this world. The Christmas market is a great opportunity to check out locally designed craft and to buy unique Christmas presents.
The location of the market is second to none. The old town of Tallinn with its medieval lanes and houses is UNESCO listed. Right in the centre of the medieval square sits a marvellous and huge decorated with lights and lots of illuminated red hearts Christmas tree. Rumours have it that this square is the place where a Christmas tree was first put (ever) in the 15th century. When I recently visited Riga, I learned they were the first to ever put up a Christmas tree. Never mind, I leave that argument to the two towns and simply enjoy the festive atmosphere and lights.

Everyone is in a cheerful mood at this time of the year. It gets dark early in November and December, that makes a visit to the medieval Town Hall Square extra special and romantic. One feels transported back in time. The thousands of lights create a special vibe, it makes you feel joyous and cosy all at once. It would be enough to look at the market from a corner of the square, it is that beautiful. The market is a small fairy-tale wonderland.

There are some things that leave room for improvement. Hot drinks are served in disposable paper cups. A token system where visitors pay a deposit for their cup must be introduced. They could even fit cups out with a chip to locate them and make people return them to the stalls... or use edible cups. I visited the Tallinn Christmas Market five times during my weeklong stay. The music was throughout English language pop carols. I love to listen to these too, still, I wonder why they wouldn’t play some local carols. Too many stalls sell fur products.

Information Tallinn Christmas Market

Kesklinna linnaosa, Raekoja plats. This year the Tallinn Christmas Market runs from 1 December 2023 to 7 January 2024. Hours 10am to 8pm. Tickets: Free. On weekends there are a variety of performances and events on the Christmas market’s stage. If you stay at a hotel in the old town, a walk to the market won’t take longer than a few minutes.

Visa requirements for Estonia

You can apply for the Estonian Schengen Visa, as a Member State of the EU Estonia is a member state of the Schengen Area. Visitors from the Schengen countries do not need a passport or visa, only a valid an ID-card or passport. Visit this website to see whether you need a Visa to visit Estonia.

How to get to Tallinn

Public transport: Catch a ferry from neighbouring Helsinki in Finland.

By plane: Most European airports offer direct flights to Tallinn. Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport is a few kilometres from the centre of town. Catch the tram 4 which starts directly in front of the airport. The trip to town takes only 20 minutes. You can buy the ticket (EUR 2) from the driver.

Best Time To Visit Estonia

Temperatures in Tallinn are pleasant in summer and rarely rise above 30 degrees Celsius (June, July and August). Autumns can be wet and grey. It can get seriously chilly and freezing in winter, with temperatures well below zero. Bring warm clothes if you decide to visit in the autumn and winter months.

Estonia – Currency and how to pay

Estonia is a member of the European Union. The official currency in Estonia is the Euro. Exchange money on arrival at the airport, or get some cash at an ATM. You can pay in cash still almost everywhere (some shops/restaurants/cafes will only accept cash). Credit cards are widely accepted.

What language do they speak in Estonia?

The official language in Estonia is Estonian. Parts of the population also speaks Russian. As a visitor it is easy to get around with English (if that doesn’t work try Russian, German or Swedish).

Wi-Fi in Tallinn

Free Wi-Fi is available in most places like hotels, restaurants, cafes, public transport, and museums.


The article has been updated in October 2023 for accuracy.