Merry Christmas markets

Source: Gen Vagula

Merry Christmas markets

Source: Gen Vagula

Strings of lights twinkle, special foods are prepared, and communities come together on town squares to rejoice: Christmas markets are the heart of Estonian winter holidays. Games, performances, delicious flavours and cheer await the whole family.

The holiday market: cheerful meeting place 

Age-old Christmas celebrations 

The Estonian word for Christmas, Jõulud, comes from the old Scandinavian Jul.

Photo by: Birgit Varblane

The Christmas holiday season is the most important of the whole year in Estonia, dating back to ancient pagan celebrations of the winter solstice. Holiday markets are the historical focal point and meeting place of towns in winter, and today you can still brush shoulder with locals enjoying the wintry ambience. Shop for handmade Christmas gifts from local artisans not sold in shops during the rest of the year like luxurious furs, intricate knit socks, and wooden decorations. Savour seasonal foods like blood pudding, gingerbread cookies and hot mulled wine. Tallinn's Christmas Market is known around the world, but there are fairs happening in Estonia's charming provincial towns.

Markets across Estonia

Photos: VisitTallinn, VisitViljandi

Tallinn Christmas Market 17.11.2017 - 06.01.2018
One of Europe's most beautiful Christmas markets is held on Tallinn's medieval Town Hall Square. You can eat and drink, shop at stalls, pay a visit to Santa Claus and his live reindeer and take a pony ride. A full cultural programme with dancers, singer and more takes place on the stage.

Tartu Christmas Fair 9.12.2017 and Christmas City Tartu 03.12.2017 - 07.01.2018

Tartu, Estonia's culture capital, is a destination for Christmas. For Christmas 2017, Town Hall Square in Tartu will transform into Village of Light. The village consists of seven glass pavilions of different sizes and constitutes a clever act of rebellion against the increasingly peculiar and often sopping wet winters. On December 9th, don't miss the Tartu Christmas Fair on the Tartu Town Hall Square with warm drinks, pies and handicrafts.

Paide Christmas Festival  9.12.2017
Paide, with its 13th century castle, lies right in the heart of central Estonia. Visit on December 9th for a day full of family activities like a candy tournament, tree decorating contest and performances by a troupe of elves on the Paide Central Square.

Winter Fair in Narva 9.12.2017
Narva, a historical city on Estonia's eastern boarder, hosts its Winter Fair where artisans from all three Baltic countries sell their crafts in the town centre. While you're there, tour the Narva castle and museum.

Viljandi Christmas Hansa 16.-17.12.2017
Viljandi, a Hanseatic trade city in the middle ages, holds a handicraft market on the Town Hall Square in partnership with the local Bonifatius Guild of craftsmen. There will be a miniature zoo for children, a Christmas train and the possibility to buy a real Christmas tree of your own.

Last updated : 07.12.2017

In category: Tallinn, South Estonia

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