Although Tallinn’s first Christmas tree was erected in 1441, Tallinn Christmas Market is a modern festival that has taken place since 1997. It’s held in the centre of Tallinn’s Medieval old town at the Town Hall Square, known as Raekoja plats in Estonian.
Town Hall Square is a beautiful, historic square that is surrounded by narrow cobblestone streets filled with wonderful small cafes, restaurants, bars and boutique stores.
In this guide, I share confirmed market dates for 2023, opening times and locations.
Tallinn Christmas Market 2023
The wonderful Town Hall Square is the historical focal point for locals and visitors alike. The decorated Christmas market stalls line the square.
This is where you can find Christmas snacks, hot drinks, gifts, decorations and traditional Estonian souvenirs.
The cobblestone streets and stunning architecture of the square add to the romantic, family-friendly setting.
Dates and Locations
Tallinn Christmas Market dates: 1st December 2023 to 7th January 2024.
Location: Town Hall Square – Raekoja plats in Estonian.
Opening times: 10am to 8pm. Drink stalls: Sunday to Thursday: 10am to 10pm. Friday and Saturday: 10am to 11pm.
Christmas Day: Open.
New Year’s Day: Open.
Christmas lights: Switch-on at 6pm on 1st December.
Santa: Yes, at Santa’s House in Town Hall Square. Everyday from the 3rd December 2023.
Ice skating: Yes, there is ice skating at Ice Rink Uisupark although this isn’t part of the Christmas market.
Vegetarian: Yes, plenty of options.
Vegan: Yes, plenty of options.
Gluten free: Yes, but limited.
Pet-friendly: Yes, dogs are allowed on a lead.
Parking: Please take public transport to help limit congestion.
Reason to visit: Tallinn is one of the oldest cities in Northern Europe and its Medieval centre has been wonerfully restored. Tallinn is an incredible destination all year round and particularly festive during winter.
City tour: If this is your first time in Tallinn, this Old Town Walking Tour is a great introduction to the city.
Specialities: Blood pudding, gingerbread cookies, mulled wine, hand knitted socks, wooden toys and decorations.
Travel tips: Be sure to visit Kadriorg Palace, Patarei Prison and the Occupation Museum while in Tallinn. Take the ferry on a day trip to Helsinki if you have time.
Where to stay: Hotel Telegraaf – a historic hotel located a 2-minute walk to the Christmas markets.
Hotels near Tallinn Christmas Market
You’ll likely want to stay in Old Town Tallinn during your visit. This district is known as Vanalinn, and given that this central district is small, anywhere here is close to the Christmas market.
I stayed at Hotel Telegraaf when I last visited Tallinn. This beautiful, historic hotel would be ideal for the Christmas markets as it’s literally a 2-minute walk to Town Hall Square (Raekoja plats) for those able.
If that doesn’t suit you, read this guide to hotels near Tallinn Christmas Market that lists places to stay based on my experience of the city. All budgets are covered.
Location of Tallinn Christmas Market
City and Christmas Tours
If this is your first time in Tallinn, I suggest taking this Old Town Walking Tour. It only takes 1.5 hours but will give you an excellent overview of the city, it’s history, architecture and Estonian culture.
You might also consider taking this popular Estonian Food Tour where you can try 3 or 4 Estonian dishes and 3 traditional drinks. It’s a 3-hour tour where you can experience a number of local specialties like green chocolate and berry chips.
Ice Skating in Tallinn
An outdoor ice rink in late November opens on Harju Street, Tallinn, known locally as Ice Rink Uisupark. The rink is located next to St Nicholas Church, and you can hire skates or take your own.
The full price is €7 per hour, and you can get a 50% discount with the Tallinn Card. This event isn’t part of the Christmas markets in Tallinn, but it’s a fun, family-oriented event open to everyone.
While the Christmas market in Tallinn is the largest and most popular, there are many other Christmas markets in Estonia, and you’ll find them in many cities and small towns.
Christmas in Tallinn
Tallinn Christmas Market Food
Estonia has a rich culinary heritage, and there are many delicious foods to try during Christmas. Here are some popular and traditional Christmas foods worth trying while you’re in Tallinn:
Gingerbread (Piparkoogid): Gingerbread cookies are a traditional Christmas treat in Estonia. They are usually made with honey, cinnamon, and ginger and are often decorated with icing.
Mulled Wine (Glogg): Mulled wine is a popular Christmas drink in Estonia, made from red wine, sugar, spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and cardamom, and sometimes raisins and almonds.
Blood Sausage (Verivorst): This is a popular Christmas dish in Estonia, made from pork blood, barley, and spices such as black pepper, allspice, and marjoram. It’s usually served with lingonberry jam and potatoes.
Sauerkraut (Hapukapsas): Sauerkraut is a fermented cabbage dish that is commonly eaten in Estonia during Christmas. It’s usually cooked with pork, barley, and other seasonings.
Roast Pork (Seapraad): Roast pork is a popular Christmas meat in Estonia. It’s usually seasoned with garlic, allspice, and black pepper and served with sauerkraut and potatoes.
Cabbage Rolls (Kapsarullid): Cabbage rolls are a traditional Christmas dish in Estonia. They are usually filled with ground pork, rice, onions, and spices and are often served with lingonberry jam and boiled potatoes.
Beetroot Salad (Peedisalat): Beetroot salad is a popular Christmas side dish in Estonia. It’s made from boiled and grated beetroot, onions, sour cream, and a little bit of vinegar.
Buckwheat (Tatrajahu): Buckwheat is a staple grain in Estonia, and it is often served as a vegetarian side dish during Christmas. It can be cooked with onions, garlic, and mushrooms for added flavour.
Fried Fish: Fried fish is a popular street food in Estonia, especially in coastal towns, including Tallinn. The fish is usually battered and deep-fried, and it is often served with French fries and a side salad.
Sõir: Sõir is a traditional Estonian fresh cheese. You can sometimes find it baked or fried and served with lingonberry jam. You can find sõir stands in some Christmas markets and fairs.
Piroshki: Piroshki are small stuffed buns that are popular in Estonia and other Eastern European countries. They can be filled with various ingredients, such as meat, cheese, mushrooms, or cabbage, and they are often served warm.
Langos: Langos is a Hungarian dish that has also become popular in Estonia. It is a deep-fried dough that is usually topped with sour cream, garlic, and grated cheese. It’s definitely worth trying.
Visit Estonia is the country’s official website for tourism. It has the latest information for travellers to Tallinn, including events, experiences, how to get around and things to do.
Sustainable Travel Tips
The choices we make have an environmental and social impact on the places we visit. When visiting the Christmas markets, keeping sustainability in mind is important.
Implement some or all of these simple measures to create a positive impact.
- Shop mindfully. Only purchase what you really need.
- Walk, cycle and use public transport to get around.
- Stay in a sustainable hotel powered by renewable energy.
- Stay in hotels. Short-stay apartment accommodation can lead to a lack of affordable housing for locals.
- Avoid using plastic or buying items made or packaged with plastic.
- Try to eat locally sourced organic food if it’s lower emission.
- Limit your consumption of meat and dairy.
- Be open to diverse cultures and experiences. Consider attending events in Tallinn, where you can meet locals.
- Explore more than just the main tourist areas.
- Support the arts and attend local events.
- Visit fewer places but stay longer at each destination.
Yes! Tallinn has held a Christmas market since 1997. It’s one of the most beautiful in the Baltic States.
Tallinn Christmas Market is held at Town Hall Square – Raekoja plats in Estonian. This is the city’s historic main square.
Tallinn Christmas Market 2023 dates are confirmed from 1st December 2023 to 7th January 2024.
Tallinn Christmas Market ends on Sunday the 7th January 2024, but the closing ceremony is on the 8th January.
Tallinn Christmas Market opens from 10am to 8pm daily. Hot drinks are available until 10pm during the week and 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
The Christmas markets in Tallinn close at 8pm daily. Hot drinks are available until 10pm during the week and 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
If you have any questions or comments about visiting the Tallinn Xmas Market in 2023 or visiting Tallinn in winter more generally, please leave a comment below.
Recommendations are independently chosen based on personal travel experiences and extensive research. This post contains affiliate links to hotels and tours in Tallinn, Estonia. This means I get a small commission from any bookings at no extra cost to you.