7 Ways to Spend Christmas in Tallinn

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7 Ways to Spend Christmas in Tallinn

There's no better place to celebrate Christmas than Tallinn. Whether sipping hot mulled wine at the traditional Christmas Market, skating under the shadow of a Medieval church or sampling festive goodies at the country's oldest cafe, the holiday season in Estonia's capital is always a memorable one.

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7 Ways to Spend Christmas in Tallinn

See an Estonian Christmas of Yore at the Open Air Museum

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Covered in a blanket of snow, the Estonian Open Air Museum offers a glimpse of wintertime in Medieval Estonia. While many of the city's museums close for the Christmas season, this outdoor architecture and culture center stays open. In late December, the Open Air Museum hosts a Christmas Fair so visitors can see what the holiday preparations were like at different periods of Estonian history.

Check Out Europe's Best Christmas Market

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Christmas markets are the heart of the winter season in Estonia. Tallinn's Christmas Market, nestled among heritage buildings and cobblestone streets, was voted into the top spot by European Best Destinations in 2019. Greet Santa's reindeer, shop for gifts and ornaments, sample traditional fare and enjoy live entertainment in a charming historic atmosphere.

Explore a Medieval Winter at the Old Town

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Tallinn's Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has been called one of the best preserved Medieval cities in Europe. The city's ancient defense walls, merchant houses, shops and granaries have been beautifully preserved and restored, many of them still operating much as they did hundreds of years ago.

Get a Bird's-Eye View of a Fairytale Christmas

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Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform offers sweepings views of the Old Town and new Tallinn. The view of the snow-capped roofs, frozen trees and church spires is like a window into Europe's Middle Ages, and makes for a memorable snapshot.

Go Ice Skating on Harju Street

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Each year from early December until the following April, the Harju Street Ice Rink opens up right at the heart of Tallinn's Old Town. The rink is surrounded by colorful, historic stone houses and close to St. Nicholas' Church, a restored 13th-century structure in the late Gothic and Baroque styles. An hour here spent in brisk outdoors is sure to become a warm Christmas memory.

Try Glogg, the National Christmas Drink

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Nothing warms the soul like a hot mug of glogg, a Nordic mulled wine that's popular in Sweden, Finland and Norway during the lead up to the Christmas season. Also be sure to try the spiced cider down at the Christmas Market and hot coffee spiked with Vana Tallinn's award-winning 'Estonian Liqueur' at one of the city's many cafes.

Watch Marzipan Artistry at Work

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Marzipan has long been a Christmas tradition throughout Europe, particularly Germany and Scandinavia. A museum dedicated to this festive treat can be found in Maiasmokk Cafe in Tallinn, Estonia's oldest cafe. Learn about the history of marzipan, observe the in-house artist at work and bring some home as a souvenir.

In Conclusion

A magical, fairytale Christmas awaits in Tallinn. Meander through cobblestone streets dusted with snow or browse for gifts under the twinkling lights of the Old Town's Christmas Market. The holiday season here is the best time of year to visit.