Christmas Market in Tallinn, Estonia

Another November is behind us, the most devastatingly lame month of the year is over! And that means that Christmas is literally on our doorsteps. A little comfort is brought into the crushing darkness all-day everyday by Christmas lights twinkling in people’s windows and at the markets. The Central European Christmas markets are world-famous but what about doing things differently this time and visiting a proper Northern atmosphere with genuine Christmas treats like glögi (aka mulled wine, a better option for the hot wines served in the South) and traditional Christmas tarts shaped like stars with plum jam. Finland has recently brushed up its game when it comes to Christmas markets and there are all kinds of performances and handicrafts on sale. But they are still missing an enormous beat: Christmas markets are all about good food and drink! So, while Finland contemplates whether serving alcoholic glögi in their Christmas markets will ruin the country completely or not you might want to check out the Christmas market in Tallinn. It has been recognized as the most beautiful Christmas Market in Europe by such institutions as CNN and Vogue Italia. I rest my case!

The Christmas Market in Tallinn is always opened in the middle of November at the Town Hall Square. The market itself is open every day until 7pm but hot drinks are served until 11pm, which is stretching the law a little, which here says that alcoholic beverages may not be sold here without a special permit after 10pm. But it’s Christmas, we can loosen up the rules a little, right? There’s a stage for performances and obviously Santa Claus takes some time off and descends from his crib in Northern Finland to greet the Estonian peeps as well.

This year Tallinn has put a new twist on the market and renewed all the lights surrounding the market and the big Christmas tree in the middle of the square. And may I just say that they take their Christmas lights seriously here, what works of art! Most of the handicrafts and delicacies being sold at the market are of course of local origins.

We went to the market with the idea of purchasing some Christmas presents. But obviously you need cash in a market like this and I was the only one equipped with it. And it all went into gloves I bought for myself because the gloves I was wearing were doing nothing for me, they let all the freezing wind straight through. So, we got no Christmas shopping done but a portion of traditional belmenis (dumplings with meat inside them, enjoyed with a wallop of sour cream and some spring onions and dill) and a very expensive glass of glögi kept me going until it was time to go to restaurant Pegasos near the Freedom Square to enjoy one of the best dinners I have ever enjoyed here: wild boar and mashed potatoes with truffles.  

The market is nowhere near as big as the ones in Vienna spreading all around the big city, but the atmosphere is all the more cozier and warmer. These markets are definitely one of the things I love the most about Christmas!  


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