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13 Best Things To Do In Tallinn In Winter

Situated on the northern coast of Estonia, the capital city of Tallinn is the largest and most populated city in the country. Although it is relatively small compared to some capital cities with a population of just under half a million.

It is recognised as one of the best preserved medieval cities in northern Europe, with the very photogenic Old Town listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

From picturesque cobbled streets full of medieval architecture to charming squares, cosy cafes and magical Christmas Markets, Tallinn is the perfect winter destination.

An incredible place to visit at Christmas time and, with so many awesome things to do in Tallinn in winter, here are our favourite.

1. Tallinn Old Town

Tallinn Old Town is beautifully quaint, with cobbled streets and fairytale like architecture, making it top of the things to do in Tallinn in winter list!

In the colder seasons especially, Tallinn Old Town is really something magical. If it’s not snowing then it’s already radiating Christmas and wintery vibes.

If it’s your first time in the capital, and you’re looking for a little guidance, we recommend booking a Welcome to Tallinn: Private Walking Tour with a Local.

Or alternatively, if you are really into history the Medieval Tallinn 2-Hour Old Town Walking Tour will be just up your street!

The guys have rave reviews and it gives you get a real feel for the city!

Pretty lights and decorations really make Tallinn Old Town feel like something out of an old medieval movie in winter. So be sure to explore the beauty of it!

Old Town Tallinn Things To Do In Tallinn In Winter
The entrance to the Old Town in Tallinn

2. Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform

We visited three Tallinn viewpoints, one of the most popular spots being the Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform because of its famous quote on the wall that reads ‘The Times We Had’.

The other two are the Patkuli Viewing Platform and the Danish King Garden.

From all of the viewpoints mentioned you get to see over the city of Tallinn and its colourful rooftops.

The Danish Garden however is not so much a viewing platform but more of a park with old sculptures and statues.

You must add at least one of these to your list of things to do in Tallinn in winter, because the city looks even more pretty with a touch of frost from above. Or even better, SNOW!

A great way to get around Tallin to all the main attractions is via a Tallinn Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour.

Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform Tallinn Viewpoints In Tallinn
One of the best viewpoints in Tallinn
Kohtuotsa Viewing Platform Tallinn Viewpoints In Tallinn

3. Tallinn Christmas Market

In 2018, Tallinn Christmas Market was ranked as the number one in Europe.

The market normally opens up around mid November and finishes at the end of the first week in January.

We explored the small lit up lanes of the magical city centre, right in the middle of Tallinn Old Town.

The Christmas market is undoubtedly the highlight event of Tallinn’s cultural calendar and one of the top things to do in Tallinn in Winter.

The market itself is run by citizens and visitors. If you’re lucky enough to catch it when it’s snowing, then you’ll experience Tallinn’s real fairytale charm.

Tallinn Christmas Market In Estonia
Christmas Market Tallinn Things To Do In Tallinn In Winter
Of course, one of the best things to do in Tallinn in winter

4. Town Hall Square (Old Town Hall)

The Tallinn town hall is located right in the centre of the old town, exactly where the christmas market takes place.

It is the oldest town hall in the whole of Scandinavia and the only preserved one in Gothic style.

The Old Thomas statue that sits right on top of the town hall tower has been there since 1530 and has become one of the symbols of Tallinn.

Nowadays the town hall is mainly for concerts or for entertaining visiting kings or presidents.

Christmas Market Tallinn Things To Do In Tallinn In Winter
The beautiful town square where the town hall is located

5. Go Ice Skating

Ice skating is one of the most magical things to do in Tallinn in winter. We visited the pop-up ice rink in the centre of Tallinn Old Town.

It opens at the beginning of December and closes around the end of March.

Be sure to create fairytale memories at this unique ice rink on Harju Street next to the historic St. Nicholas Church.

Things To Do In Tallinn In Winter Tallinn Things To Do Ice Skating Tallinn Estonia
As you can see, this is obviously one of the top things to do in Tallinn in winter

6. Estonian Open Air Museum

The Estonian Open Air Museum is only a 15 minute drive away from Tallinn and it showcases the country’s rural architecture and way of life.

In the museum there are 14 farms and they over look how the families and general society lived in the 18-20th centuries.

All within the space of this old style village, there is a church, an inn, a school house, mills, a fire station, a shop, and fishing sheds by the sea.

Tickets to the museum are just €9, however this is for a self guided walk around.

If you’re looking for an educational visit, it’s best to book a Tallinn: 3-Hour Ethnographic Museum of Estonia.

Guided trips can be expensive, however it’s a great experience to see how people in Estonia lived.

There are many things you can do whilst enjoying your time at the Estonian Open Air Museum, from buying handicrafts and riding horses to trying traditional Estonian dishes at the local inn.

The museum is open all year round, offering heaps of entertainment interesting workshops and events to enjoy no matter age you are.

Estonian Open Air Museum Tallinn Things To Do In Tallinn In Winter
An old rustic mill by the sea at the Open Air Museum in Tallinn
Estonian Open Air Museum In Tallinn

7. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

The Alexander Nevsky Cathedral is situated on Toompea Hill and was completed in 1900.

It is a Russian Orthodox church and is one of the most monumental examples of Orthodox sacral architecture in Tallinn.

It’s certainly an icon of the city and is commonly visited because it’s so beautiful decorated inside and out.

The most powerful group of bells in Tallinn sit right in this very church.

Alexandrer Nevsky Cathedral Tallinn Things To Do In Tallinn In Winter
The beautifully designed Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

8. St Olaf’s Church In Tallinn

St Olaf Church is closed to enter in winter! But still one of the most iconic buildings to visit in the city.

Once upon a time, the very gothic St Olaf’s church was the tallest building in the world. To be precise, between the dates of 1549 and 1625.

It’s 159-metre spire was a clear landmark for approaching ships back in the day but with it being hit by lightning more than just a few times, it was shortened. Now the church still remains as an important symbol for the town.

The church is full of history and the entrance is free. If you want to go up the tower this is also free with a Tallinn card.

You must add it to your list of things to do in Tallinn in winter.

For an inexpensive way to get all the information on attractions such as St Olaf’s Church get the Tallinn Self-Guided Audio Tour.

St Olaf Church Tallinn Things To Do In Tallinn In Winter
St Olaf’s Church Tallinn Estonia

9. Telliskivi Creative City

Telliskivi Creative City is an industrial complex that is located on the outskirts of Tallinn.

It is the creative side of Tallinn so if you’re into the cool, hipster shops and cafes, Telliskivi is your place.

It is the largest creative centre in Estonia, consisting of many quirky studios and creative companies.

A flea market takes place in the area every Saturday and there are nearly 600 cultural events that take place annually.

Telliskivi Creative City In Tallinn
Telliskivi Tallinn Things To Do In Tallinn In Winter
Definitely one of the top things to do in Tallinn in winter because everything is way more magical in the snow.

10. Take A Medieval Walking Tour

Tales of Reval is a must do free walking tour in Tallinn. It is guided by costumed actors that take guests back to the time of the Hansa merchants.

It is a super fun and educating show around all the most important landmarks of the Old Town. Anyone is welcome to join the great old adventure.

The tours depart daily 11:30 in front of the Tourist Information Centre.

It is not a regular walking tour, it is more like a performance, where you will be taken through the old town of Tallinn and be taught all the historical facts in a fun way.

It lasts around an hour and is not only one of the top things to do in Tallinn in winter, but all year round too!

Free Walking Tour In Tallinn Tales Of Reval Tallinn
Taking a free walking tour with ‘Tales of Reval’ is also a must!

11. Eat Local Foods

It’s a must.

Estonian’s love their rye bread, so it’s only right that you should try it when you visit Tallinn.

With many of amazing restaurants to choose from, Umami Resto was our favourite, so make sure to try some local stews and soups as well as the deliciously filling dough!

There are also plenty of food tours and taster sessions available, here are a few of the most popular:

Tallinn Food Tour

Tallinn Culinary Tour by Bicycle

Estonian Craft Beer Tasting

Estonian Food, Drinks and History Tour

Rye Bread Tallinn Things To Do In Tallinn In Winter
Don’t forget to try rye bread!

12. Balti Jaama Turg Market

Balti Jaama Turg Market or Baltic Station Market is located in north Tallinn. It has so much on offer over three different floors, with outside space as well.

On the underground level you will find a large supermarket and a gym. Moving up, on the ground level is a more traditional market selling meat, fish and dairy alongside a farmers market and vegetable stalls.

The first floor is mainly dedicated to antiques, second-hand goods and clothing as well as Estonian design, craft and household goods.

Outside, cosy cafes and restaurants sit on terraced areas, along with seating to eat take-away food.

Balti Jaama Turg Market has lots to offer as well as a great ambience and is definitely one of the best things to do when in Tallinn.

Balti Jaama Turg Market In Tallinn
Balti Jaama Turg Market In Tallinn

13. Take A Ferry To Helsinki

There are three different ferry companies offering up to 12 sailings per day over to Helsinki.

Starting at €10, rising in the summer season up to €60/80, the crossing takes approximately 2 hours.

The easiest way is to book your Return Day Trip Ferry Transfer to Helsinki in advance.

Helsinki is well known for its innovative art, culture and architecture and the city is packed with museums attractions and spectacular Christmas markets and lights during the winter.

Senate Square is one of the top destinations for most tourists visiting the city and along with its surroundings makes up the oldest part of Helsinki.

Just outside the main city centre is Sibelius Park and its famous, unique monument. Also, close to the park is Cafe Regatta – one of the hottest cafes on Helsinki Instagram right now.

Located by the sea, Cafe Regatta is a traditional red cottage cafe with outdoor seating and fire pit. Serving delicious food and drinks this is one of our favourite spots in Helsinki.

If you are worried about missing something during your day in Helsinki you could always book onto a Helsinki Private Tour with a Local Guide which takes 2-3 hours.

Alternatively, there is a detailed Helsinki and Suomenlinna 5-Hour Sightseeing Tour. Whatever you choose, you will find plenty to see and do in this beautiful city.

Senate Square Helsinki Cathedral Things To Do In Helsinki In Winter
Exploring Senate Square in Helsinki.
Cafe Regatta Helsinki Instagram Spots In Helsinki
The famous red cabin at Cafe Regatta.

Where To Stay In Tallinn

Luxury

OldHouse Apartments

Located in Tallinn’s Medieval Old Town, OldHouse Apartments provides accommodation in stylish apartments with free WiFi.

Each apartment has a living room with a flat-screen TV, a bedroom and a fully equipped kitchen with a refrigerator. A stove, a microwave, a dishwasher, a toaster, a coffee machine, a kettle and kitchenware.

Each apartment come with a bathroom and either a shower or a bath.

A hairdryer and free toiletries are provided. There is also a minibar in most apartments.

Mid-Budget

Convenient Central Apartment

Convenient Central Apartment is located in the Kristiine district of Tallinn.

1.4 miles from Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, 1.5 miles from Town Hall Square and 1.6 miles from Estonian National Opera.

The accommodation is 1.2 miles from Toompea Castle, and guests benefit from complimentary WiFi and private parking available on site.

The apartment is located on the ground floor and comes with 1 bedroom, a flat-screen TV and a fully equipped kitchen that provides guests with a microwave, a fridge, a washing machine, an oven and a stovetop.

Budget

Red Emperor Hostel

Located in Tallinn’s beautiful Old Town and 550 yards from the Town Hall Square, Red Emperor Hostel offers accommodation with free Wi-Fi and 24-hour front desk.

Free luggage storage is available.

The rooms at Red Emperor are colourful and feature wooden furniture and views of the city.

Shared bathroom facilities are in the corridor.

The hostel comes with a common lounge, guest computers, a shared kitchen bar with draught beers and giant Jenga game, pool table and other entertainment.

For more places to stay in Tallinn. you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.

Planning Your Trip

Book Your Flight

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight.

They search websites and airlines around the globe to find you the best possible routes and prices.

Book Your Accommodation

Use Booking.com to find the best accommodation deals.

They consistently return the cheapest rates on everything from guesthouses to hotels for all of your budget needs.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Use SafetyWing to find the best travel insurance for you.

They provide travel and medical incident insurance built specifically for digital nomads.

Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

Book Your Tours & Activities

Use GetYourGuide to book your activities in advance.

They sell the best tours, excursions and activities to attractions around the world.

Conveniently book, download and access your tickets on the move all from your mobile.

Book Your Rental Car

Use RentalCars.com to find the best deals on rental cars in the area.

They compare all major car rental companies and allow you to easily book the perfect vehicle for your trip.

Buy Those Last Minute Bits

Use Amazon to buy everything you need for your adventure.

They offer next day delivery and you can use my travel packing checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.


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11 Best Things To Do In Tallinn In Winter