Christmas Lights in Tallinn


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Festival highlights

As winter’s embrace tightens, the historic city of Tallinn, Estonia, transforms into a luminescent fairy tale, inviting all to its celebrated Christmas Lights Festival.


Christmas Lights in Tallinn Main

This enchanting event, a highlight in the city’s festive calendar, artfully weaves a tapestry of twinkling lights and charming installations throughout its medieval streets and squares.

From the glimmer of fairy lights to the rhythm of blinking Christmas lights, Tallinn’s light festival is a mesmerizing blend of tradition and modernity. Join us on a journey through this winter wonderland, where each corner of the city tells a story illuminated by the joyous glow of Christmas.

About the Festival

The Christmas Lights in Tallinn are a spectacular sight, seamlessly intertwined with the city’s annual Christmas Market. This market, a jewel in the crown of European festive markets, has been voted the most beautiful Christmas Market in Europe. Nestled in the historic Town Hall Square, it offers an array of stalls that brim with traditional Christmas food and beverages, creating an atmosphere of warmth and merriment.

This image is inspired from the Christmas Lights in Tallinn

Key lighting displays featured in the festival include:

  • The Sparkling Christmas Tree: Majestically positioned in the center of the Town Hall Square, this tree is a beacon of the festive season. Adorned with twinkling lights, it stands as a symbol of the Christmas spirit, illuminating the square with its radiant glow.
  • String Lights: Strung above the square, these lights create a starlit canopy, casting a soft, festive light over the market. Their gentle illumination adds a touch of elegance and charm, enhancing the magical ambiance of the setting.
  • Fairy Lights: Delicately placed throughout the area, fairy lights add a whimsical, enchanting touch to the Christmas Market. These lights weave through the square, creating a dreamlike scene that captivates visitors and locals alike.

Together, these lighting displays form the heart of Tallinn’s Christmas Lights Festival, complementing the traditional market and creating a winter wonderland that embodies the joy and beauty of the holiday season.

Festival Dates (2023 – 2024)

The Christmas Lights in Tallinn, together with the enchanting Christmas Market, are set to cast their festive glow from December 1, 2023, through to January 7, 2024. This period, encompassing the heart of the winter season, offers an extended opportunity for visitors and locals alike to immerse themselves in the festive spirit. 

The alignment of these dates with traditional holiday celebrations ensures that the heart of the Christmas season is fully captured, allowing for a truly immersive experience in the winter charm of Tallinn. Whether you plan to visit at the beginning of December, during the peak of the Christmas celebrations, or in the tranquil days of early January, the festival’s lights and market will be in full, mesmerizing display, ready to welcome all who seek the magic of the season.

Where It’s Located and How to Get There

The Christmas Lights Festival and the renowned Christmas Market find their home in the iconic Town Hall Square of Tallinn, Estonia. This historic setting, nestled in the heart of the city, offers a picturesque backdrop that perfectly complements the festive atmosphere. The Town Hall Square, with its medieval architecture and cobblestone streets, becomes a canvas for the twinkling lights and festive stalls, creating a truly immersive Christmas experience.

Located in the city center, the Town Hall Square is conveniently accessible from various parts of Tallinn, including the airport. Lennart Meri Tallinn Airport, the nearest airport, is approximately 4 kilometers away from the festival location. Visitors have several options to reach the Town Hall Square from the airport:

  • By Taxi: Taxis are readily available at the airport and offer a quick and convenient way to reach the festival location.
  • By Public Transport: Buses and trams run regularly from the airport to the city center. The journey is affordable and offers a glimpse into the everyday life of Tallinn.
  • By Car Rental: For those who prefer driving, car rental services are available at the airport, providing flexibility to explore the city at your own pace.

Traveling to Tallinn by Train: A Detailed Guide

For visitors arriving from other cities, traveling to Tallinn by train is a scenic and comfortable option. Here’s how you can reach the festival location from major cities:

From Helsinki, Finland:

  • Take a ferry from Helsinki to Tallinn. Ferries operate frequently and offer a pleasant journey across the Gulf of Finland.
  • Upon arrival in Tallinn, the port is a short distance from the city center. You can take a taxi, bus, or even walk to the Town Hall Square.

From Riga, Latvia:

  • Board a train from Riga to Tallinn. The journey offers beautiful countryside views and is a comfortable way to travel.
  • Once in Tallinn, public transport or taxis can easily get you to the Town Hall Square.

From St. Petersburg, Russia:

  • Opt for the international train service connecting St. Petersburg with Tallinn.
  • After arriving at Tallinn’s central train station, the Town Hall Square is just a short ride away by public transport or taxi.

These routes not only make the journey to Tallinn an integral part of the festive experience but also allow visitors to enjoy the stunning landscapes of the Baltics and beyond.

Other amazing lights festivals in Europe are:

Festival of Lights Longleat

Madrid Christmas Lights Festival

Festival Hours

The Christmas Lights Festival and Christmas Market in Tallinn welcome visitors to indulge in the festive spirit from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM. These hours offer ample time for both early risers and evening wanderers to explore the myriad of attractions. 

Whether you’re there to witness the soft morning light gently illuminating the stalls or to bask in the enchanting glow of the lights as dusk falls, the market and festival provide a full day of joy, entertainment, and holiday spirit. This schedule ensures that visitors can experience the full array of festivities, from browsing the unique crafts and treats at the market stalls to admiring the intricate lighting displays, at their own pace and convenience.

An image inspired by the beauty of the Christmas Lights in Tallinn

How Much Does It Cost to Visit Christmas Lights in Tallinn

The Christmas Lights Festival in Tallinn, including the mesmerizing displays and the enchanting Christmas Market, offers its splendor free of charge to all visitors. This open invitation ensures that everyone can partake in the joy and beauty of the festive season, embracing the warm, welcoming spirit of Tallinn.

However, for those wishing to fully immerse themselves in the market experience, it’s advisable to bring some money. The market stalls, brimming with traditional crafts, unique gifts, and an array of tempting local culinary delights, provide ample opportunity for visitors to purchase souvenirs, enjoy a taste of Estonian Christmas cuisine, or simply indulge in a warm drink to fend off the winter chill. While the lights and ambiance are a gift to all, the market stalls offer treasures and experiences that are well worth exploring.

Weather and What to Wear

The Christmas Lights Festival in Tallinn is set against a backdrop of Estonia’s distinct winter weather, spanning from December to January. During these months, Tallinn is often cloaked in a picturesque layer of snow, enhancing the festive atmosphere. Temperatures during this period typically range from about -2°C to -6°C (28°F to 21°F), though they can occasionally dip lower. These crisp, often frosty conditions are a quintessential part of the winter experience in Tallinn, creating a true winter wonderland that complements the twinkling lights and festive activities.

To comfortably enjoy the festival, visitors are recommended to dress warmly and consider the following clothing essentials:

  • Thermal Layers: Start with a thermal base layer to keep your core warm. This is essential for retaining body heat in cold temperatures.
  • Insulated Jacket: An insulated winter jacket or parka will provide necessary warmth and protection from the cold. Opt for a waterproof option in case of snow or light rain.
  • Warm Trousers or Leggings: Thick trousers or thermal leggings are advisable to keep your legs warm while you explore the festival.
  • Hats and Gloves: A warm hat and a pair of gloves are crucial for protecting your head and hands from the cold. Consider touchscreen-compatible gloves if you plan to use your phone to capture the festival’s beauty.
  • Sturdy, Waterproof Footwear: Snow and icy conditions require shoes with good grip and insulation. Waterproof boots will keep your feet dry and warm.
  • Scarves and Neck Warmers: A scarf or neck warmer not only adds an extra layer of warmth but can also be adjusted as you move between outdoor and indoor spaces.
  • Optional: Hand Warmers: For those particularly sensitive to the cold, portable hand warmers can provide additional comfort.

Where to Sleep – Hotels Nearby

Finding the perfect place to stay enhances the magic of the Christmas Lights Festival in Tallinn, and fortunately, the city offers several charming hotels in close proximity to the Town Hall Square.

Hotel Telegraaf

  • Location: Just a 5-minute walk from the Town Hall Square, nestled in the heart of Tallinn’s Old Town.
  • Description: Hotel Telegraaf is a luxurious 5-star hotel, housed in a historic 19th-century building. It beautifully combines historical elegance with modern amenities.
  • Amenities: Guests can enjoy free Wi-Fi, an on-site spa and wellness center, an indoor pool, and a renowned restaurant serving exquisite local and international cuisine.

Von Stackelberg Hotel

  • Location: Located just outside the Old Town, this hotel is a short 10-minute walk to the festival.
  • Description: The Von Stackelberg Hotel is a beautifully restored 19th-century manor, offering a unique blend of historical architecture and contemporary design.
  • Amenities: The hotel features comfortable, well-appointed rooms with free Wi-Fi, a spa area for relaxation, and a cozy restaurant that serves a variety of dishes.

Park Inn by Radisson Central Tallinn

  • Location: This hotel is conveniently situated within a 15-minute walk from the Town Hall Square, offering easy access to the festival.
  • Description: Park Inn by Radisson Central is a modern and stylish hotel, ideal for travelers seeking convenience and comfort.
  • Amenities: It boasts amenities such as free Wi-Fi, contemporary rooms with all the necessary facilities, an on-site restaurant with a range of international dishes, and a relaxing sauna area.

What to Eat

Immerse yourself in the flavors of Tallinn as you explore the city’s diverse culinary landscape, offering everything from traditional Estonian fare to modern European cuisine.

Lore Bistroo

  • Location: Conveniently situated in the Old Town, just a short stroll from the Town Hall Square.
  • Description: Lore Bistroo is a cozy, inviting eatery known for its modern take on Estonian cuisine, set in a charmingly rustic environment.
  • Foods Served: The menu features a range of local dishes with a contemporary twist, including freshly caught seafood, locally sourced meats, and seasonal vegetables, all paired with an excellent selection of wines and craft beers.

Lee Restoran

  • Location: Located in the heart of Tallinn, easily accessible from the main festival area.
  • Description: Lee Restoran is a contemporary restaurant with a focus on fusion cuisine, blending traditional Estonian flavors with Asian influences.
  • Foods Served: Patrons can enjoy a variety of creative dishes, such as their signature duck with local berries or the seafood platter with Asian seasonings, all in a stylish, modern setting.

Stenhus Restaurant

  • Location: Nestled in the Old Town, this restaurant is a hidden gem a few minutes from the Christmas market.
  • Description: Stenhus, housed in a historic building, offers an elegant dining experience, with a romantic ambiance perfect for a special evening.
  • Foods Served: The menu features exquisite gourmet dishes, with a focus on seasonal and high-quality ingredients. Signature items include slow-cooked meats, expertly prepared fish, and indulgent desserts, complemented by an extensive wine list.

More Things to Do in the Area

Beyond the twinkling lights of the festival, Tallinn boasts an array of cultural and historical sites, each offering unique experiences and insights into Estonia’s rich heritage.

Kadriorg Art Museum

  • Location: Situated in the picturesque Kadriorg Park, about a 10-minute drive from the Town Hall Square.
  • Description: The Kadriorg Art Museum is housed in a stunning Baroque palace built by Peter the Great. The museum specializes in older paintings, primarily Western European and Russian art from the 16th to the 20th centuries.
  • Activities: Visitors can explore an extensive collection of classical art, enjoy temporary exhibitions, and take a stroll in the surrounding Kadriorg Park, which is a masterpiece of landscape architecture in its own right.

Estonian Open Air Museum

  • Location: Located on the outskirts of Tallinn, about a 15-minute drive from the city center.
  • Description: This unique museum offers a glimpse into Estonia’s rural past. It features a collection of authentic 18th to 20th-century rural buildings, including farmhouses, windmills, and churches, spread across a scenic expanse of forested land.
  • Activities: Visitors can walk around the museum’s expansive grounds, experiencing traditional Estonian village life, engaging in seasonal activities, and enjoying various folk programs and craft demonstrations.

Toompea Castle

  • Location: Perched on Toompea Hill in central Tallinn, just a short walk from the Old Town.
  • Description: Toompea Castle is a historic stronghold with a mix of architectural styles, reflecting its varied past. Today, it houses the Estonian Parliament and offers panoramic views of the city.
  • Activities: Visitors can explore the castle grounds, visit the Parliament if pre-arranged, and enjoy breathtaking views of Tallinn from the viewing platforms around the castle, providing a perfect vantage point to appreciate the city’s beauty.

A Final Sparkle: Wrapping Up Your Unforgettable Visit to Christmas Lights in Tallinn

As the Christmas Lights in Tallinn cast their festive glow, they create an ambiance of wonder and joy, perfectly capturing the spirit of the holiday season. From the historic charm of Town Hall Square to the diverse culinary and cultural experiences, Tallinn offers a winter escape that blends tradition with a touch of modern enchantment. 

Whether you’re strolling through the twinkling market or exploring the city’s historical treasures, the Christmas Lights Festival in Tallinn is a celebration that promises lasting memories. So come and be part of this magical journey, where every light tells a story and every moment becomes a cherished memory.


Is there parking available near the festival?

Limited parking is available in the vicinity of the Town Hall Square. It is recommended to use public transport or park in designated areas outside the Old Town and walk to the festival.

Are there smoking areas within the festival?

Smoking is not permitted within the confines of the Christmas Market and the immediate area of the light installations. Visitors are advised to use designated smoking areas outside the festival zone.

Can I bring my pet to the Christmas Lights Festival?

Pets are welcome in the outdoor areas of the festival, but they must be kept on a leash at all times. Please be mindful of the crowds and the cold weather when deciding to bring pets.

Is the festival accessible for people with disabilities?

The festival and Christmas Market are accessible, with most areas navigable by wheelchair. However, some cobbled streets and crowded areas might be challenging to navigate.

Are there any ATMs near the festival area?

Several ATMs are located around the Town Hall Square and within the Old Town, making it convenient for visitors to withdraw cash if needed.

Is photography allowed at the festival?

Yes, photography is encouraged at the festival. However, please respect the privacy of other visitors and avoid using flash in crowded areas.

Are there first aid facilities at the festival?

Basic first aid is available at the festival. In case of a medical emergency, please contact the nearest security personnel or festival staff.

Can I buy souvenirs at the Christmas Market?

Yes, the Christmas Market offers a variety of souvenirs, from traditional Estonian crafts to festive decorations. It’s a perfect place to find unique gifts and mementos of your visit.

An image inspired by the festive atmosphere of the Christmas Lights in Tallinn


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