Ask a question or write a comment

Comments (33)

  1. Hello
    I from Australia Sydney
    Would like to try Traditional food
    Which places do you recommend
    Is it any grandmother cooking at home for travelers.

    I enjoy your blog page
    Very detailed information


  2. We purchased aprons made into pigs when we were in Tallin in 2013. They were Pink and beige, pig face with ears and the belly had for flaps for feet and a deep pocket. We were on a Cruise and the Vendor was outside the ship selling there wares prior to our departure. Would love to surprise my daughter with new ones.

  3. Wow that is really very useful souvenirs!I would like to have lovely souvenirs! Good souvenirs always make our any journey memorable! I do had hobby to collect unique souvenirs from all over the world!

  4. How I love Tallinn! I feel like I’m surrounded by long lost relatives when I’m there – probably because I am (my Grandmother was born there and my family came from there and fled the Russians during the war)! I was there this Christmas – mainly just getting in touch with my heritage – especially since I’m actually an Estonian citizen by birth and I’m working on getting my Estonian ID and passport.

    I just wish my Grandmother were still around – she would have loved to show me the places she would play as a child, I am sure.

    One thing about the Christmas market which I found does not appeal to all people – like my wife (she is Chinese) – is that it is of course small and the Vanalinn area is very much about tourism these days. She complained that the stands at the Christmas market were all the same, and claimed the scarf I bought with reindeer on it was not hand-made in Estonia at all but probably made in China or somewhere else. I, of course, have no way of proving her wrong, sadly, though I’d love to.

    Definitely stay away from the amber shops if you want traditional Estonian-made stuff. As has been said…the amber isn’t really coming from there but from the south. Ironically, my wife showed most interest in buying amber there. I *knew* I should have married an Estonian woman 😉

  5. Hi! I was wondering if you could recommend places where one may find quality paint brushes and waxed linen threads (I’d use them to hand sew thick fabric)? Thanks!

  6. Thank you SO MUCH for suggesting Balti Jaam market, it is not a thing the shows up on most people’s “things to do” radar. I just went to Tallinn with my friend and it was one of her absolute favorite things. She loves useless old “bric-a-brac”, and *actual* Soviet-era junk was almost too much excitement for her to handle. You made our day 🙂

  7. I will be visiting Tallinn for only one day this summer while on a cruise. Any recommendations on what to do, where to shop, where to eat, etc? Cannot wait to visit after everything I have read about Tallinn.

  8. I am going to be in Estonia next month from the 12th -18th minus 13=15 to take the St Peters ferry loop. I enjoyed reading this, some good ideas the knitted gear(we have very cold winters also) and Kalev chocolate will be great to bring home to the grandchildren unfortunately, due to us customs limits I most likely will not be able to bring home Vana Tallinn for the adults, but they will enjoy Kalev chocolate also.Thank you for the helpful suggestions. ttwa

  9. I lived in Estonia for 5 months during the winter and one of the first things I bought was a pair of mittens. As I really like sheep, my mittens were with sheep of course :P. I survived in -30 and still use them, although our Bulgarian winters are not that cold. Vana Tallinn is what I took as a present to Bulgaria and Kalev’s chocolate is one of the best I have tried! I really miss Estonia and Tartu… I hope to visit you soon! 🙂

  10. I visited Tallinn in August and bought some delicious rope/string candy from a small stand. There were many different flavors…chocolate, caramel, banana, strawberry, etc. The inside might have been Iicorice?? They were pencil thin and sold in about 2 or 3 foot lengths. I would love to know if anyone knows if they can be purchased online. I don’t know what they are correctly named but they are wonderful! I wish I had bought more.

  11. Hello Ann,
    We are going to visit Tallinn in early July and would like your help with the following:
    1. We are going on a cruise and will be staying only a few hours. How far is it from the dock to Old Town? I think we will have three hours to kill.
    2. Do you know if they ship items to the USA?
    Enjoy your day,


  12. Having only visited Tallinn for a few hours during a cruise ship stop, I can pretty much corroborate all that you say about it. It is a beautiful place, and yes, has lovely things to buy.

    I am an ESL teacher: your post, while informative, has some errors in it. Would you like me to correct them for you? I love doing that!

  13. I am going to Tallin in 2 days with my wife and daughter (2yrs() what eating, souvenir and activities can you suggest for our quick 3 day Estonia trip? Also do you know where I can purchase an orthodox Christian cross for my friend? Also we want to know which is better The African restorant or Mekk?


  14. Ah, how i miss Tallinn. I remembered about my beautiful time spent in Estonia ( 7 whole months on an Erasmus grant last autumn/winter in TU). I miss it so much and would love to come back and pack a whole lot of goodies and souvenirs! 🙂 I hope to make it to the 2014 Song Festival.

    I love the white Kalev chocolate with blueberries. It was one of the favourite tastes for my family and friends also. And Vana Tallinn I best enjoyed when mixed with milk. I can’t remember the name right now, but i used to love the small cottage cheese chocolate bar in small supermarkets.

    Can’t wait to visit this beautiful country again!

    • When I have foreign friends visiting, I usually offer them a shot of Vana Tallinn with milk, most of them are really skeptical at first but will want to try a second one really quickly.
      I think the small cottage cheese chocolate you mean is Kohuke, delicious!

      Hoping to see you on the Song and Dance Festival!

  15. Good to see that Kalev made your top seven list. On the “food topic” though a bit more of a subtle item… Tallinna bread and Atleet cheese. Each time returning home to Estonia, I can literally live on just that for a couple of days.

    Little home made pies filled with apple, cabbage, carrot (to limit to just three delicious possible fillings) are also wonderfully Estonian. But then, “home made” is not exactly tourist readily available.


    • I would never forget about Kalev. Tallinn dark bread and Atleet melted cheese are a good idea, as well!

      Some souvenir stores have recently started selling home-made goods, too. You would probably not find pies, but the choices of different, delicious and sometimes very surprising jams, dried fruit and other goods are definitely not modest. I think I once found garlic chocolate next to some raspberry jam. The Eesti Esindus store on Viru street will provide tourists with a variety of home-made things, for example.

  16. Just got home to Arizona, USA two weeks ago. We were enchanted with Tallinn! Yes, we bought Amber. I chose a white piece and everyone loves it. At least I can say “I bought it in Estonia.” We sampled the local beer, took our picture next to a life size rag doll, and bought a linin pillow cover, ogled and marveled at the buildings. And the clean! Loved the clean. I live in a desert, complete with dust storms. In short, had little time to do anything except be a tourist. Last but not least the people were super nice. I wish I could have stayed for a few weeks. Love

    • I’m glad you enjoyed Tallinn a lot. The fact that a thing is touristy doesn’t mean it’s less authentic, cliches are cliches for a reason.

      Since you were here for such a short time, be sure to plan Tallinn into your next trip. And make the stay longer!