Feel the spirit of the Middle Ages at the Rathaus Square in Tallinn, when it’s filled with the tiny cottages selling everything from handicrafts to mulled vine.

The tradition of the Christmas market started already in 1441 when the Guild of Blackheads put up the first Christmas tree in the middle of the Rathaus Square. This square has been the heart of the Hanseatic town of Tallinn since the turn of the 13th and 14h century. Today it continues to be the lively center of the Old Town, still holding a high medieval atmosphere around it.

Different Guilds were the foundation of the Hanseanic city of Tallinn back in the Middle Ages. The Guilds of Traders ruled the city and the Guilds of Artisans were the other, very significant group in town. Together they made Tallinn a prosperous and famous place. The legacy of the artisans can be seen in the generous supply of handicrafts offered at the Christmas market. You have a wide selection from hand-made hats to wrought iron items and peculiar meat products to taste – like wild boar and beaver.

You can spend hours just strolling around the cottages, absorbing the atmosphere and sipping an occasional mug of mulled wine, if you feel cold. There are also many cafés and restaurants around the Square if you’d like to pop in for a cup of coffee or a quick snack. But if you want a real, whole meal, venture further away from the Rathaus Square. There are some very decent priced restaurants, like Spot or Rataskaevu 16, with great quality food.

I dare say that the Christmas market of the Old Town of Tallinn is among the best ones of Europe. Maybe it’s the atmosphere and its Middle Aged surroundings, but nevertheless, this is a market you shouldn’t miss! It’s open from late November until the 10th of January, so you’ll have plenty of time for a visit.

Don’t forget to end your stroll to the medieval bar of Draakon at the edge of the Rathaus Square and have a pint of beer from the traditional clay cups.

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