Christmas is back in the world as you have surely recognized walking over Raekoja Plats. The last week of studies has reached and most of us are heading home to their families and friends to celebrate the holidays together with them.

Gesche (Germany)

But what if you are staying in Tartu for the Christmas season? You could surely cry yourself to sleep every night. But looking around, there is no reason for this. There are so many Christmas and New Year’s traditions and events waiting for you – even if some of them might sound a little crazy for you. Give it a try!

I collected five ideas what to do with all your free time in the next few weeks. Explore Estonian culture and events. It’s the perfect time of the year for this!

  1. Try blood sausage on Christmas Eve

Honestly speaking, for me as a German who is used to Christmas goose and mulled wine on Christmas Eve, blood sausage never sounded very tempting. But still I decided to broaden my mind and try a blood sausage in Christmas time here in Tartu. And it wasn’t as bad as it sounded 😉 Afterwards, you will surely feel like a real Estonian.

  1. Go to Otepää for the winter capital opening ceremony


Right before Christmas, on 21 December, there will be the opening ceremony of Estonia’s winter capital Otepää. I was there in autumn and it’s beautiful. Lots of events like a winter market, dances and a disco are waiting for you. And who knows, maybe we will finally get some snow, so that you can go skiing and sledging! For the exact program, go to:

  1. Visit Tallinn Christmas market

The Christmas market on Tallinn Town Hall Square is still open until the 10th January. Get hot wine and buy Estonian handicrafts or just enjoy ice skating on the nearby ice skating rink in Tallinn Old Town.

  1. Tartu Winter Music Festival

If you prefer to stay in Tartu and like music, then there is a wide range of concerts by different soloists and chamber musicians in St. John’s Church in Tartu right after New Year. The music festival will last all week and give you about the right calm start into your new year in Estonia.

  1. Go to the sauna

Finally, if Estonian winter is still getting on your nerves for being too cold and dark, just go to the sauna (there is one in Aura Keskus if you don’t know). According to some sources it is even an Estonian Christmas tradition, so you probably won’t be alone there and in the end, you will definitely be warm again. Have fun!

I’m sure, after having tried all this, you won’t feel sad anymore to be in Estonia during this wonderful time of the year. And I’m sure you also have lots of ideas what to do in this wonderful country. See you all next year 🙂



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