From 3rd December 2023 to 7th January 2024
Welcome to Tartu's Christmas City!
On the first Sunday of Advent, Tartu’s Town Hall Square transforms into a magical Christmas City. Glittering glass pavilions line the square and a festive light display sparkles above the street.
Each pavilion hosts a different activity or exhibition—one has straw for kids to play in, another has postcards to send to faraway friends and family, and others host seasonal workshops. The shortest days of the year become the most joyful as visitors stroll from between the pavilions, admire the enormous Christmas tree, and sip mulled wine.
Every Sunday before Christmas, crowds gather to watch the lighting of an Advent candle, and on Christmas Eve, Tartu’s mayor declares the Christmas Peace. On December 9th, colorful striped wool skirts and warm wool sweaters will fill the Town Hall Square. Over 800 folk dancers from Tartu and South Estonia will take over the Christmas City for the Wintry Tartu Folk Dance Day. Grab a partner and join them as they spin around the Christmas tree.
The shining centerpiece of the Christmas City is the seasonal ice rink in front of the Town Hall. Grab a crisp gingerbread cookie to munch on while watching skaters spin around Tartu’s famous “Kissing Students” statue. The rink is open until March 3, so you can practice your pirouettes long after the Christmas season has ended. This year, Tartu becomes the European Capital of Culture, so there are even more reasons to visit beyond the holidays.
Tartu is Estonia’s second-largest city, but locals know it as the heart and soul of Estonia. When the snow begins to fall, it also becomes a magical winter wonderland.
Experience an authentic Estonian Christmas at Tartu’s Christmas City!
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Tartu Christmas City
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