Tallinn continues to celebrate the title of European Capital of Culture with many thrilling events taking place in the coming months. Here are highlight events of summer:
11th Youth Song and Dance Celebration, July 1 – 3
Location: Tallinn Song Festival Grounds
Ask any native what activity defines Estonia, and the first idea that will pop into their minds will be the Estonian Song and Dance Celebration. These massive folk gatherings, involving 32 ooo of colourfully-dressed performers from Estonia and abroad, have helped shape the nation's spirit ever since the first Estonian Song Celebration in 1869. This year's celebration is called “The Wide World Begins in a Small Land”.
Medieval Days in Tallinn's Old Town, July 7 - 10
Location: Old Town
The journey back in time to discover medieval “Old Reval” begins on July 7 at Viru gates, and upon reaching Town Hall Square it will bring a Hanseatic artisans' market to life. Town hall musicians, travelling minstrels, dancers, troubadours and contortionists will tantalise the senses.
International XC bike racing: Port of Tallinn GP 2011, July 9
Location: Nõmme Sports Centre
This international all-terrain bike competition will be 2011's highest-calibre bike race, not only in Tallinn or Estonia, but anywhere in the Baltic and Nordic region
Tallinn Maritime Days, July 15 - 17
Location: Tallinn Port area
There will be concerts, market and other fun events on the seashore, sailing and many majestic sailing boats by Tallinn bay. Legendary sailing ship Krusenstern will also return to Tallinn's waters for this special event!
European Athletics Junior Championships Tallinn 2011, July 21 – 24
Location: Kadriorg stadium
The European Athletics Junior Championships will be held in Tallinn – the biggest athletics competition in the European Capital of Culture programme.
Coastal Folk Festival, July 29 – 31
Location: Viimsi Open Air Museum
Over three days, this festival will tell visitors about the story of the coastal village where daily life has been shaped by the sea for two hundred years.
25th International Tallinn Organ Festival, July 29 – August 7
Location: Old Town churches
Tallinn's international organ festival is the oldest music festival in Estonia – 2011 will mark its 25th anniversary, which will be celebrated with a series of more than 50 concerts in Tallinn and elsewhere in the country.
Nõmme Jazz Summer Festival, August 5 - 6
In 2011 Nõmme Jazz will be celebrated with a major summer festival under the Nõmme pines. The programme will feature a variety of rhythmic music styles. The emphasis will be on jazz, but ethnic, rock and pop music will be thrown into the mix.
Traditional culture day - PäriMusi, August 6 - 7
Location: Freedom Square
The traditional culture day presents vibrant, distinctive, regional and ethnic cultural legacy of Estonia. Amateur groups and solo folklorists, will come to the capital from the island of Kihnu, the Seto region, Viru and Võru, Tartu and the larger islands.
August Dance Festival, August 15 - 31
Location: Kanut Guild house
A month-long event showcasing the latest trends in international contemporary dance.
Birgitta Festival, August 13 - 21
Location: St. Bridget’s Convent ruins
The Tallinn Philharmonic Society presents several days of outdoor concerts set in the stunning ruins of St. Bridget's Convent.
Song of Freedom, August 20
Location: Tallinn Song Festival Grounds
This massive event at Tallinn’s Song Festival Grounds will feature rock and pop musicians from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Finland, Sweden, Russia and Iceland to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the restoration of independence of the Republic of Estonia and to kick-off the Iceland Day event.
Wagner's opera Parsifal, August 25 - 28
Location: Noblessner Foundry
In the impressive Noblessner Foundry, by the sea, Wagner’s last opera and one of his most expressive piece of works, “Parsifal” will be performed within the frameworks of “European Capital of Culture Tallinn 2011”.
60 Seconds of Solitude in Year Zero, August 25
Location: Tallinn bay area
This open-air cinema session features short films made by directors from all over the world specially for the event. It is also the première of a film anthology – as part of the ceremony, the sole copy of the film will be burnt during the screening.
Towers of Tallinn, August 25 - 27
Location: Tallinn Old Town
This festival connects Tallinn’s history with more modern art and takes an inside look at the famous ‘sprat tin’ city skyline of spires.
Night of Ancient Lights, August 27
Different locations along the coast
The old tradition of lighting bonfires along the coast is alive again.
Culture Capital's full event calendar available here.
Cultural highlights also on the front page of Tallinn Tourism website.