XI Youth Song and Dance Celebration
XI Youth Song and Dance Celebration will be held on July 1-3. Tens of thousands of young performers will fill the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds for the three-day festival, with the slogan "The Wide World Begins in a Small Land".
The youth version of the Song and Dance Celebration was introduced in the early 1960s to accommodate the huge numbers of youth choirs and dance groups in Estonia. It's held in different years from the main celebration, but is every bit as spectacular.
Song Celebration (July 3) is a six-hour long concert with different choirs and orchestras performing. Songs and music take the most powerful form when many voices blend together.
Dance Celebration (July 1 and 2) is a two-hour dance performance with thousands of dancers’ and gymnasts’ groups on the dance ground. Together they form beautiful dance patterns and perform more than 20 different dances and gymnastics’ programs.
One of the highlights, held on the festival's last day, will be the traditional parade through the city centre.
Song Festival Grounds is a reasonable walking distance away from Tallinn’s city centre. You can take tram no 1 or 3 to Kadriorg and continue on from there to Pirita. Buses no 1A, 5, 8, 34A, 38 take visitors to Lauluväljak (Song Festival Ground) stop and buses no 19, 29, 35, 44, 51, 60, 63 stop at Oru stop.
Note that during the parade traffic will be stoped at the city centre and bus services will be redirected.
XXVI Song and XIX Dance Celebration: July 4-6, 2014
XII Youth Song and Dance Celebration: June 30 – July 2, 2017
XXVII Song and XX Dance Celebration: June 28-30, 2019
Tickets are already available at www.piletilevi.ee
More information from www.laulupidu.ee
Come fly with me
Estonian Air the national carrier will raise the number of round-trip flights between Tallinn and Moscow to six per week starting from July 3.
Estonian Air is the only airline offering direct flights to Moscow from Tallinn.
More information from www.estonian-air.com
New Estonian design shop now open
Estonian fashion designers Lilli Jahilo and Reet Aus have opened up a new shop in the Old Town on Müürivahe street 19.
The shop offers a great opportunity to get to know what's in fashion in Estonia as the most recent collections of the two artists will be on sale.
Lilli Jahilo will be present with her feminine collection and Reet Aus with her collection “Upcycled” using denim textile.
The shop is open from 1pm until 7pm throughout the summer.
More information from www.lillijahilo.com and www.reetaus.com
Summer sights with Tallinn Card
Warm weather brings us outdoors. Tallinn Card has plenty to offer both sun seekers and culture buffs.
Kumu Art Museum
A must-see for culture creatures, Kumu, serves both as Estonia's national gallery and as a centre for contemporary art.
The vibrant exhibition “Gateways” is now on at the museum.
The works presented here tackle the theme of gateways to action and experience in the digitally interconnected culture.
“Gateways is the most ambitious and complex contemporary art exhibition in the history of Kumu,” says Anu Liivak, the director of Kumu Art Museum.
To visit the museum with Tallinn Card is free of charge.
In green, lush Kadriorg park is; Kadriorg Palace displaying paintings by foreign artists, prints, sculptures and other works, Mikkel Museum showing the collection of private collector Johannes Mikkel and the Museum Miia-Milla-Manda offering excitement and entertainment for children.
Visiting all these museums with Tallinn Card is free of charge.
For the fresh air fix joint excursion around Kadriorg Park and Palace as well as Kumu Art Museum is also on offer a 50% discount when participating as a Tallinn Card user.
Fresh air and lovely walks are also offered by:
If it hops, flies or slithers, you can find it at the Tallinn Zoo. Spread across an 87-hectare swathe of forested land, the zoo boasts one of Northern Europe's best collections.
Tallinn Botanic Garden
With over 4,500 plant species and 123 hectares of space, the Botanic Garden near Pirita is the best place in Tallinn to stop and smell the flowers. In summer, a stroll through the rose garden is a must, but the extensive, lush, greenhouses make this a popular destination all year round.
Estonian Open Air Museum
This museum lets you travel back in time to the rural Estonia of old. The vast, forested park is filled with thatched, 18-20th-century farm buildings, windmills, a wooden chapel and a village school, with staff demonstrating how people lived and worked in times past. Visitors can buy handicrafts and try out the traditional food served in the village tavern.
Visiting all these museums with Tallinn Card is free of charge.
More information about Tallinn Card available here.
Al fresco dining
The Nordic summer is short, but the summer days are long and summer nights are bright. Many of the Tallinn's restaurants and cafés move outdoors for the summer period on courtyard terraces or rooftop areas.
Town Hall Square is the most well known outdoor terrace area, but exciting summer hubs in Tallinn can also to be found beyond the square everywhere.
Vene street – Old Town's food street
Vene street's numerous cafés and restaurants like Reval Café, Elevant, Ribe, Josephine and Pierre, Limoncello and Dominic, have already moved to the summer terraces.
Hotel Telegraaf's courtyard, Vene str 9
Listen to live music every evening from Tuesday to Saturday in the hotel's inner courtyard, an oasis in the Old Town.
Café Wabadus terrace on Freedom Square
Carefree café on the edge of spacious and modern Freedom Square.
Café Komeet rooftop terrace, Solaris Centre, Estonia pst 9
Taste mouth watering cake selection, and one of the best views of Tallinn city centre.
Restaurant Platz’s summer terrace, Roseni str 7
Enjoy food and the ambience of modern Estonian architecture in the former industrial quarter of Rotermann.
Lounge 24 on the top floor of Radisson Blu Hotell Tallinn, Rävala pst 3
Offers fabulous foods, cocky cocktails and heavenly heights.
Amarillo summer terrace, next to Sokos Hotel Viru
Hot Mexican foods and cold Estonian beers right in the centre of Tallinn.
Rooftop Cinema Cafe, Sokos Hotel Viru roof terrace
Modern Nordic flavours at the cloud edge café-bar.
Park Café at Kadriorg, Weizenbergi 22
At the back of the house, right by the Swan Lake, under the old trees, is the Vienna-like café's cosy courtyard.
Pirita Yacht Club restaurant, Pirita tee 17
Outdoor terrace for up to 100 people by the bend of the river Pirita for relaxing meal times.
Café Moon’s courtyard, Võrgu 3
Sunny romantic terrace, hidden away from the coastal winds.
Festive festival food
For the first time in recent history, a Restaurant Festival will take place at Rotermann Quarter on June 10 and June 11.
The best Estonian chefs from local restaurants will present the very best of Estonian cuisine. The official opening is at 5pm, the evening will end with a grand dinner at 8pm (dinner ticket 69 Euros) along with the entertainment program. The festival itself is free of charge. Young foodies can try their hand in a cookery competition on day two at 3pm.
Ask more information at www.facebook.com/RestoranideFestival
Rotermann area however is boasting of food and entertainment filled events. Here are a few to look forward to during the summer months:
Rotermann Quarter is also home to an Estonian food market during the summer season. The market started on June 1 and is open from Tuesday to Sunday 9am to 6pm. As in previous years, produce from local farms and small enterprises will be on offer from raw ingredients to tasty buns or freshly picked summer fruits.
Food in the sky
“Dinner in the sky” comes to Rotermann Quarter on June 8 – 12. Diners will climb into hot air balloon and take to the skies for starters, not to mention main course and dessert.
New to the Rotermann Quarter is gourmet restaurant Alter Ego. It offers the best of Mediterranean cuisine and a well stocked wine cellar with up to 1500 bottles of wine.
New City Festival
The New City Festival and the Tallinn Old Town Days will take place together this year on Rotermann Square until June 11. Expect concerts, plays and other cultural and fun activities
Culture Capital's treats for June and July
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:
“Kaart & Kaart – Travelling through Time in Tallinn” exhibition, until the end of August
Location: Estonian National Library
This exhibition takes you on a voyage through centuries of the city's maritime history, looking at how the sea shaped design, planning and way of living. The earliest known city maps date from the 17th century, while the first map of Tallinn, published in Estonian, is from 1907.
Tallinn Bicycle Week, June 2 – 5
Location: different locations in Tallinn
The event consists of two major events: the Bicycle Film Festival, a global event launched in New York and the Simple Summer Session, the second annual summer BMX bike competition held on Freedom Square. In addition, the week includes art exhibitions and workshops, gatherings of cyclists, fun and competitive racing.
Nargen Festival, June 3 – September 11
Location: different locations in Tallinn and on Naissaar island
The Nargen Festival, created by Estonian conductor Tõnu Kaljuste, was designed so that its venues can be accessed by sea. It has become one of the biggest events in Estonian music culture.
International short film festival “Never Before Seen”, June 6 - 12
Location: Artis Cinema, Russian Culture Centre
For the 11th time the international short film festival will offer a unique opportunity to see European premières of films by young film-makers.
Venetian Carnival in Tallinn, June 11
Location: Löwenruh Park
Löwenruh Park will turn into a little piece of Venice for this fun and colourful carnival, featuring dance and song performances, Venetian music, competitions and a fashion show full of gorgeous costumes and masks worn by people and, strangely, dogs!
NO99 Straw Theatre: Euphorie, June 14
Location: Straw Theatre
NO99 Straw Theatre is the biggest event especially created for the Culture Capital year. Through summer plays from local performers and foreign visitors will take place at the Skoone bastion’s area. Some plays have English subtitles.
St. John's Day at the Estonian Open Air Museum, June 23
Location: Estonian Open Air Museum
One of the most important holidays for Estonians is the St. John's Day or Midsummer Day (Jaanipäev in Estonian). On this magical mid-summer's night the air is full of potent, omens and pagan rituals.
Tallinn mass: "Dance of Life", June 30
Location: St. John's Church
"Dance of Life" is a dialogue between the contemporary and medieval, based on Bernt Notke's "Dance of Death"; the characters, familiar from that motif, have been given modern counterparts and are now involved in a circle dance with life. The sound of tolling bells from mass will chime for two weeks before the performance.
From Military Equipment to Design Piece, June – October
Location: Mine Museum
Mine furniture by Mati Karmin unites past and present, destruction and creation.
11th Youth Song and Dance Celebration, July 1 – 3
Location: 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 thousands 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
Location: Old Town
The journey back in time to the Middle Ages to discover 500-year-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
Concerts, market and other fun events on the seashore, sailing and many majestic sailing boats by Tallinn bay.
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 a seaside tale – the story of a coastal village where everyday life has been linked to the sea for a couple of hundred years. Friday is ‘work day’ in the village
25th International Tallinn Organ Festival, July 28 – 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.
Culture Capital's full event calendar available here.
Cultural highlights also on the front page of Tallinn Tourism website.
Tallinn handicraft map
The new handicraft map now available at Tourist Information Centres and Estonian Folk Art and Craft Union centres.
The map lists 30 handicraft centres, shops, workshops and galleries, where local folk handicraft and applied art is sold or displayed. Included are traditional natural handicraft and contemporary creative art crafst. Each spot in the map has introductory descriptions, opening hours and addresses.
The map is obtainable in Estonian, Finnish and English. Take a look at the map here.