If like me, you’re usually a pretty heavy packer then packing carry on luggage for a long weekend can be a struggle. My brain tells me things like ‘what if you want to wear that top you haven’t worn in 4 years whilst your out there’ and ‘ooh you’d better pack triple the amount of underwear – just in case’. Since we’ve been there ourselves, i’m here to give you some tips for what to pack for a winter weekend in Tallinn (you know, other than the obvious bits like toothbrush and pants) so you can travel feeling happy and confident you have everything you need!
Travel adaptor type: European
Currency: Estonian Kroon
Layers, layers, layers
The first thing to note about Estonia in winter, is that it is so so cold! Pack a couple of vests, T-shirts, long sleeved tops or any kind of thermal clothing that you may have to put on underneath your clothes. For your feet, I would bring some normal socks as well as thick thermal socks and layer those up too, depending on your footwear. Trust us; it’s better to pack more layers than fewer thicker items.
A little tip – wearing a pair of tights underneath your jeans/trousers can be a huge life saver to stop your legs from being chilly!
Remember, if you’re out and get hot then you can always take layers off.
In terms of outerwear, a lot of people who we saw were just walking around in just their regular coats and jackets (as did I for the first day) so don’t spend any unnecessary money if you don’t have a waterproof coat. We however, decided to invest in our future Scandinavian travels by buying some warm clothes (which I am grateful for) but it’s not the be all and end all if you don’t. All I’d say is just remember that snow is wet. I know that sounds obvious and although the snowfall looks beautiful and creates the perfect Instagram photo backdrop, after falling on you for a little while it will begin to soak through and you’ll be left soggy and freezing! Don’t ruin your weekend getting frostbite – just be sensible!
When we went, we both had a short sleeved T-shirt, long sleeved T-shirt, thin fleece jumper and then our coats over the top, and I think this was the perfect amount!
Hats, scarves and gloves
This might seem a little overkill, but please believe us when we say you will be grateful. Tallinn is the most beautiful and magical place to go at Christmas, but you won’t be able to enjoy that if you’re freezing cold and spending all of your time inside because you weren’t prepared. All of the Christmas markets are outside and it’s so lovely to walk around with some mulled wine (glogg) and explore the hidden alleyways of the Old Town, so making sure your hands and face stay warm is a must! You could always pick these up at the Christmas markets here if you wanted to take back a little bit of Estonia with you.
On our trip to Tallinn, we decided to go to do a Husky hike (it was meant to be a husky ride but because the snowfall was late that year, we took the huskies out for a nice long walk instead) which is why we were so grateful we’d brought our walking boots! You could wear some warm and comfy trainers or regular boots, but we chose to do a lot of walking around whilst we were there and our walking boots not only kept our feet comfy but also added an extra layer of warmth for our toes!
In Estonia, the months of December – February usually sees a lot of snowfall and the roads and paths can get pretty slippery. If you are choosing to wear other footwear, just make sure they give you some support and grip, as the cobbled streets can be quite steep.
Tallinn is a pretty laid back city, so comfy clothes are fine for every day. There are however a few ‘fine dining’ restaurants here which you might feel better slightly more dressed up. I’d recommend bringing one smarter outfit with you as well to chuck your warm coat on top of – take a look at some of the places we ate on our trip to Estonia.
The other bits to bring:
- Tissues – your nose tends to get very runny going from cold outdoors to warm cafes and shops. Bring a little pack of soft tissues with you (toilet roll from the cafe toilets will make your nose so so sore, trust me).
- Hand cream and lip balm – a little hand cream and lip balm to fit in your pocket or handbag wouldn’t go amiss. As I’ve mentioned before, it’s freezing cold and so the air can dry your skin out pretty quickly.
- Camera – Tallinn old town is one of the most beautiful medieval cities we’ve ever seen, so whether you’re a budding photographer or just looking for an excuse to dust off your lenses then I can’t think of a better time.
If you need any tips (other than what to pack for a weekend Tallinn) such as where to eat or what to do, check out our travels and take a look at our experience in the magical fairy-tale city!