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Photo by: Visit Estonia, Karl Ander Adami

How to enjoy winter like a true Estonian

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By Noora Karppi  •  09.01.2019

Time to get out and enjoy the winter true Estonian style! If you have never seen snow or wonder how do Estonians make the most of the coldest season of the year, stop all you are doing and keep on reading.

We will lift the curtain of mystery related to silent Estonians and their ways of enjoying the winter.

Enjoying the great outdoors is a way of life in Estonia, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that the secret Estonian way to enjoy winter is to do a lot (a lot-lot) winter sports. As a natural result, Estonia has many popular athletes, who master winter sports, such as skiing and skating. Later we will introduce a few of them.

Here are best places to enjoy winter as Estonians do.

Ski in the beautiful forests of Nõmme

Bring out your inner Kristina Šmigun at the cross-country ski tracks of Nõmme. Take the bus or train to Nõmme (southern part of Tallinn) and head to Nõmme Sport Centre. At Nõmme Sport Centre you can rent skis and hit the track.

Nõmme is famous for its’ lovely pine forests. There’s really nothing better than a beautiful wintry day, Nõmme pine forests and perfectly sliding skis under your feet.

Skate in picturesque Old Town

For Estonians, there is only one place that comes to mind, if you want to practice your spins, axels, jumps and lifts - Harju Ice Rink. Harju Ice Rink is in the heart of the Medieval Old Town and popular place to have a romantic date or just fun with friends.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to be a professional figure skater or Saskia Alusalu to be allowed to skate here. You are welcome to join even if you have never been on skates before!

Sled at the Tallinn Song Festival Grounds

Perfect choice for the children and childlike is to go sledging at the Song Festival Grounds. So much joy, giggles and positivity are in the air when Estonians gather to sledge. 

This is the closest thing Estonia has to an amusement park, but it’s actually better. You get to use your own energy, spend time with friends, mingle with other people and enjoy the rush sledging brings.

Don’t forget to bring your own sledge! (You can find one from local supermarkets, or ask nicely if someone would borrow you one for a slide.)

Swim in Pirita

Not only during the summer months, but also during the coldest winter, Estonians enjoy swimming - winter swimming! In Pirita, at the Tallinn Olympic Yachting Centre is the Tallinn Winter Swimming Centre. Get into the icy cold water and let it do its’ trick.

Winter swimming is good for your health, even the ancient Romans knew that. So, while in Estonia… Qui audet adipiscitur!

Snowfight!

When there is snow, it requires a proper snow fight. Few things to remember though, play snow fight only in places where the snow is pure, you don’t want to risk getting stones into the snowballs, such as parks, beaches or forests.

For more relaxed snow-related entertainment, you can build a snowman or a castle, if there’s lots of snow.

For more tips on how to enjoy the snow and winter in Tallinn, read our related blog posts.