In Tallinn, folk traditions exist alongside the contemporary. You can find some of the most amazing art pieces, exclusively made, with traditional skills. The most unique Estonian souvenirs are lovingly-made handicrafts.
The broad scope of Estonian design can be seen in small galleries, design boutiques, and fashion stores. You will find many unique, handcrafted pieces from some of the most imaginative designers in Estonia. There is something for everyone: ceramic, textile and fashion, wood and furniture, jewellers and handicraft.
The best places to find quality fashion, shoes, perfume and the like are the elegant boutiques along Old Town’s Väike-Karja, Suur-Karja and Müürivahe streets, also in Pärnu mnt and Roosikrantsi streets, and the large department stores and malls.
A required stop on any shopping tour of Tallinn is St. Catherine's Passage. Here in medieval-style workshops run by the Katariina Guild’s artists, onlookers watch as glasswork, ceramics, leather goods, quilts and other items are created right before their eyes.
Difficult to decide which gifts to buy for your friends and family? Handicraft items such as hand-knitted woollen sweaters with traditional Estonian folk patterns, fun felt hats, colorful glassware or kitchen utensils made from juniper wood are always a good choice.
For something modern, look for Estonian design shops. Beautiful handmade jewellery, wooden bow ties and watches, felt sleeping masks with wild animal faces, leather wristbands, wallets and bags are among the products on sale.
There are CDs of Estonian composers of international acclaim (Veljo Tormis, Arvo Pärt, Eduard Tubin, Erkki-Sven Tüür), and several books about Estonia and Estonians. For kids, there are the charming animated stories of the dog-girl Lotte, Estonia's popular, home-grown cartoon character.
In case you just need to buy something simple and delicious, look for chocolate and other sweets by the Kalev confectionery. One of their specialities is handpainted marzipan figurines. Besides Kalev, there are also some unique handmade chocolate brands available.