Take part as Tallinn becomes the world capital of song and dance from July 4–7, 2019, when they host the XXVII Song and XX Dance Celebrations. This festival takes place every five years and has become a symbol of Estonian culture and identity, with thousands of singers and dancers participating. Pair it with visits to Tallinn's historic Old Town, museums, and culinary hotspots for a five-day cultural excursion you won't forget.

Highlights

  • Watch thousands of song and dance performers
  • View old village life at the Open Air Museum
  • Sample Estonian wine and cuisine
  • Tour the medieval streets of Tallinn's Old Town

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Tallinn Tallinn
Day 2 Estonian Open Air Museum Tallinn
Day 3 Lahemaa National Park Food & Drink Tour Tallinn
Day 4 Estonian Song Celebration Tallinn
Day 5 Depart Tallinn Tallinn

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Tallinn

Long Leg street
Long Leg street

Welcome to Tallinn! The medieval capital of the Baltic states is home to cobblestoned streets and stone walls surrounding medieval houses.

Start off with a relaxed walking tour through the Old Town. You'll see the castle on Toompea Hill that now houses the Estonian Parliament, Cathedral of Saint Mary the Virgin, and Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, along with Town Hall Square's 15th-century town hall and Europe's oldest continuously operating pharmacy, which has been running since 1422. Stop in the Maiasmokk Cafe to refresh after the tour, Tallinn's oldest operating cafe and also home to a marzipan museum and marzipan-decorating artist.

Leave time in the evening for the first performance of the Dance Celebration. Groups from around the country will gather in Kalev Stadium, with performances from the nearly 10,000 assembled dancers.

Day 2: Estonian Open Air Museum

Estonian Open Air Museum
Estonian Open Air Museum

Take a full day for a leisurely exploration of the Estonian Open Air Museum, home to a collection of nearly 80 buildings from the past 200 years of Estonian history. The farms are arranged by the type of old village they would have been found in, with examples from throughout western and northern Estonia. Discover how the everyday people of Estonia lived before modernization and urbanization.

Day 3: Lahemaa National Park Food & Drink Tour

Palmse Manor
Palmse Manor

Take a day trip out to Lahemma National Park, the largest and oldest nature conservation area in Estonia. The area is also known for its many manor houses, including Palmse, Sagadi and Vihula. Visit the Palmse manor's extensive wine cellar for the Estonian Spirits exhibition, where you can taste beverages made with a variety of different ingredients.

Follow that up with a lunchtime cooking class in an Estonian household. The main ingredients of Estonian cuisine are pork, fish, and potatoesm, with distinct influences from Russian, German and Scandinavian cultures. You'll learn how to cook and then eat your lunch before your return to Tallinn.

Day 4: Estonian Song Celebration

Parade of the participants of the Song and Dance festival
Parade of the participants of the Song and Dance festival

See some of the highlights of the Song and Dance Festival today, starting off with the parade. The parade route takes all of the festival performers through the main streets of Tallinn up to the festival grounds. Follow them up for a concert at the festival grounds, with up to 100,000 viewers and more than 30,000 singers into the evening.

Day 5: Depart Tallinn

Seaplane hangars and Maritime Museum
Seaplane hangars and Maritime Museum

Catch a little more time in Tallinn with a morning visit to the seaplane hangers that house the Estonian Maritime Museum, with displays including genuine sail ships, boats, and naval mines. Pay a visit to the Teliskivi Creative City, a creative economic enterprise center where you can check out the local independent creative scene over a cup of coffee or pint of beer and scope out some unique souvenir purchases.

Once you've finished your wanderings, it's time to depart Tallinn to head home or on to your next adventure with a song in your heart.

Map

Map of Tallinn Song and Dance Festival - July 2019 - 5 Days
Map of Tallinn Song and Dance Festival - July 2019 - 5 Days