Department Stores and Malls
Books Record Stores
What a difference a decade makes. Since the welcome collapse of the Soviet empire, the shopping scene has changed almost beyond recognition. It’s true that now and then you can feel you’ve stepped back into the Workers’ Paradise of old, with rude, cranky attendants who give the impression they think they’re doing you a real big favor by taking your money. But most stores worth their salt have successfully adopted the principle that the customer is king.
There’s been a mall explosion in recent years: See DEPARTMENT STORES/MALLS.
For arts and crafts the old city’s your best bet. One especially quaint shopping zone is along the
Katariina passage (Katariina käik), off Vene street (I-3). A string of tastefully done craft studios/shops in medieval buildings sell handmade wares that are made on the spot, from leather and hats to glass and quilts. This place is a must for tourists on the prowl for high-quality souvenirs.
Lühike jalg has a range of tasteful craft stores featuring the work of Estonian artists.
Committed hagglers should hit the outdoor markets.
Opening hours are generally from 10:00-19:00. Many shops close early Saturday. With the exception of the big malls and grocery stores, most Tallinn stores are closed Sundays.
Whether prices are high or low is a matter of perspective. They aren’t at the unbelievably low levels of the Soviet era. But prices still seem to be at least 10-20 percent cheaper than in Finland. They tend to be slightly higher than in Lithuania. As a rule, the further you get from the city center, the lower the prices.
De la Gardie: (I-2) Viru 13/15, old city. www.delagardie.ee
Demini Kaubamaja: (I-2) Viru 1, tel. 667-5135. An exclusive smaller-scale mall in the heart of the old city.
Eks Kaubamaja: Mustamäe 12. Outside the city center. Average selection; bad habit of cranking up dance music over the intercom.
Kaubamaja: (J-4) Gonsiori 2, tel. 667-3100. Sophisticated and client-friendly. Good selection.
Kristiine Keskus: (C-2) Endla 45; at the intersection of Endla and Tulika. An Italian-owned mall near the city center. It’s Western-feeling, breezy, spacious and has good lighting.
Lemon: (C-3) Estonia pst. 1. A shopping mall for clothing and footwear.
Magistral: Sõpruse pst. 201/203, in the Mustamäe suburb.
Maksimarket: Peterburi tee 62a. A somewhat cheaper option. There’s also another Maksimarket in Laagri, at Pärnu mnt. 558a. Open:09-22.
Merekeskus: (B-3) Mere pst. 10, tel. 644-1188. A wide market-like selection of clothing items. No perishables, but there is a café on the second floor and outdoor seating during summer months. Open till 19:00.
Pro Kapital Business Center: (B-4) Narva mnt. 13. Owned by an Italian real estate developer.
Rocca-al-Mare Shopping Center: Paldiski mnt. 102, across from the zoo. Estonia’s largest mall, and a favorite of many. Open:09-21, groceries 09-23.
Rotermanni Keskus: (I-4) Mere pst. 4, next to the old city. A three story shopping complex with a market-hall layout. Good prices. A grocery store on the first floor.
SadaMarket: Sadama 6/8, tel. 661-4550. Next to terminals A, B, and C. This mall is new, and some areas are still empty. There is a security baggage check on the first floor. A good place to pick up any last minute souvenirs before hitting the boat.
Selver: in Järve, at Pärnu mnt 238, there’s a large shopping center. There’re also smaller Selver stores in Mustamäe, at Kadaka tee 56a; in Tondi at Tammsaare tee 62, in Lasnamäe at Punane 46, and in Pirita at Rummu tee 2. Open:09-23.
Stockmann: (C-4) Liivalaia 53, tel. 633-9500. A subsidiary of the Finnish department store, Tallinn’s
Stockmann has a good selection of goods and an excellent grocery store. Their customer service is tops. Prices tend to be slightly higher than in most shopping centers. Good parking; a nice cafeteria on the top floor. Open:09-22; Sat., Sun. 09-21.
Sikupilli Prisma: (D-5) Tartu mnt. 87, tel. 680-9500. The latest of growing numbers of giant, American-sized shopping malls. Good prices. Open:08-23.
Viru Keskus: Viru väljak 4, tel. 610-1444. Open:08-22. A brand new, top-of-the-line shopping mall in the heart of the city with its own parking garage.
WW Passaaž: (I-3) Aia 3/Vana-Viru 10, tel. 627-1200. A slightly sterile mall in the old city. Open:10-20; Sun. 10-17.
Ülemiste keskus: Suur-Sõjamäe 4, tel. 603-4999. Open:10-22. Giant new mall by the airport.
Balti Sepik: (I-2) Suur-Karja 3, tel. 644-4365; (C-3) Süda tn. 1, tel.
646-1656; and (B-3) Narva mnt. 6, tel. 661-6019.
Mademoiselle: (B-2) Toompuiestee 27, in the Grand Hotel
Tallinn. Good breads and excellent pastries.
Pagaripoisid: (D-4) Vana-Lõuna 37, tel. 627-3700; also in the
suburb of Mustamäe, at Sütiste tee 32 and Ehitajate tee 29.
Some craftsmen sell their wares along the street, like on Müürivahe in the old city. Prices are cheaper than in stores, though you may have to shake the dust off your purchases. Estonian artisans excel in leather goods, ceramics, wool, jewelry and wrought iron. Woven snowflake-design sweaters are also classics. Look for colorful national costumes.
A-Galerii: (H-2) Hobusepea 2, in the old city;
tel. 646-4101. Good selection of unique local handmade jewelry.
Bogapott: (I-2) Pikk jalg 9, on Toompea; tel.
631-3181, Textile, ceramics; a coffee shop next door.
Eesti Ese (ThingEst): (H-2) Lai 10, tel. 644-0308. Estonian designer products from furniture to clothing.
Estonian Zlobin Souvenirs: (I-2) Saiakang 2;
(H-2)Pikk 7; (I-2) Rataskaevu 24.
Galerii Kaks: (I-2) Lühike jalg 1, tel.
641-8308. Jewelry, textiles, ceramics.
Helina Tilk: (I-2) Rataskaevu 6, and Lühike
jalg 5, tel. 646-4280. Ceramics and textiles.
Hilpharakas: (I-2) Rataskaevu 12, tel. 641-8004. Clothes you don’t find anywhere else.
Hoochi Mama: (I-2) Vana-Psoti 2, tel. 641-8866. You can find all sorts of interesting stuff here.
Jardin: (I-2) Apteegi 3, tel. 631-4625.
Katariina Gild: (I-3) Vene 12, in an artsy
passage off Vene street. Where some of Estonia’s top artists have
their work on sale: leather, glassware, hats, textiles, etc.
Keraamika Ateljee: (H-3) Pikk 33, tel.
Kiika Kööki: (H-2) Pikk 1, tel. 699-6410. www.kiikakooki.ee
Koppel & Keerdo Glass Gallery: (I-3)
Katariina käik, tel. 644-8404.
Loitsu Keller: (J-2) Müürivahe 17, tel.
644-2838. New Age books, CDs, scents and other items.
Lühikese Jala Galerii: (I-2) Lühike jalg 8, tel. 631-4720.
Artistic ceramics, glass, textiles. They recently opened a new gallery
at Vene 16, (I-3), tel. 646-4209.
Madeli Käsitöö: (I-2) Väike Karja 1, tel.
Merevaik: (I-1) Rahukohtu 5. Amber.
Merevaik ja Hõbesuveniirid: (I-2) Raekoja
plats 10. Amber and silver jewelry.
Molen: (I-3) Viru 19, in the old city; tel.
644-2877. Quirky jewelry, ceramic and leather goods. A leather cactus,
anyone? Famed tilted glasses, too.
Mündiäri: (I-2) Mündi 3. Estonian first
Müürigalerii: (J-2) Müürivahe 20, tel. 645-9590. Silk, glass, ceramics, stained glass.
Nu Nordik: (J-2) Vabaduse väljak 8, tel.
644-9392. Estonian design items: clothing, fashion accessories and
home decor. www.nunordik.ee
Nukupood: (I-2) Raekoja plats 18, tel.
644-3058. Dolls, handmade toys. Excellent quality.
Raekuld: (I-2) Raekoja plats 10. Amber and gold jewelry.
Raevangla Käsitöökelder: (I-2) Raekoja 4/6.
Rewill: (I-2) Raekoja plats 10.
Sepa Äri: (I-2) Vanaturu kael 3. Tiny shop
filled with ironwork and metal jewelry.
Sepis: (H-3) Olevimägi 13, tel. 641-1235.
Custom-made wrought iron.
Suveniir: (I-2) Dunkri 2.
UKU: (I-1) Toom-Rüütli 2.
Vanalinna Käsitöö: (I-2) Kullassepa 2. Small
shop with dolls and weavings.
Veta Line-N: (I-2) Pikk 4.
Villeroy&Boch: (C-3) Pärnu mnt. 30.
Dinnerware, crystal, cutlery, gifts, furniture.
Zizi: ( H-3) Vene 12. Home decorations.
Keskturg: (C-4) Turu põik 2. Tallinn's central market. Keskturg, or the Central Market, is conveniently located and has recently cleaned up its act a bit, installing a roof of sorts to keep the elements off shoppers. One recent consequence of increased competition is that salespeople actually clean and shine their produce. Take tram 2 or 4 one stop past the
Stockmann department store. There is a better selection of perishables than at
Kadaka turg (above). Browsing and rubbing shoulders with other shoppers is a cultural experience. Open every day until
Nõmme turg: Turu plats 6; in the center of
the Nõmme suburb.
Unless you enjoy getting screamed at by bad-tempered customs officers, you won't want to take antiques out of the country without a license: that's called smuggling. You may need permission to take out Estonian objects older than 1945 and anything else older than 1850 (see
Antiik: (I-2) Voorimehe 1, tel. 627-2425.
Antiik: (I-2) Rataskaevu 4, tel. 631-4307.
Antiik & Kunst: (I-2) Kinga 5, tel.
Antikvaar: (I-2) Rataskaevu 20 and 22, tel.
641-8269. Oriental carpets.
Aureus: (I-3) Viru 16. Crystal.
Raeantiik: (I-2) Raekoja plats 11, tel
Reval Antiik: (I-2) Pikk 31.
Shifara Kunst & Antiik: (I-2) Vana-Posti 7, tel. 644-3536.
Among Tallinn’s best antiques stores.
For suggested English-language books about Estonia, see under CULTURAL
A&O Raamat: (B-4) Narva mnt. 4, tel.
699-9649. Open:09-19; Sat. 09-15; Sun. closed.
Allecto: (C-4) Juhkentali 8, tel. 627-7230.
Open:09-18; Sat.11-16; Sun. closed. The
city’s best selection of English-language books. Few Estonian
authors, though. www.allecto.ee
Apollo: (I-3) Viru 23, tel. 654-8485.
Open:10-20; Sat.10-18; Sun.11-16. A very good book store, plus records
and videos. A wide selection of English-language books. There’s also
a comfortable café on the 2nd floor. www.apollo.ee
Felix & Fabian: (I-2) Harju 1, tel.
683-0758. Open:10-20; Sat. 10-18; Sun. 11-15.
Kolk Raamatu-Antikvariaat: (J-2) Rüütli
28/30, tel. 641-8005. Old and antique books.
Rahva Raamat: (J-3) Pärnu mnt. 10, tel.
644-3682. Open:09-20; Sat. 10-17; Sun. 10-16. Some Estonian histories and novels in English.
Regio Map Store: (B-4) Narva 13a, tel.
614-3290. From Estonia’s main map maker. www.regio.ee
Sireen: (C-3) Rävala pst. 6, tel. 681-4695. Open Mon.-Sat.
10-22; Sun. 12-18. Foreign language books and records.
Lasering: (B-4) Narva mnt. 13, in the Pro
Kapital Business Center, tel. 614-3043; also at Pärnu mnt. 38, (C-3);
tel. 627-9277. Good selection. The Pärnu mnt. store has a separate
classical music department.
Stockmann: (C-3) Liivalaia
World Clinic: (C-3) Pärnu mnt. 19-2, tel.
Department Stores and Malls Groceries Bakeries
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A CITY PAPER: What better way to give your friends and relatives a
sense of where youve just been than bringing back a CITY PAPER? You can also take
out a subscription or do it via internet here.
CDs: Good CDs are ones featuring choral or symphonic music by Estonian
composers Arvo Pärt, Rudolf Tobias, Eduard Tubin or Heino Eller. Choral composer
Veljo Tormis Forgotten Peoples album is a must. For rock/pop, try anything by
Ultima Thule, Tõnis Mägi, Compromise Blue, Jäääär (Jääboiler), Hedvig
Hanson or Maarja. If you like Estonian-grown techno, try 2 Quick Start.
As a rule, dont touch Estonian Summer or Auto
Hits with a ten-foot pole.
Ceramics: Ceramic replicas of old city buildings, often fitted with
candle holders inside are very popular. Whether these fragile items will survive the trip
home is another matter.
Graphics: You can find cheapo paintings of varying quality from
amateur artists hocking their goods along old-city streets. A number of galleries sell
originals and prints by leading Estonian artists. Try the the Diele Gallery (I-2), at
Vanaturu kael 3.
Jewelry: Estonian jewelry has a hint of the Nordic: clean lines, minus
gaudy excess. Theres also a distinctly Estonian touch to locally-made jewelry.
Liquor: Estonian-made liqueur Vana Tallinn. Other options include
Saku or Tartu beer or a bottle of Gremia Tallinn-bottled
Wood carvings: Craftsmen here make a variety of goods out of wood:
from toy cars to dolls to toilet seats. Wooden flowers are also a favorite. There are also
trays and spoons made out of lovely-smelling juniper.
Chocolate: A box of chocolates by Estonian candy maker, Kalev. Some
come with Tallinn scenes imprinted on the top.
Stone: Candle holders, ashtrays or other items made from stone. The stone is most often
dolomite from quarries on the Estonian island of Saaremaa.
Hats: A tourist favorite are Russian-made fur hats, which you can find
at outdoor markets. Theres a good hat store at at Vene street (I-3) with fun-loving
hats reminiscent of those worn by medieval barons or court jesters; many in 30s and
40s styles as well.
Knitted wear: Hand-knit sweaters or gloves are an Estonian specialty.
Estonian-knit socks could be the warmest thing in existence. A good place for knitted
items is the outdoor market along an old-city wall, at Müürivahe street (I-3).
Linen items are an excellent buy.
Glass wear: Cleverly-designed tilted glasses make the perfect
souvenir. Find them at the Molen store, Viru 19 (I-3).
Department Stores and Malls
Books Record Stores
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