In the modern world, where 90% of things being made in China, Estonia presents a great opportunity for buyers to get something, that is handmade. There are also a lot of antiques being sold in Tallinn. This includes old relics from the Soviet Union, as well as authentic Estonian made craft. One must be very careful though, because the markets are still being flooded by cheap souvenirs of questionable value, that are not typically Estonian and don’t originate from Estonia. This online guide is specifically designed for tourists in order to avoid buying unauthentic worthless junk. We’ve compiled a list of things, which have good value and fair prices.
Amber is especially suited, if you come from a warm country. Let’s face it, if the weather in where you come from is always sunny and hot, you don’t really need wool socks and sweaters unless you want to put them behind a frame.
Estonian knit comes straight from farms and traditional Estonian households, where people put their heart and soul knitting a linen poncho or perhaps a sauna hat. All of these items have a very high quality and may serve you for years. One advise though you still have to assert whether the item is made in Estonia or somewhere else.
Baltic countries have a long-standing history of making wooden craft, like small statuettes or beer glasses made out of wood. There are also a lot of children’s toys, just like the ones that they used to make in 1950s and 60s.
Chocolate and sweets.
Estonia has one major chocolate factory called Kalev. Kalev chocolates have earned their reputation, as being very high quality. If you want to get a traditional Estonian suite, keep your eyes out for marzipan. After all, marzipan was invented in Estonia. In the old town you can even get small sculptures that are made out of marzipan.
There are two main traditional alcoholic beverages that Estonia produces and is famous for. As a softer drink, you should go for Klarett. You can get Klarett at the town Hall Square pharmacy. That pharmacy invented Klarett. It is a special type of wine with cinnamon and different spices that strongly resembles hot wine recipe. They say, that people used to use it as a remedy against common cold and other minor sicknesses. If you want to go for a stronger drink you should get some Vana Tallinn. It is a special type of liquor, that goes really well with coffee although you can drink it as it is. Vana Tallinn can be bought in almost any grocery or liquor store.
If you like to collect antique, Estonia has a lot of rare pieces that go way back to the Soviet Union or even earlier than that. There are many antiques shops within the old town. In fact, almost every street in the old town of Tallinn has an antique shop. All of them are pretty competitive, so there should be no overwhelming difference in terms of price.
Made right before your eyes
And, finally, there are a lot of places, where you can actually watch as the craftsman (blacksmith, glassblowers, potters, painters and such) produce all these things right before your eyes. After they finish crafting an item you can buy it hot, right out of the oven.
Estonian culture is not typically keen on bargaining, but if you have a good charisma you can most certainly get a 10 to 15% discount. Just be careful; if the shopkeeper caught you looking interested in one particular thing, they probably want offer any discount at all. Remember: even though Estonian people are not very emotional they can still detect a spark in your eyes if you let them to.
And that’s it. Keep your eyes out for valuable things and don’t let yourself be tricked by tricky merchants trying to pull China on you.