It's certainly not Harrods and it isn't even really a department store. Sada Market is an ugly glass building near the port terminals. It is full of tiny shops selling just about everything you can imagine.
It is mostly aimed at Finnish and Swedish daytrippers (who, in terms of prices, think of Tallinn like we think of Calais - although it is many times more pleasant than that).
What to buy: Bulk beer purchasing at rock bottom prices seems to be the order of the day but you can get just about anything here. Fancy a Lordi T-shirt (the Finnish heavy metal band that won Eurovision)?
Also, general souvenirs such as Matreska (Russian Dolls) including the 'novelty' variety.
There is also a Warsteiner beer pub and a venue offering visual entertainment for gentlemen vistors (if you know what I mean)
What to pay: In terms of beer, food, souvenirs etc, a little less than you do in the old town
Just opposite the main Tourist Information Centre in Freedom Square (a short walk from the Raekoja plats or main square) is a marvellous second hand book store.
It has a lot of English-language books but of main interest to me were the reasonably-priced collection of old tourist guides, postcards, maps, stamps, badges etc from Tallinn and Estonia in days gone by.
For instance, I picked up a beautifully presented set of early 1970s postcards entitled 'Tallinn - Capital of the Soviet Estonia' showing the city as it was in the bad old days of the stagnation period.
What to buy: A piece of history - old books, maps, postcards, stamps etc
What to pay: A few pounds (£1 to £10)
The traditional knitwear market (the 'Knitting Wall' or 'Sweater Wall') is set directly into the city walls on Muurivahe street. It is something of a must for tourists, even just for a look.
What to buy: The little old ladies of the Knitting Wall will sell you a range of woollen jumpers, hats, scarves and socks in traditional Estonian style (sort of Alpine-ish)
What to pay: From £3 or £4 to £20, depending on what you buy. A pair of lovely, thick winter socks were 150 EEK or £6.
This is the Estonian Coin Shop. In here you can buy lots of mounted Estonian coins including special editions.
What to buy: A mounted complete set of Estonian circulation coins costs 90 EEK.
One special edition is a golden coloured 1999 1 EEK coin minted to celebrate the Estonian Song Festival. It is mounted on a card with a picture of the Song Festival Grounds and costs just 45 EEK.
There are also plenty of other beautiful special edition coins and it is worth a look.
For those who share the dubious vices of T shirt wearing and intoxication you’ll be delighted to discover this shop. O.K it’s an unlikely marriage but the T shirts are pretty cool and look even better after a little Saaremaa Dzinn or Saku Originaal.
What to buy: Well T shirts of course!
For an unusual drink try Kristallkummemel a rather strange tasting liqueur made from caraway seeds
This card gives you free entrance to more 40 musuems, free transport with bus around the city, free entrances to many of Tallinn´s most popular night clubs. Also a lot discounts in shops and restaurants...
Navitrolla is a great contemporary Estonian artist with a small gallery in the old town. His images depict a surreal world of strange animals which are very distinctive and often convey a philosophical message about human nature. The name Navitrolla is a pseudonym created from Trolla and Navi two villages in which the artist lived as a child.
What to buy: The original painting are very desirable and come in a range of sizes. For those on a budget posters, postcards and badges can be had at a reasonable cost.
worth to spend a bit time shopping in many arts and craft shop you can find in old town. excellent for home decor or even as a gift. they have modern and antique-like pottery and paintings at very reasonable price.
What to pay: reasonable
It's a modern book store akin to Waterstones or Ottkars in the UK. Has an English-language section.
What to buy: Tallinn guide books/maps or for a special souvenir they have a good range of arty picture books of Tallinn and Estonia.
Other interesting finds were 'Estonian Folk Tales' (does as it says) and a book entitled 'Estonia's way to freedom' - telling the story of the singing revolution and the quest for independence in pictures. You can see various sites in the city that were focal points of the historic struggle. Finally, 'Eesti Kook' is a mouthwatering Estonian cookbook - not fancy, just good food.
All above are in English language.
What to pay: Picture books from £5 to £15. The rest were under £10 each.
Kalev have been making chocolate in Tallinn since 1806 so nothing comes much more pure Estonian.
The company have a store just off the Raekoja plats (main town hall square) at the junction of Lai and Nunne. You can make your own selection from beneath the glass counter or choose from the range of gift boxes, individual bars etc
However, you can actually buy Kalev just about anywhere. The Stockmann and Kaubamaja department stores have a big range in their food halls.
What to buy: Everything from the more expensive and luxuriously packaged boxes (with pictures of Tallinn on the front) to delicious bars and even packets of chews.
The chocolate is Belgian-standard quality and is a great gift. The almond (Mandli) bar is particularly delicious.
What to pay: A nice box is about 5 to 10 pounds or so. A bar is less than a pound. The chews are just a few pence a packet.
Another modern department store, much closer to the town centre. Split either side of Gonsiori street but joined by a glass and concrete walkway. Sells everything you expect in a department store including some very trendy clothes.
Not as nice as Stockmann but a bit easier to get too in a hurry.
What to buy: Has a ground level book store (with English language section) and a CD/DVD store.
On the North side of Gonsiori street is a plush underground food hall which is perhaps even better than Stockmann's in terms of choice. Again, great for chocolates, spirits and beer for presents or just for your self!
What to pay: Clothes - not so cheap. Books/CDs slightly cheaper than UK. Food/drink very cheap
Very modern, sells everything - much like our own John Lewis or Debenhams.
What to buy: The clothes are expensive but it has a Marks & Spencer style food hall which is very reasonable and has a gigantic range of goods.
Great for presents (chocolates, spirits etc) and for mouth-watering snacks to go! Good place to buy your souvenir A Le Coq or Saku half-litre beer glass.
What to pay: Asd much or as little as you want
Amidst the many, many, many shops in Tallinn old town proclaiming authentic arts and crafts you'll find Galerii Kaks, the Estonian Gallery of Applied Arts a couple of streets away from the Town Hall Square.
What to buy: Inside are a whole array of things, from pictures to glassware, cloth and ceramics of varying prices. I left with a couple of ceramic bowls, between 50 and 80 euros apiece. The stuff in here may not be the cheapest tourist souvenir, but most of it was pretty original and pretty funky! There's a fair amount of tat knocking around in the main souvenir shops, so this makes a nice change. And if you're worried about getting breakables then rest assured, because I've never seen items better wrapped! My bowls made it back to Helsinki on the ferry and back to London on the bus/plane in one piece!
What to pay: Anything from 20 euros for a small glass items to hundreds of euros for a large cloth or ceramic piece.
The Viru Centre shopping mall is probably the biggest and nicest in Tallinn. It is located just across from the gate to Old City and consists of two connected parts. In one end there's a mall with shops selling international brand names although not the most expensive one. The other end spanning across the road into another building is a big Kaubamaya, which is a department store selling almost everything.
What to buy: On the 3rd floor there's a bookshop with a cafe. The owner of this cafe is famous in Estonia, I am not sure for what, but he is also very friendly, and the food was great and not least cheap (by international standards, not Estonian). Later I saw him on tv gesticulating wildly with his arms while passionately telling the viewers something I didn't understand.
What to pay: Prices in the shops didn't really seem that cheap compared to what I pay at home.
Here's the situation. You are a liquer horny Swede just in on the ferry, and you desperately need booze at fair market prices rather than from State owned monopoly shops (Yes Sweden, not Saudi Arabia).
One of the best places to go is Y2K (I bet they thought that name would be fancy for many years to come). Y2K has all the standard brands as well as finer whiskey, rum and so on. I bought a nice bottle of Cruzan single barrel rum for about 500 eek.
What to buy: They sell all liquers, beer, wine.