Christmas in Croatia is a beautiful sight to behold; with blankets of white snow coating everything from rooftops to trees. Check out the fluorescent Christmas light displays and the most amazing Christmas markets you will ever see. Each city of Croatia celebrates Christmas and the festivities, wherever you are, are guaranteed to warm you up with the Christmas spirit in such icy weather. If you’re dreaming of a White Christmas, read on and be tempted by the generous Christmas spirit offered in one of our favourite cities …
Advent in Zagreb
When it comes to Christmas, you simply can’t go past Zagreb. Its Christmas market “Advent in Zagreb” has been voted “Best Christmas Market” in Europe for 2 consecutive years.
Each area of Zagreb has its own Christmas festivities all under the umbrella of “Advent in Zagreb”. One for those old and young is the Ice Park in King Tomislav Square. Filled with lights and music, this ice rink is the best place to be on a cool winter evening.
If its fairy tale magic you’re after, look no further than the Central City Square. Known as “Zagreb Christmas Tale”, this Christmas market looks like a scene straight out of a Christmas movie. Let gourmet sausages and mulled wine tingle your tastebuds. Re-ignite your imagination with the fairy tale surrounds and the beautiful musical sounds.
Another one of the best markets is in Zrinjevac Park. This market is a Christmas lover’s dream. Here you will find beautiful Christmas Waltzes, aromatic Christmas scents, gorgeous handmade Christmas souvenirs. You can’t go past the fragrant traditional foods, from a traditional Croatian dish known as krpice sa zeljem (pasta with cabbage) to delectable sweet strudels.
For all the music enthusiasts, the Ban Jelačić Square (Trg bana Jelačića) is the place for you. There is a main stage featuring free performances from pop artists, renowned folklore societies, and numerous amateur choirs and performers.
Zagreb is truly the Christmas capital of Croatia, but don’t let its’ many festivities steer you away from the rest of what Croatia has on offer.
Dubrovnik Winter Festival
While it may seem like Dubrovnik is only a destination for beautiful beaches and gorgeous coastlines in summer, this Mediterranean city does not sleep in winter. The summer city comes alive during the “Dubrovnik Winter Festival”. Currently in its fourth year, the Winter Festival features sumptuous food, beautiful music, and gorgeous stalls selling unique festive trinkets lining the streets of Dubrovnik.
The Winter Festival begins with the lighting of the first advent candle, followed by a spectacular opening ceremony. This ceremony features musical performances by Croatia’s well known artists as well as the official lighting of the holiday Christmas lights. The festivities continue each day with musical performances and cultural entertainment. You will also find small holiday cottages across the city offering various foods and beverages until the conclusion of the festival in early January.
Advent in Zadar
Voted the European Best Destination in 2016, Zadar is definitely strong competition to Zagreb when it comes to Christmas markets. The coastal town hosts a market in its old town and offers some of the best food in Croatia. Homemade sausages, veal burgers, waffles, pancakes, fritule and so much more is on offer to sample and buy. The market also has a wide selection of beer and mulled wine as well as speciality liqueurs and even homemade brandy!
This market is so much more than food and drink. The musical performances by Croatian musicians and choirs bring Christmas joy every day in the Petar Zoranić Square. There are also a handful of other events, including special activities for children and adults as well as a Santa Claus race. Also home to spectacular New Years Eve festivities, Zadar should be on your Christmas list!
Christmastime in Osijek
Christmas in Osijek is an exciting and eclectic mix of activities and events for the whole family. Enjoy wine and cake festivals, see Santa Clauses cruising on motorbikes in the town parade and there’s even a virtual reality experience on a Christmas tram. There will always be something to do in Osijek at Christmastime. The main celebration is held in the centre of the old town in Tvrđa. In Tvrđa, you’ll find countless Christmas trees, beautiful cabins, and stunning baroque-styled carousels. The Museum near Tvrđa hold multiple Christmas related workshops, exhibitions, and concerts. In addition, there’s usually an International Christmas tree festival, whereby a Christmas tree decorating competition takes place.
So if you are dreaming of a White Christmas, Croatia is the place to be. You are guaranteed a magical time of Christmas traditions, with incredible food, and brilliant live music. For a winter wonderland experience like no other, Croatia is guaranteed to deliver.
sretan Božić ! (Merry Christmas!)