If you think that Germany has the market on Christmas markets you are wrong. Find out which Croatian city is home to officially Europe's best.
There's no doubt that when it comes to Christmas markets, that Germany is where this wonderful yuletide tradition began. Christkindlmarkt as they are known in southern Germany, go back to the Late Medieval Period and are traditionally held in town squares during the Advent period.
While Germany may be the home of Christmas markets, there is a serious contender for Europe's best and it's in Croatia.
For two consecutive years, Croatia's capital city, Zagreb has been voted ''European Best Christmas Market'' via European Best Destinations. The metropolitan city truly comes alive during Advent with miles and miles of magical Christmas decorations, twinkling lights and winter wonderlands with live music.
Here are our top tips for what to see in Zagreb during Advent:
Zrinjevac (Nikola Subic Zrinski Square)
At any time of year, Zrinjevac is one of Zagreb’s most beautiful green spaces, lined with impressive historic buildings that are home to government ministries and embassies. You’ll find a host of market stalls in the park which is decorated to resemble something out of a fairytale. The old music pavilion is the stage for live music every evening from 6-10 pm. We recommend then making your way to the magnificent Art Pavilion for a truly picturesque ice skating location.
Europski Trg (European Square)
This is the place to be for millennials and music lovers. Europski Trg is a pedestrianized area moving to the sound of live music and DJs taking a traditional Christmas market to the party-loving masses. The market stalls here sell decorations and a variety of delicious food from all over Croatia. Don’t be surprised to hear everything from disco hits to brass band music. Start practicing dancing while holding a sausage and mulled wine, now.
Trg Josipa Bana Jelacica (Josip Ban Jelacic Square)
Zagreb’s most famous square, Trg Bana Josipa Jelacica is the largest open space in the city center and the focus of New Year countdown festivities. On the square’s eastern side, you’ll find the Christmas Fairytale area of market stalls. Concerts are held on the large stage every couple of days, and you can see a candle lit on Zagreb’s largest Advent wreath every Sunday in the run up to Christmas. If you’re in the city for NYE then head here for Zagreb’s biggest party with some of Croatia’s biggest acts and an impressive firework display at midnight.
Adriatic DMC is a leading destination management company based in Croatia offering authentic travel programs for discerning travelers to the region. If you’d like more information about our itineraries and travel products for Advent and Christmas markets in Zagreb, get in touch.
The company specializes in crafting group and bespoke excursions, land tours, cruises, MICE travel programs and logistics support in Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Serbia and Macedonia.