Croatia may be popular for its stunning coastline, Game of Thrones shooting locations but Christmas Markets in Croatia are no less spectacular. I had no idea about it until I planned my trip to Europe last year with my friends. Actually, some of the best Christmas markets in Europe are right here in Croatia. Let me take you through these markets in different cities of Croatia – Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik, and Zadar.
Christmas Markets in Zagreb, Croatia
Christmas markets in the capital of Croatia, popularly known as Zagreb Advent has been voted as the best Christmas market in Europe for 3 years in a row. Once you set the foot at Park Zrinjevac, it is easy to see why.
One of the specialties of Zagreb Advent is that it’s not concentrated in one place, but it’s spread over what feels like an entire city. There are live events and markets present near the Croatian Academy of Science and Arts, Ban Josip Jelačić Square, and the central square in the city of Zagreb. Sample mulled wine with some festive food while listening to live music through these places. Melodious Croatian music definitely adds to the charm.
There’s an ice skating rink at Park Josipa Jurja Strossmayera. Try out your skating skills there. The crowd is one of the liveliest we have come across. People of all age groups celebrate together at Zagreb Advent and this added to the festive mood of the city. The Christmas decorations in Zagreb are brilliant and a sight to watch.
Christmas Markets in Split, Croatia
Despite being a smaller Christmas market as compared to the others that we visited in Croatia and other parts of Europe, it had a unique charm due to the long promenade. Christmas markets at Split are always located around the promenade area that houses the famous Diocletian’s Palace. The Roman architecture and the rich history brings a uniqueness that is not so common in other modern Christmas markets.
The promenade is lined with live karaoke bars, cafes, and restaurants. This is one of the peaceful Christmas markets that are not too popular with tourists but exclusively for locals.
Christmas Markets in Dubrovnik, Croatia
One of our most awaited locations across Croatia, Dubrovnik definitely lived up to all the hype during the day and surprised us even more in the night. A city at crossroads of modern and ancient history, it is the old town and the Roman influence that brings out the true colors of Dubrovnik. A world-renowned Old Town of Dubrovnik is one of the biggest Old Towns in all of the coastal Balkans. It is a crown jewel of Croatia and is rightly the center of all celebrations in Dubrovnik.
The Walls of Dubrovnik provides a spectacular view of the Adriatic Sea and the Old Town. Stradun, the main street in the Old Town of Dubrovnik is considered the city center and contains multiple souvenir shops, restaurants, and Game of Thrones gift shops 😛 This street truly came alive after sunset with locals gathering to celebrate Christmas in the town square. The makeshift shops by locals selling homemade snacks add to the specialty of Christmas Markets in Dubrovnik. If you are looking for more ideas on what to do at any time of the year, here’s a one-day itinerary to Dubrovnik.
Christmas Markets in Zadar, Croatia
Christmas markets in the coastal city of Zadar, Advent u Zadru is a relatively new one with a Roman touch. It is organized in the pretty little old town of Zadar. This is another such Christmas Market which is more popular among locals than tourists. The pathways of the old town are turned into restaurants serving all sorts of food. The concert is another highlight in all the adverts where the line up changes every day. It comes alive late in the night when the concert is in full blast and there are people dancing everywhere.
We visited tons of Christmas markets during our visit to Europe in the winter. It was impressive to see cities soaked in a colorful and festive mood. And the Christmas markets in Croatia are definitely worth a visit!
About the author
The author of this article is Sharath Rao, my younger brother. He went on a Euro Trip on December 2018, and after a lot of pleading and pleasing, this post came into existence. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from him, but I’m glad how this post turned up!