Good reasons to spend Christmas in Zagreb
Christmas in Zagreb is a wonderful time, and the Zagreb Christmas market is a spectacle not to be missed. Voted best Christmas market for the last three years in a row on the European Best Destinations website, spending Christmas in Zagreb is becoming ever more popular; and for good reason.
Advent in Zagreb runs from 30th November to January 7th. Zagreb is very cold this time of year, which is exactly how you want it to be. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas otherwise. But you can easily warm yourself from the inside out with a steaming cup of mulled wine or hot schnapps from one of the many market stalls. During this time the Zagreb streets come alive with beautiful lights, Christmas decorations and colourful market stalls selling all kinds of Christmassy souvenirs, great local food and drink. Live music can be heard in various locations around the city, indoors and outdoors.
Events and activities
There are numerous advent activities to experience over this festive period. In fact there are 11 Christmas markets in total. To begin with, you can visit the live nativity scene at Zagreb Cathedral. The advent in Zrinjevac Park is a wonderful spectacle with its illuminated pavilion being one of the most beautiful and well known sights at Christmas in Zagreb. Ban Josip Jelačić Central Square has a wonderful huge Christmas tree and the fountain there is lit up in a magical display of colours.
European Square is the place to go if you want to try out some great food. Each year there is something unique to taste. You can also try the relatively new but rather unique advent in a tunnel at Grič Tunnel, inside which you’ll find some very creative displays along with musical events and Christmas carols.
As you leave Grič Tunnel some steps will lead down to Strossmayer Promenade, where there are not only four different Christmas markets but it also boasts the best panoramic view of the city.
Winter wouldn’t be winter without outdoor ice skating, so head to the Ice Park at King Tomislav Square and strap your boots on for some festive skating day or night, although night time is much nicer amid all the Christmas lights.
Salajland Christmas Story
While spending your Christmas in Zagreb, you cannot afford to miss the spectacle created in the nearby village of Čazma, which lies to the east of Zagreb. Here on the Salaj family estate, Zlatko Salaj first created his own childhood dream of a Christmas story 18 years ago by turning his estate into a fairytale land of Christmas lights and decorations the likes of which you have never seen before. Every year since, he has come up with newer and more unique designs and every year visitors flock in droves to see what he has done. Last year the estate boasted a whopping 4 million lights. You can now take a Christmas train from Zagreb out to Salajland to easily see this for yourself.
Non-Christmassy day trips
After a while you might need a break from the dazzle of Christmas in Zagreb, but there are plenty of other things to do as day trips. To the north of Zagreb is the fascinating Krapina Neanderthal Museum. Spread over 1200 sq m, this intriguing display was opened in 2010 and was the brainchild of palaeontologist Jakov Radovčić and architect Željko Kovačić, who wanted to show how the Stone Age people of Krapina lived over 125,000 years ago.
While you are in the area, you cannot miss out on the chance to visit the ever alluring Plitvice Lakes, one of the oldest and most fascinating national parks in Croatia. The park consists of 16 lakes all linked by a vast network of rivers, streams and waterfalls. Winter is a wonderful time to visit with the park usually covered in snow and the waterfalls frozen.
Arrange a Christmas in Zagreb with us
Liberty Adriatic knows how best to ensure you make the most of your Christmas in Zagreb, including the best places to stay and getting tickets to the events you want to see. We can plan and organise a Christmas holiday you’ll never forget. It might be too late for this year, but we can sure do it for the next one.