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Winter Fun in Croatia at the Award-Winning Zagreb Christmas Markets

Zagreb (and Europe in general) really get into the holiday spirit with great festive decorations and award-winning Christmas markets this time of year.

During the festive season, Zagreb transforms into a magical winter wonderland that has been voted the best Christmas market in all of Europe the last three years running.  From my experience attending last year, it's not hard to see why, with all of the spectacular decorations, food, drinks and festivities taking place all throughout the city! 

Zagreb’s award-winning Christmas markets are expected to be bigger and better this year when it gets underway again later this month.  The whole city is taken over by the holiday Christmas spirit and features an outdoor ice rink, lots of trees and lights, as well as rides for the kids.  With great street food stalls and local crafts, this is the sort of market that you could easily return to for a couple of days in a row.

The whole city is magically transformed into a winter wonderland and if it is anything like last year - visitors are in for a treat!  I visited Zagreb last year in December 2018 and experienced the festive atmosphere first hand.  Advent in Zagreb starts this year Novembe 30 and will go through January 7, 2020.

You can expect plenty of fun, excellent food, unique events, art, but also a genuine Christmas atmosphere on the streets of Croatia's capital.  The sound of Christmas bells, the scent of gingerbread, mulled wine and various other delicacies will get anyone into the holiday spirit.

See more below for what you can expect for Advent in Zagreb!

Advent in Zagreb events for 2019 will once again be held at a number of interesting locations around the city.

Here are some of the things not to miss:

Ban Josip Jelacic Square 
  • The main square in Zagreb features a huge Christmas tree, a fountain that is transformed into a light display and cosy, heated, covered stalls serving food and drinks like mulled wine and sausages.  It is the biggest open space in Zagreb to celebrate the holiday season.

European Square
  • Located just a few blocks from Ban Jelacic Square, European Square is the best place to enjoy concerts and exhibitions during Advent with beautiful souvenirs, food and great mulled wine for those wanting to warm up.

Zrinjevac Park
  • One of the loveliest spots in Zagreb with lanterns lights up the avenues of trees and the old music pavilion that looks like a little glittering palace. 
  • This is a great spot to experience Zagreb winter specialties including baked strukle, a warm baked pastry dish with soft cheese, as well as mulled wine, hot chocolate and special Christmas cookies. 

Ice Park in King Tomislav Square
  • One of Zagreb’s most beautiful public spaces transforms into an ice skating rink surrounded by food stalls and music events throughout the evening.  

Fuliranje – Fooling Around
  • Fuliranje (fooling around) will take place in Strossmayer square, located between Tomislavac Square and Zrinjevac Park, and brings tastes and atmosphere from all over the world. 

The Christmas Markets, known as Advent in Zagreb, raises the bar every year with new events and experiences.  You can spend an entire day exploring the sights and sounds throughout Zagreb and then come back at night to see the area lit up with amazing Christmas lights.

Be sure to add this to your bucket-list of things to experience - it is such a fun and festive atmosphere not to be missed!