Voted the best Christmas market in Europe for the 3rd winter in a row, I knew I had to check out the Zagreb Christmas Market for myself, and witness Croatia during the magic of the holiday season. It did not disappoint, not only is Zagreb a budget friendly location, but the Christmas Markets and decorations in Zagreb are spread throughout the city, making it come alive! Here is my guide to the Christmas markets in Zagreb, Croatia, featuring the must see markets and top things to do.
Must See Christmas Markets in Zagreb
1) Strossmayer Square
Located up in the Old Town, Strossmayer Square was my personal favourite Christmas Market in Zagreb thanks to the magical decorations, the Christmas music blasting out the speakers and the beautiful views over the city. If you’re looking for instagrammable photo spots then make sure you check out Strossmayer Square.
2) Zrinjevac Park
If you are looking for a winter wonderland then head to Zrijevac Park to admire the lanterns light up the avenues of trees and the old music pavilion covered in fairy lights. Zrijevac Park is a great place to shop for Christmas gifts whilst trying some Zagreb winter specialties like baked štrukle, a warm baked pastry dish with soft cheese. Come here during the evening midweek or in the morning at weekends to enjoy some live music.
3) Ban Josip Jelačić Square
Ban Josip Jelačić Square gets a wonderful yuletide makeover with a huge Christmas tree and lots of lights, even the fountain is transformed into a light display. You’ll find a few stores and there is even a covered conservatory serving food and drinks. Come here on the weekend to enjoy some live music.
4) European Square
Right next to Ban Josip Jelačić Square is European square, this pedestrian street is the best market to visit if you are a foodie!
Top Things to do during Advent Zagreb
1) Go Ice Skating at the Ice Park on King Tomislav Square
If you come to Zagreb over the Christmas period make sure you check out the incredible outdoor ice rink at King Tomislav Square. There is a main rink and then a piste that you can follow around the park. It’s open everyday from 10am – 11pm and tickets are only 15-20 kn (around €2-3) and you can hire ice skates for 20 kn.
2) Go shopping
On top of wandering around the many Christmas Markets in Zagreb, make sure to check out the shops. Zagreb features a number of international brand names, usually with savings in compared to Western Europe.
3) Take a historic walk around Zagreb
Download the free Advent in Zagreb app and take a historic walk through 10 locations and send or share 50 old postcards with friends and family.
4) Check out the Christmas decorations in the Advent Tunnel
Just below Strossmayer Square is the Grič Tunnel which comes alive at Christmas time with decorations, trees and nutcrackers! The entrance is to the west of the tunnel on Mesnička Street and you will then walk east toward the exit on Radićeva ulica.
5) Marvel at the humongous Christmas Tree in front of St. Mark’s Church.
If you come to Zagreb you have to see the incredible St Mark’s Church. At Christmas time you will find the square beautifully decorated, it’s the perfect spot for an Instagram picture!
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At Christmas time I dance to Elf-is Presley 💃🎅 :::: I had never thought of visiting Croatia during the winter so I was so happy to be invited by @croatiafulloflife to experience Zagreb’s Christmas market which is spread throughout the city and see some of the country covered in snow 😍❄️ :::: Have you ever visited Croatia? 🇭🇷 :::: Edited on Lightroom with my Cool Vibes Preset 💫 :::: [press trip] #croatiafulloflife #croatiafullofmagic #zagreb #zagrebcroatia #zagrebcity #zagrebchristmasmarket #croatiatravel #croatia_ig #easterneurope #europetrip #visitzagreb #adventzagreb
6) Enjoy views over Zagreb at the 360 Observation Deck
See some of the Christmas Markets from above at the Zagreb 360 Observation Deck. Tickets cost 60 kn (around €8), or it’s included in the Zagreb card. Unfortunately the day I went the city was shrouded in mist, so make sure you check the weather before going!
7) Take a day trip to Plitvice Lakes National Park
If you plan on spending a few days in Zagreb over the Christmas period then I would definitely recommend taking a tour to Plitvice Lakes National Park. I had always wanted to visit it but had never considered going in winter time, until I saw it covered in snow! Not only is it absolutely magical but there are hardly any people!
Find out more in my guide to visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park during winter.
Where to Stay in Zagreb
I stayed at the Canopy by Hilton Zagreb City Centre, a new four star hotel. It’s in a great location, within walking distance of the ice rink, and the rooms are very modern and comfortable.
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I hope you enjoy the Christmas markets in Zagreb. I am sure that you will leave the city feeling very festive! If you are exploring more of Croatia make sure you head down south to Dubrovnik.
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