Germany and France may well steal the limelight for the best Christmas Markets along with the many beautiful Eastern European cities but Zagreb Christmas Market has been voted Best Christmas Market for three years in a row.
This was a public vote organised by European Best Destinations, a European organisation based in Brussels working with tourist boards to promote tourism in Europe. Zagreb advent season will be sure to impress with its festive cheer spread across the whole city. Endless market stalls, dazzling decorations and light displays and daily open-air entertainment can be enjoyed by all ages.
The main market stalls can be found in Ban Josip Jelačić Square and European Square. Here you will find plenty of live music in the evening to enjoy as you browse and cosy, heated, covered food and drink stalls to enjoy a hot chocolate or mulled wine. Marvel at the beautiful fountain in Ban Josip Jelačić Square which is transformed into a light display. European Square offers a slightly more urban take on Christmas with music gigs and art exhibitions.
As you walk from Ban Josip Jelačić Square to Zrinjevac Park, enjoy Marić Passage which is a simple yet beautiful tunnel of intertwined branches with tiny, sparkling white lights. Enter the winter wonderland in Zrinjevac Park for a traditional market with wooden huts covered in fairy lights, hand crafted souvenirs and traditional Croatian Christmas food delights. Walk a little further and you will come across the glittering ice rink in King Tomislav Square. This is a fun treat for both children and adults alike with more live music and delicious food.
A Christmas trip to Zagreb wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Zagreb Cathedral. Appreciate the real meaning of Christmas with its amazing nativity scene, complete with live actors and animals. Young people from the Cenacolo Community, once troubled by a life of drugs and alcohol put on a performance with deep meaning and a feeling of peace for their audience.
Where to stay: The 4 star Palace Hotel offers good value, comfortable accommodation in the heart of Zagreb. The hotel is located in an Art Nouveau palace dating from 1891 offering its guests traditional Croatian hospitality. The location is ideal for enjoying the advent season with Zrinjevac Park right opposite the hotel and Ban Josip Jelačić Square and European Square just a 5-10-minute walk away.
How to get there: Flights operate daily from London Heathrow
When to visit: The dates for Advent in Zagreb are provisionally set as 01 Dec 2018 until 06 Jan 2019