Zagreb was voted the best Christmas market in Europe for the third time in a row. I don’t want to sound biased, but I did visit more than a few popular European Christmas destinations, and I can say I completely agree with the results of the voting. Christmas time in the capital of Croatia is just magical.
But that wasn’t always the case. I remember only a few years ago when December in Zagreb looked quite… well, not magical. There was one big Christmas tree on the Main Square surrounded with a few unoriginal, quite ordinary food stands. A Christmas fairy tale was nowhere to be found. Had you visited Zagreb for Christmas back then, you probably wouldn’t be tempted to do so ever again. Well, I can guarantee (and I am quite hard to please), that things have changed, big time.
For the last couple of years, Zagreb has been offering plenty of events and unique atmosphere that will satisfy the taste of even the most demanding visitors. The wider city center and the Old town have turned into the real fairy tale. The city is full of lights, cute romantic spots, plenty of delicious food and of course – mulled wine.
This is my second year living in Zagreb and I swear, I have never seen this amount of the people roaming the streets, nowhere. I am not a big fan of the crowds but you just can’t get grumpy around this jolly atmosphere surrounded by people with huge smiles on their faces, enjoying the best time of the year.
Where to go?
There are more than ten hotspots, each different from the other, but none short on delicious food, various drinks from mulled wine to hot cocktails, live music, great Insta spots (we all know that’s important) and merry atmosphere. Here are my recommendations for the top 5 places you can’t miss!
The most beautiful park in the city center is probably the biggest Christmas hotspot in Zagreb. In the middle of the park you can see the round circle stage and in the evenings there is always some live band playing. The best time to be at Zrinjevac is during the night because each tree is decorated with lights and the whole park is illuminated.
2. Ice Park
In front of the magnificent Art Pavilion you can enjoy ice skating in the most adorable surrounding.
The first and original Advent attraction this year moved from its previous location to the Strossmayer Square which is right between Zrinjevac and the Ice Park. This place stands out from all the other Christmas hotspots because it offers delicious specialties from renovated restaurants. There is also a stage with DJ who is taking care for the fun atmosphere all the time.
4. European Square
At the very city center, just next to the Ban Jelacic Square, there is European Square you should not miss out on. Here you can find food stands that offer a bit different cousine from the traditional stands, you can listen to concerts, watch movies, see art exhibitions or buy cute souvenirs.
And finally, my personal favourite is found on the Upper town where you can get with funicular from the Tomiceva street. From here you can enjoy a breath-taking view of Zagreb while warming up with mulled wine and dancing on the DJ beats or live music. In the Upper town there are few other adorable spots like Gric Tale, Cafe de Matos or Klovicevi Dvori. If you don’t believe in magic, from now on, I’m sure you will. If you don’t believe, just check out the photo gallery below. 🙂
Where is Your favorite Christmas Market?