Advent in Zagreb (Zagreb Christmas Market)

Advent Zagreb, 2021, beautiful decorations near King Tomislav square

Last December my husband and I visited Zagreb Advent and wandered through all its Advent locations. Advent in Zagreb (or Zagreb Christmas market) has become quite popular and famous in the past few years. It has even been proclaimed as one of the best Christmas markets in Europe. However, there were still Covid measures enforced last year so the Christmas festivities weren’t as big as in the previous years. I believe that this year everything will go back to its pre-covid fun.

All Christmas locations are in the city center, in the historical center. You can easily walk from one location to another (but you can take a funicular to the Upper town). Some Advent locations were just beautiful photo spots (aka Instagrammable locations) while others had live music and food and drinks stalls. Some Advent locations also have shopping stalls selling Christmas decorations, warm clothes and toys. We had mulled wine and excellent food at European square but everything was more expensive than at other Christmas markets in Croatia. But that is still cheaper than at most European Christmas markets ( at least that was the case last year).

Advent Zagreb isn’t just about delicious mulled wine and Christmassy photo locations. There are many cultural events and kids workshops on the programme as well as ice-skating. Each year Advent has a general theme for the Christmas decorations. Last year, it was old toys. This year the motto is Feel the light.

So, let me take you on a photo tour of last year’s Advent in Zagreb locations:

Zrinjevac park

main square Ban Jelačić square

Oktogon passageway on Ilica street

Upper Town, in front of St. Mark’s church

Also at Upper town

Advent in Zagreb, December 2021
near the National Theatre

All of these locations are decorated this year too. Moreover, there are some new Advent locations as well. My suggested itinerary based on our walk last year is this: start at King Tomislav square (the ice-rink is back there again this year) and continue down the street to Zrinjevac. Then head to the main square Ban Jelačić square. From there go to the right to European square. After you had some sausages and mulled wine walk down Ilica street to the funicular for the Upper town. Not only will you see some of the best Christmas decorations at the Upper town but you will also enjoy beautiful views of Zagreb. Afterwards walk down to King Tomislav square again and finish your festive walk at the small Christmas market in front of Hotel Esplanade.

Have you been to Zagreb? Have you visited Zagreb Christmas markets?

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14 thoughts

  1. I had no idea that Zagreb had its Christmas markets! But wow, it’s stunning! I figure Christmas markets like Zagreb’s in Europe are often overshadowed by the ultra-popular ones in Germany, but I think visiting others make for an even more enriching experience. Wishing you a wonderful upcoming holiday season!


  2. Wow, the decorations look amazing and especially the christmas tree made of teddy bears and toys! I didn’t know it was one of the best Christmas markets in Europe, and now that I know this, I MUST go! Thanks for sharing the festive spirit!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is because this is St.Nicholas and not Santa Claus. We celebrate St.Nicholas day and kids get small presents and a decorative twig. Traditionally, kids got gifts for Christmas too but in the olden days those were gifts from angels or baby Jesus. Santa Claus became popular after WWII.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I see. Thank you for the additional information! Truth be told, I find this depiction of St. Nicholas — with the bishopric attire befitting his role as the vicar of Myra — as more appropriate for the Christmas season.

        Liked by 1 person

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