Croatia may be known for its sun and sea, but Croatia is also a mega-popular Christmas destination.
The capital, Zagreb, has been voted the best Christmas market in Europe three times. This year Zagreb Advent returns to its old framework and will try to restore the atmosphere that brought it worldwide recognition. The recipe is well known: decorated city streets, squares and parks; outdoor food & drink venues with a great array of options; numerous accompanying events; and some novelties such as the new “Zagreb eye” panoramic wheel, as high as 36 meters, with a beautiful panoramic view of Zagreb. So, if you have found a vacation rental in Croatia and are spending time in the country over the winter season, particularly in the north, you might be looking for something festive to do.
The Salaj family’s Christmas story
Croatia, luckily, is home to one of the best Christmas attractions in Europe, Salajland. Take time to discover the magic of Christmas and visit the Salaj family in Grabovnica, which is only 60 km from Zagreb. It is by far the most beautiful winter locale in Croatia, and it shouldn’t be missed once you are in the Zagreb area, especially during Advent. For the latest 20 years, the Salaj family has been a significant attraction for locals and tourists. They started decorating the estate with thousands of colorful lights – the first year, they managed to put up 70.000! Each year the number of decorations increases, and now they have around five million Christmas lights that light up 15 acres of the park, which is described as the largest holiday light display in Croatia. Magical Christmas lights by Salaj will be open from 25th November 2022 till 8th January 2023.
Medieval Christmas market in the city of Koprivnica
If you continue 65km from Grabovnica, you can experience another unique Christmas experience. It is a medieval Christmas market that takes place in the city of Koprivnica, a city near the border between Croatia and Hungary. The medieval Christmas market, the only of its kind in Croatia, will open its doors to visitors from December 3rd to 23rd, on the oldest square in the city. Over four weekends, thousands of visitors will enjoy a different interpretation of the magic of Christmas without plastic toys, trees, and lights. Ice sculptures will be made; traditional craftspeople will work diligently to make various valuable items, and visitors will hear the sound of medieval music. Koprivnica musketeers and harams will prepare a fire show and bathe in a medieval bath. It is worth experiencing this time machine, which teleports one back to a long-forgotten era, the late Middle Ages.
Jingle all the way to Croatia, full of magic!