Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, turns itself into a magical Christmas fairy tale in winter. Although no snow has fallen yet, they covered parts of the city in white glow, decorated almost every tree with Christmas lights and put on stands with delicious sweets. No wonder it got chosen as the best Christmas market in the last 3 years.
We have already visited Zagreb twice. We arrived by car and to save on time, we parked in one of the park garages in the city centre. Usually 1 hour is around 10-14 kuna.
You can easily walk around the city centre, as the Christmas markets are not far from each other. I put up together a kind of a self guided walking tour through the main Christmas markets in Zagreb. Waiting for you at the end of the article is a map, to get an idea where what is and that you can find it easily.
Let’s see what is waiting for you:
- Ice park (Ledeni park)
Let’s start at Ledeni park (Ice park) in front of the Art Gallery. Around the big ice skating rink are many food and drink stands, next to the gallery are also public toilets. If you’re into ice skating, the prices are very reasonable: 10:00-16:00 it’s 15 kuna, 16:00-23:00 it’s 20 kuna, for children under 6 it’s free. Need iceskates? Renting them costs 20 kuna.
Just across the street and between the library and HAZU (Croatian academy of science and art) is the market Fuliranje (what ever that means – my Croatian ends here). Again there’s a stage and many stands with food and drinks, in the middle you have places to sit). In this venue you can pay only by card and with a Mastercard or Maestro, you’ll get 10% off.
3.Zrinjevac park (my favourite)
Walk again toward the city centre and cross the street to a very special park. It’s turned into a real sparkling fairy tale world. All the trees are covered in lights, the beautiful stands lead you to the centre of the park, where there is a stage in a round pavilion. Although this is probably the most crowded park, I still like it the most.
- Marić passage
Ok, now walk again across the street on the left corner of the park facing the city centre and walk into Praška street. Somewhere in the middle you’ll find Marić passage. It’s a sight which will take 3 minutes of your time (ok, if you want a people free picture, it may take waay longer). It’s a beautifully illuminated passage with hundreds of white LED lights (and in the middle is a kebab stand😊 ).
- Christmas tram
Walk just a bit further to the Jelačić square, on the right-hand size is a ticket stand for the Christmas tram. We didn’t ride it, but it is suppose to take you around town for around 30 minutes, it costs 25 kuna and a real Santa Claus with his elves will ride with you.
- Ban Jelačić square
Ok, now you’re on the main square, where a lot is happening. On the left side is a stage, where we saw some local kids perform local dances. More to the right is a big Advent wreath and next to it are many Christmas stands and another stage under the name Christmas tale.
- Europe square
On the right corner of Ban Jelačič square turn right and walk through another line of Christmas stands until you reach yet another stage on a smaller square. Here you can try different food, mulled wine and sweets or take s picture with a big illuminated “Božič” which means “Christmas” in Croatian (and Slovenian).
- Zagreb Cathedral
Now take the Vlaška street up to the cathedral. Inside the cathedral you can see a live nativity play.
- Klovićevi dvori
This Christmas market is unfortunately not around the corner, like all the ones till now. Make your way through the streets to Klovičevi dvori and enjoy some colorful lights.
- Bogovićeva and Gajeva street
From Klovičevi dvori walk to the main Ban Jelačić square and in the left corner begins Gajeva street which turns into Bogovićeva street. These two streets are full of food, mulled wine, sweets, angels, jewellery, ornaments …
I hope we could help you with navigating Zagreb on foot. If you get thirsty, try mulled wine – they have red and white, my favorite is white but it always depends on the quality of the wine. If you see never-ending lines in front of a stand, then they probably sell fritule – deep fried dough balls with different toppings. I just love then and I’m willing to stand in line for them. 😊
Compared to other European Christmas markets Zagreb is still quite cheap. So indulge in the tasty food, have a mulled wine and please eat some fritule for me while you’re there.