Although the Christmas season officially begins with the first lit candle of the Advent wreath, the Christmas spirit conquers the country even before then.
On 6. December the Croats celebrate Saint Nicholas. The day before every child puts his boots on the window. If they’ve been good, they’ll find the boot filled with candy and toys the next morning. For the Lucia festival, which takes place on 13. December, families plant wheat in small pots, or on the 6. The wheat is then supposed to rise until Christmas and is then placed under the Christmas tree to symbolize the renewal of life. Traditionally, Croatian families decorate the Christmas trees on Christmas Eve and then enjoy a big family dinner. Cod, turkey with mlinci and fritule for dessert are just some of the delicacies found on Croatian Christmas tables.
Of course, Croatian children receive gifts from Santa Claus! Besides opening presents, Christmas Day is usually spent eating traditional Christmas food, drinking mulled wine, watching classic Christmas movies and enjoying the day with family and friends.
If you want to experience the joy of Christmas in Croatia, take a look at the most beautiful places you can visit during Advent.
Dubrovnik Winter Festival
Dubrovnik is not only a popular destination in summer, but also during the Christmas season. The Smell of Dalmatian sweets like Fritule and the sounds of Dubrovnik Christmas carols, also colende called, experience the old town to life.
While you warm up with a cup of mulled wine, you can check out crafts and Christmas decorations from local artists.
Winter watercolors in Split
During Advent, the famous summer promenade Riva in Split turns into a true winter wonderland. There you can listen to Dalmatian acapella choirs, browse authentic souvenirs and taste a delicious mix of Mediterranean and continental Christmas food . The Christmas market stretches all over the town. In Strossmayer Park there is an ice rink, in Marmont Street there is an entertainment program for children and in Split there are 3 karaoke parties.
Eco-friendly Christmas market in Šibenik
Adventura in Šibenik is one of the newest Christmas markets in Croatia. However, it is already rated as one of the most innovative, as it is the only plastic-free Christmas market in Croatia is. The main part of the market is located in the city park, where all the trees are lit with Christmas lights. You can enjoy the view while listening to open-air concerts, skating and drinking mulled wine.
Advent in Zagreb
Advent in Zagreb has been named the best Christmas market in Europe three times in a row since 2016. Here are not only many magical places that you simply must see, such as the main square with a huge Christmas tree, Zrinjevac Park with shimmering Christmas lights and Strossmayer Promenade in the Upper Town. The largest Christmas market in Croatia also offers varied gastronomic specialties . You can eat everything from sausages to burgers to sushi, and enjoy different types of mulled wine and Rakija drink.
Christmas story of the Salaj family
The Salaj family has created an incredible destination for Christmas in Grabovica near Cazma. Over two million Christmas lights decorate the branches of each tree on the 60.000 m² large plot of land. The lights are also assembled in different shapes such as Santa Claus, snowmen, the manger and animals such as reindeer, penguins and bears. Every day in this fairy-tale place ends with fireworks.
As you can see, Croatia is crazy about Christmas. So get into the Christmas spirit and enjoy yourself at one of these top Christmas locations!