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Celebrate Christmas in Croatia

by Mary Melnick

Dec 1, 2023

© Xbrchx | Dreamstime.com


With the holidays right around the corner, travelers are preparing for holiday travels. For those looking for a last-minute getaway filled with holiday cheer, consider Croatia. With a variety of winter activities perfect for travelers and locals alike, the Christmas countdown in Croatia is in full swing. Leading up to Christmas, Advent in Croatia makes it even more worth your while to visit the country with free winter incentives. If you plan on visiting Croatia, here are five cities going all out for the holiday season:

© Croatian National Tourist Board


The Advent Zagreb Christmas Market has been named the best market in Europe three years in a row. With tasty food, multiple concerts and the warm hospitality of locals who go out of their way to make travelers feel welcome, this city is a can’t-miss. Nativity scenes appear in the city’s churches and decorations along the cobblestoned streets of the Upper Town make the city look magical.

© Croatian National Tourist Board


With its cinematic seaside landscape, Opatija boasts the most beautiful Advent by the Sea program, running Dec. 1–Jan. 7, 2024. The well-known seaside town includes giant Nutcracker figures with signature guard uniforms and age-old cypress trees framing the landscape; it doesn’t get more winter wonderland than the city of Opatija. Wander through the town market in the fishing village of Volosko and the Lungomare coastal promenade.

© Croatian National Tourist Board


The city’s winter festival makes this coastal town a sparkling spectacle. From the New Year’s Eve concert with local music legend Zdravko Čolić, to 20 other concerts set around various city backdrops, visitors are in for a treat. Explore the city’s famous cobblestoned pedestrian-only avenue, Stradun, at your leisure as it becomes the backdrop for some of the finest musical performances of the season. Kids enjoy winter wonderland-themed programs including the North Pole station in Lazareti, the Colorful Winter in the Bay of Lapad complete with a train, ice-skating rink and several activities in Mokošica.

© Croatian National Tourist Board


Experience Christmas from the hilltop in the Istrian medieval town of Motovun. While in town, stay at Hotel Kaštell, located in the restored palace of the Polesini family. The hotel will be decked out during the holiday season. The Magic on the Hill advent season runs through the end of the year when Old Town sparkles with thousands of illuminated lights and lavish decorations. Take the kids to the Christmas Garden and Santa’s House for extra holiday fun.

© Croatian National Tourist Board


Slunj, a picturesque village nestled in the heart of Croatia, has been recognized by the World Tourism Organization as one of the top tourist villages in the world. During the winter months, visitors fall in love with the enchanting destination illuminated by hundreds of lights.


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