Most people come to visit Zadar in summer, taking in the stunning Dalmatian coast and its important Roman ruins. But don’t skip over visiting Zadar at Christmas! Here’s everything you need to know to plan the perfect Zadar Christmas Market visit so you can enjoy the festive atmosphere of Advent in Zadar.
We spoke with Martina Crnčević from the Zadar Tourist Board to get the best insider tips so you can plan a flawless visit to Zadar at Christmas.
Read Next: 11 Magical Things to Do in Croatia in Winter
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How to Celebrate Advent in Zadar at the Zadar Christmas Market
Martina was kind enough to answer all of our questions about how to visit. Here’s everything you need to know to attend Zadar Christmas Market.
What are the dates and times for the 2019 Zadar Christmas Market?
The Zadar Christmas Market opens on November 22, 2019, and closes on January 2, 2020.
Where is the market located?
The Christmas Market is held on Petar Zoranić Square (Trg Petra Zoranića, 23000). The Ice Skating Rink is located at Kresimir Cosic Sports Hall (Splitska ul. 3, 23000).
The distance between the two locations is about a thirty-minute walk, so plan to use public transportation or make sure to bundle up!
What kind of entertainment will there be for adults?
This year’s Christmas Market in Zadar offers a lot of musical concerts, all sorts of dance performances and exquisite culinary delights. You can find a full event calendar here.
What kind of entertainment will there be for children?
Zadar winter fairy tale includes a lot of entertaining workshops, games, and treats for the small ones. There is a magical world of theater included, full of fun and laughter, sure to spark the children’s imagination!
For more information about the Children’s Christmas Market, check here.
What kind of goods will be for sale?
Stroll around the City is a traditional part of Zadar Christmas Market, when during Christmas period, all restaurants, shops, and museums with the Stroll Around the City signs and labels will offer affordable festive menus, as well as special offers and discounts, or additional programs as well as discounts on tickets and souvenirs.
What kind of food and drinks will be available?
Like every year at the Zadar Christmas Market, the visitors and the locals will find a wide variety of exquisite, finger-licking good gastronomic delights at the booths on the Petar Zoranić Square. According to connoisseurs, a true feast awaits, and this is what you will have the opportunity to taste at 25 different booths – from codfish and homemade sausages to burgers and sarma.
Is there a ticket price to get into the events?
Are there any other special festivities in Zadar this December or January that travelers might want to attend?
A spectacular ski race in the center of the Veli Iž Island is being held for the third time this year. Named the Queen of Iž (Iška kraljica – on December the 19th), the event stands as pretty unique not only in these parts but on a much wider level – it very well might be the world’s first skiing competition hosted by a small island.
Also, there is Zadar Christmas Run on December the 22nd, where more than 1,000 runners from all parts of the country are expected on this charity run.
Is there anything else you would want a visitor coming to your town this winter to know before they visit?
How can travelers learn more?
We have our recommendations and resources for visiting Zadar below. I want to thank Martina from the Zadar Tourist Board for answering our questions about this spectacular event! For more detailed information about the market, check out the Zadar Christmas Market website.
Where to Stay in Zadar
We are working on our complete guide to where to stay in Zadar, but for now, we suggest you use Booking.com to find the best deals. We prefer them because of their generous cancellation policies (you never know when your travel plans will need to change at the last minute).
Make sure to book as early as possible. Zadar is a popular destination, so rooms can sell-out earlier than expected.
What to Pack for Croatia in Winter
We have a full Croatia packing list here with winter sections for men and women, but here’s the quick version!
A Guidebook – While travel blogs are great, we also definitely see the benefit of having a good paper guidebook in hand to refer to in your on-the-ground travel. We recommend the Lonely Planet Croatia book.
Winter accessories: Bring a winter scarf like this one (women’s) or this cashmere scarf (men’s) to help block out the wind. We recommend women’s gloves like these which are compatible with your smartphone (for a men’s version, check these). You also lose a lot of heat from the top of your head and ears, so a fleece-lined knit hat (women’s) that you wear tight, like a beanie, is a fantastic choice. Pick a colorful one for cute photos! Here’s a men’s version as well.
An ultra-light down jacket: You can wear this on its own or pair it with a warmer jacket for colder days. This rolls up and packs easily in your day bag so it’s good to bring along – I have one similar to this (women’s) but there’s a men’s version as well. If you want to be warm, or if your trip is mostly focused on Zagreb, the mountains, and northern Croatia, I recommend a winter jacket like this North Face parka which I’ve owned for years and years.
Winter boots: It can be snowy any icy throughout Croatia even at times in the south, as it can snow in Dubrovnik and even get below freezing. For snowy days and super cold weather when you still want to be comfortable, I love these knee-high waterproof Blondo boots and have owned them for over a decade. For men, I suggest a waterproof boot with good traction, like these Timberlands.
Motion sickness pills: Great for bus rides if you’ll be visiting any mountains – I buy these non-drowsy ones. You can also try these natural motion sickness bands which use acupressure to reduce nausea – they work pretty well.
More Croatia Travel Resources
Headed to Croatia? We have some great travel resources to help you with your trip. First read our guide to planning a trip to Croatia, which covers visas, budgets, vaccines, and much more. We also have a Croatia packing list with a detailed winter section.
If you’re still putting together your itinerary, here’s a great list of places to visit in Croatia, our Croatia national parks guide, and the Croatian waterfalls guide to help you choose. We also have a day trip guide for Dubrovnik and Spit if you’re to be visiting these cities as well.
Next, check out our Balkan currency guide which explains how money works in Croatia and local tipping customs.
Of course, if you’re coming to a Christmas market you’ll have lots of opportunities to shop! Read our guide to shopping in Croatia so you know which souvenirs are truly local gems.
If this will be one of your first trips in the Balkans, check out our massive list of things to know before traveling the Balkans as well as our Balkan bus, road trip, and itinerary guides.
Don’t Forget About Travel Insurance!
I’m sure you’re aware that travel insurance is a good idea for traveling in Croatia (or really, any part of the world)! Allison and I have both been paying customers of World Nomads for the last three years. We love the peace of mind it gives us in case of emergencies, accidents, illnesses, theft, or trip cancellation or disruption.
While the Balkans are perfectly safe to travel around, there’s always a risk inherent in everyday travel –especially during the winter!– so it’s better to play it safe.
Pin this Guide to Visiting the Zadar Christmas Market for Your Trip to Croatia!
Stephanie has been living in and traveling around the Balkans for the past three years. She’s written for National Geographic Online, appeared on CNN Arabic and in the New York Times, and ridden more Balkan buses than is good for a person.