Dubrovnik has been having a moment lately, but many tourists forget that it’s beautiful in winter as well as summer. Come celebrate Advent in Dubrovnik with a visit to the festive Dubrovnik Christmas Market!
We spoke with Romana Vlasic, Director from the Dubrovnik Tourist Board, to get the best insider tips so you can plan a flawless visit to Dubrovnik at Christmas.
Read Next: 11 Magical Things to Do in Croatia in Winter
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How to Visit the Dubrovnik Christmas Market
Romana was kind enough to answer all of our questions about how to visit. Here’s everything you need to know to attend the Dubrovnik Winter Festival.
What are the dates and times for the 2019 Dubrovnik Christmas Market?
Where is the market located?
The Dubrovnik Christmas Market is held in the heart of Dubrovnik’s Old Town, centered on Luza Square.
What kind of entertainment will there be for adults?
There are numerous events for adults and kids (more on the kids below). For adults, the main events are live music and concerts, but there’s also an ice skating rink, art workshops to learn how to make traditional Croatian Christmas decorations, and Christmas caroling.
For a full program of the Dubrovnik Christmas Market events, download the full program here.
What kind of entertainment will there be for children?
For children, make sure to visit the Torta Party (Cake Party) with live music, Christmas fairytale workshops, and Live Nativity Scene. For more information, download the full schedule of events here.
What kind of goods will be for sale?
You can find Christmas ornaments and decorations for sale at the booths, along with locally made Croatian handicrafts and souvenirs. Make sure to bring cash, as the booths don’t take credit cards.
What kind of food and drinks will be available?
There is a mix of Christmas Market food like sausages, cabbage, hot dogs, and hamburgers, and traditional Croatian cuisine like sarme. Of course, there’s also a selection of sweet holiday treats to sample as well!
For drinks, don’t skip the mulled wine (gluhwein), which is traditional at all Christmas markets across Europe.
Is there a ticket price to get into the events?
Visiting the Christmas Market is free! There may be a cost for individual events like performances, so check ahead if you’re attending something special.
Are there any other special festivities in Dubrovnik this December or January that travelers might want to attend?
You can ring in New Year’s Eve in style with fireworks in Luza Square.
Is there anything else you would want a visitor coming to your town this winter to know before they visit?
If you’re in town over the weekend, you can attend the Saturday morning free English tours organized by Dubrovnik Tourist Board!
How can travelers learn more?
We have our recommendations and resources for visiting Dubrovnik below. I want to thank Romana from the Dubrovnik Tourist Board for answering our questions about this spectacular event! For more detailed information about the market, check out the Dubrovnik Tourist Board’s website and the website for the Dubrovnik Winter Festival.
Where to Stay in Dubrovnik at Christmas
You’re going to want to stay in Dubrovnik Old Town so that you have easy access to the Dubrovnik Christmas Market. We have an entire guide to where to stay in Dubrovnik’s Old Town, but here are our top picks for each budget category:
Budget: Guest House Luka
Guest House Luka is a historic retreat for guests, and it has been preserved today from its original structure which dates back to the 16th century. However, like the above apartment, accessibility can be an issue. The location is not for someone who hates stairs. There are steep steps just to reach the guest house (and even more inside, so be ready!).
However, if you don’t mind all the stairs, you’re in for a treat. Guest House Luka offers double and triple rooms to choose from, all furnished with vintage design with complements the rustic cobblestone walls. It also has A/C to keep you cool during the summer months – a huge perk in humid Dubrovnik! The rooms are definitely on the small side, but this is still one of the best places you can book to get within the budget price range, especially for accommodation inside Dubrovnik Old Town.
But what guests loved most about the property is its location: you can truly enjoy the charm of the old town without even having to leave the guest house. It is also a little bit on the off the beaten path inside the Old Town, down a quiet alleyway – you will surely enjoy the tranquil location and the break from the tourist-filled streets!
Mid-Range: Dominus Old Palace
If you’re looking for a luxurious place to stay but still somewhere in the mid-range price tier, you won’t regret choosing Dominus Old Palace. It has beautiful and classic furniture and décor to make you feel as if you are royalty. Don’t just think they added the word palace to make customers feel that way — it is an old palace that was renovated.
Unique embellishments were added to this historic building, adding interesting details that add flair to every room of the hotel. Once you step into your room, you’ll be greeted by a room with modern décor.
You still see the historic rock walls of the hotel, but they juxtapose it with colorful quilted rugs on the floor. There’s also a comfortable sofa and the views of the landmarks in the windows are stunning. They have a double room or an executive suite, both with ensuite bathrooms, and prices are a little on the higher mid-range price, but you do get your money’s worth.
Luxury: Boutique Hotel Stari Grad
This Dubrovnik Old Town boutique hotel showcases elegant style and you can see plenty of designer accents all over the hotel. The interiors and arrangement of all furniture are well-executed, creating a comfortable and cozy place to stay in the Old Town of Dubrovnik. The hotel was previously owned by a nobleman, and it has stood the test of time since the 16th century!
You will have unforgettable views in their rooftop restaurant, Above5. There, you can dine in an alfresco setting while feeling the nice salty breeze blowing past you. Their breakfast is simply one of the best as well, with freshly baked goodies and other treats to help you start your day.
They also have Icona Spa, where you can indulge in one of the relaxing treatments they offer after a tiring day. If you have rented a car, they can help you with parking, but it would be outside of the Old Town (since cars aren’t allowed).
Still looking? Check out The Best Hotels & Accommodations in Dubrovnik Old Town.
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, 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 want to add a few more delightful winter activities to your trip, check out our list of the best things to do in Croatia in winter.
If you’ll be spending time in Zagreb, check out our guide to Zagreb’s Christmas Market and our list of the city’s best photo destinations. Many of these are decorated even more lovely at Christmas! We also have a guide to visiting the famous Plitvice Lakes from Zagreb.
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 guide to the best day trips from Spit if you’re to be visiting Split 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 Dubrovnik Advent & 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.