Croatian capital Zagreb named best Christmas market in Europe

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For the third year in a row, Croatia’s capital Zagreb was elected as the best Christmas market in Europe by the European Best Destinations website.

Zagreb was the number one destination for the most of 200,516 travelers who joined this year’s vote. It has won almost 40,000 votes and is ahead of some better-known cities such as Vienna, Budapest or Prague.

According to the European Best Destination, a European organization based in Brussels, the second-best Christmas market is in France’s Colmar while the third is in Austria’s Vienna.

Croatia is known for its beautiful seaside and islands in summer, but recently it has established into well-recognized winter destination, especially in December. During Advent, almost all hotels are booked and every year Zagreb has more and more tourists.

Last December, there were 145,000 overnight stays in Zagreb, which was 33 percent more than a year before. This year, a new record number is expected.

The first Zagreb’s Christmas market took place 16 years ago in a much-humbled format than today. This year, the Christmas market is spread not only along the city center but throughout the town. This year’s Advent started on Dec. 2, and it will last until Jan. 7.

This year’s security measures are much more visible than in 2016, with more police in the city center and physical obstacles set up as a precaution for possible terrorist attacks.

“In the long run, there should be more rigid physical obstacles. Only last weekend there were about 200,000 people in Zagreb, indicating that it is an attractive place and there will be more and more people,” said the head of the Zagreb Emergency Management Office Pavle Kalinic for N1 television on Monday.

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