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One might think that Zadar, which sits beautifully on the Dalmatian coast, is just a summer destination. Erroneous!
My hometown has a lot to offer all year round; It’s just that you may never see that side of these ‘lists’ that make the rounds on social media. Zadar winters are mild and crowded.
Be sure to hop on a plane and enjoy Zadar outside in the summer. There are far fewer people on your way, and there are fun things to do besides swim on the beach.
The winter in Croatia, and especially in Zadar, is quiet. There’s no question about it, but it’s the magic if you ask me. During its performance, the city comes to life with lights, aromas of delicious mulled wine and sweet Croatian treats in the air, music playing in the square, and you can put the pieces together on the ice. There is an atmosphere of fun for everyone!
After a two-year hiatus, Zadar’s Christmas Market returns for its sixth edition! This year’s holiday season will once again feature heartwarming music, delicious treats and holiday treats, and lots and lots of winter fun.
See below for an extensive overview of what to do during the Advent in Zadar and why you should visit Zadar.
Advent Zedar activities
This is a five-week event program that enticed even the Grinch to go out and play.
Lasting from late November to early January, there is a sense of fun throughout the entire city. This year (2021), the festivities will begin on Friday, November 26, with the traditional lighting of the first Christmas candle in St. Simeon Church. The festivities will last for 36 days until January 1, 2022.
Transfer the hot wine!
You will expect workshops for children, sweet treats, local delicacies, music, concerts, dances, interior paintings, all served alongside mulled wine and craft beers. You may find Santa handing out delicious candies and being photographed with eager children.
Most of the events take place in Peter Zornik Square. However, you will find celebrations that also spread across the rest of the city, including the Square of the Five Wells and the Roman Forum. The square is lit up almost like a fairy tale, and there is no doubt that this is a photo worthy of Insta for your collection!
Zadar’s Christmas Market in Peter Zornik Square
It can be argued that the main event and location during the Advent in Zadar in 2021 is the Christmas Market in Peter Zornik Square. Decorated with countless atmospheric Christmas lights, this square in the Old Town is truly the place to be in Zadar at the end of the year.
There is also an extensive musical program at Zadar’s Christmas Market, which will satisfy all tastes. There is no shortage of musical options, from traditional Croatian bands to DJs, pop singers and soul musicians.
In 2021, Zadar’s Christmas Market will take place from November 26 to January 1, 2022, from 5pm to midnight.
Important note regarding COVID-19: Due to the ongoing corona risks, Zadar’s Christmas markets in Peter Zornik Square and also in the Five Wells Square will be completely fenced. There will be two entrances where visitors will need to present their valid COVID certificates to enter. You can find more Information on these health safety measures here.
Indulge in amazing Christmas food in Croatia
The Christmas market in Zadar’s Peter Zornik Square is so amazing because of its characteristic Christmas atmosphere. It features pleasant lights and a welcoming atmosphere, but also lots of sensational food.
Transfer the item.
There you will find dozens of stalls where you can buy various gastronomic delicacies, from hot smoothies and mulled wine to ćevapi, smoked bacon sandwiches, homemade appetizers and lots of different sausages (anyway, this is Croatia!).
You better start getting hungry already! Some of the food options we recommend at Zadar’s Christmas market are game sausages, ćevapi, cod balls in bread, serma and stanny-fanny crepes, just to name a few. We offer to simply stroll through this wonderfully atmospheric market to explore all the possibilities.
A sweet feeling for the forum
If you have a sweet tooth, be sure to head to the Roman Forum, where you can enjoy Nasi Mali Gusti, which means “our delightful little treats”. You can try sweets, cookies and other candies while enjoying music and Christmas lights. Of course, you can do some Christmas shopping while you’re there!
Ice skating in Višnjik
You do not have to be a professional skater to enjoy this. Ice skating and Christmas go hand in hand in Europe, so get on your skates and try to glide around this huge 800 square meter open skating rink at the Vishnik Sports Center.
The skating rink at the Winter Park in Zeder is open to adults and children alike and is especially magical during the evening. You can rent everything you need – including ice carts for the youngest guests.
The ice rink will open from 5:30 pm on November 24, 2021 until January 15, 2022.
In addition to the ice rink, the winter park at the Vishnik Sports Center will also include an indoor ski slope and a sledding slope, a happy amusement park for children, numerous dining cabins, Shabbat concerts, children’s theater performances and a book fair.
Take your walking shoes and “walk around the city”
Wear your best travel shoes, as the Advent period is when all of Zeder’s businesses join forces and offer the “Travel Around the City” initiative. This traditional program is designed to get visitors and locals to mingle, enjoy everything the city has to offer, shop and check out the local sights that might otherwise be missed.
Cafes, bakeries, restaurants and museums offer something fun every day, with music, lights and general cheerfulness. Eaters, in particular, will benefit from this initiative as various Zadar restaurants will be participating this year as well. They will offer reasonably priced holiday menus, along with discounts and special offers.
In addition to many restaurants in Zadar, the city’s museums also have fun, informative and entertaining programs during the Zadar Advent. Most of them involve discounted prices for souvenirs and tickets.
You can see if a business or institution is participating in these events by their labels and signs for Stroll Around The City.
The walking event around the city begins on November 26, 2021, and lasts until January 15, 2022.
Running Excess Christmas Calories on the Zadar Christmas Run
Also, part of the Advent in Zadar celebrations in 2021 is Zadar’s Christmas run. The first edition of this festive sporting event was very successful, attracting 600 runners. This year, Zadar’s Christmas Run takes place on December 26, the day after Christmas.
After a brief absence, Zadar’s Christmas Market and Zadar’s Advantage are back in 2021! So grab your Santa hat and look forward to lots of joy and merriment at Advent in Zadar 2021!
Main image credit: Like the Facebook page of the Zadar Tourist Office
Other ways to enjoy the holidays in the Balkans