The award-winning Christmas market that takes over an entire city – just two hours from the UK | The Sun

THERE'S a Christmas market in Europe with an ice skating rink, a giant Ferris wheel, and hundreds of wooden stalls – but you've probably never even heard of it.

Every year, Zagreb (Croatia's capital city) hosts a giant Christmas market called Advent Zagreb.

In recent years, the sprawling Christmas market has swept across the entire city, with events, stalls, rides, and musical performances being held at 12 different locations.

Advent Zagreb was previously crowned Europe's Best Christmas market by the travel website European Best Destinations.

They based their rankings after they received votes from more than 300,000 travellers across the globe.

Advent Zagreb bagged the top spot for three consecutive years in 2016, 2017, and 2018.

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Since being awarded the crown, the Christmas market has substantially expanded its offering.

It is now home to activities like ice skating, concerts, wooden stalls, rides, and other attractions.

This year, visitors will find the market's beloved ice skating rink on King Tomislav Square.

Along the side of the rink, a range of wooden market stalls will serve warm drinks and traditional Croatian sweets and snacks.

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Meanwhile, at Tuđmanac Park there will be a Ferris Wheel, merry-go-round, and an ice slide.

At Zrinjevac Park, there will be hundreds of trees decorated with twinkling fairy lights as well as plenty of wooden market stalls selling handmade souvenirs.

The park will also be home to a musical pavilion where festive visitors will be able to watch musical and dance performances.

If all this doesn't sound like enough, then several other locations across the city will also have their own festive attractions.

Places like Ban Jelačić Square (Zagreb’s main square), European Square, and Strossmayer Promenade, will all have winter market stalls.

The Christmas market will be open From December 2, 2023, to January 7, 2024.

While the Christmas market is free to enter, visitors will need to pay for rides and any purchases they make at market stalls.

Both Ryanair and British Airways operate direct flights from the UK to Zagreb in the winter months.

Flight prices start at £29 for a one-way ticket, with journey times taking two hours and 15 minutes.

Hotels in the city are extremely affordable In December too.

Sun Online Travel have found an overnight stay at Pod Zidom Rooms, a four-star hotel, from £53.50 per person.

And there are cheaper options on the market too including the Zagreb City Center Apartments LUX, where prices start from £34.50 per person per night.

In a press release about lesser-known Christmas markets, Julianna Marshall, from the International Drivers Association, said: "Experience the unique culture, festive spirit, local cuisine and mingle with locals. And always follow the local guidelines to ensure a safe and fun trip."

For those holidaymakers who don't fancy heading abroad to visit a Christmas market, then you'll be relieved to know that there are some great festive attractions in the UK.



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One of those is The Frankfurt Christmas Market in Birmingham, which is said to be the largest authentic German Christmas market outside of Germany.

Meanwhile, this travel writer thinks their hometown has the best Christmas attraction in the UK.

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