Another year is coming to an end and we are enjoying December, a festive, feel-good month in which we reminisce about the year and make plans for the new one. December is also a time for one of my favourite experiences – visiting Christmas markets nearby with the people who are near and dear to me. And after several years of traveling to Austria in pursuit for the ultimate, most festive Christmas market experience, this year our travels didn’t take us far at all and the choice fell on a one-day visit to Zagreb.
Even though Zagreb was voted ‘Europe’s Best Christmas Market’ two years in a row, which is quite a feat, you must admit, I always have a problem of taking places that are very close to my home for granted – as if, due to the vicinity and familiarity, they can’t make me feel all the things that faraway places and long planning and discovering of something new can. And then, of course, every time I get persuated to visit these ‘familiar’ places, I get blown away with their beauty and get reminded, over and over again, that the joy of travel is not necessarily in going away to faraway places or seeing new things, that it can sometimes be about seeing familiar places with new eyes.
The recipe is always pretty much the same – festive decorations, smell of mulled wine, Christmas music, colors, chatter of people, an experience for all senses. It is about how these elements are combined to become means of not only conveying the holiday image but means of showcasing the city as the main holiday prop used to perfection. Christmas can be romantic, family oriented, urban, traditional, contemporary, and small neighborhoods, squares and streets of the city of Zagreb, with their individual atmospheres, are used in a perfect way to display one of these holiday experiences in an original and absolutely beautiful way.
Let me not complicate things with too much words, observations and thoughts. Instead, here are some photos that I hope you might enjoy and that may help you, if any help is needed, to put you into the festive mood:
I wish you all the happiest Christmas and all the best in the new year!