Christmas time in Europe has a rich tradition. Most people have heard of the Christmas markets taking place throughout Germany, France, and Prague. However, few talk about the Christmas markets and holiday traditions of the former Yugoslav countries, especially Slovenia and Croatia. This year we took some time for a family friendly stay in Ljubljana and Zagreb to see what they have to offer.
Ljubljana has quickly become one of my family’s favorite cities to visit. Experiencing the Ljubljana Christmas Market only reinforced our opinion. The small Slovenian capital has much to offer for entertainment, relaxation, and tradition for the Christmas traveler. From our base at the Grand Hotel Union, we had easy access to the festivities occurring in the old center, Prešeren Square.
As the sun goes down, the Christmas market really starts to come to life. Locals come out from their homes and offices to participate in the evening’s activities. The people of Ljubljana have been extremely hospitable in my experience. Offering free drinks, a little extra food, and usually a good story about their city or experience.
People fill the streets to see what festivities will occur as they wander up and down usually accompanied by friends or family. The Christmas Market in Ljubljana is truly an interactive affair meant to be spent together.
Street performers can be found almost anywhere. Even in obscure places, they attract crowds enjoying the music, food, and drink.
On our last night, the white fairy made an appearance granting the Christmas wishes of children and adults alike.
Music even included international flare as Native Americans performed in the center of the city near the historic Three Bridges.
Speaking of food, one would be foolish not to indulge a bit. Locally made sausages, mulled wine, and fried bread covered in cinnamon and sugar are excellent options to pick up and share while walking around.
Saying goodbye to Ljubljana was once again difficult, but we always look forward to visiting again as time permits. Visit Ljubljana year round, but definitely stop in during the holidays for a festive time. It is wonderful for a family friendly getaway.