In photos, Croatia looks like one of the sunniest places on earth all year round. Most of its popular tourist spots are located by the coast.
Croatia also has lush national forests and vibrant cities, that it’s hard to imagine how it must look like during winter. December is Croatia’s low season.
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If you’re going to Croatia this December, here’s a handy guide to help you plan your trip and make the most of it.
- What is the weather like in Croatia In December?
- What to pack in Croatia for December
- Things To Do In Croatia in December
- Travel Tips for Croatia in December
What is the weather like in Croatia In December?
Temperature in Croatia in December
Croatia in December has an average temperature of 4°C to 12°C
Rain in Croatia in December
The average rainfall in Croatia for December is 140 mm over a period of 13 days.
Wind in Croatia in December
The average wind speed in Croatia during December is 9.6 mph to 10.2 mph.
Sun in Croatia in December
As December is winter in Croatia, the country gets around 6 hours of sun.
What to pack in Croatia for December
Winter in Croatia is not so cold, the temperature is pretty stable and the lowest can go to just above the freezing level. Not so cold but not quite tolerable either so it’s best to bring clothes that you can easily layer, comfortable and warm.
Here are a list of winter essentials for both men and women when going to Croatia in December.
Long-sleeved shirts — these are items you can easily layer and best for keeping you warm. They also go well with just about anything. Just like these Hanes cotton long-sleeved shirts for him or long-sleeved shirts for her. Have at least two in your suitcase or backpack: one in either a bright color or print (stripes, floral, plaid) and another in a muted / earth color.
Jeans that are not too tight — snug fit/comfort fit jeans like these Rekucci comfort fit jeans are best, straight cut is good, too. These types of jeans leave enough space if you want to layer with leggings or pants in a thin fabric when the temperature drops to almost freezing level.
A warm parka — best if it’s hooded, long enough to cover your hips and almost all your fingers. This is the best cover for all those layers of clothes you’d have if it’s really cold, and a versatile jacket when out to explore the city or going out for dinner.
Light down jacket — easy to roll up and pack and a great layer under your parka, this is also something you can put on your day bag when out exploring the city or parks. This easily keeps you warm as well as dresses up a long sleeve shirt and jeans combo. You can check this light down jacket for men and this jacket for women.
Leather ankle boots that are waterproof and slip-proof — yes, you must look for all those features as this is your go-to shoes when walking around town that can also take you to more rugged paths and even a quick hike up a hill or fortress. Make sure that they’re already broken in when you bring them to Croatia so your feet won’t hurt and you can really enjoy your stay. Check out this cute Teva leather ankle bootie.
Things To Do In Croatia in December
1. Zagreb Christmas Market
Regarded as one of the best in Europe, the Zagreb Christmas Market is undoubtedly one of the best December attractions in Croatia.
The feature set up is centered on Ben Josip Jelačić Square, where there’s a giant Christmas tree, a colorful fountain, and live music.
You’ll also find an area here that serves tasty Christmassy food and drinks. Stalls and shops are spread in various parks and squares around the city capital.
You can’t be in Croatia in December and not see this one, so make it part of your itinerary.
2. Shop for marvelous Croatian souvenirs
December is an ideal month to shop in Croatia. From food products to uniquely Croatian souvenirs and with the Christmas markets in most cities— there’s no way you’d ever run out of options.
Some of the best food products that need to be in your shopping lust are local wines, Pag cheese, honey, olive oil, truffles, and lavender products.
Non-food items that you must bring home with you are handcrafted wood figurines and ornaments, These would definitely make for cool holiday gifts.
3. Dubrovnik’s Winter Festival
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Compared to the more commercial and modem Christmas festivities in Zagreb, Dubrovnik’s Winter Festival is more traditional. This festival is held outside the Church of St. Blaise, where classical music concerts are held during the festival.
Within the area, there are also stalls that sell food, drinks, uniquely Croatian delights and souvenirs. In between shopping, you can also explore a more relaxed and less crowded Dubrovnik.
See the sights and take photos, you wouldn’t want to miss this golden opportunity to see this coastal city bathed in Christmas glory.
A visit here is a definite must if you’re going to Croatia in December.
4. Enjoy some delicious Croatian food and drinks
Croatia’s food offerings are definitely not just about seafood. The country has a wealth of other products and ingredients used in whipping u some of the most interesting foods in the world.
If you’re in Croatia in December, check out their stews and roasted met — both a testament to the country’s rich and diverse culture. Croatian food is quite distinct, as most of them contain paprika and other spices.
If you’re having them form lunch or dinner, be sure to pair them with some local wine. For snacks, enjoy some fire-roasted chestnuts or sweet fritule (mini donuts) as you stroll through old towns.
5. Ski in one of Croatia’s winter resorts
If you’re going to Croatia in Developing and wanted to enjoy some authentic winter fun, spend a day in one of their winter resorts.
There’s one in Gorski Kotar, which is also known as the “green lungs” of Croatia. This forest park turns into a winter wonderland by December, a place that’s suited for any fitness level.
If you’re in Zagreb for the Christmas market and want to engage In some winter fun, there’s the nearby Sljeme resort.
6. See Frozen Waterfalls at Plitvice National Park
We all know that Plitvice National Park is one of the prettiest places ever. Lush forested areas hiking trails and waterfalls are some of what makes it a great place to visit any time of the year.
In winter though, you’d see trees covered in snow and icy waterfalls. The sight is just breathtaking and a must-see if you’re visiting Croatia in December. It is also one of national parks in Croatia.
7. Visit snow-covered castles
Not a lot of people know that Croatia has many beautiful castles. If you happen to visit in winter, seeing them covered in snow is simply magical.
A lot if these majestic castles are located in the northern part of the country.
Devote an entire day to visiting castles in the Hrvatsko Zagorje region, and make sure your camera is fully charged. Some of the best castles to visit in Croatia are the Varazdin Castle and the Trakošćan.
8. Dalmatian Coast Road Trip
The Dalmatian coast is that part of Croatia where the sun always shines. This area is also regarded as one of the most scenic coastal drives in Europe.
The winter season in Croatia has limited options for travelers who wish to explore the country.
The best thing to do in Croatia to fully explore it even in cold weather is to rent a car. Experience this memorable drive that will take you from the old town of Zagreb to the ancient walls of Dubrovnik.
See all the sights in an entirely different light, and experience more of Croatia on this exciting road trip!
Travel Tips for Croatia in December
1. Winter in Croatia is considered a low season which means transportation connections are limited. Be sure to plan your itinerary and research your options.
If you have a license, it’s best to just rent a car to navigate Croatia.
2. Since it’s low season, the usual touristy spots are not as crowded. It’s the best time to see and explore places like Dubrovnik.
Start your Croatia trip here and be amazed at its medieval architecture and fortified city walls that you can explore.
3. Buses out of Dubrovnik are the most expensive in the country. If you’re looking for a city that’s a good base for visiting other places via public transport, stay in Zagreb instead.
From there, it’s easier (and less expensive) to do day trips such as Plitvice, which is a definite must-see in December!
4. Christmas markets are in abundance during December in Croatia. Most of these run until the first week of January.
These markets are where you’ll find Croatian goods that you can bring home such as Pag cheese, wine, olive oil, truffle and lavender based products.
5. Always remember to dress warmly, along with gloves and scarves to protect you further from the cold.
Weather in Croatia is still unpredictable so be sure to bring a waterproof jacket and slip-proof shoes.
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