When days get shorter and temperature drop, Zagreb turns to a Christmas fairy land and an attraction for both locals and tourists. During the time of Advent, Zagreb offers a special atmosphere which simply must be experienced and which helped the Croatian capital this year earn a nomination for the ‘Best Christmas Market in Europe’.
The Advent in Zagreb officially start November 28 when the first Advent candle will be lit in Zagreb’s main square, and in the evening Christmas lights will be turned on in the nearby Zrinjevac park and throughout the city.
King Tomislav Square will once again turn into the country’s largest ice-skating park, whilst a number of Christmas fairs will be staged at many locations in downtown Zagreb offering souvenirs, food and other products to visitors. A concert by Croatian pop singer Nina Badric will be staged in the central square on New Year’s Eve.
The open air stage at the main square will host a wide variety of events, including children's performances, cultural, art and music events, as well as concerts.
The nearby Zrinjevac park is the perfect place for romantics who can walk through the alley of plane trees to reach the old music pavilion, which will welcome them in its Christmas, fairy-tale look.
Unique and interesting souvenirs and Christmas ornaments will be sold by selected artists, and visitors will be able to enjoy Zagreb specialties: cabbage cloths, fried apples or baked strukle, and warm up with hot chocolate or mulled wine.
One of the streets that completely transforms at Christmastime is Tomiceva Street, a small street leading up to the funicular heading to Zagreb’s upper town. With grappa stands, mulled wine, cool clothes, this small street is hipsters’ Christmas corner in Zagreb. The scene in Tomiceva street is called Fuliranje (fooling around) and it is a throwback to Zagreb in the 30s. Fooling around is an innovative and modern cultural and gastronomic event during the Advent season, with a recognisable design and a relaxed atmosphere.
The Christmas Cakes and Cookies Festival is a multimedia event which evokes the sound of gift wrapping paper. It is intended to be a blend of tradition, childhood memories, sweet nostalgia and joy, but in line with the modern way of life and visitors will be able to enjoy homemade Christmas cakes and cookies.
A live Nativity Scene will be displayed outside the cathedral at Kaptol.
Zagreb, which has recorded over 1.5 million overnight stays so far this year, will gift Sarajevo a Christmas tree after previously gifting Rome, Berlin, Vienna and other cities over the last few years.
Advent in Zagreb ends on January 10, 2016.