ledeni park, zrinjevac, božić, trg kralja tomislava.png
Photograph: adventzagreb.com

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.

Related stories

Advent in Zagreb to be held on Nov 28 - Jan 10

Joulupukki, or Santa Claus, comes from Finland to Zagreb

Advent in Zagreb event voted best in Europe

Latest news

Trump administration reverses transgender bathroom protections

The Trump administration on Wednesday withdrew Obama-era guidance about the use of school and university bathrooms by transgender students, local media reported.

Several Dakota Access Pipeline protesters arrested as deadline passes

Several people at a camp protesting against a controversial oil pipeline in the US state of North Dakota were arrested Wednesday after a deadline to vacate the land passed, local media reported.

Germany deports 18 rejected asylum seekers to Afghanistan

A Kabul-bound plane with 18 Afghan migrants on board took off from Munich Airport late Wednesday, its passengers becoming the third group of rejected asylum seekers to be deported by German authorities back to Afghanistan.

New Romanian justice minister named after anti-corruption protests

Romanian Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu has named a former judge to be the country's next justice minister, after the previous office holder resigned under pressure from mass anti-corruption protests.

Le Pen's chief of staff indicted in European Parliament jobs probe

The chief of staff of Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate for president in upcoming French elections, was indicted Wednesday over allegations of irregular reimbursements from the European Parliament, a judicial source told dpa.

Montenegrin police extradites Miodrag Jovic to Croatia

Montenegrin police reported on Wednesday that they extradited to Croatia Miodrag Jovic (48) from Glina, after whom Interpol Zagreb issued an arrest warrant.

Croatian minister attends CoMoCoSEE conference in Albania

Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Korzinek participated in a third conference of the Council of Ministers of Culture of South-Eastern Europe (CoMoCoSEE) that took place in Tirana on February 21-22.

New Somali president asks al-Shabaab to surrender to 'help' country

Somalia's newly elected President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo asked Islamist terrorist group al-Shabaab to surrender in order "to help rebuild" the conflict-ridden East African nation.

Serbia's EU negotiator says minority rights neglected

The head of the Serbia's European Union accession negotiation team, Tanja Miscevic, said in Novi Sad on Wednesday that minority rights had been neglected for many years and added that positive results in that regard cannot be achieved over night, the Beta news agency has reported. 

Scientists: Nearby star's 7 rocky planets are "best bet" for life

New analysis of telescope data shows a dwarf star just 40 light years from Earth has at least seven apparently rocky planets with potential to harbour water, an international team of scientists announced Wednesday.

Croatian PM receives EIB Vice-President

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic met on Wednesday with European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President Dario Scannapieco for talks on the bank's contribution to a new investment cycle in Croatia and its support to the Croatian government to implement key projects, a press release from the government's office said.

Bomb explodes outside police officer's home in Northern Ireland

A bomb exploded outside a police officer's home in Northern Ireland on Wednesday but there were no immediate reports of casualties.