For the past five years Zagreb has become one of the leading cities in Europe when it comes to pre-holiday manifestations. The popularity of Advent in Zagreb is proved by the fact that it it got an award for the Best Christmas Market two years in a row (in 2016 and 2017), leaving behind some of the bigger European cities like Vienna, Prague, Brussels and Strasbourg. During this Christmas period, entire Zagreb looks like it popped out of a fairytale so it is no wonder that it attracts more and more visitors each year. So, let’s see what Zagreb has to offer!
1) Be the part of Zagreb Christmas Tale (Advent on Ban Jelacic Square)
Traditionally, each year Advent in Zagreb starts with putting Advent wreath around Mandusevac fountain on the central square. The first candle will be lit on the 2nd of December and every following Sunday until Christmas Eve when the wreath will fully shine. The market on Ban Jelacic is called Christmas Tale and it is positioned on the eastern side of the square while the other part of the square makes the main stage for various performers and the main Christmas tree in the city.
2) Advent on European Square
This year the opening of the Advent will be held on European Square (close to Ban Jelacic Square). The programme on European Square is similar to the one on the central square – numerous stands with street food and drinks, souvenirs and open air stage for DJs and bands which will perform every night throughout the whole month.
3) Ice Park
One of the biggest open air ice-skate rinks in this part of Europe is probably the most popular segment of Advent in Zagreb. The Ice Park is situated on King Tomislav Square and it is decorated with thousands of lights and food stands opened every day from 10:00 to 23:00. Entrance fee for the rink is 15 kn (from 10-16h) and 20 kn (from 16-23h) while the price for renting the skates is 20 kn. Children up to six years are free of charge while seniors and students pay reduced ticket 10 kn (from 10-16h).
NOTE: If you show a used ticket by Croatian Railways (“HŽ” in Croatian) at the entrance you will get -35% discount on tickets for ice-skating. Also, if you visit any of the current exhibitions at the Art Pavilion, keep the ticket and show it to get 5kn off ticket discount.
4) Take the best holiday photo at the Klovicevi Dvori Gallery
If you are looking for the live concerts (which are absolutely free!), then Klovicevi Dvori Gallery is the right place for you. But besides the music, choirs and best traditional delicacies, the Gallery also gives you an opportunity to take the most beautiful winter photo – a special white frame will be placed on the square in front of gallery and if you want snow in your photo, just push the button on the frame to make it snow – how awesome is that?
5) Advent in Stross and Zrinjevac
The holiday atmosphere is particularly magical in the most famous park in Donji Grad – Zrinjevac. Enjoy in tones of tiny street food houses, especially if you are looking for typical Zagreb specialties. Don’t miss out on handmade souvenirs while being surrounded by charming Christmas decoration and always cheerful people! Between Zrinjevac and King Tomislav Square is located Strossmayer Park which also offers a great variety of cultural and entertainment events. The main event in Stross is called Fuliranje (“fooling around”) and this year’s Advent motto is “Life is a circus” so you can expect a vivid mix of colours, sounds and flavors and you get to taste dishes of some of the best Croatian restaurants thanks to the street exhibition.
6) Visit Villa Prekrizje aka the Office of the President
Zagreb each year comes up with something new and innovative for Advent to keep the title so this year the organisers decided to include the old Villa Prekrizje which today makes a part of the Presidential Office complex. The villa was closed for public for many year and this is a great opportunity for you to explore the building and its gardens – for free, of course!
- Check here the working hours and how to get to Villa Prekrizje
But wait, there is more … witness Live Nativity Scene, make a wish in Gric Tunnel, walk through illuminated Maric Passage, hop on Christmas train in Croatian Railway Museum and many more exciting things, waiting only for you in charming Zagreb!
How to get to Zagreb? Here are some of the most popular lines to Zagreb:
|Ljubljana to Zagreb||Split to Zagreb||Graz to Zagreb|
|Vienna to Zagreb||Osijek to Zagreb||Trieste to Zagreb|
|Milan to Zagreb||Rijeka to Zagreb||Stuttgart to Zagreb|
See more lines to Zagreb on getbybus.com.