Named three times in a row as Europe’s top Christmas Market destination – from 2016 to 2018 – Zagreb is once again set to offer visitors a joyful Advent and Christmas season this year.
This year, Advent Zagreb returns shinier than ever. Christmas decorations and beautiful wooden huts, enchanting music and performances, delicious gastronomic fare and smiling ruddy cheeks. The Advent Zagreb fair represents the Christmas spirit with its century-old traditions.
This year’s Advent programme in Zagreb is designed to spread the Christmas spirit onto the city streets and millions of hearts through sights, sounds, tastes and scents, so that each visitor can relive the feeling of the festive period.
Wooden Advent huts, thousands and thousands of lights, wooden nutcrackers, art installations, festively decorated trees and parks, everywhere the sounds of Christmas songs make the city a unique destination at this time of the year.
Not to be missed is the Strossmayer Square, which turns into a go-to venue to try the food of the most popular local startups as well as young and already-established chefs. At the city’s busy Jan Belacic Square, a giant Christmas Tree, special decorations and an huge Advent wreath give a distinctive spirit. Zrinjevac Square is a place for cozy get-togethers with mulled wine and family time with roasted chestnuts. The Advent in Zrinjevac is unpretentious, romantic and elegant in the true “spirit of Zagreb.” While the most pictorial photos of Zagreb Advent are in the Upper Town with the background of the cathedral.
A perfect place to visit for budding photographers is Bela IV Park which turns into the “Moon Garden”. The magic comes from hundreds of stars falling from the birch tree, the glowing moon, and magical moon flowers. The thousands of lights glistening in warm golden hues transform this hidden uptown park into a true small work of art.
A popular Zagreb attraction remains the traditional Ice Park. Located at King Tomislav Square, it offers a true winter style entertainment. Ice skating in front of the splendid facade of the Zagreb Arts Pavilion, accompanied with joyful music, attractive cultural program, various national and international fast food outlets and warm drinks.
Culture is part of Zagreb’s Christmas experience
Advent in Zagreb is also an opportunity to experience cultural activities. The Christmas spirit is also felt in the performances and exhibitions that give visitors a true experience for this time of the year. Artistic performances as part of the Advent in Zagreb, every sight, movement, sound and touch are sure to evoke the idyllic atmosphere of this special time of year. The Ethnographic Museum tells all about the Croatian tradition of the “kinč” or “cimer”, an ornament made of intertwined evergreen branches and other greenery decorated with colourful crepe paper, Christmas apples and silver-plated nuts, straw ornaments, silk candy among others. Workshops to learn how to do a “kinč” are available in December.
From December 3 to 22, the 7th Festival of Advent and Christmas Songs in Zagreb takes place with Christmas carols as well as traditional folks music. Returning for the 6th time, the Advent Classic Fest sees concerts and performances organised at places such as the Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall, the Church of St. Anthony of Padua, or the foyer of the Croatian National Theater.
Hotels also get into the spirit of Christmas. The Advent magic is nestled in their foyers and came with Christmas trees and many different Christmas ornaments. While chefs get inspired to create traditional and innovative Christmas recipes. Advent festivities will last until January 7, 2023. Click here to see the video.