Advent in Zagreb is awarded the best European Christmas market for the third consecutive year. The title is certainly justified, given the variety of cultural and entertainment events, food and drinks, Advent locations and ornaments. Since this is a large event as in other cities in Europe and the prices are considerably lower, it is definitely worth paying a visit. Advent begins on December 2, 2017 and runs until January 7, 2018. Treat yourself with a trip to Zagreb because you will definitely enjoy the visit. Zagreb is the most beautiful in this time of the year- I will bring you the most popular Advent sites and additional events in which you can enjoy.
Croatian National Theatre
This year, for the first time in Zagreb, Advent sites were expanded to the building of the Croatian National Theater (HNK). In front of the HNK, there are about ten stands with a variety of food and drink offerings. The HNK building is decorated with numerous Christmas decorations and a Santa Claus figure, which is illuminated in the evening. This location completed a gastronomic offer of this year’s Advent and of this location which already has well-known local restaurants around the square.
Fuliranje (Fooling around :))
After five years, Fuliranje has been transferred to Strossmayer’s Square, from previous locations Tomićeva and Kurelčeva. Strossmayer’s Square is between Zrinjevac and King Tomislav Square. This popular gathering space now has a bigger and richer offer compared to previous years. This year’s motto is “Life is a circus”, so the offer is tailored to that slogan.
Here you can find a popular carousel with Horses, HBO to go stand with well-known items from series and movies, unusual meals and drinks, such as Harry Potter inspired drinks, fireworks, jugglers and other interesting content. Working hours are from 9am to 11pm on work days and on weekends it is extended to 1am, while at Christmas and New Year works up to 3am. Fuliranje is the most famous and most visited event during Advent. It will undoubtedly be this year too, due to the interesting and varied offer.
The ice park is located on King Tomislav Square, between the main railway station and Nikola Šubić Square. Ice park is the largest ice skating rink in this part of the Europe. The ice skating rink is enriched with additional contents such as gastro stands, several thousand lights, good music and a well-known Ice Bar, from which you can enjoy the view of the ice skating rink while dipping a glass of boiled wine.
The price of ice skating is 15 kn (€2) from 10am-4pm and 20 kn (€2,7) from 4pm-11pm. A 5 kn discount on the ticket is provided for students and pensioners, as well as travelers of the Croatian Railways and visitors of the Art Pavilion. For children up to 6 years, ice skating is free of charge. Ice skate rent is 20 kn(€2,7). The working hours of the Ice Park are from 9am-11pm, for the Christmas Eve it is shortened until 5pm. On Christmas it works from 11am to 3pm and on the New Year’s Eve it is extended to 2am.
Zrinjevac (Nikola Šubić Zrinski Square)
In the beautiful Zrinjevac park, you can enjoy the magical illumination of several thousand lights around the trees and the famous pavilion. Numerous performances by music entertainers will be performed in the pavilion. Around the pavilion are gastro stands where you can enjoy famous Zagreb specialties such as štrukle or krpice sa zeljem. Through the side streets leading from the pavilion, you can buy souvenirs, handicrafts and artwork on the stands. Working hours are from noon to 11pm on work days, and on weekends it’s working up to 1am. On Christmas Eve it’s open up to 3am, while for the New Year’s Eve up to 4am. On Christmas and New Year the working time is from 5pm to 11pm.
Secret Garden is yet another new location for this year’s Advent in Zagreb. It is located in the courtyard of the Archaeological Museum, and you can find it by coming from Gajeva Street or Zrinjevac. There you will be able to enjoy the latest digital technology, hologram concerts and 3D light displays on the walls. From gastronomic specialties, you can try meat and fish delicacy and vegetarian dishes. For a dessert, yo can try fritule or pancakes. For drinks, there are whiskey bar, rakija bar and wine&champagne bar.
In the Marić passage connecting Gajeva and Praška Street, there are several thousand light bulbs shining. The lights are interwoven around the white twigs and thus create a Fairytale feel and the magnificence of this passage. On one side of the passage you will have a view of the beautiful Zrinjevac and on the other gastro stands on Gajeva Street leading to Ban Jelacic Square. Marić passage is an excellent place to take your Advent photography.
Ban Jelačić Square – Zagreb Christmas Tale
Ban Jelacic Square is full of events and gastro stands where you can enjoy in the Advent. In the middle of the square there is a large stage, where local entertainers perform daily and there is also New Year’s Eve celebration. Still, the most important corner is the Zagreb Christmas Tale, located in front of the Muller shop and the popular cafe Johann Franck. There you can find various seasonal specialties such as goulash or gourmet sausage and boiled wine, punch, coffee or tea and numerous other drinks. Gastro offer and handicraft stands continue from Ban Jelacic Square, through Old Vlaška street, all the way to the European Square.
The European Square is filled with stands that offer boiled wine, souvenirs, handicrafts and gastronomic specialties. At the center is a stage where young entertainers will perform. They will be able to exhibit their music, attractions and exhibitions. Thus, the European Square will be an important destination for young people looking for fun and ‘urban’ entertainment.
Advent in the tunnel
Advent in the Grič tunnel, this year, will be divided into two exhibitions. The first exhibition titled Memory, takes place from 3 to 17. December 2017, and displays a walk through the tunnel at the time of Charles Dickens. The exhibition brings memories on appearance of Zagreb’s historic look on the walls of the tunnels in different colors. The second exhibition titled Wish will take place from December 19, 2017 to January 7, 2018. The exhibition presents over sized children’s toys. In the Grič tunnel there will also be musical performances of choirs with Christmas songs and you can check the schedule of performances here.
Advent on the Upper Town takes place at several important locations. So you will find Advent Stands and Christmas decorations on Strossmayer’s promenade, Klovic’s Courtyard and Vranicani Plateu. You can reach the Upper Town by a free funicular or climb the stairs. Strossmayer’s promenade is full of gastro houses on both sides, and it is entirely covered with Christmas lights and ornaments. The promenade overlooks Zagreb, which is particularly beautiful in the evening when the Christmas lights on the streets light up. Along with the scent of food and drinks, you will be impressed by numerous concerts and DJ performances, and children will have fun with various workshops designed for them.
Right next to the promenade and behind the Lotrščak Tower is the Vranicani Plateu where the “Priča s Griča” event takes place. There you will be able to enjoy the beautiful setting, the gastronomic offer and the scenographic elements that will beautify your holiday photography. On the way to Klovic’s courtyard, you will come across different details, such as sledges, skates, old bicycles and interesting wooden signs.
Klovic’s courtyards are decorated with beautiful lights on the walls. In front of the gallery there are numerous gastro houses with neon signs on them. There you can also take a beautiful photo, as there is a special frame with a view of the cathedral. It also has a special feature, snow falls from it when you press the button. In addition, you can enjoy in numerous free events and music concerts, as well as an exhibition in gallery for only 10 kn (€1,5).
Advent in Zagreb is a special experience on holiday days, which will not leave you indifferent. Every year, it is getting bigger with more and more attractions and locations. If you come to Zagreb during Advent, do not miss out on these beautiful locations. Take off at least two days or a weekend, as it is difficult to see all of these locations in just one day. Try everything that Zagreb offers and enjoy to the fullest. If you decide to visit more cities on Christmas and New Year holidays, read my post about Advent in Graz. You can extend the enjoyment and the charms of the holiday season. For more images from Advent in Zagreb, follow my Instagram profile @shotspot.