Seasonal Zagreb

Another Magical Advent in Zagreb

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! If you've been walking down the beautiful Zagreb streets and squares recently, you've probably caught yourself mumbling this song. Zagreb has again become a real-life Christmas fairytale, and if you find yourself a bit lost among all the Advent locations, do not worry. We have prepared a little guide on what to see and where to go.

Another year has almost passed, and we have once again welcomed Advent in Zagreb with open arms and hearts. It is a well-known fact that Zagrebians do not take Christmas time lightly. We go above and beyond and enjoy every single moment of the most beautiful time of the year. Maybe that’s the reason why Zagreb has been chosen as the best Christmas market three years in a row. This year there are plenty of novelties to explore but also enjoy the good old locations and food specialties. The main theme of the Advent of 2019 is the Nutcracker. The ballet and Croatian national inheritance merged into yet another magical story told through stunning decorations all over the many city locations. So, let’s take a walk through this year’s Advent locations.

Image credit: M.Gašparović, TZGZ

Well-known Lower town locations

One of the most famous Zagreb Advent locations is definitely the ice park next to Tomislav Square and the main Zagreb train station. It is a place full of twinkling lights, delicious food stands, and a magical ice rink, which is a dream come true for every winter lover. Advent is not complete if you haven’t skated at Tomislavac, how locals call it. At least, that’s how I see it.

Image credit: T. Smoljanović, TZGZ

Next on our map is a well-known Fuliranje. It is another local, or better say, old Zagreb slang word whose meaning is hard to translate. Fuliranje is where Zagreb Advent has started, and even though it has changed its location over the years, it kept its original concept. Enjoying excellent food and drinks with your dearest people while enjoying the full-on Christmas spirit. Fuliranje is located between Park Zrinjevac and Ice Park, so when you get tired of ice-skating, you can pop over there and explore over forty food stands that offer all kinds of delicious specialties.

I also recommend visiting the stunning Park Zrinjevac. For me, the atmosphere here is truly magical. Maybe it is because of thousands of twinkling white lights which cover the high branches of the trees and the old music pavilion which is located at the heart of the park. You can enjoy listening to Christmas classics with a hot cup of mulled wine. What can be better than that?

Image credit: J. Duval, TZGZ

A unique experience

One location which cannot be forgotten is an old tunnel that goes under the Zagreb Upper town. This is a truly unique Zagreb Advent location, which I highly recommend. Every year Tunnel is decorated with a different theme. So, even if you’ve already visited it, you’ll find something new this year.

Image credit: M. Gašparović, TZGZ

The Upper town

If you’re looking for the best view of Zagreb, we recommend heading out to the charming Upper town. Alongside beautiful views of Zagreb covered in Christmas lights, you’ll also find several amazing Advent locations. Strossmayer Promenade and Caffe de Matoš are already regular places to visit during the Advent. They’re both within walking distance of each other and have a distinct old charm. A big plus is that a beautiful view is guaranteed from every point of these locations. The Upper Town has always been my favorite when it comes to Advent because of its truly irreplaceable atmosphere. You can feel the old Zagreb from the surrounding buildings. Their architectural charm combined with the new Christmas traditions make a perfect setting for an unforgettable time spent with your loved ones.  

Image credit: M. Gašparović, TZGZ

BAŠ NAŠ Advent at Klovićevi Dvori Gallery

My personal favorite year after year is exactly this location. Maybe this is so because of the stunning view overlooking the majestic Zagreb Cathedral or a unique atmosphere of the Upper Town and plateau in front of the art gallery Klovićevi Dvori. But this is the place to be during the Advent, for sure. It's a place where you can have some fun and listen to amazing concerts by some of the most famous Croatian singers which take place almost on a daily basis.

It is truly a unique experience to hear artists perform their songs in this unique winter wonderland setting. And even though you may not understand Croatian, I'm sure you'll enjoy the experience. The Plateau Gradec is also a place known for the best Advent Instagram Spot. So if you want a perfect picture that will remind you forever of magical Zagreb Advent, this is the place to come to. Also, we have to mention there is a beautiful ice rink located in the picturesque courtyard of the gallery Klovićevi Dvori. So, if you fancy a skating session in another stunning setting, try out this location. 

Image credit: J. Duval, TZGZ

Newcomers of 2019

As every year, there are new things and places to explore. The first one is devoted to all movie lovers. To be more precise, Christmas movie lovers. It is the famous Tuškanac Cinema located in the city center, near the main square and Croatian National Theater. The cinema will be decorated according to the Christmas and Advent theme, and during the Advent, you'll be able to see a rich program of Christmas movies for both kids and grownups. Another new and stunning location to add to your walking tour is Advent in front of the beautiful Croatian National Theater. This location perfectly fits into the Nutcracker theme, and I'm sure it will become another Advent favorite for both Zagrebians and tourists. Lastly, the famous Oktogon Passage, which connects the Flower Square and Ilica Street, will become a real-life Nutcracker scenography as it has been totally transformed with beautiful decorations to match the story perfectly. 

A special kind of race

In the end, we have to mention a special Christmas race with a charity character, Advent run. This year, on December 8th, it will be its fourth edition. The run starts in the city center, in front of the Westin Hotel at 11 a.m. so you can come and cheer the participants at the start. This year's edition of the run is dedicated to raising awareness and promoting the importance of responsible sun exposure behavior throughout the entire year. The goal is to inspire runners as well as all citizens to act sensibly and focus on preventing skin cancer, making sure they have regular check-ups and take care of their skin all year round. 

Image credit: M. Gašparović, TZGZ

Zagreb Be There App

If you find yourself lost among all the Advent options, you can always download the app Zagreb - be there, which will offer a special Advent tour designed to show you all the best places in the city. The tour is named Uncrackable dreams route, and it will take you on a Christmas hunt for Nutcracker through all the best Advent locations in the city. During the tour, you'll find out more about every location and Croatian traditions. Also, you can win fun prizes by checking in on different locations along the route. It sounds like a great way to explore the city!

And, if you're interested in other tours, don't worry. You can take Rebound Zagreb tour dedicated to those who recently went through a breakup, Morning route for the early birds, Michelin Guide Zagreb for all the food enthusiasts, Jazzy Zagreb for jazz lovers or explore the night clubs with DJ Rea. 

After all the given information, we can only wish you the best time during the Zagreb Advent. We hope you'll love it just as much as we do. 

Header image credit: J. Duval, TZGZ

Author: Darija Ilić