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Zagreb Advent – the 2018 guide to Zagreb Christmas Market

Zagreb Advent Christmas Market Guide

Zagreb Advent has been voted the best Christmas Market in Europe 3 years in a row. The city lights up during this festive time and fills up with Christmas atmosphere.

First off, you picked a great time to Visit Zagreb! Although the city gets cold in December and you should dress accordingly Zagreb Advent brings a warm ambience for everyone to enjoy. If you are searching for a place to stay, look at The Best Hotels near Zagreb Advent & Christmas Market.

TIP: Unfortunately, Zagreb can’t compete for Best Advent anymore, but this year is surely gonna be amazing. Be ready to try out mulled wine, sausages and a couple gastronomy surprises. The Zagreb Christmas Market surprises us every year.

Zagreb Advent raises the bar every year with new events and experiences. By far the best thing is, it is designed to be easily experienced on foot, offering great fun for the entire family.
During the day we recommend visiting Zagreb popular attractions, and as the night falls the Zagreb Christmas Market lights up.

Zagreb is filled with Christmas booths and live music in its hotspots. Enjoy, sausages, mulled wine and schnaps bars. They are all here to stimulate the senses and keep you warm during Zagreb in winter.

I like to start my Zagreb Advent experience with Tomislav square and the Ice ring. There are several affordable parking options nearby and it is a great place to start.

This is how I will work out this guide, but feel free to start at any point as it is all within walking distance. It mostly depends on where you’re staying.

If you wish to jump to any section, please use the links below.

#1 Ice Park at King Tomislav Square [Skates On]

Advent Zagreb Ice Park at King Tomislav Square

Advent Zagreb Ice Park at King Tomislav Square

Probably the most recognisable Zagreb Advent feature. The magical Ice Park. It truly offers a unique and romantic experience. You do not have to be a great skater, try it out, hold hands and help each other out, I know you will like it.

I recommend you purchase tickets online and rent skates on spot. That way you will save up on time. If you wish to miss the big crowds we recommend to pick an earlier time. One more reason to start from the Tomislav Square first.

The entrance to the Zagreb Ice Park is on the east side, or on the right side if you are coming from Zagreb Train Station. On top, you will find a great bar with amazing views of the Ice Ring and mulled wine.

Nearby, underneath the Zagreb Art Pavillion, you will find booths offering food and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options to warm up.

Ice Park Working Hours

  • Monday – Sunday 10 AM to 11 PM

The surrounding booths are open until 1 AM on Fridays and Saturdays, and until 4 AM on New Year’s Eve.

Ticket Office opens 30 minutes earlier.

Holidays

  • Christmas Eve 10 AM to 5 PM
  • Christmas 11:30 AM to 11 PM
  • New Year’s Eve 10 AM to 2 AM
  • New Year’s Day 11:30 AM to 11 PM

Not sure yet? Then check out this video.

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#2 Fooling Around at Strossmayer square [Hope you can handle your Liquor]

Advent Zagreb Fooling Around at Strossmayer square | Photo: Marija Gasparovic | Zagreb Tourist Board

Advent Zagreb Fooling Around at Strossmayer square | Photo: Marija Gasparovic | Zagreb Tourist Board

Just north, the next block of King Tomislav Square is Strossmayer square. And the best place to eat and drink Fooling Around (Fuliranje).

Fooling Around (Fuliranje) is famous for their fresh concept and amazing vibes. From November 29, 2018, until January 1, 2019, be sure to visit Zagreb’s best Christmas Market and enjoy the best food and entertainment.

If you plan on visiting Zagreb Advent and Christmas Market don’t miss out on Fuliranje. They were voted top Zagreb Christmas Market, and although this year they have their work cut out for them you should definitely Fool Around in Zagreb.

Once, they were once located in Tomićeva street, near the Zagreb Funicular. But it has become so popular they moved it to Strossmayer square in order to accommodate the crowds.

Fooling Around is always filled with life. Discover music, great food, Christmas magic and above all, it is a lot of fun.

You can read my in-depth guide on Fooling Around (Fuliranje) at Zagreb Advent.

Fooling Around (Fuliranje) Working Hours:

  • Monday to Thursday 12 noon to 11 PM
  • Friday 12 noon to 1 AM
  • Saturday 11 AM to 1 AM
  • Sunday 11 AM to 11 PM

Holidays:

  • Christmas Eve 12 noon to 3 AM
  • Christmas 5 PM to 11 PM
  • New Year’s Eve 12 noon to 3 AM

#3 Advent on Zrinjevac [Classical Christmas Market]

Advent Zagreb Advent on Zrinjevac

Advent Zagreb Advent on Zrinjevac

Zrinjevac park is a perfect place to relax. Its Pavilion is also one of the most recognisable spots during Zagreb Christmas Market. The place where it all started.

Again, just north, the next block of Strossmayer square. You might be tempted to think there is too much going on close by, but there isn’t. People circle around and want to experience everything and that’s the best thing about Advent in Zagreb. Its close and easily explored.

Advent on Zrinjevac features a more classical feel and live performances as it is also filled with booths offering great food, mulled wine and schnapps to keep you warm.

Advent on Zrinjevac Working Hours:

  • Monday to Thursday 12 noon to 11 PM
  • Friday 12 noon to 1 AM
  • Saturday – Sunday 11 AM to 11 PM

Holidays:

  • Christmas Eve 10 AM to 5 PM
  • Christmas 5 PM to 11 PM
  • New Year’s Eve 10 AM to 4 AM

Concerts:

  • Monday – Sunday from 6 PM to 10 PM
  • Saturday – Sunday, classical music concerts:  11 AM to 12 noon
  • New Year’s concert from 5 PM to 7 PM
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#4 Advent on European Square [Gastronomic Experience]

Advent Zagreb, Advent on European Square | Photo: S Kastelan | Zagreb Tourist Board

Advent Zagreb, Advent on European Square | Photo: S Kastelan | Zagreb Tourist Board

I find the Advent on European Square a gastronomic experience. They always tend to have something different and unique to try.

If you took my advice and started from King Tomislav Square and worked your way north this an excellent place to stop by and warm up with a drink.

The Advent on European Square is a favourite meeting place for young people. It is located in a pedestrian zone and features concerts, attractions and exhibitions.

Advent on European Square Working Hours:

  • Monday to Friday 12 noon to 11 PM
  • Saturday and Sunday 10 AM to 11 PM

Holidays:

  • Christmas Eve 10 AM to 4 PM & 9 PM to 3 AM
  • Christmas 5 PM to 11 PM
  • New Year’s Eve 10 AM to 4 PM & 9 PM to 3 AM

Events normally start at 8 PM every day except Wednesdays and Fridays. When they start at 6 PM.

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#5 Live Nativity Scene at Zagreb Cathedral [Christmay Story]

Advent Zagreb, Live Nativity Scene at Zagreb Cathedral | Photo: S Kastelan | Zagreb Tourist Board

Advent Zagreb, Live Nativity Scene at Zagreb Cathedral | Photo: S Kastelan | Zagreb Tourist Board

This is one of my favourites. On Kaptol, right next to Zagreb Cathedral experience the true Christmas Story, the Live Nativity Scene. Don’t forget we celebrate the birth of Christ at Christmas.

Zagreb is a Christian city and at Zagreb Advent, the story of Jesus birth comes to life.

Live actors, Mary, Joseph, the 3 Kings, shepherds and live animals all appear to bring this beautiful story to life.

Normally the show begins daily at 4:15 PM, 5 PM and 7 PM so plan your visit accordingly.

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#6 Zagreb Christmas Tale at Central Ban Jelačić Square [Winter Magic]

Advent Zagreb, Zagreb Christmas Tale at Central Ban Jelačić Square | Photo: M Vrdoljak | Zagreb Tourist Board

Advent Zagreb, Zagreb Christmas Tale at Central Ban Jelačić Square | Photo: M Vrdoljak | Zagreb Tourist Board

The central Zagreb gets a new look with imaginative scenery. It became a true hit of the last year’s Advent in Zagreb. Here you’ll fell true Zagreb vibes.

Zagreb Christmas Tale was the biggest surprise last year and it truly bedazzled me. They really outdid themselves. This year we don’t have a large warm tent in the middle of the square but several wooden houses to keep you warm.

This small winter forest brings you true Winter Magic where you can likewise try mulled wine and sausages.

Zagreb Christmas Tale Working Hours:

  • Monday to Friday 11 AM to 11 PM
  • Saturday and Sunday 10 AM to 12 AM

Holidays:

  • Christmas Eve 10 AM to 12 AM
  • Christmas 10 AM to 12 AM
  • New Year’s Eve 10 AM to 12 AM

Events:

  • Wednesday to Sunday, DJ’s from 6 PM to 10 PM
  • Thursday and Friday, Live bands at 8 PM
  • Saturday and Sunday morning program for children from 11 AM to 1 PM

#7 Advent in the Tunnel at Grič Tunnel [Surprise Yourself]

Advent Zagreb, Advent in the Tunnel at Grič Tunnel | Photo: Marija Gasparovic | Zagreb Tourist Board

Advent Zagreb, Advent in the Tunnel at Grič Tunnel | Photo: Marija Gasparovic | Zagreb Tourist Board

One of the latest and most unusual Zagreb attractions, Tunnel Grič, surprises us with ingenuity and imagination year after year.

We recommend entering at the Radićeva Street entrance, its a short climb from Zagreb Ban Jelačić Square, and exiting at the Mesnička. But the other way around is ok as well. I’m proposing this way mainly because it’s the best way to explore Zagreb Christmas Market and see everything.

You think it is merely a tunnel, but it isn’t. It showcases the best events, Christmas carols, imaginative scenery and is a perfect course for our guide.

If you are claustrophobic, do not go this way! Although it is a unique experience you will feel anxiety and you shouldn’t! It is a festive time of year.

Alternatively, you can go through Ilica street to the other side. It takes maybe 5 minutes longer and it is also a pleasant walk.

This year they will have 2 instalments. The first one will be the Museum of Reality, the most precious thing in the world by UNICEF from December 1st till December 11th.

The second starts from December 14th to January 6th, 2019. It’s gonna be a Winter Garden. A magical world of an imaginary castle from a frozen fairytale.

#8 Advent at Strossmayer Promenade [Small Christmas Market on its own]

Advent Zagreb, Advent at Strossmayer Promenade | Photo: Julien Duval | Zagreb Tourist Board

Advent Zagreb, Advent at Strossmayer Promenade | Photo: Julien Duval | Zagreb Tourist Board

As soon as you exit the Grič tunnel on your left you will see steps. Take them and you will get to Advents at Strossmayer Promenade.

Advent at Strossmayer Promenade is actually composed of 4 Zagreb Christmas Market locations. We are talking about and as you climb up the stairs you reach (in order):

  • The Tale from Grič – Advent on the Vranyczany Plateau
  • Advent on Stross
  • Cafe de Matoš and
  • Advent at the Klovićevi Dvori
Advent Zagreb, Advent at Strossmayer Promenade | Photo: Marija Gasparovic | Zagreb Tourist Board

Advent Zagreb, Advent at Strossmayer Promenade | Photo: Marija Gasparovic | Zagreb Tourist Board

Each of them with a story and a theme of their own. At Advent on the Vranyczany Plateau, you get to enjoy smooth Jazz and classy DJs along with gourmet food.

Just a few steps away and you reach the Advent on Stross. One of the places where it all started. In a way, a small Christmas Market on its own, catering to all your needs.

This is one of the most romantic Zagreb spots.

In fact, the whole Strossmayer Promenade is offering amazing views and great entertainment.

Continue your walk along the promenade and you will reach Zagreb’s Poet, A.G. Matoš, surrounded by pop-up souvenir shops, mulled wine and live music.

Right after Cafe de Matoš, you have a small passageway, not the stairs down, and a small stairway up. Once you climb up you get to Advent at the Klovićevi Dvori offering amazing views and the best photo stage overlooking Kaptol and Zagreb Cathedral.

In addition, there are free concerts, choir performances and culinary treats. By far the best place for unforgettable moments and Advent memories.

#9 Advent in Tkalča

Advent Zagreb Tkalciceva | Photo: M Mehulić | Zagreb Tourist Board

Advent Zagreb Tkalciceva | Photo: M Mehulić | Zagreb Tourist Board

Previously I suggested, that if you have the time be sure to visit Tkalčićeva. Tkalciceva Street is a hub of life all year round and in general great place to start the night.

Formerly, Tkalča divided the neighbouring districts of Gradec and Kaptol and was the first proper Red Light district in Europe.

This year the organisers finally extended the Advent festivities to Zagreb’s most buzzing street. Normally, Tkalča offers loads of junctions where you can try great food, drink and savour a fabulous atmosphere.

But this year you will also get to discover ancient Zagreb. Explore artisans’ workshops and their ancient crafts as old Zagreb songs will roam the street and introduce you to Zagreb’s rich history.

#10 Christmas Fair at Gajeva and Bogovićeva Street

Advent Zagreb, Christmas Fair at Gajeva and Bogovićeva Street | Photo: M Vrdoljak | Zagreb Tourist Board

Advent Zagreb, Christmas Fair at Gajeva and Bogovićeva Street | Photo: M Vrdoljak | Zagreb Tourist Board

After you finished with Tkalčićeva you can head back down to the Main ban Jelačić Square.

Once you return, take this opportunity and stroll through the Christmas Market Fair at Gajeva and Bogovićeva Street. You will find it filled with wooden cabins rich with souvenirs, fritule, sweet almonds, and mulled wine.  Strolling through these streets, you can find some nice Christmas gifts.

You are not obligated to see all of Zagreb Advent in one day, the more the merrier… Zagreb is meant to be lived and experienced, don’t rush it if you do not have to.

#11 Advent in the Sisters Baković Passage

Advent Zagreb Sisters Baković Passage

Advent Zagreb Sisters Baković Passage

Advent in the Sisters Baković Passage opened up. Although it is not large, it provides you with a unique experience. Basically, you experience Christmas as it was once celebrated in Croatia. With popular gifts and ornaments.

Regardless of it being a small stage, it will take you back in time and make you think of past Christmas Magic.

The passage is right next to Zagreb’s Cult Cinema Europa. Pass by and become the leading character on the set of a Christmas film.

Likewise, right next door, if you have the time, stop by and enjoy Christmas Movies at Cinema Europa.

Extras, if you have the time

Advent in Maksimir

Zagreb ZOO | Photo: Marija Gasparovic | Zagreb Tourist Board

Zagreb ZOO | Photo: Marija Gasparovic | Zagreb Tourist Board

Also the latest addition to Advent in Zagreb. Can’t wait to see what kind of magic the Zagreb ZOO conceived for the whole family. Maksimir Park is magical on its own, especially during winter.

A little pixie told me there will be fun and educational programs for children and families. But Advent in Maksimir won’t be just for families, it will surely thrill all visitors who wish to enjoy its magic.

Advent at Prekrižje, or Advent at the Presidental Villa

Advent Zagreb Prekrižje Villa | Photo: Julien Duval | Zagreb Tourist Board

Advent Zagreb Prekrižje Villa | Photo: Julien Duval | Zagreb Tourist Board

Last year the Advent at Villa Prekrižje was a huge success and I was hoping they would keep it. You can visit and explore the Prekrižje estate and enjoy its traditional and festive beauty. The rustic Villa is filled with traditional Croatian pieces made by local artisans.

Villa Prekrižje is normally being used for formal receptions of the Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia. If you plan to visit, it is open only on Fridays and Saturdays from 4 PM to 8 PM.

Backo Mini Express

Backo Mini Express

Backo Mini Express

I love this little model railway museum. They are still developing their sets, so every time I come I see something new.

You will definitely enjoy their sets, but be sure to go to the lower level and try out to operate the train. It’s amazing how real it is as you can actually try and drive from within the train itself. You will love it, your kids will love it. And who knows you might even buy one of their models and refresh on your train model building.

Merry Christmas Tram

Advent In Zagreb

Advent In Zagreb

The Merry Christmas Tram is starting from Ban Jelačić Square, right at the corner of Praška Street. The ride lasts roughly 25 minutes and it will take you through Zagreb Advent in one of oldest Zagreb Trams.

The tram rides every 30 minutes Monday to Friday from 4 PM to 7 PM and during weekends from 10 AM to 2 PM and from 4 PM to 7 PM. The tram is not running on Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

The ticket price is 25 HRK and the kids love it.

Advent in Marić Passage

This passage offers a shortcut between Christmas Fair at Gajeva and Bogovićeva Street and Advent on Zrinjevac. Hug your loved one while you walk under intertwined passageway.

Concerts from Zagreb Christmas Balconies

These concerts take place on some of the most beautiful Zagreb balconies, bringing joy to the city’s colourful streets.

Concerts at the Croatian National Theatre

Advent in Zagreb, Croatian National Theatre | Zagreb Tourist Board

Advent in Zagreb, Croatian National Theatre | Zagreb Tourist Board

Normally there is a special cultural program organized in front of the Croatian National Theatre. Promoting works of art and cultural activities from Croatian artists.

Adventfest in the Cathedral

Be sure to visit the Cathedral and listen to one of the top 10 Organs in the world.

Concerts in St Catherine’s Church

The Zagreb Chamber Orchestra performs works by top composers such as A. Vivaldi, G. Tartini, R. Williams, M. Bruch, A. Coreli, A. Cacini, F. Schubert, J. S. Bach, L. Sorkočević, W. A. Mozart, J. Massnet, Pugnani – Kreisler, R. Matz and others.

And More…

Zagreb Advent Concerts & Events

1 December

  • 7 PM – Christmas songs in Zagreb – Museum of Arts and Crafts
  • 8 PM – Beth Hart – Concert Hall Vatroslav Lisinski – Buy Tickets

2 December

  • 7 PM – Concerts from Zagreb Christmas Balconies – Lav Gallery, Opatička Street
  • 7:30 PM – Adventfest in the Cathedral
  • Concert Hall Vatroslav Lisinski – Jacques Houdek: When You’re Happy – The most beautiful children’s songs

3 December

  • 7 PM – Christmas songs in Zagreb – Mimara Museum

4 December

  • 8 PM – Zagreb Soloists – Sinfonia concertante – The Croatian Music Institute

5 December

  • 8 PM – Concerts in St Catherine’s Church

7 December

  • 6 PM – 7 PM free dance workshop for beginners – AdvenTango – The Croatian Music Institute
  • 7 PM – Christmas songs in Zagreb – St Catherine’s Church
  • 7.30 PM – Hyperion Ensemble concert – The Croatian Music Institute
  • 8 PM – Cirque Du Soleil – TORUK – Arena Zagreb – Buy Tickets

8 December

  • 11 AM – Zagreb Soloists – The Dverce Palace (announce your visit)
  • 12 Noon – Christmas songs in Zagreb – Ethnographic Museum
  • 3:30 PM – Cirque Du Soleil – TORUK – Arena Zagreb – Buy Tickets
  • 5:45 PM – FIGHT NIGHT Zagreb – Filip Hrgović – On the hunt! – Cibona Tower, Dražen Petrović Hall – Buy Tickets
  • 7 PM – Christmas songs in Zagreb – Museum of Arts and Crafts
  • 7:30 PM – Cirque Du Soleil – TORUK – Arena Zagreb – Buy Tickets

9 December

  • 3:30 PM – Cirque Du Soleil – TORUK – Arena Zagreb – Buy Tickets
  • 6 PM – 7 PM free dance workshop for beginners – AdvenTango – The Croatian Music Institute
  • 7 PM – Christmas songs in Zagreb – The Dverce Palace (announce your visit)
  • 7:30 PM – Adventfest in the Cathedral
  • 7:30 PM – Advent Classic Fest – St Mark’s Church

11 December

  • 7 PM – Christmas songs in Zagreb – Mimara Museum
  • 8 PM – The Croatian Chamber Orchestra – The Croatian Music Institute

12 December

  • 8 PM – Concerts in St Catherine’s Church
  • 8 PM – The Zagreb Quartet – The Croatian Music Institute

13 December

  • 7:30 PM – Advent Classic Fest – Music Academy: the Blagoje Bersa Cultural Society
  • 7:30 PM – HRT Symphony Orchestra – Masters’ Series – Concert Hall Vatroslav Lisinski – Buy Tickets

14 December

  • 7:30 PM – The Zagreb Philharmonic – Blue Series – Concert Hall Vatroslav Lisinski – Buy Tickets

15 December

  • 11 AM – Zagreb Soloists – The Dverce Palace (announce your visit)
  • 8 PM – Piaf! The Show – Concert Hall Vatroslav Lisinski – Buy Tickets
  • 10:30 PM – ”The Real ABBA” Tribute – Metropolis music & billiards club – Buy Tickets

16 December

  • 7 PM – Concerts from Zagreb Christmas Balconies – Tkalčićeva Street 22
  • 7:30 PM – Adventfest in the Cathedral
  • 8 PM – Concerts in St Catherine’s Church
  • 8 PM – The Croatian Baroque Ensemble – Bach: Mass in B Minor – The Croatian Music Institute

18 December

  • 8 PM – The Croatian Radio Television Choir – Sfumato – Oratorio de Noël – The Croatian Music Institute

20 December

  • 8 PM – Concerts in St Catherine’s Church

21 December

22 December

  • 7:30 PM – Advent Classic Fest – The Kontesa Jazz & Cabaret Club
  • Concert Hall Vatroslav Lisinski – Krassimira Stoyanova, soprano – Lisinski on Saturdays

23 December

  • 7 PM – Concerts from Zagreb Christmas Balconies – Tkalčićeva Street 22
  • 7:30 PM – Adventfest in the Cathedral

There you have it, the guide to Advent in Zagreb and Zagreb Christmas Market. You do not have to take it by heart. It all depends on where you’re staying and what you want to experience.

Decided to experience Zagreb Advent, then read about The Best Hotels near Zagreb Advent & Christmas Market.

We hope this guide will help you and make this holiday season filled with joy and Christmas spirit.

Remember, Zagreb Advent is easily explorable on foot. Fill free to make your own combination of sights and hotspots. That is why we give you a small map below so you can see how everything is close by. All you have to do is to Visit Zagreb and make your own itinerary.

Once more we point out these were the top spots during previous Zagreb Advent’s.

There will probably more surprises and junctions to see, but we do not know yet. We believe all of these will remain and we will definitely fill this guide with more 2018 Zagreb Christmas Market surprises and hotspots.

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2018-12-06T11:48:45+00:00September 2nd, 2018|