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Advent in Zagreb

26.11.2016 - 08.01.2017


Tis the season to be jolly; bells are ringing and Zagreb’s holy! You’ve arrived at an illustrious time of year as both city folk and visitors savour the days leading up to Christmas. Advent brings with it a transformation of the metropolis with the spirit of Christmas embraced everywhere physically and even personally in the tingling of all of your five senses. From the scent of mauled wine, sausages and traditional fritule (hot like doughnut balls seasoned with icing sugar and other toppings) twinkling the tip of your nose, to the millions of Christmas lights glowing from afar and reflecting off your beer glass or coffee mug, you’re bound to be enchanted.

So where do you begin knowing that there are lots of events taking place at various locations, and it can be a little mind boggling especially if you wish to see them all.

Let's start with Trg bana Josipa Jelačića, the magical center of the city with a main stage set up for a series of events and concerts, and whilst there, the Manduševac Fountain is nearby with a large Advent wreath lit by grandiose candles, picture perfect. The Zagreb Christmas Fairytale is nearby and leads up to the Europski trg where you’ll find a variety of stalls offering traditional to trendy food offerings, plus soothing to downright throat burning liquors..., all this with live bands and DJs playing some smooth tunes in the background . Then it’s time for ‘Fuliranje’, an old Zagreb word for charming another, for lots of fun and flair through banter and mingling, and this can be seen at two locations, both at Kurelčeva ulica and Tomićeva ulica. There is not a Grinch in sight at either of these two places but rather some outstanding international street food specialties and autochthonic Croatian souvenirs found in the cutest of stands. We also suggest you walk to the Cathedral on Kaptol where you will be welcomed by a living Nativity scene, a true reminder of the real meaning of Christmas. If you walk down both Gajeva and Bogovićeva ulica, you will find a Christmas market with more souvenirs to take home which include: gloves, scarves, hats, decorations for the home, and food souvenirs... You just might have your luggage bag bursting at the seams with so much on offer. In passing the Oktogon with its glorious stained glass ceiling, you could be lucky in catching the Strauss Ensemble which perform traditional songs and hymns, and be ready to waltz if need.The other attraction here is Fashion Advent with a range of gleaming attire to see in the spirit of the season.

As you head towards the Upper Town, the atrium of the Klovićevi dvori gallery will have a skating rink for the daring, and you can strike a pose on Gradec as a special area has been decorated where at the touch of a button snow starts to fall, another sweet concept for taking photos. The Upper Town is known for its courtyards of some lovely State Buildings which will maintain lots of seasonal themes, and the surrounding streets are ideal for a romantic walk with side programs found on various corners (Stross and Opatovina),one of which is at the Vranicanijeva poljana, just one of the many pit-stops on your Upper Town route.
If you haven’t visited the Grič Tunnel, btw that is Grič and not Grinch, this new attraction to the city is decked in a 3D frosty image with superb acoustics that when combined is so real you’ll think you’rein the North Pole. Brass bands will often perform on Christmas balconies around town, in particular on Tkalčićeva ulica 33, and the Croatian National Theatre. From here you can stroll to the Trg hrvatskih velikana and to Martićeva ulica for the Advent Design District and Artomat events which include unconventional art objects and visitors can enjoy a rich accompanying program, educational workshops, acts, or simply take timeout and relax in the lounge area.

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