Advent in Zagreb – the Best Party in Town, the Best Christmas Destination in Europe


Advent in Zagreb opens its doors wide once again to visitors from Croatia and abroad looking for great music, delicious eats and a wonderful holiday atmosphere.

There's a wealth of events on at a range of city locations, both tried and tested “old” locations and new ones where an exciting Christmas programme awaits. 

Advent in Zagreb lasts for 40 days, from 2 December right up to 7 January. There are many new things on this year. Villa Prekrižje has opened its doors so that, exclusively during Advent in Zagreb, visitors can visit the villa in all the beauty of its traditional Christmas glory, and enjoy a Christmas programme of music. Villa Prekrižje was built as a new city summer residence in 1942 according to the designs of renowned architect Ivan Zemljak. Today the villa is used for official gatherings, and due to its location within the complex of the Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia it is also used for various purposes in the work of the Office. 

Fuliranje, a popular Advent gathering, is moving from Tomićeva and Kurelčeva streets to Strossmayerov trg. With the motto “Life is a Circus” visitors will be entertained by clowns, fire-eaters, stilt walkers, Cica the fortune teller… Imaginative characters will entertain the children, while the Circus Gourmet Ring will make sure that no-one is left hungry. 

Caffe de Matoš awaits this year in Gornji grad as part of the Strossmayer promenade. The theme is love. A special corner is dedicated to kisses under the mistletoe. Every evening from 6-9 pm and at weekends from 11 am - 2 pm it’s time to dance along to live music from top-notch streetstyle musicians. And if you’re in love, you can seal a padlock with a message of love on the fence of Gornji grad. 

Advent on Strossmayer promenade has joined with Stories from Grič on Vranyczanyeva poljana. Here DJs will be playing music in a treehouse. To get to Vranyczanyeva poljana, which will be bedecked in wonderful Christmas decorations, you have to climb up to Gornji grad, but the mystical atmosphere makes it worth every step. 

Historic shopping arcade Marićev prolaz has also been decorated in the spirit of Advent. Plaited white twigs decorated with twinkling lamps create a magical fairytale tunnel. One of the most beautiful courtyards in Zagreb, that of the Archaeological Museum in Gajeva ulica, will become a unique Secret Garden for Advent. The Secret Garden is special in connecting the most up-to-date digital technologies with culture and fun. Hologram technology will take us on a new adventure every evening in December. Visitors will be entertained by DJs, while children and amateur choirs will sing the loveliest Christmas songs. Children will also be delighted by Advent at Zagreb Zoo. Countless educational and fun things await visitors, such as getting to know tame animals, theatre and musical performances, artistic and creative workshops, acrobatics on silk, feeding the camels and sea lions… All of that along with those unmissable refreshments, sausages, tea and mulled wine. 

In the Grič tunnel you will be able to see two fairytale installations. From 2 to 17 December the exhibition “Memories” will be open, showing a street from old Gornji grad from the era of Charles Dickens, and from 19 December until the last day of Advent the tunnel will be turned into a paradise for children and the young at heart. It will be decorated with giant Christmas tree decorations, presents and toys, and the exhibition will be symbolically titled “Wish”. 

The Croatian Railway Museum also calls all children as for the holiday season from 3 – 7 pm visitors will have free entry to the exhibition “Orient in Zagreb” dedicated to the trains of the Orient Express system. At the weekends there will be train rides in the garden, you will be able to see the trains on display and there will be educational workshops for children in the museum wagon. 

The Backo Mini Express – the biggest model railway in south east Europe - also offers a holiday atmosphere. As well as hundreds of trains in the permanent model display, during advent the Backo Mini Express will also be running several trains in Christmas colours and decorations. The Agram Advent Express – a special train in the colours of the city of Zagreb – will also be running during Advent. Various exhibitions in the days of Advent will be organised by numerous cultural institutions, from the Museum of Arts and Crafts via the Art Pavilion to the Ethnographic Museum where there will be an exhibition of antique Christmas jewellery. Also unmissable is the exhibition “Nikola Tesla – Mind from the Future” in the Meštrović Pavilion, dedicated to one of the world’s greatest visionaries and greatest minds, an exhibition which after Zagreb heads for New York. 

On the Gradec plateu in front of the entrance to the Klovićevi dvori Museum you will be able to enjoy a rich gastronomic offering and free concerts by Detour, Ljetno kino, Marko Tolja, Kuzma & Shaka Zulu, Songkillers, Marjan Ban, Cubismo, Vatra and the Dino Dvornik Tribute Band. The programme of concerts ends on 30 December. A surprise awaits visitors – a frame in which you can take a photo of yourself for the best-looking postcards! 

The Ice Park on Trg kralja Tomislava is the biggest ice rink in this part of Europe, and once again will be the favourite gathering place of young and old alike. 

This year the Ice Park has entered into a partnership programme with the Art Pavilion. If you show your ticket for the ice rink, the Art Pavilion will grant you a 10 kuna discount on your entry ticket for the current exhibition, while the Ice Park, if you show your ticket for the exhibition, will grant you a 5 kuna discount on your ticket for the ice rink.

On Zrinjevac there will be a host of Advent huts with a rich offering of food and drink, handcrafts and souvenirs. A varied daily programme will also take place on Trg bana Jelačića. There is the Christmas Fairytale, in which visitors can experience true Christmas magic passing through a forest of pine trees covered in snow. Young people will once again enjoy Advent on Europski trg, with DJs, concerts, exhibitions and gastro huts. On Kaptol there will be a Live nativity scene and Christmas idylls await you in Gajeva, Bogovićeva, Petrićeva, Varšavska and more.

Because… the icing on the cake is most delicious during Advent in Zagreb!