Adventu u Zagrebu is here! Zagreb goes all out for Christmas (and I hear Easter, too, which I can't wait for!) Christmas markets, lights strung all through the old city, carriage rides in Zrinjevac Square, carolers and little concerts, huge live Christmas trees infront of the Zagreb Cathedral and in St. Mark's Square all began Saturday and run through the first week of January.
If you ever get to come to Zagreb during the Advent season, here are a few fun things to know...
There's ice skating in King Tomislav Square, which if you arrive in Zagreb by train, is the first place you see when stepping off the platform.
There are Christmas markets in Zrinjevac Square and European Square. There are some stands to buy wooden toys and ornaments, olive boards (I have my eye on some!) but mostly there are stands selling kuhano vino, mulled wine, and homemade sausages. The photo above is a stand from one of my favorite shops in Zagreb that sells handmade dolls... more on that in an upcoming post!
There's also roasted chestnuts and popcorn sold on just about every corner, which we can never resist. And there's brass instrumental concerts, performed from balconies on Tkalciceva Street and the Croatian National Theatre each Sunday night at 7pm.
It's a really special time to be in Zagreb. I think the most magical places right now in the city are in Kaptol at the Cathedral and in St. Mark's Square. There's a service every evening at the Cathedral and a Christmas Eve midnight mass. There's a live nativity scene in Kaptol for the last two weeks of December that we're excited to see. Walking through these areas in the old city is wonderful, especially with a cup of hot mulled wine or coffee in hand (it's freezing out!). For a latte to go, you can ask for kava s mlijekom (coffee with milk) za van (to go) molim vas (please).
For more information, here is the Advent in Zagreb website. Happy start to this beautiful season of wonder and hope!