Zagreb Advent in Croatia is once again the most popular winter event close to our place. It is growing not only in popularity but also in size. We decided to go again in 2017/18 year and spent some time checking out the decorations, culinary booths and all the nice shiny things Gobinette likes so much. If you are planning on visiting, there are some things we have learned and might prove helpful on this already huge event.
In 2018 it started on 1.12. and ends on 6.1.2019.
1. Don’t go on the weekend.
Like you, everyone else only has time on the weekend. They somehow managed to get there before you and are all the line in front of you. Seriously, we have been told, that it is possible to have a relaxed stroll trough all the markets and extra locations (they add some every year). But not on the weekends in December.
2. Check out the different markets online.
There are many locations and not much extra signs on the street. We visited Christmas market in Brussels a while back. It was in my opinion smaller than the one in Zagreb but you could still see useful huge signs with the map of all locations, concert times and such. In Zagreb we have seen zero. In 2017 we found one leaflet with the location in the bar on our way back to the train station. Unless you know Zagreb like your own pocket, you better prepare and read it online in advance. Here is the map for 2018/19.
3. Take the train, bus or tram.
Finding a parking space near the event is close to impossible. We did it. But we are awesome and lost a lot of time searching and still had to walk to one of the entrances and pass a few locations to get to the one we wanted. Smarter people park check where to park before they arrive. The tram would get us in the middle of the event directly, no hassle. During the weekends beetween 1.12. and 6.1 it is also FREE. So is the Zagreb funicular, on all days, not only weekends.
There is also a special Merry Christmas tram. You will have to buy tickets for this one. Ride with Christmas program takes 30 minutes.
The train stops across the street to King Tomislav Square, where the biggest Ice skating rink far and wide is located. You can get special discounted return train tickets, if you are planning to visit Zagreb to Ice Skate and discount on morning ice-skating sessions tickets with your train tickets.
There is more: Every weekend during the period from December 1st 2018 to January 6th 2019, the Croatian Railway Passenger Transport offers to Advent visitors special discount tickets at 40% discount from the regular price of the return ticket for both 1st class and 2nd class tickets on all trains running according to the present valid schedule. The discount is valid for travel from any station within a 25 km radius from Zagreb.
They also add 40% discount on tickets to Ivana’s Fairy-tale House in Ogulin, something we haven’t seen yet, but looks like something fun to visit on a day trip with kids.
Flying to Zagreb?
Official airline Turkish Airlines gives special discounts in some of the classes with event code 186TKM18. Write it down for next year, if you plan to visit Croatia in winter. It looks like they only change the last two numbers every year 🙂
4. Try all the food 🙂
Not all, but there is no need to eat before going there. Or after. You can find plenty of culinary delights to keep you happy all day on different street booths.
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❤ Najukusnije blagdanske slastice i danas su nezaobilazan dio bogate ponude na Maksimiru! Kušajte sve, od fritula, palačinki i ukusnih wafla i plešite s nama u ritmu najboljih božićnih hitova! ??? #AdventMaksimir #AdventZagreb #LoveZagreb #HolidaysInZagreb #WinterVibes #ChristmasLoading
Classical winter dish Sarma can be found in Street Sarma version. Yummy.
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Još 2 dana i možete uživati u kraljici adventa, Street Sarmi!? U srijedu startamo na Tomislavcu, uz sarmu nudimo i novo jelo koje će ostati iznenađenje do srijede? U četvrtak otvaramo i na Strassmayerovom trgu u sklopu Fuliranja? #sarma #streetsarma #sarme #kuhanovino #crno #bijelo #wintercocktails #zimskikoktel #caj #advent #adventuzagrebu #zagrebadvent #adventzagreb #adventcalendar #newyearseve #streetfood #food #hrana #fino #christmas #bozic #grah #kobasica #obrok #fuliranje #ledenipark #tomislavac #strossmayerovtrg #kingbuncek
There is also vegeterian and probably any other option you can think off available on one of the booths.
Don’t forget to take your dog to the Capa Pet Bistro.
5. Where to sleep?
All great locations near Zagreb Advent were taken a while ago and prices climbed up to the sky. Since we are a budget travel blog, we recomend checking out Booking.com for special offers (get 10% discount here) and Airbnb (30 EUR OFF for new users) or having as much fun you can and after taking late train home.
6. Don’t plan to see much else.
Unless you have a few days to spend there, Zagreb Advent is a full time activity. Zagreb has many great museums worth seeing, but they will still be there in the spring and Museum of broken relationships is much more enjoyable when there are only a few visitors inside.
7. Travelling to Zagreb Advent with child or toddler?
Don’t miss Priča s griča/Story from the hill with the magical forest and Advent in the tunnel with a unique interactive story about different perception of reality from children around the world. Did you notice Fuliranje/Fooling around on the map? This location promises fun and magic. You can visit Father Frost in his cabin.
Try to visit early in the day. Zagreb Advent gets crazy crowded later on. Late evening with small children will be better spent in your hotel room or on the train home.
Pro tip: don’t wait for the last train home, since it will probably be extra full, with party people sitting and sleeping everywhere. Here is our sad story about train journey to the Zagreb Advent 2016.
8. Don’t try to see it all.
Are you staying there for a few days? You might see it all but you have to come back next year. It will be even bigger :).
9. Have happy Holidays and a great 2019.
Goblins wish you all the best in the new year.
Since goblins love to travel, but usually do it on a budget, we use Airbnb. By using this link to subscribe, you get discount on your first trip, and we get one on our next. If you are not into Airbnb, here is a 10% percent discount on your next booking. Travel as much as you can.
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