Zagreb transport and points of view

Zagreb Advent Christmas 2018

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At this time of year we all get a tiny bubble of excitement in our stomachs and almost every one you know will say „it’s way to early“. They’ll complain that there are Christmas trees, fake santa’s, and festive songs everywhere they turn and to that I say: embrace it and enjoy it! Christmas time is all about spreading joy and being with loved ones, so what’s wrong with starting a few weeks early?

If you’re a die hard fan of Christmas carols, jingle bells, the smell of gingerbread and mulled wine get’s you going then Zagreb is just the place for you.

Everyone is nowadays raving about Zagreb and they have good reason too. Zagreb was declared for the third time in a row according to „European Best Destinations“ voters the best destination for Christmas holidays in Europe. Advent in Zagreb opens its door for the fifth time in a row for domestic and foreign tourists that are eager to enjoy good food, good music and even better entertainment.

The Advent starts on December 2nd with traditional lighting up the candle in the Manduševac fountain at 5pm and lasts up until January 7th – in the meantime you can enjoy yourself in rich gastronomic, cultural and music offers. One of the biggest surprises this year is the moving of the oldest and the most popular Advent event called „Fooling around“ to Strossmayer square. For the first time the Croatian president opens up the doors of the Villa Prekrižje that is a part of the complex of her office, and holiday spirit has even come to life in the Zagreb’s ZOO. If you want a more romantic setting than Caffe de Matoš is the right place for you in the upper part of the town, we are also expecting an exhibition about Nikola Tesla, which you will be able to see in the Meštrović pavilion.

Must see places in Zagreb at the most beautiful time of the year:

  • Ice park on Tomislavac – the biggest ice skating rink in this part of Europe awaits you on the King Tomislav square – the favourite meeting place for people of all ages. This magnificent park is decorated with thousand lamps, little gastro houses, lights and good music.

  • Advent on Zrinjevac – one of the most beautiful parks in Zagreb, this is the place where everything began – a holiday tradition.

  • Fooling around – where dreams come to reality – this year on the Strossmayer square – see for yourself what the „fooling around“ is all about.

  • Advent on the European square – if you’re a film and wine kind of person and you get creative while drinking mulled wine, then this is the place for you.

  • Christmas Fairytale – the name speaks for itself, everybody needs a little fairytale come to life, wouldn’t you agree.

  • Advent in Marić passage – there is no way you can just pass it a not take a picture of yourself in it. You’ll see what I mean.

  • The Advent wreath – you can’t come home empty handed, now can you? Here you will find little souvenirs, a little something to remember Zagreb by.

Whether you here in the winter or not there is always something interesting to do in Zagreb. You have certainly seen a group of people standing with a tour guide on a square somewhere. Have you ever wondered what it is that the guide is talking about? Well, Zagreb although a smaller city compared to bigger European ones has definitely some of its own interesting history filled and intertwined with mistery. You want to know what it is? If yes, check the Secret Zagreb Walkswalks inspired by the non-conventional part of town, the stories that people talk about but can nowhere be seen in the journals, you most definitely will not regret it. More of a Funky kind of person? Well, Funky Zagreb are the tours for you, it’s about everyday life in Zagreb, from the people on the street, the way they drink their coffee, not everything is about churches and history. Looking to be a bit spooked? Then the tour Witches from the upper part of the town is for you. Have you ever seen a tour guide with a mask and costume on? No? Well, you most definitely will here. Filled with interactive elements you will get to know the darker part of the city.

Just to name a few……there are still a lot places to visit, depending on your acquired taste.

If you’re not much of a holiday person, you’re just plain tired and everyday living sucks your energy dry, in the vicinity of Zagreb you can find enough places to visit and you’ll be even surprised at how much those little road trips can regenerate your body and soul.

The good news is that only an hour away from Zagreb, you’ll find real hidden gems.

Unsustainable nature, warmth of tradition, rich history and modern spa offers can bring you back to life and make you see everything through pink glasses. Sometimes, for a change of perspective, it is enough to walk, but this time we encourage you to sit in the car and go to one of the following addresses, you most definitely won’t be sorry.

  • Ethno park Zagreb – 13 km away from the city, located in Mala Mlaka. One of the most recent excursions around Zagreb is Ethno Park Zagreb, 13 kilometers away from the city center, located in Mala Mlaka. This is the place where you will hide from the stress and rush of everyday life, enjoy the historic artwork, home-made delicacies and nature. The estate consists of a smaller wooden house, a summer mansion that turns colder into a winter garden, ideal for drinking tea or cooked wine, a children’s playground and halls for various events.

  • Trakošćan One of the benefits of living in and around Zagreb are the many magic castles that can be visited and where you can be lost in some past time. Places where many pages of history are printed can not leave us indifferent, and Trakošćan is the star among them. The 13th century castle, once owned by the Drašković family, is one of the most famous excursions, and besides the museum where you can see a collection of art and objects from the Renaissance period to historicism, there is also the hotel Trakošćan which in its offer hides a wellness center where you can take a massage, go into sauna and swim in the indoor pool overlooking the castle. Tennis courts are also available, and the whole area is suitable for cyclists. Relaxing in the pool with a view, after all-day exploration of beautiful Trakošćan? Offer that simply cannot be refused.

  • Vuglec Breg -apart from the magnificent castles, the Croatian Zagorje also houses many estates and rural farms open for visit. One of them is the Vuglec family, which has transformed the heritage of its ancestors into a lasting value for all of us. Vuglec Breg was built on the foundations of the old hamlet Vuglec, and the estate offers a beautiful view of the surrounding Zagorje hills. The property consists of several indigenous Zagorje huts and an old farm building with a restaurant, a wine cellar and a seminar hall. Vuglec Breg also has a small lake, two playgrounds for tennis and a small football field, a children’s playground, lawns and walking paths.

  • Bio Park Divlje vode – Unsustainable nature on the slopes of the Samobor Mountains is the perfect therapy for the mind and body that you can experience in the wildlife park of the Žumberak Nature Park. In the valley of Bregane stream that runs through the park you can try delicacies at the restaurant, walk along the pond, go fishing, see the zoo, play football.

  • Zaboky village – The small romantic village in the heart of Zagorje, as a weekend trip you simply can’t ignore it. Zaboky village is surrounded by beautiful nature that regenerates, and from their fairytale houses, I believe is difficult to get out. For all gourmets there is a restaurant with traditional specialties that will do you good after a long fresh walk.

If you’re not so much for walking but more a cultural kind of person, there are some museums that are definitely worth checking out. Some of those include:

  • Museum of Illusions – one of the most popular ones, it offers an intriguing visual, sensory and educational experience in a fun kind of way for all generations. Through attractive and fun visuals, visitors will learn a lot about the mind, perception, human brain and science and will be able to better understand why the eyes see things that the brain does not understand.

  • The museum of broken relationships – originated from a traveling exhibition with the concept of broken relationships and their ruins. Unlike “destructive” self-help instructions to recover from unfulfilled love, the Museum gives everyone an opportunity to overcome emotional disruption in a creative way: donating a piece of yourself to the museum’s collection.

  • The technical museum Nikola Teslait is structured by departments where it shows in the didactic way the development and application of some technical achievements.

  • Tortureum – a museum of torture that offers visitors a unique look at the collection of torture and extermination devices from ancient times to the present. With more than 70 instruments and devices, the thought of which has brought fear to the bones, the Museum is clearly showing the image of violence throughout history.

From Advent in Zagreb, relaxing in the hills of Zagorje and experiencing the cultural uplifting you can clearly see that there is everything for everybody, whether you come in the winter time or not, Zagreb and the places in its closer vicinity will take good care of you, the only thing you need to worry about is enjoying yourself.

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