Croatia’s Christmas markets are in full swing + Róisín Murphy to appear at NYE celebration in Šibenik Zagreb’s award-winning Advent is back with a bang and the Christmas markets of Opatija, Split and Dubrovnik are in full swing too, while Róisín Murphy appearance in Sibenik is announced.
Triple award-winning Advent Zagreb’s Christmas market opened on 26 November and will run until 7 January 2024– meaning there is still plenty of time to experience the magic of a Zagrebian Christmas. Part of the magic comes from the hospitality of the locals who use this magical time of year to showcase their city in all its festive glory and they don’t do things by half - creative shop-window displays, shimmering lights and decorations adorning the cobbled streets of the upper town are nothing short of a picture book scene.
Croatian cuisine takes pride of place during Advent in Zagreb, with holiday menus showcasing traditional dishes, paired with wonderful local wines. Guests are invited to sit down, relax and dine on terraces at many popular Zagreb restaurants, or to enjoy a mulled wine and a bite to eat at festive stalls. Favourites include roast chestnuts, sarma (sour cabbage rolls filled with minced meat), paprenjaci (peppery gingerbread cookies) and vanilla half-moons.
For more information see www.adventzagreb.hr/?lang=en
Opatija, until 8 January: Named as one of Europe’s best holiday events and hailed as ‘the most beautiful advent by the sea’, Opatija’s advent celebrations have also captured the hearts of many. Advent in Opatija comes with a coastal twist: an ice-rink overlooking the sea, illuminated century-old cypresses, romantic seaside walks accompanied by the sound of Christmas carols all make this town a must-see winter destination.
The spectacular Juraj Šporer Art Pavilion is the centre piece to all the magic, with kiosks offering festive specialities, divine desserts and mulled wine. For world-class restaurants, head to the charming fishing village of Volosko, which looks even more like a fairy tale covered in a layer of snow. For more details see www.visitopatija.com/en/opatija-advent/
Dubrovnik, until 6 January: This magnificent Adriatic city hosts its own winter festival across an array of locations – including the iconic Stardun in the old town – staging festive concerts by Dubrovnik’s cultural institutions. The festivities of the old town are set against a backdrop of thousands of glittering lights adroing the streets. For even more sparkle and merriment, head to the colourful Winter in Lapad Bay, which comes complete with ice-rink.
Split, until 6 January: Eclectic entertainment from Carols to DJ sets and a diverse programme of festive activities are on offer in Croatia’s exuberant second-largest city.
Meanwhile, Šibenik will enter the New Year with entertaintment on several stages within the old city core. After the unforgettable Stereo MCs, the main New Year's stage – set up one of the most beautiful Mediterranean squares, in front of the Cathedral of St. Jakov – will be taken over by world-renowned music icon Róisín Murphy.
The celebration starts at noon in the legendary park with the performance of the Šibenik Bagatin band, and in the evening a program on two stages awaits visitors. For more info see www.sibenik-tourism.hr/clanci/glavno-ime-sibenskoga-doceka-svjetska-je-glazbena-ikona-roisin-murphy/132.html