Press coverage on Croatia

Latest press coverage on Croatia round-up: early December edition!

Are you booking your holidays for 2024 yet? Clearly, some of the travel press think you are as there’s been a fair amount of coverage on Croatia recently which I’m sure is inspiring you to start looking for flights and holidays! Take a look below at the November and early December press coverage on Croatia.

Winter Magic in Croatia

First up is a wonderful piece in yesterday’s Sunday Times Travel section which actually isn’t about travelling to Croatia next year. Well, not in the summer, at least!

The article by Mary Novakovich takes a very welcome look at wintertime in Croatia, and all the wonderful experiences you can have. Sure, you can’t go to the beach in winter but you can enjoy numerous Christmas markets and celebrations all over the country, and enjoy the towns in central and northern Croatia when the inevitable snowfall turns them into real winter wonderland.

press coverage on Croatia - December 2023

Mary also makes the good point that winter is a brilliant time to visit some of Croatia’s famous national parks such as Plitvice and Krka. Not only are the entrance fees a fraction of what they are in summer, there are very few fellow visitors. If you’ve been to these parks in summer you’ll know that they can be crowded beyond belief. But in winter you can enjoy their tranquil serenity. And if it has snowed and the waters and waterfalls are frozen, the parks really do offer up some magical scenes.

Even after New Year, there’s fun to be had. The Rijeka Carnival celebrations begin in mid-January (the first main event – the Rijeka Carnival Queen Pageant and the Handover of the Key to the City is on 19th January 2024) and extend for almost a month up until the main event, the Carnival Parade, on 11th February 2024.

You can read the article online here: I’ve been to Croatia dozens of times. Here’s why I love it in winter

Split instead of Dubrovnik, and Ljubljana to Zagreb

Saturday’s Daily Telegraph Travel section included a couple of pieces on Croatia…and a lovely photo of glorious Split.

In a piece on how some large cruise ship companies are having to make alternative port arrangments due to local restrictions, the newspaper offers up some alternatives to the popular cruise ship destinations of Venice, Dubrovnik, Santorini, Barcelona and Amsterdam.

For Dubrovnik they suggest the alternative of Split, of course, but also mention that lovely Sibenik is another viable option.

Next up, in a piece entitled “Why two cities are better than one”, the newspaper examines possibilities for a twin city break – essentially a multi-night break in which you enjoy two closely positioned European cities instead of just one, travelling between the two places by train.

Visit Croatia thinks this is a brilliant idea, not least because Visit Croatia recently enjoyed a twin-city break of her own, flying into Ljubljana and out of Zagreb – taking the train from one to the other – and enjoying both to the max.

Guess what two cities the Daily Telegraph recommends? Ljubljana and Zagreb! (Did they read my mind?)

They say:

Okay, so it’s slightly over the two-hour limit [the train takes 2 hours 8 minutes] but we think you’ll agree it’s worth it for this capital combo. Plus, both these former Yugoslavian cities are easy to walk around, so the journey between them is all the time you’ll be spending on public transport.

Jane Knight, The Daily Telegraph, 2nd December 2024

Take a look at our Day Trip to Ljubljana from Zagreb to read up on how we enjoyed our time.

Croatia: The best island hop ever

Actually published a few weeks ago, the UK national morning freebie newspaper Metro featured a highly colourful piece on what they called “The best island hop ever”. The article recounts a small cruise holiday in Croatia, hopping down the coast from Split to Dubrovnik and taking in islands such as Hvar, Vis, Korcula and Mljet but also experiencing mainland towns and sights such as Trogir, Krka National Park, Slano and Ston.

Overall the author, Rachel Moss, loved exploring the country by cruise ship…highly recommending it! (Although she was a little disappointed with the older ages of her shipmates.)

“Travelling by small cruise gives you unrivalled access to Croatia’s hidden gems, allowing you to escape the crowds of the country’s most famous hotspots and access little-known ports with unique personalities.”

Rachel Moss, Metro, 16th November 2024

Rachel goes on to add: “the mix of culture and coast makes Croatia one of the favourite countries I’ve ever visited.” That’s quite some praise!

Read the article here: We’ve found the best way to explore Europe’s number one holiday destination for 2024

Some wonderful accolades for Croatia

I’ve mentioned some recent awards for Croatia several times elsewhere, but they’re too good not to repeat so I thought I would add a mention to them here too.

Wanderlust travel magazine revealed that Croatia was declared the Most Desirable Country in Europe in their Readers’ Travel Awards. It is very exciting to see Croatia recognised so highly by travellers.

Esteemed travel publication Lonely Planet also sings the praises of Croatia: in their Best in Travel 2024 Countries category, the only European country to feature was Croatia.

Advent in Zagreb 2023

Advent in Zagreb – the city’s epic Christmas celebrations – returns to Zagreb on Friday 2nd December 2023, running until 7th January 2024. Here’s our rundown on what’s happening during Advent in Zagreb and where, and the best of what there is to see and do.

Advent in Zagreb

What is Advent in Zagreb?

Advent in Zagreb is essentially a Christmas market…but in fact, so much more than that! Having first been held in 2010, it is a large-scale celebration of Christmas that takes place in many locations all across the city. So many of Zagreb’s squares, streets, parks, shopping areas, museums, attractions and more will be adorned with beautiful lights or other festive decorations and will be used as venues for Christmas fun. There will be food and drink (oh so much food and drink!), concerts and live music,

The celebrations have received so much positive press and visitor comments over the years, often being called one of the best Christmas markets in Europe. In fact, Advent in Zagreb even won the “Best Christmas Market” category for three years straight (from 2016 to 2018) awarded by European Best Destinations.

Here’s a video preview of this year’s celebrations from Zagreb Tourist Board:

The main fun at Advent in Zagreb

Zagreb’s main square Trg Ban Jelacic will – as to be expected – have a giant, decorated Christmas tree in place during Advent in Zagreb. In fact, the tree is already in place, as of 27th November, awaiting decoration. The main square is also were the traditional Advent candles are situated, around Mandusevac Fountain.

Christmas celebrations aren’t Christmas celebrations without an ice rink, are they? Thankfully, Zagreb will indeed have an ice rink once again this winter with the Ice Park situated on King Tomislav Square – in front of the very impressive Art Pavillion. Open from 2nd December, the rink will be open daily from 10am until 11pm or 12pm (although only until 5pm on Christmas Eve). Should you like to see in the New Year on a pair of skates you can even do so – that day, the rink will be open until 2am!

Advent in Zagreb - Ice Park - Ice Rink
The Ice Park

The very cool Gric Tunnel is often kitted out for various events and this Christmas it will host the Polar Dream, offering visitors the chance to “experience” the Northern Lights.

City Break in Croatia - Advent in Zagreb
Gric Tunnel during Advent in Zagreb

A wonderful experience would be to join the gas lamp lighters for Advent Under the Lantern. Every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (from 6th to 23rd December) at 4.30pm they depart from the Lotrscak Tower to continue this 160-year-old tradition. They will be joined by vocal groups such as the gospel group The Messengers or the female vocal ensemble Cipkice.

Festive Food and Drink

This will be everywhere, ha ha!

One of the absolute best places to try some Christmas treats (and then some) is at Fuliranje (which translates to “Fooling Around”!). Located on Josip Juraj Strossmayer Square, there is a wide range of food vendors offering up some very tasty, filling grub, and plenty of warming drinks, from mulled wine to brandies. But Fuliranje is so much more besides – there will be live DJs, children’s choirs, magical decorations and Santa himself. Fuliranje is one of the most popular elements of Advent in Zagreb, and is also a top place to see in the New Year.

A previous edition of Fuliranje

Sweet Zrinjevac in Zrinjevac Park will have all manner of street food stalls selling hearty and warming winter food and drink. (Sausages! Mulled wine!). Set amongst the beautifully decorated trees of the park, it’s one of the top places to go during Advent in Zagreb. This year, it will be open from 12pm to 11pm or 12am daily from 29th November.

Be sure to head to Zagreb’s main Dolac Market from 6pm on 22nd December for the Christmas Pop-Up of PLACe Market. Local chefs and restaurants will be offering all sorts of tasty treats to go along with the festive and fun atmosphere.

Musical Delights

One of the first events of Advent in Zagreb will be a concert performed by the famed Zagreb Soloists at the Okotogon at 12pm on Wednesday 29th November.

The Advent Symphony of the City is a performance that will take place in several locations across Zagreb on different days. First taking place at Trg Petrice Kerempuha (just above Dolac market) at 8pm on 7th December, it will certainly put a smile on your face.

The 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall will be celebrated from 28th to 30th December with a very full programme of plays, performances, concerts and even guided tours. The grand concert takes place at 7.30pm on Friday 29th December when the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra Symphony and the Symphony Orchestra of Croatian Radiotelevision will perform.

Advent in Zagreb - Zrinjevac
Zrinjevac Park

Advent in Zagreb for kids…and for pets?!

What kid doesn’t love anything Christmas? They’re sure to have a good time just being at the Advent in Zagreb celebrations, but if you’re looking for some activities specifically aimed for the younger members of your family, you’re in luck.

Probably one of the most fun events for kids will be the Ice Fairy Tale at Ribjak Park (from 16th December). Fully decorated in icy style, the Snow Queen will be fulfilling the dreams of all children. But if your kids like all things icy, don’t forget about taking them skating at Ice Park (mentioned above) which they will surely be thrilled with.

The Croatian Chamber of Trade at Ilica 49 will be hosting a Craft Advent (2nd to 31st December) where handcrafted wooden toys and games from days gone by will come to life. “Big kids” (i.e. adults) will surely also delight in this, perhaps reminiscing about their childhood.

Certain museums will also have fun events that will delight kids. The Backo Mini Express Train Museum will be running their model trains daily during the Christmas period whilst the Chocolate Museum will be showing off sculptures made of…chocolate! (Of course!)

Zagreb Zoo – such a great place to take kids any time of year – will also have its own Christmas celebrations, and Santa might even drop by!

And yes, what about pets? The Time Out Heritage Hotel will be holding lectures and treats – for four-legged and two-legged friends – with pets even being able to take a photo with Santa. Altogether now – awww!

Not quite for pets, per se, but for pet lovers – Zagreb’s Cat Caffe will be offering a wonderfully festive hot drinks menu; the perfect way to warm up after enjoying all the outdoor fun.

More Info

Advent in Zagreb is so chock-a-block full of happenings that we’ve really only just covered the surface…phew!

You can of course find the full rundown of all the festivities taking place on the official Advent in Zagreb website and we would highly recommend you take a look to learn about all the fun things taking place.

Don’t forget to check out our guide to Zagreb for advice on accommodation, transport, restaurants and cafes, things to do with kids and much, much more!


Merry Christmas from Visit Croatia

Season’s Greetings from Visit Croatia!

Visit Croatia wishes everyone a very happy and healthy festive period, as well as all the best for 2021! We hope it’s a year that we can return to some sort of normality, and also hopefully a year in which we can return to travelling and exploring once again!

Thank you to all of our visitors, readers, followers, emailers and everyone we’ve interacted with over the year – we have loved reading about and seeing your past trips to Croatia! Thank you also for all of your support over the year.