Friday, 23 October 2020

Zagreb Advent 2020: Smaller Edition will Expand to Neighborhoods

October 23, 2020 - Given the epidemiological situation around Europe at the moment, it's hard to imagine any Christmas markets will be held this year at all. Here's the latest on Zagreb Advent 2020.

Vecernji List reported on Thursday that Zagreb Advent would be organized by Zagreb Markets (Tržnice Zagreb) and, according to the latest, the Zagreb Fair (Zagrebački velesajam).

In recent days, media speculation about the organization of the capital's biggest event has been mixed. But for now, the City administration is certain that Advent will be held, albeit on a smaller scale than previous editions. How exactly it will look, i.e., how many caterers will be allowed in certain locations and how the food will be served, is still to be decided.

"We only started discussing this topic two days ago; we will define the details at the working meetings. Advent will not be able to be at the level of previous years because there are fewer tourist arrivals and travel in general," said Mirka Jozic, head of the Office of Economy. At the meetings, it was agreed that the caterers would disperse, so Advent will be in the city center and the neighborhoods and allow counties to participate by exhibiting their souvenirs.

"The main attraction will be the area around the cable car, where caterers will also offer their products," said the City. They also note that Zagreb Fair will be in charge of the organization, allocating houses and catering, in cooperation with the Zagreb Caterers' Association and the Independent Association of Caterers, and Zagreb Markets will take over the logistics.

"We also demanded that anyone who is not a caterer be eliminated from renting houses or stalls. This should be solved by determining special coefficients based on the number of employees, income, and turnover of individual caterers," said Marin Medak, who has participated in Advent so far and is also a representative of the profession in meetings with the city administration.

Medak believes they could have an outline of the Advent organization by the end of the week. As for the allocation of houses, the caterers ask for a special committee to decide on it, including someone from the City, the catering sector, and. the Chamber of Crafts. 

If the decision is passed by the Assembly, the procedure for allocating public space will be carried out by a special commission that will have a president and four members and their deputies. Locations will be awarded through a public tender, the commission will consider the received bids, and then the most favorable will be determined and submitted to the mayor.

The most favorable bid in the public tender procedure for setting up houses is a bid that meets the conditions of the public tender and contains the highest offered amount of a one-time location fee," explains the decision that took place last summer.

A returning tenant will have the right to take advantage of the tender, but one company will not rent more than 40 percent of public space. However, locations will be allocated directly, without a public tender, if there are vacancies after the tender. The commission will also decide who will get the location directly, i.e., they will propose candidates to the mayor.

As for the organization of cultural events, for which the Zagreb Tourist Board is in charge, they will take place following the National Headquarters' recommendations, whose measures are still awaited.

"We are in constant contact with them, and we are waiting for the decision of the Assembly, so we will know in which direction everything will go. So far, we have several framework scenarios, and we will hone the detail," said the Zagreb Tourist Board.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

Saturday, 17 October 2020

Zagreb Advent 2020 is Uncertain, Says Tourist Board

October 17, 2020 - Zagreb tourism is suffering considerable losses due to the coronavirus pandemic and the consequences of the earthquake back in March. Tourist arrivals and overnight stays are around 30 percent of last year, and Zagreb Advent 2020 is uncertain, the Zagreb Tourist Board revealed.

"Conditions and possibilities of holding certain events have changed significantly this year, even for those outdoors in the autumn and wintertime. We are currently completing preparations for several autumn projects through which Zagreb will once again be confirmed as the most important cultural and tourist destination in Croatia. We are also developing possible scenarios for Advent," said Martina Bienenfeld, director of the Zagreb Tourist Board, as reported by Index.hr.

She emphasizes that health and safety are taken into account first, and then everything else that makes up a particular event.

"We are in contact with the competent authorities of the City of Zagreb, the national and city civil protection headquarters. We are working on measures and organization, and if it takes place, we will respect and insist on all the guidelines that will be recommended," says Bienenfeld.

She also commented on the recently published list of the 15 safest Christmas destinations in Europe by the European Best Destinations (EBD), in which Zagreb is in 8th place. They also mention the date of this year's Advent (from November 27, 2020, to January 3, 2021), though the Tourist Board emphasizes they did not participate in this or communicate anything to the EBD, not even the dates they stated.

"EBD has been promoting sustainable European tourism for years in collaboration with the European Commission and other institutions and has compiled the list according to its own criteria, which, according to explanations we received from its director, were the number of cases per million inhabitants and hospital beds per capita, proximity to airports, the establishment of sanitary measures and others. According to the online voting in the EBD organization, Zagreb Advent was named the best in Europe three times. Croatia was among the countries with a relatively favorable epidemiological picture in September. Logically, they took us into account, and it is certainly positive that we are on that list," says Bienenfeld.

Presenting data on the decline in physical tourist traffic for the first nine months of this year, she notes that this is expected and points out the increased average length of stay of tourists in Zagreb, to 2.21 nights, compared to last year's 1.83.

By the end of September this year, almost 283 thousand tourists came to Zagreb, who realized 624.3 thousand overnight stays, or 26 and 31 percent of last year's results. Most tourists were from Croatia, followed by Germany, Italy, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, and Poland, while, in addition to locals and tourists from Germany, most overnight stays were achieved by tourists from Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the USA.

In the first 15 days of October, 15.7 thousand tourists visited or 22 percent of last year's number in the same days, while 33 percent was reached with just over 41 thousand overnight stays, with a further extension of the average stay to 2.61 nights.

Most tourists stay in hotels, about 50 percent, then in private accommodation - about 40 percent. Bienenfeld reveals that due to the pandemic and the aftermath of the earthquake, seven hotels and 11 hostels are currently operating in Zagreb, and about 135 private accommodations closed just because of the earthquake.

Due to the damage caused by the earthquake, 15 museums and seven galleries and art collections are currently closed, which significantly reduces the offer. She also points out that changes in the behavior of those who travel are noticeable in the pandemic.

"Individual and smaller family and business trips have completely prevailed in Zagreb. Tourists are favoring individual rather than group city tours, visiting Zagreb attractions on their own, and spending more time outdoors and exploring the Zagreb area, which is thanks to our first destination campaign in cooperation with the Zagreb County Tourist Board "Near the city, close to the heart," says the director of the Zagreb Tourist Board.

Because of the coronavirus situation, the Zagreb Tourist Board changed the work program for this year and reduced expenditures by 35 percent, primarily the cost for promotional activities, appearances at fairs and international workshops, event support, materials and souvenirs, and offline advertising, and reduced the number of employees to five people.

"Circumstances have changed significantly, and existing employees are engaged in jobs caused by pandemics and earthquakes that do not represent an additional financial burden. We developed four promotional campaigns from March to October, organized 'hybrid' activities with live broadcasts on our online channels. We also do online presentations and marketing projects for further positioning in the international market, as well as virtual meetings and workshops in targeted markets from which we expect the return of guests as soon as the situation is more favorable," says Bienenfeld.

She believes that careful planning is now needed, with quick and ad hoc reactions and flexibility in decision-making, and, like others in tourism, estimates 2021 as uncertain, emphasizing that everything will depend on the situation and they will need to further adapt and innovate in all spheres of tourist activity.

"The focus should be on sustainable tourism through an adequate strategy for the development of health aspects of staying in the destination, and more than ever, cooperation, support and mutual trust of all tourism stakeholders are needed, especially since it is estimated that there will be no normalization before 2022. Given the importance and share of tourism in GDP, both in Europe and Croatia, it is imperative in these difficult times to encourage the creation of joint solutions by all levels of government to get out of this crisis," Bienenfeld concludes.

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language - now available in 24 languages.

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.

Friday, 17 January 2020

Zagreb Advent Continues to Grow: Arrivals Up 12%, Overnights Up 11%

January 17, 2020 - Zagreb Advent continues to grow. Thanks to the Zagreb Advent and New Year's events, arrivals are up 12% and overnight stays up 11%, announced the Zagreb Tourist Board on Friday.

Specifically, HRTurizam reports that there were 160,917 arrivals and 308,787 overnights over the forty days of the event (November 29, 2019 - January 7, 2020).

In the mentioned period, Croatian tourists recorded 53,545 arrivals (which is up 15%), while there were 107,372 foreign tourists (up 10%). Most guests came from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, Austria, Slovenia and Germany. Of the total overnights registered, Croatian tourists realized 97,825 (15% growth) and foreign tourists 210,962 (9% growth).

"Zagreb Advent is Zagreb's most successful tourist event and I am extremely pleased with these great results. We are particularly happy about the fact that individual broadcasting markets (Germany, Austria, Slovenia and Serbia), where the Tourist Board conducted targeted online and offline marketing campaigns, increased more than 15%. Thus, 27% more overnight stays from Germany and 24% more overnight stays from Austria were registered, which indicates the success of the campaign, but also the popularity of Advent itself in Zagreb,”  said Zagreb Tourist Board director Martina Bienenfeld.

The Zagreb Tourist Board added that in addition to the markets above, online campaigns were also conducted in Spain, the USA, Italy, BiH and Hungary through advertisements, display and video ads. An increase was recorded in all markets. Advertisements were also displayed on YouTube, Google, social networks (Facebook, Instagram) and the portals of these markets.

The results for all of 2019 are also record high, and the number of arrivals and overnight stays in the City of Zagreb increased compared to 2018. Namely, the number of arrivals increased by 4% (1,459,572) and the number of overnights by 5% (2,656,964) compared to 2018. With these results, Zagreb, in commercial accommodation, took 1st place in arrivals and 5th place in overnight stays.

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Saturday, 23 November 2019

The Great Advent Guide: What and Where in Zagreb for Advent 2019

A week before the festivities known as Advent 2019 in Zagreb officially start on November 30th, tportal brings you the ultimate guide to all of the locations and events you can look forward to seeing in Zagreb.

We've also already written about the biggest tourist event of the year in Zagreb, but today Iva Butković Tešija writes a more detailed article for tportal. The lighting of the first Advent light will happen next Sunday, with two separate opening ceremonies taking place on Zrinjevac and King Tomislav's square, and for over a month after that (until January 7th 2020) a lot will be prepared for the tourists and the people of Zagreb. The theme of this year will be The Nutcracker, and you'll be able to enjoy various content with that theme at 16 different locations:

  • The Ice Park at King Tomislav Square, with an open-air ice-skating rink with additional stuff, such as food and drink stands (as you certainly need some mulled wine after skating),
  • Fuliranje on Strossmayer Square will offer great food and creative drinks, as well as a lot of dancing with over a dozen live performances (including the New Year's party),
  • On Zrinjevac this year you'll be able to find many Croatian artists, offering their artwork and unique decorations, and traditional food offered on the stands (including stuff like krpice sa zeljem, which is something each Croatian would have a strong opinion on, and you should try if you've never had it),
  • European Square is the place to be if you feel young: concerts, exhibitions, stuff the kids like these days is what you'll find here,
  • Christmas Fairytale at the eastern side of the Ban Jelačić Square will be the central point for taking photos and selfies,
  • the rest of the Ban Jelačić Square will host the booths by the craftspeople of Zagreb, selling the decorations and souvenirs they've created for this opportunity,
  • Oktogon passage is a novelty in this year's Advent, as it will host several large Nutcracker sculptures where you'll be able to take your photos,
  • Croatian National Theatre will offer holiday-appropriate shows during the period (including the often-mentioned Nutcracker ballet, which will be performed almost every other night during December), but there will be Advent around the Theatre building,
  • Grič Tunnel has proved to be a hit before, so this year it will be decorated with the Nutcracker theme as well,
  • Tuškanac will host the movie Advent, where the forest of Tuškanac will be bonded with the movie theatre in a magical world with holiday movies shown there each day,
  • Strossmayer Promenade is the most romantic part of Zagreb, and will be decorated with colourful and joyful lights as a backdrop for the wonderful evening in two,
  • Caffe de Matoš, also in the Upper town, brings you the feel of a bar in the Zagreb of old,
  • Baš Naš Advent in Klovićevi dvori and the plateau Gradec next to the museum will be a gourmet festival, offering the finest cuisine to their visitors, along with 24 concerts (schedule here, in .pdf),
  • Maksimir Park will host a family-oriented Advent 2019 for the first time this year, right next to the entrance into the park there will be colourful workshops, concerts, installations, mostly to entertain the children, and the Zagreb Zoo will see the so-called Polar Advent with light installations to highlight its architecture,
  • Vila Prekrižje will open its doors to the visitors during Advent, with numerous concerts held at the wonderful ambient on an amazing building,
  • the location where it all started years ago, the street of the centre of downtown Zagreb, Bogovićeva, Gajeva, Cvjetni trg, Varšavska, will again see a lot of different foods and drinks, as well as souvenirs and decorations.

There will be, as usual, something for everyone in Zagreb during December. You can find more information, including a map of all of the Advent 2019 events on http://www.adventzagreb.hr/?lang=en.

Friday, 15 November 2019

Zagreb Advent Presents Nutcracker Theme, Expands to New Locations

November 15, 2019 - ‘Let the magic begin!’ is the slogan of this year's Zagreb Advent, which will officially start on November 30 in the streets of the capital, with the traditional candle lighting in Mandusevac.

24 Sata reports that the central theme of this year’s Advent is the Nutcracker, which will be seen in several locations in the Upper and Lower Town - in the Gric Tunnel and the Oktogon. The director of the Zagreb City Tourist Board, Martina Bienenfeld, announced that there would also be Zagreb Tourist Board awards through the Zagreb Be There application. 

In addition to the Nutcracker, the emphasis this year is also on environmental awareness and reducing the use of plastics. There will also be easier access for people with disabilities at specific locations.

In addition to traditional locations such as Advent on Zrinjevac, the Ice Park, European Park, Gric Tunnel, Christmas Fairytale on Ban Jelacic Square, Fuliranje, and others, new locations were announced which will expand the event this year. 

The new locations include the Film Advent at Tuskanac, which will screen Christmas movies for all ages at 11 am and 5 pm at the Tuskanac Cinema, and at the Advent in front of HNK, guests can enjoy cultural events on the stage in front of the theater. A novelty this year is the Oktogon pass where concerts will be held.

Eleven festive music festivals have been announced around the city, like Advent postcards, Advent under Lanterna, Evenings with Brahms, Adventfest in the Cathedral, and Advent Classic Fest.

The Museum of Arts and Crafts, Croatian History Museum, and Museum of the City of Zagreb will organize special exhibitions and programs. They also announced a concert by the Swedish Professional Choir at Advent in Zrinjevac and Maksimir for the Feast of St. Lucy on December 10th.

Advent on Prekrizje will also return, where visitors will be able to find out all about Croatian customs, and it is open on weekends. In addition, ZET will introduce an exclusive line only for the specified location.

To read more about travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 21 January 2019

Zagreb Advent's Fuliranje Has Far Reaching Benefits: Restaurants Opening

Every January, we summarize the money, new tourists, taxi and Uber-rides and joy Advent in Zagreb has brought. But this year, there's something else to count as well: the number of new restaurants opening this year in Zagreb, that first made their mark as stands on Fuliranje, the most creative part of Zagreb Advent festivities. 

Telegram.hr brings the story of the people opening those restaurants, written by Josipa Lenić. All of them are creative people, with amazing food prepared and sold by them during Advent, who have decided that they need to find a way to offer their delicacies to people of Zagreb and evergrowing number of tourists during the other 11 months of the year as well. 

Ante Ždero is listed first in the article, and his stand at Fuliranje offered traditional, homemade food that belongs to the category of your grandma would've made while you were a kid: Pasta Fagioli, "zlevanka" and other delicacies. For the restoran he and his partners decided to create a schnitzel bar, which will be called Mime's (after Ždero's grandfather), and where a family friend Teo Miš, who decided to become a profesional cook only in his fifties, will be the chef. 

Ivan Zidar is a well-known name of the Croatian culinary scene in the past several years, as he is the man behind the Mason's burgers. Those are winning awards and accolades wherever they appear, so the time has come for a restaurant to open in Zagreb, offering them year-round. In March he will open his Mason's burgers showroom in Dobri Dol in Zagreb, where all of his burgers will be available in one place - until now he's had many franchises in Croatia and Europe, but none of those had the entire gammut. 

Marta Ušljebrka is a young chef, who got her education partly in Copenhagen's Amass restaurant, and her stand at Fuliranje offered, not surprisingly, some of the traditional meals of danish cuisine. The stand was called Atelier Køkken (kitchen, translated from Danish), and that will be the name of the restaurant, when it opens in Tkalčićeva street in October. She also plans to prepare the staples of Danish cuisine, including sourdough bread she'll make herself, and famous danish smørrebrød. She plans for the restaurant to be fully sustainable and mostly organic. 

Vid Nikolić and Tena Majetić were responsible for another hit-stand on Fuliranje this year, Kansui ramen bar. There isn't much (if any) chance to have a decent ramen, creative traditional chinese soupy dish in Zagreb, but during this year's Advent several stands offered it. Among those, Vid Nikolić's was probably most talked about, and that gave him the motivation he needed to open a ramen place in Zagreb. It won't be his first restaurant in Zagreb, he was already a partner at a renowned Time restaurant. They plan to open the restaurant in April, but are still not ready to say where exactly. 

Fran Ćurković had a comfortable future lined up, with a prosperous career in banking. Then he decided to make his "sarma to go" and offer that on an Advent stand last year. It became an instant hit, his sarma sold in a bun, and there was no way for him to make as many as people wanted to buy, so for this year he decided to make something simpler - buncek (in English that's called ham hock. Things you learn, right?) and pašticada (a special Dalmatian type of beef stew). He has less defined plans for the restaurant at this point, but he wants it to be in the strict center of Zagreb, and he plans to open the restaurant within the next few months. 

Anamarija Palić and Zrinka Zajec are two sisters behind the Bread Club, and the Bread Club has been making amazing bread which is currently being served in some of the best restaurants in Zagreb. They decided to open a bistro so they used Fuliranje to test the meals they will offer in their bistro - several versions of soups in buns, various sandwiches and other delicacies, and they became an instant hit of Advent. Bread Club bistro will be opened in early February in Trakošćanska street in the Trešnjevka neighborhood in Zagreb, and it will be a bakery and a bistro in one.

 

There's lot of novelites to look forward on Zagreb restaurant scene this year! 

 

Ivan Zidar, Vid Nikolić, Ante Ždero, Marta Ušljebrka, Fran Ćurković te sestre Anamarija Palić i Zrinka Zajec

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Zagreb Advent Growth Slows Down Compared to Last Year

The latest statistics of the ninth edition of the Zagreb Advent festival which will end in a few days show further marketing effect from winning the title of the Best European Advent Destination over the past three years, reports Poslovni.hr on January 2, 2019.

However, this Advent has brought about a smaller growth compared to 2017, at least as far as the guests who have been registered with the Zagreb Tourist Board are concerned. According to the eVisitor data, in the first 29 days of Advent 2018, 117,100 visitors realised 214,300 overnight stays, which is 13 per cent more overnights and 9 per cent more arrivals than in the same period of 2017. During this period, the number of Croatian visitors was 38,800 (+9 per cent), and the number of foreign visitors was 78,200, which is 9 per cent more than 2017. Of the total number of overnight stays, Croatian tourists realised 67,200 overnights, which is 14 per cent more, while foreign guests realised 147,000 overnights, which is a 13 per cent increase.

The previous edition of the Zagreb Advent saw a growth of 23%. While in past years, the most numerous guests were those from Italy, this time Italian guests have been overtaken by guests from Bosnia and Herzegovina, followed by Italians, Slovenes, Austrians, and guests from Germany, Serbia, Asian countries (Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines) and Korea, the United States and the United Kingdom. Most of the overnight stays were recorded by visitors from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Great Britain, Serbia, USA, Asian countries and Korea.

However, these data do not include a substantial number of one-day trips. Also, when calculating the financial effects, we must not forget the significant contribution of citizens of Zagreb. The study conducted by the City of Zagreb two years ago in cooperation with the Institute for Tourism showed that the 2016 Advent was visited by a total of between 3.3 million and 3.8 million people, and 49 per cent of visitors in the period came to Zagreb specifically for Advent.

Advent also gave an extra momentum to the year-round tourist season in Zagreb, which still exceeds the national average. From the beginning of the year to 29 December, the number of arrivals was 9 per cent higher and reached 1.39 million, while the number of overnight stays was 2.49 million (+10 per cent). Most visitors were from Korea, USA, Germany, Italy, China, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Spain and the United Kingdom.

More news on the Zagreb Advent can be found in our Travel section.

Translated from Poslovni.hr (reported by Marija Crnjak).

Sunday, 16 December 2018

Scouts Bring Bethlehem Light of Peace to Zagreb

ZAGREB, December 16, 2018 - About a hundred scouts from throughout Croatia brought the Bethlehem Light of Peace from Austria to Zagreb on Sunday.

After a procession through the city centre, they were joined by Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković and Zagreb Cathedral Rector Josip Kuhtić and together they took the Light of Peace into the Zagreb Cathedral.

The ceremony was organised for the 26th year in a row by the Croatian Scouts Federation. It is held under the auspices of the Croatian parliament.

The Bethlehem Light of Peace is a symbol of Christmas and in the Bible, it symbolises the coming of Jesus, whose birth promised peace to all people of good will. The burning and sharing of the Bethlehem Light is a reminder to people of good will to wish one another peace and well-being and to spread peace among people.

The head of the Croatian Scouts Federation, Lidija Pozaić Frketić, said that the custom of burning and sharing the Bethlehem Light of Peace was started by Austrian scouts, who first brought the light from Bethlehem to Austria in 1988. Every year scouts from across Europe flock to Austria to collect the light and take it to their respective countries.

Croatian scouts collected the Bethlehem Light of Peace in Linz on Saturday and today they will take it to their parishes and to many state institutions.

More news on the Advent festivities in Croatia can be found in our Lifestyle section.

Friday, 7 December 2018

British Culinary Star Jack Stein Films 'Inside the Box' TV Show in Zagreb

The Croatian National Tourist Board, in cooperation with the British-Australian production, organized the first Food Box Day this week at the British Square in Zagreb. British chef Jack Stein was the special guest. 

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Zagreb Advent to Show Santa Claus Landing for First Time

Experience one of the best parts of Zagreb Advent at Klovićevi Dvori Gallery and Gradec! 

Page 2 of 4

Search