European city destinations, capital cities in particular, are increasingly more popular during the time before Christmas and the New Year, when the cities are turned into holiday wonderlands. The Slovenian capital city of Ljubljana is preparing for the magical ambience that will begin symbolically on the 3rd December with the event “People, Let’s Turn on the Light”, culminating on 31st December with New Year’s Eve open-air celebrations in the squares in the city centre.
Each year in December, Ljubljana’s Festive Fair becomes the centre of the city’s social life. Many citizens of Ljubljana and visitors from other parts of Slovenia and abroad are what makes Ljubljana so very special. Smiling faces; handshakes and sharing of best wishes; the aroma of mulled wine and roasted almonds; the nostalgic organ-grinders on the streets and the sparkles of expectation in the children’s eyes. All of this is December in Ljubljana.
The Festive Fair, set up in the immediate vicinity of a major open-air venue for festive events held daily throughout December, is well known for its vibrancy and cheerful atmosphere. Festively decorated green stalls, designed especially for the fair, sell a fine choice of products suitable for gift giving. For many years now, the Festive Fair, with its countless food and drink stalls offering mulled wine, tea, liqueurs, sausages and various grilled dishes, has been considered to be a major venue for what the locals refer to as “merry December in Ljubljana’s Old Town”.
December Events in Ljubljana
In the month of December, many events for visitors of all ages and tastes will be held in the holiday-decorated city centre:
- The Festive Fair (3 December – 2 January): In the nicely decorated little festive houses, all kinds of Christmas presents and refreshments will be sold, such as various types of tea, traditional mulled wine and other culinary delicacies part of festive December. The venue of the Festive Fair is Breg.
- The Fairytale City – New this year (3 December – 2 January): In the renovated Zvezda Park, a real mini city will be set up, where children of all sizes will have lots of fun.
- The St. Nicholas Fair (3–6 December): The traditional treats that St. Nicholas gives in Slovenia will be sold at festive stalls at the St. Nicholas Fair.
- The St. Nicholas Procession (5 December): St. Nicholas accompanied by angels and Krampus will travel along Ljubljana streets and give presents to well-behaved children.
- The Christmas Concert (24 December): The annual free Christmas concert in front of City Hall will add to the December holiday spirit, at which some of the best Slovenian musicians will perform.
- The Grandpa Frost Procession (26–30 December): The long awaited arrival of Grandpa Frost accompanied by Lipizzan horses, snowmen, rabbits, deer and other fairytale creatures.
- Events for children in Prešeren Square (26–30 December): The afternoons of the few days before New Year’s Eve will be reserved for children. Puppet, dance, circus and magic shows will be organised in Prešeren Squre (attention: or maybe in Congress Square).
- Musical events on city squares (26 December – 2 January): Ljubljana’s squares will host concerts with pop artists.
- New Year celebration on city squares: The New Year programme in several city squares will satisfy people of all ages and musical tastes. A minute after midnight, the night sky of Ljubljana will be illuminated by the traditional New Year`s fireworks announcing the beginning of the New Year.
Detailed information and news are available on the Tourism Ljubljana website.
You can sleep in one of Ljubljana hostels!