Get Into the Christmas Spirit Across Slovenia
With less than three weeks until Christmas, Slovenia’s cities and towns are decked out in festive lights and sparkling decorations, the wine is gently simmering with aromatic spices, and marketplaces are full of stalls selling seasonal treats and handmade gifts.
Here’s our pick of the top places to enjoy the Christmas spirit in Slovenia.
Festive Maribor runs in the second city until 31 December. The whole city is twinkling with colourful lights, Glavni trg square is hosting its now traditional Christmas Market with local food products and great ideas for Christmas present. While on Glavni trg, take a ride in the illuminated ferris wheel, which will remain in place until 1 January. A couple of minutes away, Leon Štukelj square has stalls selling mulled wine and warm food and will host a series of concerts for all ages in the second half of December. Finally, the Fairy Town Festival will see the courtyards of the city centre adorned with decorations made by local groups and will feature events for children.
There are daily events and a market from 3pm until 9pm daily at the coast and the festivities run until 7 January 2024. The All the Sweetness of Life market takes place in the gardens of the Kempinski Hotel in Portorož. Meanwhile, there’ll be a big party in Piran‘s Tartini Square on New Year’s Eve. A fairytale land – The Sea of Winter Adventures – complete with an ice rink has been set up in the former Grando salt warehouse. And as usual, for the bravest, there’s the traditional jump into the sea on New Year’s Day!
A staggering 1.8 million lights make up the fabulous seasonal illuminations at Mozirski gaj (Mozirje grove park), near Velenje. Every garden of the park is lit up in glorious technicolour, making this one of Slovenia’s most memorable Christmas attractions. Runs until 7 December.
Within the Notranjski Park, a more traditional Christmas event takes place at Selšček, the birthplace of Slovenian artist Maksim Gaspari. There, a life-size nativity scene enchants children and adults alike. Seventy figures make up the exhibition, in which the artist has embodied the spirit of Christmas and New Year celebrations.
The Postojna Cave is magical at any time of year but especially at Christmas. More than 100 performers stage a “living nativity” within the caves. Various performances will take place from 25 to 31 December.
As you would expect from the capital city, beautifully decorated Ljubljana is hosting a variety of seasonal events. Traditional stalls selling food products, handmade gifts and seasonal decorations at several city centre locations. There’ll be a Christmas Eve carol concert at 17:00 at Mestni trg, and a rock concert on Trg francoske revolucije square starting at 19:00 on 30 December. From 26 to 30 December, the Ana Mraz festival will take place at Gornji trg square; the event includes street theatre performances, circus acts, storytelling, dancing and puppet shows.
Elsewhere there are fairs and events across the country: Škoja Loka, Ptuj, Kranj, Bled and Radovljica are among the towns with packed programmes of events, delicious catering and plenty of seasonal spirit. Wherever you choose to visit, we wish you a magical December!