Things to do in Ljubljana during festive December

During the advent season, a lot is going on in Ljubljana. The city is known for having one of the most original lights displays and its vibrant Christmas markets, set up in the historical city centre, are accompanied by free open-air events. 

Be marvelled by one of the most unique Christmas lights displays

In the Advent season, Ljubljana's artistically designed Christmas lights display makes the city's unique beauty really stand out. Ljubljana Castle turns into a fairytale-like setting, and the historical city centre's public squares, churches, bridges, and creations by the famous architect Jože Plečnik come to shine in a whole new light. The city's universe-themed Christmas lights display, developed in new directions year after year, is an ongoing project by the locally-based artist Zmago Modic.

Treat yourself to Christmas shopping in Ljubljana

The Christmas markets, which include numerous food and drinks stalls, become the centre of the city's social life in December, while its nearby town squares turn into venues for countless free music concerts and other events for young and old. Several smaller fairs, such as the Christmas Art Market and ARTish further contribute to the range of Christmas offerings.

© Dunja Wedam

Even without its festive fairs, Ljubljana affords perfect opportunities for Christmas shopping. Interesting gifts can be found at the BTC City Ljubljana shopping centre, one of the biggest shopping centres in Europe, as well as in numerous city centre shops offering fashion clothing and accessories, Slovenian arts and crafts and designer products, and local culinary delights.

December is a month of festive open-air events

In Ljubljana, December is considered to be a month of events, and despite the cold, the city's streets are vibrant throughout the month. All the festive events held in public spaces are free. Music concerts and other entertainment for the whole family take place in most of the city centre's public squares. If you start feeling cold, you can always warm yourself up with a cup of mulled wine or fragrant tea at the nearest Christmas stall. The festivities culminate with the New Year's Eve celebrations held in Ljubljana's centrally located public squares.

© Janez Zalaznik

Experience festive Ljubljana

Apart from open-air events, festive Ljubljana also offers a whole lot of other Christmas attractions, from tourist boat cruises along the river Ljubljanica, which you should definitely make sure not to miss, to unique ice sculptures on display at the Land of Ice.