The month of December fills us with enthusiasm as we spend time with those dear to us and look towards the arrival of the New Year. Slovenian towns and cities change into little Christmas villages and outdoor markets, full of stands with gifts and fairy lights. Come and enjoy this festive atmosphere during the joyful season. Warm yourself with a cup of mulled wine or hot chocolate and dance the night away to a backdrop of concerts in the streets and songs in the squares.
In December Slovenia is even more enchanting than usual. At this time the finest of the Christmas fairs get going, and everyone awaits impatiently the imminent New Year. Ljubljana, European Green Capital 2016, becomes a popular centre for socialising in the run up to the New Year. Take a stroll to the centre of the Slovenian capital and visit Seasonal fairs along the River Ljubljanica at Breg and Pogačarjev Trg square. Dozens of stands offer souvenirs and gifts, woollen caps and gloves, products made by young designers, crafts and traditional Slovenian delicacies including honey, spirits and confectionery. Other vendors will warm you up with mulled wine, hot chocolate, tea and other hot beverages. Happy December in old Ljubljana is accompanied by concerts and open-air events. In front of the City Hall between 14th and 30th December the warmest welcome awaits you from the Good Fairy, who will fulfil your most secret wishes. And when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, look up towards Ljubljana Castle, where a spectacular fireworks display is performed.
Maribor, Slovenia’s second biggest city, will host a Magic December. This city, which is famed for its hospitality, openness and cheerful people, organises various open-air fairs and events that will warm you in the season of low temperatures. You can look at the whole programme of events here. Skating at the covered rink is a special experience offered in the old city centre, in Trg Svobode square. Festive snacks, hot beverages and skate rental will all be there to enjoy! During December the city also offers free thematic guided city tours, and seeing in the New Year will provide you with many happy memories. Welcome in the New Year 2016 at the Maribor Happy New Year Party in Trg Leona Štuklja square.
December is also magical in the Savinja Valley, with the doors opening on 29 November to Fairy-Tale Celje. In the run up to the New Year you can encounter fairies, elves and snowmen. Along with imaginary figures, the city centre awaits you with stands glowing in fairy lights, while a whole range of events and concerts provide musical accompaniment with a finale on the longest night of the year.
The Slovenian coast is also swathed in a festive atmosphere in the time leading up to New Year. In Koper the lights will be switched on ceremonially on 5 December in Titov Trg square. An attractive cultural programme and market with a wealth of locally crafted products will run in the city for the whole month. You can sweeten your experience with festive treats and warm winter beverages. In Portorož, stop in at the Kempinski Palace Hotel, which will host a New Year Market on Fridays and weekends, and on 27 December be sure to check out the Sparkling Wine Festival.