The entire Balkan region, like the rest of the world, is ready for the craziest night, and we are suggesting some of the possibilities for the New Year and Christmas holidays.
Serbia – concerts, parties, trumpeters, all the way to the Orthodox New Year
On December 15, Belgrade Winter began in Belgrade, an event organized in several city locations. Rich program has been designed for all generations – free concerts of classical, jazz and rock music, children’s plays, Fairytale Square on Zvezdara, Christmas Village with an ice skating rink near Ušće Shopping Mall and much more.
All generations were thought of on New Year’s Eve. At the concert on Sava Promenada, you will enjoy the songs of Željko Joksimović, Jelena Tomašević and Marko Luis. Exactly at midnight, the audience will be able to watch the game of powerful lasers and eight-minute fireworks from the Belgrade Tower, followed by the music specially composed for this occasion. Those who like a more modern sound can enjoy the New Year’s Eve in front of the National Assembly with Teodora Džehverović, Gazda Paja, Nucci and Voyage.
The day before, in collaboration with the Milan Mladenović Foundation, a concert will be organized in front of the Museum of Contemporary Art, where the songs of the band Ekatarina Velika will be performed.
Novi Sad will enter the final project of the European Capital of Culture with the traditional “Doček” event. In the musical part of the program, on December 31, the British trio “Kosheen”, the group “Stereo MC’s”, then one of the largest and most popular vocal groups “Perpetuum Jazzile”, as well as the famous serbian alternative bands Repetitor, Obojeni program and Monohrom, will perform. For the celebration of the Orthodox New Year, the audience will have the opportunity to listen to one of the greatest jazz pianists Tigran Hamasyan, Dutch music diva Sevdaliza, indie rock stars “Shortparis”, violinist Lajkó Félix, Konstrakta and many others.
According to announcements, Haris Džinović will sing in Niš on New Year’s Eve. On the most popular Serbian mountain, on Zlatibor, as every year, a rich program is designed, which the main stars on December 31 are Beogradski sindikat and Danica Crnogorčević. At midnight, alongside with fireworks, Dejan Jevđić’s trumpet orchestra will play, and on January 1st the Lexington Band and Indira Radić.
On the Montenegrin coast, with Konstrakta, Gibonni, Dino, Bebek…
Everyone who has stayed at least once on the Montenegrin coast during the winter says that there is no better vacation. Although the seaside in the winter months doesn’t mean hot temperatures, and storms can be very harsh, winter on the coast has a special charm, the air is cleaner and the sun shines differently. With a bit of luck, you can drink your morning coffee on the balcony with a view of the sea and the chirping of birds. It can be crowded during the New Year holidays, but nowhere near as crowded as in the summer period. Therefore, you will be able to walk and enjoy the peace and quiet. Numerous agencies have already announced their holiday offers on the coast since autumn, and tourist organizations have designed extremely rich programs.
As every year, the most glamorous New Year’s Eve is in the tourist capital of Montenegro – Budva. If you decide to spend the winter holidays here, the Tourist Organization has prepared concerts for everyone’s taste. The celebration will begin on December 30 with the performance of the Dubioza kolektiv group, after which numerous DJs will warm up the atmosphere. For the welcoming itself, you will have the opportunity to hear Konstrakta, then Gibonni, and for the very end, instead of a trumpet player, you will enjoy Macedonian DJ Kiril Džajkovski . The next day, no less exciting program – for fans of modern sound, Sara Jo and Senidah will sing, and a little later the biggest pop star from this region, Dino Merlin.
The next destination where you will have a fantastic time is Kotor. Since last year’s performance of Zdravko Čolić was canceled due to epidemiological measures, nothing will go wrong this year. The legend of Yugoslav music will make a memorable party with his band.
In Tivat, the celebration starts already during the day with the “Children’s New Year’s program” at 11 AM. On the New Year’s Eve at 11 PM, Indira from the former group Colonia will perform in front of the audience. On the first day of 2023, Tivat will sing along with Željko Bebek, and the next day with Montenegrin favorite Danijel Alibabić.
Sevdah and modern sound – Sarajevo, Banjaluka, Trebinje, Jahorina…
Cities in Bosnia and Herzegovina organize multi-day events where, besides concerts by famous performers, there will be other events, and you can spend New Year’s Eve outdoors with local and regional music stars.
Sarajevo will welcome the New 2023 with the Dubioza kolektiv group. The “Winter Magic on Skenderija” has already started here, which includes a large number of cultural and entertaining events and will last until the end of January. During these holiday months, the citizens of Sarajevo and tourists will enjoy a rich music program, but also the largest ice skating rink in Bosnia and Herzegovina. A special attraction is the ice slide, 30 meters long. Thanks to the professionals on the ice, a skating school for children and adults is organized as part of this event. Outside the rink, you can learn about skating in a fun and educational way – what the specifics of training are, what skating equipment entails, how important safety is, and more.
In Brčko, the Magic of Winter event is organized, where, among others, the group “Galija” from Niš performes. Tuzla will enter the New Year with Zabranjeno pušenje and Adi Šoše with the band.
You can use the winter holidays to enjoy the charms of Herzegovina. The synergy of natural beauty and rich history is the main characteristic of cities like Trebinje or Mostar. Besides the New Year’s program, you can enjoy the authentic atmosphere of these regions, which takes you back to ancient times. In the town on the Neretva on December 31, Željko Bebek and Peđa Jovanović will perform, and Boris Režak the day before.
In Banja Luka, on New Year’s Eve, the atmosphere on Krajina Square will be warmed by Goca Tržan and the group Legende, and the very next day, the group Galija will perform on the square. After the New Year’s celebration, the people of Banja Luka and all tourists can expect the traditional celebration of Christmas Eve and the Orthodox New Year.
In the beautiful Jahorina, you can traditionally welcome the New Year on the ski slopes. The Jahorina Olympic Center organizes New Year’s skiing on December 31 from 10 PM to 2 AM from the top of the Poljice trail. If after this winter magic you want to warm up and have fun, you can do so in one of the numerous Jahorin hotels that organize celebrations for guests of the Olympic mountain with music and traditional specialties.
And Bijeljina is ready for the New 2023. Guests of the city in the heart of Semberija can welcome 2023 at a spectacular concert of the group Kerber.
In Prijedor, on the Square of Major Zoran Karlica, as part of the traditional event Prijedor Winter, there are numerous musical events, as well as the celebration of the children’s New Year, and the star of the New Year’s celebration is Bane Mojićević.
Winter fairy tale in Zagreb and Dubrovnik
“Advent” in Zagreb is a traditional event that every year dresses the city in New Year’s clothes and attracts numerous visitors from all over. From the end of November to the beginning of January in Zagreb you can enjoy numerous events every day and experience the winter holidays in a special way. Glittering decorations, colorful lanterns, numerous little houses with a wide variety of products, music for everyone’s taste and many other side contents – all this makes the atmosphere unforgettable. This year’s “Advent” includes about twenty locations.
At the traditional Christmas market, you can buy various souvenirs, homemade products and handicrafts, but also enjoy a rich gastronomic offer. One of the most interesting attractions is the Ice Park on King Tomislav Square. There are also houses around the ice skating rink where you can try gastronomic specialties. Traditionally, concerts take place in numerous locations throughout the day, and what especially contributes to the festive spirit is the Festival of Advent and Christmas carols. The Zoo organized fun activities for the youngest – Santa’s cabin and workshops for making Christmas decorations, shows, choir performances… A special attraction is the Cheerful Christmas Tram that will run through the city every day so that children can enjoy a fairy-tale tour with Santa Claus and his helpers, and receive New Year’s gifts.
As for the New Year’s Eve itself, a music program has also been designed for different locations, which everyone can enjoy. The concert on the main square will start with DJs and singers from popular music competitions and shows. Later, an hour before midnight, Pips, Chips & Videoclips will perform. After the midnight fireworks, the masked duo Nipplepeople will take the stage. A special Advent party at Matoš’s has been organized for children – the program starts at 11 AM when the so-called children’s New Year’s Eve begins, with a party with animators, a show, and a meeting with Santa Claus. From 5 PM, DJ Bonža is in charge of music, and from 9 PM the group La Papa.
If you don’t want to celebrate the New Year outdoors, but in a warm restaurant or cafe, Zagreb restaurateur have prepared very interesting offers. Club Metropolis is known for its themed receptions, and this year they organized a party called Circus in Metropolis, which will take you back to the 80s – dancing to songs of Azra, EKV, Bajaga, Parni Valjak and other popular musicians. In the Johann Franck club, you will be made to dance by the charming Frajle from noon, and on New Year’s Eve you can attend a glamorous secret agent 007themed party. If you like a slightly different sound, Mile Kitić will sing in the congress hall at the Zagreb Fair. Excellent food, a wide range of drinks and a top entertainment await you.
In Croatia, it is also an option to spend the New Year by the sea. You will relax for sure, but also have a good time. The most popular seaside places in Croatia have an organized New Year’s Eve in the open, and some of them also have a multi-day program.
After a two-year break, Dubrovnik will revive the Dubrovnik Winter Festival. This event, the ninth in a row, includes musical performances, children’s activities, and gastronomic delights. Dubrovnik enters the New Year with the Croatian pop music favorite, Peter Graš. Nina Badrić is performing in Pula, and if you prefer foreign music, Šibenik is waiting for you with the world star Róisín Murphy, whose opening act will be the extravagant Ida Prester with the group Lollobrigida. On New Year’s Eve, a regional star Severina will sing for the people of Split, as well as their fellow citizen. Besides her, hip hopper Vojko V will also perform on the Split waterfront.
One of the most popular destinations in Croatia throughout the year is Rovinj. At the beginning of December, Advent sets in already in this city, which includes daily performances by DJs and local music performers and groups. The official New Year’s program begins on December 29, and for the New Year’s Eve itself, a big concert by Tony Cetinski, as well as the Atomsko sklonište, has been announced.
Music stars on the squares of Skopje and Ohrid
Besides the traditional cheerful welcome on the streets and squares of Skopje, Ohrid is also preparing an attractive welcome. In that tourist capital of North Macedonia, Petar Nečovski, Tatjana Stefanoska, Đoko Taneski, Efto Pupinoski, Mile Kuzmanoski and DJs Bagzi and Jana Slai will perform on the town square. The New Year’s program continues on January 1 at noon with the performance of Marija Saveska and the group “Kameleon” on the town square and the project “And again evergreen”, which will be performed by Lidija Kočoska, Vlatko Gruevski and Andrea Naunov.
Celebration with Neda Ukraden in Ljubljana
From the beginning of December, Slovenian cities are being transformed into a great winter attractions. Numerous street performances, plays, classical music concerts, etc. take place in Ljubljana every day. On the streets of Ljubljana there is also a Magical Forest – a place where children can explore science in an interesting way, make musical instruments, and paint… There is also a popular Christmas market, and the biggest attraction in this city is certainly a boat ride through decorated Ljubljana. Numerous concerts of local artists are being organized for December 31st, and on December 30th performs the regional star and queen of Yugoslavic pop music, Neda Ukraden.
Author: Jana Stošić