Advent in Split 2016: A Conversation with the Expat Community

Daniela Rogulj

Nothing brings people together like mulled-wine, so what better opportunity to gather a few opinions on Advent in Split this year?

While the holidays give you a good excuse to get together with family, friends, and Christmas market strangers, the holidays are an even better excuse to bring together like-minded folk from different walks of life. One thing that is truly beautiful in the city of Split is the desire to want to live here. Both locals and foreigners often (who am I kidding, always) consider Split the most beautiful city in the world, and while I don’t disagree, it’s all the more reassuring heard from the mouth of an expat that has chosen to call Split their home.

Tash Perisic, an expat from New Zealand and myself, a Croatian expat via California, thought we would take advantage of the holiday season to get the expat group in Split together for some mulled-wine and conversation. While we did have a small agenda in mind (you’ll read more about that below), it was a pleasure to meet such a diverse community of people, and while it was the first time many of us met, the conversations flowed freely and it was as if we were all old friends.

Back to that (small) agenda…

Nearly a month into Advent in Split, most everyone in the city has one way or another enjoyed a concert on the Riva or strolled the line of holiday houses at least once. Numerous cups of mulled-wine have by now been guzzled, bellies are most likely full from kobasice and fritule, and most people have definitely formed some sort of opinion about their feelings towards this year’s event.

As expats have lived in and come from the many cities and countries of the world, they may know a thing or two about holiday celebrations. So, how does Split compete?

Here is what the expat group in Split considered positive about Advent this year, and what they believe can improve for the better next year.


“As a local I am happy to see the small improvements that are being made year after year, music every day, the lights, crowds and overall atmosphere is great”

“Happy to see all the men out… great eye candy”

“There is so sense of consumerism here, and that is truly beautiful to see.”

“It is great to see that Advent here is more about get-togethers (like this), I don’t feel the rush and the chaos like in America, great atmosphere”

“The Advent menus for all of the restaurants have improved, great value and more local dishes which is great to see”

Improvements we would love to see going forward

“More international cuisine”

“Expand the kucice down towards Sustipan, it is a beautiful area and it would help in expanding the offering as it means there could be more Christmas houses”

“Quality items sold at the kucice, not just souvenirs, what about local hand-made products?”

“Reserve some kucice for Udruga (Associations), they could rotate, but it would be nice to see local organizations given a chance to do something over the holiday season”

“Switch up the ‘sweet’ area, it makes no sense to have 4 in a row, why aren’t they spread over the Riva?”

“I would love to see Split follow Sibenik’s lead and move towards being eco-friendly, ditch the plastic and styrofoam, let’s put Split on the map for caring about the environment”

“More inventive with kuhano vino, what about ‘bring your own mug’, selling bukara along with kuhano vino (also supports local products) or do what they do throughout Austria and Germany, where you are served the kuhano vino in a unique mug specific to Split, you pay a deposit – so if you want to keep the mug you simply take it with you, or return it when you’re done.”

“Split has the potential to have one of the most incredible Advent’s around, look at what we have to work with – the climate, the stunning Adriatic ahead, I mean seriously the city is within the walls of a Roman Emperor’s palace from the 4th Century, who else can say that?!”

“Very happy to see live street performances happening on the Riva (Peter the clown), would love to see Split encouraged as a destination for more creatives and get more street art & performances happening”

“More Christmas music rather than bands and DJs”

“More trash cans!”

Last but not least, we ended on a lighter note and asked the group to name their favorite mulled-wine they’ve tried throughout all of the Advent locations. After a long and hard think, the expats in Split have voted X by Paradox Kontrapunkt on the terrace at Paradigma as the mulled-wine winner!

Thank you to everyone that joined us last night – we look forward to making more memories together.

Happy Holidays!


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