Whenever we travel to new places (we’ve been to 25 countries and have lost count of the cities by now!), we love to find and plan our trips around local festivals. It’s at festivals that you experience what a place is really about, especially when it’s a food festival. We have not been to enough festivals in Croatia, but we plan to go to many this year. Therefore, we’ve combined a list of just a few of the many festivals in Croatia.
Sali Donkey Racing
A three-day event of live music, traditional seafood, sporting events/competitions, the lighting of the Port, and the highlight… donkey races! One of the best and most unique things to do in Croatia.
When: August | Where: Dugi Otok | More Info: https://www.dugiotok.hr/en/offer-festivities
This international car rally competition takes place in Kumrovec. Watch challenging races at four circuit stages.
When: March | Where: Kumrovec | More Info: https://www.rally-kumrovec.com/
A traditional boat race competition preserves the memories of the fisherman who used to row down Kvarner Bay. Watch and cheer on locals as they participate in the rowing tradition, and enjoy sardines, local wines and live music along the waterfront at the completion of the race.
When: TBD | Where: Rabac Harbor |
4 Islands MTB Stage Race
In one of Croatia’s most unique and diverse mountain biking races, competitors will experience the thrill of steep mountain climbs, coastline pathways, and intense descents. Race in one of the world’s most beautiful areas or volunteer to help with the event.
When: April | Where: Krk-Rab-Cres-Lošinj | More Info: https://4islands.hr/
100 Miles Of Istria Ultratrail
If running is your thrill, Istria’s 100-mile trail run is a must. With nothing but the ground under your feet and panoramic views ahead, competitors experience the adrenaline of a good race and the awe of Istria’s splendid landscapes.
When: April | Where: Istria | More Info: https://www.istria100.com/
Spring On The Zrmanja River
Ring in spring by joining the competition or cheering for this three-day event along the Zrmanja River. Raft, kayak, hike, paddle, or simply enjoy a boat ride along the beautiful, crystal-clear river known as The European Grand Canyon.
When: April-May | Where: Zrmanja River, Zadar Region |
Leave your competitive spirit at home and join friends and family on a recreational ride, run or walk along the Parenzana, an old railway line that has been made into a walking and cycling path. The 10-kilometer journey includes stunning viaducts and tunnels filled with history and wonder. It’s the perfect active adventure for all ages!
When: April | Where: Poreč | More Info: https://www.istria-bike.com
Valamar Terra Magica
Adventure and team race cyclists wanted! This five-day trek will take teams of two riders up and down the peaks of Istria and through one of the best mountain biking terrains in the region. Pick your partner and hit the trails!
When: May | Where: Rabac
Croatia Open ATP Tennis Tournament
Top men’s tennis players will compete (including top Croatian players).
When: July | Where: Umag
Croatia Bike Week
Check out the new products, bike equipment, and motorcycles from traders around Europe. Entertainment includes parades, concerts, stunt shows, and car shows.
When: August-September | Where: Pula | More Info: http://www.croatiabikeweek.com/
Croatia Boat Show
Nautical boat enthusiasts will enjoy this display of famous Croatian and international nautical brands set in the Split Riva.
When: April | Where: Split | More Info: https://croatiaboatshow.com/en/
Music Biennale Zagreb
Dedicated to new music, the “living classics” of contemporary music from around the world will be celebrated. Programs will include chamber ensembles, symphony orchestras, musical theater, contemporary jazz, electronics, dance, and alternative music.
When: April | Where: Zagreb | More Info: https://www.mbz.hr/en
Across Dubrovnik, enjoy the enchanting sounds of Cappella groups (known as klapas) from around Croatia. This singing style has been recognized as UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage. Whether you catch a performance at St. Dominic’s Church or happen upon a group singing along the street corners, don’t pass up a chance to hear it live.
When: April | Where: Dubrovnik
International Festival Of Wind Music
This gathering of amateur wind orchestras is a competition with the aim of improving the wind music scene in Central Europe.
When: April | Where: Split
This underground electronic music festival will open Central Europe and the Adriatic Coast season.
When: May-June | Where: Porec
Argentinian El Cachivache Quinteto Concert
Join in the lively and frisky atmosphere this quintet will bring to the heart of Zagreb. Known as “the punk tango orchestra,” the concert will be held at VIP Club.
When: June | Where: Zagreb
INmusic festival, a huge open-air music festival, is held in Zagreb, Croatia, for two to three days. This Zagreb festival features many eye-catching performances and concerts of different music genres ranging from indie rock to heavy metal to electronic artists. The festival grounds are surrounded by a lush green forest, calming lake, and there is even space for recreational activities like swimming, skateboarding, and horse riding.
When: June | Where: Zagreb | More Info: https://www.inmusicfestival.com/en
It is a leading electronic festival in Croatia, featuring some of the world’s top DJs. Set at Zrce Beach, it makes for a sensational time on the coast.
When: July | Where: Novalja | More Info: https://www.hideoutfestival.com/
Zagreb Summer Evenings
Do you love the violin? Piano? Guitar? These are just a few of the tunes Zagreb Summer Evenings will provide. Enjoy exclusive concerts put on by some of the world’s best ensembles and musicians. Check the website’s schedules for dates and times of the various performances.
When: June-July | Where: Zagreb | More Info:
Liburnia Jazz Festival
It is a delight for international and Croatian jazz lovers to enjoy music both from world-famous and promising young musicians. Daily highlights include the “Jazz Boat” that sails along the coast and famous jazz star concerts performed in Opatija’s Open Air Theatre.
When: July | Where: Opatija
Known as the “Destination Music Festival,” this electronic music line-up will travel across the stunning islands of Croatia.
When: July | Where: Split, Island of Brač, Island of Hvar, Island of Vis | More Info: https://www.ultraeurope.com/
Fresh Island Festival
Enjoy one of Europe’s top summer getaways for a fusion of warm weather, hip hop, and R&B concerts on Zrce Beach.
When: July | Where: Pag Island |
Held in the old fortress of Punto Christo, enjoy a unique summer festival of reggae, roots, and dubstep music.
When: July | Where: Stinjan, Pula
An intimate, week-long festival set in a private sandy cove. Enjoy the music from either boat or the shore.
When: July | Where: Tisno
Applebum Croatia Festival
In July, the idyllic fishing town of Tisno is the setting of the Applebum Croatia Festival, a hidden musical paradise. Expect crystal-clear water, star-studded nights, scorching sunshine, and epic beach fun. Float away on the water or dance your heart out on the beach; the choice is yours.
When: July | Where: Tisno
Known to be the largest underground festival in Europe, enjoy five days and five nights of techno, beats, open-air clubs, and boat parties on Zrce Beach.
When: August | Where: Pag Island
This psychedelic music festival features top underground psychedelic artists from around the world.
When: August | Where: Primislje
Rhapsody In Blue
Join the town of Fazana for an evening of pop, rock, blues, evergreen, and country music. A special children’s program along with a light show will keep little ones delighted. A cocktail party and art installations on the sea round out the rest of the evening’s activities.
When: August | Where: Fazana
Described as Europe’s largest bass culture and dubstep festival, it takes place in Fort Punta Christo with opening concerts in the Arena in Pula.
When: September | Where: Pula
A combination of classical and contemporary composers will be featured in a series of musical concerts and operas celebrating the musical traditions of Opatija.
When: April | Where: Opatija
International Tourism Film Festival
A celebration of films and audiovisual productions that promote tourism around the globe will be highlighted. Learn the latest trends in the industry.
When: October |Where: Zagreb
Opuzen European Film Festival
With a program featuring animation, fiction, documentary, and fiction short genres, the OFF, will bring many European competitors to the city with many artistic film styles to be enjoyed.
When: April | Where: Opuzen
Mediterranean Film Festival Split
One of the most popular cultural events, this film festival premieres films from the Mediterranean region and regional and Croatian films. You won’t find these works in regular cinema distribution!
When: June | Where: Split
The second oldest film festival in the world dedicated to animation, this festival highlights all forms of this genre, and 80% of the films shown will be premiering.
When: June | Where: Zagreb
Fantastic Zagreb Film Festival
Get ready for a series of fantastic films! This is the film festival for you this summer: science fiction, horror, thriller, mystery, experimental… if you love these genres.
When: June-July | Where: Zagreb
Pula Film Festival
One of Croatia’s most visited cultural events, this film festival will feature cinema productions from around the world.
When: July | Where: Pula
Motovun Film Festival
Dedicated to films made in small cinematographies to independent films, the stories are powerful, and screenings go from 10 am to 4 am (indoor and outdoor) throughout the five-day period.
When: July | Where: Motovun
Supertoon Film Festival
Domestic and international competitors will air short animated films for children, music videos, commercials, and title sequences at this festival.
When: July | Where: Šibenik |
Postira Seaside Film Festival
Enjoy four evenings of international short fiction films and one evening of Croatian short films at the Postira Seaside Film Festival. Films will be shown in the old town square of this picturesque fishing village. If you are looking for a laid-back, this is the film festival for you!
When: July | Where: Postira, the island of Brač |
Solo Positivo Film Festival Opatija
This festival is said to be the perfect destination for those who love documentaries, international music, and good company.
When: July | Where: Šibenik
Brač Film Festival
Get ready to view contemporary European documentary films. The island of Brač will come to life with the celebration of the film and concerts, and workshops.
When: August | Where: Supetar, Island of Brač
Avvantura Film Festival
This international film festival is the first in Croatia to focus on co-productions (artistic + economic) and also gather the cinema audience with the professionals participating.
When: August | Where: The island of Vis
Vukovar Film Festival
This week-long festival takes place in several locations in Vukovar, with a rich program screening films from the Danube region and neighboring countries. Awards will be presented for the documentary, short fiction, and feature fiction films.
When: August | Where: Vukovar | More Info:
Liburnia Film Festival
Enjoy quality documentaries, including the latest in Croatian documentaries, in an open-air, relaxed atmosphere. This festival has a claim to being the first documentary film festival in Croatia.
When: August | Where: Opatija
Kinookus Food Film Festival
Are you interested in exploring the issues of industrial food production or the creativity of those trying to overcome the existing economic model? This festival is a compilation of film, lectures, competitions, workshops, open-air markets, and agro-archaeological bike tours used to tell the story of food and promote the importance of local, sustaining practices.
When: June-July | Where: Ston
Trash Film Festival
No dramas, documentaries, or art films here! This festival celebrates low-budget action movies, so get ready for martial arts, sci-fi, horror, and non-stop action. Festivities include concerts, kitsch parties, and red carpet events, with the festival award of a Golden Chainsaw given to the best films.
When: September | Where: Varaždin
Split Film Festival
Outside, mainstream films are showcased in this new film festival. Works include personal, experimental, radical, and innovative media. If you are looking for cinema off the beaten path, these entries are sure to interest you.
When: October | Where: Split
This annual week of religious programs and pilgrimages, leading up to the celebration of Mary’s Day (10 May) will take place at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Trsat. Highlights will include various musical and cultural programs and Mother’s Day, and a sailor’s pilgrimage.
When: May | Where: Rijeka
Cest Is D’ Best
Founded in 1997, Cest Is D’ Best is one of the oldest and the most famous Zagreb festivals and best street festivals in Croatia. It promotes and creates a street cultural expression and tourist attractions in the capital of Croatia. Check out the music concerts, theater, street musicians, children’s activities, visual arts, dance & sports.
When: May-June | Where: Zagreb
Dolce Vita Festival
Described as a vintage culture festival, it celebrates the heritage and retro past of 1950’s Croatia via music, film, design, dance, food, and fashion. Attend burlesque performances, swing jive, and lindy pop workshops, and even learn how to do your hair and make-up in the pinup girl style!
When: June | Where: Rovinj
Celebrate with music, traditional food and drink, and other various performances on the ancient corners of the city, the kantuni. Rab’s Old Town is full of unique culture to experience for yourself while celebrating at this fun festival.
When: June | Where: The island of Rab
Secrets Of Grič
Are you interested in the mystical history of Zagreb? Experience scenic locations in the capital while learning a bit of history mixed with an urban legend on this interactive theater tour. The tour runs at night on Fridays and Saturdays through the summer, and your guide for the evening will be the “Man in the black cloak.”
When: June-September | Where: Zagreb
Roman civilization is presented in urban culture. Four days will be filled with rich events bringing to life the history of ancient Pula.
When: June | Where: Pula
Old Town Night Tour – Labin Art Republika
This guided tour of the old town will start at 9.30 pm on Tuesdays in the summer. History buffs will enjoy the re-telling of legends, myths, and stories that will bring the past to life of the town to life. Enjoy local olive oil tasting after your tour!
When: June-September | Where: Labin |
International Lace Festival
In 2010, Pag lace was placed on the UNESCO List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Celebrate the history of this artisan craft at a festival dedicated to these beautiful needle stitches. From viewings to workshops to a wedding dress fashion show, three days of events are available for you to take in the intricate beauty that is lace.
When: June | Where: Pag | More Info: https://festival-cipke.com.hr/
International Children’s Festival
Enjoy the city of Šibenik as it celebrates the imagination and creativity of children. Programs showcasing Croatian and international children’s theatre, film, puppetry, visual arts, and literature will bring the streets to life and remind you never to forget your playful side!
When: June | Where: Šibenik | More Info: https://www.mdf-sibenik.com/
Dance the night away at open-air salsa parties and workshops throughout the town. The goal is education and entertainment for dancers of all levels and styles!
When: June-July | Where: Rovinj
Mediterranean Folklore Encounters
The focus is to share the traditional cultures of the Mediterranean islands. Folklore performances, daily parades, wind music instrumentalists, workshops of Adriatic handicrafts, and Mediterranean cuisine are just a few highlights.
When: July | Where: Porec
Rijeka Summer Nights Festival
The streets, squares, and terraces of Rijeka come to life during July as theater performers bring their musical concerts and classical and drama acts to the city.
When: June-July | Where: Rijeka
Trogir Cultural Music Festival
Throughout summer, enjoy concerts of classical and chamber ensembles in the open-air square. Also offered are plays and gallery exhibitions.
When: Summer | Where: Trogir
This event was inscribed onto the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List in 2010. An equestrian competition of medieval-style jousting, watch the modern-day Alkars or Knights compete in the tournament. Your heart is sure to skip a beat with the thrill of this event!
When: August | Where: Sinj
Alpe Adria Oberkrainer Fest
This traditional summer gathering of Oberkrainer performers in the highest Istrian town will delight lovers of polkas and waltzes. Festivities will include the Fair of black summer truffles as well!
When: July | Where: Oprtalj
International Folklore Festival
With a wide variety of traditional dance, vocal interpretation, instruments, and ensembles, this is one of Croatia’s best festivals that celebrates the folklore heritage of Dubrovnik-Neretva County.
When: July | Where: Zagreb
Kalelargart Street Art Festival
Street art and entertainment unite with music, theater performances, street acrobatics, magicians, jugglers, and more. Watch the streets of Old town Zadar turn into a stage.
When: July | Where: Zadar
Visit the town of Fazana as they celebrate the small, oily fish known as pilchard in the oldest fisherman’s festival in the area. Watch rowing, tug of war, and fish crate carrying competitions, dine on local restaurant fare, and soak up the town’s lively atmosphere during this event!
When: August | Where: Fazana
The FloraArt Festivals celebrates color and natural beauty. Gaze at the diverse arrangements and soak up the enticing scents of the flowers filling the city.
When: May-June | Where: Zagreb
Enjoy artistic firework creations in the Opatija sky as they are launched off the coast from a pontoon boat. Live musical performances and culinary specialties will accompany this display of color.
When: June | Where: Opatija
Have you ever wanted to walk through a secret garden? Zagreb’s beautiful Upper Town gardens and yards will be open to visitors for ten days. With the slogan “Every courtyard has a story,” this event promises to share the secrets of the heart of Zagreb to all in attendance.
When: July | Where: Zagreb
Food And Wine Festivals
Days Of Asparagus
During the Days of Asparagus, the event organizers will incorporate Istrian wild asparagus into regional dishes in restaurants across northwestern Istria. Explore the various uses of this delicious plant with the creative menus on offer.
When: March-May | Where: Northwestern Istria
Europe’s best baristas will invite visitors to try their secret coffee recipes. Indulge in aromatic specialties at the town’s hotels, restaurants, and bars, along with concerts, exhibitions, and workshops celebrating the beloved cup of Joe!
When: April | Where: Opatija
Join the annual FestiWine celebration in Dubrovnik during a week showcasing the incredible wines of Dubrovnik-Neretva county. Local restaurants and bars participate in the celebration by pairing traditional, regional dishes with wines on display. Attend workshops, exhibitions, and more throughout the city.
When: April | Where: Dubrovnik
Losinj Cuisine Festival
This festival presents the island of Mali Losinj’s authentic cuisine, focusing on the area’s natural and local produce, flora, and fauna. The festival kicks off with catering companies presenting their fare in the town square.
When: April-May | Where: Mali Losinj, Kvarner
In May, visitors to the Međimurje region can enjoy this event celebrating the local area’s gastronomy and wine culture. Attend wine tastings and workshops highlighting over 200 winemakers. Festivities include musical concerts and folklore programs, making it an event for the whole family.
When: May | Where: Međimurje
Wine lovers can sample local wines, olive oils, and brandies at this event featuring over 100 exhibitors.
When: May | Where: Porec
Sardines / Cherries Week
This RI gastro edition will feature the traditional diet from days at local restaurants and taverns around the city. Enjoy regional dishes prepared with sardines and cherries throughout the week.
When: May-June | Where: Rijeka
Sea On The Table
Restaurants, taverns, and areas along the waterfront of Fazana will be offering traditional and new pilchard dishes. View the sculpture in Pilchard Park, dine on seafood right from the source, and enjoy the creative new dishes that will be debuted in this year’s event.
When: June | Where: Fazana
Lavender has been a symbol for the Island of Hvar for ages. So, if you are looking for fragrance, color, and beauty, along with presentations on lavender distillation, local cuisine, and lavender products, make sure to visit the tiny village of Velo Grablje during your Hvar holiday.
When: June | Where: Hvar Island, Velo Grablje
Eggs and truffles combine at this festival’s main event – an omelet made of 2015 eggs and 10 kilograms of truffles! Enjoy folk theater performances, crafts, and food from days gone by during this celebration in the city square.
When: September | Where: Buzet | Marunada
Listed among the food festivals in Croatia, not to be missed, this famous chestnut festival celebrates the unique species of chestnut grown in Lovran – the “maruni.” Sample delicious dishes and desserts prepared with these chestnuts and other traditional specialties of the region… wine and honey brandy!
When: October | Where: Opatija
The feast of chestnuts, wine, and chestnut honey, as well as sweets and dishes based on chestnuts, will surely please your appetite. After enjoying the cuisine, stroll through woods full of chestnut trees. You might just find a few on the ground. It is said to be a lucky charm to carry chestnuts with you at all times!
When: October | Where: Oprtalj
TeTa: Teran And Truffle Festival
During Truffle Day, local winemakers producing Teran will gather to highlight the Istrian red wine in a wine tasting. Local restaurants will serve truffle dishes made to pair with this local wine.
When: October | Where: Motovun
This multi-day festival (taking place during the famous white truffle’s peak season) will be held in Livade, the region’s truffle center. Enjoy agricultural products along with demonstrations of the search for these mushrooms using specially trained dogs.
When: September-November | Where: Livade More Info: Website
The best chocolate will be on exhibition for sampling from international brands to specialized manufacturers producing original desserts. Attend workshops, lectures, tastings, concerts, and wine pairings all dedicated to… chocolate!
When: December | Where: Opatija
Codfish And Chocolate Week
This RI gastro edition will feature the classic European holiday fish codfish at local restaurants and taverns around the city. Enjoy regional dishes prepared with preserved cod and delicious chocolate and pralines for dessert throughout the week.
When: December | Where: Rijeka
Decorating Christmas Tree In The Sea
The town invites you to help decorate the central Christmas tree to ring in the holiday season!
When: December | Where: Rijeka, Istria |
So, how many of these festivals in Croatia do you want to go to? Do you know of some festivals that we missed? Let us know in the comments below, and we’ll add them.