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Zagreb Festivals and Cultural Events

Numerous festivals, shows and exhibitions are held annually in Zagreb. Search our what's on guide to arts & entertainment.



 

The Long Night of Museums / January

Croatian Museum Association has been organizing Museum Night since 2005, and since 2007 it has become a national event with over 70,000 visitors and more and more museums and cities taking part. Today, Museum Night is an event that tries to accomplish one of the basic strategic goals of the Croatian Museum Association which is to implement activities which deal with the perception of museums as heritage institutions, institutions of identity and important participants in the sustainable development of tourism.

Zagreb Dox / February

This international documentary festival, which established itself in 2005, is held annually in Zagreb in February. It is one of the biggest of its kind in south east Europe showcasing quality documentary films as well as providing a meeting point for reputed writers, photographers, directors & movie makers. The festival also organizes workshops, pitching forums and presentations to help striving film makers to continue develop their projects.

Queer Zagreb FM Festival / April

During the last days of April, Zagreb hosts one of Europe's biggest gay festivals, The Zagreb Queer Festival. The event features many world artists who show tolerance to alternative sexuality through their art. The festival features a variety of theatre, dance and visual art events which promote tolerance without any discrimination on the basis of creed, colour or sexual orientation.

Festival of Tolerance / April

The Festival of Tolerance – Jewish Film Festival is a unique film festival focused on Holocaust education through an extensive film programme comprising many screenings, thematic exhibitions, music programme, a host of discussions and workshops. The Festival aims to emphasize the necessity of raising awareness and accepting tolerance in our everyday lives in this day and age.

The Croatian Film Days / April

The Croatian Film Days are a national festival founded in 1991 devoted to showcasing Croatia’s annual production of short- and medium-length feature, documentary, experimental, animated and commercial films. The festival is of a competitive nature, with awards handed out by the festival jury, members of the Croatian Film Critic’s Association, and the audience.

Festival of Alternative Theatrical Expression – FAKI / May

Alternative theatre takes an altogether different meaning when artists and companies who do not work under institutional theatre come together for the FAKI festival. Cultural events and theatre performances by street performers, musicians, dancers, jugglers and actors are the main attraction of this festival.  

Dance Week Festival / May - June

The Dance Week Festival is one of the most significant dance festivals in the Croatian regions of Zagreb and Rijeka. Established more than 25 years ago, it is held annually in May or June, international dance theatres / companies and their choreographers come together to present a theatrical & musical extravaganza.

Eurokaz / June

The International Festival of New Theatre Eurokaz is considered one of the most important cultural events in this part of Europe. After the first edition in 1987, which was part of the Zagreb Universiade`s (World University Games) cultural programme, the festival became an annual event, taking place in Zagreb in the second half of June. It has featured numerous artists and companies from all over the world, and thanks to the authenticity of its selection which contributed to its international reputation, its role has been crucial for Croatian presence on the theatrical map of Europe for more than a quarter of a century. The concept behind the programme emphasises the impulses that change our habits of perception and push with innovative procedures the developments in theatre forward. 

Zagreb World Festival of Animated Films – Animafest/ June

Known internationally as "Animafest Zagreb", Zagreb World Festival of Animated Film is Europe's second oldest animation film festival. It started in 1972 and as the name suggests, the festival is a get-together of like minded animation film lovers and filmmakers. The festival's main aim is to promote the skill, dedication and production of producing animated films through various thematic programs, in the form of exhibitions, lectures, debates and other events. It is held annually, usually during the first week of June.

Cest is d’ Best / June

This is an international multimedia street festival, which preserves Zagreb’s identity, enlivens city streets and squares, bringing them back their charm and optimism. It erases the borders between the established forms of culture and alternative culture, brings closer all generations of citizens through various cultural preferences because each and one of them can take part in the programme.

INmusic Festival/ June

Croatia's biggest international open-air festival held annually in June which takes place on Youth Island (Croatian: Otok hrvatske mladeži) in the middle of Zagreb's Lake Jarun. The festival was started in 2006 and is usually held over two or three days. It includes several genre-specific stages with internationally renowned indie rock, heavy metal and electronica artists. In 2008 The Times included INmusic among the top 20 European summer festivals.

Zagreb International Folklore Festival / July

The International Folklore Festival organized in mid-July, is a cultural presentation of all folklore groups belonging to Croatia, other European countries and from remaining continents. The festival showcases various music concerts, performances of folklore groups, exhibitions, and presentations either live or on screen. Participants of the festival perform in the Upper Town, Ban Jelacic square and also in Zagreb area.

International Puppet Festival / September

The PIF or International Puppet Festival is an event organized by professional theatre companies who use puppets as a means of expressing emotion. Till now, more than 500 puppet groups from all around the world have participated in the festival, which is held annually in mid-September. The festival has been held since 1968, so has a long standing tradition & reputation behind it. Seminars, puppet exhibitions and puppet shows are a part of the celebrations.

Zagreb World Theatre Festival / September - October

Right from the beginning, The World Theatre Festival has always attracted international attention from lovers of innovative and experimental theatre. Each year in September-October, masters of theatre production, actors and performers gather together to enthral the audience with some unique theatrical offering.

Perforations / October

The Perforations Festival takes place annually in three Croatian cities; Zagreb, Rijeka and Dubrovnik and presents a range of Balkans artists working in performance art, theater, and dance, whose diverse approaches to art-making blurs the borders between these genres.

New Circus Festival/ October

Zagreb's contemporary circus festival, held in late October is of international standing with participation from countries like France, Canada, Italy, USA, and Germany along with local performers. For two whole months, the circus is an entertaining treat to audiences who look forward to numerous dare devil performances, magic shows and comic acts.

Zagreb Film Festival / October

Since its inception in 2003, the Zagreb Film Festival has reached the pinnacle of success in the international film market. The festival screens films in three separate international competition programs for feature films, short film and documentary film plus a separate competition for short films made only by Croatian authors. The screenings and events of the Zagreb Film Festival take place every year in mid-October.

The International Festival 'Funny Comics Show' / November

The International Festival 'Funny Comics Show' tries to explain the creative thinking and process that go behind creating a comic. They do this by arranging events such as workshops, premiers, exhibitions, lectures, concerts, debates, book promotions, cinema screenings and one to one talks about comics. The festival is held in the last week of November.

One Take Film Festival / November

The One Take International Film Festival, arranged in November, is one of a kind because it promotes only those films that are shot in one take i.e. from the time the camera is turned on to the time the camera is turned off. This excludes the cinematic editing processes of editing, cuts, fades in/out and transitions etc.

Human Rights Film Festival / December

Human Rights Film Festival (HRFF) is an annual Zagreb-based film festival run by two prominent Croatian independent cultural organizations – Multimedia Institute and Culture Development Association „CDA“ (both organizations being publicly most visible for their respective venues: net.cultural club MaMa and club Mochvara).

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Jonathon Bousfield on the Heyday of the Iconic Yugoslav Record Label, Jugoton

Jonathon Bousfield recounts the rise of Jugoton, the iconic Zagreb-based Yugoslavian record label that both brought Western music to Yugoslavia and later was at the forefront of the massive post-punk and new wave scenes in the region.

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Mirogoj Cemetery: An Architectural Jewel

Going to a cemetery may not be the first idea that pops into your mind when visiting a new city. But the stunning Mirogoj cemetery in Zagreb, which was designed by the renowned Austrian architect, Herman Bolle, is definitely worth a bit of your time. Read more below to find out why.

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You Haven't Experienced Zagreb if You Haven't Been to the Dolac Market

Dolac, the main city market, is a Zagreb institution. Selling all the fresh ingredients you need to whip up a fabulous dinner, from fruits and vegetables to fish, meat and homemade cheese and sausages, the sellers come from all over Croatia. Positioned right above the main square, the colorful market is a beacon of a simpler way of life and is just as bustling as it was a century ago.

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How to Spend a Spring Day in Zagreb

Wondering where to start exploring Croatia’s small but vibrant capital city, Zagreb? Check out Time Out’s list of must sees in Zagreb from the most famous market in town to where to sample the best rakija (local brandy).

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Croatian Phrases Translated into English

Do you find phrases and sayings give personality and flair to a language? Have you ever pondered how the culture and history of a place shape the common phrases? Check out some common sayings in Croatian with their literal translations and actual meanings below.

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Discover Croatia's Archaeological Secrets

Discover Croatia’s rich archaeological secrets, from the well known ancient Roman city of Salona near Split or the Neanderthal museum in Krapina to the often overlooked Andautonia Archaeological Park, just outside of Zagreb, which boasts the excavated ruins of a Roman town or the oldest continuously inhabited town in Europe, Vinkovci.

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Nikola Tesla – Mind from the Future - Multimedia Exhibition in Zagreb

A spectacular multimedia exhibition honouring Nikola Tesla, one of the world’s greatest visionaries, titled ‘Nikola Tesla – Mind from the Future’, will stay open until 20 March 2018.
“Immersed into the magical world of the genius Nikola Tesla, by merging the elements of a ‘live’ film, video set design, computer game, and magical hologram and light adventure into a unique multimedia experience of extended reality, with this exhibition we seek to take you on a contemplative ‘journey’ without beginning or end, through a process of inspiration, creativity and production.” - Helena Bulaja Madunić, exhibition author

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Hollywood and Dubrovnik

The medieval city in Croatia is having a geek-culture moment as the setting for King’s Landing in the HBO series “Game of Thrones”.
Hollywood seems to have discovered Dubrovnik. Parts of The Last Jedi, the eighth episode in the Star Wars saga, also take place in the fortress town. Filming wrapped this year on a new Robin Hood film starring Taron Eagerton, Jamie Foxx, and Jamie Dornan (and produced by Leonard DiCaprio). The 25th James Bond film is reported to begin shooting in the city in January 2018.
But not everyone appreciates all the attention.

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Great films shot in Zagreb

There's a surprising raft of indelible productions shot in and around Croatia's capital, like the world-dominating spy-caper 'James Bond: From Russia with Love' and Orson Welles' interpretation of Kafka's absurd, existentialist novel 'The Trial'...

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LitLink Thoughts. The Publisher's View by Mitch Albert, Periscope Books.

The curation of a festival of literature naturally entails the “curation” of its participants. Lit Link excelled in this regard – the authors invited from the UK represented a very fine, accomplished tranche of contemporary British writing, and the publishers, for the most part, represented a scrappy, independent ethos and pride in advancing thought-provoking fiction and literary fiction in translation.

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LitLink. The Editor's View. By: Anna Kelly

As far as I know, LitLink festival is unique. Each year it takes a group of writers and publishers to three Croatian cities – Pula, Rijeka, and Zagreb – for a series of evening readings. Along the way there are coach journeys on winding roads, stunning vistas of deep green fields and icy mountains, excellent Croatian wine and food, sea swimming, plenty of book chat...

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A very rough guide to LitLink. The Author's View. By: Joanna Kavenna

Each night there is a bilingual Croatian-English event. Translations are projected behind the writers as they read. It becomes apparent that many contemporary Croatian writers are high ironists, forging dark comedy from aspects of life that most disturb them – war, corruption, the riotous hypocrisy of those who claim to govern us.
The tour runs from Zagreb to Pula to Rijeka...

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Olja Savičević Ivančević: Singer in the Night review

Read a review of the much acclaimed contemporary Croatian writer, Olja Savičević Ivančević’s book, Pjevač u noći (2016) (Singer in the Night).

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New wave in Yugoslavia

As its counterparts, the British and the US new wave, from which the main influences came, the Yugoslav scene was also closely related to punk rock, ska, reggae, 2 Tone, power pop and mod revival.
Important artists were: Azra, Šarlo Akrobata, Idoli (famous for their song "Maljčiki" and its respective video in which they ridiculed the soviet soc-realism), Pankrti (first Yugoslav punk band), Prljavo kazalište (started as a punk unit; the title of their second album Crno-bijeli svijet which means "black and white world" holds a reference to the 2 Tone movement), Električni Orgazam (punk at the beginning, they moved towards post-punk and psychedelia later and were described as "The Punk Doors"), Slađana Milošević, Haustor (mostly reggae, ska and similar influences, but with a more poetic and intellectual approach compared to some danceable bands), Buldožer, Laboratorija Zvuka, Film (one of the first new wave groups), Lačni Franz and many others.
New wave was especially advocated by the magazines Polet from Zagreb and Džuboks from Belgrade.

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Croatian Sites on UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

A little know fact is that Croatia, together with Spain, have the most cultural and historical heritage under the protection of UNESCO, and Croatia has the highest number of UNESCO intangible goods of any European country.

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Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb

The National Theater in Zagreb, Croatia’s capital, is one of those things which always finds its way to every visitor’s busy schedule.

Authors' pages

Književna Republika Relations Quorum Hrvatska književna enciklopedija PRAVOnaPROFESIJU LitLink mk zg