Zagreb’s spectacular Festival of Lights to transform the capital
Croatia's capital will turn into a dazzling spectacle next week for the Festival of Lights. Bringing visitors from across Europe, the event sees historic façades across the city centre and Upper Town transformed by reality-bending projections. Every year, the Mimara Museum presents a surreal scene in which the building seems to warp and move right before your very eyes. Nearby, the Croatian National Theatre takes on a dream-like quality when it's covered with shimmering Baroque artworks. The bold stone shapes of the Meštrović Pavilion become a surface for mesmerising abstractions. For more information and a full listing of events, check the Zagreb Festival of Lights website. Admission FREE. When March 15-19, 6pm-11pm.
Advent in Zagreb – see these amazing photos!
Advent festivities have hit Zagreb big, with nearly every street and public space decorated and filled with stands selling gifts, street food and much more. Here's a glimpse at the biggest Advent celebration ever staged in the city.
More streets in Zagreb city centre to be pedestrianised
Starting Saturday, September 16, two streets a block south of Cvjetni trg in the heart of Zagreb city centre will be converted to a zone for pedestrian and cyclists. Several new cycle lanes are also being placed along in adjacent streets. Nikolas Pfanner | Time Out Croatia The two streets, Masarykova and Preradovićeva, which hinge on the prominent Nikola Tesla statue, will still be open to some permitted traffic for deliveries and emergency services. This move, which expands the pedestrian area of the Croatian capital, is part of a larger change across European municipalities to build safer streets, and promote healthier and more environmentally friendly transport. For more information, check the official City of Zagreb bulletin.
Zagreb Tram Driver Orchestra to play across the city
Tram drivers on Zagreb's public-transport network, ZET, don't just keep people moving, they organise their own band and, several times a year, put on moving concerts in their workplaces. Formed nearly a hundred years ago, they are one of the city's oldest orchestras, with concerts staged since 1927. A unique example of Zagreb's worker culture, drivers in the iconic blue of their trams travel through the capital with their trumpets, saxophones and woodwind instruments, stopping occasionally to perform at landmarks across the city. The concerts are scheduled for September 16, 18, 21, 23 and 27. For more information, including the locations of the performances, check out the event's Facebook page.
Tickets still available for 50 Cent in Zagreb
The iconic American rapper and actor Curtis James Jackson III, better known professionally as 50 Cent, will perform alongside Busta Rhymes in Zagreb as part of his Final Lap tour late next month. Frequently ranked among the greatest rappers of all time, 50 Cent was discovered by Eminem's label in 2002 and today has nine certified platinum records. The concert is scheduled for 8.30pm on October 17 at the Arena Zagreb south of town. Remaining seats are selling quickly, so act fast! Prices range from €79 to €140 for VIP passes – and are available online. Where: Arena Zagreb, Zagreb. When: October 17, 8.30pm.
Churches and cathedral host Baroque Festival on Korčula
The Dalmatian island of Korčula will temporarily travel back in time a few centuries for this month's Korkyra Baroque Festival. Some of the best classically trained musicians across Croatia will perform the special concert series in a number of baroque churches on the island, as well as St Mark's Cathedral. The late Renaissance period will come alive with recreations of 16th-century instruments such as the harpsichord, and period-accurate outfits. From Bach to Flamenco, choirs and instrumental solos can all be found in the line-up, running until September 17. Some concerts are free and some require a ticket. The full schedule of events can be found on the festival's website – tickets are €30 and can be bought online.
Zagreb’s Burger Festival is back!
As the heat wave in the Croatian capital fades, the city is looking forward to one of its favourite annual food events, the Burger Festival. For ten days from September 7, 20 burger spots from across Zagreb relocate into little cabins set up around Tuđman park west of the city centre. The festival will feature representations from the popular regional chain Submarine, newcomers in the Zagreb burger scene 4Burgers, more gourmet options like The Burger Institute and many more. The park will also host film screenings, free culinary workshops and live appearances by local DJs. For more information, including the full list of restaurants involved and the event schedule, check the Burger Fest's Facebook page. Where: Park Dr Franje Tuđmana, Zagreb. When: September 7-17, noon to midnight.
Zagreb Art Academy to exhibit best recent student work
Located in a green courtyard just off Ilica in the city centre, Zagreb's Academy of Fine Arts has produced many of Croatia's most prominent painters and sculptors. During the first week of September, the school will open an exhibition of its students' best recent work. The otherwise closed campus opens its doors and allows the public to roam its galleries and halls. This biannual event allows a rare glimpse of the early creations of the next generation of Croatian artists. For more information, see the event's website or Facebook page. Where: Ilica 85, Zagreb. When: September 1-7, 11am-7pm.
Okolo festival fills Zagreb city centre with art installations
Zagreb city centre and Upper Town are currently being transformed by outdoor installations by 20 prominent Croatian artists. Called Okolo, 'Around', the project features photography exhibited on building façades, sculptures, posters, plant installations, and even a huge tapestry. Of special note are the images by pioneering female photographer Slavka Pavić on Varšavska ulica, a large unfurling quilt by Damir Begović at the steps leading to Dolac market, and a series of ethereal floating sculptures by Ida Blazicko on Ilirski in the Upper Town. For more information on the exhibition and the artists, including a map of all 20 installations, check the project's Facebook page. Where: Zagreb city centre. When: until August 30.
Summer Food Truck Festival rolls into Zagreb
For the second time this summer, the much anticipated Food Truck Festival is coming to Zagreb, kicking off tomorrow, Thursday August 24, at Lake Jarun. Some of the best restaurants from across Croatia will be packing into trucks and trailers, and setting up around this man-made attraction in the far west of the capital. There appears to be some special x-factor about food served from a truck, and a wide range of eateries will be represented here, offering classic street-food staples of burgers and craft beer to gourmet Adriatic dishes and much more. Running through to September 10, the festival will have a schedule of local bands and DJs appearing each night. For more information, including the restaurants involved, and the music line-up, check out the festival's Facebook page. Where: Jarun, Zagreb. When: August 24-September 10. Tickets: FREE.
Motocross attracts crowds to Knin for dramatic Dinaric Rally
Dalmatia's breathtaking scenery is also extraordinary terrain for motorcycle racing, and this Sunday one of the most anticipated events in European motocross will take place, the Dinaric Rally. Gathering enthusiasts, amateurs and professionals alike from across the world, the races centre around Knin, inland from Šibenik, and run August 20-26. Going over some of the most challenging terrain in the region, the rally includes several motorcycle, quadbike and SSV events. The Dinaric Rally is long established as one of the most exciting and challenging off-road races in the Balkans The race is open to the public, and registration to participate is still open. For more information, and to sign up to take part, check the Dinaric Rally website. Where: Knin, Croatia. When: August 20-26.
Špancirfest brings festival fever to Varaždin
Once a year, the northern Croatian town of Varaždin bursts into action for Špancirfest. Kicking off tomorrow, Friday, August 18, and running for ten days, the festival will attract crowds from across Croatia and the region for music, dancing and all kinds of performances. Špancirfest sees the historic town's streets, squares and courtyards transformed into temporary stages, theatres, restaurants, bars, clubs and workshop spaces in order to accommodate one of the largest and most diverse public celebrations in Croatia. © Mario Knor Some of the best restaurants from across the country will be represented by dozens of food trucks and booths. The festival also includes a full programme for kids, including theatre, music and workshops. Entrance to the festival is free, but tickets to the daily concerts are €10-€12. For more information, tickets and the full schedule of events, see the Špancirfest website. Where: Varaždin, Croatia. When: August 18-27.
Annual Ladja Marathon boat race brings huge crowds to the Neretva riverbank
Croatia is famed as a sailing nation, but this legacy isn't limited to maritime activities – the inland rivers and waterways of Europe have played their part, too. This history is celebrated every year in the Neretva river valley near Dubrovnik during the magnificent Ladja Marathon boat race. Using centuries-old indigenous designs, more than 400 oarsmen will traverse a course 22.5 kilometres long, starting from Metković Bridge and finishing at the sea in Ploče. Ladja Marathon Each boat usually consists of ten rowers, a drummer to keep pace and a helmsman. Teams compete each year to win the coveted 37kg bronze shield of Duke Domagoj. With 30 boats, hundreds of racers, and tens of thousands of spectators, the Ladja Marathon is the largest event of its type in the region. Participants set off at 5pm on Saturday, August 12, for the 26th annual running of the race. For more details and to learn more about the history of the event, see the Ladja Marathon website. Where: From Metković Bridge to Ploče. When: August 12, 5pm.
Šibenik stages film nights in a historic fortress
The huge fortifications which once protected the Dalmatian city of Šibenik from foreign invasion are today cultural hubs of the city. Throughout August and the first half of September, Barone Fortress will be transformed into a huge open-air cinema. The schedule includes films from Croatia and around Europe, several winning awards on the festival circuit this summer. These include El Shatt: A Blueprint for Utopia, a documentary about a refugee camp in British Egypt where tens of thousands of Croatian refugees fled World War II. It plays on September 6. All screenings kick off at either 9pm or 9.30pm, and tickets are €3.50 per person. All films will be subtitled in Croatian and English. For the full line-up of films, and to purchase tickets online, check the website. Where: Barone Fortress, Šibenik. When: Until Sept 13, 9-9.30pm. Subtitles: English, Croatian. Tickets: €3.50.