Here's a selection of what we think are the best events that are to take place in Croatia this year. We add to this list all the time (as new events or additional details are announced), so do check back regularly!
January ...in Zagreb...
An exciting FIS Skiing World Cup slalom event - the Snow Queen Trophy - takes place in Sljeme (above Zagreb) on 4th & 6th January 2013, with both womens (3rd January) and men's (5th) competitions. It is a rather unique event contested on a specially created run that isn't too far from Zagreb - and therefore has the distinction of being the only World Cup event that takes place in a capital city. Moreover, the Snow Queen Trophy is amazingly well attended and it's not unusual to see crowds of up to 25,000 people gathered by the slopes. Take part in the fun!
...all over Croatia... On Friday 25th January 2013, from 6pm to 1am, the "Night of the Museums" takes place at various towns and cities all over Croatia - over 200 museums, galleries and other similar institutions across the country in 100 cities and towns are expected to take part. Around 300,000 people visit Museum Night, so it's a very popular event. Entry to all these places is free, so you can enjoy their fine exhibits; many also host additional workshops and other events on the night. You can find some further details at the Croatian Museum Association website.
February ...in Dubrovnik...
The Festival of St Blaise (who is Dubrovnik's patron saint) takes place each year on 3rd February and
includes a number of ceremonies (which normally start the day before) in which the people of Dubrovnik pay
their respect to the saint. The same day is also considered a "City of
Dubrovnik Day", with certain events also being held to celebrate this.
...in Zagreb... The Zagreb Indoors tennis tournament is a men's ATP Tour event which usually attracts a decent bunch of well-known players, as well as (understandably) a
reasonably large contingent of the top Croatian players. The event will take place in its usual home,
the Dom Sportova, in west Zagreb from 4th February 2013.
...all over Croatia.. February is carnival month in Croatia (and elsewhere in the world!), with many celebrations taking place in various towns and cities. One of the largest events is the Rijeka Carnival (with its celebrations officially taking place from mid-January to mid-February, with parades and concerts, exhibitions and balls) that easily attracts over 100,000 spectators, making it one of the larger carnivals in Europe. The International Carnival Parade on the 10th February 2013.
...in Zagreb... Zagreb Dox,
an international documentary film festival, will be in its 9th year in 2013. Taking place at the MoviePlex cinema in the Kaptol Center, there are
several themed programs as well as a competition for the best
documentary. It is to be held 24th February to 3rd March 2013.
March ...in Zagreb... Restaurant Week(or Tjedan Restoran in Croatian) actually takes place over a week and a bit in Croatia's capital city in early March each year - this time round, it will be on from 8th to 17th March 2013. A number of restaurants take part, each offering a special Restaurant Week menu for a special price. More details of participating venues and what they'll be offering on the website.
April ...in Zagreb...
The Zagreb Wine Gourmet Weekend (previously known as the Zagreb Wine & Gourmet Festival) expanded last year to become a much larger event. This year it will be held on the 19th and 20th April.
The Days of Asparagus (25th March to 15th May 2013) will see a number of participating restaurants in the region showcase special dishes featuring...surprise, suprise...asparagus!
May ...in Zagreb...
Guitar legend Mark Knopfler will perform at the Zagreb Arena on 5th May 2013. Tickets can be bought on Eventim.hr.
Festival of Flowers is held each year in the cellars of Diocletian's
Palace at the beginning of May, usually with a high number of
exhibitors showing displays to a particular theme. A gorgeous visual event, be sure to check it out if you're in the city this month!
Split's patron saint, Saint Domnius (Sveti Duje in Croatian) is celebrated with a feast day held each year on 7th May.
The Vinistra exhibition in Porec allows wine-lovers to come and sample local
specialties. The exhibition is being held this year from 10th to 12tth May 2013, and also features olive oils and brandies -
over 100 exhibitors normally show their collections of wines, oils and spirits.
...in the Markarska Riviera... Mafest in Makarska is an annual comic book festival held over four days at the end of May. Various exhibitions and lectures on comic books will take place.
...on the islands... Events on Korcula include a celebration of the times of Marco Polo (who was - supposedly - born on Korcula) at the end of May, when the streets of Korcula Town are decorated to look like a 13th century town.
Wine Day ("Open Wine Cellars Day") allows people to tour the wineries of Istria, conducting tastings (and hopefully purchasing wine too, if it takes your fancy!) This year, Wine Day will be on 26th May 2013. Take a look at last year's listing for all the wineries that took part.
June ...in Split...
Picigin, a popular game played on the beaches of Split (read more about it here) has a "world" championship event held each year in early June - lots of fun to watch! (It's not at all a world championship in any traditional sense, but there are some competitors from other Mediterranean countries!)
The Croatian Summer Salsa Festival will run from 25th June to 1st July 2013, bringing together dancers and fans of Latin music in the beautiful setting of Rovinj. Daily workshops will teach salsa from beginner right through to advanced levels, with a range of styles of salsa and dance techniques - all taught by some of the top dance instructors in the world! In the evenings, dance events will be held in different locations that are open for everyone to participate in, and famous Latin bands, DJs and salsa artists will also perform. A great dance event in a beautiful location on Croatia's coast!
Lake Jarun is home to the T Mobile INmusic Festival, a two day music event in this pretty setting in southwest Zagreb, with a host of international bands and stars performing. Held 24th to 26th June this year, read more on our guide to the Festival here.
will take place starting from mid-June (normally to September) with a wide
variety of events including music, dance and more. Check locally for
...on the islands...
After the first two fantastically successful years, the Hideout Festival returns this year 3rd to 5th July 2013 at a number of the open air clubs on Zrce Beach in Novalja on the island of Pag. Check Hideout's website for latest line-up news - no doubt it will be even better than the cracking line-up seen last year and the year before!
July ...in Istria...
The Pula Film Festival will be in its 60th year in 2013, making it the oldest festival of its
kind in Croatia. Held from 13th to 27th July 2013 this year, both Croatian and
international films are shown at various locations in Pula, including in
the stunning amphitheatre (the Arena) in the town.
...in North Dalmatia... July sees an absolutely cracking line-up of music festivals take place on the Croatian coast - the way these festivals are lined-up (all in the same location of Tisno), you could get over a month of solid partying! They are the Garden Festival (3rd - 10th July 2013); Electric Elephant (11th - 15th July 2013); Soundwave (18th - 22nd July 2013), SunceBeat (24th - 30th July 2013) and Stop Making Sense (1st - 4th August 2013).
...in Istria... The 24th Croatia Open ATP Tennis tournament will take place from 18th to 28th July 2013 in Umag. A
clutch of top men's players, including some of the top Croatian
players, take part. Last year's winner was Marin Cilic (much to the delight of the home crowd, of course!). There's also a number of other events taking place that accompany the event, making it quite a fun tennis tournament to attend!
The Split Summer Festival runs for about a month from mid-July to mid-August. Much like the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, this one features open-air theatre, music and dance performances at various special venues around the city, including in and around Diocletian's Palace.
Opening celebrations of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival
...in Dubrovnik... The famous Dubrovnik Summer Festival starts mid-July and runs until the end of August. Each year, the Festival includes theatre, opera, music and dance events at various open-air venues around the city.
...on the islands...
Kazaliste Ulysses (Ulysses Theatre), co-founded by famous Croatian actor
Rade Serbedzija, is situated on Veliki Brijuni island (of the Brijuni islands) and runs each summer with some wonderful plays - past seasons have seen Hamlet and King Lear. The Theatre is open and holds performances from mid-July to mid-August each year.
...in Istria... Another film event in Istria is the well-established Motovun Film Festival.
Although held in a small (but very pretty) hilltop town in inland Istria, the event is considered
one of the premier film festivals in Croatia. A variety of features
from across the world are shown, from documentaries to full-length
...in North Dalmatia...
The wonderful Full Moon Festival takes place on the Riva in Zadar at the end of July each year. Locals
turn off their lights, and head to the candlelit waterfront to enjoy
music and food. A must if you're in the region at this time of the year!
...in North Dalmatia...
The 7th Millennium Jump takes place in Zadar at the end of July 2013 in which locals (and any other willing participants!) gather on the waterfront to all jump into the sea at the same time! Around 1,500 people take part each year; here's a video from In Your Pocket explaining a bit more about the event. Fun to join in with if you're there!
August ...near Split...
On the first weekend of August each year, a very famous and historic horseback tournament takes place in the town of Sinj, near Split. Now in its 297th year (that's not an error!) the Sinjska Alka (or Sinj Alka) sees competitors on horseback armed with lances, aiming to hit the inside of a metal ring (the alka), with points awarded according to which part of the ring they hit. The Sinjska Alka was entered onto the UNESCO Intangible World Heritage List in 2010 (read more on the UNESCO site), and is well worth attending if you're in the region in early August.
September ...in Istria...
The four-day Outlook Festival takes place in Punto Christo, Pula from 29th August to 2nd September 2013.
Labelled as "Europe's largest bass culture and dubstep festival", the
event is already now in its sixth year.
The Split Film Festival will take place from 14th to 21st September 2013, showcasing new films
from across the world from a variety of categories, themes, genres and
...all over Croatia... International Cravat Day is to be celebrated on 18th October 2013, with assorted events in honour of this Croatian invention across the country. See more details on Academia Cravatica's site.
Starting in September, though mainly taking place in October and the beginning of November, the "Day of Truffles" events are actually a succession of truffle-themed days taking place every weekend at various towns in Istria. Check locally for planned events, and enjoy tasting various food and dishes flavoured with truffles.
November ...in Dubrovnik...
The annual Dubrovnik Gastro Table event takes place onone Saturday in early November, with a number of hotels, restaurants and other local businesses taking part. Held on Stradun, visitors can sample a wide variety of treats and dishes offered by these establishments - food costs around 15 Kuna per portion, whilst local wine is around 10 Kuna a glass.
...all over Croatia... Mid-November sees Theatre Night in Croatia (having expanded, it also takes place in several other neighbouring countries). Somewhere along the lines of 80 venues in more than 30 towns and cities in the country participate, welcoming over 40,000 attendees. Theatres will hold free (or cheaper) performances, with additional workshops, tours and similar.
December ...all over Croatia... Almost all towns in Croatia, however small, will have festive decorations put up to celebrate Christmas. Some, especially the larger towns and cities, will have Christmas fairs and other events to celebrate the time of year. This is also true for New Year's Eve - head to the main square of the town/city you're in, and you can probably enjoy an evening concert until the early hours, which normally has a pause for fireworks at midnight!