Here is a selection of best events in the Kvarner Riviera taking place in 2020, including those in Rijeka and Opatija. If you’re looking for events on the islands that belong to the Kvarner region, please see our Events on the Croatian Islands page.
The city of Rijeka is the European Capital of Culture for 2020, so there are plenty of exciting goings-on related to this honour this year. Check the official website for more details: rijeka2020.eu.
Events in January 2020
This year, the Rijeka Carnival takes place from mid-January through to the end of February incorporating various festivities, from parades and concerts to exhibitions and balls. The carnival draws an impressive number of participants and easily attracts over 100,000 spectators, making it one of the larger carnivals in Europe. The first major event is the Carnival Queen Pageant and Handover of the Town Keys on 17th January 2020. There are also many other associated events – full listings are on the carnival website. Carnival celebrations also take place elsewhere in the region and the rest of Croatia in January and February each year, so watch out for these as well.
Events in February 2020
The Rijeka Carnival Children’s Parade takes place on 8th February 2020, with the younger generation donning costumes and parading on the Korzo in the city centre!
The Carnival Snowboard Session also takes place on 8th February 2019 in Rijeka as a one-day competition with Croatian and European boarders taking part on a specially constructed course (with snow!) right in the centre of the city.
The main carnival event – the International Carnival Parade in Rijeka – takes place on the 23rd February 2020. Numerous participants and floats take part in a mixture of traditional and more modern celebrations, delighting the Croatian and foreign audience.
Events in March 2020
The Impulse Festival (with its tagline ‘Music is Everywhere’) runs from 30th March to 5th April, promoting music and urban culture at a number of venues across Rijeka.
Events in April 2020
The 5th Rijeka Marathon is to take place on a route by the sea on 19th April 2019.
Events in May 2020
The Mitteleuropa Blasmusikfest Wind Orchestra Competition will be on from 7th to 10th May 2020 in Opatija.
Rijeka hosts the 27th International Small Scenes Festival at the beginning of May with theatre performances from both Croatian and foreign groups.
Events in June 2020
The sailing regatta Fiumanka sees boats sail from Rijeka to Omisalj and back, with lots more fun and games for participants and spectators besides! It will take place 11th to 14th June 2020.
Events in July 2020
Rijeka Summer Nights is an almost month-long festival that kicks off at the end of June each year. This wonderful event will include a number of theatre, music, operatic and other performances at a variety of venues throughout the city.
The Liburnia Jazz Festival in Opatija is the largest jazz event in Croatia, with the 20th festival set to take place in mid July. Held over three days, there are a number of jazz concerts at various locations across the town.
The Kastav Cultural Summer takes place in the town of Kastav (in inland Kvarner, close to Opatija) with Croatian and international participants performing a variety of film, music and theatre works. The event runs from the end of June to the end of August.
Uskok Days in Senj, near Rijeka, harks back to a time long ago with festivities taking on a medieval twist. This event features plenty of fun, games, music, arts and crafts.
Events in August 2020
The Liburnia Film Festival in Icici near Opatija will be held late August, showcasing Croatian films.
Events in September 2020
The Ucka Fair (Ucarski Sajam) is held at the beginning of September in Ucka Nature Park (which is technically located in both Istria and the Kvarner Region, but as it’s located near Opatija, we’ve listed it here!). The Fair will feature traditionally made products, food and drink.
Events in November 2020
The 25th Puppet Theatre Revue will be held in early November 2020 with appearances from Croatian and international puppet groups.
Events in December 2020
The 10th Adria Advent Marathon (and half-marathon and fun run) will take place alongside the coastline on the Crikvenica Riviera in early December.
Ri Rock is – as you may have guessed by the name – a rock festival that takes place every December. In 2018, it celebrated 40 years!
Christmas and New Year’s celebrations will be in full force during this month in many of the Kvarner Riveria’s towns – check locally for further details of events, or see a listing of events on the websites of Rijeka and Opatija‘s tourist offices!