Festivals and Events

Varaždin also holds a reputation as a town of festivals. Although a name which seems unusual, it is based on facts. Almost every month (and even more often during summer), Varaždin hosts a quality festival that further enriches the lively and copious cultural offer of the town.

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May

ERIKA – WOOLLY RHINOCEROS – archaeological exhibition

The thematic exhibition “Erika – Ice Age Woolly Rhinoceros” presents extraordinary paleontological findings from the holdings of the Varaždin Town Museum, namely 20,000 years old remains of a woolly rhinoceros from the Ice Age. These were excavated in 1983 in the area of Mali Segečak near Ludbreg by experts from the Varaždin Town Museum and the Croatian Museum of Natural History. This best-preserved skeleton of the woolly rhinoceros in Croatia is presented to the public through the prism of the discovery and processing of findings, as well as the reconstruction of ice age flora and fauna with the help of modern digital aids.

June

VAFI & RAFI

The Varaždin International Animated Film Festival for Children and Youth is the only Croatian festival dedicated exclusively to the creativity of children and youth when it comes to animated films. During the festival, animated films by animators under 18 from all over the world compete for the VAFI award. Moreover, numerous events are organised with a partner country every year, such as workshops, lectures, accompanying screenings of animated films, and exhibitions in the historic town centre.

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June

KLIKER FESTIVAL

The Festival of Dance, Activity and Games for Children and Youth always lifts the spirits of its target audience. It makes them laugh, educates them through dance performances by involving children in various programmes and organizing urban interventions and laboratories. The Kliker Festival is an ideal event for families who want to learn about art through play and entertainment, with a programme is diverse and relaxed, tailored to modern generations.

June

PERFORMANCE DAYS

Varaždin Performance Days is the longest-running performing arts festival in Croatia. The festival was born from a project by a group of Varaždin enthusiasts who wanted to use public and indoor spaces for contemporary art. Once more, this festival confirmed that Varaždin is an ideal stage for performances, with a loyal audience.   Performance Days have had an international character from the beginning, and thanks to the exceptional attention paid to its fresh and quality programme, the visibility of the festival on the European map of contemporary performing arts is a given.
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June

VARAŽDIN COURTYARD FESTIVAL

At the first weekend of July, Varaždin’s courtyards – private and often inaccessible spaces – open their doors to a diverse, creative and relaxing programme of the Festival.   A whole range of old, romantic courtyards in the historic centre host concerts, workshops, fashion shows, plays, flea markets, and much more. The Courtyard Festival is held in the midst of the Summer in Varaždin, which includes a plethora of day and night events.

June – August

SUMMER IN VARAŽDIN

There is widespread belief that summers inland lack excitement and fun. We can’t comment on other towns, but Varaždin certainly isn’t lacking in these areas. From early June until the beginning of Špancirfest, “small Špancirfest”, also known as the Summer in Varaždin, takes place. Concerts, open-air theatre performances, an outdoor cinema, various gastronomic events, as well as a number of other cultural and entertainment events create a real warm buzz that fills Varaždin’s summer schedule.

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July

DRAVA JUMP

You can swim in the Drava at any time, but if you join the masses of jumpers on Drava Jump Day, you will also become part of the international Big Jump event drawing attention to the importance of (the preservation of) rivers. The Drava Jump does not just include jumping, but is an all-day hangout in and around the Drava with various complementing programmes.

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August

ŠPANCIRFEST

Kralj svih varaždinskih, ali i hrvatskih festivala, Špancirfest, pretvorio se u sinonim za svoj rodni grad. U nešto više od dva desetljeća postojanja, Špancirfest se prometnuo u pravu instituciju, festival koji po svojoj programskoj raskoši, duljini trajanja, broju posjetitelja i neizmjernom veselju koje donese, nema pandana u Hrvatskoj.


All year round, the people of Varaždin look forward to the last ten days of August. During the festival days, the streets team with people as dozens of concerts, performances by street performers, plays, exhibitions, workshops, and countless other events in town pull in over 200,000 visitors.

September

TRASH FILM FESTIVAL

As soon as we recover from Špancirfest, we are suddenly immersed in the atmosphere of the craziest film festival in Croatia. The Trash Film Festival celebrates the infinitely creative culture of serious amateur film making, with small budgets – yet great achievements. Every year, the festival revolves around a theme, as well as an accompanying programme full of music, lectures, workshops, and trash parties.

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September

INTERNATIONAL FLOWER EXHIBITION BAROQUE, MUSIC, FLOWERS

Every Baroque evening is accompanied by the International Flower Exhibition Baroque, Music, Flowers. Exhibitors look for inspiration in partner countries of the festival, and in addition to local and foreign professional florists and exhibitors, young florists also present their work in the unique space of the Old Town.

September

VARAŽDIN BAROQUE EVENINGS

The oldest, most famous and most significant Croatian classical music festival is the main cultural event in Varaždin in early autumn. Dedicated to baroque music – the golden age when some of the world’s greatest composers created their works, the festival is largely held in above-ground Varaždin churches and at other historical sites with good acoustics, both in Varaždin and further afield.

Even if you are not a fan of classical music, you will definitely find something appealing at this festival. Baroque evenings also have an accompanying programme called Total baroque, with non-classical concerts and other events, such as exhibitions, literary promotional events and poetry recitals.

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April

CRAFT STREET FAIR

The primary goals of this well-recognized and quality event include the promotion of craftsmen, the presentation of a wide variety of their works, and word-of-mouth transmission of its rich historical heritage. Varaždin has developed as a crafts and trade town, with a constant spirit, as confirmed every year by the popularity of this festival.

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December

VARAŽDIN CHRISTMAS MARKET

Varaždinski adventski festival mogao bi se nazvati i „Advent kakav je nekad bio“. Problem je samo što nekada ovako zanimljivih i programima ispunjenih događanja nije bilo. Ipak, u moru adventskih festivala diljem Hrvatske, varaždinski se trudi biti romantičan, raznolik, ali ne i pretjerano masovan. U nizu koncerata i drugih sadržaja, zimski uređenih i ulickanih mjesta za selfije te primamljivih mirisa iz brojnih gastrokućica, Advent u Varaždinu u srži je romantično događanje, bez nepodnošljivih gužvi, skrojeno za intimno uživanje i opuštanje u ljepotama zimskog Varaždina.

December

NEW YEAR RACE

Varaždin is one of the few cities in the entire world that welcomes in the new year – running. Those who take part in the race claim that there is no better feeling than running accompanied by such joy and noise. If you love running, or if you wonder why others do it – experience Varaždin’s New Year’s Eve race at least once.

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March

LAUGHTER WEEK of the Kerekesh Theatre

Laughter Week is the most visited, witty, and most entertaining theatre festival in Croatia. Over ten days, dozens of comedy performances take place on the stages of Varaždin and a number of surrounding towns and villages, with a beneficial effect not only enhancing the culture of Varaždin, but also on the mental health of anyone indulging in this bout of laughter.

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