The most famous festivals in Croatia focus on music, and there’s truly something for everyone: from open-air pop and rock with the In Music festival in Zagreb, to a line-up of world class DJs at Ultra Europe in Split to more intimate festivals for the music enthusiast.

While most festivals combine all night partying with the beauty of Croatian beaches:

  • If you‘re looking for an adrenalin rush combined with good music read more about the Pannonian Challenge in Osijek below!
  • There are also many film festivals, such as the Motovun film festival, and the large scale art festival Dubrovačke ljetne igre.

Below you’ll find some basic information on the best Croatian summer festivals coming up in the year 2017:

1. Sea Star Festival

This festival of electronic music, which takes place in the city of Umag, at the most northern part of Istrian coastline, opens the festival season. If you love fancy cocktails, fun on a beach and the newest dance hits, you should visit this festival.

Among 70 national and international artists and bands playing at the festival, there are such names as The Prodigy, Fatboy Slim, Paul Kalkbrenner, Dubioza Kolektiv, Modestep, Umek, S.A.R.S., Spiller, Urban & 4, Elemental, Brkovi and many others.


2. In Music Festival in Zagreb

The In Music festival is the biggest open air rock and pop music festival in the country and is has been organised now for more than a decade. It takes place in June and the location is the ‘Youth Island’ in the middle of Zagreb's Lake Jarun.

The festival is usually held over three days and many prominent international performers, including Nick Cave, Roisin Murphy, Moby, Franz Ferdinand, Kraftwerk, Alice in Chains, Arcade Fire, Jamiroquai, Gogol Bordello, Iggy and the Stooges, Pixies and Placebo, took part so far.

In 2008 The Times included IN Music Festival among the top 20 European summer festivals.


3. Špancirfest

This street art festival, which is one of the most visited national festivals, is held in the northern part of continental Croatia over ten hot days in August.

Besides music, it also offers many other interesting performances and features. Classical and contemporary music, children's performances, and street artists are just some of the things you can experience in Varaždin, a city of rich architectural heritage.

Tip: Not far from Varaždin is Trakošćan, one of the most attractive castles in Croatia.


4. Motovun Film Festival

This festival, organized every June in the city of Motovun in Istria, is a must see for all film fans. If you’ve had enough of commercial movies and crave something more independent and artistic ... and would also like to watch them under the stars and in the fresh air, then the Motovun Film Festival is the right place for you.

After the projections of the newest domestic and foreign production movies, you can enjoy music on the streets of this charming medieval town.


5. Pannonian Challenge

Osijek is the biggest city in the east of Croatia, rich in parks and famous for its food. It is also home to the Pannonian Challenge, a festival of extreme sports. The festival is held in June on the banks of the River Drava and recognised as the largest extreme sports event –notjust in Croatia - but in the entire region.

During the day, numerous sportsmen compete with crazy activities while in the evening the audience enjoy numerous concerts.

Tip: National park Kopački rit is nearby (visit the official website).


6. Ultra Europe

Ultra Europe is an electronic music festival organized in Split and it’s the biggest festival in Croatia. The festival hosts world's top DJ's and stunning visual attractions. It is now part of Destination Ultra, a project that spans seven days and several locations along the Croatian coastline.

Destination Ultra includes an opening party, a three-day festival, a yacht regatta, the Ultra Beach festival, and a closing party. If you like partying all night long and soaking up the sun during the day, you know where to be in July.


Festivals in Croatia

Dubrovnik Summer Festival

7. Dubrovačke ljetne igre

Come and enjoy theatre in Dubrovnik during the Dubrovnik Summer Festival. Each year the whole city is a stage, with stage adaptation of works by famous world writers, performances of Croatian renaissance and baroque plays, as well as some classical music concerts.

This is a cultural event with a long-lasting tradition, held for almost 70 years.Tip: Do not forget that in Dubrovnik you can visit some of the locations where the famous Game of Thrones was shot.


Plenty of choices for your summer visit to Croatia ... so, which one will you choose?

Some useful vocabulary and phrases to practice on the local festival-goers!

(entrance ticket)
(main stage)
(mobile toilets)
(open air concert)

→ Where is the bar?
→ Where is the main stage?
(informally to one person) → You have nice eyes.
(informally to one person) → Would you like a coffee?
(informally to one person) → Do you have a lighter?
→ Are you up for a beer?
→ Yes, I’m up for a beer!
→ Where am I?
→ Cheers!
→ It’s my turn to pay for the drinks.

Croatian tourism is changing, with younger travellers increasingly visiting Croatia not just for the food, wine and beaches, but also to visit one of the many Croatian festivals. Croatia has become the place to be for festival-goers ... the hottest spot on the European festival map!