In addition to being THE Advent destination in Europe (which probably means in the world as well), Zagreb also has a lot to offer when it comes to the New Year’s Eve parties and events.
In Croatian, you will often hear it referred to as the “najluđa noć” (the craziest night), and although that’s probably quite far from the truth, the New Year’s Eve is always celebrated with great parties, both outdoors and indoors, with a lot of food and drinks and dancing, as it is customary all around the world. Saying goodbye to the year past and bidding welcome to the new one arriving, during which everything will be so much better is just something everyone does. The part of the experience of a New Year’s Eve party in Croatia which is probably not universal to the rest of the world is the obligatory goulash served sometime around 4 or 5 am at any restaurant-type of party. So, be forewarned, if you plan to spend your New Year’s Eve in a restaurant or in a hotel in Zagreb (or just about anywhere else in Croatia), you will be served a stew-type beef meal around the time when it’s the last thing you can think of, and others will eat it, so give it a go yourself!
But, what are your options for that evening in Zagreb? There will be open-air entertainment, of course, as there always is. On the main Ban Jelačić square, the traditional concert is organized, and several performers will be entertaining the crowd from 9 pm until 2 am (Doris Dragović, Tonči Huljić & Madre Badessa, Gazde and Vatra), with significantly varying musical styles, so if you want to welcome the New Year surrounded by a lot of people you don’t know singing and dancing (possibly in the rain, as that is the weather forecast for the evening), this is probably where the main party will be. There are other locations in the city with different entertainment during the evening: the European square at the beginning of Vlaška will turn into a pop-up open-air club, with music by the famous DJ star Eddy Ramich and background of whatever the vendors located there are offering in their “kućice”, the Ice Park on the Tomislav Square is hiding their main act for the evening (but TBF performed last year, so it’s probably going to be someone well known once again), Strossmayerovo šetalište in Gornji grad (Upper town) will see a performance by the Positivo band, who are sure to create an, ahem, positive atmosphere.
If you would prefer to be indoors (who can blame you?!), the choice of parties is even larger:
- The Garden Brewery offers you the performance of 4 DJ’s (one of which is the best Croatian barista!), lower price of their beers and burgers, gourmand cold-cuts and a champagne at midnight
- Vintage Industrial Bar will welcome the New Year with the concert by Let 3, the best Croatian punk-rock band
- Tuškanac Cinema is organising, 8th year in a row, a movie night for the New Year’s Eve party: starting at 9:30 pm Howard Hawks’ 1952 classic Monkey Business will be shown, then there will be music, bites, an obligatory glass of champagne at midnight and after that, at 12:30 am latest Woody Allen hit, Wonder Wheel
- Metropolis music and billiards club in Novi Zagreb is hosting an “Only Fools and Horses”-themed party, complete with the period music, so you can expect to be cwying during the party, although that’s not really a party-song to anyone who’s not the fan of the show
- Komedija Theatre will throw an operetta party, where the orchestra, choir, ballet and the actors will perform a mix of entertaining tunes for their visitors
- Zagreb 360° – observation deck and event venue on the top of the skyscraper in the centre is hosting one of the more exclusive parties, priced at a whopping 2500-3000 kuna, for which they promise staggering food choices prepared by Lisak Catering, open bar with no limits and performances by famous musicians, bands, stand-up comedians, illusionists and DJ’s (none of those are named, so it’s a bit of a surprise party)
Almost any other club or bar in Zagreb will be throwing a party that night, it’s impossible to list them all, so we’re just naming a few. Browse around a bit, we’ll sure you’ll be able to find a place that has planned a perfect match for your New Year’s Eve party expectations. And if you want to high-roll it that night, hotels in Zagreb will also be happy to entertain you: Sheraton hotel is organizing a flamenco-themed dance party, with an amazing buffet menu, Esplanade hotel is throwing a fancy five-course dinner party (cognac and cigar lounge included!), or you can opt for a party at their The Club with a DJ and open cocktail bar!