Zagreb Festival of Lights 2024 – Your Full Guide

Paul Bradbury

zagreb festival of lights 2024
All images: Zagreb Tourist Board

March the 14th, 2024 – It’s that time of year again! Well, almost. The Zagreb Festival of Lights 2024 (Festival svjetla) is nearly upon us for the sixth time. This beautiful, simple and uplifting event awakens the child in all of us. Here’s all you need to know about this year’s upcoming edition.

Let’s face it – there are very many festivals held year-round all over Croatia and on the islands. Some are more complex than others, some are historic, and some are just… well, rather odd. As has always been the case throughout human history – simple is often best. An innocent simplicity that delights all generations is what makes the Zagreb Festival of Lights so popular each year, and it will undoubtedly be the same story this year, too.

J. Duval

Far from the coast and chronically overlooked as little more than the capital city of “that country with the beautiful coastline” until relatively recently, Zagreb has come on leaps and bounds when it comes to tourism. Advent in Zagreb is one such city event that captured the hearts of people nationwide and abroad. So much so that it won the title of Best European Christmas Market for three years running. Up against the festive destinations in the likes of Germany, Austria and Switzerland – that’s no small feat for a city located in a country famed for its summer offer of sunshine and sea.

The Zagreb Festival of Lights event is very similar in that sense. It isn’t held in summer. It’s nowhere near the coast, and it has no huge complexities to it. The fact that it caters to age-old, pure and simple human delight at beautiful lights and displays ensures it is looked forward to and anticipated with glee by all.

The Zagreb Festival of Lights 2024 – Heralding spring, hope and optimism

Organised by the Zagreb Tourist Board and partners, along with the support of the City of Zagreb, from March the 20th to the 24th this year, the much loved Zagreb Festival of Lights will take place in the capital of Croatia for the sixth time. Over a period of five days, visitors to the event will be able to see a total of 29 attractions in 24 different city locations which will herald the arrival of warmer and longer days, and reconnect us with the beautiful Croatian capital in a unique way.

On the occasion of the Zagreb Festival of Lights 2024, Mayor Tomislav Tomašević stated: “This is the sixth Zagreb Festival of Lights event, which has turned into one of a series of successful cultural and tourist assets of the City of Zagreb. Year after year, the city attracts more and more artists, local residents and tourists alike with this event. This event makes an important contribution to the development of Zagreb as a year-round tourist destination.

It’s precisely this festival that heralds the long-awaited arrival of spring and new beginnings, it brings hope and optimism, and at the same time, it educates us and allows us to look deeper and question various social issues. I’m therefore looking forward to seeing the vibrancy out on the city streets once again. I would also like to mention that the Zagreb Festival of Lights is completely free for all visitors, because I firmly believe that culture should be something more accessible everyone in Zagreb, as well as to all of our dear guests.”

Zagreb – an international character

J Duval

Zagreb Tourist Board director Ms. Martina Bienenfeld, said the following of the upcoming Zagreb Festival of Lights 2024 event: The Zagreb Tourist Board has been organising this event since 2017, and it’s more than just an event – it’s an opportunity to explore new parts of the city that are involved in this year’s programme, as well as to connect with other cities and countries.

This festival nurtures an international character, and we’ve achieved cooperation with artists from Austria, France, Germany, Slovakia and Spain, and we are also delighted Croatian visits from cities like Pula and Šibenik. Additionally, the Zagreb Festival of Lights 2024 will not only bring the magic of the light installations themselves, but will also send out a strong message about the importance of nature conservation and sustainability. Through cooperation with the WWF (World Wide Fund for Nature) Adria, special attention will be paid to the protection of nature, as well as our responsibility towards the environment and to future generations.

Through joint cooperation, we can place additional emphasis on the synergy of planet Earth and all of its living beings, sustainability and nature protection. As such, the Zagreb Festival of Lights 2024 will join in with the global Earth Hour event. As the main symbol of this year’s festival, we chose the beautiful Sljeme (Medvednica) spring flower – the forest cyclamen, a protected plant that will act as a firm reminder of how important it is that we work to protect the planet’s natural beauty and wild animal species.”

The Zagreb Festival of Lights 2024 will join in with Earth Hour

M Magaš

Dunja Mazzocco Drvar, the director of the WWF Adria nature protection programme said: “For 15 years now, the World Organisation for Nature Protection (WWF) has been organising Planet Earth Hour, the largest volunteer action in the entire world, which invites us all to engage in the urgent adaptation to climate change and to the protection of biological diversity we’re tragically now losing at breakneck speed. We lose one species somewhere in the world almost every single passing hour.

Given the fact that this year, that action is being held at the same time as the Zagreb Festival of Lights 2024, we’re very grateful to the Zagreb Tourist Board, which more than readily accepted our invitation to cooperate. It decided that its main festival location, which will be on Marulić Square, will bear the message of protecting nature and the harmony of human life alongside it.

In addition, on Saturday, March the 23rd at 20:30, we will celebrate Earth Hour by turning off all of the lights at all festival locations for 15 minutes. We’d like to invite our fellow citizens to come to Marko Marulić Square where we will organise an accompanying programme.”

Promotional campaigns both on and offline

M Magaš

As always, alongside the Croatian National Tourist Board (CNTB/HTZ), the Zagreb Tourist Board is set to conduct online and offline campaigns on the markets of Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, France, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, Germany, Scandinavia, Slovenia, Serbia and Great Britain. Promotional billboards were also installed in Zagreb Airport’s arrivals area.

It’s also worth noting that the Zagreb Festival of Lights has been included in the international festival organisation of the Festival of Lights International, since its first edition back in 2017, which brought it into focus around the world, sitting next to cities such as Berlin, New York and many others.

The opening programme in cooperation with WWF Adria, Austrian, French and German artists and with 3D mapping is scheduled for Wednesday, March the 20th, at 19:00 at Marko Marulić Square. As was also the case back during previous years, the festival will be open from 18:00 to 23:00, and entry to all of the event’s programmes is free. More information about individual programmes, as well as a map of all of this year’s locations are available here and here.

The Zagreb Festival of Lights 2024 – what to see

Here are the remarkable displays you’ll be able to view as part of the Zagreb Festival of Lights 2024 – Make sure to visit them all over the five day event – we an guarantee it will be more than worth it!

Lighthouse / Lotrščak Tower

Manifesto of ecology – Opatovina park – Miroslav Krleža elementary school playground

Lipizzaners – Opatovina park

Zagreb medley – Dolac market

ZG moonwalk / dolac market – main steps

Peace – zagreb dance centre courtyard

Without you, oh my poor heart – Zagreb dance centre

Cube – Masarykova Street

Universum – Gajeva street

NIGHTOGRAPHY powered by Galaxy AI / Ban J. Jelačić Square

Point of view – European square

For peace! – Ribnjak Park

Vlaška light vision /Vlaška Street

Guardians of the Future / Croatian Nobles Square

Bubbles – Zrinjevac park

Trigger – J. J. Strossmayer Square

Rhythm and Measurement of Light / King Tomislav Square

We are all connected / Marko Marulić Square

Legacy in light / M. Marulić Square

Fireflies / Mažuranić Square

In the clouds / Mažuranić Square

AI Parasite / Mažuranić Square

Springtime symphony / Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb

Florescence / Next to the Tuškanac Cinema

“Court, Ball, Chairs Dražen Petrović” / Tuškanac garage Plateau

Meteorites / Tuškanac Forest Park

The Secret Life of Forests / Tuškanac Forest Park – Golubovac

Neon Playground / Dubravka’s Path – kids playground

Pixelio / Dubravka’s Path – kids playground

While we’re more than sure they are, if these gorgeous images aren’t enough to get you excited for the Zagreb Festival of Lights 2024, a video will definitely get you in the mood!

For more on this beautiful event, check out the official website.


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