Back to Normal: Summer in Zagreb, Concerts, Culture & Festivals

Total Croatia News

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Photo credit: Sanjin Kastelan
Photo credit: Sanjin Kastelan

The sun is shining, all COVID restrictions have been lifted, and another glorious summer in Zagreb is almost upon us. Unlike the last two difficult years of cancellations due to coronavirus, Summer in Zagreb 2022 looks like it will be a return to the good old carefree days of life before the pandemic. And there is certainly plenty to celebrate and enjoy. 

It was only after I moved to Zagreb last year that I realised what a vibrant little city it has become in the last few years. Headline events such as Advent in Zagreb seem to attract most of the tourism headlines, but there are plenty of things happening all through the year. Yesterday, for example, the iconic streets of Ilica was tramless, as Zagreb’s most famous street gave way to the annual Ilica Q’Art Project, an excellent family day out. 


(Photo credit: Boska i Kreso)

That is one of the things I have come to appreciate about living in the capital over the last year – there is always SOMETHING going on, and this summer will be no different. While many understandably will be heading for some beach time on the Adriatic, there is plenty happening to entertain those who want to explore one of Europe’s most vibrant and up-and-coming destinations. 

Zagreb has been developing its tourism brand over the last few years, placing art and culture as a cornerstone of the city’s tourism offer. And fans of culture, concerts and festivals will have plenty to choose from this summer. 

Music fans will be delighted to see the return of the iconic INMusic Festival after a 2-year absence. The 15th edition of the city’s premier music festival will take place from June 20 – 23, with this year’s headline acts including The Killers, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, and Deftones.  If you can’t make it to INMusic, there is still plenty of opportunity to catch some of the world’s biggest music acts in the Croatian capital. Choose from Iron Maiden (22.05), Dream Theater (27.05), Placebo (27.06), Simple Minds (30.06), Whitesnake (02.07), Kiss (09.07), and the Pixies (27.08). All this before The Cure come to visit in October. For something a little gentler to the ear, make a date in the diary for Zagreb Soloists: Sounds of Oktogon on May 15. 

INMusic is not the only music festival with a long tradition. Last year, one of Zagreb’s most famous club programs, Future Scope, marked its 20th anniversary, and this year it is celebrating in style – a three-day festival on Lake Jarun, which will take place on four stylistically different but quality complementary stages. This round birthday is celebrated from 13 to 15 May on the Jarun Island of Croatian Youth. The protagonists of the celebration are some of the most famous local and world musicians.

Not all music festivals need to have a long history to be excellent entertainment, and LMF (Let the Music be Free) Festival is an excellent example of this. This unique festival experience on Jarun lake will see it transformed from June 3-5 into a big stage with worldwide and regional DJs!

Electonic music fans will be able to dance the evening away under the stars on Jarun 10 days later on June 15, as the We Love Sound Open Air Festival returns for its 5th edition. Some of the biggest names in electronic music will share three stages on the edge of Jarun for an unforgettable night of electronic music madness. 

But if you are looking to party with a view, May 21 and June 18 are dates for you, as BSH Medvedgrad nights host perhaps the finest dance nights with a view in the city. The iconic Medvedgrad Fortress, high above the city is the location for an unforgettable atmospheric dance night in an unbeatable location.  


One of the many gourmet innovations in the city in recent years has revolved around the craft beer scene, and Zagreb and Croatia have seen an explosion of craft beer breweries and bars. There is no better place to sample the best of the best than at the annual Zagreb Beer Fest, which runs this year from May 19-22. 

With its numerous parks, Zagreb is known as one of the greenest capitals in Europe, and so perhaps it is no surprise that it is also home to the largest green festival in the region. From June 2-5 Tvornica and Rougemarin Park will host over 60 foreign and domestic speakers, where sustainable topics will be discussed at the Greencajt Festival and green changes encouraged through various content – panel discussions, lectures, workshops, an exhibition of electric cars.

Summer in Zagreb is also paradise for theatre lovers, and there are various themed theatre events, adding an extra cultural dimension to the summer season. These include Summer Evenings of the Croatian National Theatre from June to September, Exit Theatre Summer Evenings from June to August, and Days of the Gavran Theatre in June. 


(Photo credit: Boska i Kreso)

But Zagreb is above all, a very walkable city, and the city has worked hard to provide entertainment of all kinds seemingly on every street corner. One such addition last year was the Mali (Little) Zagreb art project, as we reported previously. Look out (and this is a great one for the kids) for tiny compositions which resemble the facades of Zagreb´s residential buildings and the windows of the once typical Zagreb businesses and craft shops. Little Zagreb is just about to open for the season and will be on show until September. 


(Photo credit M. Mihaljevic)

Some of the quaintest and less discovered parts of the city are undoubtedly the courtyards of the numerous historic buildings. Areas, perhaps, where tourists do not normally roam, but there is so much Zagreb magic to explore. In order to encourage this, the Zagreb Courtyards project was started in 2014, opening up these unique spaces with various events, decorations and exhibitions (take a peak at last year’s TCN report). You can follow what is happening this year on the official Facebook page


(Photo credit S. Kastelan)

Perhaps the real essence of Summer in Zagreb is encapsulated in the most-loved Summer on Stross, which brings together the magic of the city in a unique way.  The emphasis is firmly on socialising outdoors, while celebrating culture in its many formats. Carefully created musical programme, art installations integrated into space, somewhat nostalgic atmosphere of the open-air cinema, painters and their canvases and a glass of excellent wine…

Ah, Summer in Zagreb, why would you spend it anywhere else? 

To learn more about the Croatian capital, check out the TC Zagreb in a Page guide


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