Varaždin, Where a Summer of Culture and Film Awaits

Total Croatia News


A busy cultural summer in Varazdin awaits. The highlights. 

Where is the most cultured city in Croatia? It is something one can debate long into the night, but there is no doubt that the Baroque city of Varaždin is among the strongest candidates for the title. Just an hour away from Zagreb close to the Slovenian and Hungarian borders, Varaždin is fames for its rich cultural programme, and 2017 looks like being no exception. An overview of some of the excited gourmet, cultural and film events that await your visit this summer.


The 8th International Children and Youth Animation Film Festival Varaždin (VAFI), 30th May to 4th June 2017

The International Children and Youth Animation Film Festival Varaždin (VAFI) is the only Croatian festival solely dedicated to the creativity of children and young people in animated film. During the Festival, a ‘Child Animator Oscar‘, a VAFI trophy, is awarded to competing cartoons produced by young animators between 7 and 18 years of age. The competition is always accompanied by supporting activities: workshops, lectures, screenings of animated films, exhibitions and concerts which invigorate Varaždin’s Historic City Core.

MOP Špancirfest Multimedia Festival, 4th to13th May 2017

The sixth edition of the Festival in Varaždin will enliven the city with its multimedia art and digital culture. In addition to presenting the trends in audio visual technology, exhibitions, numerous thematic lectures and educational workshops, the Festival will offer a series of accompanying entertainment such as interactive installations, concerts, multimedia performances and screenings.

Gourmet Varaždin, May 2017

Gourmet Varaždin is a two day event that calls for exploration and tasting of ethno-gastronomic delicacies from across the Varaždin area. It is an opportunity to visit an open-air restaurant and try not only well-known flavours but also new dishes prepared using traditional recipes and indigenous ingredients, all prepared by top chefs from Varaždin’s restaurants.

16th Performance Days, 8th to 11th June 2017

Varaždin has not only a rich traditional culture but also a vibrant contemporary art scene. Theatrical stages, galleries, squares, streets and Varaždin’s abandoned spaces provide sites for new sensations, thoughts, provocations, criticisms and a lyrical approach to the art of the human body and its movement. These fabulous scenes produced by contemporary artists turn Varaždin into a peculiar and intriguing cultural centre.

The 3rd Annual Varaždin Theatrical Evenings – VKV 2017, 26th June to 26th August 2017

Every Saturday between the 6th and 24th of June 2017, the summertime theatrical event ‘The 3rd Annual Varaždin Theatrical Evenings – VKV 2017’ allows the Varaždin theatre-going public and tourists spending summer in Varaždin to enjoy evenings of comedy programmes arranged and performed by the Kerekesh Theatre of Varaždin.

On the open summer stages of the chamber and courtyard theatres in the centre of Varaždin, which provides discreet catering services, the Kerekesh Theatre will present a show of its own pieces and host guest performances of an independent theatre from Zagreb’s and Varaždin’s National Theatres.

Varaždin courtyard festival, 1st July 2017.

Varaždin’s streets and squares have been walked along by Varazdinians a thousand times before, but only a few have peered at the courtyards behind them. The Varaždin Courtyard Festival opens the doors on those hidden corners of the historic core and allows all interested parties an opportunity to enjoy the most intimate parts of this interesting City. In a dozen open courtyards visitors can expect different thematic content, workshops, exhibitions, musical programmes and, most importantly of all, a good atmosphere.

Summer in Varaždin, 22nd June to 1st August 2017

The special and precious feature of Varaždin is its parks and promenades that have been finely interpolated into the architectural layers of its history. It is due to those green spaces that are interwoven into the geography of the city that summers here are always fresh and pleasant. The murmur of fountains spreading between the freshness of urban greenery and the architecture which leaps across the centuries, is not all one can experience during summers in Varaždin. Every year that inter-space becomes the venue for the complementary Summer in Varaždin, one filled with a wealth of fine music, dance and theatre.

Folkofonija, 7th to 9th July 2017

Folklore in music and dance is woven into the everyday life of every human community. Traditional culture is one of its most attractive forms. Folkofonija, the International Festival of Traditional Culture will present diversity and specificity of music and dances from each region in the theatrical performances by local and international artists. By nurturing traditional culture and popularising it among younger generations Folkofonija, in its third year, will present a rich programme of tambura and dance evenings in order to implement a series of themes for children, lovers of traditional creativity and the professional community.

19th ŠPANCIRFEST, 18th to 27th August 2017

The story of Špancirfest started nineteen years ago as the first street festival in Croatia, and today it is one of the best attended Croatian festival events. The idea is that Špancirfest provides events over a ten-day period to engender a sense of belonging to a community that fosters creative thinking and freedom of expression. The Festival brings together professional and amateur artists from around the world – from musicians of various genres to street theatre and multimedia performance – and Varaždin’s historic city core turns into an art workshop in which visitors and artists can participate. At Špancirfest visitors have a unique opportunity to experience a variety of artistic expressions and actively participate in some them with professionals from cultural and creative industries and, in turn, develop their knowledge and skill and expand their networks and business contacts.

Ceramica Multiplex 2017

The International Exhibition CERAMICA MULTIPLEX 2017 is the main event at the 2016/2017 International Festival of Postmodern Ceramics which will be held at the Varaždin City Museum’s exhibition halls. Organised by the Croatian Ceramics Association Kerameikon, this Exhibition will bring together participants form around the world and their works will show how exciting, diverse, unique and individual art pieces ceramics can be. For ceramicists, along with other interested members of the public, the exhibitions are part of a creative experience which aims to stimulate creativity.

Trash Film Festival, 6th – 9th September 2017.

Of the three European film festivals dedicated to trash one takes place in Varaždin. The Trash Film Festival in Varaždin shows actions movies, horrors and SciFi epics – and the common property of them all is exaggeration in the given genre characteristics. However, film art is but the first step in this three-day long exploration of the aesthetics of trash in Varaždin. The exaggeration on the screen is carried over into a range of non-film events, with glittering costumes, music stars from decades gone by, red carpets and white limos, the ‘Golden Chainsaw’ Award Ceremony, all of which are just a fraction of the authentic glam-trash atmosphere this Festival brings to Varaždin.

Flying guitars festival, October 2017

Flying Guitars Festival is manifestation based on the local guitar and music heritage and locality of the internationally renowned name of guitar history Ivan Padovec. He was the only one of the Croatian musicians of his generation to leave a mark in the European musical life as a teacher, performer, guitar innovator and composer. It is due to Padovec that the guitar was firmly etched into the basis of Varaždin culture, thus becoming a local identity element and the basis of an initiative to present the best of the guitar world in one place, trough international festival.

Besides the attractive, often unique concert activity, respected guests are expected to hold workshops, lectures, courses and public meetings. Side events, such as presentations and exhibitions, will additionally transform Varaždin and Varaždin county into the guitar capital of the world for four days.

Varaždin Baroque Evenings, 22nd September to 5th October 2017

Varaždin cherishes and lovingly nurtures its Baroque splendour, and shows it with pride. And it is on that exuberant stage that the Varaždin Baroque Evenings have been taking place for no less than 40 years. Come autumn, the churches and concerts venues of this city are filled with the music by J.S. Bach, G.F. Handel, A. Vivaldi, H. Purcell, D. Scarlatti and other masters. In the course of the four decades the festival has played host to a range of eminent soloist and ensembles of Baroque music. One of its special features are performances on authentic instruments. This celebration of music is accompanied by a number of other events which complement the cultural mission of the Festival. And to provide the full image of that hedonistic period, the City also offers the aromas and flavours of its gastronomy.

Kliker festival Varaždin, 9th to 15th October 2017

The International Days of Contemporary Dance Festival is dedicated to the presentation, production, research and education in the field of contemporary dance. The ninth Festival is entitled the ‘KLIKER Festival’ and will be held as a special Festival aimed at young people. Dance performances, various residential, educational and interdisciplinary programmes, urban interventions and laboratories for children and young people will be held at various locations across Varaždin and Novi Marof.

For more information on events in Varaždin in 2017,


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