Zagreb is known as a summer gateway to the Adriatic coast and home to one of Europe’s most popular Christmas markets. But in recent years, the Croatian capital has added a flurry of new events to its calendar with the aim of becoming a vibrant destination year-round. We take a look, season by season, at some of the ones worth making a note of.
Spring: heading outdoors
In late March, as the clocks move forward and parks are abloom with daffodils, outdoor life in the Croatian capital reawakens. Fittingly, the Festival of Lights takes place right around this time: a celebration of colour and radiance, this evening event illuminates the city’s facades, streets and landmarks in myriad hues. Raising the country’s sporting profile is the FIA World Rally Championship, which takes place over four days in April. It sees motor racing drivers negotiate narrow, twisty roads in the undulating surrounding the capital, through rural villages, woodland, vineyards and meadows. Early June, meanwhile, heralds the six-day AnimaFest Zagreb, the second-oldest in the world — a favourite among cartoon buffs since 1972. Watch animated movies at the Tuškanac Summer Stage, an open-air cinema in a glade surrounded by towering oak trees, or take part in exhibitions, competitions, workshops and lectures.