Varaždin Baroque Festival

Varaždin Baroque Evenings is an annual September event celebrating the beauty of Baroque and Rococo culture. The opulent beauty of the music and art is celebrated with a festival that’s endured since 1971.

Onawa in front of one of the many instrument sculptures in town.

Stari Grad (Old Town) stone streets lead to rainbow slate streets where a courtyard of cafes borders the castle gates- walk through the cafes to a bridge over a mote filled with hydrangeas on one side and a hay sculpture of a rhino on the other, continue to a gate which leads to the white Varaždin Castle. In the evening the outdoor orchestra was playing Baroque music by artists in uniform. On the other side of town in Trg Kralja there are flower sculptures in the shape of music instruments adorning the courtyard, large speakers are playing music, live from the castle. During the virus the festivities were outside and thankfully the weather was perfect for it.

The castle at dusk before the music began.

Every year for almost fifty years Varaždin organizes a festival to celebrate Baroque music and culture. The city has won eleven national awards which include: the Best Kept city in Continental Croatia and The Silver Flower award placed Varaždin a high position on the list of must-see Croatian destinations. Varaždin is notable the for the cultural assets: monuments, gardens and architecture in Baroque style are part of the city’s distinguishing features.

Some examples of some of the beautiful architecture in this city.

Baroque Evenings blanket the city in pleasant sounds of J.S. Bach, G.F. Händel, A. Vivaldi, H Purcell and other composers. The Old Town Castle and Cathedral host the week-long event.

The festival was born from Varaždin’s tradition of celebrating cultural history and music. In 1968 a group of Croatian musicians and cultural public workers organized the event while attending the 140th anniversary of the Music School Varaždin. They decided that horticultural and visual art would be included which has become the floral arrangements of art displayed around the city and in the park. The festival is world-famous and hosts thirty concerts which are performed by hundreds of musicians for thousands of people visiting from around the world.

Some of the flower arrangements around the city.

Look in the windows and on the sides of buildings for random angel art. The Path of Angels guides visitors around eleven churches, three monasteries and the cathedral.

Under normal conditions the town is covered in market stalls selling unique art and goods. This visit was during the virus so there were only a few. This picture captures the lovely rainbow slate of this area of the city.

Rainbow slate street and a small market area selling handmade shoes, hats and bags from denim.

To find out more about this fabulous festival and plan your trip visit their website


Bring some cool dressed up clothes because everyone dresses up for the evenings.

Avoid the ice cream places, they aren’t worth the calories

Organize your stay to include Trakošćan Castle, it’s about 45 minutes away.

Try anything with pumpkin seed oil, it’s a thing in this region and it’s delicious. I put this rich, dark oil on everything: soup, bread, whatever, it’s yummy! The local market sells pumpkin seed oil along with amazing walnuts in September, I think they were my favorite walnuts ever.

If you’re planning a trip to Varaždin, I wrote a post about this cute city.