Festivals in Croatia are famous for their guaranteed hot weather, beach raves and boat parties. Most of the festivals are electro, techno, minimal or a mixture of the three, but if that’s not what floats your boat, there are a few mainstream music ones too. Here are the best festivals in Croatia to choose from.
Croatia is known for lots of things, such as beaches with clear blue waters, old towns with red roof tiles, waterfalls, football and of course Game of Thrones. But festivals in Croatia have also become popular during the last decade, with some like Hideout Festival and Outlook Festival attracting large crowds.
Most of the well-known festivals in Croatia are music festivals. They generally span genres, with some taking place on the mainland or islands, and some on boats. The weather and beaches of Croatia provide the perfect setting for festivals and you’ll no doubt be taking lots of photos or videos with the Croatian sunset behind you. But they’re also nice to explore after you’ve finished partying too, so it’s worth following a festival in Croatia with some relaxing time afterwards.
There’s also other types of festivals in Croatia, such as film festivals, food festivals and local community celebrations. It’s a pretty full calendar, with most happening over the summer. But while there are lots to choose from, I’ve narrowed down some of the best. Keep reading to find a breakdown of my top summer festivals in Croatia.
The best summer festivals in Croatia
From May to September, Croatia hosts some of the best summer festivals in the world. Whether you’re into electronic music or R’n’B, you’ll no doubt find one from this diverse list.
1. The Sea Star Festival
19 – 20 May 2023
The Sea Star Festival is a popular music festival in Croatia organised by the team responsible for the EXIT festival in Serbia. The lineup features various artists perform pop, metallic, punk, techno, hip-hop, and other types of music on the stage. In the past, these have included Wu-Tang Clan, Amelie Lens, Nina Kraviz, UMEK, and many more.
This is a four-day festival takes place next to Stella Maris lagoon in Umag, Croatia. It’s a beautiful setting, right by the coast as well as Umag town. If you’re looking for the most idyllic festival campsite in the world, this might be it.
For fans of: Wutang Clan, Robin Shultz, The Prodigy
Go if: You want a proper seaside atmosphere and are on a bit of a budget
2. INmusic Festival
Returning in 2024
Named as one of the best summer music festivals in Croatia, INmusic festival is the largest open-air fest in the country. It temporarily took a break in 2023 due to financial issues, but came back for more. Lots of artists from the region and beyond come to play here, spanning different types of music genres such as rock, metal, and instrumental, etc.
It’s considered one of the more affordable festivals, with cheap drinks and lots of free things to do. It’s held in the open-air space right in the middle of Lake Jarun, which has all sorts of activities like kayaking and volleyball. You’re also close to Zagreb which is a great city to explore.
For fans of: Arctic Monkeys, Basement Jaxx, Bloc Party
Go if: You want to go to a festival in Croatia, but you prefer more mainstream music than all the electronica festivals the country is famous for.
3. Hideout Festival
10 – 13 August 2023
Hideout Festival is an annual event that takes place on Pag Island in Croatia. It’s probably the most famous summer festival in Croatia, attracting electronic and dance music lovers from all around the world. Some of the most notable acts over the years include Four Tet, Skrillex, Annie Mac and Stormzy.
If you look up Hideout Festival online, you’ll no doubt see lots of pictures of their boat parties. There’s also a popular beach party, as well as plenty of club parties, so if your feet can take it – there’s a lot of dancing to be done throughout the festival.
Hideout is definitely a must-see festival in Croatia if you love going to festivals. It’s the most well-known for good reason and you’ll see it in lots of ‘best festival’ lists generally.
Where: Zcre Beach, Pag
Sleep: Nearby apartments
For fans of: Four Tet, Chase & Status, Seth Troxler
Go if: You look cool, dress cool and like cool music. No chavs allowed.
4. Fresh Island Festival
26 – 28 June 2023
Now over 10 years old, Fresh Island Festival takes place in the same location as Hideout on Pag Island. It claims to be Europe’s leading urban festival, playing classic and old-school R’n’B among other genres.
Like lots of the other festivals in Croatia, there are boat parties to enjoy, as well as pool parties, and pre and after parties. Imagine dancing to urban beats by the pool against the backdrop of an island sunset? Sounds pretty perfect.
Where: Novalja, Pag
For fans of: Snoop Dogg, A$AP Rocky + more
Go if: You want to sing “Snoop dawggggy dawwwwwwg” at the top of your voice in the sunshine.
5. Hospitality On The Beach
2nd – 9th July 2024
The three main philosophies of Hospitality on the Beach are to rave, explore and connect with other festival-goers. It’s like the holy trinity for music lovers and travellers.
It’s predominantly a drum & bass music festival, featuring top DJs, MCs and acts from the genre. There are four stages to fill, so there’s quite a full lineup with so many different people to see.
The festival was so successful it moved around a bit, heading to Albania for a few editions. In 2023 it returned to Tisno in Croatia though, and sits firmly in the list of the must-see summer festivals to go to here. Like others, it has boat parties, after parties, and different things to do. These include wellness activities and watersports, among others.
Sleep: Mixed options
For fans of: Andy C, Wilkinson, + more
Go if: You want an intimate setting but a big rave
6. Love International Festival
12 – 18 July 2023
Love International Festival is another great music festival in Croatia that’s usually held in a cove almost fifteen minutes away from the village of Tisno. Here people can enjoy the lake, eat fresh seafood and steaks, have fun in boat rides, and easily travel to and from your apartment.
The beauty of this festival is that it is small-scaled and usually does not have more than 4500 people so everything is near and accessible and the movement across the stages is also very easy.
If you like the idea of sustainable travel, you’ll probably enjoy the fact that Love International Festival donates £1 from each full ticket purchased to EarthPercent. This is a charity that aims to use music to better the planet, supporting people around the world facing the impact of climate change and reducing our impact.
Where: Tisno, Croatia
Sleep: Apartments or glamping
For fans of: Horse Meat Disco, Moxie, Willikens & Ivkovic
Go if: You love the idea of partying on a boat or island
7. Ultra Europe, Croatia
7 – 9 July 2023
Ultra Europe is another popular three-day, open space, and multi-venue music festival that is celebrated in twenty different European countries. It first took place on Hvar Island close to Split, Croatia in 2013, featuring acts like Sunnery James, Porter Robinson, Knife Party, and many more. Today, the festival takes over Split’s Mladeži Park, which is a football stadium in the city, as well as other locations like Hvar, Brač and more.
Apart from the music festival, it includes various other fun-filled activities such as Yacht regatta, beach party, and closing party. Its trademark is the huge firework displays and smokey cannons, which make for a massive party celebration.
Where: Split and other locations
For fans of: Armin Van Buuren, Avicii, David Guetta
Go if: You want the excitement of different locations for your festivals, and you want to see beautiful Hvar.
20 – 27 July 2023
Suncebeat is another annual music festival held in the summer in Croatia. It started in 2010 and has since become the longest-running festival in Tisno. It was the first to feature deep house titan Larry Heard, Berlin powerhouse Prosumer and DJ Harvey. You’ll be able to see emerging acts before they’re world famous as well as already well-known artists too.
The festival has multiple stages and venues including the main stage, the water-side Beach Bar, the Olive Grove, and the open-air club Barbarella’s. Suncebeat also hosts wild boat parties on legendary boats such as The Argonaughty and The Arbiana, adding to the excitement and variety of the overall experience.
Where: Garden Tisno
Sleep: On-site apartments
For fans of: Gilles Peterson, Moodymann, Mark Farina
Go if: You want to party with like-minded musical souls in a secluded bay with a shimmering sandy beach.
9. Outlook Festival
27 July – 1 August 2023
One of the most popular non-electronic music festivals in Croatia, Outlook features artists from grime, garage, afrobeat, hip hop, rap, reggae, dub, dubstep, jungle, drum & bass, and more. It’s a huge international crowd of festival-goers, all heading to Croatia for four days of fun.
It first started as a subsidiary of SubDub in Leeds, focusing on bass music. However, the festival organisers decided to kickstart it in Pula, as you can’t exactly compare the urban city of Leeds with the picturesque city in Croatia, which feels more like a holiday. In fact, Pula and the Istria region is an amazing place to explore or take a road trip around.
The festival also features the Outlook Orchestra, which began in 2017 to showcase Sound Systems music in a new way. The Outlook Orchestra is a 100+ minute live mix led by BASCA award-winning composer Tommy Evans, so it’s definitely a must-see of the festival.
Where: Pula and other locations
Sleep: Camping or nearby apartments
For fans of: Talib Kweli, Jay Electronica, Andy C
Go if: You want to be part of “Europe’s largest bass music and sound system culture festival” and hang out in an old Croatian fort for a week.
10. Sonus Festival
19 – 24 August 2023
Organised by the Hospitality family, Sonus Festival has gained popularity over the years and is one of the most well-loved Croatian festivals to go to in the summer. It typically spans five days and five nights, celebrating house, tech-house, techno, EDM and dance. As with a lot of the bigger music festivals, it attracts quite a young hipster crowd who love raves alongside sunbathing and being by the beach – a perfect combination.
Sonus takes place on Zrce Beach on Pag Island, which is kind of like the epicentre for electronic music festivals in Croatia. There’s a lot to do – or if you prefer not to and you want to take in the beach/island surroundings.
But if you’re going purely for the music then you can make the most of the top techno DJs that come every year and 50 headliners. There’s also boat parties and beachside stages and lots more going on.
Where: Novalja and Pag Island
Sleep: Camping or nearby apartments
For fans of: Ricardo Villalobos, Richie Hawtin, Diplo
Go if: You want to see the best techno DJs and party non-stop
31 August – 4 September 2023
A spin-off from the Outlook Festival, Dimensions is similar but on a smaller scale. It’s great for underground electronic fans that are looking for more music fun. It has after parties that run from 12am til 6am, boat parties and lots more going on for festival-goers. Plus, the accommodation can be so comfortable, which is a nice alternative to camping sometimes.
The festival’s musical program covers bass, house, techno, electro, garage, disco, and more. There’s always great acts and labels there, alongside returning partners like Fabric, Dr. Banana, The Ghost, Butter Side Up, Freerotation, Subdub, and others.
So whether it’s dancing on boats, enjoying beats on the beach, or taking in the high energy of Barbarella’s Discotheque, Dimensions is a great festival for music lovers in Croatia late summer.
Where: The Garden Tisno, Croatia
Sleep: Onsite apartments or camping
For fans of: Adam Pits & Lisene: Space Cadets, DJ Assault, Helena Hauff
Go if: You love Outlook Festival and want more.
The Best Festivals in Croatia
Among the various other things that Croatia is famous for is the variety of festivals in Croatia is the most charming thing about the country. The best thing about the festivals in Croatia is that you have the best in the entire world here. From boat parties to raves, to music nights, and beautiful historical cities of the country are nothing but absolutely incredible to witness and experience. The country offers you beautiful and breathtaking locations that take the festive spirit to a whole new level. Let’s look at some of the most popular and best festivals in Croatia.
Other non-music festivals and summer events in Croatia
In addition to music festivals, the summer calendar in Croatia is full of different types of festivals too. From donkey racing to sports, here are some of the best non-music festivals in the country.
12. Sali Donkey Racing
This is a three-day event in the village of Sali on Dugi Otok that includes live music, traditional seafood, and a range of sporting competitions, culminating in the highlight of the festival – donkey races. It’s been held for over 50 years, and the festivities take place in the first weekend of August. The festival is unique as it features traditional folk customs, gastronomic competitions, and “donkey music” performances. The donkey races are not just about speed, as awards are given to both the fastest donkey and the “laziest” donkey – the one that crosses the finish line last.
13. Voga Teleferika
This festival is extremely popular among the locals. It is a boat racing competition where people get to cherish and pay homage to their tradition of rowing and catch fishes to eat later on. The event concludes with a celebration featuring sardines, local wines, and live music along the waterfront, immersing the visitors in local traditions and a lively atmosphere.
14. Rally Kumrovec
This is an international car rally competition that takes place in the town of Kumrovec. The race consists of four circuit stages, presenting a challenging event for the participants. It attracts motorsports enthusiasts from all over the world.
15. 4 Island Stage Race
Participants, who form teams of two riders, compete in a biking race set on the Kvarner islands in Croatia. The competition is challenging with diverse terrain, including steep mountain climbs, coastline pathways, and intense descents. The course is unique and is actually a great way to take in sea views throughout the race.
16. Croatia Bike Week
Taking place in Pula, Croatia Bike Week is a celebration of biking culture. It provides a platform for traders from around Europe to showcase new products, bike equipment, and motorcycles. But it’s not just for bikers – entertainment includes parades, concerts, stunt shows, and car shows.
17. Pula Film Festival
The Pula Film Festival, which celebrated its 70th edition in 2023, is one of the oldest and most prestigious film events in the country. It’s particularly known for showcasing Croatian films and co-productions, featuring works by the likes of Andrej Korovljev, Igor Bezinović, Ivan Salaj, and Goran Dević. Pula Pro also includes round tables, industry talks, and pitches of scripts in development.
18. Animafest Zagreb
The World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb, which started in 1972, is a festival that deeply influences the artistic life of the city of Zagreb and promotes animation art globally. It serves as an inspiration hub, fostering creativity, idea exchange, innovation, communication, and international diversity and its Grand Prix winners qualify for both the Academy Award and the European Animation Award.
The variety of festivals in Croatia make it one of the most splendid and amazing countries to visit. Check out the dates for the festivals before you make your trip to the country so that you can enjoy the festivals to the full extent.
Quicklist of music festivals in Croatia
- The Sea Star Festival
- INmusic Festival
- Hideout Festival
- Fresh Island Festival
- Hospitality on the Beach
- Love International Festival
- Ultra Europe
- Outlook Festival
- Sonus Festival
What part of Croatia is most visited?
The Dalmatian Coast is the most frequented part of Croatia, with the beautiful city of Dubrovnik leading the list. Known as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic,’ Dubrovnik attracts millions of tourists annually, thanks to its old town, medieval walls, and gorgeous coastline. In addition, the islands of Hvar and Korčula, as well as the city of Split, are highly popular tourist destinations.
Is Croatia a cheap holiday?
Compared to many other European destinations, Croatia offers relatively affordable holiday experiences. However, prices can vary significantly depending on the time of year and the location. For example, Dubrovnik and Hvar, being top tourist spots, can be more expensive, particularly during the peak summer months. However, with careful planning and by exploring off-the-beaten-track destinations, you can definitely enjoy a holiday in Croatia on a budget.
What is the festival in Split?
Split is home to numerous festivals throughout the year. One of the most notable is the Split Summer Festival. This annual event is held from mid-July to mid-August and showcases a variety of performances including theatre, opera, ballet and concerts within the historic sites of Split, such as Diocletian’s Palace.
Is Croatia a party destination?
While Croatia offers plenty of opportunities for relaxation and cultural exploration, it’s also well-known for its lively party scene. The islands of Hvar and Pag, in particular, are renowned for their vibrant nightlife and beach parties. Pag is home to Zrće Beach, often referred to as the ‘Croatian Ibiza’ due to the number of summer clubs and music festivals. Meanwhile, cities like Dubrovnik and Split also offer great nightlife.