Travel

11 Excellent Reasons To Visit Zagreb in November 2021

By 27 October 2021
Visit Zagreb in November 2021
Visit Zagreb in November 2021 Julien Duval / Zagreb Tourist Board

October 27, 2021 – The Croatian capital really comes into its own after summer. From art exhibitions, exciting nature and film festivals, to live music, sports events and architecture, here are 11 excellent reasons to visit Zagreb in November 2021.

Explore Medvednica and the new Medvedgrad Visitors Centre

medvedgrad-iz-zraka-17-alan-caplar-dronee.jpgMedvedgrad Castle has a Visitors Centre, newly opened for Zagreb in November 2021 © Alan Čaplar / Croatian National Tourist Board

Medvednica mountain is the favourite, nearest natural escape for Zagreb. Popular year-round for walks, hikes and general recreation, in autumn 2021 it gained another great reason to go – the new Medvedgrad Visitors Centre.

Long offering some of the best views from the peaks, the 13th century Medvedgrad Fortress is the most impressive piece of architecture on the mountain. Renovated from its status as a beloved ruin, in late October of this year a new visitor's centre opened within the fortress walls.

On a Medvednica day trip, you can wander through the mountain's forests, challenge yourself by tackling the highest peak Sljeme and drop by this major new attraction. Not only will you be rewarded with spectacular autumn colours in the trees and fantastic views, but now also multi media-filled exhibitions that tell the history and myths of the mountain and its surroundings.

Welcome international stars of Zagreb Jazz Festival 2021

KURT-ELLING-b.jpgAcclaimed American jazz vocalist Kurt Elling performs in Zagreb in November 2021

The 12th edition of Zagreb Jazz Festival once again sees the genre elevated to the grand environs of Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall. In 2021, the event again welcomes globally recognised musicians, offering three very different flavours of jazz music.

On Friday 5th, NYC-based pianist Vijay Iyer visits with the latest incarnation of his trio. Offering a melodic take on free jazz, the lifetime-appointed Professor of the Arts at Harvard University will draw from 2021 album 'Uneasy' as well as a rich 25-year recording career.

On Sunday 7th, Lisinski's main hall welcomes 10 times Grammy-nominated jazz singer Kurt Elling. Informed by beat poetry and improvised vocalese, the stylish Elling spent the first decade of his career on Blue Note records. Fast forward two decades and his 2020 'Secrets are the Best Stories' won the Grammy for Best Jazz Vocal Album. On this date, he is backed by brass-heavy Macedonian outfit ZJM Big Band.

On Tuesday 9th, composer and pianist Dan Tepfer offers a solo performance that revisits probably his best-known work. Released in 2011, 'Goldberg Variations/Variations' saw Tepfer play J.S. Bach's masterpiece series of compositions, offering improvised themes on each.

Race past the best city monuments after dark at Zagreb Night Run

cener2012.jpgZagreb Night Run

Zagreb city centre is an incredibly picturesque and romantic place, even by night. And, what better way to take in some of its key sights than on an autumnal night run?

Celebrating its 10th annual edition on 7th November 2021, Zagreb Night Run will welcome around 3000 international and local participants. Beginning on Ban Josip Jelačić Square, they'll run down Ilica almost until Franjo Tuđman Park.

Just before, they'll cut down Krajiška ulica and then take prilaz Gjure Deželića to chase past the spectacular Croatian National Theatre Zagreb. Thereafter, it's down Teslina to Zrinjevac park, then Trg žrtava fašizma and the Meštrović Pavilion, before heading back to finish where they started.

Julien_Duvall5tghbn.jpgAfter dark, the Meštrović Pavilion © Julien Duvall

The course is 10 kilometres long and there's an option this year to run virtually from anywhere in the world. You can find out more info and apply to enter here.

Authentic Croatian culture pristinely presented at the annual dance concert of LADO Ensemble

LADO_-_Linđo.jpgLinđo

Consistently one of the most authentically Croatian of all Zagreb's cultural expression, National Folk Dance Ensemble of Croatia LADO holds their annual festive dance at Lisinki Concert Hall on 9th November.

LADO_-_Prigorski_plesovi.jpgPrigorski plesovi

This year, the event will last 70 minutes and dancers will showcase material from Prigorje, Split, Linđa from southern Croatia and Bunjevačko momačko kolo. Additionally, the ensemble's musicians will play two new pieces from Hrvatsko Zagorje.

Parks of Zagreb in November 2021

S._Carek.jpgAutumn colours of Parks of Zagreb in November 2021 © S. Carek / Zagreb Tourist Board Facebook

The city parks of Zagreb are spectacular at any time of year. But, for a short period in autumn, their colours are at their most electrifying. One of the best short walks in Zagreb is the run through three parks between Glavni kolodvor (main train station) and Ban Josip Jelačić Square. Via Tomislav park you approach the incredible Art Pavilion.

BoškaKrešo.jpgAutumn colours of Parks of Zagreb in November 2021 © Boška & Krešo / Zagreb Tourist Board Facebook

Then, Strossmayer square and the Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences, before hitting Zrinjevac Park, which is particularly resplendent in autumn. Its coloured trees stand in front of a backdrop of incredible Austro-Hungarian architecture.

To the east of the centre, in Maksimir Park it's a whole other story. By comparison, its 316 hectares of forest, lakes, lawns and pretty pathways is vast and much wilder. In autumn, the forests are an ocean of reds, oranges, yellows, purples and browns. These colours fall to carpet the walkways that weave through the park.

Reader's digest: Interliber International Book Fair

76652259_1440234469479206_400562814827102208_n.jpgInterliber International Book Fair

As the largest literary event in Croatia, Interliber is a major platform for promoting books and their authors, reading, knowledge and education. International book publishers and retailers take up stands in the huge Zagreb Fair. Their audience is students, educators and general book fans from across Croatia, who are enticed by the latest books and audiobooks available, and entertained by visiting authors and speakers. This is the annual event's 43rd instalment and takes place between 11th and 14th November.

Premieres of international cinema at Zagreb Film Festival

zgg.jpgStudents Centre Cinema © Zagreb Film Festival

Seven days of debut screenings and keenly considered themes culled from the world of international cinema. One of the largest film festivals in this part of the world, this 19th edition of the annual event sees Zagreb Film Festival hold screenings across the city. Venues include Kino Tuškanac, &TD Theatre, HUB385, former cinema-turned-creative-space Urania and, after a 10-year absence, a return to the huge, 60-year-old Student Centre Cinema.

AnyConv.com__E2-UCzgWQAUYaiD.jpgOkul Tirasi aka 'Brother’s Keeper' by Ferit Karahan

Of course, there's the main competition programme. But, the whole festival is so well-curated, you'll often find as much wonder and joy in the permanent and side programmes. From the details already released, our top tips would be - 'Brother’s Keeper' by Ferit Karahan, which follows 12-year-old Yusuf and his best friend, wards of a Turkish boarding school for Kurdish boys and 'The Worst Person in the World', which is the final part of the Oslo trilogy by Norwegian director Joachim Trier.

The 19th Zagreb Film Festival runs between 14th and 21st November. Five classic selections by pioneering directors from Yugoslavia, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland will be available to watch online from anywhere in the world. At least two of the contemporary selections will travel around Croatia for regional screenings. You can find out more here.

Some of the best local music at November Fest

Milan_Sabic.jpgTBF © Milan Sabic

On the weekend of 19th and 20th November, Zagreb's large Dom Sportova hall hosts four of the best talents of the regional music scene.

The first night of the event is a hip hop showcase featuring Zagreb's Elemental and Split legends TBF. Rock is the second night's theme and sees Dubrovnik band Silente open for time-honoured guitarist and singer Neno Belan.

Contemporary architecture explored at Days of Oris

Oris_Kuća_arhitekture_House_of_Architecture.jpgOris Kuća arhitekture

Days of Oris is an international architectural festival organised since 2001 by Zagreb-based Oris House of Architecture and their bi-annual Oris magazine. It is the largest architectural symposium in the region, welcoming around 2000 architects and professionals from related fields. The event presents current activities from the field of architecture, design and art, with a notable highlight being the guest speakers who attend. So far, more than 300 architects and experts from all over the world have participated.

In 2021, the event takes place over the weekend Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st at Concert and Congress Hall Vatroslav Lisinski

Sounds of West Africa, via Paris, from Fatoumata Diawara

Fatoumata_Diawara_Rudolstadt_14.jpgIn concert, guitarist and singer Fatoumata Diawara who visits Zagreb in November 2021 © Schorle

Even if you're not a fan of music from Mali, West Africa, you might recognise Fatoumata Diawara. Based in France, for the past 20 years she has simultaneously had a career as both an actress and musician. But, music is the reason she will be appearing at Boogaloo club on 24th November, when she makes her Zagreb debut.

Comparable to friend and mentor, Oumou Sangaré, Fatoumata Diawara's songs blend Wassoulou traditions of southern Mali with international influences. She received two nominations at the 2019 Grammy Awards, has performed with Paul McCartney, and recorded with Gorillaz and Disclosure.

Witness a lifetime spent in contemporary art and photography at the Živa Kraus exhibition

Živa_Kraus_Encounter_pastel_on_paper_1978.jpg'Encounter' by Živa Kraus, part of the exhibition at Museum of Modern Art Zagreb in November 2021

Živa Kraus is a Zagreb-born painter and gallerist famed for her 50-year career within the art scene of Venice. In the city, her cult gallery Ikona was the first to elevate photography to a high level of artistic appreciation. For some of the same period, she ran the Sebastian Gallery in Croatia. The exhibition, titled 'Živa Kraus – In the World of Art' features Kraus's paintings in pastels and oils, as well as detailing her achievements as a gallery owner and curator.

Paolo_Monti_-_Servizio_fotografico_Venezia_1981_-_BEIC_6354071.jpgŽiva Kraus by Paolo Monti

The exhibition runs at Museum of Contemporary Art, Novi Zagreb until 12th December.

If you want to find more great reasons to visit Zagreb throughout the year, check TCN's dedicated pages here

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