Culture and Entertainment

A visit to Opatija has always meant good fun. Opatija has the reputation of being a destination offering an all-year-round programme of attractive events that can surely satisfy all kinds of visitors: gourmets, music lovers, athletes and sport enthusiasts, and also all those wishing to learn more about the area's local customs.

The beginning of each year is always the period of carnival in Opatija. A very special carnival event that can only be experienced in Opatija and nowhere else is the famous Balinjerada, a race between vehicles that roll on ball bearings instead of wheels, which now celebrates its 26th anniversary.
Originally a small event for local carnival enthusiasts, the Balinjerada today attracts a lot more visitors to Opatija, all wishing to join in the carnival events and to see the imaginative custom-made vehicles on ball bearings racing down Opatija's main street.

Throughout the year, Opatija plays host to exhibitions and concerts by renowned Croatian and international artists in attractive venues such as the Juraj Šporer Arts Pavilion, Opatija's Open-Air Theatre, or the magnificent Crystal Hall in the Hotel Kvarner.

In July, Opatija is the venue of the Liburnia Jazz Festival, which includes many top jazz artists performing on boats, in parks, and on various open-air stages, turning Opatija into a temporary capital of jazz and a "must-visit" place for all lovers of this kind of music.

In summer, traditional fishermen's festivities take place across the Riviera, offering visitors a chance to savour some of the local dishes, enjoy the local music and immerse themselves in the very special atmosphere where one can really experience the traditional way of life of the people who live in this area.

Spring and autumn in Opatija are characterised by events celebrating the fruits that ripen at these times of the year, such as asparagus, cherries and sweet chestnuts.

December is the time of the Chocolate Festival, when the many specialities made of this fine delicacy are offered throughout Opatija to the delight of the town's visitors, young and old.

But let's not forget Opatija's numerous sporting events. The two best known of these are the veterans' tennis tournament, and the Galijola regatta that takes place in September and is quite unique because the boats sail at night down to the rock of Galijola, located off the southern coast of Istria. Some of Croatia's best sailors traditionally participate in this event.

Numerous promenade concerts in the wonderful ambience of Opatija's town park, performances by folklore ensembles and events designed to bring Opatija's history back to life, such as the Kaisernacht, give this town a very particular atmosphere, making it a place where you can have fun throughout the year.

Check calendar of events here.