Your guide to visiting Croatia in autumn
Summer, beach parties and Dubrovnik. Let’s be honest – those are the first things that come to your mind when someone mentions Croatia. Shame, because Croatia is much more than that! Croatia is beautiful all year round and you won’t regret it if you pay a(nother) visit in autumn. We’ll help you make the best of it in October and November.
Yes, we realise that most part of December also falls under autumn season but it will have its special mention on the blog during the various Christmas activities.
So where should you go first?
Zagreb is without a doubt the most exciting city in Croatia, except during summer when almost everyone and their grandmother is on vacation. The capital of Croatia offers something new to the tourists each day – film festival, football festival, books fair or an exhibition from a world renowned artist. Zagreb is also conveniently placed at the traffic crossroad of Croatia. Therefore, if you want to visit other places mentioned in this guide, you can do so in a matter of a few hours.
If you don’t like the city noise so much, you can always retreat to the quiet and serene part of Zagreb. Nature park Medvednica is only a half an hour drive (by the city transport) from the center. It’s a small mountain located at the edge of the town and it’s worth climbing. Especially in autumn when it’s brought to life by all the forest colors.
City of Zagreb, Source: Shutterstock
What’s happening in Zagreb from 15th October to 30th November?
Croatian football (soccer) club Dinamo and handball club PPD Zagreb both play in the Champions League (UEFA and EHF respectively). Go and cheer them up in their group stage games during October and November! Football fans should definitely check out the Football Fest that is being held from 27th to 30th October.
Big music stars are coming to Zagreb in November. Post-punk band White Lies will play the songs from their latest album “Friends” on November 8th. Justin Bieber Fever will come to Arena Zagreb on November 9th. Moreover, Placebo will celebrate their 20th anniversary on November 10th.
Gamers will be happy to know that there’s a special games event in Zagreb from 8th till 13th November. InfoGamer is the regional biggest games show (ca 50K visitors) where you can play all the new and upcoming titles. Also, you’ll get the chance to try some of the local indie games. At the same time, roughly in the same place, book fair Interliber takes place. However, it is mostly focused on books written or translated in Croatian…
After you’re done with gaming, you can switch to watching films. Zagreb Film Festival is famous for introducing new filmmakers to the audience and awarding debut movies. It will be held in Zagreb from 14th to 22nd November. Tennis lovers mustn’t miss Davis Cup Final between Croatia and Argentina, which will be played from 25th till 27th November. End of November is usually reserved for Christmas fair opening. Advent in Zagreb starts on November 26th. At last, it’s worth mentioning that Alberto Giacometti’s exhibition “Portraits of the Present”. will be open until January 8th.
Medieval fortress Medvedgrad on Medvednica, Source: Shutterstock
Are you dreaming about a short vacation in the mountains? Somewhere in a small but warm wooden cabin? Far away from people, yet close to the bears? If that’s the case, you should visit national park Risnjak. Risnjak’s forest is a wonderful sight in autumn. In addition, it’s not too cold to walk along popular or hidden trails. Risnjak is a home to wild species like bears, wolves, lynxes, wild boars and chamois. However, the chances of running into them while walking on a marked forest trail are slim. Bears are preparing for hibernation and you’d be extremely lucky to spot a lynx.
Risnjak, Source: Shutterstock
Risnjak from 15th October to 30th November
The entrance fee to Risnjak is symbolic – it costs only 45 kunas for an adult and is valid for two days. You can also rent an accommodation with breakfast, half board or full board at a cheaper price during fall. On weekends, you can take a ride by carriage. However, you should note that an accommodation in the Josip Schlosser Klekovski mountain hut is available only until 31st October.
Source of the River Kupa in Risnjak, Source: Shutterstock
Istria and Kvarner Bay
Istria and Kvarner Bay are the most developed tourist regions in Croatia. Unlike in most Dalmatian cities, you’ll always find something happening in this area: rock concerts, art exhibitions, chestnuts food festivals… We’re sure that not even the rainy weather will spoil your stay!
Rijeka’s main square Korzo, Source: Shutterstock
What’s happening in Istria and Kvarner Bay from 15th October to 30th November?
Did you know that torpedo was invented and manufactured in Rijeka 150 years ago? Yup! If you want to know more interesting facts about this weapon, visit City Museum of Rijeka and The Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral Rijeka. They’re hosting an exhibition “Torpedo of Rijeka – The First in the World” until 21st December.
Meanwhile, Natural History Museum Rijeka will take you far back in history with “Giants of Patagonia” exhibition. Giant dinosaur replicas and skeletons will be hanging there until 28th February 2017. Science(-fiction) lovers might be interested in Rikon, Sci-Fi and fantasy convention in Rijeka. It will take place from 14th to 16th October (English website dates are outdated). Also, on October 18th Rijeka will host Battleme and Mike Watt concerts (at different locations).
Lovran, a tourist town near Rijeka, hosts a Marunada until 23rd October. Marunada is a feast of maruns (big chestnuts). At the similar time, on 22nd and 23rd October, Livade will organize a truffle fair Tuberfest. Poreč will hold a rally race from 3rd to 5th November. In the meantime, Pula will host a Hand Made Fest, a festival that promotes DIY culture, from 4th to 6th November.
Istrian truffles, Source: Shutterstock
Don’t be upset if you haven’t got a chance to visit Plitvice Lakes during summer. Croatia’s most loved national park is beautiful all year round. Plitvice Lakes are enchantingly colorful during autumn. Every picture of a lush forest, a wooden bridge or a high waterfall will make your social media followers instantly jealous. If there’s something that Plitvice Lakes lacks during the off-season, it’s big tourist crowds.
Plitvice Lakes in autumn, Source: Shutterstock
Plitvice Lakes from 15th October to 30th November
Ticket prices are much cheaper during autumn. Until 31st October, a day ticket for an adult costs 110 kunas, while two-days ticket costs 180 kunas. The price includes the ride on an electric boat on Lake Kozjak, as well as the panoramic train ride, insurance, and VAT. From 1st November to 31st December day ticket for an adult will cost you only 55 kunas or 90 kunas if you opt for a two-day stay. However, you should note that panoramic train and electric boat rides will not be available during that period and a couple of entrances will be closed. Accommodation prices in autumn are also significantly cheaper.
Fall colors of Plitvice Lakes, Source: Shutterstock
The most famous Croatian city is bright and welcoming during the entire year. Weather is still warm and the town is packed with various events. Fortunately, not with tourist. In fall, you can leisurely stroll along Stradun and City Walls.
Dubrovnik’s main street Stradun, Source: Shutterstock
What’s happening in Dubrovnik from 15th October to 30th November?
Dubrovnik’s got a treat for gourmets and movie buffs from 20th to 23rd October : Good Food Festival and Dubrovnik Film Festival. Meanwhile, the nearby island of Lokrum will host an interesting exhibition “Richard the Lionheart + Benedictines” until 31st October. Legend says that Richard I of England shipwrecked there in the 12th century.
By mid-November, Dubrovnik will host two more art exhibitions by local artists. “Aquarelle” by Eugen Krstulović will be opened until 6th November, while “Bella Vista” by Ivana Dražić Selmani is on display until 13th November. Furthermore, Dubrovnik Winter Festival starts on November 19th.
Lokrum island near Dubrovnik, Source: Shutterstock
St. Martin’s Day in Kutjevo
The wine has a sacramental meaning in Croatia. Literally. On Saint Martin’s Day or 11th November, people dress in priests and baptize the grape juice “into” wine. One of the most prominent ceremonies devoted to St. Martin is held in Kutjevo on 12th and 13th November. Kutjevo is a town well known for its aphrodisiac wine. Suffice to say, drive carefully that day, whether or not you decide to participate in various local drinking festivities.
Kutjevo, Source: Shutterstock