Navigation

Varaždin

Baroque Capital of Croatia

A jewel of harmony and intimacy, the charm of “Croatia’s Vienna” lies not only in its architecture, but also in its atmospheric squares and lovely streets. The buildings, museums, music and flowers of Varaždin continue to offer a relaxing break from everyday life.

The city's rich history spans eight centuries. It was home to the region’s wealthiest nobles, landowners, artisans and artists, especially in the late 1700s, when the city flourished and became the capital of Croatia.

This seat of Varaždin province and bishopric, lies at the crossroads of Central Europe: to the south, Zagreb and the Adriatic; to the north, the Czech Republic and Poland; east, Hungary; west, Austria. The unique city-centre combines the breath of the Past with the throb of the new millennium. Small wonder it’s such a tourist attraction!

The city is alive throughout the year with street events. Watch the 'Špancirfest' (Festival of strolling walkers); enjoy the Evenings of Baroque Music; visit the fairs, theatres and exhibitions! Don’t miss the Old Castle, which also houses the City Museum. The City Hall, one of the oldest in Europe, contains offices for provincial administration almost 500 years old—among the earliest anywhere in Europe. The Varaždin cemetery is well worth seeing, for its wonderful horticulture, and because its ‘World of Insects' collection of strange species which have survived in many of the palaces around Varaždin, is unique.

On any week-day, between mid-April and October, the city scribe in the city-centre will provide your own personalised travel document, done in matchless calligraphy as a souvenir of Varaždin; the city smith will forge you a Varaždin medallion; and the city physician may dust you with 'good luck powder'! On Saturdays between 11 and noon, outside the City Hall you can watch the changing of the Civilian Guard, made up of the popular 'purgeri', and all to the music of the drums: a Varaždin tradition which has survived for over 250 years. Accounts of huge banquets, which local butchers used to organize, show that the people of Varaždin have always loved their food, which is why the city has so many fine restaurants, serving “home-made” recipes, and regional specialities—such as the delicious ‘klipić’ (or bread bun) which is still regularly on the menu of all Varaždin restaurants, as a starter.