What makes Varaždin special is its unique monumental and historic heritage preserved in the intact and opulent Baroque architecture of the historic City core. Its unique urban identity shows not only the opulent Baroque architecture of the historic core but also the warmth of its squares and romantic streets. The historical City core stages numerous events throughout the year.
You can’t see, feel and experience all that Varaždin has to offer in a day, but love at first sight is guaranteed.
Enjoy the artistic and architectural messages of the past
The preserved baroque historic City core is rich in monuments and art heritage and a walk down the City’s streets reveals numerous palaces, villas and the oldest city hall in Europe. Familiarise yourself with the guild signs (‘cimeri’) that once marked the specific trade of individual shops or tradesmen and speak of their legends…
Varaždin was built over the centuries and different stylistic influences, varying fashions of certain historical periods and wishes of the investors created an interesting and somewhat unusual harmony of flora and fauna, mythical animals and unusual characters built into the facades of the houses and palaces in the historic City core. Also note on your walk through Varaždin the fantastic bestiary of Varaždin: try to penetrate into its hidden meaning or just enjoy the imagination of the builder.
If you are a lover of sacral art and architecture, Varaždin reveals to you the richness of its eleven churches, three monasteries and its cathedral. A good guide to this is the ‘The Path of Angels’ Brochure.
Varaždin’s churches are actually the best places to start what is, in many ways, a unique tour of the City. The Tour shows off Varaždin’s Baroque splendour and the Baroque angels are messengers of this splendour.
In addition to the churches, this Central European seductive, playful and historical period will reveal itself to you whilst walking around the historical City core admiring its facades and streets. The charm of a City that has nurtured a pleasant, smart, profound yet cheerful and fun ambience will certainly not leave you indifferent.
The Strossmayer Promenade (the Old Town complex), the Vatroslav Jagić Promenade, the Pope John Paul II Park, the Youth Park and the inevitable Varaždin Cemetery shall be your green intermezzo whilst walking around town.
On this tour take a break and enjoy Varaždin’s culinary delights on one of its squares, try ‘Varaždin Klipič’, the Countess Maria Cake (from the ‘Grofica Marica’ Coffee Shop) or any other of Varaždin’s desserts whilst the restaurants with many local dishes invite you to treat yourself to a real Varaždin feast.
Test your skill and creativity
Visit the Square of Traditional Crafts, opposite the Ursuline Church. In this corner of Varaždin you can feel the spirit of the City’s traditions and get to know some of its creative skills: at the milliner you can decorate your own hat or buy a new one. The weaver will show you how to weave fabric out of thread and use it to make various handy items. The honey seller and candle maker will make you day seem even sweeter, and the artistic and cultural values on display will certainly attract you to their numerous items and other handicrafts.
Varaždin’s everyday life is best experienced on the City market, known as ‘Varaždinski plac’ or you can peek at the intimacy of Varaždin’s backyards and listen briefly to their stories. If your day in Varaždin is a Saturday, be in front of the City Hall at ‘Korzo’ (the main square) at 11 AM when you can see the Ceremonial Exchange of the City Guard known as ‘the Purgars’.
Depending on your interests a sightseeing tour can be amended with
A visit to the Permanent Museum Exhibition in the Old Town – the Cultural History Department of the Varaždin City Museum preserves important historical documents, valuable collection of guilds, weapons, stone monuments, glass, ceramics and clocks, whilst a walk through the twenty rooms decorated in different styles of previous periods revives the spirit and the lifestyle of previous centuries.
and / or
A visit to the ‘World of Insects’ Entomological Collection – a unique European exhibition in the Hercer Palace, which traces a marvellous aspect of nature
and / or
A visit to the Miljenko Stančić Gallery – in the Gallery of this great Croatian artist, for whom Varaždin was ‘his measure and his form’ there are 40 exhibits: paintings, prints and the personal belongings of the artist.
and / or
A visit to the Museum of Angels – after nearly three decades of painting motifs of Baroque angels and artistic work under the banner of ‘Varaždin: the City where Angels Sleep’, the Artist Željko Prstec organised a home for his work and that of others around the theme of the spiritual and angelic world. By now, you would have already met this artist’s angels when walking around the City. Even if you missed them, stop by the Franciscan Church and take a peek of what they are doing in the ‘Anđelinjak’.
From spring to winter the historic City core becomes the stage for many musicians, actors, performers and artists who invite you to become a part of the City:
New Year’s Race – 31st December 2015
THE GRAND BALL OF THE CITY OF VARAŽDIN – 6th February 2015
The 6th International Children and Youth Animation Film Festival Varaždin (VAFI) – 21st to 26th April 2015, www.vafi.hr
The 4th MOP Multimedia Festival – 21st to 24th May 2015, www.imput.org
2nd SINKI – Voice-Over Festival, 4th to 6th June 2015, www.sinki.hr
14th Performance Days – 11th to 14th June 2015, www.gcv.hr
Days of Contemporary Dance – 19th to 28th June 2015, www.perform-d-ance.com
Summer in Varaždin – 1st July to 5th August 2015, www.koncertni-ured.com.hr
ŠPANCIRFEST – 21st to 30th August 2015, www.spancirfest.com
Trash Film Festival – 9th to 12th September 2015, www.trash.hr
Varaždin Baroque Evenings – 18th to 30th September, www.vbv.hr
International ‘Hunting, Fishing, Nature and Tourism’ Fair, 9th to 11th October 2015, www.vall042.com
Varazdin under the Habsburgs – 28th October 2015. – 1st October 2016, www.gmv.hr
The ‘Drava Forester’ International Frisbee Golf Tournament, 6th to 8th November 2015
Advent, December 2015
The Gustav Weiss Donation Exhibition, 6th December 2015 to 1st March 2016, www.kerameikon.com, www.gustav-weiss.de
For a more professional and comprehensive introduction of Varaždin to reveal its many faces with more stories and legends, you can have a licensed guided tour of the City of Varaždin.
For all other possibilities, details and information, please visit the Tourist Office of the City of Varaždin.