Varazdin / Croatia, castle

Varazdin is a wonderful European Baroque burg complete with its own castle sitting on the Drava River less than two hours drive from Zagreb. In 2014, the New York Times named it one of its 52  ”must see” travel destinations–the only Croatian city, town or site mentioned!  No wonder, the city is beautifully restored and just off the beaten track enough to discover without the crush of day trippers. With more than 50,000 people, it’s a hub of economic and cultural significance in the Zagorje and Medimurje regions. Long a traditional farming, viticulture and livestock breeding area, Varazdin is fortunate to have a goodly number of small manufacturing plants to keep the city prosperous without having to rely purely on tourism. The castle, the central part of the town, museums, galleries and collections as well as the Varazdin cemetery, protected as a horticultural monument, are the main tourist attractions. There’s even a unique collection of more than ten thousand stuffed insects in the Herzer Palace! Festivals are a way of life in Croatia and every August is Spancirfest, a sprawling outdoor performance festival that attracts five times the city’s population. Another highlight is the Varazdin Baroque Evenings in September, which is considered one of the country’s great musical events. If you like fresh water fishing, the Drava River and Varazdin Lake are great. Foodies will love the cuisine here too–“Varazdin klipici” (a baked yummy) turkey with “mlinci” (pasta), “strukli” (cottage cheese strudel), “zlevka” (traditional folk cake), venison, and stand-out Varazdin wine and local beer, “Knaput”. Whether you take the train or the bus or drive to Varazdin, it’s a great ride through beautiful countryside!

Tourist Office

Ivana Padovca 3
42000 Varaždin
Phone: +385 (0)42 210 987
Fax: +385 (0)42 210 985


Our favorite links

–but the last time we checked, only in Croatian!

–good information, lots of background, special interest tours

–when in doubt, the Croatian National Tourist Office website is a reliable lifesaver


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