Dubrovnik has evolved into a hotspot for those looking for beautiful beaches, culture, history and uniqueness. The city has served as the backdrop for the worldwide phenomenon that is Game of Thrones. Croatia’s capital is also the heart of a summer festival packed with top quality performances. Dubrovnik Summer Festival has been spreading the love of theater, dance and music and their heritage since the 1950s.
Croatia is part of the Schengen Area and travelers of over 60 countries can visit Dubrovnik without a visa. However, as of 2021, anyone from a visa exempt country who wishes to attend the Dubrovnik Summer Festival will need to apply for the ETIAS visa waiver. This travel authorization, ETIAS, will be needed to travel to any of the 26 countries in the Schengen Zone.
Summer Festival in Dubrovnik: Music, Theater, Dance
Dubrovnik Summer Festival is the largest and most representative cultural manifestation of Croatia. Held since 1950, it takes place every year from July 10th to August 25th on more than 70 open-air venues of Renaissance-Baroque structures in the city of Dubrovnik.
At the beginning of the fifties, theatrical and musical events sprung all over Europe. Dubrovnik was not to stay behind. According to the festival’s official website, “the idea of harmonizing the renaissance and baroque atmosphere of Dubrovnik and the living spirit of drama and music, actually derived from the intellectual way of life of the city itself.” From its creation to recent years, the festival has been in constant touch with contemporary currents in Europe.
Works by Marin Držić, Nikola Nalješković, Ivan Gundulić and Ivo Vojnović became essential to the drama programme making sure that ambience stood out. In fact, the theatrical values of the Croatian dramatic heritage are a unique feature of the festival. Shakespeare, Goldoni, Greek theater, Moliére, Corneille and Goethe have all taken center stage during the different editions of the Dubrovnik Summer festival.
The music programme was conceptualised as a presentation of the best composers, soloists, and orchestras from the country. However, nowadays, the festival features top solo artists and ensembles from all around the world. The attractive and acoustic buildings of the city are ideal for artists to showcase their music.
There’s also a ballet programme that presents artists projects on the terrace of the Revelin Fortress. International ballet companies that have graced the stage include the American Ballet Theatre, the London Festival ballet, the Harkness Ballet, the Antonio Gades troupe, the ballet of the Hungarian State Opera and ballets from the cities of Parma, Antwerp and Adelaide.
The Dubrovnik Summer Festival has been recognized as one of Europe’s most distinguished cultural festivals. It relies on the city’s Old Town and living heritage and will continue to combine tradition and modernity while connecting local and international creativity.
The city of Dubrovnik
While enjoying from the impressive performances of the Dubrovnik Summer Festival, visitors can also explore this majestic city. The Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it’s packed with wonders. Beauty products fans will rejoice as they will find natural rose hand cream or peruse ancient lab equipment at Europe’s oldest working pharmacy, which dates back to 1317. The Old Pharmacy is situated inside a Franciscan monastery, open for tours.
Dubrovnik is ideally situated along the Adriatic Sea. It’s not too difficult to sail to other islands from the city. Set on the Elafiti Islands, Lopud, is a local favourite thanks to its laid-back feel. Visitors can rent kayaks, head to botanical gardens, and meet its friendly residents.
Those with a sweet tooth will find a paradise of sugar in Dubrovnik. Some croatian sweets worth trying are kotonjata, a jelly-like dessert made from a local fruit that is both sweet and bitter. Orancini are candied strips of orange peels. An absolute must is the mantala, a cake with almonds, syrup, and cinnamon.
Most of the top attractions are situated in the heart of the city, within the medieval walls. Travelers might want to stop by the two monumental arched gates, Pile to the west and Ploče to the east, which serve as entrances to the old town. There are several luxury hotels too, and several narrow alleys that harbor charming cafés, restaurants, and apartments for rent.
At this time, travelers from visa exempt countries can travel to Croatia for stays of up to 90 days. Once the ETIAS visa is available, it will be necessary to obtain one before visiting this incredible country.