Secrets Hidden Behind Closed Doors

Zagreb’s secret gardens as pop-up venues for events

Zagreb’s specialty is the interlacing of courtyards and gardens, among which some are marvellously arranged, others abandoned, and some turned into playgrounds and car parks. The courtyards have always been a hotspot of the city’s social life because they offered space for crafts, but more importantly an area for conversations with neighbours.

Zagreb otherwise provides many beautiful congress venues, some with concepts that can make other Western European cities envious. Because of the tourist project “Dvorišta” meeting planners gained an entirely new world of unusual venues that enable to one get a taste of the real Zagreb.

Because most of these courtyards are hidden behind closed doors and are never seen by visitors, an idea was born for the innovative project “Dvorišta.” The primary goal of the project is the revival of courtyards, and after five years there are many Zagreb natives who, rather than enjoying Croatia’s seaside, stay in Zagreb to experience the fantastic atmosphere that has won the hearts of locals and tourists.

Every year they have managed to transform the courtyards into magical gardens and because of their creativity they have received compliments from visitors. And it seems the project was set at the exact right time. The courtyards are open from 13–22 July and together with intimate lighting and intriguing pieces of furniture the courtyards light up every night from 18:00 to 24:00.


This year the courtyards of the families Milovac, the courtyard of the Erdödy-Drašković palace and the hidden courtyard of the Gvozdanović and Balbi palace have been chosen. The newcomers are the courtyard of the Tituša Brezovačkog Gymnasium and the Ehrlich – Marić villa. Even though the concept of the project isn’t a musical festival, music is a vital part of it all. Enjoying the music along with a glass of wine and snacks in such a pleasant environment as we experienced in the courtyards is truly unforgettable. As the slogan says, each courtyard tells a different story, and you start wishing to be at a different location every evening.

The incredible project was picked up by the media, with BBC Travel and most of the regional media reporting about it. The project is also an excellent idea for meeting planners that can use such event spaces for their next event. We are sure the concept can be used in other cities as well.

Dvorišta project is a joint venture of G.A.D. produkcije, Katapult Events and the Zagreb Tourist Board.

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