Zagreb MTLG – 2018 Update

Zagreb MTLG – 2018 Update


Why is Zagreb the New Meetings Star?

INTRO 2018

We visited Zagreb in the last minutes before the historical FIFA World Cup Final. The euphoria and positive energy which overtook the city were incredible and only a few remained indifferent to the atmosphere. Football really stops time and pushes all of the daily and other challenges into the background. However, Zagreb offers more than that and is becoming a supreme meetings and events destination. Recently, a lot of things have changed and the city has become a hot meetings spot. Deservingly, the city became the first meetings destination in the L-destinations for 2018 on the grounds of the MTLG methodology. The L-destinations are the destinations that host up to a maximum of 2,000 meeting participants. Zagreb has also greatly progressed in the ICCA ranking. There are many reasons for this, but the most visible is the ever better public infrastructure with a completely new and modern airport, with new hotels, and a persistent and consistent promotion of the city which has brought good results.


Zagreb offers a lot more than just congress hotels and classical congress offer. The numerous venues impress the most. Their concentration is outstanding and this part of the offer puts Zagreb at the top of the region. The legacy of different periods of urbanisation today allows for events to be held in ultra-modern museums and the city’s magical atriums. Another novelty are the pop-up venues which really come to life in summer time and present an interesting alternative to the classical meeting venues. Next to the traditional museums as special venues – like the Art Pavilion, Croatian National Theatre, Croatian State Archives, the Illyirian Hall, the Mimara Museum – we were particularly impressed by the Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art. This art institution in Novi Zagreb (‘New Zagreb’) has been open to the public since 2009; its minimalistic and photogenic architecture, and the flexibility of the museum’s staff attract the event planners who, by prior arrangement, can combine a visit to permanent exhibitions with the concept of the event.


25th FIAMC Congress / May 30 – June 2, 2018
FIAMC Congress “Sanctity of Life and the Medical Profession from Humanae Vitae to Laudato Si” was held in Hotel Westin Zagreb with more than 400 participants.
Venue: The Westin Hotel

18th World Saxophone Congress / July 10 – 14, 2018
Zagreb hosted congress with over 400 performances by soloists, bands and orchestras featuring the saxophone as the central instrument.
Venue: Various venues in Zagreb

22th  European Meeting of the Paleopathology Association / August 28 – September 1, 2018
The main theme of the congress is the use of state-of-the-art methods and techniques such in diagnosis of diseases and various other pathological conditions in past populations.
Venue: Hotel Sheraton

The World Congress of Entrepreneurs / October 24 – 27, 2018
The aim of the World Congress of Entrepreneurs is to promote the significance, purpose and culture of entrepreneurship.
Venue: Zagreb Hotels

Big events organised by Zagreb Tourist Board:

Festival of Lights / March 15 – 18, 2018
Festival of Lights Zagreb is the only festival of its kind in Zagreb, and attractive audio-visual installations and projections came to life at various locations of Upper Town.

Zagreb Time Machine / April 21 – September 30, 2018
From mid-April until September 29th, Zagreb’s streets, squares and Maksimir Park will feature the Zagreb Time Machine, nine different events which are being organized for the sixth consecutive year by the Zagreb Tourist Board

Zagreb Classic / June 20 – July 11, 2018
Open air classical music festival with performances by leading Croatian and international orchestras, ensembles, conductors and soloists.

Advent in Zagreb / December 2, 2018  – January 7, 2019
During the Advent season, Zagreb offers a variety of events that will satisfy even the most demanding visitors. Plenty of fun, excellent food, unique events, art, but also a genuine Christmas atmosphere, await you on the streets of Croatia’s capital.


Zagreb’s cultural abundance, expressed through diverse events, museums, theatres, and galleries, ranks Zagreb at the regional top. In warmer months, your congress guests can enjoy culture for free on Zagreb’s squares, streets and other, to tourists usually hidden, locations. There is so much going on in Zagreb that it is pretty much impossible to consume it all. We are especially impressed by the romantic Strossmayer Promenade full of musicians, art colonies, art installations and happenings. The pop-up venues are genius as well; for example, this year’s Foodbalerka which is some kind of a hybrid between an open kitchen and a festival of music, football, and gathering. Besides, Zagreb is the host of a series of music festivals, among which the INMusic festival is the ‘king’ that is ranked among the best festivals in the world, and annually visited by more than 50 thousand music enthusiasts. All of this provides to congress guests an added value that other cities in the region do not offer in such an extensive form.


Secret Zagreb
We suggest you that you travel back to the past with the help of an urban adventure that takes to the city’s myths, legends, and actual events. The programme, guided by an energetic and unusual guide Iva Silla, reveals the stories about witches and dragons that caused the city’s earthquake in 1880, as well as many other stories that you will never hear during other tourist tours around town. The most popular programmes that you can choose from are the Ghosts and Dragons Tour and the Zagrebarium Quest which is an excellent case of gamification through the story of an unusual murder – while investigating the murder you will even stumble upon Nikola Tesla.


Kvadrati so Hrvati (The Squares are Croats)
The success of the Croatian football has spread the recognisable Croatian symbol, the red-and-white squares, all around the world. The red-and-white squares and the whole identity of the country are the work of an acknowledged Croatian avant-garde painter Miroslav Šutej. Time has confirmed the originality of his work and we recommend that when visiting Zagreb, you get yourself something with this typical brand as a memory of your visit to the Croatia’s capital. You can further upgrade your visit to Zagreb with a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Arts where a retrospective of this amazing artist is on display.


Zagreb’s atriums and courtyards are not visible to visitors most of the time. I was always interested in what was hidden behind the heavy doors. I believe that each of the atriums and courtyards hides its own story. The surprising event called “Dvorišta – The Courtyards” reveals the stories of hidden courtyards in the Gornji grad (the “Upper Town”). The festival runs between 13 and 22 July and it links seven city courtyards; among them there are courtyards of private houses like the Šuflaj house, home of the great physicist Anton Šuflaj, the Balbi Palace where today the Old Church Slavonic Institute works, and all the way to the Tituš Brezovački Primary School which reveals an astonishing courtyard. In each of the seven courtyards, innovative culinary and musical surprises are offered to visitors. We believe that this kind of a project is an inspiration for event planners who will be able to organise their next event there.



Lauba, located in the Zagreb’s district of Črnomerec, is a modern gallery that soon after its opening in 2012 became a cool venue. Organisers appreciate the industrial character of the building which used to be the Zagreb Textile Factory and before that a riding arena within the Austro-Hungarian Cavalry Barracks. Its black facade looks elegant and proves that it is possible to beautifully renovate decaying cultural monuments. The mission of the gallery, which is privately owned by a Croatian entrepreneur and collector of contemporary arts Tomislav Klička, is to discover and present young local artists. At the same time, Lauba understands its commercial mission as well and offers space for concerts with 1,500 visitors, gala dinners for up to 500 guests, corporate events, etc. The space can be divided into smaller units which allows for execution of conferences.

Lauba is a cool space in which art, the past and incredible architectural aesthetics meet; this makes for a good starting point for event organisation. The gallery is located a few kilometres out of the city centre, has a large parking lot, and is accessible by public transport as well.

Zagreb is a pleasant and comfortable city for congress guests. And despite the fact that this is a city of more than one million residents, the city is compact and easily accessible. With a few strategic investments, among which the most important one is certainly the construction of a new airport terminal, Zagreb has become the leading regional meetings destination. The colour of the city is blue and the news that it is possibly to organise events in Zagreb has quickly spread around. Next to the adequate congress infrastructure, the green areas in form of lawns and mighty parks also greatly contribute to the high quality of stay for congress guests. We are also happy about the news that the project of a new congress centre is in its final phase; with this congress centre, Zagreb will additionally strengthen its leading position in the region.


Zagreb Tourist Board & Convention Bureau
Kaptol 5, 10000 Zagreb
Phone: +385 1 4898 523

MTLG 2018

We visited Zagreb in July 2018. Zagreb is part of the MTLG 2018 evaluation. The results of this year’s competition have just been published.

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A long time congress tourism addict, Gorazd has many years' experience in creating, planning and organizing large congress projects in cooperation with some of the most respected institutions in the region. He is an accomplished advisor for marketing success in corporate events and congress centers and the owner of Toleranca marketing agency. Gorazd has established himself as the founder and editor of Kongres Magazine and the co-creator of Conventa Trade Show.