A Tour of Zagreb’s Historic Concert Halls

Zagreb has a rich music scene  – from beautiful music you can listen to in Croatian National Theatre or Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall to… well, I don’t know the opposite, but I guess you can find anything you want to listen to.

In this article, I’m going to write about five places you can listen to good music in Zagreb.

Let’s start with the already mentioned – Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall. It is a large concert located south of the Main railway station. Vatroslav Lisinski has two separate spaces in which it hosts some of the best international musicians. The bigger hall has 1.841, and the smaller one has 305 seats. Its large lobby is also used as an exhibition area.

Some of the famous musicians who have performed in the Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall are Luciano Pavarotti, Jose Carreras, Tina Turner, Nick Cave, Ella Fitzgerald, Sting, well as Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

The second hall is Tvornica Kulture (translated as Culture Factory). Tvornica (short) hosts a wide range of events, from domestic to international musicians. Like Lisinski, it also has two halls, but without seats. Recently, Tvornica was renovated, and today, it is one of the most technically and productionally equipped clubs in Croatia.

Some of the musicians and bands who have performed in Tvornica are Tash Sultana, Stereo MC’s, Marisol, BOA, Partibrejkers, Neki to vole vruće, Silente, King Krule, Opća Opasnost, Arch Enemy, Pava, Melvins, and Barcelona Gipsy Balkan Orchestra and many more.

For the next hall, I need to mention Arena Zagreb. The Arena is a multi-purpose sports hall built in 2009 in order to host games in the 2009 World Men’s Handball Championship. Today, Arena can be used for hockey, futsal, handball, athletics, basketball, volleyball, numerous other sporting competitions, and various concerts, exhibitions, fairs, conventions, and congresses. But, unfortunately, mostly during the year, it sits empty.

Arena hosted many big concerts, like Depeche Mode, 50 Cent, Busta Rhymes, Hauser, Željko Joksimović, Bryan Adams, Celin Dion, Urban, Gibonni, Crvena Jabuka, Zdravko Čolić, Dalmatino, Jelena Rozga, Halid Bešlić, Andre Rieu, Massimo, Sting, The cure, Saša Matić, 2CELLOS, Rage against the machine, KISS and Parni Valjak, and many many more.

The Top Gear trio in Arena Zagreb, photographed in July 2014

The next concert hall is something like Arena, but much older and smaller. Dom Sportova is also a large multi-purpose sports hall in Zagreb, and it hosts various indoor sports like tennis, handball, basketball, indoor soccer, figure skating, ice hockey, and many more. The opening ceremony held a friendly basketball game between Europe and the USA. Dom Sportova was built in 1972. The hall has two spaces with 5.000 and 3.100 seats.

The list of famous international musicians and bands who have performed there is really impressive, and it includes Santana, Paul McCartney and Wings, Rolling Stones, Queen, Motörhead, Wishbone Ash, Eric Burdon and The Animals, Elton John, Rory Gallagher, Dire Straits, Eddy Grant, Iron Maiden, Nazareth & Girl School, Samantha Fox, Alice Cooper, Ramones, Scorpions, Deep Purple and many more.

The last place I’m going to talk about is different from the one mentioned. It is Boogaloo. Boogaloo, with a capacity of 1.500 people is the smallest venue of these five. It is located in a former cinema and cultural center. The venue offers a varied schedule of retro parties, house or techno DJs, and live international metal acts.

Some of the musicians who have performed there are Josipa Lisac, Cubismo, Son-Cuba-Son, Eric Sardinas, Rythm Kings, Zabranjeno pušenje, Rambo Amadeus, Urban & 4, Misfits, Exploited, and DJs such as John Aquaviva, Umek, Jeff Mills, Valentino Kanzyani, Rush, Terry Francis, Metodi Hristov, Marco Bailey and Cristian Varela.

I think this is enough for the five selected concert halls. In one of the following articles in this category, I’ll mention more places where you can listen to amazing music.

There is everything for everyone, trust me!

Hi! My name is Ivan, and I'm an author of discoverzagreb.com. I have been photographing and exploring Zagreb for more than 15 years, and if you want to know more about me and discoverzagreb.com, read the Introduction articles by clicking here.

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