Delights of Zagreb
In order to describe why Zagreb is worth visiting we would highlight the following words: long-cherished history, cultural and natural charm, hospitality, amusing museums, year-round celebrations… welcome !
Feeling a little bit of hidden history at the Upper Town
The city’s oldest district is beautiful Upper Town which sits on two small hills – Gradec on the west and Kaptol on the east. In between them is Tkalčićeva Street, once a river, today a charming street with bunch of coffee bars, lots of people and relaxed atmosphere. Kaptol was the old town’s ecclesiastical centre, clustered around the city’s elegant neo-Gothic cathedral. Gradec is crammed with pastel-shaded baroque palaces, once home to the city’s nobility.
The best and the most romantic way to arrive in Gradec is to take the shortest funicular railway in the world, just 66 metres long, from Tomićeva street. As driving upward panoramic view of the Lower Town reveals in all its beauty. When at the Upper Town the following sites are worth visiting: Strossmayer promenade, Lotrščak Tower, St Mark’s church (the city’s great icon with its colourful roof), Croatia’s neoclassical parliament and baroque presidential palace, the Zagreb City Museum, the Museum of Broken Relationships, …
Tasting the local products, fresh from the market
Dolac Market is where locals come to buy fresh produce. The open-air fruit-and-veg market is impossibly picturesque, with views of the cathedral spires providing the perfect backdrop to rows and rows of mouth-wateringly colourful fruits and vegetables. Buy yourself some fruit or pastries and sit down at one of the cafes surrounding the market enjoying the lively atmosphere.
Having a cup of coffee (as the locals do)
When wandering through Zagreb, one of the things you could not miss are numerous café terraces filled with people sipping coffee. With an electric mix of Italian, Turkish and Austro-Hungarian influences, coffee culture here is steeped in history. While many enjoy sitting and watching the world go by, in Croatia coffee is all about socialising, notwithstanding if this is just catching up with friends or doing business. Simply said, having coffee is never just “coffee-to-go” event.
Enjoying some culture and year-round celebrations
The chances are that whatever time of year you visit Zagreb some kind of festival will be enlivening the city’s streets. The highlights include, for example, Festival of Lights in March, InMusic Festival in June, Cest is D’Best in June, which brings hundreds of street performers to the city, Courtyards festival in July, which opens several private Upper Town courtyards to the public for concerts and general merrymaking, International Folklore Festival in July, and numerous all year round open-air concerts and events. Autumn and spring are packed with numerous film, theatre, puppetry and music festivals (e.g. World Theatre Festival in September, Zagreb Film Festival in November). Culmination is in winter when Advent in Zagreb brings a large open-air ice rink at the King Tomislav square, plenty of festive performances and charming Christmas markets… To be said in couple of words… All is bright, all is calm and have-yourself-a-merry-little- Christmas atmosphere, as you have been transported to some other time and place or just, simply said, into the winter wonderland.
Feeling some culture and having fun at the museums
Every European capital has some very impressive art and history museums. In that sense Zagreb is not an exception. Some of them are: the Museum of Arts and Crafts, the Meštrović Gallery, the Mimara Museum, the Naive Art Museum, the Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Zagreb City Museum and the Technical Museum Nikola Tesla. However, Zagreb has some other kind of museums to offer, as well, such as the Museum of Broken Relationship and the Museum of Illusions.
Various city tours
In order discover all Zagreb’s beauties and excitements there are numerous city tours at your disposal. You may choose from thematically focused tours such as Secret Zagreb tour, Dark Romance in Zagreb tour, Zagreb Christmas Carol tour and/or different gastro tours, up to various styles of tours “transport”, such as walking, running and jogging tours, bike tours, Segway tours and “hop-on hop-off city tour”.
Visiting one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Europe
Mirogoj cemetery is home to the graves of many famous Croatian figures. Its majestic leaf-covered arcade boasts an impressive, fortress-like piece of architecture from the outside which provides a place of tranquillity and peace on the inside.
Feeling some peace and tranquillity, escape and retreat in the nature
If you decide to go bit outside from the city centre you may choose among hills and woods (Medvednica mountain with its highest peak Sljeme or trapped in the history Medvedgrad) or lakes (Jarun lake, Bundek lake and Maksimir lakes), all in order to feel genuine nature just 15-30 minutes away from the city centre. The city centre is fulfilled with the nature, as well. You may choose between the Botanical Garden or numerous parks, squares, fountains and beautiful architecture (so called a ‘green horseshoe’ designed by the forward-thinking urban planner called Milan Lenuci, including, among other, Zrinjevac park and the King Tomislav Square) in the closest city centre. All choices give you a great opportunity for some physical activity (hiking, running, walking, swimming, skiing, sledging, ice skating) or just for some simple relaxation in the nature.