Zagreb is the capital of Croatia and also the biggest city in the country. It marks the place where Eastern Europe and Central Europe split and has been for thousands of years but this modern capital has an alluring charm to it. There are cobbled streets to explore with gas lamps, quaint squares and museums that you hop between but you can be sure that this is a city that will capture your imagination.
This was the medieval heart of Zagreb and would have been populated by artisans and tradesmen. In modern times it is a small, old district that is ideal for walks and exploring the cobblestone streets that twist and turn. St. Mark’s Square is a cultural and political marker in the city and it is the place where the Croatian Parliament and Constitutional Court are found. The square got its name from St. Mark’s Church and it still contains much of its Roman architecture mixed with Gothic additions from the 1300s. The last remaining town gate can be found at the end of Radiceva Street, which became a shrine to the Virgin Mary following a fire in the 18th century that destroyed the whole structure except for the pains of the Virgin.
Designed in the 1800s, this has a different look and feel to the medieval centre. You are met with expansive avenues and neo-classical buildings that are grand in size. The Lower Town is where many of the plush hotels are located as well as plenty of open, green areas along with prestigious museums. Plenty of cafes provide you with choice, so take a stroll around and reward yourself with a hot coffee.
This daily farmers market is worth a visit and as it takes place every day, you can fit it in around the rest of your trip. It is the perfect place to explore the different meats and products that the farmers sell as well as fresh seafood that comes from the coast. It is a great way to watch the locals go about their daily business and if you take the stairway just off the market place, you will find the flower market which is also worth a visit.
This museum located in the Lower Town was named after the 20th-century art collector Ante Topic Mimara who was a character full of life. Many of the permanent exhibits in the museum were donated by Miramar who was believed to be a part of art theft that took place during the Second World War but also forgery following it. Many critics claim that the museum is home to a number of fakes but even so, it is still a great way to spend a few hours.
The location of Zagreb has meant that it has been at the heart of history from both the west and the east but with that has come a huge array of civilisations. At the archaeological museum, you can take a trip through history and explore many eras and cultures. A ritual vessel, known as the Vucedol Dove, is one of the best pieces here and dates back to 2500BC but there is also an Etruscan Mummy from the 3rd century that has been wrapped in bandages that contain the longest Etruscan text in the world, much of which cannot be translated due to a lack of knowledge on the language.
When the summer arrives, the locals head to Jarun Lake in search of calm waters. It offers a wide selection of activities such as rowing, kayaking and cycling but if you want to take it easy, the cool waters give you a great chance to take a dip and deal with the heat. There is also a good nightlife here with bars and clubs and a music festival that takes place every June.
This stunning medieval town located between Zagreb and the Slovenian border has been a tourist attraction for as long as 200 years. The architecture that you can find in the area dates back to the Baroque era and is extremely impressive. The museum in the town is the place where composer Franz Liszt stayed for one night in 1846 but ringed by wooded hills, this is a place of natural splendour and charm. Head up Tepec Hill to see the ruins of Samobor Castle where the fortress remains in place and the moat can be easily traced along with the walls and gatehouse.
Map of Zagreb
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