Zagreb is the often forgotten city destination in Europe. For years it has been regarded as more of a transport hub but that view is quickly changing, with good value accommodation attracting travellers who are discovering its many qualities. As the cultural centre of Croatia, the streets are dotted with various museums and theatres. Cafe life is strong, the streets are clean, and there is always a park or boulevard to relax on. With the exception of a few socialist style tower blocks, the buildings are attractive too. More of a place to relax and unwind than party, it is a bit of a mystery why travellers have taken so long to cotton on to it.
Zagreb is one of the better areas in Croatia to eat out for a decent price. In some of the small cafes around the city, it’s possible to get a main meal for around €4, although restaurants will charge more. For a cheap eat, try a corn on the cob from the street sellers – a healthier alternative to the bakeries.
The capital has good transport links – Trains leave to Hungary, Serbia, Slovenia, and Split. International buses go to all bordering countries, as well as Germany and Italy amongst others. Eurolines buses link Croatia to many other European capitals.. Once in the city, you can use the tram system or buses to get around . A Zagreb card costs €8 and gives you unlimited travel on the city transport for 24 hours, plus reduced entry fees to some sights. The Bus and train station are around a 10 minute walk from each other.
• Go to Medvednica Mountain – a slice of nature not far from the city, there are forest paths to hike on and wildlife to photograph. It’s a good way to get closer to the Croatian countryside. For those visiting in the winter months, the mountain is open for skiing.
• Spend time at Lake Jarun – Jarun is a man made Lake with paths to walk around and cafes to pass the time in. Popular amongst joggers and outdoor lovers, in the summer you can swim in the Lake or just sunbathe around it.
• Chill out at Flower Square – the most colourful square in Zagreb is a great place to people watch while sipping a coffee. The area is a popular meeting spot and there are a number of cafes, shops and flower stalls.
• Visit the Museum of Broken Relationships – This quirky museum is a surprisingly good visit – evoking both sorrow and laughter at times. Particularly appealing to travellers who might be using a failed relationship as an inspiration to see the world… it certainly leaves an impression.
• Have a day trip to Plitvice – 2 hours away by bus is the Plitvice National Park. Famous for the waterfalls and lakes which occupy a beautiful setting in the countryside. If your visiting Croatia, Plitvice is pretty much a must see along the way.
• Walk around Gornji Grad – the old town is traditional, with winding, cobbled streets, gas lamps lit by hand, and churches to visit. The Croatian Parliament has their buildings in the area, while the main street (tkalciceva) is bustling ; full of life with bars and nice food.
• Watch a film at Kino Europa – an old fashioned cinema that has managed to last decades without being altered. It is still in operation and hosts film festivals on a regular basis. There is a cafe next door which is popular with creative, arty types.
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