Browse any tourism brochure for Croatia and you’ll be forgiven for pondering that Dubrovnik, with its UNESCO Previous Metropolis, Sport of Thrones places, and big numbers of cruise passengers is the nation’s capital.
However in truth, Croatia’s capital and largest metropolis, Zagreb, lies 400 km away within the northwest of the nation. Its wealthy historical past, spectacular structure, a number of cultural areas, and wonderful connectivity means it deserves to be certainly one of Europe’s favorite locations for an awesome worth metropolis break.
Listed here are my high 10 must-see solutions:
Dolac has been Zagreb’s largest farmers’ marketplace for the very best a part of 100 years. It’s on the sting of Ban Jelačić Sq. within the Old Metropolis and is inbuilt two layers: there’s a lined market beneath and an open-air market above. Upstairs, distributors shield themselves and their produce from the solar with vivid purple umbrellas.
Lots of the girls who promote fruit and greens in Dolac – the kumica – come from close by villages. Look out for the recent mandarins and lemons, purchase your self handfuls of cherries and olives, and in case you are planning to have a picnic in Zagreb, come right here to purchase freshly baked cornbread and a pot of Zagorje cottage cheese.
Don’t go away with out making an attempt Gingerbread Hearts
The licitarsko srce – a gingerbread coronary heart adorned with purple and white icing – is Zagreb’s greatest identified memento, a candy deal with with a protracted historical past. Historically these biscuits had been baked as tokens of affection and friendship.
They’re constructed from honey dough and had been bought at festivals at pageant instances. Now you should purchase them in Zagreb year-round, although the most important portions are made and bought round Valentine’s Day. These gingerbread hearts are thought of to be such an necessary facet of Croatia’s tradition that UNESCO has given them Intangible Cultural Heritage standing.
Grounded Photo voltaic System
In 1994, Croatian sculptor Ivan Kostaric put in a large golden orb within the centre of Zagreb. He known as it the Grounded Solar as a result of it seems to be as if our personal solar has fallen to Earth. Fellow artist Davor Preis then developed the artwork set up additional, making and putting 9 planets across the metropolis, all with the identical dimensions and distances as these inside our photo voltaic system. It took artwork and astronomy followers two years to find all of them!
Medvednica Nature Park
Medvedgrad is Zagreb’s historic fortress and the centrepiece of the Medvednica Nature Park, an oasis of inexperienced on the sting of town. The park covers an unlimited space with thick forest, caves, waterfalls, and websites of cultural curiosity, which might be explored on greater than 70 mountain climbing trails. Purpose to spend a full day at Medvenica, beginning on the Medvegrad Customer Centre which is throughout the fort itself. On weekends you’ll be able to take a guided tour of the 15th to 16th-century gold and silver mines; Sopot Waterfall is the right picnic spot in a picturesque glade of bushes; and from numerous factors alongside the Horvat’s 500 Stairs you get fabulous views.
Nikola Tesla Technical Museum
Lately the title “Tesla” usually makes individuals consider electrical automobiles, however their namesake, the Serbian-American inventor Nikola Tesla, was born in Smiljan in what’s now Croatia. Zagreb celebrates his life and work on the Nikola Tesla Technical Museum, which was based within the metropolis in 1954. There are greater than three,000 gadgets on show, together with Tesla’s lately renovated demonstration cupboard.
St. Mark’s Sq.
St Mark’s Church with its distinctive purple, white, and blue roof, adorned with coats of arms, is an instantly recognisable image of Zagreb.
Relationship from the 13th century, it is among the metropolis’s oldest surviving buildings and has a wonderful inside with sculptures by Ivan Mestrovic and work by Jozo Kljakovic. Along with the church, you’ll discover loads of different necessary buildings round St. Mark’s Sq., together with the Croatian Parliament and the Previous Metropolis Corridor. The sq. and facades had been all renovated in 2006, and it’s a very photogenic spot.
Zagreb is a big out of doors canvas for Croatian and worldwide artists. The town’s road artwork scene has turn out to be more and more vibrant lately, and graffiti artist Kresimir Golubic (AKA Leon GSK) leads road artwork excursions for Zagreb Vacationer Board. He has additionally written road artwork guides.
The coed centre on Savska Avenue and the ACC Medika constructing on Pierotti Avenue are famed for his or her murals, and there’s new art work at Artwork Park yearly. A venture known as “Pimp my pump” encourages artists to color water pumps throughout Zagreb, so maintain your eyes open for these artworks, too.
Strossmayer Promenade (or Zagreb Stross) runs alongside the highest of what’s left of Zagreb’s mediaeval metropolis partitions.
Begin your stroll beneath the Lotrščak Tower, which was constructed within the 13th century to protect Zagreb’s southern gate from a Turkish invasion. Following the promenade provides you nice views over town, and an opportunity to absorb among the environment of town. In the summertime it’s the placement of Summer season on Stross, with reside music, road performers, artists, and road meals stalls, and within the run-up to Christmas, it’s a serious venue for Zagreb Creation, Zagreb’s multi-site Christmas market and pageant.
Zagreb Wine Tour
Zagreb native Stanka has labored in tourism since 2003 and leads ToursByLocal’s Gems of Zagreb Tour. In three hours you’ll be able to uncover the highlights of Zagreb on foot, however – and right here’s the necessary bit – stopping alongside the best way to style a few of Croatia’s best wines. Jastrebarsko, a brief drive outdoors Zagreb, is named “Croatia’s Champagne” and the highway is lined with vineyards. Stanka will introduce you to wines from totally different areas, accompanied by native snacks, and clarify about Croatia’s lengthy winemaking traditions.
Zinfandel’s – Zagreb’s greatest restaurant
Doubtless, Zinfandel’s is Zagreb’s greatest restaurant. It’s situated throughout the extraordinary Esplanade Zagreb Resort, which was inbuilt 1925 to accommodate passengers travelling on the Orient Specific.
Immediately, Govt Chef Ana Grgic – who has cooked for everybody from Prince Charles to Hilary Clinton – leads the kitchen, creating imaginative menus which showcase the easiest Croatian elements.
Within the summertime, it’s attainable to sit down out on the elegant Oleander Terrace, however regardless of the time of 12 months you’ll be able to count on an unforgettable meal and repair match for a queen.
FLY: RyanAir flies direct from London Stansted to Zagreb from £30 return.
STAY: Esplanade Resort, the luxurious dwelling to Zinfandel restaurant
TOUR: Group strolling tour of Zagreb : 2 hours and 30 minutes from £17 per individual.
For official vacationer data see Go to Zagreb.