Zagreb, capital of Croatia, may be the ex-Yugoslav metropolis that’s most paying homage to capitals additional north, like Vienna or Prague. Its aesthetic leaves little doubt that it is a Catholic nation the place Catholic emperors dominated for hundreds of years, and the Ottoman or japanese component is far much less pronounced. Now that Croatia reached the ultimate on this yr’s FIFA World Cup, much more folks have been exploring this small spectacular and cosmopolitan metropolis.
Zagreb has the identical vibrant, joyous spirit that’s prevalent all through the Western Balkans. Regardless of the divergence in faith, Croatians are South Slavs in spite of everything – and you’ll count on to see loads of the identical meals, music, traditions and language right here. Zagreb brings collectively one of the best of the Balkan spirit with a extra European, regal air, excellent for some city exploration. With these local tips from Zagreb residents, you’re going to get to find extra sides of life in Croatia’s largest metropolis.
Exploring the starry sky proper right here on Earth
Photograph by Mirna Marić
One among one of the best native suggestions for Zagreb which can give your exploration a novel twist is the (nearly) full, to-scale mannequin of the Solar System conceived in 2004. The centrepiece, the solar, is a spherical sculpture which locals have been continually interacting with because it was first created within the ‘70s. It has suffered by way of vandalism and a number of other strikes across the metropolis, however now resides in a dead-central location on Bogovićeva ulica. Round it you’ll find each planet, from cherry-sized Mercury to Earth, all the way in which to Pluto, which was stolen in 2006 – presumably due to the mannequin’s small dimension and Pluto’s downgrade from member of the Photo voltaic System pantheon to dwarf planet. Regardless of that, the plaque stays. Recognizing each celestial physique guarantees a satisfying day of exploration.
Zagreb’s most beloved native bar & brewery
Photograph by Medvedgrad
Though it has existed since “solely” 1994, Medvedgrad’s beer corridor and brewery on Ilica avenue, in all probability the entire metropolis’s most central purchasing avenue, has turn out to be within the almost-quarter century of its existence an absolute native favourite. All six of the beer types served there are unfiltered, and so they have seasonal in addition to bottled brews. As for the compulsory beer snacks, don’t neglect to check out the čvarkuše” (savory pastries made with pork rinds) and cheese rolls, particularly in case you’re with a big group of associates – the right firm for this form of place!
A neighborhood favourite winter cafe
Photograph by Mirna Maric
Velvet Cafe has probably the most extravagant and luxurious atmosphere for having fun with a scrumptious drink or snack. Τhis cult hang-out reopened in 2009 after having disappeared for just a few years. Well-known artist, florist and designer Saša Šekoranja who can also be a co-owner, was chargeable for the ornament, and whereas it would look a bit random and chaotic, every thing right here is positioned with meticulous care and intention. A captivating element is that on each desk there’s an vintage ebook which comprises the menu. The dim star-shaped lights full the image. “If I can take my friends to only one cafe, it’s at all times Velvet”, admits Zagreb native Mirna.
Quick meals from the Adriatic
Photograph by Nevena Mikec
Triton, positioned conveniently subsequent to the fish market, is a contemporary remnant of the Dalmatian and Mediterranean custom of getting small fried fish like smelts (gavuni), sprats (papline) or sardines for quick meals. Now, extra folks reject meat for together with extra fish of their diets, so fish is making a comeback, and though frying fish won’t be the healthiest, choice sparsely it’s an amazing supply of important proteins, minerals and fatty acids like Omega 3. At this straightforward avenue meals stand you may get your fresh-fried fish or calamari with potato salad or fries. Eat along with your fingers and journey to the Adriatic Coast along with your senses of scent and style.
Alternatively, you may additionally need to strive burek – and evaluate it to the variations you’ve already tried in different Balkan nations!
Shortest funicular on the earth
Photograph by Information Zagreb
Uspinjača holds the amusing document of being the shortest funicular trip on the earth – it takes 64 seconds and a 66-meter-long journey to get from one finish to the opposite. It’s additionally town’s oldest technique of public transport, relationship again to the late 19th century. It’s form of enjoyable, low cost, gives nice views and will get you in entrance of Lotrščak Tower and a gorgeous metropolis viewpoint. It truly serves to attach the Decrease city (Donji grad) with the Higher city (Gornji grad), which is essential, because the latter is admittedly the place you need to be if you’re visiting Zagreb. From there, go to Strossmayerovo šetalište for town’s final romantic promenade.
A temple, a museum, a mosque, a gallery?
Photograph by Mirna Marić
The round Meštrović Pavilion was initially constructed as an artwork exhibition venue shortly earlier than WWII. Through the conflict, it was transformed right into a mosque by the Fascist regime, and after the tip of the conflict it served because the Museum of the Revolution. Solely to start with of the ‘90s was it restored to its authentic operate, although it’s nonetheless recognized regionally as džamija, which implies mosque. It’s fairly spectacular from the outside, however is exceptionally placing from the within. The highly effective architectural setting mixed with the monumentalism and trendy asceticism make each having fun with exhibition right here a novel expertise.
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How one can get there
It’s simple to go to Zagreb as a part of your adventures with a Eurail Global Pass. There are direct lines into Croatia from Austria, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Germany, Hungary and Slovenia. If you happen to’re after surroundings, the practice from Budapest to Zagreb runs alongside the shores of Lake Balaton, Hungary’s largest lake.
Croatia’s rail community connects Zagreb to all main Croatian cities, and most routes don’t require a reservation, so take the time to discover when you’re there. The one metropolis which might’t be reached by rail is Dubrovnik – you can take the practice to Break up, then journey by bus to Dubrovnik.
Header picture by Mirna Marić
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