So you are traveling to Croatia and your flight arrives in Zagreb? Great! Spend a day exploring this city full of history. Here is what to do in Zagreb.
The capital of Croatia has the perfect size. It’s not too big, so the distances are walkable, but it’s also not too small, so it’s not too crowded. The city is more interesting then I thought! In the summer all the small and big squares are filled with musicians! Everywhere you go, there is a small concert going on. And on proper scenes built up with proper sound. It has such a great vibe!
What to do
In the morning head to the Dolac Market – the belly of Zagreb. You will find lots of local produce there, from fruit and vegetables, through cheese, fish, meat to homemade bread. There is an underground section that is worth visiting. Enjoy a coffee in a very local style, on the Dolac Placa.
See the canon
On a tower in the upper town, there is a canon. The tour was constructed in the XIII century, but the canon was added a bit over 100 years ago. Every day, at noon, the canon gets fired in order to mark time and give the churches around the sign to ring their bells. It’s really loud, you have been warned!
Museum of broken relationships
The Museum was created by a couple that unfortunately was splitting up. They got into a fight and were dividing everything they owned. Suddenly, they realized that some simple objects have a deep meaning for them. They started asking around for good brake up stories. Everyone has one! In this Museum, you can see those objects and read the stories. Nowadays you can also donate an object to the Museum. It will be displayed along with the story it carries.
Walk the Gric tunnel
This tunnel, which runs below the entire old town, was built during World War II as a bomb shelter. Nowadays it is just a historic walk or a shortcut. Art events are being organized in the tunnels. In the 90s there was even one of the first raves in the country.
Admire the street art
Pimp my pump in a cultural activity that has for purpose adding a bit of color to the city. Lots of artists gathered and redecorated the water pumps that are scattered around the city. We can also find some colorful graffiti, like this one located right next to the street where local beer is brewed.
Visit the oldest Pharmacy in the world
The Pharmacy at the entrance to the Upper Town, on the Kamenita Street, is the oldest pharmacy in Zagreb. Word has it that it was open in 1355 and hasn’t stopped working since. On the display we can admire old potions and medicine, like Cocaine for example. It used to be prescribed as a cure.
Buy a Cravate
A cravate, or a necktie is actually a Croat invention. They were seen for the first time around the necks of the Croatian troops during the war. Croat wives would tie red scarfs around their husbands’ necks for luck. The French commercialized it, but the invention coms from Croatia. You will see a lot of shops around town selling silk neckties.
Have a glass of wine
Croatia is well-known for its wine, so there are a few vineyards around the city of Zagreb. For those, like me, that did not rent a car, there is one just in the center of the city. Find the Felbinger passage between Lower and Upper Town. Right there, between the woodes stairs, you can have a glass of wine.
Fun fact: the city still has gas lamps, which means that somebody needs to turn them on and off every day. There are two people employed by the city to do that. Every evening and every morning.
Where to eat
This small place serves only one thing – the famous Croatian Strukli. I call it the Croatian lasagna. It’s pasta-like dough (but softer) with cheese and egg. In La Struk you can have it with sweet or salty cheese, roasted peppers or pumpkin seed pesto. It’s delicious and filling, perfect for a quick lunch. One Strukli is around 40 kuna.
Address: Skalinska ul. 5, Zagreb. Map
Burek is an institution in Zagreb, it has been around for a very long time and is well known by the locals for its delicious Burek. They serve it with cheese, meat, or apples. Choose your favorite one and enjoy it on the terrace next to Dolec Market. Warning: the birds want a piece of it as well! I had to actively scare them away while eating. It must have been a hilarious scene.
Address: Dolac 2 (under the market, on the middle of the stairs.) Map
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