Zagreb is the capital and one of the main cities in Croatia. It is located on the northern slopes of the Medvednica Hill and has Sava River to the south. If you are looking for an epic cruising experience, then this is it. Here is everything you need to know about this beautiful city!
Zagreb has a vast history and some of it even dates to Roman times. There are several Roman settlements in the city. The upper city – also known as the old city – is located on two hills known as Kaptol and Gradec. The rest of the city was developed around these two hills later. Therefore, most of the historical monuments are at the top of the hills. Who doesn’t love a little hike?
It was built over a Stream
The main street of Zagreb known as Tkalčićeva Street was built over a stream. At the end of the 19th century, the top of the stream was filled with concrete but the stream still flows underneath passing below several houses, restaurants, and cafes. The stream ultimately falls in Sava River.
Named because of a thirsty knight?
It is more of a widely accepted legend than truth, but it is believed that Zagreb got its name due to a thirsty knight. Legend is that once a young night arrived from a faraway place and was exhausted from the journey.
He stumbled upon a spring and a woman named Manda was standing next to the spring. Exhausted from the journey, he asked Manda to ladle (Zagrabiti) some water for him. The rest is history.
Home of dragons
Statues of medieval snakes and dragons can be found throughout the city. The streets of Zagreb are also home to various reptiles. Rumor has it that there is a cursed snake queen buried deep down in a medieval mountain fortress. Could this be Medusa?
It has its solar system
The city has its solar system built around a sculpture of the Grounded Sun on Bogovićeva street. Planets are scattered across the city and all of them are at specific distance and size relative to the Grounded Sun. The solar system is one of the main tourist attractions of Zagreb.
Here are some places that you should visit if you are in the city:
St Mark’s Church
This is one of Zagreb's iconic churches built in the 13th century. It has a multi-colored tiled roof with a breathtaking gothic portal having 15 sculptures in 11 niches. This church serves as a majestic background for the Zagreb’s Guard-Changing ceremony happening from April to October. This church provides kaleidoscopic Christian imagery.
Museum of Broken Relationships
There are several museums in the Zagreb each one having its taste and style, but Zagreb is also home to one most unique and quirky museum that you must go to is the Museum of Broken Relationships. Museum has various donated collections of personal objects and artifacts from old lovers and partners around the world. Each artifact and object have details of the failed relationship in question.
One of the main medieval structures is the famous Stone Gate also known as Kamenita Vrata. Located in the old city, this is the last surviving gate from the original five city gates. The gate was built in the 13th century and has survived a fire in 1731 and saved the painting of Mary and Jesus. Later a chapel was built around the painting which has been the subject of pilgrimages ever since.
The Croatian National Theater
This theater was built by Viennese architects Hermann Helmer and Ferdinand Fellner in 1895. This majestic yellow structure was opened by Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph I in 1894. One of the most attractive buildings in the lower city, this theater was built in Neo-Baroque and Rococo styles.
The interior of the theater is equally beautiful containing artwork by Vlaho Bukovac and Ivan Mestrovic. If you ever visit Zagreb, then you must attend one of the ballet or drama performances.
Cathedral of Zagreb
Zagreb Cathedral is the tallest building in the whole of Croatia. This Gothic architecture is Zagreb’s most iconic building. The spires in this building can be seen anywhere from Zagreb. This building was built in the 11th century but had to reconstruct due to an earthquake in 1880.
Here are some restaurants that you should consider visiting:
Rated the second-best restaurant in all of Croatia, Dubravkin Put is one of the best restaurants in Zagreb. You can either sit inside the restaurant or have an outdoor meal depending upon your mood. Away from all the crowd and bustle of the city, this restaurant acts as a haven and you can enjoy your food in peace.
Trilogija provides a medieval look with its scenery and bricks wall but the place is quite cozy. The menu of the restaurant changes so that the guests and tourists can enjoy brilliant local and exquisite dishes. The restaurant also has a bar where you can enjoy your drink after a long day of sightseeing and fun.
Located in an old light bulb factory, this restaurant provides an old industrial look. The main attraction besides the excellent food is the outdoor terrace that is huge, shaded, and breezy so you can enjoy your meal on a hot summer day. The menu changes regularly but the classics always remain.
This is located just around the corner from the main square, this restaurant-cum-bar is famous for its sushi food and signature cocktails. With its elegant interiors and a very modern bar, this place will become your favorite place to hang out and eat some quality food.
Here are some things that you would want to do:
Try a licitar
Licitar is a snack that represents Croatia. These are sweet ginger-bread biscuits decorated in bright colors. These licitars date back to the 16th century and popularly served at weddings and on Valentine’s Day. You should also buy some licitars as souvenirs to take back home to your friends and family.
Go through Gric Tunnel
This tunnel was built during the second world war to act as a refuge if attacked. This tunnel also served as a refuge during the Croatian War of Independence. Now, this tunnel hosts local events and is a famous tourist attraction point.
Go Out in Tkalčićeva street
If you want to listen to some local live music or want a good local meal, Tkalčićeva street should be your priority. If you are with a special someone then a stroll through the beautiful street of painted houses with balconies and canopies is quite romantic. At sunset, you can choose from various Zagreb’s vibrant cafes to watch the sunset and have something amazing to drink.
If you are planning on visiting Zagreb, then I hope this article has provided you with enough information. Not only will this charming city leave you speechless with its ancient monuments, but it has food that will leave a mark on your taste buds forever. Zagreb is a relatively small city and is easily walk able.
If you haven’t visited this city, then you should immediately plan a trip because you are missing out on quite a lot.
National Park Kornati
National Park Krka
National Park Plitvice