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The capital and biggest city in Croatia, Zagreb is the cultural and economic hub of the country. With its Austro-Hungarian heritage, it’s a typical Central European city, with classicist and secessionist facades and green parks. Zagreb is packed with museums, galleries, theaters and restaurants – plenty to satisfy your inner culture vulture.
Zagreb At A Glance
Population of Zagreb: 802,588
What to See in Zagreb: Zagreb Cathedral, St. Mark’s Church, Maksimir Park, Green Horseshoe Park
Towns or islands to visit near Dubrovnik: Daytrip to Plitvice Lakes, Slovenia, Bosnia
Things to do in Zagreb
Explore the upper town
Zagreb is divided into two halves, the Zagreb Upper town and Zagreb Lower Town (Gornji and Donji Grad). The first one is the old city and historic core, dating back to the 11th century, full of red tile roofs and cobblestone streets and is the most romantic part of Zagreb. Visitors to the Croatian capital are often steered in the direction of Zagreb’s historic core. Locally known as Gornji Grad (Upper Town), the old town combines the twin settlements of Gradec and Kaptol and is located just a few minutes from the city’s main street, Illica. It is a throwback to another era, one marked by architectural brilliance and immortal legends.
Sample a range of museums and art galleries
There are many fine museums in Zagreb and they are literally around every corner, and together, they feature more than 3.6 million exhibits. Learning about the rich Croatian art scene has never been easier. In recent years, some Zagreb museums have become the hottest cultural hubs. And with exciting events programs, museum hopping in Zagreb is extremely easy. The museums that must be on your bucket list include the Museum of Contemporary Art, The Museum of Broken Relationships and Archeological Museum to name just a few.
Enjoy the shopping experience along the famous Ilica Street
Ilica Street is one of the longest shopping streets in Zagreb, ideal for shopping lovers, for a drink on a terrace or for dining out. A shopping expedition on Ilica Street offers a fun, exciting and richly diverse experience. Zagreb’s main shopping drag is in the center of the city and along its pavements are many prestigious clothes and shoe stores, independent boutiques and shops of well-known brands. Whether you have got deep pockets or are on a tight budget, there is something for everyone on Ilica Street: from small stores selling locally made goods to luxury boutiques with their expensive designer garments.
Explore King Tomislav Square
King Tomislav Square is lined with trees, dotted with flowerbeds and bordered by the imposing yellow façade of the grand Art Pavilion. Sit on one of the square’s benches and observe the people of Zagreb mixing and mingling. This square was originally named after Franz Joseph I. Following the fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, it was renamed for King Tomislav, who is attributed with uniting the Croats of Dalmatia and Pannonia into the single kingdom of Croatia. The first Croatian king was honored with a grand monument in the square in 1947. Head to the south end of the square for a closer look at this giant edifice, which depicts the king riding a horse on top of a huge plinth.
Restaurants in Zagreb
The cosy interior, choice of Mediterranean and Croatian dishes and fantastic wine list, make this a favourite with Zagreb locals. Try a delicious risotto with thyme, pear and sheep’s cheese from Pag Island.
Lanterna na Dolcu
The authentic Zagreb feel of Lanterna begins with the ingredients, all of which are sourced daily from the city’s iconic Dolac Market. The dishes are all inspired from the traditions of the area, dating back to a cookbook written in 1865, which the proprietors found in the Zagreb museum.
Otto & Frank
Proudly serving comforting and appetizing brunch, burgers and salads with a Croatian twist. Try their famous carrot cake or a creatively crafted cocktail. An informal setting with a compact menu that packs a punch.
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