A visual guide to Croatia’s cosmopolitan capital.
Even for well-traveled visitors, Zagreb is a city not easily described in just a few words. Ornate Astro-Hungarian architecture and an open friendliness point West — while rows of socialist-era buildings and a strong leisurely coffee culture (emphasis on culture) point East. However, Zagreb is much more than the sum of these recent influences. Long before it was part of an empire or union, Zagreb was a city of rich traditions, carried on for centuries by native Croatians.
With Adriatic Luxury Journeys, you’ll see all three ‘faces’ of Zagreb, learning from each building, historical character (many of which come ‘alive’!) and custom to see how the city’s unique culture developed.
For a visual tour of the city, here are a few of our favorite landmarks and out-of-the-way areas:
Where to Stay: Built in 1925 to accommodate passengers of the famous Orient Express, the Hotel Esplanade is a grand structure that gives the feeling of staying at Downton Abbey — albeit with much more cheerful staff. Its central location also makes it the perfect starting point for a walking tour of the city. Just don’t forget the gourmet breakfast first!
Who to Visit: As you walk through the city with your guide, often a native of the city like Ivana (below), you’ll likely start by visiting a real-life historical figure in Ban Jelacic Square — 19th Century military leader Josip Jelacic himself, complete with his impressive mustache. Ever a generous leader, Josip gladly poses for photos. As you continue through Zagreb, you’ll find he isn’t the only historical figure to greet visitors!
Where to Relax: It’s impossible to fully experience Zagreb without indulging in a leisurely morning (sometimes into the afternoon) with friends over coffee. On Ivana’s recommendation, you might find a new favorite hot drink with ‘white’ coffee — a delightful beverage akin to a latte, yet infinitely better presented. On a winding stone street where a river once flowed, you’ll find nearly two dozen cafes with outdoor seating. We recommend making a stop to simply sit and take in the atmosphere.
Where to Wander: The narrow stone streets of Zagreb offer plenty of opportunities to find unexpected treasures. With your guide, you’ll hear the history of the necktie, which originated in Croatia, listen to the story behind the traditional Zagreb heart, and see examples of the impressive ‘naive’ art (vivid paintings on glass) that originated with Croatian farmers. Our guides will take you through a naive art shop to admire the work and perhaps even find a new piece for your home! Aside from these uniquely Croatian traditions, you’ll find plenty of beauty throughout Zagreb simply in the calm streets, the colorful buildings and the warm hospitality of the people.
For a Smile: When the Museum of Broken Relationships was first founded, we weren’t sure what to expect; but this testament to modern relationships, filled with items left behind in the wake of dissolved couples, is as fascinating as it is amusing. You can even buy cleverly worded souvenirs for your ex! We recommend at least stopping by to see the entertaining sign outside:
More Photos of Zagreb
We’d love to show you all our favorite spots in Croatia and can personalize every tour to your interests. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 800.908.7108 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more suggestions, activities and events in Zagreb and across the Adriatic!