Zagreb has that great vibe with its coffee culture, friendly locals and delicious food. And it’s still undiscovered and relatively cheap when compared with some cities in western Europe. That’s why I believe it’s one of the places you should put on your travel bucket list and visit soon!
Zagreb has a great climate with four proper seasons. It has warm summers and cold winters with sometimes a lot of snow. You can even go and sky then at the mountain Medvednica located just at the edge of the city (some of the World sky championship races are organised there).
If you want to ride in public transport like a local, you should complain about it a lot, too. But, that’s something I noticed everywhere I lived for a longer time. So, maybe it’s not so typical for Zagreb in the end
Although my choice in Croatia would always be to use a car, public transport in Zagreb can save you from paying for parking and dealing with often heavy traffic during the pick hours. Public transport consists of trams (riding mostly in a city centre) and buses (connecting it mostly with the neighbourhoods outside the city centre).
Single ticket valid for 90 minutes in one direction will cost you around 1.5 euros, but if you’re planning to only take a short ride up to 30 min, you can buy a special 30-minute ticket that will cost you only 50 cents. If you’re planning to hop on and off a few times during the day, than 24-hour ticket is something for you. You can buy it for around 4.5 euros.
What I really love in Zagreb are those different influences you can feel in it. Austrian and German influence in its historical architecture and food, Mediterranean influence in the way people live in the street (coffee culture is amazing here), the influence of the rural area around the city which you can especially feel on its central market Dolac – with all the nice food and products from the countryside.
There is a strong influence from the east as well, especially in a nice food like čevapčići or burek (I urge you to try both) that comes from the neighbouring Bosnia.
Zagreb isn’t a large city, and its centre can easily be seen on foot. The most interesting places are Zagreb’s main square, Trg Bana Jelačića (often only called the square – ‘Trg’ among the locals), Upper town (Gornji grad) and a Green Horseshoe (Zelena Potkova) the line of parks with many beautiful and important buildings built next to them at the end of the 19th Century.
Since we were staying in the Lower Town, this is an area that we got to know pretty well. Ban Jelačić Square is the central square in the Lower Town and the area was full of markets, so this was a very lively place almost every minute of the day. We passed through here a lot and especially enjoyed the artisanal market where you could buy things like pastries, deli meats, honey, jams, and all sorts of artisanal products.
However, this wasn’t the only outdoor market in the city. Just around the corner from the main square, we had the Flower Market filled with the most colourful blooms, and steps from there we had the Central Market, which had stands overflowing with fresh fruits and vegetables – a fun place to buy your groceries if you’re in town for a few days!
Zagreb Cathedral is one the city’s main landmarks. This is said to be the largest sacral building in the Gothic style southeast of the Alps, and it’s pretty easy to spot the spires wherever you are in the city.
Inside the cathedral, you can also find the tomb of Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac, which draws many pilgrims.