So I’ve spent longer in Zagreb then I was originally planning and I’m so glad. After I met the wonderful Sue she invited me to stay with her and experience this beautiful city. Zagreb is awesome and so is Sue. I feel very lucky to have got to experience Zagreb with my new Korean friend and spend some time really getting to know Croatia’s capital.
Here’s a few things I would fully recommend in Zagreb and a few you can maybe do without. I’ve separated them into three categories.
- Must do! – seriously don’t you dare leave Zagreb until you’ve done them!
- If you have time. – I mean really, you should make time, but if you don’t you could probably skip.
- You can probably miss. – probably better to save your kuna for wine.
MUST MUST MUST DO!!!!
The Museum of Broken Relationships
Unique to Zagreb (although a sister museum is under construction in LA) this quirky museum was definitely one of my Zagreb highlights. I’ve already extolled its virtues so feel free to pop over and have a look at the post I wrote about this wonderfully unique museum here.
Have coffee in a street side cafe
I can’t wake up anymore without a cup of Croatian rocket fuel. The coffee is strong and delicious and for around £1 sitting in one of the many many cafes that fill up every square in the city and line nearly every street, you can enjoy one of my favourite pleasures the combination of caffeine and people watching.
Take in the city
Zagreb is full of colourful, beautiful and architecturally gorgeous buildings and artworks. I could wax on about the different influences, flower filled parks, beautiful fountains and blossoming street art scene but basically just pretties. Pretties everywhere.
Go see St Marks church
The outside of this church is unique and beatiful. On your way to the Museum of Broken relationships make sure to check it out. The inside is nice but not particularly exciting whereas when the sun shines on the tiled room the outside is wonderful.
If you have the time . . .
I’d recommend this place for initial orientation to Zagreb. As the tallest building in the city it offers lovely views of the main square and cathedral though as the viewing deck is only on the 16th floor don’t be expecting anything too spectacular. It’s a nice place to get a coffee, orientate yourself and take a few scenic shots. Sadly as the viewing area is surrounded by thick black bars you have to lean through the bars (wrist straps recommended) and can’t take a picture of yourself with the background without looking a bit like you’ve been imprisoned in a particularly tall cell.
I know, I know, not my usual speed but I’m getting older and my rapidly advancing age is giving me an appreciation for the finer things in life. Culture yo. Honestly, I was gifted a ticket to see a performance here by some of Sue’s friends who actually play violin in the orchestra (see lovely smiling man in the middle of the photo) and I genuinely really enjoyed it. It’s good to step outside your box kids, go listen to some trumpets and violins and stuff.
I love these things. Room escape games seem to be popping up all over the place. Zagrebs newest offering has three experiences; the zombie laboratory, the bunker and the bank lock up. We played the bunker in a scenario that saw us as secret agents trying to defuse a nuclear bomb. I’d really recommend a visit to this if you have some time in Zagreb, it’s kinda pricy at 350kuna for an hour but you can have up to six players which would drastically reduce the price. The staff were really lovely and enthusiastic, the scenario was new and different and the puzzles were all very different to previous games I’ve played. I loved it and managed to convert an initially unenthusiastic Sue to a room escape game enthusiast. Check it out on their website here.
Watch the ceremonial changing of the guard in the main square. Traditional, historical and they have nice clip clopping horsies.
You can probably miss . . .
The Illusion Museum
If it’s raining and you desperately love puzzles then get yourself over to the illusion museum. The staff are lovely and I did manage to get a couple of pretty cool pictures but in general at 40kuna it’s overpriced for a mostly underwhelming and small display of optical illusions and puzzles.
Visiting the parking lot for the main bus station
With hundreds of buses, drivers taking their smoke breaks and the smell of petrol and exhaust in the air it may be a surprise that I recommend missing this celebrated spot by Zagreb’s main bus station. Nonetheless I’d recommend trying to keep hold of your wallet rather than losing it on the bus and having to get kindly Croatians to try and contact your bus driver so you can search their bus. Eventually finding yourself whooping and yelling and hugging said bemused bus driver, when you finally locate your carelessly misplaced wallet.
This is in no way an exhaustive list of things to do in the capital and there are definitely things I wish I’d had a chance to do; a tour with destination urban, visiting the city’s cemetery and some of the museums in upper town. Let me know what you think to this list and anything you’d add as a must do in Zagreb.