A Week in Beautiful Zagreb
We’re at the end of the second week of our 6-month travel adventure in Europe. After a week in Budapest, we headed to Zagreb, the capital city of one of our favorite countries in Europe — Croatia.
I find it surprising that many people haven’t even heard of Croatia, let alone visited it. It’s a bit of a hidden treasure.
We usually spend most of our time in Split but wanted to spend some time exploring Zagreb this time.
There was an earthquake in Zagreb in 2020 and you can still see the scars on many buildings. St. Mark’s Church is still covered in scaffolding, even after three years of repairs.
A few attractions are still closed due to the earthquake damage.
The Upper Town is where most of the tourist attractions are located. It’s also the most beautiful part of the city.
There is a minor attraction on the hill above the city that’s known as Love Rails. This is where lovers come to place padlocks to place on the fence. There are great views of the cathedral from here.
Book your hotel in Zagreb
Part of the south spire broke off and crashed into an adjacent building during the earthquake. The cathedral is still being repaired and has scaffolding over the back of it.
World War II Tunnel
There is a World War II that runs 350 meters from east to west under the old town. It also has four exits to the south. It was used as a bomb shelter during World War II. It later fell into disrepair.
It came back to life in the 1990s when one of Croatia’s first raves was held there. Nowadays it’s mostly used as a pedestrian tunnel. There isn’t much to see, but it’s an interesting attraction.
Graffiti & Stickers
While the city is very clean and orderly, I like that there are areas of colorful graffiti and stickers.
One of the aspects of Croatia that I like best is the café culture. Zagreb has hundreds of cafés. These are mainly in open spaces around the city. Any pedestrianized streets are taken over by cafés where people mainly sit outside, even in winter.
Drinking coffee and catching up with friends is a way of life in Croatia. Many cafés have seating for 50–100 people outside.
It’s easy to get around most of the city center on food. If you need to get somewhere further away, you can use the excellent tram service. Tickets are a fixed price of 0.53 EUR and are valid for 30 minutes. You can get much better value than that.
There are a few parks dotted around the city, so you can always find some nature where you can sit and relax. The park below is just a 2-minute walk from the main square.
I’ve only scratched the surface above. There is way more to see in Zagreb. We may come back for another week in the summer.
If you’ve never visited Croatia, I suggest you add it to your list of places to visit.
Tomorrow we’ll be getting the train to Split.