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Zagreb

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ZAGREB

© Lonely Planet Publications
70

Zagreb
Everyone knows about Croatia, its coast, beaches and islands, but a mention of the country’s
capital still draws confused questions: ‘Is it nice?’ ‘Worth going to for a weekend?’ Well, here
it is, once and for all: yes, Zagreb is a great destination, weekend or week-long. There’s lots
of culture, arts, music, architecture, gastronomy and all the other things that make a quality
capital. Admittedly, it doesn’t register highly on a nightlife Richter scale, but it does have an
ever-developing art and music scene, and a growing influx of fun-seeking travellers.
Zagreb is made for strolling the streets, drinking coffee in the almost permanently full
cafés, popping into museums and galleries, and enjoying the theatres, concerts, cinema
and music. It’s a year-round outdoor city: in spring and summer everyone scurries to Jarun
Lake in the southwest to swim, boat or dance the night away at a lakeside disco, while in
autumn and winter Zagrebians go skiing at Mt Medvednica, only a tram ride away, or hiking in nearby Samobor.
Visually, Zagreb is a mixture of straight-laced Austro-Hungarian architecture and rougharound-the-edges socialist structures. Its character is a sometimes uneasy combination of
these two elements: try hard as they may, frequenters of Zagreb’s elegant galleries, high-class
restaurants and alternative art and music venues cannot quite ignore the vast turbo folk
crowds, attesting to the city’s – and the country’s – lasting struggle between its perceived
Central European sophistication and Balkan ‘savagery’. But perhaps therein lies much of its
charm – the mixture of and the schism between these two characteristics have given Zagreb
a personality all of its own.

HIGHLIGHTS
„ Sipping coffee and cocktails alfresco along

Tkalčićeva (p87)
„ Strolling along the winding streets of

Zagreb’s Upper Town (p73)
„ Gorging on štrukli (dumplings filled with

cottage cheese) in Samobor (p93), after a
day’s hiking
„ Coveting the paintings at the Museum

Mimara (p80)
„ Picnicking in Maksimir Park (p81)
„ Contemplating mortality amid the trees and

tombs in Mirogoj (p80)

„ TELEPHONE CODE: 01

Samobor

Zagreb

lonelyplanet.com

71

Zagreb also became the centre for the
Illyrian movement that was pressing for
south-Slavic unification, greater autonomy
within the Austro-Hungarian Empire and
recognition of the Slavic language. Count
Janko Drašković, lord of Trakošćan Castle,
published a manifesto in Illyrian in 1832
and...
ZAGREB
Everyone knows about Croatia, its coast, beaches and islands, but a mention of the country’s
capital still draws confused questions: ‘Is it nice?’ ‘Worth going to for a weekend?’ Well, here
it is, once and for all: yes, Zagreb is a great destination, weekend or week-long. There’s lots
of culture, arts, music, architecture, gastronomy and all the other things that make a quality
capital. Admittedly, it doesn’t register highly on a nightlife Richter scale, but it does have an
ever-developing art and music scene, and a growing influx of fun-seeking travellers.
Zagreb is made for strolling the streets, drinking coffee in the almost permanently full
cafés, popping into museums and galleries, and enjoying the theatres, concerts, cinema
and music. It’s a year-round outdoor city: in spring and summer everyone scurries to Jarun
Lake in the southwest to swim, boat or dance the night away at a lakeside disco, while in
autumn and winter Zagrebians go skiing at Mt Medvednica, only a tram ride away, or hik-
ing in nearby Samobor.
Visually, Zagreb is a mixture of straight-laced Austro-Hungarian architecture and rough-
around-the-edges socialist structures. Its character is a sometimes uneasy combination of
these two elements: try hard as they may, frequenters of Zagreb’s elegant galleries, high-class
restaurants and alternative art and music venues cannot quite ignore the vast turbo folk
crowds, attesting to the city’s – and the country’s – lasting struggle between its perceived
Central European sophistication and Balkan ‘savagery’. But perhaps therein lies much of its
charm – the mixture of and the schism between these two characteristics have given Zagreb
a personality all of its own.
Zagreb
© Lonely Planet Publications
TELEPHONE CODE: 01
HIGHLIGHTS
Sipping coffee and cocktails alfresco along
Tkalčićeva ( p87 )
Strolling along the winding streets of
Zagreb’s Upper Town ( p73 )
Gorging on štrukli (dumplings filled with
cottage cheese) in Samobor ( p93 ), after a
day’s hiking
Coveting the paintings at the Museum
Mimara ( p80 )
Picnicking in Maksimir Park ( p81 )
Contemplating mortality amid the trees and
tombs in Mirogoj ( p80 )
Samobor
Zagreb
70
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