The Croatian capital Zagreb has appreciated the doubtful honour of being suppressed double over. Cold-shouldered from Croatia — bound travellers since it is a landlocked city with no shore, it’s also been discounted by city-breakers jumping for Prague, Kraków or Budapest.
1 consequence of the comparative neglect is that Zagreb is among the very few European capitals satisfactorily unknown to be considered something of a discovery. And Zagreb’s new-found standing as Central Europe’s surprise package is completely deserved: a preconception-challenging town which unites the gritty urban civilization of northern Europe using the laidback ways of the Mediterranean south.
So what unexpectedly made Zagreb so stylish?
Zagreb has ever been a little more artistic, quirky and imaginative compared to its tourist-deluged cousins around Croatia’s shore — it is only that Adriatic-bound vacationers never paid it any attention until today.
Constantly home to a booming urban landscape of music, visionary styles, creative clubbing and characterful pubs, Zagreb is now enjoying something of a minute, with a surprising gain in the amount of items which produce a city actually purr — more great places to eat, even more great places to drink, plus a festival-driven feel that things are occurring in the arts.
The comparative absence of global franchises (along with also the ubiquity of small, neighborhood cafés serving great strong coffee) create Zagreb something of a collector’s item among connoisseurs of Central European validity. The globalized pieces of Zagreb (the shopping malls, the multiplex cinemas) are largely around the outskirts, which makes the center liberated to pursue its own own idiosyncratic path.
What if I see?
Zagreb does not so much have a must-see collection of landscapes as a must-stroll collection of squares and roads. It’s among those very few European capitals that may still boast an open source fruit and veg market bang at the middle of the town, and it is the stalls in Dolac which supply you with a clear base camp for more exploration.
West of this, Tkalčićeva isn’t just the funniest surviving nineteenth-century road in town but also the center of its café-life. Looming over Tkalčičeva, the Upper Town (or even Gornji grad) is a silent place of quaint Baroque roads, its own south-facing ridge offering sweeping views across town.
Dežmanov prolaz, the arcade-like street having a shake of posh boutiques and cafés, is a beneficial jumping-off stage for woodland strolls from the ravines and ridges of the northern suburbs.
What should I consume?
Zagreb has gone bistro-crazy using a fresh generation of rapid, casual eateries which conjuring up amazing fusion food using the very best local ingredients along with a Mediterranean-meets-global approach to the cooking.
Bistroteka chalks a daily menu of sandwiches, pastas, salads and main foods according to which season fare is presently stirring the chef’s innovative juices; whereas the small bustling Mundaoka uses new local lamb, fowl and fish as the springboard for a few genuinely international concoctions. The irresistibly glossy and sweet Dežman Bar will sort you out with a gourmet sandwich along with a thick black beverage provided by neighborhood direct-trade coffee-roasters Cogito Coffee.
Most evenings start on Tkalčićeva, the pedestrianized strip packed with pavement-terrace pubs it resembles the epicentre of a never-ending yearlong holiday. Down a spoonful or 2 locally-brewed ruby-red lager Griška Vještica (“Witch of Grič”) in Mali Medo, prior to sampling a vertigo-inducing array of herb, fig, carob as well as quince brandies in the well-stocked Rakhia Bar.
To get early-hours moving and mingling, combine the post-industrial clubbing audience at Shock Prove Industry situated in a former car factory.
Present talk-of-the-town is your Croatian Design Superstore, in which you will discover everything from wearable style to fanciful furniture, with lots of exceptionally original souvenir notions strewn in-between. Have a look at fashion boutiques such as Dioralop, Roba or even I-Gle to get a insight into Zagreb’s characteristically choice, edgy sense of style.
Any budget-friendly lodging?
There is an increasingly characterful option in each class. Newly-opened Hostel Bureau provides a selection of dorm rooms (from $16) and personal doubles ($46) at a sharply-decorated former office block with mod-cons. Svi-Mi includes a variety of self-catering flats with smart modern furniture (two-person studios from $65, family-size flats from $85).