Zagreb is the capital city of the Republic of Croatia. It is the largest city in Croatia in terms of population, it has around 800,000 citizens. Zagreb is 'made' of 2 hills, Gradec and Kaptol, and now they are a historical part of the city.
The climate in Zagreb is favorable, during summer the temperature goes up to 30 degrees, and winter is mainly cold with snow and rain. Zagreb is a busy town, there are many events and places to go and things to do. It is special for full cafes even throughout working days. Saturday is a special day for Zagreb citizens. They get dressed nicely and go to the market in the city center, after that they meet their friends and family at cafe bars near flower square. On Sundays, people like to go walking or hiking to parks or hills around Zagreb.
During your stay in Zagreb, you will be able to feel the special energy of the city. Zagreb has many cultural and music events, many galleries, many restaurants, bars, and clubs. Last few years it has been on the top of Europe's most beautiful Christmas markets. If you are visiting Zagreb during winter, you will feel special energy, it’s all about the Christmas spirit. But it is not going to be a miss if you visit it during summer, because of many festivals and events too.
Top 10 things to see in Zagreb:
• Saint Mark's Church
• Croatian National Theater
• Festivals (during spring/summer) or Christmas market during winter
• Park Bundek
• Jarun Lake
• Bogovićeva street
• Upper town
• Green Horseshoe
• Klovićevi dvori
Lenuzzi’s or Green horseshoe is a sequence of 9 squares in Zagreb. Horticulturally arranged squares are called "horseshoe" because they are formed in the shape of the letter "u" surrounding the center of Zagreb's Lower Town. The Green Horseshoe is characterized by buildings from the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century and represents the most significant urban intervention in the history of Croatian architecture and urban planning. It was named after the most important urban planner in Zagreb-Milan Lenuzzi. Green horseshoe includes Square of the Republic of Croatia, Square of Antun, Ivan and Vladimir Mažuranić, Square of Marko Marulić, Botanical garden, Square of Ante Starčević, Square of King Tomislav, Josip Juraj Strossmayer square and Zrinski square.
Gradec is the historical core of Zagreb and is known for being a city by itself, just like Kaptol. Until the 19th century, it was, together with Kaptol, the central urbanized area of the city of Zagreb. The main square of the Upper Town is Saint Marko's square, it was a trading place in the past, but now is the political seat of Croatia, with the buildings of the Croatian Parliament, Government, and City Assembly. On Saint Mark's square is Saint Mark's Church. It is originally a Gothic building from the 14th century and later was remade in the Neo-Gothic style.
Zagreb is the largest cultural center in Croatia. Several cultural institutions have a long tradition. In music, it is the Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall, while in the world of theater, opera and ballet it is the Croatian National Theater. Although there are many quality museums and galleries, Klovićevi dvori in the upper town stands out the most.
A few sights you must see when you come to Zagreb are: Zagreb cathedral and “Uspinjača" is a funicular that can get you from lower town to upper town in a 2-minute ride, and with the track of only 66 meters this is the shortest cable railway in the world. Thirdly, The Stone Gate is the only city gate that exists and was part of the Gradec defense system. They were built in the 13th century and played an important role in the defense of Gradec.
It should be emphasized that they took their present form in the 18th century when they were restored, but the stories we associate with their history are very interesting. And last, but not least, Lotrščak Tower is one of the most famous symbols of Zagreb, which reminds of its existence with the daily firing of the Grič cannon at noon. Lotrščak stands proudly on the outskirts of the Upper Town and watches over the entire Zagreb area.
If you are visiting Zagreb there are many galleries and museums you should visit like Archaeological museum, Technical museum Nikola Tesla, Museum of broken relationships, Chocolate museum, Museum of Illusions, Croatian Academy of Science and Arts, Art pavilion and many others.
If you like festivals, Zagreb is the right place for you. Especially during spring and summer, there are many: Food film festival, Baš naš, Ljeto na Strossu, Beats and bites, Ljeto na Zrinjevcu, Beats and Bites, Burger fest, and many more.
Activities to do in Zagreb
In the western part of the city, recreational and sports centers Jarun and Mladost were created, and on the other side, and even younger park Bundek. On weekends or every day, after work or school, Jarun has been the place for recreation since 1987, when Zagreb hosted the international youth sports competition, named Universiade. Hiking trails, lakes with rowing trials, many restaurants and cafes are part of the Jarun center. Bundek is a lake and park in the city of Zagreb. The area of the lake around the lake stretch from the Freedom Bridge to the Youth Bridge. Around the lake, there is a bicycle-roller path 1650 m long, a walking path, and three children's playgrounds.
Medvednica is a mountain located near the city of Zagreb and for many, it serves as a perfect place to escape from city crowds. If you love recreation and fresh air, be sure to head to the slopes of this interesting mountain. Medvednica is full of plant and animal species, but also has many historical stories, so everyone has the opportunity to explore it in their own way!
Croatia is famous for good cuisine, mostly for fish and shells fresh out of the Adriatic, but Zagreb has its own specialties too. If you are looking for local food, we recommend asking for štrukli, zagrebački chop, or chicken with mlinci. Štrukli is a kind of pastry which can be eaten sweet or salty way, both are great and in the restaurant La Štruk, there are options such as štrukli with Istrian truffles, blueberries and many more. If you want to try meat specialties we recommend you to go to restaurants Stari Fijaker, Uspinjača, or Gostionica Ficlek. And if you want to try seafood we recommend you to go to restaurants Kod Vukušića, Restoran Korčula, or Mimice.
List of restaurants with local food:
• La Štruk
• Stari Fijaker
• Restoran Korčula
• Kod Vukušuića
• Gostionica Ficlek
Zagreb nightlife is pretty rich. There are many cafe bars, restaurants, theatres, nightclubs, and cinemas. It just depends on which type you are. If you are classy and like theatre, you can visit Gavela, Kerempuh, Puppet theater, or Croatian National Theatre.
Are you planning a date? Zagreb can offer you cinemas, for example, Kaptol Boutique is one of the best. Also, many restaurants in the city center can offer you delicious food and a great environment. The city center is full of people of all ages, having drinks and bites in the heart of Zagreb. And usually, after dinner or drinks people go to nightclubs, but during the pandemic, when everything was closed people were having fun at parks and public places.
Autor: Gordana Novački
To sum up
The city of Zagreb has various sights and attractions, and above in the text, we have listed only some parts of Zagreb's history.
Zagreb's tourist offer is at a high level throughout the year - music festivals, the best Christmas market in Europe, food festivals, and more.
Zagreb is a beautiful city with a rich history and many events, so it is a recommendation to explore it! If you are looking for a place to spend the night in Zagreb, many hotels and apartments will be willing to host you and at the same time direct you to places where you can relax and explore every meter of the city of Zagreb.
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