Zagreb, city of million hearts!
Zagreb, the Capital of Croatia, the city of million inhabitants and million hearts open and welcoming for any visitor.
Start with a walk in the old city centre downtown bursting of cafes with their terraces full of people having coffee. The question in the eyes of the visitor is often “is anyone working around here?!”. Yes. We are, and we love to make deals while drinking coffee; meet business partners in a bar is perfectly normal. Typical day of a person living in Zagreb “Zagrepčanin” begins with going in "his" café where the waiter already knows what kind of coffee he drinks.
By coffee we mean espresso, usually with milk - “kava s mlijekom”, and every Croatian has his favourite version: short coffee with more milk, longer coffee with less milk, with cold, hot, cream or not, small coffee, white coffee, cappuccino… There is a whole philosophy around cup of coffee; and at home, we still very often make Turkish coffee.
To feel as local, go to Tkalčićeva Street and have your coffee!
Then climb the old city Kaptol to see the Cathedral, go down on to Main Square called "The Square" or Trg with legendary “Manduševac” and the most beautiful city park, Zrinjevac with its aged fountain.
Walk goes obligatory to Upper Town “Gornji grad” or Gradec, reachable on foot or by the smallest and cutest funicular you have probably seen -"Uspinjača", which you will take of course for touristic purpose, as ride lasts less than a minute.
- Cute mini Funicular and Lotrscak Tower with cannon on the right! Cute mini Funicular and Lotrscak Tower with cannon on the right!
- Saint Marko's church in front of Croatian parlament Saint Marko's church in front of Croatian parlament
- Above the city on the mountain Medvednica is fortress Medvedgrad Above the city on the mountain Medvednica is fortress Medvedgrad
- Tkalca Street is the place to have coffee during the day or drink at evening Tkalca Street is the place to have coffee during the day or drink at evening
Do not miss visiting famous marketplace “Dolac”, located just near The Square - and buy something homegrown from local women, called “Kumica”.
Zagreb has more than just a city centre, a 10 minutes ride from the centre takes you to big and beautiful park – forest Maksimir, it is one of the places locals go for a walk with their family. Maksimir has several lakes, its own ZOO and real forest to walk through! If not to Maksimir, locals usually go for some sport on Lake Jarun, popularly called “the Sea of Zagreb”, because when not possible really to go to the seaside, you can always visit the beach on Jarun.
Wilderness is really near, just above the city is mountain Medvednica, with plenty walking trails, mountain lodges serving delicious homemade food, and fortress Medvedgrad, that can be seen from the city. If you are lucky you here you can meet a deer or a rabbit, and surely, you will see many birds and different plants. People go to Medvednica to pick up mushrooms, and during the October everyone is in the forest searching for really popular chestnuts (sold on the streets of Zagreb as “Kesteni”). Nice to know is that in its centre Zagreb has several hidden parks, such as Rokov perivoj above Britanski trg and Tuškanac, Ribnjak just behind the chatedral and Dubravkin put, just down the hill from the Upper town Observatory. There is also solar system construction with the Sun located in Bogovićeva Street and planets located in the scaled distance around the city.
Zagreb is small, cute and yes, can be seen in one day, but it has a soul, great vibe and million hearts that will make you wish you stayed a day longer!