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Zagreb was an interesting city and many diverse and fascinating things to see in Zagreb. Driving into the city centre the buildings were all communist-era style with ever-present graffiti adorning the bottom story. The closer we got to the centre, the bigger and more impressive the buildings became with magnificent Austro-Hungarian architecture. In the very centre is the old town with its own unique architectural style.
THINGS TO DO IN ZAGREB
The very centre is made up of Lower Town and Upper Town – no guesses as to why! The shortest funicular in Europe can be found here and it takes a whole 5 seconds from start to finish.
We parked Miles, grabbed our bikes and headed out to explore. There were marked bicycle lanes everywhere we went, which made it fabulously easy to ride around. The downside was we couldn’t take the bikes up in the funicular so a rather long winding route took us up to the top. If I’m not super fit by the end of this trip I don’t know!
We stopped at St Marks Church with its colourfully designed roof tiles, lit a candle at the Stone Gate, had a peek in the Museum of Broken Relationships and had a coffee on the square in front of Saint Catherine of Alexander Church. Undoubtedly, the best view of the city if from the top of the Lotrscak Tower, so we climbed the old wooden staircase from which we had a 360 view of the city – the old stretching out to the new.
Taking a shortcut, found us walking down a long steep flight of stairs with our bikes – bump, bump, bash. We passed all the tourists sitting at cafes along Tkalciceva street and headed on to Dolac Market. Everything from souvenirs to fresh produce and craft items was on sale in this vibrant market. We bought the most delicious freshly pressed apple juice!
Up a side alley and we found ourselves at the twin-spired Zagreb Cathedral. Although undergoing renovations, they had covered the scaffolding with an image of the spire so it still looked beautiful. There is large open area in front of the church with a monument to the Holy Mother Mary in the middle.
The main square, Ban Jelacic, was bustling and busy with people to trams to bikes to cars. We didn’t linger but continued down to the horseshoe-shaped parks dotted in amongst the impressive Austro-Hungarian buildings.
We ride took us past the Croatian State Archives building, the gorgeous yellow domed Art Pavilion and the Croatian National Theatre, from which we could hear the most wonderful operatic music floating out the windows. Clearly class was in session and one of the students had an incredible voice. Among all these beautiful buildings was the ever-present graffiti, that seems to be everywhere in this part of the world.
And so we found ourselves back at Miles, our campervan. It was a quick visit, but the city definitely has an appeal and a lovely atmosphere. There are so many things to see in Zagreb and I know we just missed out on a lot, but at least we have a reason to come back again.
We stayed in a lovely camper stop run by a Dutch family. Toilet – no shower – with wifi coffee/tea station and on arrival we were presented to 2 plates heaped with cold meats, cheese and bread. A lovely welcoming touch. There is a bus into Zagreb or the owner does transfers at 200kuna. That was a little steep for us so we drove into town and parked at a big parking area for 3 kuna per hour – 11 Trg Krešimira Ćosića (45.808102,15.952600)
Ul. Đure Popović, 10360, Šimunčevec, Croatia
GPS: 45.87827, 16.09441