Zagreb might’ve been the #1 surprise of the Balkan trip for me. I loved it. I went because of two reasons: it was a good pit stop between Munich and Plitvice, and I’ve been wanting to visit the Museum of Broken Relationships for a while. Honestly I didn’t have a lot of ideas about what to expect in Zagreb. But wow, was I surprised! Zagreb immediately made it to the top 3 cities I visited in the Balkan. I can highly recommend it to anyone. Here’s 5 reasons why Zagreb should be your next city trip destination.
What a sweet little city. Zagreb is quite small, the city centre at least. It’s full of super cute brightly colored buildings. It looks so happy! Wandering through Zagreb, the city reminded me a little bit of French architecture, but I can’t quite put my finger on the why. The city centre is quite compact and lively, which makes it lovely to stroll around and discover different streets and areas. Did you know all the street lanterns in the old city centre are still being lit manually every night?
It has delicious food
Seriously. Burek is the local snack in Croatia. It’s less than 1 euro for a portion and they always offer different flavours. My favourite version of this dough snack with filling was the one with minced beef and mushrooms. The best pulled pork I’ve ever tasted in my life came from Mundoaka. It was a bit more expensive than usual in Zagreb (€9) but the portion was so big I had the rest of it for lunch the next day. A nice thing to do is to order multiple things so you can share your food with others. In Zagreb I also had the best ice cream ever! Nutella ice cream for only €0.80. Excuse me!? On the last night we had delicious burgers at Rocket Burger, a nice burger joint in the city centre. For only €6 you’ll get a good burger and a delicious iced tea.
It has cool museums
Sure, the Zagreb City Museum was a bit disappointing (there wasn’t a lot of information in English) but the Museum of Broken Relationships totally made up for it. This is without a doubt the most fun museum I’ve ever visited. It’s so original to have a museum about broken relationships, and at the same time so obvious! Every relationship has a story, so why wouldn’t you share it (for instance by using an object)? A bit choked up I wandered around the exhibition. It’s quite sad how, despite all the best intentions, two people can’t stay together and can’t make their relationship work. What’s sadder than that? In my opinion it was a fantastic museum and I highly recommend it to everyone.
The atmosphere is relaxed
From the moment I entered the city centre I felt a relaxed vibe coming over me. Sometimes you get that feeling, even though you can’t explain exactly why. Zagreb just has a nice atmosphere. After a while I realized the whole city centre is free of cars, which makes it nice and quiet in the streets. There’s lots of terraces where you can relax for a bit. And the locals are so friendly! Never have I met friendlier people than in Zagreb – not anywhere! Everyone is sincerely kind and interested in who you are. Quite extraordinary.
Croatia was my first real trip to Eastern Europe (not counting the few days in Bratislava a long, long time ago). So that would automatically make it my cheapest trip, too. Yep, after the ridiculously expensive Munich, Zagreb was quite a godsend. I mean, going out to dinner for about €5… Very. Nice.
Zagreb is a cute and relaxed city if you want to have a nice city trip. If I may give you some advice (yes I may because this is my blog): fly in on Friday, go on an excursion to Plitvice* on Saturday, and spend your Sunday in the city before you fly back in the evening. And don’t forget to skip the free walking tour! This planning would give you enough time to explore the little city.
*Plitvice is a wonderful nature park with waterfalls. I’ll tell you more about it soon!