Get­ting away from it all

The chic cap­i­tal of Croa­tia com­bines cool cafes, quirky mu­se­ums and some beau­ti­ful green spacesé

Woman (UK) - - Inside The Issue -

Za­greb

Why Go? Paris might be known as the fash­ion cap­i­tal of Europe but with its im­pec­ca­bly­dressed lo­cals, Za­greb could give it a run for its money. Tucked in­land and north of the fa­mous coastal towns of Dubrovnik and Split, the city of­fers a fas­ci­nat­ing his­tory, beau­ti­fully mis­matched build­ings and a trendy out­door cafe cul­ture. Plus, the short flight time, the euro-beat­ing Croa­t­ian kuna and great-value ho­tels mean Za­greb should shoot to the top of your must-see list.

Sleep in Style

We were wel­comed to the Ar­co­tel Al­le­gra Ho­tel with a smile and plenty of rec­om­men­da­tions for the week­end ahead. Sit­u­ated op­po­site the train sta­tion and near one of the main tram stops, you’ll be able to ex­plore ev­ery part of the city from here – es­pe­cially if you’re plan­ning to head a lit­tle fur­ther afield to lakes Jarun and Bun­dek, or up to the moun­tain of Medved­nica.

ex­plore by foot

Once you get your head around the grid lay­out of the city it’s sur­pris­ingly sim­ple to nav­i­gate. Put on your com­fi­est shoes and start your day wan­der­ing through the suc­ces­sion of parks that form the Green Horse­shoe. Save some time for an ice cream out­side the Croa­t­ian Na­tional Theatre with its sunny yel­low fa­cade. Then work your way to­wards the Cathe­dral of the As­sump­tion of the Blessed Vir­gin Mary – its two spires rise above the rest of the sky­line, guid­ing you on your way. Catch a bus out to The Mirogoj Ceme­tery – it may sound macabre but the ar­chi­tec­ture will

take your breath away.

at­ten­tion!

Make sure you get to Lotrscak Tower in the Up­per Town for the can­non shot at noon and the Chang­ing of the Cra­vat Reg­i­ment in St Mark’s Square on Satur­day and Sun­day. Full of colour, sound and some im­pres­sive moves, the reg­i­ment wear uni­forms which are repli­cas of those worn dur­ing the Thirty Years’ War. And while you’re there, stop at the Bistro Vjes­tica; vjes­tica.eu. It’s just around the cor­ner from St Mark’s Church and the per­fect lunch or din­ner spot to re­cu­per­ate af­ter a spot of sight­see­ing. If you’re in the area at dusk or dawn, keep an eye out for the man who still lights and puts out more than 150 gas lanterns in the Up­per Town ev­ery day – ap­par­ently his record is do­ing them all in 90 min­utes!

af­fairs of the heart

The Mu­seum of Bro­ken Re­la­tion­ships is a must-visit in Za­greb. One of only two in the world (the other is in LA), this quirky at­trac­tion be­gan as a trav­el­ling col­lec­tion of do­nated items sum­ming up hun­dreds of failed love af­fairs. Now it’s found a per­ma­nent res­i­dence in the Up­per Town, in­side you’ll find love sto­ries summed up by rows over com­puter games, re­la­tion­ships ended by Skype and plenty of af­fairs. But don’t for­get your tis­sues, you’ll need them for tears of both laugh­ter and sad­ness; bro­ken­ships.com.

What’s to eat?

Make like a lo­cal, dress up in your finest gear and rock up to one of the many restau­rants sell­ing small tapas-like plates. We loved Restau­rant Lari & Pe­nati for yummy street food; lar­ipenati.hr. Perch on a stall on the ter­race and try the prawns with a cool glass of wine. Make sure to also spend an evening on buzzing Tkalci­ceva Street, jam-packed with bars and restau­rants.

Sea­sonal Spe­cials

No mat­ter when you visit, Za­greb has some­thing unique to ex­pe­ri­ence. When we vis­ited in July it was Dvorista – an open court­yards fes­ti­val in Up­per Town. While the palace gar­dens are spec­tac­u­lar, many lo­cals turn their back­yards into bars to ex­pe­ri­ence a real taste of Za­greb life with al fresco mu­sic, cock­tails and danc­ing; dvorista.in. If you’re plan­ning a trip in win­ter, con­sider vis­it­ing dur­ing their Ad­vent cel­e­bra­tions from 2 De­cem­ber-7 Jan­uary when the city’s spec­tac­u­lar Christ­mas mar­ket opens.

Don’t miss the colour­ful chang­ing of the Cra­vat Reg­i­ment guard Za­greb has a thriv­ing cafe cul­ture

The Croa­t­ian Na­tional Theatre In­side the Mu­seum of Bro­ken Re­la­tion­ships

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