ZAGREB, CROA­TIA: INSIDERS

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - NEWS - Carl Kru­mins

GO: So­phis­ti­cated and el­e­gant but of­ten dwarfed in pop­u­lar cul­ture by Croa­tia’s famed Dal­ma­tian coast, Zagreb is a cap­i­tal of­fer­ing all the en­chant­ment of Paris, Ber­lin or Prague, but with­out the crowds. For a small city, there is no short­age of cul­ture. From vi­brant food mar­kets and bustling fes­ti­vals to world-class mu­se­ums and an­cient ru­ins dat­ing back to Ro­man times, this is a place that caters to all tastes; in­foza­greb.hr.

EN­JOY: Start the day at the colour­ful, open-air Do­lac mar­ket be­tween the Up­per Town and Lower Town. Here, farm­ers and pro­duce ven­dors sell de­lec­ta­ble cheese, meats, oils, fruits, breads and veg­eta­bles. Pick up a pas­try from one of the sur­round­ing bak­eries or take a seat with the lo­cals at Cafe Sjedi 5 and try a choco­late cof­fee; cafes­jedi5.com.

EXPLORE: Wan­der the nar­row streets of the Up­per Town and ab­sorb the charm that makes Zagreb spe­cial. Dis­cover mys­te­ri­ous al­ley­ways, hid­den stree­tart, se­cluded court­yards and cap­ti­vat­ing ar­chi­tec­ture. If you tire of walk­ing, catch the fu­nic­u­lar back to the Lower Town and rest in the shade of cen­tury-old trees in Zrin­je­vac, a ver­dant gar­den filled with stalls al­most all year round and of­ten host­ing lively fes­ti­vals and mu­sic events.

LEARN: The Mu­seum of Bro­ken Re­la­tion­ships houses a col­lec­tion of me­men­tos from failed re­la­tion­ships ac­com­pa­nied by a story; some are funny, others cyn­i­cal and even heart break­ing; bro­ken­ships.com/visit.

DRINK: Make time for the beau­ti­ful bar known as the Most Un­usual Gar­den. En­joy a Hen­drick’s gin while con­tem­plat­ing the sym­bol­ism of works by stu­dents of the Academy of Fine Arts or just sit back and ad­mire the im­pres­sive tree house that stands in the cen­tre of the gar­den; face­book.com/amostunusu­al­gin­gar­den/.

EAT: Dine on Crni ri­zot (black risotto) and other tra­di­tional Croa­t­ian spe­cial­i­ties at Muzej restau­rant. For an au­then­tic slow-food ex­pe­ri­ence, try Mun­doaka Street­food. Daily menus us­ing sea­sonal pro­duce cre­ate a unique culi­nary ex­pe­ri­ence in a cosy space, but book in ad­vance; face­book.com/mun­doaka.street­food.

Carl Kru­mins is founder and CEO of Mel­bourne-based in­ter­na­tional mo­bile mes­sag­ing provider SMSGlobal, which opened an of­fice in Zagreb in 2016. The com­pany re­cently ex­panded to the US and Kru­mins now lives in New York. More: smsglobal.com.

Insiders edi­tor: Gra­ham Er­bacher Gra­ham.Er­bacher@news.com.au

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