ZAGREB, CROATIA: INSIDERS
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