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There are undoubtedly many excellent cafes and bars in Zagreb, and it seems almost churlish to pick out some individual ones, but I really liked this place.
It is on Opatovina nestled amongst a group of other watering holes and is called Vergl. VT member &L[http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/3001d/]croisbeauty (who knows about such things) states on his pages that Vergl is the Croatian word for what in English is known as a hurdy-gurdy. So now you know!
The bar itself is very pleasant. I sat outside in the late evening sunshine and had a couple of beers. The local crowd, who seemed to be mostly late teenagers, were friendly as indeed were the staff. Despite the pleasant and central location it was not appreciably more expensive than other similar establishments in the city.
Updated Feb 1, 2013
Address: Opatovina 37.
All of the tips that follow represent my half-day itinerary and are presented in the order in which I saw each sight. I explored Zagreb exclusively by foot between 8:00 am and 2:00 pm, with no prior knowledge of the city or any particular plan. It was easy to find my way around because the city is exceptionally well-signed, with brown tourist information markers pointing the way to all of the city's main attractions. If you'd like to explore the city by foot make your first stop a Tourist Information office, as they stock free, beautiful, full-color, glossy booklets that can guide you around the city, whether you'd like to take in the main sights or focus on something more unique (one booklet led you on a walking tour focused on witches and mysticism!). I'll link to one of the PDF booklets below.
Updated Nov 4, 2012
This street is where Zagreb’s night life is concentrated. During the first hours of the day (until 10 am more or less) everything is calm (at least at Saturday) and you can appreciate the picturesque buildings. A little later the street will turn into a sea of esplanades and it will be like that until morning.
It is really nice to walk around here in both scenarios and maybe seat and enjoy the environment
Written Jul 14, 2012
I must admit, I am no expert on sculpture, but I saw this piece and absolutely loved it. A little research showed it to have been created by Ivan Mestrovic , a celebrated Croatian sculptor.
Mestrovic had a very interesting life. He was born in 1883 and worked initially as a shepherd boy in a poor community. He then got himself apprenticed to a stone-cutter, where he developed his love of sculpture. So talented was he, in fact, that he was sponsored by a wealthy man to go to University and study Fine Arts. After finishing, his rise in the art world was nothing short of meteoric and by the 1920's he was director of the Art Institute in Zagreb. He was continually creating works of art which he exported all over the world.
During the Second World War, Mestrovic was imprisoned, but then released, eventually fleeing to Switzerland. After the war, Marsahll Tito personally invited him back to (the then) Yugoslavia, although he did not want to live in a Communist country and instead accepted a post as a professor at Syracuse University and subsequently at the University of Notre Dame. He died in 1961, and his remains were returned to Otavice for burial.
Mestrovic was also a great philanthropist and donated many works of art and buildings to the "people of Croatia".
The statue is a nice place to sit and reflect for a moment or two before tackling the rest of your busy sightseeing schedule.
Updated Jun 13, 2012
Address: Marshal Tito Square.
One piece of advice I would give to the short term visitor to Zagreb is to get the Zagreb Card. It is a combined travel and attraction pass, and i think it is well worth the money. It costs 90 kuna which approximates to 12 euros or about 15 dollars US. As well as unlimited travel on public transport it attracts discounts at nearly all the museums, theatres, galleries, cinemas etc. you can even get a disocunt on car rental or medical services, should you need them!
I particularly liked the freedom to use the card on the trams because you don't have to worry about working out the intricacies of validating your tickets.
The card is widely available (see attached website) and lasts for 72 hours from the time of validation. When you buy your card, you will also get a pretty useful booklet which tells you the addresses and opening times of most things along with the level of discount you can expect. In most of the museums it is 50%.
You can even buy the card online, although I wouldn't bother with this as it costs 50 kuna delivery within Europe and 80 kuna worldwide.
Updated Jun 12, 2012
Sipping a coffee, chocolate or whatever you want in one of the city bars is a must when you're in Zagreb. The variety of nice places is such that you won't be able to decode where to go.
I'll give you an example in the centre of the town, on one of the most beloved squares, Cvjetni trg.
The name of the bar is Café De Paris.
Written Feb 6, 2012
Address: Cvjetni trg
Zagreb's central square is perfectly located to make an excellent navigational point. It sits at the top end of Lower Zagreb, at the foot of upper Zagreb, and is a central hub for Zagreb's tram system. Its large open square bustles with pedestrian activity, and there seems to be something happening there every day, like the traditional Croatian folk ensemble I caught singing there on my first day.
In the center of the square stands the statue of the square's namesake, Josip Jelacic. It was placed there by the Austrians during their occupation of the city. The statue was removed during the Yugoslavian era, due to it being a symbol of Croatian nationalism. It was meant to be destroyed, but was kept safe in the cellar of a local gallery. After Croatian independence it returned, with its sword out front, facing south.
Updated Oct 22, 2011
As usual, one of my 1st targets when I visit a new city is the Botanical Garden; the Zagreb one is placed few minutes walk from Westin hotel and some 20 minutes walking from downtown.
The first impression was: "what a small one" ... later on I found myself still hanging around after 45 minutes, so it cannot really be small :-).
It's less colourful than usual, with green part quite well developed; for flowers it's better to target the area around the main entrance.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Only takes 15 or so minutes, Start at the statue of King Tomislav and passes through a couple of pleasant parks for a lazy few minutes, past the statue of Strossmayer and finally admire the meteological station.
Written Nov 5, 2010
A sunny and bright Autumnal morning, perfect time for a walk in the park. Leaves falling and trees looking pretty kept us entertained for a couple of hours. The echoing pavillion is interesting and a walk up the hill to the cafe is a must on a good weather day. A visit to the zoo as well (another tip!) and also a quick look at the Maximir Stadium, home of Dinamo Zagreb and the Croatia National football teams.
Written Nov 4, 2010
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