NBA's Drazen Petrovic Memorial Center
Being a basketball fan, it would've been great knowing about this ahead of time. Unfortunately, i stumbled upon it on my last day in Zagreb and it was closed. Looking it up on their website, drazenpetrovic.net, it looks like it was worth visiting. He was a famous Croatian basketball player and his tomb is in the Mirogoj Cemetery.Related to:
- Museum Visits
It was just before noon as I bought the ticket from the station master at the foot of the Zagreb funicular. He instructed me to validate it in the machine, and just as I put the ticket in the machine he put his fingers in his ears. It was such odd behaviour, I became nervous of the machine, expecting it to hammer my ticket with an explosive force. Nothing happened, and I decided the guy must have been making a gesture to one of the passengers, maybe suggesting that he couldn't hear them.
Then, as I turned around, there was a tremendous explosion, as loud as a bomb, and that's exactly what I thought it was for a moment. I thought to myself: a bomb? In Zagreb? In a funicular? What kind of terrorist attack is that? And then I thought of the station master: he must have known about this! Maybe he was part of a plot! All this thinking occurred in the fraction of a second after the explosion. Then it dawned on me what had happened.
I remembered reading about the tower's cannon, and how it fired every day at noon, in a tradition possibly related to allowing the churches to synchronize their clocks. That's how the station master had known to put his fingers in his ears just moments before it had fired, having been conditioned by a daily blast to protect his ears. By the time I'd reached the top of the funicular, and climbed to the top of the tower, the room was stilled filled with the acrid smell of gunpowder.
The tower offered great views, especially of the old part of the town in Gradec, but you could see all the way from Medvedgrad on the side of Selje mountain, to the industrial mass on the south side of the city.
A great little cafe / bar.
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.
Definitely recommended.Related to:
- Beer Tasting
- Wine Tasting
Ivan Tkalčić Street
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
A beautiful statue.
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.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Budget Travel
Get the Card.
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.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Museum Visits
- Arts and Culture
Cup of coffee
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.Related to:
- Women's Travel
Ban Jelacic Square
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.
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.Related to:
- Business Travel
A walk from the railway station into town
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.
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.
In your pocket
Look out for this free magazine, loads of info about Zagreb and a decent map in it as well. They are usualy given away in hotels and restaurants, we found it very useful.
Lookout for them in other cities, we've found them increasingly often recently.
Regular updates on What goes on in Zagreb
Well, as it's not an easy task to write monthly updates of festivals/ events and other things to do in Zagreb here we started an FB page called Zagreb for travellers where you can check what goes on where at the time you're planning to visit us.
Thank you all so much for your help. Well Sarajevo is not in my plans right now cause, as a Brazilian citizen, I´d need a visa to go there and do not have time for that now. Annyway, I´ll go after some info about those cities you all mentioned above. I´ll have time to visit them. We´ll probably rent a car and will be staying there for 25 days ( from Dec 29 to Jan 23).. I love Europe and have never been to these countries before ( Italy, Slovenia and Croatia). Suggestions are welcome...
On the eastern side of the Donji Grad lie 3 contiguous parks or squares.
The northernmost is Trg Nikole Subića Zrinjskog, and it contains a bandstand. In the middle is Strossmayerov trg, which holds a statue of Strossmayer and the Galerija Starih Majstora (Old Masters Gallery). The one at the southern end in front of the railway station is Tomislavov Trg and contains the Umjetnički Paviljon (Art Pavilion).
They are all lovely public spaces, and great to sit down in and watch the world (and the locals) pass by, or for a sandwich lunch.
Then of course you can visit the two galleries as well.
My hotel was around the corner, so I was in these squares several times.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
We stayed here from 30 Dec 2011 to 1 January 2012. This is truly an excellent hotel. Staff and...more
Those who don't like big hotels will find Lovacki rog (Jaegerhorn) as perfect accomodation. It is...more
Neat rooms, helpful staff. Free wifi. Great location. Good location. Good breakfast. Wellness????...more
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