Top 10 Zagreb
Top 10 Zagreb
The capital city of Croatia, Zagreb has over the years become so much more than just the political and economical hub of Croatia. It has become well recognized as another cosmopolitan city of Europe. With so much to do and see we decided to narrow down the list for those of you who only have a few days to take in the main tourist attractions of Zagreb. The list is centered around the cultural sights of the city however we must mention that Zagreb nightlife, shopping and dining are all things one must experience while visiting.
1. Zagreb Cathedral
The Zagreb Cathedral, Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, is number one on our list of must see attractions in Zagreb. The cathedral spires can be seen from all across the city as they climb to heights of 345 feet. The construction of this Gothic structure dates back to the 11th century. Surviving a very tumultous history certain parts were destroyed and rebuilt through the decades. The most recent restoration project is still underway however under all that scaffolding you will still be impressed by this architectural masterpiece. Afterwards we recommend a coffee break at the enormous, newly built Gradska Kavana (City Coffee House), just at the foot of Kaptol Hill.
2. Cvjetni Trg, Petar Preradovic Square
Cvjetni Trg (Flower Square), is a beautiful square which is dotted by numerous cafes, shops and flower stands. On a sunny day it is almost impossible to find a free table. Although this is not a typical cultural attraction this is a must see as the square eminates a certain atmosphere that you can only completely experience in person. The little cafes with great desserts are also definately worth the calories!
3. Croatian National Theatre
The Croatian National Theatre also know as Hrvatsko Narodno Kazaliste is a stunning neo-baroque building which is home to numerous international and national theater productions. The building was designed by famous architects Ferdinand Fellner and Herman Helmer, completed in 1895. Today this stunning architectural masterpiece is one of the cities main attractions. From dramas and operas, to ballets and musical plays, alomst every night of the week there is a performance taking place. Tickets can be purchased online or at the ticket office in the actual building. Don't forget to check out the souvenir shop. We were impressed by the interesting selection.
4. St.Mark's Square
St.Mark's Square was given its name after the unique St.Mark's church which looks upon the square. The mosaic tiled roof of the church showcases the coat of arms of Zagreb and the red and white checkered "grb" of Croatia. The church itself was originally built in the 14th century however has undergone numerous renovation and restoration projects as earthquakes, wars and fires have destroyed most of the original building. The square is dotted by numerous buliings which are the offices of the Croatian cabinet members and the Croatian sabor. Take a walk down the hill to Radiceva street to Kamenita Vrata, Stone Gates. This is Zagreb's most popular shrine, humble yet intriging, the statue of Mother Mary surrounded by numerous lit candles is a beautiful thing to witness.
5. Mirogoj Cemetary
Although many do not exactly find the thought of visiting a cemetary entertaining, trust us when we say the cemetary of Mirogoj is an attraction that should not be overlooked. The opening gates of the cemetary with ivy covered walls crowned with green cupolas are the impressive work of Herman Bolle. Within these gates over 300,000 people have found their peace as their final resting place, regardless of religion. Croatia's first president Franjo Tudman and prominent author and poet Tin Ujevic were buried here along with numerous other political leaders and young soldiers from the most recent War of Independance in the 1990's. The easiest way to get to the cemetary is by taking bus 106 from Kaptol.
6. Mimara Muesum
Mimara Museum is housed in a stunning neo-Renaissance building with a wide range of artifacts showcased on three floors. From ancient Egyptian glassware to fabulous Persian carpets, an enamelled crucifix from the 13th century to Renaissance alterpieces and numerous Far Eastern artifacts; The collection is unique and extroardinary at the same time. The museum was originally the collection of Ante Topic Mimara. His possession of these artifacts has often been questioned as noone is quite sure how he came into such great wealth and if he was even indeed the real Ante Topic Mimara. Regardless, today the museum showcases nearly 4000 artifacts from all parts of the world.
7. Dolac Market
This list would not be complete without the recognition of Dolac Market, the largest outdoor maket in Croatia. Dolac market consists of hundreds of vendors who come from various parts of Croatia to sell their local produce, poultry, dairy, meats and seafood. Under hundreds of red umbrellas you will find authentic Croatian products such as dried figs from Zadar, sweet mandarins from Metkovic, rich cheeses from Pag, olive oil from Hvar, green vegetables from Zagorje, seafood from Dalmatia and so much more. Fresh cut flowers and homemade lace are also available as well. Visit one of the neighbouring bistros for a cheap lunch or a great fast food fix.
8. Zrinjevac Park
One of our personal favourites is the beautiful city park of Zrinjevac. This is Zagreb's miniature version of New York's Central Park. Situated directly in the bustle of the city is the peaceful park dotted by hundred year old trees, gorgeous green lawns, flower gardens and water fountains. In the center of the park is a large beautiful canopy which has hosted numerous concerts and events including political protests, wedding photo shoots, plays and charity functions. Bring a blanket and a packed lunch and enjoy the scenery. While there take the opportunity to visit the Archaeological Musuem of Zagreb just across the street.
9. The Museum of Zagreb
The Museum of Zagreb is located in the upper town of Zagreb. This fabulous city museum tells the story of Zagreb's history dating back to prehistoric times through the large collection of unique artifacts. The most unique feature of the museum is that the artifacts are exhibited in recreated scenes which were specific for the time period the artifact originates from. An interesting fact is that some of the artifacts displayed in the museum were actually excavated from the archaeological site directly below the museum which can also be visited.
10. The Musuem of Broken Relationships
We are certain this is unlike any museum you have ever visited. The artifacts and exhibtions are humorous, sad and unique in the same tone. The Museum of Broken Relationships showcases the remains of failed relationships from old love letters, teddy bears, photographs, lingerie and so much more. Looking for something out of the ordinary than you need look no further. Winner of the most innovative museum of Europe in 2011, this museum is worth the visit.