Sunday, September 23, 2018

24 hours in...Zagreb

You know like in all my "24 hours in...."-post I'm writing that there is so much more to see and one day is not enough? Well, when it comes to Zagreb, I don't. If you're not there for a conference, convention, or exhibition, a day is enough to cover the attractions, do some shopping, and have a meal of Zagorski Štrukli, dough - baked or boiled, sweet or salty - or Ćevapi, a type of traditional kebab.


bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Zagreb


So in this case,  the post is an itinerary for a layover or a shortstop on a road-trip way south e. g. to the Adriatic coast - as well as a complete guide for a city break.


💰   Local Currency:


1 US$ = 6,30 HRK (Kuna) current rate
1 €UR = 7,40 HRK (Kuna) current rate
(September 2018)



🚔    Emergency Hotline:


Police/Ambulance/General Emergency: 112



🛫    National Airline: 


Croatia Airlines



🛬    Airport:


Franjo Tuđman Airport,  IATA Code: ZAG



🗺    Tourist Info online and onsite:


There are tourist information offices at five locations: At the airport, the train station, the bus terminal, the Lotrščak tower, and the Trg Bana Josipa Jelačića 11, which is Zagreb's main square.
They also have a quite good internet site.


bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Zagreb
Ban Josip Jelačić, the national hero -  until today everything
 is revolving around him on the square that carries his name.
At their offices, they supply you with information, a free map - and you can buy a Zagreb-Card for 98 HRK for 24 respectively for 135 HRK for 72 hours there.
At least if the weather is not that great and you use the public transport more and visit some of the museums, it's worth the price. On a sunny day, I'm not really sure.

Zagreb is not as tourism-oriented as other Croatian cities, therefore, you are more likely to run into people who do not speak English and also credit cards are less accepted than in the more touristy places.






A great way to get more insight is to join one - or more - of the tours organized by Free Spirit Tours, a project by Wayoudo d.o.o. travel agency. They offer a free walking tour - of course, based on tips - and a range of themed tours. Even if you explore the city on your own, joining one of these tours adds some great background info from a local.


🚆    Getting Downtown and Back


"24 hours in ZAGREB" also differs from the other cities I'd covered insofar that you are more likely to get there by train, bus, or car than flying in.

However, if you do arrive at the Franjo Tuđman Airport, your best option to go to the city center will be by shuttle bus that is scheduled every thirty minutes between 7 a. m. and 10.30 p. m.. It will cost you 30 HRK one way or 40 HRK round trip (the same day).
The times back to the airport differ: The first one leaves already at 4 a. m. and the last one is already at 8.30 p. m.

There is also the city bus #290 that's cheaper, but stops at about 20 stations before it finally gets you downtown.

To get around town, the tram is your best option. It's a really good system that covers basically the whole city and tickets are fairly cheap. Check - and download - a system map here.

You pay 4 HRK for a ticket that's good for 30 minutes after validation. You have to buy this ticket - or several of them - at a kiosk. If you buy your ticket from the conductor, you pay 15 HRK - but then it's also valid for 90 minutes (which you probably never need).
There are also day tickets for 30 HRK and three-day-tickets for 70 HRK, but I wonder when you intend to use them up as an ordinary tourist. However, if you get a Zagreb-Card, public transport within the city is included.


🌞    Morning Activities


If you're not already at the main train station, you should get there since that's where our tour starts.

Starting at the bus terminal or the accommodation I truly recommend, you just hop on the tram #6 towards Črnomerec and get off at the stop Glavni Kolodvor - that's either two or three stops; but you can also easily walk the distance.


bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Zagreb
King Tomislav, Croatia's first king from 925 till 928; and no,
I did not forget to put a thousand in front of that number.
Across the street from the train station, Croatia's first King, Tomislav, welcomes you to a beautiful green belt. Actually, it's a row of lush parks where you can spend hours.














Nymphaea - like painted by Monet.
(Photo: Logica olgica, Botanical Garden in Zagreb, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Start at the Botanical Garden two blocks west from Tomislav: Access is free, and it's a beautiful, serene park.

At the end of the garden, just turn right to cross Trg Marka Marulića and continue up north through more gardens in the neighborhood of various faculties of the university.











Statue of the Croatian priest, archaeologist, and historian
Frane Bulić in front of the majestic State Archives.
(Photo: Diego Delso,Archivo Nacional, Zagreb,
  Croacia, 2014-04-13, DD 01
,CC BY-SA 3.0)
Behind the State Archives is another interesting statue, showing Marko Marulić, a Renaissance poet and humanist. Actually, the streets around this green area are named in his honor.

While the next section of this green belt is dominated by the Academy of Dramatic Arts, as you cross the Trg Republike Hrvatske, you finally have reached what is said to be Zagreb's most beautiful building, the National Theater.








Pride of the city: The National Theater.
(Photo: Diego Delso,
Teatro Nacional, Zagreb, Croacia, 2014-04-13, DD 02,
 cropped to 7:5, CC BY-SA 3.0)


Since it was built at the turn of the 19th century by Viennese architects Ferdinand Fellner and Hermann Helmer, it deems a bit like the miniature version of the opera house in Vienna. Obviously, the plays are in Croatian, but there are also ballets and operas, so it's possible to enjoy its splendor even if you are not familiar with the language.

But the National Theater is also a great place for a coffee break: The BisTAČ@HNK is known for excellent coffee and friendly service - on their terrace if the weather is nice. They are open daily from 8 a. m. to midnight, weekends till 2 a. m.





bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Zagreb
The Lotrščak Tower where the daily midday magic happens.
While lingering over a coffee or an early glass of Croatian wine, prick up your ears: At noon, you will suddenly hear a cannon shot from the Lotrščak Tower, announcing the mid-day in Zagreb. It is fired daily by a local cannon man whose - what a hot job, right?! It's said that this tradition derives from the time when it scared away the Ottoman troops.










What? It's already noon? Time passes so fast, but we are done with the morning walk, anyway, and ready for some traditional Zagrebian feast.



⛈    Morning Activities


Zagreb in the rain - definitely not as attractive as in sunshine, however, still as interesting. There is a wide range of different museums and exhibitions to visit, so put on your gumboots and let's go.

Since you'll probably take the tram more often and visit a couple of museums, getting a Zagreb-Card might be a good idea.

bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Zagreb
Art pour art - literally: Beautiful art presented in a
beautiful building.
Get by #6 towards Črnomerec and get off at the stop Glavni Kolodvor, the train station.
Pass King Tomislav's Statue and go to the Umjetnički paviljon, the Art Pavilion housed in a beautiful yellow building from the 19th century.
Since they operate like a gallery, i.e. there is no permanent collection, please check what is on.


Art Pavilion 
Umjetnički paviljon u Zagrebu 
Trg kralja Tomislava 22
10000 Zagreb
Phone: + 385 - 1 - 4841 070


During exhibitions, the pavilion is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a. m. to 8 p. m. (Friday till 9 p. m.)


bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Zagreb
An elegant building for elegant guests.
I bet you are ready for a nice cup of coffee and maybe a sweet treat? Good, at the next corner is the Palace Hotel Zagreb, located in a majestic Art Nouveau Palace.

Enjoy a break in a splendid atmosphere full of old world charm.


Palace Hotel Zagreb
Trg J.J. Strossmayera 10
10 000 Zagreb
Phone: + 385 - 1 - 4899 600
Email: palace@palace.hr




Also on display are paintings by Vlaho Bukovac, one of
Croatia's most prominent painters of impressionism and
symbolism.
(Photo: Vlaho Bukovac creator QS:P170,Q468219, Vlaho Bukovac - Divan,
als gemeinfrei gekennzeichnet, Details auf Wikimedia Commons)


Ready to move on? There are more interesting and inspiring exhibitions to come, so let's go just to the next corner where art from the 19th to the 21st century is awaiting your visit.

Modern Gallery 
Andrije Hebranga 1
Zagreb
Phone: + 385 - 1 - 60 410 40
Email: moderna-galerija@zg.t-com.hr 

The Gallery is open from Tuesday to Sunday 11 a. m. – 7 p. m. (Saturday and Sunday to 2 p. m.)






bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Zagreb
Yet another beautiful, deep yellow building: The
Archeological Museum.
In the front, you can see one of the trams that take you
everywhere you need to go in the city of Zagreb.
Since in this weather you cannot admire too much of the architecture, let's just go to an exhibition where they threw the first stone, namely the Archeological Museum of Zagreb where many epochs of the country's ever-changing history are covered.

Archaeological Museum in Zagreb
Trg Nikole Šubića Zrinskog 19
10000 Zagreb
Phone: + 385 - 1 - 4873 101

The Museum is open from Monday to Saturday from noon to 6 p. m. (Saturday to 3 p. m.)






I guess after all this intellectual nourishment, you are ready for the real deal - Croatian delicacies?!

So now comes lunch.


🍝     Lunch


The base is always dough and cottage cheese - and then
the magic begins.
(Photo: Bonč, Štrukli iz Okrugljaka, CC BY-SA 3.0)
Whether rain or shine, you have to sample at least two typical Croatian dishes - and we'll start with Zagorski Štrukli, a dish that in 2007 Zagorski Štrukli made it on the list of Croatia's intangible cultural heritage by Croatia's ministry of culture. So eating Štrukli, you're basically on a cultural mission.

The best thing is that they come in sweet and savory versions, so everybody finds its piece of heaven.

No matter whom you ask for the best Štrukli, they will either take you to there grandma or recommend






La Štruk
Skalinska ul. 5
10000 Zagreb
Phone: + 385 - 1 - 4837 701
Open daily from 11 a. m. to 11 p. m. (Sunday to 10 p. m.)


🌞    Afternoon Activities


Now it's time to work off some of the calories - and get to know the oldest and most important neighborhoods of Zagreb.


bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Zagreb
The Cathedral - illuminated by the afternoon
sun.
From La Štruk it's just stone throw to the Zagreb's imposing cathedral. It is not only the tallest building in all Croatia but also higher than Notre Dame. Finished in 1217 - which was also earlier than Notre Dame - it is dedicated to the Assumption of Mary; and also to kings Saint Stephen and Saint Ladislaus.

The Cathedral can be visited daily from 10 a. m. to 5 p. m. ( Sundays only from 1 p. m.)













bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Zagreb
Zagreb's epicenter Trg Bana Josipa Jelačića
The very center of Zagreb is indisputably the Trg Bana Josipa Jelačića. Next to Jelačića's statue is a small market taking place and if you have the impression that this is a bit of a tourist rip off, it only shows that you haven't been to other places in Croatia: Take it from me, the closer you get to the coast, the more you pay for....literally everything. So if you have room in your luggage, stock up on souvenirs in Zagreb. I didn't and I still regret it.








bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Zagreb
What a lovely - and creative - gesture of Mr. Bare.
With or without shopping - turn into Radićeva Ulica at the square's northwest corner. One block up, you'll spot the entrance to a narrow alley Zakmardijeve Stube where street artist Boris Bare rolled out a red carpet for you. Walk it, work it, and then climb the stairs to the upper part of town.

Walk the Zakmardijeve Stube all the way to the Lotrščak Tower, from where you've hopefully heard the cannon-shot at noon.







A museum dealing with a topic everyone
can relate to.
(Photo: Prosopee, Zagreb 's Museum of
Broken Relationships second room
, CC BY-SA 3.0)
Yes, the weather is great and so are the views, however, I think you shouldn't miss a visit to the  Museum of Broken Relationships since it's so special and unique. Plus, the opening hours are extremely visitor-friendly - you can go there even late in the evening.

The museum's collection was started by artists Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić as their own relationship broke. Today, after having taken place in various countries, it consists of donations by people all over the world. They deal with all kinds of relationships and vary from hilarious to extremely disturbing.

My tip: They have a gift shop with very cool, of course, topic-related, gimmicks and souvenirs.

Museum of Broken Relationships
Ćirilometodska 2
10000, Zagreb
Phone: + 385 - 1 - 4851 021
Email: info@brokenships.com

Opening hours: Daily from 9 a. m. to 9 p. m., from June to September till 10.30 p. m.



bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Zagreb
St. Mark's church at the end of the road. Before you get there,
you have the Museum of Broken Relationships at the right
corner and Saint Cyril and Methodius Church to the left.
To get to the probably most iconic building of Zagreb, St. Mark's church, just walk up one block. Apparently built in the early 13th century, the church underwent a major remodeling between 1866 and 1882 and this was also when the flashy roof was added. The tiles are laid in a pattern representing the coat of arms of Zagreb as well as the Triune Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia, and Dalmatia.











bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Zagreb
Saint Catherine of Alexandria.
It is certainly worth it strolling a bit around this neighborhood and paying attention to the wonderful architecture mainly from the 18th century.

Stop for a moment at the Katarinin Trg, named after the Saint Catherine of Alexandria Church which was built in the 16th century and is known for it opulent baroque interior.

To the right is Gornjogradska Gimnazija Zagreb, the Upper Town High School of Zagreb, founded by the Jesuits in 1607 as the city's first high school.





bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Zagreb
Zagreb at your feet.
As you walk between these two buildings, you get to the panoramic viewpoint of Zagreb. This, by the way, is also the place where in Summer the Estate Cinema takes places - showing movies, organizing concerts and more. If you happen to be in town in August, make sure to check out their program.

On the right side of the viewpoint are stairs that lead back to Zakmardijeve Stube from where you walk back to the main square Trg Bana Josipa Jelačića.

Dinner will be served around the Dolac, the square where the daily farmer's market is taking place. To get there, just turn into one of the small streets on the Trg's northern side and walk up one flight of stairs.


⛈    Afternoon Activities


bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Zagreb
Mary, standing in front of the Cathedral -
with her head up in the clouds.
Despite the bad weather, you must visit some of Zagreb's icons, and from La Štruk it's just a stone throw to the Zagreb's imposing cathedral.

The Cathedral can be visited daily from 10 a. m. to 5 p. m. ( Sundays only from 1 p. m.)











The view from the Zagreb 360°-observation deck might be disappointing when it's cloudy, but since it's included in the Zagreb-Card, you might want to give it a try. Plus, it's conveniently located adjacent to the Trg Bana Josipa Jelačića, so up you go!

Zagreb 360°-observation deck
Ilica 1A
10000 Zagreb
Phone: + 385 - 1 - 4876 587

Open daily from 11 a. m. to 11.45 p. m.


The funicular goes up and down, up and down, up and....
(Photo: Zrce.eu Tours UG, Standseilbahn Zagreb,
cropped to 4:3, CC BY-SA 3.0 DE)
To get to Zagreb's upper town where you find most of the iconic buildings like the Lotrščak Tower, from where every day mid-day is announced by a real cannon-shot, and St. Mark's church with its colorful roof, walk the main shopping street Ilica westwards and turn right into Tomiceva ulica. This is said to be the world's shortest funicular ride since it takes only four minutes - and since it's part of the public transportation system, it's included in the Zagreb-Card.









bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Zagreb
These are visitors, not artifacts.
So you get off at the Lotrščak Tower which - unless the cannon is booming - is pretty unspectacular - but across the street is one of the city's most quirky attractions, the Museum of Broken Relationships.

Started by artists Olinka Vištica and Dražen Grubišić as their relationship ended, it presents all kind of pieces and tokens from...broken relationships; all kind of relationships, not only between man and women.

While Vištica and Grubišić started the exhibition with their personal items, over the years, many people from all over the world donated their special pieces. They vary from hilarious to extremely disturbing.


After the exhibition, that started out in a container, toured different countries, since 2010, this award-winning collection is housed in Zagreb.

My tip: They have a gift shop with very cool, of course, topic-related, gimmicks and souvenirs.

Museum of Broken Relationships
Ćirilometodska 2
10000, Zagreb
Phone: + 385 - 1 - 4851 021
Email: info@brokenships.com

Opening hours: Daily from 9 a. m. to 9 p. m., from June to September till 10.30 p. m.


bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Zagreb
Eclipse of the Sun by Ivan Generalić (* 1914 - ✝ 1992),
a pioneer of the Croatian Naïves
Only one block up on the other side of the street is another museum worth visiting, the Croatian Museum of Naïve Art. Naïve Art, often showing rural scenarios, has a long tradition in Croatia and this museum shows some real masterpieces. Here, too, you can get some unusual souvenirs like e. g. prints of the paintings on exhibition.

Croatian Museum of Naïve Art
Ćirilometodska ul. 3,
10000 Zagreb
Phone: + 385 - 1 - 4851 911
Email: info@hmnu.hr

Opening hours: Daily from 10 a. m. to 6 p. m., Sundays till 1 p. m.



bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Zagreb
St. Mark's church - flanked by the Parliament office to the
left and the County Government to the right.
One block further up you'll finally get to the most iconic building of Zagreb, St. Mark's church - a house of worship under an unusually colorful roof: The tiles are laid in a pattern representing the coat of arms of Zagreb as well as the Triune Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia, and Dalmatia.
Probably built in the early 13th century, from 1866 to 1882, the church underwent a major reconstruction.










bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Zagreb
View across the old town on Zagreb's highest building.
For the best view of the Zagreb Cathedral walk back to the Museum of Broken Relationships and turn left into Katarinin Trg. To your right, you'll pass Gornjogradska Gimnazija Zagreb, the Upper Town High School of Zagreb, founded by the Jesuits in 1607. Next to it is the Saint Catherine of Alexandria Church, built in the 16th century and known for it opulent baroque interior. As you walk between these two buildings, you get to the panoramic viewpoint of Zagreb - from where you access the old town over a couple of stair flights.







bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Zagreb
No, you are not requested to take your shoes off to step on
Boris Bare's red carpet.
At the end of the stairs is the narrow alley Zakmardijeve Stube where street artist Boris Bare rolled out a red carpet for you. From here, turn right and walk back to Zagreb's main square Trg Bana Josipa Jelačića.

To get to the Dolac, the square where the daily farmer's market is taking place, just turn into one of the small streets on the Trg's northern side and walk up on a flight of stairs.


Your Ćevapi, an unmissable Croatian traditional, are already waiting for you.




🍝    Dinner


bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Zagreb
A butter glazed flatbread filled with hearty kebab; but they
also have vegetarian options.
Dinner has to be the other iconic Croatian dish, Ćevapi - preferably in a large flatbread, with fixings like Ajvar, Kajmak, and grilled pickled peppers.

Right below the Dolac square are two great options to sample this delicacy - I find they are equally good:

Bistro Na Dolcu
Ul. Pod zidom 1A
10000 Zagreb
Phone: + 385 - 1 - 4827 758

PLAC Kitchen & Grill
Dolac 2
10000 Zagreb
Phone: + 385 - 1 - 4876 761


🍸   Nightcap


One of the very classics: Martini with two olives.
(Photo: Ken30684, Classic martini by Ken30684, CC BY 2.0)
I assume you don't feel much like walking, so it's good that there is a really nice 'waterhole' just around the corner from either of the dinner places: Called after the street where it's found, at Pod Zidom Wine Bar you don't get only...wine, but also a range of good cocktails at reasonable prices.

And the stop where you catch tram #6 towards Sopot is only a few steps away.


Pod Zidom Bistro & Wine Bar
Ul. Pod zidom 5
10000 Zagreb
Phone: +385 - 99 - 325 3600

Unfortunately, they are closed on Monday.


😴    Accomodation


In Croatia, it is very common to book yourself in a privately run Sobe - which is a room - or an Apartman - which is...you know it. Usually, both options come without a breakfast, but with facilities so that you can prepare your own. Plus, there are bakeries all over the place selling not only plain bread but all kind of sweet and savory pastries. Don't worry, you won't be starving.

bye:myself - Renata Green - byemyselftravels: Zagreb
Graffiti by one of Irena's artist friends, as she put it: a
Croatian Banksy
One of the most interesting and alluring Apartman is found in Zagreb, just a stone throw from the train station as well as the bus terminal - where also the airport shuttle goes. And if I tell you that the stop of tram #6 is just two minutes walk away you'll understand that you can hardly stay in a better location.

What makes this Apartman such an alluring place are the originals - paintings, prints, graffitis - on the walls; and, of course, the collector and host Irena who is friend with all these artists and generous to share her collection with her guests.





Art Rooms
Trg Kralja Petra Kresimira IV no. 7
10000 Zagreb
Phone: + 385 - 99 314 7354










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9 comments:

  1. How cool they fire a cannon every day at noon. Great itinerary and helpful tips. The large flatbread with fixings looks super tasty!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That museum of Broken Relationships sounds so interesting. I love fun and quirky museums and that sounds like one I could spend hours in. You mentioned that some of it was funny. Would you mind elaborating? I would love to know what you found funny :) I can only imagine how fun the souvenir shop would be!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, there are short stories next to the exhibits. Many are sad or even tragic, some are actually a bit funny.

      Delete
  3. We missed out on Zagreb when we visited Croatia last time because of time constraints but just the amazing cathedral is incentive enough to squeeze in a visit next time we are in the region. I looks like a really interesting and beautiful city.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm really hoping to visit Croatia soon! Zagreb is definitely on my list! I've read about the Museum of Broken Relationships and it sounds like a lot of fun.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I missed Zagreb when I last went to Croatia but my partner loved it - he had a very yummy vegan chocolate cake there which I think influenced this opinion. I have heard so many funny things about the museum of Broken Relationships! Good to know that a short visit is doable...might see how much flights are to visit one weekend :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is such a helpful guide, I'd love to visit Zagreb in the fall of next year! Zagorski Štrukli sounds right up my alley. I always like to try local dishes so thank you for pointing that out.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I've been following along on your journey through Croatia and thoroughly enjoying it. Croatia has been on our bucket list for awhile and this post is super helpful. I love doing self guided tours in a new city and this post will take us every step of the way. Also love all the transportation information. Some times its so hard to figure out how to get from one place to another. Super helpful. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  8. You say 24 hours but I fear with this I need more. So much to see, especially the historical landscape. Loved the different galleries and museums, the museum of broken relationships in particular sounds intriguing. Guess it can be melancholic but will brave that

    ReplyDelete

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