Zagreb has many sightseeing highlights and in spring, when days become longer and temperatures start to rise, they become easily accessible. It would be a real shame to miss out on cultural and historic landmarks which are all distributed in the vicinity of the Main Square and can be visited by a casual stroll along the marked tourist walking routs (Step by step guides in all main foreign languages can be acquired, free of charge, in Tourist info office on the Main Square). So put your walking shoes on and let yourself be engulfed by a mixture of tradition and modernity, dosed and spiced according to Zagreb’s secret recipe. Whether you are interested in museums, sacral architecture, shopping, clubbing or enjoying the nature, you will find it here.
City for pedestrians
Visiting Zagreb in spring is a splendid opportunity to witness the city’s awakening from winter slumber together with its citizens. So why not join them under freshly verdant trees on a cafe veranda in Croatia’s favorite pastime – chatting over cups of strong coffee in pedestrian zones of the city’s very core? And after that, how about a visit to the three-level Dolac market, just below the Cathedral and its Renaissance Walls, to see array of fresh food and products consumed by Zagrebites daily. The Main Square (also known as Ban Jelačić’s Square) boasts a statue of Ban Josip Jelačić on a horse and the renovated Manduševac Fountain. Just above stretches Tkalčićeva street, a remarkable and traffic-free place filled with cafes, jewelry shops, boutiques, traditional shops, restaurants and – of course – a distinctive atmosphere of a place where people meet each other and share relaxed conversations.
The Upper Town
The Stone Gate, one of the entrances to the Upper Town built in the Middle Ages, can be reached by a 10 minute walk from the Main Square where the chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary – patron saint of the city – is sheltered beneath stone arches. In the Upper Town, St. Mark’s Church with its colorfully tiled roof, Croatian Parliament (Sabor) and Governor’s Palace (Banski dvori) can all be found on the St Mark’s Square and The Croatian History Museum, The Old City Hall, The Croatian Museum of Naïve Art, St. Catherine’s Church, The Strossmayer Promenade and Lotrščak Tower are not far away. By riding a Furnicular downwards the Lower Town, one can reach the buzzing Ilica Street, Zagreb’s longest street, in less then a minute.
The Lower Town
Green squares, fountains and wooden benches of Zrinjevac, separated from street traffic and tram tracks by tall tree colonnades, offer a perfect moment for respite after a long walk and prepare for a visit to The Archeological Museum, just across the street. The Croatian Academy of Arts and Sciences, The Art Pavilion and The Gallery of Modern Art, are situated nearby, leading to King Tomislav’s Square and the impressive statue of Croatia’s first king, proudly facing The Main Railway Station. A little further away, but worth the walk, are The Botanical Garden, The Croatian National Theater, Zagreb University building and The Well of Life statue made by famous Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović, all facing The Museum of Arts and Crafts and the bronze Statue of St. George killing a dragon, which became a renowned symbol of Zagreb.
Outside the center
Outside the center, the lake Jarun will offer a 6 km long riviera along its coasts, filled with birds, joggers, skaters and walkers. Mirogoj is Zagreb’s main cemetery, renown for its monumental arcades, grave memorials and tranquility beneath ancient boughs. Maksimir Park is a forest with lakes on Zagreb’s east wing, holding within itself Zagreb’s ZOO, and is perfect for long walks through peace and beauty of nature. Medvednica (1.035 m), a mountain on the northern doorstep of Zagreb – popularly called “the lungs of the city” – is zigzagged with trekking routes and mountain lodges where hikers can find accommodation and food.
Nightlife in Zagreb offers something for everybody. From hip-hop and pop music clubs Aquarius and Piranha situated just several meters from waters of the lake Jarun, to big discotheque The Best and smaller clubs Purgeraj, Tvornica, Boogaloo, Jabuka, Sax where electronic music lovers, rock music lovers, retro music lovers and pop music lovers will all find a place for themselves. Maraschino and Bulldog bars are popular places to be seen in the evening, right in town’s center, Tituš – a small pub with live rock music, will charm you, and Tolkien’s House Pub, Oliver Twist Pub, Melin Pub will have you choose among their wide variety of beers.
You like astronomy?
And for astronomy lovers, Zagreb holds a special delicacy – the center of the Solar system in its very heart. Find The Grounded Sun sculpture made by Ivan Kožarić and placed in town’s center, but that will just be the beginning. Inspired by Kožarić’s vision, artist Davor Preis placed all the planets of the Solar System, in relative scale and exact proportions to the Grounded Sun, somewhere on Zagreb’s streets. So Mercury can be found close by and Venus is on a building wall just around the corner, but it will take a more determined search to find the rest. Do you think you can find all the planets of Zagreb’s Solar System floating somewhere in their downsized orbits?
Points of interest:
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