The Croatian capital of Zagreb is a highly westernized, thousand year old industrial and university city on the banks of the Sava river and just south of the Medvednica mountains.
The origins of the name are unclear, but the most plausible explanation is that Zagreb comes from "za bregom", behind the hill, referring to the Medvednica.
The natives of Zagreb like to call themselves Purgeri (Citizens), which comes from the German word Burg (city). The moniker reflects the Purgeri view that the people from outside Zagreb are provincials.
The word is mentioned in the chant of the Bad Blue Boys, soccer club Dinamo's ultras: "Mi smo Purgeri, najjaci smo, najjaci" ("We are the citizens, we are the strongest, the strongest").
Zagreb, does not lay claim to being Croatia's most beautiful city, Dubrovnik and Split would be higher on most people's lists. However the city's 19th century architecture has a stately charm and Zagreb is certainly Croatia's most lively and entertaining town.
Zagreb's main sites are mainly located in the medieval Upper Town and the 19th century Lower Town and all are within easy walking distance of the city center or are just a short street car ride away.
Walking north of the railway station is Strossmajerov, a green promenade connecting the station with Zagreb's main square Trg Josip Jelacica. The Strossmayer Gallery of Old Masters, within the park, houses a fine collection of Italian and Flemish painting.
Walking due north of Trg Josip Jelacica, you enter the area of the Kaptol (Upper Town) which contains a number of historic buildings such as the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Jesuit Church of St. Catherine, the Stone Gate and the 13th century Lotrscak Tower from where traditionallya cannon is fired every day at noon. The colorful Dolac fruit and veg market is worth catching in the Kaptol.
Other places of interest in the Upper Town include the City Museum, Ivan Mestrovic's Studio - a tribute to Croatia's most famous artist and the Galerija Lovicevi Dvori, which exhibits modern Croatian and international art.
Back in the Lower Town, the Museum Mimara houses a vast, eclectic collection of classical paintings, ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman archaeological pieces and even furniture and glass work. Then there is the Ethnographic Musem, the Archaeological Museum, the Arts & Crafts Museum and the more contemporary Art Pavilion. For a breather from all the art, take a stroll in Zagreb's fine Botanical Gardens that date from 1890.
A short bus journey north takes you out to the slopes of Mount Medvednica and the Mirogoj - a quirky, beautiful cemetery and the nearby fortress of Medvedgrad - built in the 13th century to protect the city from the Tartars and now offering fantastic views of the city below.
South of the city Jarun Lake is perfect for swimming and and boating in the hot summer months. The English-style Maksimir Park, to the east of Zagreb, opened in 1794 and has pleasant gardens and the famed 19th century Bellevue Pavilion.
The Zagreb Card (90.00 kuna) offers unlimited travel on public transport in Zagreb, discounts at nearly all of the Zagreb's museums and reduced prices at many restaurants and shops.
The Zagreb Card costs is valid for 72 hours. The Zagreb Card is available online, at all of Zagreb's Tourist Information Centers and at the reception desks of the majority of Zagreb's hotels.
Zagreb is host to the Zagreb Film Festival in October; the International Folklore Festival in July; the Zagreb Summer Festival of theater and concerts in July and August; the Zagreb Biennial Contemporary Music Festival in April (odd numbered years); the biennial Animated Film Festival in June (even numbered years).
|Four Points Panorama|
Regent Esplanade, Mihanoviceva 1
Sheraton, Kneza Borne 2
Westin, Krsnjavoga 1
Arcotel Allergra, Branimirova 29
Astoria, Petrinjska 71
Central, Branimirova 3
Dora, Trnjanska 11
Dubrovnik, Gajeva 1
Ilica, Ilica 102
Internacional, Miramarska 24
Jadran, Vlaska 50
Laguna, Kranjceviceva 29
Palace, Strossmayerov trg 10
Panorama, Trg Kresimira Cosica 9
in Zagreb - Booking.com
Hostelworld.com - Hostels in Croatia
Foreign visitors usually have a good time in Zagreb, because of the low crime rate, decent accommodation and the fact that many locals speak foreign languages and actually like to mingle with foreign tourists.
The legal currency is kuna (Croatian for marten, a popular local mammal), which is semi-convertible. You can exchange pounds or euros into kunas at hundreds of exchange offices found just about everywhere in the city.
Since anyone can also convert kunas into foreign currency, there is no black market for foreign exchange so all transactions should be carried out at official exchange businesses rather than in the street.
Exchange rates vary from place to place, but remember that a 100
GBP will buy you about 1100 kunas, 100 euros 740 kunas, and 100
dollars 580 kunas (2006 rates).
Zagreb has plenty of bars, and upmarket cafés, which always seem to be full regardless of the time of day or the season. The most popular bars and cafés in the city centre are Lira, Kolding, Plaza, Argentina, Orient Express, Bulldog, KIC, Gradska kavana amongst others.
The area around the Jarun lake is particularly rich with bars, cafés and facilities for various sports, aquatic or otherwise.
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Restaurants are not in short supply either, and you can choose between various fish restaurants like Korcula or Cantinetta, Mexican restaurants in Jurisiceva, Frankopanska and Savska, or - a must for a soccer fan - the Boban restaurant, owned by no other than the family of the mythical Croatian skipper Zvonimir Boban.
Now director of a sports daily newspaper, Boban was born in Dalmatia, near the coast, and spent most of his career in Italy, including nine years at AC Milan. No wonder his place serves mostly Italian and Mediterranean dishes. The restaurant's location is superb: 200 meters south of the main square!
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92 - police
93 - fire brigade
94 - ambulance
970 - taxi
987 - road help
01 - Zagreb area telephone code
0044 - access number for calling UK
There are plenty of internet cafes and places to get online in central Zagreb. Preradovicev trg and Preradoviceva ulica, both two minutes walk from the Trg Bana Jelacica central square, boast several "Internet Cafes".
VIP bar on Iblerov Trg on the first floor of the shopping mall is right on the way from the central square to Maksimir Stadium. Brazil Internet Bar in Maksimirska is about 800 meters before the Stadium in the same street.
"Art" Internet caffee
10 000 Zagreb
VIP, Preradovicev trg 5
VIP, Iblerov trg 10
A 1 Internet Center
Art net club, Preradoviceva 25
Brazil, Maksimirska 200
Charlie net, Gajeva 4
Cyber cafe sublink, Teslina 12
Ergonet, Badaliceva 26c
Iskoninternet - KIC, Preradoviceva 5/I
Net kulturni klub mama, Preradoviceva 18
MMC-ZAGREB ( Internet Point )
Gajeva 17, Zagreb, Croatia
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Trg bana J. Jelacica 11
Tel: +385 1 48-14-051, +385 1 48-14-052, +385 1 48-14-054;
Mon-Fri: 8.30am-8pm; Sat: 9am-5pm; Sun: 10am-2pm
Trg N. S. Zrinskog 14
Tel: +385 1 49-21-645;
Images of Zagreb - Courtesy of zagreb-touristinfo.hr
British Embassy, Ivana Lucica 4, tel. (+) 385 1 60 09 100
British Council for Cultural Ties, Ilica 12, tel. (+) 48 99 500
From Zagreb's Pleso Airport (tel. 01 62 65 222) Croatia Airlines buses go to the city center (17km) every 30 minutes. Zagreb has connections with most major European capitals plus Damascus, Frankfurt, Istanbul and Munich.
Air France, British Airways (BA) and KLMall have connections to Croatia. Zagreb is Croatia's airline hub and has domestic flights to Dubrovnik, Pula in Istria, Rijeka, Split and Zadar. Easyjet has flights to Split from the UK, germanywings flies to Zagreb from Germany.
Zagreb has good rail connections with Germany and Austria as well as Italy and the other Balkan nations. There are trains to Munich, Vienna and Salzburg.
There are daily buses from Zagreb to Vienna, Munich, Stuttgart, Cologne, Dortmund, Nuremberg, Frankfurt and four times a week to Berlin.
Traffic in Zagreb is comparatively heavy, but nothing like in London, Rome or Istanbul, and the public transport is well served by a dense (partly connecting) network of trams and buses (no Metro here yet). Cabs are easy to obtain because Zagreb people prefer their own cars, leaving the cab drivers to wait for hours until a customer arrives. Call 970 to order a taxi but ask for the receipt in advance to make sure of the correct price of the ride.
In early to mid October the weather in Zagreb is usually warm (15-20 C°), with a possibility of rain, so an umbrella or a raincoat should be part of any traveler's equipment at that time of the year. No heavy coats are necessary and snow has never been registered in mid-October. Sunset occurs at 6:30pm.
The stadium (known locally as Stadion u Maksimiru), is home to
one of Croatia's top clubs, Dinamo Zagreb, and is located in the
north eastern part of Croatia's capital Zagreb about 3.5km from
the city center and across the street from Zagreb's Zoo. The stadium
is part of the Svetice recreational and sports complex, to the south
of Maksimir Park. The first stadium in the area was built as far
back as 1912 and underwent re-construction from the 1940s - 60s.
Maksimir Stadium was again updated for the Universiade Games (World
Student Sport Games) between 1986 and 1987 and plans are in the
making to expand the stadium yet again to a 60,000 capacity and
add a retractable roof.
Maksimirska 128, 10000 Zagreb
Tel: +385 1 232 32 34
Zagreb is well served for public transport by a tram network which links the main railway station and the city's main square, Trg Bana Jelacica. The nearest station to the stadium is Bukovacka.
From Zagreb station (Glavni Kolodvor) take tram line #4 towards Dubec. From Trg Bana Jelacica Square, take either tram #11 or #12 running to Maksimir in the direction of Dubec or Draskoviceva. Tram #7 also goes to the stadium.
Journey time is around 20 minutes and costs 8 Croatian kuna (1.60 USD) if you buy your ticket on the street car or 6.50 kuna (1.30 USD) from one of the city's numerous newspaper kiosks. A one-day pass for the Zagreb tram is currently 18 kuna (3.10 USD).
Croatian league football matches in Croatia usually take place on Sundays, as in nearby Italy.
For more information on travelling to Zagreb to watch football visit the Soccerphile forum