Zagreb comes as a surprise to many first-time visitors, who expect to find a grey, boring ex-communist city. Instead, they find a lively, trendy city that is embracing modernization and quickly reasserting itself as one of the cultural capitals of Europe. The city boasts of a number of historic architectures, old museums and galleries, great activities to indulge in and a fabulous variety of performing arts. The nightlife is spectacular, the cuisine sumptuous and the annual events extremely entertaining.
As the capital of Croatia, Zagreb is well connected with other major cities across Europe. There are fast and convenient motorways linking the city with Budapest, Venice, Graz, Trieste and Klagenfurt, while rail networks provide regular services to places such as Munich, Vienna, Venice, Budapest, Paris, and Moscow. Zagreb International Airport has flights to major European cities.
The ancient town districts of Kaptol and Gradec have dozens of magnificent palaces, churches, fortifications and squares. Highlights include Cathedrals, St Mark’s and St Catherine’s churches, Stone Gate, Archbishop’s Palace and Lotrscak Tower. The city is also filled with amazing museums and art galleries.
There is plenty to see and do in the countryside surrounding Zagreb. The hilly Hrvatsko Zagorje region has many quaint villages and towns in a magical setting, while you will be entranced by the lovely Trakoscan Castle. For stunning panoramas and wonderful historic architecture, tour the castles of Veliki and Beranac. Wine lovers should head for the vineyards of Plesivicka Vinska Cesta, while nature lovers can explore the vast Velebit Mountains region. Of course, those who may want to spend time at a coastal resort before heading home should visit the famous Dalmatian coast.
Zagreb has a great range of sporting and leisure activities available all year round. During the summer, Lake Jarun is a popular destination and has facilities for water sports, cycling, jogging and mini golf. In the winter, there is ice-skating in the city and snow sports in the surrounding mountains.