The largest, most influential, and culturally significant city in Croatia, Zagreb also doubles as the capital. Resting on the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountains, along the Sava River, in the south-western part of the region known as the Pannonian Basin, Zagreb has long been the hidden jewel of Croatia, thanks to its in-land location. (Though it is a short journey to the much loved Adriatic Coast).
Perhaps because of its geographic location, Zagreb has, amazingly, managed to remain relatively undiscovered territory even into the 21st century. As such, Zagreb can be considered a destination for the world-weary, ready to be enjoyed away from the tourist masses, and boasting enough old medieval architecture to rival many other European cities such as Prague, Vienna, or Budapest, (and this, despite the damage caused by the civil war in the 1990s). In the coming years, the city may emerge as one of the “greats”, though socially, it is not so very liberated or modern.
Because of its importance as the capital city and its location on the trade routes between Central Europe and the Adriatic, Zagreb is a major city in terms of government, museums, history and culture; in many ways, it is the beating heart of the country. Although it is not as popular a destination as Skopje, or the Adriatic coast, Zagreb has an impressive beauty of its own and a relatively relaxed, yet reserved charm.
The city’s architecture blends beautifully with dozens of parks, like those at Maksimir or Mirogoj. Between the restaurants, the parks, the cobblestone streets and the various architectural wonders, you will be hard-pressed not to find some sense of wonder in this place.
Museums such as the Muzej Mimara, the Arheoloski Muzej or the memorable Mirogoj central cemetery and the mountain of Medvedgrad, with its medieval castle looming above, will amaze even the most jaded travelers.