Elegance Meets Fun in Croatia’s Capital Zagreb

When most of us think of Croatia, what first comes to mind is the beautiful beaches of the Dalmatian Coast along with its islands, historic small towns, and larger cities like Dubrovnik and Split. But for a lovely change of pace, the country’s inland capital Zagreb is also a delight to wander the streets and ride the excellent network of trams in its historic core, drinking in the lovely ambiance and culture.

A good place to start is the city’s Roman Catholic cathedral, a monumental, early-13th-century Gothic confection (and still the tallest building in all of Croatia) whose twin spires are visible from pretty much everywhere.

Right near the cathedral, another must when in town is the Dolac Market, an open-air collection of stalls hawking meat, fish, produce, baked goods, cheese, prepared foods, and flowers – as well as handicrafts and other souvenirs to take home. It operates mostly in the morning, and you can cap off your visit with a tasty meal here (locals start eating lunch as early as noon).

And not to seem macabre, but Zagreb also happens to be one of those cities – like Paris, Buenos Aires, and Havana – whose main cemetery is a destination in itself. Ensconced at the foot of a mountain on the edge of town, Mirogoj with its elegant entrance flanked by majestic, ivy-covered arcades and cupolas, is a collection of elaborate (as well as less elaborate) tombs and monuments that are veritable works of art.

Also, to get great panoramic views of the cathedral and the rest of the old town, take a leafy stroll under the chestnut trees along the Strossmayer Promenade (aka Zagreb Stross), running along the remains of the capital’s medieval defensive walls. Lijep (beautiful)!

And finally, when the sun goes down, after a dinner of delicious Croatian food check out the buzzing Zagreb nightlife scene, with something for all tastes and vibes, from music bars and jazz clubs to big, banging discos.

So this summer, go ahead and book a cheap flight with your Iberia Joven discount – you’ll be so glad you did!

Photo: InfiniteCroatia