Before the city-dwellers slip away to the Adriatic coast, Croatia's capital spurs into life in June: cultural festivals, music events and major attractions strike up a city-wide summer party. Here are some great goings-on this June.
RECOMMENDED: more great things to do in Zagreb.
Starting as a playfully ironic art installation and subsequently an international touring exhibition, the Museum of Broken Relationships has become one of Zagreb's most unusual and most popular museum attractions since opening in 2010. Housed in one of the Upper Town's finest Baroque mansions, the thematic display takes visitors through a series of different emotions associated with a break-up, illustrated by objects donated by members of the public. An electric toaster donated by a jilted American is accompanied by the laconic comment: ‘When I moved out, and across the country, I took the toaster. That'll show you. How are you going to toast anything now?’ Many exhibits are captioned with the kind of surreal narratives that frequently flow from fraught emotional states. Funny, tragic, fascinating, it was named 'most innovative museum' at the European Museum Awards of 2011.
Breathe in sea salt-infused air as you wander through dinosaur tracks, look out for wolves howling as you hike, behold an eagle gliding over a rippling river. Welcome to Croatia's great eight. From island archipelagos and turquoise waterfalls to plunging canyons, eight national parks call Croatia home: Brijuni, Kornati, Krka, Mljet, Northern Velebit, Paklenica, Plitvice Lakes and Risnjak. Take in 48 spellbinding photos of the picture-perfect parks that span Croatia, from Dalmatia to the continental regions.
Born out of the ubiquity of concrete and a love for functional shapes, the architecture of Brutalism is frequently misunderstood. The very term seems to attract us for all the wrong reasons, inviting us to admire buildings for their roughness, or their obstinate refusal to be pretty. Recent years have seen the word Brutalism fall victim to a warped social media aesthetic in which it is exoticized as something east European, communist, falling to bits – an object of nostalgia or pity that is shorn of its social context. Touring the modernist neighbourhoods of Zagreb is something of an antidote to this – Croatian Brutalism is restrained and sympathetic to its surroundings in a way rather different to the application of the same style in, say, Sheffield or South London. Not all of it is pretty – Brutalism was above all a functional style designed to provide social planners with cheap solutions to big problems. However, there is plenty here of compelling interest – enough to justify Zagreb’s growing reputation as an unsung treasure-trove of Central-European modernism.
There's nothing quite like Zagreb at Christmas, when yuletide fever sweeps the capital. You'll see twinkly fairylights and cute wooden chalets at every turn, and the smell of mulled-wine lingering in the air is enough to warm the cheeks of any Scrooge. Time Out's photographer took to the streets to capture the essence of Advent, take a look at this gallery to get into the Christmas spirit.
Compact and easy to navigate, Zagreb contains plenty of historic sights and fascinating galleries, complemented by destination restaurants, clusters of busy bars and numerous live-music venues. The main square divides the hilly Upper Town – museums, institutions of national importance, panoramic views – from the flat, grid-patterned streets of the Lower Town, with its gastronomic landmarks, designer boutiques and art galleries. Spread out east and west are areas of bucolic greenery while south over the Sava river stretches the post-war residential blocks of Novi Zagreb. Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList and tag @TimeOutEverywhere. You can also find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world, or take a look at our list of the 50 best things to do in the world right now.
A lot has changed in Zagreb over the years, beautifully captured in this series of images by Ognjen Ivanović. The photographer has travelled across the city with old pictures and polaroids in hand, documenting how Zagreb looked then and now. The results are fascinating and also rather beautiful - just take a look at this slideshow of pictures to see what we mean.
While the urban fabric of Zagreb hasn’t changed all that much in the last ten or twenty years, large-scale art pieces are adding flourishes of colour to the city centre. Graffiti is as old as civilisation itself. Ancient Romans etched bawdy words onto the basilicas of Pompeii. More artistically, perhaps, in Ancient Greece, rejected lovers often inscribed poems on the doorways of their affection. Zagreb’s sooty facades are strewn with unartistic graffiti: simplistic tags and scrawls declaring loyalty to Dinamo ‘The Bad Blue Boys’ (the local football team), are everywhere. Depending on where you sit, it’s a blatant form of territory marking, or an attack on public space as a form of art or protest. Unlike many capital cities still figuring that one out, Zagreb is beginning to embrace street art. Taking a laissez-faire approach to the scourge of scribbles, the city is also making big strides towards outdoor-art enlightenment. Zagreb’s cultural institutions have sought urban artists to decorate their exterior walls – prolific OKO has painted large murals at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Modern Gallery. More interestingly, the municipal authorities' decision to give over the wall of Dolac (the symbolic heart of Zagreb, and a highly-visible public space) to a popular graphic-artist, suggests that Zagreb is beginning to view street art as a legitimate attraction. Walking off the blue tram at the far-west Ljubljanica, past rows of blue trams parked u
An easy tram hop from the city centre, the beautiful tree-lined cemetery of Mirogoj is a rarely visited attraction. Founded in 1876 and designed by Hermann Bollé, few visitors reach Mirogoj, but those who do discover an expansive space filled with excellent sculptures and seemingly endless tiled arcades. Here are ten reasons why you should make the journey to Mirogoj Cemetery. 1) It's an architectural treasure Designed by Hermann Bollé, the architect responsible for Zagreb’s Cathedral, Mirogoj cemetery covers a vast area that stretches up towards the base of Medvednica. The green oxidised copper domes, with their intricate, pastel coloured inner designs, are magnificent. So too are the tiled arcades that appear to stretch on into infinity, past an endless succession of memorials and flowers. The arcades are especially striking in the summer time when they are clad in bright green ivy and the sun patterns the innumerable columns and arches. Bollé is buried here alongside plenty of notable local figures. 2) The Croatian poet Petar Preradović is buried here Mirogoj is an excellent place to indulge in a spot of taphophilia, or tombstone tourism as it is otherwise known. The cemetery is the final resting place of Petar Preradović, a seminal figure in Croatian Romantic poetry. Born in the north-eastern village of Grabrovnica, Preradović fought as a soldier in the Wars of Italian Unification and produced some of the country’s most celebrated verse. He
This attractive, Habsburg-era city is a grand place for a winter break in Croatia. The month-long Advent festival transforms the city into a lively celebration of Christmas, with several major locations dressed up with wooden chalets and glittering canopies of fairy lights. On crisp winter days, the snow-tipped Sljeme mountain range is an enjoyably bracing hike - and an unbeatable location for a beer once you've reached it's summit. Cutting-edge modern art, wonderful boutique shopping and sightseeing opportunities aplenty complete the winning mix. RECOMMENDED: more great things to do in Zagreb.
The distance from Zagreb to Split is just over 400km. The quickest way from Zagreb to Split is to zoom down the A1 motorway, a journey south of just over four hours and 400km plus, passing close to Zadar and Šibenik. Croatian motorways have a toll system, so be prepared to pay about €25 between the two main cities. To make the journey more comfortable, you can organise a Zagreb to Split transfer in style with Octopus Transfers. In fact, why not go from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes which is on the route to Split, and take in the amazing cascades and waterfalls of Croatia’s most stunning national park. A Zagreb to Split via Plitvice Lakes transfer is both a cost and time effective way of travel! Buses from Zagreb to Split leave about every 30 minutes, average direct journey time around five hours, tickets €20. You’ll pay an extra €1 for every item of luggage you store in the hold. Some Zagreb to Split bus services actually stop at Plitvice Lakes, so again you can break up your journey, either with two buses or by arranging a transfer with Octopus from Zagreb to Plitvice or Plitvice to Split. Trains from Zagreb to Split take about six hours during the day, eight hours overnight, allowing you to arrive in Dalmatia with the day ahead of you. A Zagreb to Split train ticket is around €30 but you can also pay a supplement for a couchette, with extra services laid on in high season. If you are after a Zagreb to Split flight, the National carrier, Croatia Airlines, provides around half-a-