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Zagreb in a weekend: the art lover's guide

Always a centre of the contemporary arts and now with a growing reputation for design, Zagreb is an ideal city break for those on the look-out for what’s new in the art-and-style world

Nathan James
Art lover

Friday

Kick off with a visit to the Modern Gallery, which displays the history of Croatian painting from the 19th century to the present day. Check out what’s on at the nearby Art Pavilion, home to frequent big exhibitions, before heading for the Croatian Association of Artists (‘HDLU’), a rotunda-shaped building that usually has two or three contemporary exhibitions running concurrently. 

Saturday daytime

Spend Saturday morning hitting the boutiques: head first for the downtown street of Dežmanova for a quick look at the dresses at I-GLE and domestic trinkets at Love, Ana before popping across the street for coffee at the impeccably designed Dežman Bar. Elsewhere in the centre, browse unique fashions and accessories at Vešmašina, thoughtfully designed souvenirs at Take Me Home, racy alternative fashions at Roba and Dioralop, or youthful Balkan bling at ELFS. The Croatian Design Superstore on Martićeva has a cross-section of just about everything.

Round off afternoon at Klovićevi dvori, Upper Town venue for major touring art and history exhibitions.

Saturday evening

In the evening consider a late visit to Lauba, open until 10pm, the privately owned gallery of contemporary Croatian art. Alternatively, see what’s happening at Greta, the independent gallery that has exhibition openings every Saturday night. Follow the latter with a drink in the nearby Sedmica bar, spiritual home of many of Zagreb’s artists/designers/whatevers.

Sunday

You need to devote an hour or two to Zagreb’s flagship Museum of Contemporary Art – it’s quite a way from the centre and the collection is large. If time remains, check out the murals lining Branimirova, one of the prime locations of Zagreb’s scattered Museum of Street Art. 

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