What was meant to be a pitstop before Budapest turned into massive regret in that ‘damn, I wish I was here longer’. Zagreb is undoubtedly charming and the unofficial destination for Instagram users who love to post pictures of flowers.
We stayed at Swanky Mint which, like Fresh* Sheets earlier in Dubrovnik, was totally kickass. It used to be a dry cleaning and textile-dry factory so a lot of its quirks are owed to that: the ironing boards which serve as tables and the random metal furniture scattered throughout the bar and courtyard. Again it was also super clean and the staff were awesome. Amy and I actually spent our first night at the bar at Swanky Mint, hanging out with their bartender and proving to him that in comparison to Australian coffee, Croatia’s sucked. I sampled about four different variations of a ‘cappuccino’. I’m coffee intolerant. But I like to be proven correct.
Of course when I head to a city I always find out what place serves up the best gelato. So if you’re ever in Zagreb, check out Vincek Slastičarnica. Awesome.
Zagreb is split into Upper Town (more historical) and Lower Town (more cultural), both of which can easily be done in a day or two. Tkalciceva has a great variety of restaurants, cafes and bars and is great for people watching. Zagreb Eye viewpoint provides a great view of the city (duh). St Mark’s Church (or Crkva sv. Marka) is definitely worth seeing.
But my absolute favourite thing in Zagreb was the Museum of Broken Relationships, which is dedicated to failed relationships. Throughout the exhibition there are ornaments from past relationships, whether it’s a tear-stained diary or a shoelace from a date or a magazine once shared, and they’re all accompanied with a little blurb detailing the relationship and where and how it ended. It’s the recognition of a relationship and the ability to express one’s self that has made this museum so popular. Love it.