Updated: May 28
An Exuberant Experience of Exploring the Upper and Lower Town of Zagreb
Our Journey to Zagreb:
Normally, we prefer trains over buses but this time we wanted to experience the road trip from Munich, Germany to Zagreb, Croatia. To be honest, the experience was not so well because we made the wrong choice in the bus service.
We took Cjana Bus which was already late by one hour in Munich ZOB. It was our first time crossing a Non-Schengen border by road. By passing through the snowy mountains of Austria and plain lands of Slovenia, we reached to the Slovenian-Croatian border.
There was a long queue of the buses on the border control too and it took almost 2 hours to clear the border. As we reached the border everybody came out of the bus and started waiting for their bus turn.
There was also a rest area with washroom and wending machines for the passengers. When our bus was about to reach near the border control point, everybody went inside the bus. At the border control we came out again and show their identity cards or passport to immigration officers.
In my case, as I was holding a Pakistani Passport with Schengen Visa and was entering Croatia the Slovenian Officials put an Exit Stamp on my passport as Croatia is part of EU but doesn't come in Schengen Area.
After that, everybody sat on the bus and it moved towards the Croatian Border Control. The immigration Officer came inside in our bus and checked the identity cards and passports of the passengers and put the Entry Stamp on my passport. That is how I entered into Europe's Non-Schengen Area.
Where did we Stayed in Zagreb?
After the hectic journey of 12 hours, we finally reached to Zagreb Main Bus Station. we had already booked the house through Airbnb and took the Uber (It's quite cheap). Normally, we always check the reviews on Airbnb but this time we gave a try for the new host.
We must say that it's the best Airbnb I had experienced in more than 42 countries. The house was not located in the down town but it was well connected to the city centre with frequent public transport. The host was also super nice.
The house has a separate space for the guests which includes open kitchen with dining table, Living room, washroom and bed room. It was well furnished with all the modern and new equipments.
Things to do in Zagreb
Lower Town of Zagreb
After dropping the luggage, we went straight to Zagreb Old Town. Zagreb has Upper and lower district. On the lower district, we selected Jelacic Plac to visit first. It's one of the most famous squares which have different small streets taking to the different places in lower town.
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The square has different shopping stores, shop, kiosks, tram station and it is always full with people. There's always something exciting going on this square.
This December, we got an opportunity to enjoy the different traditional Christmas performances on the big stage. This is the place where we loved to sit and lost myself in observing the people and the hustle and bustle of the city.
The street leads from Jelacic Plac to the famous fashion avenue of Zagreb called llica, which is one of Europe's best destination. It has all the world leading brands to local Croatian brands and also narrow streets which take to different restaurants and cafes.
On the south of the Jelacic Plac, there's a famous farmer market called Dolac Market. It has small open stalls up on the stairs selling fresh vegetables and fruits in very cheap price and sheltered stalls below the stairs selling meat, cheese and also old ladies selling local specialties. It's one of the most visited market in Zagreb.
Zagreb Cathedral is a Roman Catholic Church. It's one of the tallest buildings in Croatia and one of the top visited tourist attractions in Zagreb.
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Unfortunately, we weren't able to visit it from inside due to the crowd but we will highly recommend visiting it.
Tkalciceva Street is one of the most happening and lively street of Zagreb. It has lots of amazing restaurants, cafés and bars and probably one of the best place to visit in Zagreb. With a wide range of cafes, restaurants and night clubs its a must visit place and we would recommend to explore it.
Zagreb has a tunnel pedestrian called Gric Tunnel. The tunnel has a central hall and it's connected with different passage ways. The passage takes into different streets of the old town.
The tunnels were changed into the theme of Ice rock from inside with different lightings in the Christmas season. It gave us the true feelings that we are in an Ice age.
Zagreb Funicular is a shortest funicular ride of the World. It takes around 55 seconds to reach to Upper Town with a very little price of 5 Croatian Kuna.
But do remember that they don’t accept payment by Credit Card or Euro. After waiting in a long queue, we had to go to money exchanger to exchange the money.
Upper Town of Zagreb
With the Funicular Ride, we had reached to the Upper Town Zagreb.
Lotrscak Tower is located in the Upper Town and serves as a defense tower since 13th century. It's one of the famous attractions due to its wonderful 360 degree panoramic view of the city.
The ticket costs 20 Kuna and you can climb up the comfortable stairs.
We have been there in the evening and enjoyed the perfect sunset of winters. Its one of the best thing to do in Zagreb and highly recommended to do it.
St.Mark Church is one of the most important landmarks of Zagreb Upper Town and it’s has beautiful spectrum of the tiles on its roof and depicting the Croatian, Dalmatian and Slavonian coats of arms.
If you are an art lover this is a place for you to enjoy the best art sculptures by famous Croatian artist Ivan Mestrovic.
Stone Gate is on the Eastern Gate of the Upper Town. It has a painting of Virgin Mary and a Child. It is said that everything was burnt in the fire of 1731 along with the wooden gate except this painting.
Into Nature in Upper Town, Zagreb:
We walked in the Upper Town and climbed up the stairs and reached to the posh residential area. After a little walk, we saw a park and it's the best spot to enjoy the nature with an amazing view.
We sat there for a while and enjoyed the voice of chirping birds. We always try to find such a spot in crowded cities to enjoy my time and to relax from modern day lifestyle.
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Mimara Museum is an art museum located in Roosevelt Square and it's highly accessible from the downtown with Tram. The Museum is exhibiting amazing art work of various artists.
Mirogoj Cemetery is the largest cemetery and held a special place as many famous personalities were buried here. It is one of the attractions of the Zagreb due to its unique architecture and also its park.
Croatian National Theatre:
Croatian National Theatre has theatre, opera and ballet house. It is always crowded so Don’t forget to make your bookings in advance. Museum of broken relation is located in the Upper town and it is depicting the irony of the failed love. It has personal belongings of the former lovers.
Restaurants in Zagreb:
We would highly suggest enjoying your dinner at Italian Restaurant called Trattoria Canzona. It's one of the cutest café with amazing food and dessert.
It has a great ambiance and gave the feel that we are in Mini Italy with the concept of small balconies and also the cozy sitting.
History bar & Club:
One of the most lively bar in Zagreb located in famous Tkalciceva Street and must place to visit.
Another lively Bar in famous Tkalciceva Street and must place to visit.
We would highly recommend to visit the Lake Jarun if you have enough time and if the weather is present. We visited Zagreb in winters and skipped our trip to Jarun Lake due to rain. We must say it's a perfect spot for summer picnics and cycling and Insha ALLAH will visit it in my next trip to this wanderlust.
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