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With a population of more than a million, Zagreb is easily Croatia's largest and most cosmopolitan city, though the center is still agreeably manageable on foot — or by the charming, clunking blue-and-white trams. Zagreb's heart is a fine, clean example of solid Habsburg architecture, tending towards palatial elegance, and large squares from which to view it. For more than six months of the year it's a lively outdoor city, with café tables spilling out across the pavements and flowers everywhere. There's a compact old town on one hill and a fine neo-Gothic cathedral on the other. Behind the city looms the marvelous bulk of Mount ...

With a population of more than a million, Zagreb is easily Croatia's largest and most cosmopolitan city, though the center is still agreeably manageable on foot — or by the charming, clunking blue-and-white trams. Zagreb's heart is a fine, clean example of solid Habsburg architecture, tending towards palatial elegance, and large squares from which to view it. For more than six months of the year it's a lively outdoor city, with café tables spilling out across the pavements and flowers everywhere. There's a compact old town on one hill and a fine neo-Gothic cathedral on the other. Behind the city looms the marvelous bulk of Mount Medvednica, perfect for getting away from it all, with skiing in winter as a bonus.

With a big university and heaps of bars, clubs and nightlife available, the locals certainly know how to have a good time, and the ice-cream here is as good as anything you'll find in Italy. Zagreb is also particularly strong on classical culture, with regular opera, ballet, theater and musical performances of international standards.

Piers Letcher
About the Expert

Piers Letcher is the author of Croatia: the Bradt Travel Guide, Dubrovnik: the Bradt City Guide, and coauthor of Zagreb: the Bradt City Guide.

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Croatia. It is located in the northwest of the country, along the Sava river, at the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain.
  • Language: Croatian
  • Currency: Croatian Kuna
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    May-October; winter if you want to ski