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Zagreb City Visit
Thursday 23 January 2020
Zagreb City of Christmas!
Rebecca and I are only getting around to our blog post for Zagreb and as we think back on our lovely little trip we realise how much we really enjoyed this city break last December!
Croatia Airlines and Canopy by Hilton
We flew from Dublin direct to Zagreb with Croatia Airlines. Zagreb Airport’s newest terminal is just a 20 minute drive to the centre. We stayed in the 4 star Canopy by Hilton. A modern and artistic hotel located about a 15 minute walk from the hustle and bustle of Zagreb’s centre. There was an inviting atmosphere on check in when we were handed a small chocolate bar each! It was explained to us that the hotel’s building was a chocolate factory some years ago! A huge Christmas tree stood in the lobby adorned with Zagreb's famous licatar decorations. These decorations are handmade from gingerbread, they are decorated with bright red shiny icing and delicate lace piping on the trim. The centre piece, is a small mirror used to reflect the heart of the one who has given you a licatar.
Christmas Markets at Every Turn!
Zagreb is a very safe city that inhabits Europe’s best Christmas Market, 3 years in a row for 2016, 2017 and 2018. They weren’t allowed compete for 2019! They would be undefeated champions again in my opinion! The markets stretch right across the upper and lower city both of which are connected by the smallest funicular (which takes just 50 seconds to climb) in the world and the Gri tunnel.
The Gri Tunnell was once used as a bomb shelter in the 1940’s to protect the citizens during WW2. It was then put to use again during the Croatian war of independence. It’s now decorated during Advent Zagreb every year and is open to the public. The tunnel spans 350 metres and every bit of it is decorated for Christmas.
Throughout our trip we enjoyed traditional Croatian food. One of the restaurants we visited was called Grabek located in the city of Samobor. This restaurant has been open since 1929 and has a comforting and traditional feel, full of families and friends meeting for lunch. Like most of the restaurants in Zagreb, there was coat stands to hang your jackets and scarves on, something so simple but made us feel as if we were coming home for lunch instead of being in a restaurant. Croatian cuisine consists mostly of meat, potatoes and dumplings. Starter is usually a vegetable soup like pumpkin and you have to end with something sweet with your coffee! Croatians love their coffee and on every street or corner you will find a cafe.
A City Designed For Exploring...
Zagreb is a city full of attractions and things to do. It has over forty museums, lots of cafes, parks and such a youthful energy. A city really designed for exploring. We absolutely loved the city break to Zagreb and would highly recommend it. We will definitely be returning in the future!
Must Sees for Zagreb:
St Marks Church
Dolac Local Market
Zagreb is a city full of local culture – arts & crafts, local food
The City of Museums - over 40!
Zagreb hosts lots of festivals throughout the year (one nearly every weekend) e.g Festival of Lights, Music Festivals, Advent Zagreb
Plenty of shopping - Markets, local shops and big brand names
Plenty of accommodation to choose from including 2* right up to 5* hotels in the city centre
Croatia Airlines operate flights twice a week, on Thursday and Sunday from Dublin to Zagreb.
From 09th Apr 20 the airline will kick off operations 3 times a week on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. This will run until the end of October.
Zagreb is an amazing destination for a two centre trip. You can fly from Zagreb to Dubrovnik in little over an hour with Croatia Airlines.
You can visit the gorgeous Plitviče Lakes National Park which is a two hour thirty minute drive from the city. This National Park is a 295 sq km forest reserve in central Croatia. It's known for a chain of 16 terraced lakes, joined by waterfalls that extend into a limestone canyon. Walkways and hiking trails wind around and across the water and an electric boat links the 12 upper and 4 lower lakes.