First Impressions of Zagreb

Zagreb is cool. I definitely want to discover more of Croatia in the future, but for my whizz 4 day trip to the capital city, these were my first impressions, and what you can expect should you visit Zagreb for the first time…


I got lucky and arrived into Zagreb on the night of a footbal match played by the national Croatian team. As I came out of the station I was greeted by hundreds of people wearing the national white and red colours in a check pattern, on their hats, scarves, tops, flags, and just about anything made from cloth like material! Trams were packed full of people heading to the game, or out to the pub to watch it. It sort of reminded me of back home when there’s a Scotland match on. The jovial atmosphere, singing, chanting, clapping, and people of all ages joining in too. It wasn’t just guys going to a football match. There was families with children, old age pensioners, groups opf teenage girls. There was every demographic you could think of, all coming together, excited about the game. I highly advise going to a football (soccer) match in Zagreb if you ever come. It’s the national sport here, and especially on national games, the people really seem to come together.

Local Food

Eating out in Zagreb is fairly cheap. Esecially if you’re into food that’s bad for you. There are so many cheap little bakeries dotted around Zagreb it would be hard to go there and not indulge. As for what the local people eat, I guess it’s kind of similar to what most people in developed countries eat. There is a huge mix of international cuisine here on offer. I guess like in my home country of Scotland, the Croatian people are not neccessarily known for their cuisine. However, with it’s position inbetween Italy and Turkey, you will find a huge influence on what people eat here stemming from both countries. Again, not the best type of food for you, but it does taste nice.

Dolac Market

The best thing by far about Zagreb for me was Dolac, the main city market. The fresh fruit and vegetables here looked so fresh and tasty it really puts supermarket produce to shame! I literally wanted to eat EVERYTHING! The main reason why I loved Dolac so much though was because this was for me, where the city came alive. During the winter months Zagreb doesn’t get the tourism it would during summer. It’s certainly not a ghost town, as it is the capital city, but it can seem a bit quiet at times. In Dolac everything was buzzing. There was local people all around of all ages and walks of life, all out to either sell what looked like home grown produce, or to buy some of it. People were chatting, laughing, and just generally being very social. I liked being in amongst it all. It’s certainly somewhere I’d recommend coming if you want to people watch or perhaps chat to the local people.

Old Town Architecture

There are some really pretty parts to Zagreb. Particularly in the Old Town. As soon as you come out of the main train station, Glavni Kolodvor, you are greeted with pretty parks, and grand buildings right across from you. Keep going straight and you’ll be greeted by even more, followed by the old town. Possibly the most stunning piece of architecture in the city however is St Mark’s Church. This little gem was a real surprise to me, and is much more original than the nearby cathedral which looks pretty much like most cathedrals you’ll see anywhere in Europe.

Funk Hostel

I stayed at Funk Hostel while in Zagreb. They kindly let me stay for free. I can honestly say they are a really good hostel in Zagreb, with a cool little bar, and I would definitely stay with them again. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Zagreb, I would recommend them.

If you enjoyed reading this post, you may be interested in reading my First Impressions of Paris, Prague, or Brussels.

2 Responses to “First Impressions of Zagreb”

  1. I really want to make it to Croatia. I think it is really been on the up and up in the past 10 years and, from what I see from fellow travelers, offers amazing beaches, beautiful architecture, good people, and good (bad) food 🙂

  2. To simply walk through Zagreb is a delight. The city is clearly well-loved and sparkles from the attention. Every building seems to have some unique architectural feature, or at least winsome Gargoyles and cupids. Parks and cafes are lively.


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