If you have one day to spend in Zagreb – this is your “do as the locals do” guide!
Slowly, but surely, Zagreb is turning into a very cool capital 😉 Ok, we might be a bit biased, but still… We won’t bother you with the growing number of tourists visiting Zagreb nor will we talk about how beautiful our capital is. We’ll talk about what we know and love best – wine and dine.
So, if you have one day to spend in Zagreb, do as the locals do.
Regarding your accommodation, we recommend you book it within the city centre. There are loads of newly opened hostels, but the most popular are Swanky Mint and Chill Out. Swanky Mint Hostel is indeed a swanky place – located on Zagreb’s main street Ilica, in an old dry cleaners and textile dye fabric, this hostel, among other things, offers a very swanky bar and an outdoor swimming pool. The bar is very popular among locals, too.
Chill Out Hostel is placed just a minute-or-so walking distance from Zagreb’s main square. This design hostel is known for its value for money and can accommodate large groups.
Once you’re settled in, first things first – grab your morning coffee. Zagreb offers more than a few artisanal coffee shops and roasters in Zagreb. Some are even roasting their coffees at the premise so you can see it yourself. We recommend Eliscaffe, Cogito Coffee Shop or 42 Coffee Co. They are all located centrally and, we promise, they deliver every time.
Staff working in those venues is very well educated and can provide you with any info you might need. If you’re lucky, maybe they’ll invite you for cupping (coffee tasting).
Eliscaffe is the pioneer of artisanal coffee scene in Zagreb. It’s a place that shaped the scene and brought coffee culture to a higher level.
Cogito Coffee Shop is a progressive concept run by young individuals that could find its place in any given capital of the world.
Along with the above mentioned, 42 Coffee Co. also roasts its own coffee and offers very specific blends.
After you had your morning dose, head towards Dolac – farmers’ market set on the main city square. Explore local produce, talk to vendors, buy yourself some handpicked flowers or simply walk around. Dolac is the market where most of Zagreb’s chefs do their daily supply of fresh ingredients. In recent years, Zagreb’s restaurant scene, has developed a lot, and in a hip way.
From a capital, full of dull and old-fashioned restaurants, Zagreb turned into one with an exciting restaurant scene. Grab a brunch at one of the surrounding eateries. Pod Zidom and Otto & Franck are just a few steps away from Dolac.
With a growing number of vibrant eateries, well-equipped wine bars and artisanal coffee shops & roasters, we have witnessed a shift in people’s dining habits – they moved from fine dining to bistronomy and places with elaborated street food.
These new food spots are casual and unpretentious, but with well thought-through menus. Just like chefs in countries with strong gastronomic background, some of Croatian top chefs opted as well for this more down-to-earth approach where they are completely focused on food, and less worried about interiors and service levels.
Whether they serve national dishes with a modern twist, delicious tapas or charcuterie, artisanal cheese boards or fusion of international cuisines, they always offer value for money.
Chill out for a bit in one of Zagreb’s beautiful parks, such as Zrinjevac or Tomislavac. Explore the old town Gornji grad and walk through Strossmayer promenade. Get there by a cable car we call uspinjača.
Alongside modern eateries, Zagreb abounds in wine bars as well. Wine bars instantly became massively popular and soon replaced until recently favored (regular) coffee bars.
Today, wine bars are social points where people love to catch-up with friends, have after-work drinks with colleagues, celebrate whatever they are celebrating and attend organized wine tastings.
On your way back, drop in for an aperitivo at a wine bar called Basement located just next to the cable car for a glass of Croatian wine and a snack (ask your waiter for the wine recommendation).
If you’re more of a beer person, head towards The Garden Brewery for some craft beer, burgers and great music. Craft beers are also very hip at the moment and we have a dozen craft breweries in all of Croatia. We love our beer as much as we love our wine.
There is also a gin-and-tonic renaissance in Zagreb. Every well-equipped bar holds a serious gin list accompanied by a selection of accompanying tonics. Gin lovers should definitely visit A Most Unusual Gin Garden – the most interesting gin joint in the city.
In the meantime, if you have a sweet tooth, there’s plenty of choice – Amelie, Mak na konac, Torte i to – to name only a few.
When day turns into eve, choose among many outdoor terraces around town. If you’re into wine, go to Lari i penati – the first street food/bistro which, with time, became a cult social point of Zagreb. Time Restaurant & Bar is a great choice if you’re into Asian fusion and posh crowd. If by any chance, you wish to dance the night away, head towards city’s biggest club Johann Franck or more intimate, but very cool Peper.
To get more inside info, stay tuned.
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