Cheap flights to Zagreb
Described as a little Vienna, Croatia’s capital Zagreb is a mishmash of elegant Austro-Hungarian buildings and cobbled medieval streets just waiting to be explored. Often overlooked by tourists who prefer to sun themselves on Croatia’s stunning beaches,
Zagreb is a great choice for a city break destination with a difference. Think beautiful squares packed with Art Noveau and Baroque buildings, parks full of locals soaking up the summer sun and an atmosphere that combines a mix of Balkan and Central European cultures. And even though it has all the beauty of Prague and Budapest, it doesn’t quite have the reputation – yet – meaning you’ll be able to explore to your heart’s content, minus the tourist crowds.
Buy a tie at Croata. The humble tie was invented in Croatia (via the word cravat) and Croata claims to be the oldest tie maker in the country. Ideal for souvenirs. Kaptol 13. Tel. 01-4814 600.
Hrelic is Zagreb's largest fleamarket and a real eye opener. Old socialist era memorabilia from the Yugoslav days makes for an unusual souvenir but it's a great place for people watching too. It's open on Sunday mornings only (Sajmisna Cesta 8).
Dolac, the city's main market, sits right in the centre of Zagreb. Put together the perfect picnic with fresh fruit, vegetables and bread in a country where organic produce is the norm, or pick up a hand-crafted souvenir (Gornji Grad, Medvescak).
Croatia claims to have invented the tie, said to come from the name French troops gave to their nattily attired counterparts. They stock a superb range at Croata (13 Kaptol).
Go to Lower Town. Zagreb's graceful sweep of parks look gorgeous in winter, when snow lines the walkways and kids build snowmen. The plentiful museums and art galleries offer respite from the cold.
Take the funicular up and peel back the centuries on the cobbled streets of Upper Town, a particularly graceful quarter of Zagreb. Enjoy the lofty views from various vantage points, check out local museums and relax in some of the many cafes and restaurants.
Escape to Ski Medvednica. Not many European capitals offer skiing 20 minutes from downtown, but Zagreb certainly does in the form of Medvednica. Conditions are good enough to have reared an Olympic champion, Janica Kostelic.
The historic fortress city of Karlovac has something for everyone. Catch the train from Zagreb and check out the lively bars, cafés and restaurants.
Hop on a bus north and you will soon be in Kamnik. This relaxed, historic town is cheaper than Ljubljana, boasts a sprinkling of worthwhile churches to see and stunning views of the surrounding countryside. zagreb-touristinfo.hr
Take a bus for a fun day trip to Samobor in the Zagreb hills. Be sure to eat some "kremsnita", the undeniably delicious local cream cake.