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.
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).
Croatia's food and drink larder is justly renowned around the world these days. Find out exactly why at foodie emporium Natura Croatica, which stocks a great range of organic produce (8 Preradovi?eva, naturacroatica.com).
If your thoughts are already turning to Christmas, head to Croata boutique for a great selection of quality ties. You're in the right place as the tie was invented in Croatia (13 Kaptol).
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.
Zagreb's Lower Town is a stately grid-like oasis lined with grand, Austro-Hungarian-era buildings, green parks and gardens, making it ideal for a winter stroll, especially if there's snow on the ground.
Trg Ban Jelacica Zagreb's lifeblood main square is the ideal place to kick back in a cafe and watch the world and the local trams zip by, with plenty of shops around to explore afterwards.
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.
The skiing in Zagreb is so good that it produced an Olympic champion. Yes, the golden girl of Croatian skiing, Janica Kostelic, learned the ropes at Medvednica, just outside the city. zagreb-touristinfo.hr
The historic Croatian city of Karlovac is less than an hour away by motorway, but it offers a real insight into the 1990s war with the scars of conflict still very visible as it struggles back to prosperity.