Spring city vibe
You just need to hit the streets of the capital in order to be immediately overwhelmed with the feeling. Our journey starts on a Saturday morning. My dear reader, you have to understand that people in Zagreb have a dynamic life throughout the working week. Therefore, mornings like these are easy going and one might need a few extra hours of sleep to start the day off. Do not be intimidated by the empty streets before 10 A.M. Make the best of it and rule the city.
King Tomislav square. Image credit: Zagreb Tourist Board, Marko Vrdoljak
Personally, I enjoy roaming the streets when they're empty because you can really focus on the beauties the city has to offer. Today, while my friends were firmly sleeping, I decided to capture the morning. So I did! The benefit of living in the city center is that everything is within the walking distance. I started my ''walk the walk, talk the talk'' at the King Tomislav square. I thought this was a good idea since the square is a part of the famous green horseshoe. If you are not familiar with Lenuci green horseshoe, google it and you will not be disappointed. Even better, walk through it! One of the perks of conquering the horseshoe, with hardly any pedestrians around, is that you become one with nature. You may dwell upon your thoughts and arrange them for future times.
Spica. Image credit: Zagreb Tourist Board, Marko Vrdoljak
As I started to approach the main Jelacic square, the city started to lose its ''ghost city'' resemblance. More and more people were on the streets. This is quite expected as it was time for that famous first coffee. And the people of Zagreb pride themselves on drinking that life-saving and life-changing beverage. There is a whole choreography that has to be undertaken. Every crew has its own coffee spot. On Zagreb ''špica'' (downtown area with the most popular cafés), it's extremely hard to get a good spot for your coffee break, hence the fighting for your behind to be properly seated. Maybe it would be wise to define the ''perfect coffee spot''. Firstly, you have to position yourself to be seen by as many people as possible, secondly the coffee has to be good, and thirdly the sun has to shine on your face at least a little bit so you may wear your sunglasses. When all of the aforementioned conditions are fulfilled, you may commence with the story telling part. It basically consists of browsing through everything that was in the media since the last coffee with your friends. After that, the standard topics are local politics and sports, and your solutions on how to improve them. Last but not the least, cream on top! Discretely comment the people that surround you or briefly caught your eye. Now you may conclude your 3-hour coffee break. I won’t lie to you, the feeling is great.
You would gladly have another cup of coffee, but you start to feel your stomach. And the bastard is shouting out: ‘’feed me, feed me!’’. Luckily, there are a lot of excellent food joints around. Since Zagreb has been growing rapidly as a tourist destination, more and more places have been opening. The ones I like the most are the small ones, with that homelike atmosphere. In the city center, you may find diverse international or local cuisine for reasonable prices. I often say that 90 percent of all of my frustrations come from hunger. Now that I have dealt with that, we may continue.
Museum of broken relationships. Image credit: Filip Donadic
On an average day, I am not that interested in visiting museums, but since this is ''I am writing an article'' day, we will change that. There are a few really good museums in Zagreb, but one that most definitely stands out for the younger population of visitors is Museum of Broken Relationships. And there is a cool way to reach it, by the shortest funicular in the world that takes you to the historical Upper town. Thank you funicular for being the shortest one in the world so we may brand you and market you. Thank you also for being my wingman in so many romantic rides with girls that broke my heart or vice versa. In memoriam to all of them, I decided to visit the Museum. This was my third visit, and even this time, it was not boring. The exhibits change frequently and lovers still have a tendency to cheat and walk away. Not wanting to ruin the element of surprise, I will say no more of the museum. Visit, reminisce and leave your melancholy at the door.
Lake Jarun at night. Image credit: Filip Donadic
Show must go on and it would be a shame to waste what's left of the day. I knew what I had to do. Jarun Lake is my next destination. Apart from the extremely beautiful Croatian people that exercise throughout the day, and the ones that make excellent barbecue, Jarun is also popular for its clubbing scene. And swans naturally, everybody loves swans. Lake Jarun is a perfect get away from sometimes hectic dynamics of the city. I call it my oasis of peace. The locals also like to call it the Zagreb Sea as the lake provides the well-needed refreshment during the hot summer days. A short stroll here is everything you need to balance you and fill you with energy. And I am full of energy now. Going to engage it wisely and to you my dear reader: pusa bok.
P.S. #LoveZagreb every day not only on Saturdays :-).
Header image credit: Zagreb Tourist Board, Marko Vrdoljak
Author: Filip Donadić