I’ve never been as happy to be in a stranger’s car before. Getting to Zagreb was a struggle to say the least. Our train from Budapest was scheduled at 5:45am meaning that we had to wake up at 3am…that didn’t happen – we overslept, massively. Thankfully there was another train at 3pm meaning that we’d get into Zagreb, exhausted, at 9pm; we just had a tedious morning of sitting in Mcdonalds to get through! We shared a cabin with 2 other English couples on our 6 hour journey, most of which Bex slept through, while I watched The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (now one of my favourite films). The Airbnb owner (who I’d known to be an old man named Zeijko) said that he’d kindly pick us up from the station and take us to the apartment. When we arrived in Croatia, a young (very attractive) man named Filip said that he would be taking us…so we gingerly got into his car whilst I followed our route on Google Maps. Our apartment turned out to be the nicest Airbnb we had stayed in so far, Filip had laid us out free chocolates, sweets, coffee and extra towels so we were very happy.
We had a well needed lay-in on our morning in Zagreb before heading for the tram towards Ban Jelačić Square. The square itself was crowded with many market stalls selling handmade goods, Bex and I each bought some souvenirs each. Our first stop was the beautiful Zagrebačka Katedrala (Cathedral) which was a very short walk away; we soon realised that Zagreb is a very walkable city and everything is in close proximity to each other. I must say, the facade to the Cathedral was the most intricate and stunning that I’d seen on our travels so far, and the inside was just as pretty! The blue interior roof is accompanied by a cornered shrine and a very large Roman Catholic scripture plastered up the neighbouring wall.
Following our visit, and a few jumping shots in front of it, we headed over the road to the Capuciner restaurant. The incredibly friendly waiter gave us our ‘Madonna’ pizza’s (sour cream, mozzarella and prosciutto) which we scoffed very quickly – surprisingly, the people spoke the best English here!
After lunch, an alcoholic beverage was well needed. I’d read online about this 360 Bar where you could get amazing views over the entirety of the city – I had to go there. Standing at 182 metres above sea level, it was a challenge for Bex who has a fear of heights, but she knew the view would be worth it! For 30 kuna (£3.50) you get a day pass for the bar so you can return any time until 11pm. On a clear day you can see as far as Slovenia, I’m not sure how far we saw but it was amazing to see the mountains of Park Prirode Medvednica surrounding the city.
As it was a nice, breezy day, we decided to walk towards the upper town instead of catching the funicular (which is the shortest cable ride in the world – 66 metres in length). We walked up Radićeva ul, which turned out to be a steeper hill than expected, and arrived at the Stone Gate which is the medieval entrance to the upper town. Our first stop was the Lotrščak Tower as I’d heard that a cannon went off every hour…turns out that it only goes off at midday so that was a waste of time – still a gorgeous view though! We then headed into the popular Museum of Broken Relationships which was very bittersweet. Reading stories about heartbreak and betrayal from across the globe was both heart wrenching and warming at the same time. Exhibits ranged from suicide notes to family portraits, and wedding dresses to bags of cocaine. Both Bex and I wrote a note in the confessional book to get our previous heartbreaks off of our chests, it’s also nice to know that we have contributed to the museum itself. St Mark’s Church was our final stop in the upper town. This Roman Catholic church is most recognisable for its gorgeous, colourful, tiled roof which is stunning in person; the church is also home to the oldest engraved coat of arms of Zagreb which has the year 1499 etched into it.
As night fell, we headed for our meal at Nokturno where we had even more mozzarella, bruschetta and fries; I even tried a Croatian lemon beer called Ožujsko which was actually really lovely even though I’m not a big beer lover. We then took full advantage of our day pass and headed back up to the 360 Bar where there was a LIVE band playing some British music. We each sipped our cider’s and danced the night away on the balcony (some men were watching us and laughing), it was like Bex forgot she was scared of heights!
If you have any questions about my general Interrail experience, feel free to check out my FAQ post here!
See my video from Zagreb here: