Hello, dear guests and welcome to Zagreb. My name is Iva and I am going to be your tour guide for today – THIS is the sentence most of the tour guides begin the city tour – is it enough to keep you reading?
Or should I start with – WELCOME TO THE CRAZY, COOL, FUNNY, BEAUTIFUL, CULTURAL, URBAN, HISTORICAL, MODERN, CUTE, COLOURFUL CITY of ZAGREB ? – better?
Ok, now that I have your attention, allow me to introduce my hometown. For those of you who visit it already, this can be motivations to come back, for first-time visitors, this can be a perfect introduction, and for those of you who are still thinking about whether to come or not – this can be that last kick that will help you make the right decision.
Today, Zagreb is the capital city of Croatia with almost 1 million people living here( including the wider city area ) Hardly believable that it was a medieval town once. The story of Zagreb begins a long time ago with two hills – Kaptol and Gradec.
Kaptol, now the site of Zagreb´s cathedral, was a prosperous canonical settlement in the 11th century, while another small settlement was developing on nearby Gradec hill where one of the most beautiful and recognizable rooftops of St.Marko church, found its spot.
Strolling through the same streets today gives you an insight of some long forgotten times luring you to get lost in the fairy tale, stories, and legends that are grown into the city. Getting lost here is „a must“, even dough there s not a chance of actually getting lost ?
As time passed, Zagreb grew, and it took a while, but finally, in the 17th century, the city started to spread downtown forming a much bigger city. In the imagined border between the Upper and Lower town, stand proudly Josip ban Jelačić, riding his horse Emir, greeting every visitor ( local or tourist ) and pointing thirds my neighborhood ( yeah, because I am that important ? ).
But, anyway, if you do follow the direction of his saber you are in for a treat – Zagreb green horseshoe – a sequence park s and squares, forming a horseshoe shape, each special in its own way. Needless to say that it is important to have green areas in the city, we definitely have enough of them. My favorite – „Park Mladenaca“ – a small green oasis in neighborhood that exists only because newlyweds would plant a tree there after getting married – setting the roots in a way. Needless to say that this fun fact was not important to me when spending a childhood there… This is in „New“ Zagreb – about 60 years ago, the city decided to cross over the river Sava and grow into a cute little metropolis.
During history we have been attacked by barbaric tribes, hit earthquakes caught on fire, bombed but always came out of it stronger and bigger. The past made us what we are today leaving behind tradition, food, stories, songs, buildings, dances, statues and all of the other reminders that this place is alive for centuries, still rocking hard.. ? To sum it all up – today, Zagreb is an awesome city, full of life, chilling in the shades of Medvednica hill.
So, if you want to SEE beautiful St. Marko square, HEAR the cannon from Lotrščak, BUY cotton cheese from „kumica“ at Dolac market, CRY at the Museum of Broken relationship, LAUGH at the Museum of Illusions, DISCOVER the hidden courtyard of Upper town, PRAY in Kamenita Vrata, RELAX at Tomislav square, DANCE at Zrinjevac park, TASTE homemade „štrukli“, DRINK very bad rakija, PARTY at Swanky Monkey Garden bar , EXPLORE the abandoned underground tunnels, LISTEN to the stories on walking tours, RIDE a bike across „Sava bridge“, PLAY paintball at abandoned 19th century tbc sanatorium, LEARN how to ask for a beer in Tkalča street, HIKE at Medvednica mountain, ENJOY the sunset from Jarun lake, BELIEVE in witches on the Ghost tour, TAKE the shortest funicular ride in the world, MAKE FRIENDS with locals, FEEL the city…, just come to Zagreb ASAP.