Zagreb (Croatia), Is it Worth a Visit?

Zagreb (Croatia), Is it Worth a Visit

You might have thought of Zagreb when you were looking for European destinations to visit on your European road trip. Here are some reasons you should and shouldn’t go to Zagreb.

Disclaimer: Most of the images in this post were taken from my travel video. They are therefore low quality. Sorry, I didn’t take many pictures. I was primarily focused on the video.

My family and I spent four days last week in Croatia. Our main goal was to visit Plitvice. However, we also stayed in Zagreb to explore the city and for accommodation. Although I know that three days spent in a foreign country doesn’t make me an expert on what to do, I was able get a good idea of Zagreb’s strengths and weaknesses.

You are unlikely to find junk in Zagreb if you visit. The city center is extremely clean. This was not what I expected from a large city in Eastern Europe, but it’s nothing that matters!

The streets and public spaces are what I mean when I say that the city is clean. Some buildings are a bit rough around the edges and sometimes even unappealing. However, I think that is the case in most major cities, if it not all, around the globe.

Zagreb is the ideal place to start a road trip in eastern Europe. Croatia is centrally located in Europe, for starters. You can easily reach most European countries and major cities by plane, bus, or train.

It’s also easy to find an apartment or hostel for a reasonable price in Zagreb’s city centre. This means that you are in the middle of everything. It could not get more central than that. (Spoiler alert: no)

Zagreb is much cheaper than major European cities such as Paris and Rome. Although you might have to pay more for an airplane ticket, I promise you will be able to make up the difference with the money you spend eating, drinking, and shopping.

Quick tip: If you are traveling from outside of Croatia, your currency will need to be converted. Croatia’s official currency is the kuna (1 HRK = 0.13 EUR = 0.15 US).

According to my knowledge, the Zagrebians are the Dubliners of East. Both have the unmeasurable quality of being friendly with strangers.

The inhabitants of big European cities will give you strange looks if you take a photo of yourself, if you use a map to show you where you are, or putting on sunscreen. People in Zagreb are open to tourists and don’t make too much fuss about them.

I was also surprised by their proficiency in English. While most people living in large cities are able to understand English and express themselves well, the Croatians have an impressive accent and can speak fluently with a wide range of vocabulary. As an English major, I was pleasantly surprised.

Let’s now look at the negative aspects of Zagreb. The food is the first and most important. Croatian cuisine shouldn’t be included in a culinary roadtrip. Although there are worse foods than French fries and schnitzel, it is not something I would want to travel across Europe for.

Contrary to Perk 1, there are very few truly beautiful places in Zagreb. Someone living in Zagreb will most likely tell you that there are more beautiful places than they think. But that’s because they’re too proud of the fact that they don’t really have enough to see.

Remember, I am not saying there is no Croatian culture and heritage in Zagreb. It was the buildings and sites that left much to be desired.

While people from India, New York City, or Italy may be tempted to object, I found the traffic in Zagreb quite crazy. Traffic lights were there, but no one cared if they were red or green. People crossed the street wherever and whenever they wanted, speed limits seemed to be relative, and cars could pass you on the highway right or left.

It might not seem that much to an experienced driver who has been in these situations before. It was amazing to see, even though it might not seem like much to an experienced driver who is used to driving in these traffic situations.

Zagreb is a decent place. It’s a good thing I saw it once. However, I don’t feel the urge to go back to Croatia’s capital anytime soon.

It is up to you to decide for yourself and weigh the advantages and disadvantages of Zagreb. Zagreb may not be the right place for you if you are looking to take beautiful photos to share with your friends. You can explore Croatian culture, and perhaps take a day trip up to Plitvice.

We appreciate your continued reading, as always.