Zagreb – Croatia’s Charming Capital

Zagreb, Croatia’s capital city, is often overshadowed by its stunning Dalmatian coast with the likes of Split, Hvar, Korcula, and Dubrovnik. I’m a good case in point as I have been to Croatia on two occasions and did not spend any more time in Zagreb than it took to change planes.

The trip down from Budapest via train was about six hours. The train certainly offered better leg room than a bus and it was easier to get up and down but the wi-fi was glacially slow with regular drops in service and the fact that there was a dining car was greatly diminished by the fact that the server in it obviously did not want to be working there. He was even slower than the internet connection.

On arrival into Zagreb, I found the tram network to be very simple. Budapest was a bit intimidating because there were buses and trams and a Metro system – so many options. But, smaller Zagreb has just a few lines and one of the main stops is just outside the train station. But, it is also a very easy city to walk as the distances are not that great.

Zagreb's Tram Network was easy to navigate

Zagreb’s Tram Network was easy to navigate


For me, tram line 2, which I caught right outside the station, deposited me almost directly in front of my hotel, the DoubleTree by Hilton. For 30,000 HHonors points a night, I got a very nice room, a great staff, and a wonderful restaurant. From the hotel, I could simply take the #2 tram back to the train station (it also has a stop in between for the Bus station) and connect to one of about three different lines to the main square in Zagreb.

Jelacic Square - the Heart of Old Town

Jelacic Square – the Heart of Old Town


I did not have real high expectations for Zagreb and it far exceeded the low bar. I like Zagreb. It is compact but with lots of eating options and a strong street market and cafe culture. There are a few sights to see – not that many, really – but just as enjoyable to do some strolling around the Old Town and stopping in at the Zagreb Cathedral. A day and half is about the right amount of time barring any specific reason to be in Zagreb. 



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