What is slow travel and why Zagreb ticks all the boxes



Zagreb isn’t like most European capitals. It’s a city where getting a taste for local life tops touring its official highlights. Where you’re rewarded for going off the beaten path and finding your own hotspots. Zagreb’s laissez-faire energy naturally makes it the perfect setting to embrace slow travel: the art of spontaneous plans, setting your own pace and only doing what you want.

The question remains though: in a city buzzing with creativity and endless charm, where’s worth your time? To make it easy (as your holiday should be), we’ve picked our favourite places to soak up the soul of Zagreb without wearing yourself thin.

art'otel Zagreb Rooftop

Drink in Zagreb’s best views, cocktail in hand

First stop, art’otel Zagreb’s Rooftop Bar. Serving up a vista of red-tiled roofs, gas lamp-lit streets and Baroque architecture, the best views of the city can be found right on your doorstep. Sip smugly on glass after glass of local Adriatic wines as you overlook Zagreb’s enchanting Lower Town, all the while knowing your Instagram selfies are giving followers FOMO.

The fun doesn’t stop when the sun sets either. Live DJs and signature cocktails come out to play until well into the hours of the morning as Signature Artist Boris Bućan’s haven of creativity is filled with impeccable vibes all night long.

Museum of Broken relationship

Museums that change things up

Always heartfelt, sometimes humorous and often moving, the Museum of Broken Relationships celebrates the ways we love and lose. Not quite as depressing as its name implies, its exhibitions are odes to former lovers; remnants of relationships past that tell their own story of heartbreak and loss. Think rings, boots, toasters, small rubber pigs and the like. Each memento comes with its own anonymous anecdote that’ll have you hooked for hours. Just don’t call your ex once you leave – they’re not worth it.

Need something more upbeat? One street away is the Zagreb 80’s museum. Fully immersive and interactive, step back in time and enter a reconstruction of a typical Yugoslav apartment from the decade. Get nostalgic as you try on styles of the era and sit down to play legendary video games Atari and Commodore 64.

Michelin-star dining that celebrates Zagreb’s best

Noel, Zagreb’s first and only Michelin-star restaurant, doesn’t disappoint. A dynamic seasonal menu sees head chef Mario Mandarić masterfully combine locally sourced ingredients with French culinary techniques. Mushrooms and truffles are paired with winged game in the winter, while oysters and caviar from the Adriatic headline Spring’s soiree. Each dish comes with its own wine pairing, as well as several varieties of bread baked in their adjacent bakery.  Packed with art that’s inspired by the gastronomic journey each dish takes you on, Noel’s serves up oodles of inspired Croatian flavours and haute cuisine.

Green horse shoe Zagreb

Art with a side of jazz

The Green Horseshoe (or Lenuci Horseshoe, depending on who you’re talking to) captures the essence of Zagreb’s artistic spirit. Here, leafy greens and historic monuments are accompanied by centuries-old mansions and some of the more eclectic exhibitions the city has to offer. Take your pick between the Museum of Arts and Crafts, Modern Gallery and Museum of Archaeological Discoveries, or visit them all to get your cultural fix.

Once you’ve soaked up some art and plenty of history, head across the road to the nearby Bacchus Jazz Bar. Inside, the bar’s intimate setting and chaotic jumble of wooden furniture invites locals and visitors to see out warmer evenings in style. There’s hot coffee and cold craft beers on tap, with live poetry on Wednesday nights along with live jazz on Fridays and Saturdays.

Coffee Zagreb

People watch — the Croatian way

Part social call, part peacocking parade, Saturday mornings in Zagreb are as much about catching up over coffee as they are looking sharp and being seen. The local custom of Špica — literally translated as rush hour — is about dressing up, meeting your equally spruced-up friends and being where the action is. Best enjoyed on terraces just off the flower market on Cvjetni trg (Caffe bar Kic Klub is usually buzzing at this time), forget taking your coffee to go. Just sit down, relax, and enjoy your front row to one of the city’s oldest pastimes.

There’s more to Zagreb than meets the eye. It’s a city bursting with destination restaurants, eccentric museums, historic galleries and more. The cluster of buzzing bars and live music venues invite you to see out those slower summer days rubbing shoulders with locals, promising endless nights and memories for life. Centrally located in the city’s buzzing Lower Town, art’otel Zagreb puts you in the heart of it, moments from the capital’s cultural hotspots and vibrant art scene.

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