Zagreb city guide
Our essential guide to Zagreb
Saturday 03 July 2021
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Pubs & bars:
This brewery has been producing its own beer for over 20 years, and has four bars that serve them across the city - Fakin, Samoborska, Mali Medo, and Ilica. All four have a plethora of beers on tap and beautiful surroundings.
Right in the city centre, this modern spot does exactly what it says on the tin - great craft beers, and a huge selection of bottled beers. Plus, they do amazing drool-worthy burgers.
20 taps of wonderful beer to drink in or take away, in a cosy super cool bar, with friendly and knowledgeable staff - what more could you want?
This bar has one of the most impressive courtyards in the city - it’s perfect for sinking a few good beers with a big group of friends. Inside is a beer hall-cum-rock bar, and it is also said to have the largest selection of beers (bottle and draft) in the city.
This place is *so* cool. Set over three floors, it’s a record store, a bar, and a club/events space all in one. With decent craft beer on tap, it should be top of your list for a relaxed afternoon.
A Beer52 firm favourite, Garden Brewery makes delicious beers ranging from the experimental (fruited Berliner Weisses and milkshake IPAs) to traditional lagers and stouts. Its industrial-chic converted warehouse brewery also makes for a cool taproom and events space, so check out Garden’s social media for what live music or DJ nights are coming up.
Widely regarded as Zagreb’s (if not Croatia’s) first and best craft brewery, Zmajska was set up by avid home brewer Andrej Čapk in 2013, when craft beer had barely reached the Balkans. Brewing a perfected series of traditional beers, and with a cosy taproom in which to enjoy them, a visit to Zmajska is a must.
Located about half an hour out of the city centre, and in an industrial estate, you might consider leaving Pulfer off your list. That would be a mistake. These guys have been brewing up top-quality beers made with the finest hops and local ingredients since 2016, and are fierce proponents of innovation, education, and supporting their local community.
Beautiful beers, with beautiful artwork. Available in select bars across Zagreb, this brewery’s offerings should be on your list to try. PriMarius doesn’t have a taproom yet, but get in touch online and the owner will be more than happy to give you a tour.
No, it’s not an Irish bar. It’s a Neapolitan pizza joint with offerings that will make your mouth water (think shredded BBQ pork and pickled jalapeños, beef carpaccio and truffle, or salssicia and friarielli). There’s also a great selection of local and national beers to wash your pizza feast down with.
You might struggle to get a seat because this place is pretty small, but it’s worth it - it’s a lovely little spot that is both a deli and a street food vendor, serving up small plates of traditional Croatian dishes made with local ingredients.
Beautiful, immaculately-presented food in a stylish restaurant that’s perfect for a romantic meal out or a celebratory treat with friends - perfect. Owners Anton and Ana choose everything themselves, from the menu items to the decor, so you’re guaranteed a unique dining experience.
No fuss, no frills La Štruk is an authentic Croatian restaurant which only serves strukli, a dish that’s kinda like a white lasagna with loads of cottage cheese and a more doughy consistency in the pasta. Strukli can either be savoury or sweet (I know, it doesn’t sound that appealing, but it really is delicious) with options like honey and walnut, or salty truffle. Just try it.
I mean, it’s worth heading here for the puntastic name alone. Seriously though, this restaurant is great - the food is contemporary fusion cuisine in a fine-dining format, the space is stunning with a swanky modern industrial feel, and there’s always soothing jazz and blues playing. Dreamy.
Things to do:
Zagreb's intuitive and accessible tram system is a true jewel in the Croatian capital's crown. Use this to explore the beautiful parks and historical relics across the city, and remember to look up - the architecture here is awesome. While you’re exploring, hit up Villa Rebar (the ruins of a World War II-era mansion, which expand into secret abandoned tunnels), the Brestovac Sanatorium (an abandoned sanatorium and tuberculosis hospital which is now free to explore and often used as a paintball arena), and the Zrinjevac Meteorological Column (a 130+ year old weather station that measured the effects of the changing climate). If you’re more of a keen walker, there’s also loads of cool street art in Zagreb which is worth checking out.
Sure, as with any major city, there are lots of art galleries and history museums. I like the weird ones though, and maybe you do too. One such weird place is The Croatian Museum of Naïve Art, which his charmingly quirky and full of paintings in the ‘naive’ art style, which uses lots of colours to evoke a dreamlike quality. There’s also the Museum of Broken Relationships - depending on the kind of person you are, the exhibitions in this museum either sound like the worst thing in the world, or the most fascinating.
And for the wine lovers out there, there are dozens of fun wine tours that take place all over Zagreb - after all, Croatia does make some delicious wine.
Cover photo: Domagoj Domagoj (@domagojdomagoj / Unsplash.com)
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