What not to miss in Zagreb

With its buzzy cafes and myriad architecture, Zagreb makes the perfect weekend getaway. Check in to the Westin Zagreb and discover what the Croatian capital has to offer

By Westin Zagreb
Published 9 May 2019, 17:06 BST
Weekender: Zagreb

Zagreb Cathedral

Photograph by AWL Images

Culture and history
Zagreb’s compact, but it packs a real cultural punch. Peep into Zagreb’s famous secret courtyards, accessed through narrow side streets, or marvel at its grand architecture, which ranges from handsome, Austro-Hungarian townhouses to Bauhaus and art deco. The striking Museum of Contemporary Art by architect Igor Franić, meanwhile, is a futuristic new icon on the city skyline. For leisurely strolls, don’t miss the Botanical Gardens, while a packed calendar of contemporary art events and music festivals runs throughout the summer.

Cafe culture
Viennese coffee culture spread to Zagreb when it was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the tradition remains to this day. The city’s compact centre is home to dozens of cafes like hipster Cogito, Eli’s, and literary-themed Booksa, all of which come alive with the sound of chit-chat and espresso machines. A traditional regional doughnut, the krafne, is the perfect accompaniment. For something a little stronger, opt for a local craft beer (or glass of Istrian wine) at cool independent brewpub joints like The Garden Brewery as the sun goes down.

Zagreb's vibrant cafes and bars are a cornerstone of the city's culture
Photograph by Getty Images

The great outdoors
Not many capital cities can boast a 3,000ft mountain just 20 minutes from the centre, but Croatia's capital can do just that. The Medvednica mountain range is crowned by the 3,396ft Sljeme peak, visible all over Zagreb. Every January, the prestigious alpine ski race, the Snow Queen Trophy, takes place on Sljeme's slopes, but the city’s also a year-round destination, with summer hiking a popular pursuit for those looking to explore woodland trails and Medvedgrad Castle.

Presidential suite at Westin Zagreb

Where to stay
Located in an upmarket area of Zagreb, the Westin Zagreb is perfectly placed to enjoy all of the city’s attractions and amenities. Right next to the Mimara Museum and close to the Botanical Gardens and the National Theatre of Croatia, the upmarket hotel has everything to ensure a smooth stay — there’s 24-hour in-room dining, concierge service, onsite parking, dry cleaning and laundry service. There's also a lavish spa with a pool and gym, plus beauty and wellness treatment rooms to guarantee a relaxing time. Guests can also unwind in the Diana Bar with an expertly brewed coffee, or sip a fresh juice from the Rendez Vous Cafe before booking a table at The Kaptol Restaurant, where delicious Croatian cuisine takes centre stage.

Both British Airways and Croatia Airlines fly direct from Heathrow to Zagreb. KLM flies to Zagreb via Amsterdam from a number of UK hubs including Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bristol and London City.
Average flight time: 2h 20min

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