After changing plans a lot, we arrived in Croatia. We saw a lot of pictures of its beautiful landscape and wanted to jump in the clear ocean. Some people said we should not spend too much time in Zagreb and head directly to the coast. We found out that the city has a lot to offer and could have stayed even longer. The atmosphere is just great and it is kind of refreshing that you do not to see too many tourists ( because they are all at the coast, as we found out a couple of days later). In the lower town, you can find lanes with cozy restaurants and bars. The Croats just know how to combine great food and coffee.
Here is one of our days in Zagreb, of course with some coffee stops.
In the morning
Start the day with a great cup of coffee at Cogito Coffee, specialty coffee roasters. We tried their cappuccino a few times and had an affogato (possible as breakfast too, at least for us. They prepared it with cookies ice cream). The coffee place is located just in the city center, next to an old cinema, and even though the area around it is quite busy, you are able to relax there by just walking in a side lane. They keep a simple but welcoming design and the coffee has a great quality.
After you charged your caffeine level walk a few meters further to rent a nice bicycle for the day as your transportation at a company called Pedallo.
With the bicycles, the next stop was the Dolac market in the lower town. Its a local farmers market with a lot of Croatian delicacies. It is held almost every day, but we managed to miss it a couple of times since it closes in the early afternoon. This is a must to visit, even if you do not want to buy anything in the beginning, just try to chat with the lovely Croatian ladies, in the end, you will want all the cheese they have.
We decided to have a fruity breakfast ( happens when you buy fruits for later but they look way too tasty to keep and you just eat them immediately) including lots of fresh cherries and having a Amelie moment with raspberries (and we did that a couple of times, as it is all time favorite movie of Micky). Everything was just too delicious. At the lower part of the market, you find fresh bread, meat, fresh pasta, cheese (Croatian cheese is delicious) and pastry like Strudel. Even though you might think is a weird mixture to try it all, it is possible and very good.
With a fuller stomach, we made our way to the upper town. As the funicular was broken, we had to walk up the stairs with the bikes. The view from the top was more than worth it. It took us a while to leave the viewing platform and walk a few meters further- to the Museum of Broken Relationships.
The stories and insights of the objects displayed make it a unique museum experience. It is a museum dedicated to failed relationships, objects left behind by former lovers with a brief story. Some of the items like an ax or a Modem with their history make you laugh and smile, some of them can render you melancholic.
We do not want to tell you too much about details, just have a look yourself.
Back on the bikes, you arrive the St. Marks Church with its beautiful roof. The roof displays the medieval coat of arms of Croatia, Dalmatia and Slavonia on the left side, and the emblem of Zagreb on the right. Be ready to be shaken up by the cobblestone streets, a little challenge with our tires.
We rolled down to the lower town to discover the streets there. We made stops at the national theater and the train station with a great park located in front of it. The Austro-Hungarian architecture is great to admire and actually on the main streets there are special lanes for bikers.
We were in for another caffeine charge. This time at the Quawha. The barista was again super friendly and explained the great variety of coffee which they offer- Turkish coffee to Vietnamese coffee and the classics.
We had a great Turkish coffee ( in size and quality) with a tasty piece of Turkish delight and recommend this place if you are a Turkish coffee lover, like us.
But one coffee was not enough, we also tried the Vietnamese coffee and in the end a Matcha Latte.
The barista doubted that we will ever sleep again, he obviously did not know about our daily caffeine intake.
After so much biking around the city, we got quite hungry so we headed to Tkalciceva street. There are numerous restaurants, bars and pubs to choose from. The atmosphere is great, a lot of places offer life music. The food ranges from local cuisine to black burgers. We discovered black risotto there for the first time- quite tasty. In the end we carried the bikes back to our Airbnb home, getting ready for our road trip at the coast the next day.