It was THE day! The day we were supposed to see THE view of Croatia: Plitivice National Park! And on that particular day… the weather sucked.
No point in going to admire beautiful waterfalls when the sky is all foggy and rainy. What do you do when the weather is not cooperating on your vacation? Find a city with enough entertainment indoors! We hoped Zagreb could offer us that.
While Zagreb gets overlooked most of the time, our guide ensured us it’s worth visiting. We quickly booked a room at Buzz Hostel. The owners were very friendly and helpful. The hostel itself was in an apartment building, all the basics were there, but we think it has seen better days (especially the bathroom).
We went out in search of what Zagreb is famous for: coffee! Apparently this is a ‘must-do’ in Zagreb. Find the perfect outdoor spot, order a coffee and check out everyone passing by. Instead we ended up drinking locally brewed beer ‘Pivnica Medvedgrad’ at Mali Medo on the pedestrian-only Tkalčićeva strip. Afterwards we strolled along the main sights of Gornji Grad or the Upper Town, such as the Stone Gate with the Statue of Dora and climbed the Lotrščak Tower (the view is not thàt spectacular) to see the roof of the colorful St Mark’s Church from above.
But what we were really curious about was that peculiar Museum of broken relationships…
A museum filled with remnants of broken hearts.
The exhibition used to tour the world, and steadily the collection of ‘leftover memories’ from various relationships around the globe kept on growing. Now it has found its final destination in Zagreb. It has been a long time since we actually looked forward to visit a museum and really enjoy it. Every object is connected with a love story. Some are very funny, some express anger, some are about loss and make you feel sad. Whether it’s a hilarious, angry or painful story, it’s recognizable for most people. Cause everyone has had various of relationships, one more happily than the other and it triggers a lot of emotions. It made me contemplate previous relationships and what kind of objects I would connect to it, if I were to make my own museum of ‘remnants’.
The next day we did get our coffee fix! We passed by Booksa, which is the place to discover local artists and read a good book while sipping your black brew! It looked really cosy inside – we just took a peek through the windows, because that day the sun decided to appear again (grmbl) so we prefered a spot outside. Which we found at Divas! A really cozy cafe full of DIY-stuff and coffee the way Chuck Norris likes it.
Stocked upon enough caffeine, it was time to discover the capital next door, Ljubljana! We were supposed to stay at design hotel Vander Urbani Resort, but you can read the reason why this didn’t work out so well here. The only positive thing I can say is that the part of the hotel that we did see, looked fantastic! Too bad we couldn’t enjoy more of it…
Ljubljana is a great city for strolling around! It’s the best way to see the city since the centre is car-free. Lovely bridges over the Ljubljanica river, and along the riverside lots of cosy terraces.
According to the legend, when a virgin crosses this bridge, the dragons start wagging their tails
We crossed the dragon bridge, but nothing happened. We stopped at the open-air market for some delicious fruits, checked the love locks on the footbridge and continued to the most famous one: the triple bridge! After exploring Prešeren Square we went ahead to the Old town, that consists of 3 town squares, which are actually more like 3 streets. From there on we went up hill, to visit the castle. We didn’t pay to enter the Watchtower, instead we took the elevator to the rooftop of the Nebotičnik and admired the view from up there.
You won’t get bored here at night. In the summer time there are lots of open-air concerts all around town and if you’re into jazz, there are enough opportunities to catch some live performances. As far as food is concerned, there were so many dining options we didn’t know which one to choose! Luckily for us, we arrived at the right time. Each friday from mid-May till October you can visit the Open Kitchen food market at Pogačarjev trg. So this is your chance to try all kinds of different food! Whether you’re in the mood for a Slovenian bite or other international flavours, you can find it here!
We spent our last night in prison. Well, that is, a former prison! At Celica hostel you can sleep in a cell, each one is different as various artists were allowed to transform and redesign the cells. During the day you can join a tour of the hostel, so you can see the other ones. You have to grant permission for other people to take a peek at your room, and only lock your ‘bars’. The restaurant and café are downstairs, as well as cosy places to relax or read, you can check out the history of the place and there was even an exhibition. Upstairs you’ll find the cells and small niches – each one dedicated to one world religion. To me, 4 showers and toilets for a whole floor isn’t much and breakfast was also nothing special. These are the only negative remarks, because the place looks great and the location was also quite inspirational as you can see: