Zagreb is the capital city of Croatia; it is also the largest city in the country. When I discovered that we would be traveling to Zagreb, I got on the internet and tried my VERY hardest to find kid-friendly activities to do in the city with the boys while Tyler was working. Sadly tho, I came up short! It was nearly impossible to find any information in English, and even when I did find articles in English, it was mainly about the museums, city, and nature during the summer, NOT the dead of winter! So here I am writing your survivor guide to Zagreb with children in the winter.
Where to stay? We stayed at the Westin in the heart of the city. It has an AWESOME workout area and pool. A bonus for our family. It’s within walking distance to most museums, as parking in Zagreb is extremely tricky. You should expect to walk everywhere. (A big issue when it’s 27 degrees outside, and you have two small children) Tyler and I had to get creative on ways to get to places and not have the boys turn into popsicles.
On the first day, we arrived in Zagreb, it was Sunday at about 2 pm all the museums were closed by 1pm. I read on multiple blogs that the city center had an antique show/flea market on Sundays, so we decided to head over and explore what it had to offer. It proved to be a unique experience and was GREAT for Tyler and language practice. (I had him talking to people left and right about their antiques!) I got a couple of souvenirs that were unique to Croatia and not something you could find just anywhere.
On Monday, we decided to hit up the different things in Croatia that are a must-see when in the city. Again we had to get creative since it was 20 degrees and there was no room for parking, so Tyler would drive up, and park if we could. We’d hop out of the car, snap some pictures, walk around and then hop back into the car before we all froze. I got a bunch of really, really good pictures tho! Ha, We decided after seeing all the prominent history stops in the city, the kids needed something fun! I knew since living in Slovenia that Supernova shopping centers have a nice coffee shop/children’s play place combo. If you’re in Zagreb and need an escape, I highly recommend the Supernova while traveling in Slovenia and Croatia.
Below is a picture of St Mark’s Church located in St Mark’s Square.
This is the Zagreb Cathedral, and is the tallest building in Zagreb! Isn’t it BEAUTIFUL this picture does little justice to seeing this building in person! It was seriously breathtaking! The Cathedral was originally built in 1093, but was destroyed and then rebuilt in roughly 1287. It was also hurt very badly in a huge earthquake in the 1800’s. As you can see the construction on this Cathedral is on going.
This is a picture of the play area connected to the coffee shop in the Supernova shopping center of Zagreb. I would say this is a good play area for children ages 1-7. It’s a GREAT pit stop before heading to the hotel for the night. We like to get the boys good and tired before taking them to the hotel room for the night.
On Tuesday the boys and I headed to the Technical Museum. It was a short walk from our hotel, the cost was for Nolan, Heath, and I was 20 kunas ($2.50 dollars) The American dollar will get you far in Croatia, which makes traveling on a budget pretty easy. The museum was very cool, it had all things technical with lots and lots of different transportation. It’s a must-see if you have kids especially if you have boys!
These are some pictures of the tech museum, (They aren’t the best, as I was all alone! Taking pictures and chasing little boys!)
On Tuesday night, I had the idea to take the kids to a movie in Croatian, this is something that you can’t really find in Slovenia since Slovenians speak Slovene, and Tyler really needed to practice his Croatian and I thought what better way then to take the family to go see a movie in another language. It was a GREAT idea, Nolan could care less what language a movie is in now that he attends a school that doesn’t speak English, and well Heath can barely understand English so he could have cared! As for me, I learned ALOT, I totally get now why people tell me in Slovenia that they learned English from watching TV!
Wednesday I wanted to explore the city art of Zagreb; Zagreb is known for its street art. If you know me, you know that I’m “artsy fartsy” as Tyler calls me. So when it stopped raining and the sun came out, the boys and I set out for a little walk around the city. Boy did I hit the JACKPOT! It turns out that literally right beside our hotel (The backside) was the street art that I had seen online. I was soooo EXCITED.
This street art can be found right beside the Westin in Zagreb, along with about a hundred others not pictured.
On Thursday, I was determined to find a unique shop; I really wanted to find a vintage shop. I wanted to buy something old that could only be found in Zagreb. I wanted something with a story and not something that anyone visiting could also have. I found this shop online called Ulicni Ormar, it was EVERYTHING I was looking for and more! I can’t wait to visit Zagreb again, visit this little shop and see what other vintage items I can find! I ended up getting a hand-woven throw blanket. (It’s kind of my thing to grab a vintage blanket/towel/fabric/ or textile in every country we visit.) I’ll warn you that Ulicni is hard to find; you have to look on the main street for the vintage suitcases and sign, then turn down a little alley, and you’ll see the store. I’ve attached images from Ulicni Ormar’s Facebook page for a visual.
You’ll be looking for something similar to this on the main street. When your GPS has told you that you’ve arrived. I used Google Maps with this address: Nikole Jurisica 16, Zagreb, Croatia (The exact address that can be found on their website)
Once you turn down the little alley you’ll see this. It’s seriously the cutest shop! I love shopping small unique businesses when we travel it was so much fun. It’s a great way to meet locals, learn about other shops to visit, and really getting a feel outside the tourist areas for the city.
I highly recommend visiting Zagreb even in the dead of winter! The city is very charming and has lots of museums, and art to be seen all around! If you have any questions about my travels let me know!