Zagreb, Croatia


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<p>Traveling solo to Zagreb, Croatia. Would appreciate suggestions and recommendations for day excursions. Looking for a group tour or private local guide for the day. &nbsp;Many thanks!</p>

We loved Zagreb!   A year ago, my husband and I stayed at Hotel Palace on Strossmayerov TRG 10 [] and were very happy with the accommodations and location.   This was once an old palace located along Strossmayer Park.  It's located on a trolly line and within walking distance of restaurants and historic sites. We visited with a group, but found a good map and guidebook could be better than the formal tour.  We used the DK Eyewitness Travel Series: Croatia guide.   Of course, you'll visit the historic upper city Gronji Grad.   While there, we found the Muesum of Naive Art fascinating.   A local docent provided a tour.  In addition to the churches and govenment buildings, you should make time to visit Stone Gate, both a medieval entrance to the upper city but also a chapel.  Just below the gate, if you liked the naive art, you might want to visit the Mirko Virius Gallery, on Tkalciceva Street.   This gallery is operated by the Croatian Assn. of Naive Artists.   Beyond the gallery is the lively Tkalciceva Street with its restaurants and bars.   Visiting this area at night is a must!  The Dolac Market and Cathedral of Assumption also are not to be missed.   The entire area is compact and within walking distance of the main Jelacic Square and Hotel Palace. In addition, we found Hotel Espanade, built to accommodate passengers of the Orient Express, and a huge shopping arcade below.   Another interesting sight is the Museum of Street Art located on a wall along the railroad tracks on Branimirova Street.   Some evenings, the gazebo in Strassmeyer Park hosts dancers practicing their steps or local concerts.  There are so many other sights within Zagreb that we did not have time to visit...As for day excursions, we visited Varazdin, considered Croatia's Little Venice, which was interesting but a bit rushed.   While the excursion was interesting, we wondered if we could have experienced more by using the time to explore Zagreb further.   Also, we toured Plitvice Lakes National Park which was so crowded that we felt more fear of being pushed into the lakes that appreciation of their beauty.   The excessive crowding could have been due to a holiday weekend -- don't know.  For food, do try Pizzera Lira, a little hole in the wall pizzeria with good food and friendly service at reasonable prices and ice cream at Millennium, a very mod outside ice cream shop.   And, of course, find a sidewalk restaurant on Tkalciceva Street.You'll love your time there.   We'd return in a heartbeat!

One caution while in Zagreb --   As with any city, beware of your personal belongings.   One woman traveling with us had her camera lifted from her daypack near Tkalciceva Street.  So, while we felt safe exploring day and night in the area, we were mindful of our surroundings and posessions.