Zagreb is often overlooked as a destination by travelers bound for the inviting beaches south of the Croatia capital. But the city warrants a longer stay.
With its lively cafe scene, beautiful parks and spectacular blend of east-west architecture, all backed by phenomenal mountain scenery, Zagreb is deserving of a few days’ stay before heading on to the Croatian coast.
The signs of the city’s vivid history – both ancient and recent – are vivid everywhere. The fascinating labyrinth of the Old Town around Gradec dates from the times of the Mongol raids in the 13th century and is surrounded by defensive towers like Lotrscak Tower, indicative of the fear of attack which once resonated around the city.
There are signs of the boom times too, in lush leafy parks like Maksimir Park: a gorgeous English garden dating from the 1700’s, and Southeastern Europe’s first specially designed public promenade.
Recent history has also radically altered the face of Zagreb: the Kosovo War took its toll on many of the older buildings and a walk of the city streets today reveals a mix of tatty 18th century facades, haughty Art Nouveau architecture and flashy new boutiques and designer hotels sprung up over the rubble left by the conflict.
There are reasons a-plenty to linger in Zagreb but when it comes to finding a place to stay, the city-central options, and the online resources for finding them, are very limited.
Of course Zagreb does boast top end, pleasant-but-samey chain hotels—Hotel Sheraton Zagreb and the lovely Hotel Regent Esplanade but for the traveller’s seeking luxury, convenience or both, along with that personal, individual touch, the following hotels are among Zagreb’s very best.