City Escapes Croatia Europe

Zagreb’s Version of the “Berlin Wall”

“Zdravo” and welcome to another Croatian instalment of Kaptain Kenny.

Very recently I was in Croatia to visit Plitvice National Park and to do a day trip to Lake Bled in Slovenia. We decided to use Zagreb (Croatia’s capital) as our base. Did I love Zagreb? Nope. Did we tap into some sort of foodie and coffee haven there? Nope. Am I still glad I chose Zagreb as the base? Yes!

img_4092

The wall begins…

img_4051

Happy colours.

For those who have been to Croatia before, you’ll know it’s pretty diverse. Zagreb has the same climate pattern as continental Europe which means outside of summer, it’s rainy and cold whereas Croatia’s Adriatic south has that classic Mediterranean heat. While Zagreb certainly wasn’t a real beauty to the eyes, I was happy to be based there because it was in such a practical location for all the trips we had planned.

img_4085

I was so lucky that it wasn’t raining!

img_4031

It hadn’t stopped raining for 3 days prior to this photo.

We stayed at The Hilton Doubletree which was such a reasonable price, we almost fell over. I think in the end it was around 90 euros a night including breakfast. Now I’m not sure if we got it at some sort of special price but the hotel was gorgeous – it was pure luxury, especially at that price.

img_4032

Can anyone tell me what that means?

img_4034

I’m really fascinated by street art.

We ate at the hotel restaurant called OXBO on the first night after reading on many food blogs that this was one of the best places in town. Our ultimate feeling was that they do entrees and deserts well but the mains were a little so-so. We ate lunch there once and it was also just okay.

img_4041

This street was also full of abandoned and dishevelled buildings – another photography favourite of mine.

One other night, the hotel staff sent us to another restaurant, supposedly one of the best in town. I won’t even give you the name of it because it just wasn’t the best. Overall, our food experience in Zagreb wasn’t too grand. A friend of mine who is a fan of this region told me my mistake was made by not trying the local food and instead looking for foodie restaurants. Ah well.

img_4057

Perhaps a reference to our lack of listening skills?

The location of the hotel was a little odd – it certainly wasn’t in town and it wasn’t possible to walk anywhere without a cab BUT on the plus side, it was within walking distance to Zagreb’s art wall. (And that is just about the best thing I’m taking away from Zagreb at this point.) The location of the hotel didn’t actually matter anyway because our two day trips were booked with hotel pickups.

img_4037

I liked this one – that’s fake turf on the right.

During the entire 3 days we spent in Zagreb, it didn’t stop raining so that didn’t exactly make me want to jump out and explore. However on the final day, our flight wasn’t until 6PM and at around 2PM, the rain had finally stopped. During some taxi rides to and from town, I had seen this long, stretchy art wall leading into town and I knew I wanted to go out and take photos of it.

img_4035

This wall never ends.

img_4055

A little bit like the Berlin Wall, isn’t it?

I was quite impressed by it – it was a big and colourful display and it reminded me somehow of the Berlin Wall. Obviously I don’t speak Croatian so I’m unable to understand any of the humour in the art, nor the political messages but it was great to photograph! What do you think of the wall?

img_4053

Someone had left their drink there from the night before.

Why locals love it?

This was the first organised Zagreb street art project of the new millennium. But the painted history of this wall is even longer. It dates back to 1987 when young artists were gathered to paint the wall and thus welcome the international university games.

https://www.likealocalguide.com/zagreb/graffitti-wall

img_4036

I can’t help but love it.

Street Art Museum, Zagreb, Croatia

Graffiti Wall, Branimirova Street, Zagreb

“This project is dedicated to forming a more coherent street art scene in Croatia, raising people’s awareness about street art and its values, and marking the city of Zagreb on a global map of cities that support this kind of artistic expressions.”

Ivana Vukšić, Director of Street Art Museum, Zagreb

Rangandatta Travel Blog 

img_4058

A local going about his business.

img_4074

Wave back, hello!

img_4062

Zagreb – Croatia’s capital city.

Overall, if you’re looking at visiting the Plitvice National Park, Ljubljana (Slovenia’s capital) and/or Lake Bled, I’d highly recommend basing yourself in Zagreb as the flights were much cheaper doing it this way and the hotel was a real steal. Plitvice was a 2 hour car trip from Zagreb and Ljubljana was only 1.5 hours. Lake Bled is about 2 and a half hours away. So all locations are perfectly possible to do during a day from Croatia’s capital. Secondly, you’ll get a HEAP of new passport stamps! Weeeeee!

img_4068

Come to Zagreb if you’re a fan of cities which aren’t visually perfect.

img_4084

Probably another reason I likened it to Berlin.

I don’t want to offend or upset any of my Croatian readers when I say that I didn’t connect with Zagreb. The thing is, we only used it as a base and I’m 100% sure there are some delightful parts of town with cute little winding streets and great food.

To tell the truth, I didn’t spend much time in Zagreb besides looking at the art wall and going out for dinner one night. So who am I to judge? 🙂

img_4083

The wall cheers the city up I think.

What I did love about Zagreb were the people and the art wall. I’m even someone who likes wandering through graffiti laden streets and Zagreb was great for that. The people I encountered were very friendly and if I ever want to return to Croatia to discover more of its amazing nature and scenery, I’ll probably give Zagreb another chance.

img_4081

Keep in mind that this wall is on a main road which connects the industrial part of the city with the train station, hence why there is a lot of grafiti.

img_4063

What did you think of Zagreb?

Have you been to Zagreb? What did you think of it? What sort of places did I miss out on seeing? I’m sure there are some great suggestions out there 🙂 I also stumbled across this fantastic blog about Zagreb’s entire street art network and scene – looks like there’s a whole heap more to discover.

http://travelhonestly.com/zagreb-street-murals/

img_4090

Shadow and light.

If you like our blog and photography, you can support us:

Click here to follow Kaptain Kenny on Instagram

/ A N D /

Click here to like Kaptain Kenny on Facebook.

img_4087

Thanks for reading!

You Might Also Like

3 Comments

  • Reply
    rANG bIRANGE
    November 15, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    Fantastic loved graffiti. D city has a soul

  • Reply
    kami
    December 23, 2016 at 10:27 am

    I really enjoyed Zagreb, partly because of its street art scene. It was such a big surprise and this wall was the best of all!

    • Reply
      kaptainkennytravel
      January 16, 2017 at 12:04 am

      Agreed! I was super surprised to find the wall and couldn’t wait to take some photos. I was lucky too because the sun came out for about 30 minutes. Croatia is a cool country 🙂

Leave a Reply