European city guide: Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb is Croatia’s North Western capital and a beautiful city. The pretty churches and pedestrianised cobbled streets are perfect examples of Austro-Hungarian style architecture, and St Mark’s Church stands out with its mosaic tiled roof. Make sure to explore all of the streets, you’ll find some delightful cafés (the Cookie Factory being my favourite). For dinner, try Good Food, their burgers are insanely tasty.



Zagreb is brilliant for shopping. The city has numerous shopping galleries containing H&M, Zara and other more high-end boutiques. This was a dream come true for a culchie like me, who’s closest Zara is over an hour away. Clothes are a tad less expensive in Croatia compared to what we pay at home, just make sure you have space in your suitcase.


Museum of Broken Relationships

This is the best museum I have ever been in. The premise is that individuals send in an item that symbolises or was part of a now-broken relationship. Examples would be a toaster a couple shared in their house, a deck of cards, a soft toy, a wedding album. Then the sender writes a bit about their relationship and why it ended. The museum isn’t just for romantic relationships. There were remnants of broken family relationships too, such as an angry letter a son sent to his absent father, a packet of wooden pegs and Irish mammy used before she passed away. Items have been sent in from all over the world. I teared up a few times reading the explanations, some were quite poignant.


Museum of Illusions

A nice fun stop after the Museum of Broken Relationships. This museum is filled with optical illusions and puzzles. You could spend hours trying to fit the wooden blocks back into the box, or trying to work together as a team to slide the key out of the puzzle. There are also many great phot opportunities using the cleverly designed optics. There is also a really good gift shop too; my boyfriend is still trying to solve the colour cubes puzzle I purchased for him!


Plitvice Lakes

Great for a day trip, Plitvice Lakes are one of Croatia’s national parks. The bus costs roughly €20 return for a two-and-a-half-hour journey. Make sure to bring your student ID to the lakes as there is a student price. Plitvice Lakes are what I imagine heaven to look like. You walk along a wooden platform, hovering just above stunningly clear blue water with little fish swimming in it. The sparkling waterfalls spray a fine mist, forming a rainbow below you… it is just spectacularly tranquil. There are also boat rides, a cave, restaurants, gift shops, as well as guided walks. The Lakes are great if you want to escape the city and enjoy hiking and walking. There’s plenty of wildlife too, from dragonflies, bats and snakes… as well as wolves and bears, which thankfully we didn’t encounter!