Welcome to Total Zagreb!

By , 14 Feb 2017, 19:53 PM Editorial

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My first connection to Zagreb was back in 1988 on the 21st floor of the four-star Hotel Arabella in Munich. Two wonderfully cheery and rather plump middle-aged ladies, both called Barica, were my colleagues in my first professional job - I spent 8 months as the only male chambermaid, cleaning a creditable 2,710 toilets in my housekeeping career.

Barica 1 just smiled, said little in her broken German, and worked like a Trojan. Barica 2 was always up for a joke - at least in as much as our broken German would allow - and she had this rather quaint habit of discreetly placing any Playboys she found in the rooms on my cleaning trolley, neatly tucked away between the shampoos and the complimentary chocolates.

The Baricas, Yugoslav Gastarbeiter as they were known, had family back home and worked to send money home and would disappear every couple of months for a long weekend back to Zagreb, from where they would return with gifts of the non-Playboy kind.

Intrigued by their stories and prodded with my Jesuit indoctrination at boarding school, I headed to Yugoslavia the following year, destination Medjugorje, and Mostar before the war was a particular highlight. Of my overnight stay in Zagreb I remember little, and nothing noteworthy.

And so my impression of Zagreb remained for the longest time. Regular visits for work, meetings at ministries, media appearances and catching up with friends. But it was a rather boring little city, far from my idyllic island home on Hvar.

And then something happened...

While many wax lyrical about the development of tourism on the coast, the real tourism development story in Croatia in my opinion is the one less told - the capital Zagreb.

Let's go beyond the hype of Advent in Zagreb - but before we do, let's pause on the fact that numbers for December arrivals were up over 30% on last year, a year when where were more tourists in Zagreb in December than many mid-size tourist destinations on the coast manage in a year - and look at a historic city finally coming of age.

Now an EU capital, international business and diplomatic interest in Zagreb is on the rise, and so is tourism. There was only one destination in Croatia which had over a million tourists overnighting in 2016, and it was not Dubrovnik or Rovinj. With the new airport terminal opening next month, the bigger players are listening. Emirates direct from Dubai starts on June 1, and how long before that much coveted direct flight from New York?

A city with a vibrant art scene, an increasingly appealing gourmet offer, and a city gaining in self-confidence and more innovative technology and events. But how to learn about all this, and what is going on?

I have looked at doing at website for Zagreb for some time, and we finally took the decision to have a go late last year. Welcome to Total Zagreb, a website covering news, views, events and features for the Croatian capital, updated daily, and the latest member of the growing Total Croatia network.

Talking to many expats in the city over the last couple of years, one of the biggest complaints is the lack of timely information on events in Zagreb. So we created a calendar of events, broken down into helpful sections such as workshops, kids activities, concerts and culture, with a minimum of ten events daily. You can check out the calendar here - and feel free to send us your events to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

With more and more foreigners moving to the city, providing useful information on the essentials - how to register, find an apartment, mobile phone deal or English-spealing cardiologist - are information items in demand, but hard to find - we are expanding our Moving to Zagreb section, but hope you will agree we have made a useful start. 

Zagreb is nothing with its people of course, and we will be taking a weekly look at the diverse and interesting characters who make up its inhabitants in our Meet the People of Zagreb section. We start with Sanja, and if you are a Harry Potter fan, she is someone you would like to meet. If you would like to be featured in this section, or know someone interesting who would, please get in touch. 

Zagreb in History - a rich past and an exciting future. Old photographs, videos and - perhaps most fascinating of all - the memories of those who grew up in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Total Zageb is a platform for you all. Wonderful memories such as those of Vesna, who grew up in the 1960s

There are various other features on the site, which you can explore at your leisure, and if you would like to contribute a little about Your Zagreb, we would love to hear from you. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

The site no doubt has some errors and omissions - we only started to work on it on January 2 - and constructive criticism and suggestions are more than welcome. 

We hope you enjoy the site, and we look forward to getting to know so many facets of this wonderful city in greater detail. 

Check out Total Zagreb here. And why not follow us on Facebook



From Croatia with Madness

Croatia Traffic Info

  • Due to a traffic accident on the A3 Bregana-Lipovac motorway traffic is proceeding slowly in a 1 km long queue at Križ junction in direction Zagreb. The A1 Zagreb-Split-Ploče and A6 Rijeka-Zagreb motorways, the Pag bridge, as well as Dr. Franjo Tuđman bridge in Dubrovnik are open to all vehicle categories. Due to strong wind there is a traffic ban on double-decker buses, campervans and motorcycles on the following sections: -on the A7 motorway between Draga and Šmrika, -on the Krk-bridge, -on the DC8 Adriatic road between Bakar and Novi Vinodolski. There is an additional ban on delivery vehicles and vehicles with covered cargo area on the DC8 Adriatic road between Novi Vinodolski and Sveta Marija Magdalena. A1 MOTORWAY ZAGREB-SPLIT-PLOČE - On the A1 motorway there is a 4 km long queue at Lučko toll station in direction Zagreb. - Traffic is proceeding with difficulties between Posedarje junction and Sveti Rok tunnel in direction Zagreb. - Due to a traffic accident between Novigrad junction and Draganić service area traffic is proceeding slowly in direction Zagreb. A2 MOTORWAY ZAGREB-MACELJ There is a 2,5 km long queue on the A2 Zagreb-Macelj motorway at Trakošćan toll station in direction Slovenia. A3 MOTORWAY BREGANA-LIPOVAC There is a 2 km long queue on the A3 Bregana-Lipovac motorway at Bregana toll station in direction Slovenia. A7 MOTORWAY RUPA-DIRAČJE At Rupa border crossing in direction Slovenia there is a 700 m long queue. A8/A9 MOTORWAY IN ISTRIA - There is a 5 km long queue at the border crossings Kaštel und Plovanija in direction Slovenia. - There is a 2 km long queue at Učka tunnel in direction Rijeka. KRK BRIDGE Traffic is very dense on the Krk bridge: 3 km towards the island, 4 km in direction mainland. Roads are wet and slippery countrywide. Rockfalls and landslides are possible. Drivers are advised to adjust the driving speed to the road conditions and to keep the safety distance. Strong wind is blowing on the A1 motorway between Sveti Rok tunnel and Božići viaduct. The queues: on the A1 Zagreb-Split-Ploče there is some queueing traffic between Karlovac and Lučko in direction Zagreb at the toll station Lučko 1 km in direction Zagreb, an Demerje 500 m on the A2 Zagreb-Macelj at the toll station Trakošćan the queue is 3 km long in direction Slovenia at the border crossings Kaštel and Plovanija in Istria 7 km queueing traffic towards Slovenia on the A7 Rupa-Diračje on the state road towards the border crossing Pasjak 4 km The roads are occasionally wet and slippery in the northwestern parts of the country and in the Croatian Littoral. Driving restrictions: freight vehicles exceeding 7,5 t - Sunday, 20th of August; 12AM - 11PM Sections of the roads closed due to roadworks: -the DC29 from Novi Golubovec (DC29, DC35) -the DC502 Smilčić-Pridraga state road -ŽC5042 Višnjan-Tićan. Traffic is regulated by traffic signals/one road lane is free only: -on the DC1 state road in Knin, on the section Sučević-Otrić in Otrić -on the state road DC2 in Vukovar, (Kudeljarska and Priljevo street) -on the state road DC66 Pula- Raša bridge -on the state road DC206 Valentinovo-Petrovsko. With the sunny and dry weather, more and more cyclists and motorists are on the roads. Other vehicles (such as cars or trucks) should look carefully for bicyclists before turning left or right, merging into bicycle lanes and opening doors next to moving traffic. Check your mirrors and be aware of blind spots before turning. While at a stop sign or red light, make a complete stop in order to let bikers pass, and check for unseen riders. Respect the right of way of bicyclists because they are entitled to share the road with you. Cyclists are not immune to traffic violations: pay attention to red lights and practice arm signaling!
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  • Due to heavy traffic during the tourist season longer wait times are possible on most border crossings with Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Montenegro.
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  • The catamaran lines Mali Lošinj-Cres-Rijeka and Pula-Mali Lošinj-Zadar are suspended due to bad weather conditions.
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