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



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Croatia Traffic Info

  • The roads are wet and slippery in Lika mountain area and in Dalmatia. Rock and land sliding is possible on the DC1 state road through Lika as well as on the DC8 Adriatic road. Traffic is dense in cities and on their detour roads. During the day difficulties can be expected in roadwork areas. Tonight (27 February) 7pm-6am traffic is suspended on the A6 Rijeka-Zagreb motorway between Delnice and Oštrovica junctions in direction Rijeka, detour: DC3/DC501 state roads. In Učka tunnel in Istria one lane is free only every night 10pm-6am till 3/4 March. Drivers are invited to keep distance and to adjust the speed to road conditions. The headlights have to be on during the day as well. One lane is free only/traffic is flowing in reduced lanes on the following motorways:-A1 Zagreb-Split-Ploče at Božići viaduct in direction Split, between Novigrad and Karlovac junctions 42nd-40th km in direction Zagreb, at Rašćane viaduct in direction Dubrovnik; -A3 Bregana-Lipovac between Kutina and Novska junctions 118th-121st km in both directions; -A4 Zagreb-Goričan at Kraljevečki Novaki junction 93rd-94th km in both directions till 13 March; -A4 Zagreb-Goričan in Hrastovec tunnel in both directions 1-11 March; -A6 Rijeka-Zagreb at Svilno viaduct 78th-80th km between Orehovica and Čavle junctions in each direction till 1 June, in Vršek tunnel in direction Zagreb; -Rijeka detour road in the exit lane of Rujevica junction in direction Rupa till 16 March; -A8 in Istria on the section Lupoglav-Učka tunnel. Due to winter driving conditions there is a traffic ban on freight vehicles with trailers and all other vehicles have to use the winter equipment in Lika mountain area on the DC42 at Poljanak. Due to roadworks traffic is suspended: -on the DC1 state road in Lučko and Stupnik (Zagreb); -on the DC8 Adriatic road at Posedarje till 10 April; -on the DC6 state road, section Glina-Dvor border crossing till 15 March, detour: Glina (DC37)-Petrinja-Hrvatska Kostajnica-Dvor; -on the DC34 Valpovo-Josipovac state road; -on the DC206 Valentinovo-Petrovsko state road; -on the DC228 Jurovski Brod-Ozalj-Karlovac state road at Ozalj. Traffic is regulated by traffic signals/one road lane is free only:-on the DC1 state road at Tušilović; -on the DC1 Sinj-Klis Grlo state road at Dicmo; -on the DC8 Adriatic road on the section Kaštel Stari-Kaštel Gomilica, at Podstrana, on the section Zaton Doli-Bistrina, at Srebreno; -on the DC66 Pula-Most Raša state road; -on the DC75 Poreč detour road, section Vrvari-Bijela; -on the DC303 Rovinjsko Selo-Brajkovići-Kurili state road. 15 November 2016-15 April 2017 winter equipment is mandatory on the winter sections of the state roads in Croatia (it includes four winter tyres or four summer tyres with chains ready for use).
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  • In outbound freight traffic there are delays at Pasjak. Due to roadworks at Županja and Slavonski Brod border crossings delays can be expected. At Harmica border crossing traffic is allowed for vehicles up to 7,5 tonnes only.
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  • Ferries operate regularly. 9404 Zadar-Rivanj-Sestrunj-Zverinac-Božava-Brbinj catamaran does not stop at Božava port. Today (27 February) Vis-Split ferry departs Vis port at 4.30pm (instead at 3.30pm) and Split port at 7pm (instead at 6.30pm).
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