Saturday, 21 August 2021

New Artistic Surprises in the Streets and Parks of Zagreb

August 21, 2021 - The Zagreb Tourist Board is seeking to connect its inhabitants and visitors with the city through the project ''Around'', and it is thus that from August 20 to 30 they will be able to find new artistic surprises in the streets and parks of the Croatian capital.

As reported by Turističke Priče, this year, in cooperation with the Zagreb Tourist Board, the project "Around" continues with new artistic surprises that beautify the face of the city, create an atmosphere of optimism in these challenging times, and invite citizens to rediscover their city through art. From August 20 to 30, everyone is invited to go on an artistic tour of the city and see a series of space-specific installations and street art interventions signed by local creative forces.


Zagreb Tourist Board

By placing art projects in the city landscape, "Okolo" revives public spaces and turns them into places where art spontaneously touches the city's everyday life. It highlights local artists and their personal experience and vision of the city while bringing contemporary art closer to a wider audience.

New artistic surprises include temporary space-specific installations and street art interventions that you can find "Around" around the city this year are signed by young sculptors Matej Vukovic and Manuela Pauk, multimedia artist Anja Leko, street artist Boris Bare, sculptor Helena Ohnjec, designer Iva Capak and design teams The All, klasja & zita and Stella Beloš and Iva Peručić.


Zlatne Ruke (''Golden hands''), The All

Start your artistic walk in the Craft Passage where you are symbolically greeted by golden hands (The All). On the way to the Upper Town, in the passage to Zakmardi's stairs, discover what the new-old Red Carpet (Boris Bare) looks like or what is hiding behind the curtain that is being raised (Manuela Pauk) in Kamenita Street. In the labyrinth on the Gradec plateau, solve the Riddle of the Future (ears & grains) and in the Bela IV Park. rest your head Among the clouds (Matej Vukovic). On Strossmayer's promenade, you meet Acrobats (Helena Ohnjec) who keep Matoš company, and on Katz Platz, in the passage by Tomić's stairs, you meet an unusual gang of cats (Anja Leko). At the very end of the tour, in Tuškanac Park, jump into the holiday net and become a Tree Observer. All the way, look carefully where you are walking and you may come across great miniatures by Ivo Capak that will adorn 17 mini locations.


Crveni tepih (''Red carpet''), by Boris Bare

"Around" will be launched in 2018 by the Two of Us (Ana Mikin, Tina Kovačićek) in cooperation with the Zagreb Tourist Board. Singing forest in Bela IV Park, a woolen heart that became a symbol of Zagreb's recovery after the earthquake, red carpet to Gornji grad, silk sculpture in Tomićeva, large floor mural on the playground above Dubravka road, light installation in the canopy of Ribnjak park, godmother on the stairs Dolca, a sleeping giant in Petrinjska, cute street miniatures in play with urban elements and plants that play to the touch, these are just some of the interesting interventions with which "Okolo" has already enriched the streets of Zagreb and delighted citizens and tourists at the same time.

To learn more about the project ''Around'', visit the Zagreb Tourist Board dedicated page HERE.

For more information on what the Croatian capital has to offer, such as what to see or do, be sure to check out our Total Croatia guide, Zagreb in a Page 2021. Now in your language!

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.


Thursday, 19 August 2021

Krapina-Zagorje County Becomes Part of ''Around Zagreb'' Campaign

August 19, 2021 - In addition to Zagreb County, the single destination campaign "Around Zagreb" has been extended to Krapina-Zagorje County in order to promote the diverse tourist and cultural offer on the outskirts of the Croatian capital.

After an excellent joint partnership between the Zagreb Tourist Board and the Zagreb County Tourist Board on a unique destination campaign, "Near the city, close to the heart" / "Around Zagreb", Zagreb Tourist Board this year expanded the campaign to promote Zagorje, reports HrTurizam.

The promotional campaign of the Zagreb Tourist Board "Close to the city, close to the heart" was expanded through cooperation with the Krapina-Zagorje County Tourist Board (TZKZŽ) and thus, for the first time, jointly promote Zagreb and Zagorje through a unique destination campaign with a focus on staying outdoors, in greenery and nature, and additional emphasis placed on the eno-gastronomic offer and historical heritage. The director of TZGZ (Zagreb Tourist Board), Martina Bienenfeld, pointed out that the cooperation with TZKZŽ is a logical step in upgrading the campaign "Close to the city, close to the heart".

“We have created a new visual, promotional film, as well as websites where we offer various itineraries and ideas for excursions that naturally connect Zagreb and Zagorje. So you can go on the Gastronomic Roads of Zagreb and Zagorje, experience 3 days of fun and relaxation, or look at the proposals for a fun and active weekend in Zagreb and Zagorje. There is also a new section, ''Did you know...'' which reveals that more than 75% of Zagreb covers green areas and that at least one of the 45 city parks is located in each neighborhood, as well as other attractions”, states Bienenfeld.

The head of the Tourist Board of Krapina-Zagorje County, Sanja Škrinjar, is also extremely satisfied with the first such cooperation and pointed out that the overlaps of the most important emitting markets for both destinations are certainly the starting point for the realization of such cooperation. ''We believe that we complement each other extremely well in creating an even better and richer offer for all future guests of our destinations with a tendency to extend their stay in Zagreb and Zagorje, especially since Zagorje "leans" on Zagreb and is a very good road connection between the two most important tourist destinations in the continental part of Croatia'', pointed out Škrinjar.

"TZGZ is launching the campaign in the markets of Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Germany, northern Italy, Slovenia, and Serbia, and all materials and websites are linguistically adapted to the markets we are addressing. With such facilities, we extend the stay of guests in both destinations'', concludes Bienenfeld.

The website offers creative suggestions on what to see and do, and there is also a promotional film that shows the natural, eno-gastronomic, sports, and historical offers of Zagreb and Zagorje.

Video in English, but with subtitles in four foreign languages (Croatian, Slovenian, English, and German) can be viewed and shared HERE.

Visit Total Croatia if you want to learn more about what Zagreb and Zagorje have to offer you. Now available in your language!

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Embracing the Great Outdoors: a New Angle for Zagreb Tourism

September 22, 2020 - Sometimes a simple idea changes the perspective entirely: a look at Zagreb tourism and the Great Outdoors. 

This has been the most challenging year ever for tourism globally, and the focus for many tourism officials has been on survival rather than innovation. 

A very notable exception to that, as I have written before, has been the Zagreb tourism strategy, which did much to promote all aspects of the city during lockdown and then in the wake of the devastating earthquake on March 22. 

But one idea, which was so simple and obvious, was launched as a joint effort by the city and county Zagreb tourism boards a couple of months ago - a new platform of discovery for guests called Around Zagreb


It is probably the most innovative - and simplest - official tourism ideas of the year, and one that is certainly timely in this increasingly socially distanced world. With the reality that we are going to have to learn to live with the virus, tourism activities away from crowds and confined spaces are now much more in demand. Such activities Zagreb has in abundance, especially when the tourism offer is combined with the rich experiences to be found on the city's doorstep, in surrounding Zagreb County. Promote the Zagreb Great Outdoors, both within the city itself and in the green lungs around it. Plenty of healthy fresh air away from the masses with plenty of activities to choose from. 


(Zagreb Tourist Board - D. Rostuhar)

The idea of looking at Zagreb as an outdoor destination is one that had never really occurred to me before. To me, city visits are about visits to museums, exhibitions, cathedrals, followed by exploring the vibrant nightlife.

But looking at Zagreb as an outdoor destination for a three-day visit, the experience is entirely different, and there is plenty to see and do to get the vibe of the Croatian capital. 


(Photo credit Zagreb Tourist Board)

Walking tours are an obvious way to discover a destination, and the selection on offer in Zagreb in recent years is exceptional. The historic Upper Town is undoubtedly the most charming part of the centre, small group and private tours are available to unlock its secrets. And there are also various quests now available to keep the interest of the younger generation. From an evening ghost or witches tour to sleeping dragons and other legends, centuries of the city's rich history are revealed. Head back in time to 19th-century Zagreb, to the Nikola Tesla generation of innovation, or learn about the badass historical women, whose incredible contributions in a male-dominated society helped shape the city. 


You will not be walking around long before you notice the relaxed nature of the way of life here. Indeed, Croatia truly is the lifestyle capital of Europe. And if there is one thing which symbolises the Croatian lifestyle the best, it has to be... 


And the cafe lifestyle. 

Zagreb's cafes are legendary. Places for socialising, business meetings, curling up with a book, or simply people watching and watching the world go by, the Zagreb cafe experience is an essential part of any visit. And once you have sat down once, it will not be long before you get into the swing of this more gentle way of life. So try it and enjoy - you are on vacation after all!. 


(Zagreb Tourist Board - J. Duval)

A great place to start if you are looking to find the heartbeat of the city is Dolac Market, just about the main Ban Jelacic square. Here you will find the freshest flavours available, a way of life which has existed for centuries, and rituals and socialising that go far beyond a simple food purchase transaction. 

Zagreb is a very green city, increasingly popular with cyclists, which is a great way to get around. The city's parks are divine at any time of year, but the falling leaves of autumn give them a special aura. Maksimir is a joy to escape the bustle of city life, with the botanical gardens are a natural deilght. Bundek and Lake Jarun are popular haunts to escape the crowds, and for those with less time in the centre, the Lenuci Horseshoe comprising 7 green spaces in the shape of a horseshoe, is an excellent way to explore the lungs of city life. 


You have heard of a treasure hunt, but have you ever been on a planet hunt? One of Zagreb's more unusual (and popular!) attractions is the Zagreb Solar System and its Grounded Sun and Nine Planets. The Grounded Sun installation has been a Zagreb feature for almost 40 years, but the sun got some galactic company back in 2004, when Denis Preis decided to install all the planets according to their relative size and distance from the Grounded Sun, all at different angles, to reflect them revolving around the sun. Even if we gave you the addresses of each, they are not all easy to find due to their size. Where else in the world can you discover the entire solar system without leaving a city?

A good first day exploring, now reward yourself with a terrace view in a cafe, wine bar of craft beer bar, sit back and enjoy that gorgeous lifestyle. The Zagreb region has excellent wines (the city itself has a small wine road), and the Croatian craft beer revolution is exploding. Your waiter will be more than happy to make the appropriate wine and craft beer recommendations. 


(Zagreb Tourist Board - J. Duval)

Ask a Zagreb local where they go for the Great Outdoors, and they will point you to the north - Sljeme. The mountain offers some astonishing views over the city and is a cycling, hiking (and, in winter) skiing paradise. Escape the summer heat in those cooler climes, and if you really want to turn native, follow the locals into the forest and take part in a much-loved activity - mushroom hunting. There are some great restaurants on Sljeme with large terraces, the perfect place to recuperate after your physical exertions while trying the freshest local seasonal produce. 

This, perhaps, is as far out of Zagreb as tourists might have gone in pursuit of the Great Outdoors, but the new Around Zagreb website gives a wealth of new opportunities, some of which I was completely unaware of after writing about Croatian tourism for almost a decade.


(Zagreb Tourist Board - J. Duval)

Truffle hunting just outside Zagreb? Seriously? 

Not only truffles. The Green Ring around Zagreb has a treasure trove of authentic experiences and insight into the traditional way of life of yesteryear. Never been to a pumpkin festival? Croatian communities like to celebrate what they grow, and food festivals creatively promoting the local speciality are common in Croatia.  Head to Ivanic Grad, for example, for the annual pumpkin festival in September, accompanied by the local grape variety, Srklet, which is considered a rising star in this land of 130 indigenous grape varieties. I never expected to be drinking a pint of pumpkin beer, for example, as I did on my last visit to the festival. It was delicious. 

a-kezele (3).jpg

Bird-watching, horse riding, nature parks, golf, wine-tasting, hiking, cycling - there is an activity and magical experience in the Green Ring to satisfy every visitor. And as you head back in the city for an inevitable cafe stop for a coffee, beer or glass of wine, stop by and pick up some roasted chestnuts to warm the soul and inhale the aroma of Zagreb in autumn and winter. 


(Zagreb Tourist Board - M. Gasparovic)

Wonderful flavours, experiences and sights. And we haven't been inside once!

To learn more about Zagreb, the Great Outdoors destination, learn more of what you can get up to in and around the capital on the official Around Zagreb website


(Zagreb Tourist Board - J. Duval)

This article was sponsored by the Zagreb Tourist Board

Friday, 21 August 2020

Zagreb the Outdoor Stage: Adapting Tourism in the Corona Era

August 21, 2020 - No destination in Croatia has adapted its tourism in the corona era as well as the Croatian capital. Meet Zagreb the Outdoor Stage.

All the world's a stage, wrote Shakespeare. And that is certainly true of Zagreb.

This has without question been the most challenging year for tourism globally. Record drops in tourism traffic with the accompanying loss of income, social distancing, the cancelling of most events, the silent but omnipresent threat of COVID-19. 

Such uncertainty is hard to cope with, and many destinations had little more of a strategy of hoping that things would be alright, and that the bright blue skies and warm sunshine would keep the virus at bay. 


(Zagreb Tourist Board - J. Duval)

But there has been one destination which has consistently taken the lead with an innovative approach to deal with the unfolding new realities - the capital Zagreb. 

Until recently, Zagreb was not really even considered to be a major tourist destination - Croatian tourism was all about the coast after all.  

And then something changed, and suddenly Zagreb became a very cool destination. So cool, in fact, that Lonely Planet named it its Best Destination in Europe in 2017.

But it was the spectacular rise of Advent in Zagreb - voted Best Christmas Market in Europe for three successive years - that really took the Zagreb tourism story around the globe. A spectacular affair, lighting up its central parks and main square, until Advent expanded slowly year on year to cover more and more nooks and crannies of the centre and upper old town. 


It was a first-class display of Zagreb, the Outdoor Stage. The temperatures may not have been for the ardent t-shirt weather, but tens of thousands of tourists poured into the city to enjoy the concerts, exhibitions, ice skating, mulled wine and seasonal cheer. It was a perfect advertisement of one of the lesser - until recently - advertised aspects of tourism in the capital - the Great Outdoors. 

During the lockdown, as many destinations settled for a simple message of Stay Home, Travel Later, Zagreb went a lot further with great mini-campaigns such as Zagreb Loves You and From Zagreb Balconies. It seemed that there was hardly a piece of the capital which was not showcased in these two brilliant campaigns. 


The best was yet to come, however, with a new initiative in cooperation with the Zagreb County Tourist Board to truly show Zagreb, the Outdoor Stage. A new website, Around Zagreb, instantly gave Zagreb a completely new dimension as a tourist destination - and one which could not have been more timely or relevant. 

With a focus on the Great Outdoors, both within the city limits with its endless parks, open spaces, outdoor concerts, and cafe culture, to the equally impressive tourism offer in the close vicinity of the city - nature, hiking, cycling, culture, authentic gourmet experiences, glimpses of the traditional way of life. Here was a healthy and appropriately socially-distance tourism focus away from the crowds which brought Zagreb into the tourist framework from a completely different perspective. 

From truffle hunting - long assumed to be the preserve of Istria - to exploring the incredible street art of the city itself, Around Zagreb takes tourists away from the crowds and out into the fresh air, suggesting itineraries for families, culture buffs, romantics and nature lovers. 


Zagreb's street art deserves a special mention, for it is a sub-culture genre which has really blossomed in recent years, attracting more and more creative designs all over the city. These include the famous Blue Whale mural, voted one of the top 10 in the world at the Festival d'Art Public in Montreal in 2016. Isn't it beautiful? An expert guided walking tour of the street art of Zagreb is just one outstanding and innovative tour that did not exist a decade ago. 

And there are events... 


Art project Okolo/Around invites you to a unique artistic stroll ‘around’ Zagreb. From August 20 to 30, "Okolo" will bring life to a number of hidden streets, forgotten aisles and treetops of Zagreb parks using them as canvases for urban art.

This year's event, in cooperation with the Zagreb Tourist Board, focuses on the wounded city, as the Croatian capital rebuilds after the devastating March 22 earthquake, with the goal of creating a more optimistic image of the city. Working with local artists, Okolo conducts a series of urban interventions with the aim of revitalising selected public spaces which congregate the community around positive and inspiring ideas. 

September calls you to Zagreb's longest and most famous street to take part in a fantastic 5-year project to involve artists in developing some of the city's derelict spaces in Project Ilica Q'Art:

The Ilica 2018 project (projekt Ilica 2018) is something of a continuation of the process that began nearly two decades ago, which is now making its return, more vital than ever, as a five-year project aimed at actively encouraging the cultural and artistic development of the city of Zagreb by developing a collective vision and corresponding models of participatory management of derelict spaces, involving artists, civil society organizations, educational institutions, trades and residents. The five-year framework is designed to boost the neglected cultural infrastructure through research and practice, based on which we will develop strategic guidelines for further action and establish appropriate models of the sustainable use of today’s empty urban spaces.


(Photo credit - Međunarodni festival umjetničkih zastavica)

There are many more such events taking place all over the city, all through the year. As previously reported on TCN, the centre of Zagreb received an additional dash of colour this month with Flag Art Zagreb

Tourism is changing around the world, but not all destinations are prepared or able to make that change. Zagreb is one such destination which is not only moving with the times, but actively looking to take the lead in new directions. If you haven't visited the Croatian capital in a while, another visit may well surprise. 

For the latest news from Zagreb, check out the dedicated TCN section.  

This article was sponsored by the Zagreb Tourist Board

Monday, 3 August 2020

Around Zagreb, a New Concept Leading the Way in Integrated Tourism Approach

August 3, 2020 - The new Around Zagreb website is proving a hit, as well as leading the way with a new integrated tourism approach.

The stereotype of Croatian tourism is that of sun, sea and beach. With 1,777 km of glorious Adriatic coastline and more than 1,000 islands to choose from, that is completely understandable. And yet, in the last decade, tourism in Croatia has diversified a lot, with destinations away from the coast emerging as credible holiday alternatives to two weeks sitting on the beach. 

And the destination which has made the most progress in the last decade - at least in my opinion - is far away from the coast. 

The capital city Zagreb. 

When I first moved here back in 2002, a visit to the capital left me cold. The food was one-dimensional and there did not seem to be that much to do. And then something changed, and with that small change came more change, and then the floodgates of change came. Suddenly, Zagreb had become a very cool city, so much so that Lonely Planet even named it the Best Destination in Europe in 2017. 

EU entry in 2013 helped to bring a new international aspect to Zagreb, of course, but it was innovations elsewhere that really drove the change. Innovative museums such as the Museum of Broken Relationships, the Museum of Illusions, the Museum of Torture and more recently, the Museum of Hangovers, gave Zagreb an alternative cultural side of things, its street art flourished, there was an explosion of international dining options, wine bars and a vibrant craft beer scene to add to the laganini coffee lifestyle for which Croatia is rightly famous. 

It is also the only destination (again, in my opinion) that has successfully managed to extend the season in Croatia. In just a few years, Advent in Zagreb went from a nothing event to being voted the Best Christmas Market in Europe three years in a row. Its marketing adorns the trams and buses of major European cities, and thousands of foreign visitors pour into Zagreb each December to enjoy the seasonal festivities. 

The corona crisis put a screeching halt to tourism worldwide, with many destinations more or less closed down. As tourism reemerged, albeit very slowly, once global lockdowns were eased, it was clear that a new approach to tourism to reflect the new normal was essential. 

Which is one of the reasons I was so impressed with the new joint Around Zagreb initiative from the tourist boards of the City of Zagreb and Zagreb County. As I wrote a few weeks ago, the Around Zagreb site brings together all the outdoor activities and socially distanced opportunities available, both in the city itself, but also in the immediate vicinity of Zagreb County. You can check out the website here.

A simple idea, but one which completely changes the perspective of the destination. Something I reflected on last week during my visit to Dubrovnik. The Pearl of the Adriatic is a stunning city attraction for a couple of days, but if you market it as Around Dubrovnik, suddenly the content multiplies several times in an instant. 

Suddenly, Zagreb was no longer a city, but a city with lungs and plenty of wide-open spaces offering a wealth of fun things to see and do which perhaps you would not expect to find on a visit to a capital city. Here are five that caught my eye from the Around Zagreb website, which I should add is one of the most informative and well-written official tourism websites I have seen in 10 years of following the sector:

Truffle Hunting


Truffle hunting near Zagreb? You won't find too many local who know about this. One of the great building blocks of the Istrian gourmet scene, you don't have to travel that far from the Croatian capital to take part in this very unique pastime to go in search of one of Croatia's most sought-after Croatian delicacies:

In Zagreb, mushroom hunting is a respected and popular pastime activity, so the forests around the city can be teeming with adept foragers after rain, both hobbyists and serious hunters. During the season, farmers' markets in Zagreb are full of fresh forest mushrooms, most often boletus. Yet, few people know that a real edible treasure is hidden underground on the outskirts of Zagreb – black truffles. These rare wild mushrooms grow in dense and wet forests, mostly oak and beech, common on the slopes of Medvednica Mountain. Knowledge and experience is required for truffle hunting, and since they are hidden beneath the ground, it is impossible to find them without specially trained dogs. The aromatic truffles are the tastiest when they are freshly shaved, and they are also often used to spice up cheese, honey, chocolate or honey brandy. In Zagreb you can enjoy the unique experience of guided truffle hunt, combining a forest adventure with the pleasure of tasting this exclusive treat in one of the selected restaurants in the city. Another proof that the folks of Zagreb genuinely appreciate mushrooms is the Mushroom Museum just off the main square, exhibiting more than 1500 species of freeze dried mushrooms.

Wine-tasting in the 'Champagne' capital of Croatia


So too with wine. Istria, Dalmatia and Slavonia are famous wine regions, but did you know that the city of Zagreb has its very own wine road? Or that a short drive will take you to one of the country's most diverse wine regions, famed for the best sparkling wines in all Croatia?

The Plešivica Wine Road has been open since 2001, bringing together around forty winemakers with diverse touristic attractions. There you can sample native and domesticated varieties such as Blauer Portugieser, Plavec žuti, Rotgipfler and Šipelj, along with world-renowned varieties such as Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon, Gewürz and Pinot noir, blanc and gris. Wines from Plešivica win awards year after year in Croatia and all around the world.

The tourist offer of the Plešivica Wine Road can be divided into three categories: all winemakers offer wine tasting in their wine cellars, some offer homemade food along with wine tasting, and winemakers from the last category offer, together with wine and food, accommodation in strikingly furnished accommodation establishments overlooking the breathtaking “amphitheater” of Plešivica.

A round of golf, perhaps?


Golf might not be the first thing you think about when you plan a trip to Zagreb, but it is comforting for golf enthusiasts to know that there is a full 18-hole course just outside the city if they want to practice their swing one afternoon while visiting. If you come at the right time of year, you can even do a round wearing a kilt and drinking whiskey with some local lovers of all things Scottish.

The history of golf in this area is not so recent. Back in 1929, a group of enthusiasts in Zagreb dreamt about a golf course in the city, and the first practice ground was really opened in Maksimir Park, in 1931. Golf in Zagreb then vanished for a while, until the early 2000s, when a much more appropriate location near Blato, in the suburbs, opened its doors. In the spacious green field on the south bank of the Sava River, only a 15-minute ride from the centre of Zagreb, you can find Riverside Golf Zagreb. It includes a 9-hole executive course and an 18-hole championship course, as well as a large driving range with 40 bays and a chipping green, with options to practice in bad weather or at night. The attractive club house with a large terrace is the place for socialising, and there is also a restaurant at hand. Even if you don’t play and have no strong interest in golf, Riverside Golf Zagreb is a pleasant place for a short break in the outdoors, in the peaceful surroundings untypical for a big city.

The healing powers of Naftalan


Croatia has long been famous for its wellness and health tourism. Indeed, the founding of the Hvar Health Society in 1868 is credited as the birth of organised tourism in Europe.

The region surrounding Zagreb has a number of excellent wellness opportunities, including one with something that can only be found in one other place outside Croatia:

Thanks to the Pannonian Sea that used to cover parts of central Croatia, the area below Ivanić-Grad hides a true treasure: naftalan oil. Naftalan is made by distilling naftalan oil. Naftalan is petroleum mineral oil made by sedimentation of dead microorganisms' remains, and it is valuable due to its numerous healing properties. Not only is it valuable, but it is also an extremely rare natural phenomenon. It is so rare that it can only be found in two places in the world: in Azerbaijan and in Croatia. Naftalan was first found next to Ivanić-Grad in the 1960s, and in 1989, the Naftalan Special hospital for medical rehabilitation was founded. The Hospital is the only place of that kind in Europe.

Despite the fact that the commercial use of naftalan for medical purposes is a relatively new phenomenon, people have been aware of its beneficial properties for centuries. The first notes on naftalan were written by world traveler Marco Polo, but the notes referred to the sources in Azerbaijan, on the Silk Road. In Ivanić, it is successfully used to treat rheumatic diseases, spinal joint diseases, and skin diseases. The naftalan oil bath is a unique experience that has beneficial effects on your skin and body. Other than using naftalan for oil baths, experts have created special, naftalan-based cosmetic products: lotions, oils and shampoos. The products are used to complement treatments done in the Hospital, but are also available on the market.

People come to Naftalan for the powerful, black-brown oil treatment, and for the benefits of healing thermal water. Thermal water is also a remainder of the Pannonian Sea, and it is sourced 1300 meters below the ground. The salty oil water that is rich in minerals can prevent and treat numerous health issues, and is generally beneficial to the body. Regardless of its focus on a broad spectrum of health treatments, Naftalan is also a well-known wellness and spa destination. Naftalan offers accomodation with 137 beds, 26 of which come with top-standard service. A sports park near the Hospital complements everything Naftalan has to offer, and the Moslavina region, with its developed rural and wine tourism, has all merits needed to amaze the visitors who want to explore the region.

Inside the secrets of a 16th-century mine


One of the feelings one has browsing the Around Zagreb website is just how much wonderful nature there is surrounding the city, as well as its many historic buildings. And sometimes you can combine the two with a little heritage and history of yesteryear in a family outing of discovery to the 16th century Zrinski Mine, for example: 

In the past, Medvednica Mountain was an important treasure of natural resources for the people of Zagreb, so they also dug deep in it, searching for precious metals. After the discovery of galena ore, a source of silver, a mine was opened in the 16th century. The hardworking miners dug and dug painstakingly, but the mine was simply not productive enough, and closed down the following century. After a few hundred years of silence, these dark and cold tunnels are now accessible to curious visitors in search of a special experience.

Five experiences from many. If you are contemplating a trip to Zagreb, I heartily recommend the Around Zagreb website for trip ideas and things that you had perhaps not thought of or known about. And the 3-day itinerary selections for family, art, nature, foodies, history buffs and romantics, are excellent

Friday, 17 July 2020

Meet 'Around Zagreb', a New Platform to Discover Green Zagreb & Surroundings

July 17, 2020 - What happens when you bring the magic of Croatia's capital city and the divine nature around it into one place? Meet Around Zagreb, a new platform which seriously enhances Zagreb's tourism attractiveness. 

Imagine an EU capital that was not long ago named Lonely Planet's Number 1 destination in Europe. A city of culture (with more museums per capita than any other), of parks, cycling routes, a relaxed cafe culture, with arguably the best lifestyle in Europe. A city that is a rising star on the tourism scene with an incredibly diverse offer – for families, foodies, culture junkies and nature lovers. Imagine an EU capital that was not long ago named Lonely Planet's Number 1 destination in Europe. A city of culture (with more museums per capita than any other), of parks, cycling routes, a relaxed cafe culture, with arguably the best lifestyle in Europe. A city that is a rising star on the tourism scene with an incredibly diverse offer – for families, foodies, culture junkies and nature lovers. 

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(Maksimir Park - Photo credit D. Rostuhar)

Now surround that city with a giant circle of green, with a wealth of authentic, natural and unique experiences, with something for each and every visitor. In these trying times of social distancing, escape the crowds and inhale the healthy lifestyle and nature that is combined in a visit to Zagreb and its surroundings.  

Meet Around Zagreb, a new initiative from the tourist boards of the City of Zagreb and Zagreb County, which offers perhaps the most exciting – and undiscovered – tourism offer in Croatia today. 

medvednica-m-gaaparovi-5ef5bea7663c6 (1).jpg

(Photo credit - M. Gasparovic)

Around Zagreb, Close to the City, Close to the Heart, opens up the Croatian capital to an array of unforgettable experiences right on the city's doorstep. And with a wealth of healthy outdoor options already in the city, Around Zagreb is an ideal family holiday and city break. 

Leave the magic of the city in search of authentic experiences. Have you ever been truffle hunting, or tasted the excellent sparkling wines from the Plesivica region? Take a cooking tour and learn how to make irresistible štrukli, but keep some room for the legendary kremšnita from Samobor. Choose from a number of rustic eateries serving their customers with authentic local dishes from fresh local produce that have been prepared the same way for centuries. 

zagreb-zoo-5-j-duval-5ef5b91e21eee (1).jpg

(Photo credit J. Duval)

Want to try some of these products yourself? Get down to the famous Dolac market in central Zagreb to experience fresh produce shopping the traditional way, with no supermarket in sight. Explore Zagreb's thriving craft beer scene, and do not leave before sampling – and becoming addicted to – Zagreb's coffee culture in its abundant outdoor cafes, the very heartbeat of city life. 

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(Photo credit - J. Duval)

Zagreb is like a Living Room in the Open with those amazing cafes for that relaxed lifestyle. Its numerous parks, the Botanical Gardens, Zagreb Zoo and the lakes of Jarun and Bundek are a delight, but now let's go beyond the living room and see what other outdoor treasures await around Zagreb. 

Hike in the majestic hills of Sljeme and enjoy the best views of the city in pristine nature, take romantic walks through the numeous forests (with or without those truffles), cycle the routes of this green ring of continental Croatia, or get lost in the tranquillity and beauty of Žumberak Nature Park. Visit the Savica Lakes for some exceptional bird watching at the edge of the city.  



(Photo credit - M. Vrdoljak)

Or get active. A round of golf, perhaps, or some family horse-riding, cycling tours, fishing, hiking or adrenaline activities for the kids. With such diversity of things do see and do, as well as endless nature without the crowds, there are different activities for everyone, and all the ingredients for a happy and healthy family holiday.  

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(Photo credit - J. Duval)

In order to help you choose, Around Zagreb has come up with some suggested 3-day itineraries depending on your interest, giving several options of perfect city breaks.  'Three Days of Zagreb and Surroundings' has quality suggested itineraries for foodies, for families, for nature lovers, for history lovers, and for art lovers. 

Tourism has changed, perhaps forever, due to coronavirus. The new focuses are safety, health, lifestyle,  nature and authentic experiences. All of these can be found in every corner of Zagreb and around Zagreb. Welcome to a new approach to tourism – Zagreb and Around – your safe, authentic, healthy lifestyle destination. 


(Photo credit J. Duval)

For more details of the exceptional tourism offer of Zagreb city and county, meet the new Around Zagreb website