Zagreb, a City of 4 Seasons: the Colours of Autumn Buzzg

By 5 December 2022

December 5, 2022 - The Croatian capital is a city of four seasons, with the Autumn Buzzg an underrated time of the year to visit. 

One of the big differences between living on a Dalmatian island and the city of Zagreb - at least in my experience - is the number of seasons. A little like the Jadrolinija ferry timetable, life in Dalmatia seems to be just two these days - summer and winter - and largely tied to the season. Half the year open and busy, the rest of the year quiet and mostly closed. 

One of the many things I have come to love about life in Zagreb is a return to a world of four distinct seasons. The cold of winter, lit up of course by the excellent Advent in Zagreb, soon gives way to Spring, as the trees and people come out in bloom as the weather warms up. And then there is Summer, which is a season I have come to appreciate greatly in Zagreb over the last two years. The city is a lot emptier as many head to the coast, leaving a much more pleasant and less crowded city for those who remain to enjoy. 


(Photo credit I. Vinkovic)

As summer ends, coastal holidaymakers return, and the city once more gets down to business. but there is a subtle change of mood as we head into Autumn. The city is livelier than in those summer months, the temperatures are more pleasant, and the cultural and social life is excellent. Cafes are once more brimming with those doing business, relaxing or simply people-watching. But for me, the highlight of the autumn season in Zagreb are the colours. 

Although I have travelled widely in my 53 years, I don't think I have found a more walkable or greener city anywhere than Zagreb. Its central part is very flat and one can easily walk from A to B in most cases, taking in some of the many parks, squares and tree-lined streets along the way. A green city in the summer perhaps, but a golden one in autumn, as the leaves fall from this tree-infested city to add a different layer of colour which is illuminated in the frequent sunshine.


(Photo credit Boska i Kreso)

Zagreb's walkability is one of its most underrated attractions. From the famous Lenucci Horseshoe, a green stroll through the green squares and botanical gardens of central Zagreb, to the lakeside charms of Jarun and Bundek, and majestic parks such as Maksimir, this is a city to be explored and enjoyed on foot, stopping off regularly for a relaxing coffee or streetside portion of hot roasted chestnuts. 

Feeling a little more energetic and adventurous? The mountains are calling, and hiking to the fortress of Medvednica and Sljeme mountain brings plenty of rewards, not least the spectacular views of the city below? Not feeling like hiking both ways? Take advantage of the new cable car which connects to Sljeme from the city. 


(Photo credit J. Duval)

For those looking to be a little more active, Zagreb is a jogging paradise, be it running along the Sava or exploring the beauty of its many parks. It is also a popular biking destination with its own biking trails, which will take the more adventurous out of the city into the hills. The excellent Around Zagreb website has a wealth of information on what can be visited around and beyond the city limits. And if you want to go truly native, head into the forests and start foraging - for this is mushroom season. Or perhaps a round of golf on Zagreb's very own 27-hole course. 


(Photo credit Lice Grada)

One of the more unusual claims to fame that Zagreb has is that it is a capital city with officially its own wine road, albeit a small one. The grapes of the harvest are in, and young wines are available to taste as an additional bonus to local wineries - a short trip out to the fabulous wine regions of Plesivica and Sveta Ivana Zelina will provide even more enjoyment. 

For me, one of the strongest attractions of the autumn months in the city has been the concerted effort to promote this season as one of art and culture, and there have been numerous festivals which have brought the city's art and cultural offer to life. It is said that Zagreb has the most museums per square kilometre in the world, and it is certainly true that there is an outstanding selection. 

Zagreb - my home for the last 18 months, and a city which moves with the seasons. And Autumn is by far the most underrated of these. Learn more about the options of Autumn Buzzg here


(Photo credit - Zagreb Tourist Board) 


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