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April 14, 2019

Croatia: Zagreb

Filed under: Architecture, Croatia, Europe, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , — anotherheader @ 9:13 am

Inside Zagreb’s Orthodox Cathedral or Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Lord, the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral

Croatia has become a modern tourist Mecca. The country’s idyllic seaside villages and a beautiful coastline worthy as a backdrop for the filming of Game of Thrones attract large numbers of tourists. In 2017 the country reported 90 million visitor overnight stays. For a country with a permanent population of just four million, that is a lot of tourism. Over a full year, 6% of the people in the country are on average tourists. And for sure the percentages are higher during the peak tourist season.

It is safe to say that most of the people who go to Croatia head to the coast. The towns on the Adriatic are the country’s signature attractions. If visitors do head inland they are likely to visit the country’s capitol, Zagreb.

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The Zagreb urban agglomeration has a population of around 1.2 million people, a little short of 30% of Croatia’s total population. Though there are plenty of tourists in Zagreb, the indigenous population is not overwhelmed as it is in the popular coastal destinations. Still it is a crowded, intense, sprawling, and a distinctly urban city.

Zagreb has its attractions and an interesting historic core. Yet it doesn’t feel like an old city. Indeed, the city’s population has roughly tripled since the 1930’s. Consequentially much of the city dates from the 20th Century. In some sense, outside of its core, it is a more modern city than one might expect.

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For tourists expecting to see old Europe Zagreb may not be the top destination. But if you are young and looking for the party scene, Zagreb is a prime destination. It is said that Zagreb ranks with the best in terms of nightlife. Not that we would know. We went to bed early.

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We visited Zagreb in October of 2018.

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