When to Go
Zagreb's Upper Town is a network of little streets that stretch between two hills: Kaptol and Gradec. It is a delightful place to explore and hosts some of Zagreb's most interesting restaurants, bars and cafes. There's limited private accommodation and no hotels in Zagreb's Upper Town though. (see a map)
Typical Upper Town Cafe
Upper Town Street
Start in Zagreb's central square, Trg Jelacica, and walk uphill to Kaptol, stopping at Dolac, the fruit and vegetable market. A little further is Zagreb's Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary whose twin spires are visible from afar. Begun in the 13th century, it was reconstructed in the 20th after an earthquake damaged it.
Head east to Gradac and Tkalciceva, Zagreb's most colourful street, filled with little cafes that could only be described as "bohemian". (See a video of Tkalciceva street) Nearby is the Stone Gate containing a shrine to the Virgin Mary that is believed to possess magical powers.
On the quirky side is the Museum of Broken Relationships, an innovative concept that displays mementos of failed relationships and the stories that surround them.
Croatia's most famous sculptor, Ivan Mestrovic, once maintained a studio in the Upper Town. Now the Mestrovic Studio is a major attraction for fans of his art who come to see sculptures, drawings and lithographs from the artist's early years.
Zagreb's most photographed site is St Marks Church, on St Mark Square, which sports a multi-coloured tile roof constructed in 1880. The rest of the church dates from the 13th century.
Historic St Mark Square is also the site of the Croatian Sabor or Parliament and the Ban's Palace, now the presidential palace.
Art lovers won't want to miss the Gallery of Naive Art nearby. Croatia has a long tradition of Naive Art and all the greats are represented here.
Before leaving the Upper Town, stop at Lotrscak Tower where a cannon is fired every day at noon, allegedly to commemorate Zagreb's victory over the Turks. Then take the funicular down to the Lower Town.
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