Modern Zagreb grew out of two medieval settlements, Kaptol, founded in 1094, and Gradec, proclaimed a free royal city in 1242. Today, the capital of Croatia is a lively Central European city busting with activity. The 20th century brought the Secession style to its public buildings, parks and fountains, emanating the lofty spirit of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. With a rich tradition of art, music and culture, strolling the Upper and Lower town to enjoy numerous galleries, colorful open-air markets, coffee houses, fine restaurants and parks is marvelous.
Our tour begins with the city's most memorable sights in the fortified, medieval Upper Town. We'll see the famous St. Mark's Church with its multi-colored tile roof, the baroque church of St. Catherine, St. Stephen's Cathedral and the Parliament with the Government Palace. As we move to the Lower City, stretching around the main square with the statue of Ban Jelačić, the first Ban (Count) of Croatia and the man who abolished serfdom in Croatia. We will see the 19th century National Theater, Museum of Arts & Crafts, the University and the beautiful Zrinjevac Park with its numerous elaborate Secession (Art Nouveau) buildings, leaving you with an abundance of paths to continue your exploration and a great desire to come back for more.
This classic walking tour is a tour for all seasons. In the summer, with everyone away on vacation, although hot, the city feels empty, calm and uniquely yours. The autumn walks are colorful, with yellow and red leaves crackling beneath the traces of your exploration. The winters are scented with aromas of cooked wine and baked chestnuts, brimming with street fairs and Christmas décor. But Zagreb springtime, that is something else. On the backdrop of blossoming nature and flowering trees, the whole city awakens, making you fall in love with Zagreb forever.