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Zagreb – Croatian capital has come out on top

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The world’s largest travel guide publisher, Lonely planet, has revealed its Best in Europe 2017 and the Croatian capital has come out on top.

The prestigious global travel company released its top picks for the most exciting European destinations  in 2017 today. Zagreb ranked No.1 in Europe.

The city has topped Lonely Planet’s 2017 Best in Europe list, with judges praising it as being ‘both cosmopolitan and edgy’ and noting that its newly opened airport means it’s never been cheaper or easier to get to.

Zagreb on top

Zagreb has culture, arts, music, architecture, gastronomy and all the other things that make a quality capital city – it’s no surprise that the number of visitors has risen sharply in recent years.

Croatia’s coastal attractions aside, Zagreb has finally been discovered as a popular city-break destination in its own right.

Visually, Zagreb is a mixture of straight-laced Austro-Hungarian architecture and rough-around-the-edges socialist structures, its character a sometimes uneasy combination of the two elements. This small metropolis is made for strolling the streets, drinking coffee in the permanently full cafes, popping into museums and galleries, and enjoying the theatres, concerts and cinema.

Zagreb on top

It’s a year-round outdoor city: in spring and summer everyone scurries to Jarun Lake in the southwest to swim or sail, or dance the night away at lakeside discos, while in winter Zagrebians go skiing at Mt Medvednica (only a tram or bus ride away).

Travellers to Croatia tend to make a beeline for the Adriatic delights of the country’s extensive coastline, but its flourishing inland capital shouldn’t be overlooked.

Zagreb is at once cosmopolitan and edgy, with its heady mix of Brutalist architecture and sun-splashed Austro-Hungarian squares brimming with coffee drinkers.

Zagreb on top


Urban regeneration is making the city over. Street art, particularly the striking works of local artist Lonac, adorn Zagreb’s outdoor canvasses and new galleries and creative spaces, including a recently reopened WWII bomb shelter under the Upper Town, are opening at an ambitious pace. To top it all off, the city is home to a blossoming food and craft beer scene, and with the opening of Zagreb’s long-awaited airport terminal, along with a host of new flight routes, it’s never been easier or cheaper to reach the Croatian capital.

Zagreb on top

Gotland in Sweden was awarded second spot on the top 10 list. The ancient Baltic island boasts breathtaking scenic views, sprawling sandy beaches and a diverse array of historic sites.

Other entries to Best in Europe included Galicia in Spain, Moldova, Northern Montenegro, Pafos in Cyprus and La Havre in France.

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