Coffee culture and a sack of Sauerkraut in Zagreb

Here’s a summary of our day in Zabreb so far: coffee, burek, market, walking, coffee, pizza, sculptures, sauerkraut, gay bar, walking, burek, sculptures,  OH GOD LOOK AT ALL THOSE PEOPLE DRINKING COFFEE!  DO THEY EVER STOP DRINKING COFFEE?, walking, sauerkraut.

I adore Zagreb.

Seriously people.  Zabreb is an authentic, handsome, pedestrian and bike friendly city, with superb public art, theater and cheap pizza.  Also, it’s ridiculously safe here: ladies have their purses just sitting on chairs outside and we even saw a mom leave her baby and toddler outside a grocery store unattended in a carriage while she went in to shop.  I could move here in a hot second if the languge wasn’t so challenging.  I’m having a difficult time speaking Croation, a perfectly lovely language when spoken by actual Croatians, but which comes out of my mouth like the unfortunate invention of a vowel-phobic mouth breather.  My favorite phrase–ići kući–means “go home” and is pronounced itchy cootchie.  I have an overwhelming desire to roam the streets of Zagreb shouting Ići kući!  Ići kući!  (Would this be more likely to result in me being escorted home, or to a pharmacy for a prescription for my lady parts?)


The espresso is really stinking good.  And the best part–you know how to say espresso in Croatian?  Espresso.  Done.


So basically people hang out and drink coffee outside all day here.  It’s November and a weekday and people are outside drinking coffee.  Everywhere.  All day.  When do these people work?  How can I get in on this lifestyle?


A sign of a truly great town is a funicular.   Check out Zagreb’s completely adorable (55 second ride) funicular.


Take a funicular to get a great view.


Another indicator of a superior city?  An excellent market.  Dolac–Zagreb’s first rate market–was full of tempting edibles.


We bought a sack of sauerkraut from a granny at the market and ate it all afternoon (straight of the bag, with a fork).  We smell bad and that’s okay with us.


Pizza and burek shops are everywhere and the food seems to come out fresh 24 -7.  We just keep eating.


In between snack and coffee, we actually saw a few sights, like the stately Church of St. Mark.


This kitty came with our room.


On a more somber note, there’s a touching memorial to Parisian terrorism victims in front of the French embassy.


LGBT friendly (and disco-hip) bar called Kolaž.


I’m sorry to leave you Zagreb.  Save me a slice and an espresso with a view for next time.


How we got to Zagreb: flight from Chicago.

Where we slept: Guesthouse Lessi.  Price: €22.50 for a double.  Recommended: yes.



  1. Sitting around drinking coffee all day? Must work for the European Union! I did like that funicular….and the sauerkraut in a bag….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We had some conversations with locals on this trip, and well, let’s just say there’s some ambivalence with the EU.


  2. I love your blog! The format is quite nice. 🙂 Can’t wait to read about more of your adventures!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you — I can see from your blog that you’ve recently traveled in Croatia as well. What a lovely country with outstanding geography!


  3. Are you bringing the kitty home?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nah–don’t want to make Janacek jealous!


  4. It was a lovely place to live. Even during the war. You make me miss it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What an intense experience it must have been during the war, esp. since you mentioned living outside of Sarajevo. So many heartbreaking stories!


  5. My favourite memory of Zagreb was the museum of broken relationships, full of lots of sad stories of failed romances and all the little reminders that people keep from it.


    1. We didn’t get a chance to go the Museum of Broken Relationships–next time I guess.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I loved Zagreb when I was there last year, even though it was the height of summer and stinking hot – this makes me want to go back and experience it in autumn 🙂


    1. You should go back in fall. People kept apologizing for the weather to us and I was like, “It’s 65 degrees and sunny–how much more perfect can weather get?”

      Liked by 1 person

  7. wow. simply wow!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly what I kept saying–my jaw looked like a Pez dispenser….


  8. Great post. I remember Zagreb as a chilled out city which you can reach by train from Venice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh man that must be such a romantic train ride!


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