Monday, 4 June 2018

Natalie Lamb and Travel: Zagreb, Croatia

I attended a conference in Zagreb, Croatia on 09/05/18- 11/05/18, The 10th Eastern European Young Water Professional Conference. I had a day and a half free before the conference and so did a lot of research into Zagreb to try and fit in a good visit to the city. I thought I should share what I got up to while it's still relatively fresh in my mind and work out how much it cost.

Day One 

  • Total spend 131.22 or £15.56

See on Google Maps-

I arrived on Tuesday 8th May at 2pm local time. I was a bit cheeky and took a pre-booked taxi to my hotel, which the conference organiser booked. Normally, I take public transport but I had set off so early in the morning that I thought I would treat myself. I paid in advance 45 euros each way so I'm saying 0 Kuna because I paid in advance.

I checked into my hotel, the Panorama Zagreb Hotel. The lobby was very nice. The room was quite basic but large and filled my needs. It even had a fridge, which was great for storing my food and water. On check in, I had to pay a city tax (which I already knew about) and a deposit in case of damages (which I didn't know about). I don't have a credit card so I had to leave 400 Croatian Kuna, almost half of the money I brought! To be refunded on check out. I paid in advance £249.06 for 3 nights including breakfast so I'm saying 0 Kuna because I paid in advance.

Because this was my only completely free day, I wanted to make the most of it. First off, I went to Lidl, which was very close to my hotel to get some food for lunches and for breakfast tomorrow because I knew it would be a very early start. Cost 37.22 Kuna.

Image Credit: Boris Gramnjak

I climbed the stairs to Upper Town (instead of taking the world's smallest cable car). There weren't many stairs at all and it took around 5 minutes, probably a lot less. Cost 0 Kuna.

There was already a great view from the top of the stairs/cable car entrance in Upper Town but I decided I still wanted to climb Lotrščak Tower to get an even better view. Cost 20 Kuna.

Next I visited the Museum of Broken Relationships, which consisted of a multitude of random objects with short descriptions of relationships next to them. It was an OK and an unusual little trip but successfully made me miss my boyfriend on only the first day of the trip! Cost 30 Kuna (student ticket).

Image Credit: Wandering Earl

Then I went to St Mark's Church, a classic place to visit while in Zagreb. As you can see, it makes for a great photo and wasn't very busy with tourists (when I visited, anyway). Cost 0 Kuna.

I wanted to have at least one traditional meal while I was away. For me, this was Sir Slatki (sweet cheese) Zapeceni (baked) Štrukli - basically, a special dough with fresh cottage cheese that was very cheesy and looked like lasagna. I had it at a place called La Štruk, which is in the center and only serves Štrukli of different types- there wasn't even bread on the menu! I sat outside in a little garden and it was really lovely. You get given tap water for free but I would also recommend buying an additional drink because the amount of cheese used will make you thirsty! Cost 44 Kuna.

Then I went to go and see The Cathedral of Zagreb. It was a lot more touristy than St Mark's Church and I found it hard to get a good photo. Cost 0 Kuna.

Next on my list was the markets. I visited Ban Jelačić Square, a small market because the much larger Dolac Market shut at 3pm so I had missed it. Cost 0 Kuna.

On my walk back to the hotel, I happened to pass The Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb. Cost 0 Kuna.

 By 7:30pm I was in bed watching Netflix (the hotel had pretty good WiFi) because I had to be up early the next day. Cost 0 Kuna.

Day Two
  • Total spend 112 Kuna or £13.30
Today I took the bus/tram to the bus station. I took the 5:06-5:22 from Taolvceva bus stop to Autobusni. I then took the coach (that I had pre-booked) 5:45-8:10 to Plitvice Lakes. A very early morning! The bus and the coach were prompt and I arrived at the time I was expecting. The coach even had free WiFi- a nice bonus! I booked the bus using this website. I booked in advance for a return trip for 176 Kuna.

Plitvice Lakes were definitely worth a visit, even for a stay as short as mine! I found that, at about 11, it suddenly got very very packed, mostly of Asian tourists on coach trips. Luckily I left on the 12:50-3:10 bus so missed the most of it. On arrival, though, the lakes were pretty quiet and I didn't have to queue for entry. I had brought my own packed lunch and refilled my water bottles in the bathrooms around the site. Cost for entry 100 Kuna (student ticket).

I started my walk following Programme B but found it quite short so I started following Programme E. I think it would be really useful if the routes told you how long they are while you are following the signs. More information about the different routes can be found here.

I took lots and lots of photos during my visit, as you can see! I really enjoyed the lakes and had a great visit.

I was a bit concerned that I had missed my bus. I had arrived to the bus stop (on the other side of the road to the entrance to the site, under the bridge in a small bus cabin) 15 minutes early but my bus arrived 30 minutes late. I was really worried I wouldn't get back to Zagreb! It did arrive, thank goodness. It didn't have WiFi this time and was very packed.

I walked back to the hotel instead of going on the bus and picked up a huge slice of pizza to eat on the way for 12 Kuna. My conference was going to be starting at 5 so I went to go and get ready for the three conference days ahead.

Total Cost

  • Advanced costs £348.81 for hotel, taxi and bus plus £176.95 for the flights = £525.76
  • Day 1 131.22 Kuna or £15.56 
  • Day 2 112 Kuna or £13.30
  • Gifts ~331 Kuna or ~£39.31
  • I brought £155.22 worth of Croatian Kuna (1,200.00) and ended up exchanging 840 back, £95.15 of it.
  • Total spend £593.93

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