In between Zagreb’s nightlife and StagWeb’s activities we don’t expect you’ll have too much time to spend sightseeing, but you might not want to come all this way and miss seeing any of Croatian culture or landmarks. Here’s a quick run down of some of the sites you’ll be able to find just travelling around the city, letting you take in a bit of culture while on the move.
Zagreb’s solar system – at a scale of 1:680 000 000, a sculpture recreated the solar system around Zagreb, starting with an existing sculpture of the sun in the centre, and the nine planets (pre-Pluto demotion) spreading out across the city – 8.7km out, to be precise, since he’s kept the distances to scale too.
Museum of Broken Relationships – maybe not one to visit with the stag, it’s still one of the coolest museum concepts ever. It’s won multiple awards for ingenuity, and has collected relics from failed relationships from all over the world.
Lotrščak Tower and Grič cannon – every day since January 1st 1877, the Gric cannon has fired at noon to mark midday. According to legend, a shot from the cannon flew so far it landed in an enemy general’s lunch. Believing it had been done deliberately, he assumed the Croatian aim was far better than his own and retreated. If you miss the actual cannon firing each day, the Gric has a twitter feed that tweets ‘bum!’ (or ‘boom!’, in English) once a day.
If you and the guys want a little downtime to relax, or just fancy getting some fresh air (and we mean more than just walking between pubs), Zagreb has plenty of open, green spaces for you and the lads to take a football and a couple of beers to spend a few hours. Maksimir Park is the biggest park in Zagreb, and is the perfect place for taking a few sandwiches and wasting the afternoon, with a forest, lakes, a zoo, and an inpark restaurant once you’ve demolished the sandwiches. Jarun Lake is a popular spot to get away from the rush of the city – unlike many lakes, it’s ideal for swimming in (in summer). There’s also a lot of bars and clubs to be found around here at night.
Getting around Zagreb is easy enough, at all times of day and night. The tram network runs 24 hours, and the night-route coverage is almost as extensive as the day. There’s also a bus system that covers the city and the suburbs that also runs for 24 hours and use the same tickets as the trams.
Zagreb Wine Gourmet Festival - February. There are more than 500 wines from Croatia and beyond available, but it’s not just about drinking as many as you can – you can also meet the winemakers, go to a few workshops, find some Michelin-starred food to go with the wine… and yes, drink quite a lot of wine too.
Strossmartrethis – Summer. Runs from late May until September, offering a huge variety of events. Expect to see concerts, competitions, shows, artists, performers, craft makers, musicians, stand ups, and pretty much everything else you can think of.
INmusic Festival – June. Voted one of the world’s best three music festivals by National Geography Traveller and one of the world’s top 50 by CNN International, this huge, six stage, two day event has seen acts like the Arctic Monkeys, Basement Jaxx, Franz Ferninand, Plan B, Arcade Fire, Billy Idol and Lily Allen take the stage before. In 2014, the Pixies, MGMT, the Fratellis and Wolfmother are all lined up to perform.
Zagreb Summer Evenings – July. A very different music festival, this one features a lot of classical, jazz, blues and world music.
International Puppet Theatre Festival – August. There are a lot of puppets, workshops on puppet making, puppet exhibits, puppet shows… just puppets everywhere.
Urban Festival – October. A public exhibition focusing on contemporary art.
Zagreb Film Festival – October. 35,000 people descend on Zagreb in order to enjoy a week long film festival – often with a lot of parties through the night too.
Festival of New Circus – October. For two months, performers from as far away as France, Canada, the USA and Germany head in to Zagreb to work with local performers on incredible international circus performances.
You don’t need to speak fluent Croatian to visit Zagreb – in fact, you probably couldn’t if you wanted to – but we have tracked down a few key phrases to help you through the trip. Take a flick through on the plane, see how many you can remember, and put them to use when you’re out on the stag night!
Do you speak English? - Govorite li engleski?
Let's go get a drink - Ajmo na piche
Do you serve alcohol? - Poslužujete li alkoholna pića?
May I have a bottle of _____? - Mogu li dobiti bocu _____?
Red wine - Crnog vina
White wine - Bijelog vina
A beer, please. - Jedno pivo, molim.
Two beers, please. - Dva piva, molim.
Whiskey - Viski
Vodka - Votka
Liquor - Liker
Run - Rum
Cognac - Konjak
You are the love of my life - Ti si ljubav mog života
All the girls in Croatia are beautiful - Sve djevojke su lijepe Hrvatska