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8 Reasons to Love Zagreb, Croatia

Ann Abel in Zagreb.


By Ann Abel

While not as famous as Croatia’s seaside cities, Zagreb, the capital, has 900 years of history and no small number of charms of its own. It may not be story-book beautiful—and some soot-covered monoliths remain—but there are also wedding-cake confections of buildings. More important, it’s genuinely interesting.



Don’t get me wrong. I love Dubrovnik, with its dramatic spires, labyrinthine cobblestone streets and medieval city walls. The problem is that millions of other people do too. So I don’t love being there in summer and shoulder season, when as many as six massive cruise ships dock in the port and tourists pack the old city. Split has things more under control, but can still feel like a tourist town, partly thanks to Game of Thrones. Zagreb, on the other hand, has not become trendy. It is clean, quiet and relatively orderly. More important, it’s one of the increasingly rare European capitals that feels like a place where locals are simply going about their lives, not some tourist Disneyland … continue reading



Ann Abel is a travel writer and editor and was a senior editor at ForbesLife. She writes for Forbes, Departures, Conde Nast Traveller, Robb Report, Afar, National Geographic Traveler, Islands, Hemispheres, Brides, Modern Bride, Well + Good NYC, and other print and online publications.”In the name of lifestyle journalism, ” she says, ” I’ve gotten a tattoo in Bora Bora, been bitten by a massage therapist, and flown small aircraft above three continents.” She lives in Lisbon.

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