Our plan was not actually to spend nearly three days in Zagreb, it just worked out that way. We needed to get down to the coast and the fastest way was to fly. There were flights really early in the morning, in the middle of the day and late at night, but the flights in the middle of the day were nearly twice as much as the early morning and late evening flights. Not wanting to get up super early so soon after arriving in Croatia, we decided on the late flight. (Also, had we picked an early morning flight, we may have had trouble with the airport shuttle, which doesn’t run at night.) So we had a third day in Zagreb.
The night before we had decided to have a proper breakfast at the hotel, since the only options around us were bakeries and cafes. It was fine and cheap (as everything in Zagreb is).
We headed out to the farmer’s market in the old town however my experience of my first European market was dampened because I ate too much at the breakfast buffet.
We then headed back up hill to the tower we visited on the first day to check out The Museum of Broken Relationships. It’s made up of items sent by people from around the world documenting not only the ends of romantic relationships but also the ends of familial ones. Some of it is quite moving, some of it is really funny and some of it just strikes you as self-important rubbish. (There are descriptions written by people who want you to believe that their relationship was the paragon of human relationships.)
After that we headed to the botanical gardens. The Zagreb botanical gardens are probably quite lovely in spring but were rather muted in late September. There were a few really neat plants, however. (I have a thing for botanical gardens, even off-season. Never know what weird plants you’re going to see.)
We found our way to a cafe for caffeine and then headed to an “Old Masters” collection on the second floor of an art institute. When they said old, they meant it, as these were religious paintings from the earliest days of painting up through the early 17th century at the very latest (if I remember correctly), with an extremely heavy focus on religion.
For lunch, we went to a burger and craft beer place that wouldn’t have been out-of-place in Toronto.
We then headed to the modern art gallery, a really great one, showcasing a lot of art from the dawn of modernism to the present. The earliest stuff felt hilariously conservative for a gallery claiming to have modern art, but the second floor of the gallery is full of avant-garde stuff and worth the price of admission. (Galleries, and everything else in Zagreb, are cheap.)
We still had time to kill before heading to the airport, so we head to a bar called The Pharmacy, which must have been an old pharmacy because the interior is very much “old bar,” and read Croatian Yachting (or something).
We grabbed our luggage from the hotel and went to the bus terminal. Jenn bought our tickets while I searched around for some food. There was one place that looked good and about 10 that didn’t look so great, and the one place that looked good had a long line. I finally got in it and just barely made it back to the shuttle bus with our sandwiches. We at them on the floor of the airport (not off the floor) and they were surprisingly fresh.
Our flight to Dubrovnik was extremely fast (about 3/4s as long as it should have been) but the plane wasn’t very comfortable.
A shuttle was available to our rooms in Dubrovnik but we thought the price (35 euros) seemed insane. We had read that a cab would cost the equivalent of 25 or 30 at the worst, and so decided to take our chances. That information proved to be a few years out of date and we ended up spending more than we wanted to on the cab.
Fortunately, our cab driver knew the way (it would have been rather hard for us to find it by taking the bus to the city walls and then taking a cab the rest of the way, if the driver didn’t know where it was) and he essentially acted as a tour guide. I don’t usually like chatty cab drivers but this guy had a lot of useful information. (He also tried to convince us to hire him to drive us into Montenegro for the cost of more than our flight from Zagreb, which was funny.)
We got to our rooms next to a fancy restaurant and found they were rather larger than where we had stayed in Zagreb. This was an apartment, not a hotel, so we had our own kitchenette too (though we didn’t really use it).
At this point it was well after midnight so we went to sleep.