Activities in the heart of nature

How about a walk along the Sava River?

The Sava River flows through Slovenia, Croatia, the northern border of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, and ends its course in the Danube in Belgrade. It connects three national capitals: Ljubljana (Slovenia), Zagreb (Croatia) and Belgrade (Serbia). You can visit some of the lakes connected to the Sava River such as the artificial lakes of Jarun and Bundek, and you can even swim in them during the summer.

After the catastrophic flood of 1964, dykes were created to prevent this event from happening again, and today they form a long promenade area along the river, only 10 minutes drive from the city center.

This long walk from one end of the city to the other allows you to practice many activities such as cycling, walking or jogging. Along the way, you will discover captivating urban sculptures scattered along the way: our favorite, the three frogs. You can also spot many Soviet-era buildings, the Hendrix Bridge, an abandoned ship and the magnificent sunset.

“After the effort, the comfort!” So we suggest you try the delicious pastries at Hendricks Garden, also known as the unusual garden. It’s a beautiful hidden garden, with a nice hut protected by trees and an atypical British style decoration. A place to relax during the day, but also ambient and romantic with its lights in the evening.

If you rather wish to enjoy a beer or a coffee in an original setting similar to that of the universe of “Peaky Blinders” in a modern version, the Hub Cooltura Pub in the East or the Vintage Industrial Bar in the West is the ideal place.

Hikes to Medvedgrad Castle

This fortification nestled on the top of the Zagreb hill will delight history and story lovers. It was built after the Tartar invasion in the 13th century, then severely damaged by an earthquake in 1590, and abandoned by its last inhabitants.

Today, the Medvednica nature park, with the Sljeme mountain and its castle, offers from the top of its 1033m a nature getaway in the heart of the Croatian capital, only a few minutes from the center!

The castle hosts numerous events throughout the year such as refreshing mountain concerts, medieval events such as tournaments, chivalrous fights, and offers on these occasions medieval food and drinks, and the visit of the Medvednica witches: a real trip back in time to the Middle Ages!

It is also one of the best views in Zagreb. That’s why there are many hiking trails only 15 minutes away from the city center. For us, this is the ideal activity for a sunny Sunday. A moment of relaxation, connection with nature and sharing, while exploring the city and its history with the passage to the medieval fortress Medvedgrad.

How to get there?

By public transport / on foot: Take streetcar 14 from the Draskoviceva stop to the streetcar terminal (Mihaljevac stop). You can then walk for about an hour or take bus 102 to the Sestine-centar stop where the church of Saint Mirka is located. The starting point for walks to the castle is on the top of the church.

One-on-one with a falcon

Recently, with the Terra Balka team, we tested the activity of free flying falconry near the castle of Medvedgrad, on the heights of Sljeme.
During this activity, we had the opportunity to meet Dubravko and Vitol, the passionate falconers, who will surprise you as they have a whole range of skills: sculptor, musician, outdoor entrepreneur… Getting to know this inseparable duo was a real pleasure, we shall explain why!

Falconry in Croatia is part of the intangible heritage of UNESCO. This art of training birds of prey was transmitted from the Middle East to Croatia and the Balkans, and falconry then spread throughout Europe.

This is a walk in the middle of the forest that lasts about 1 hour, where we met Spela, a falcon with a surprising social intelligence. Spela flies from tree to tree and follows the group and the 2 hunting dogs present. The walk is divided between moments of observation and interaction with the bird, and moments of sharing about the world of falconry and these fascinating animals. Knowledge transmission, surprising anecdotes, complicity with the bird of prey and free flight of this majestic animal, it is an unforgettable experience!

It is a real moment of sharing for couples, families, and small groups. The discussions flows smoothly, the guides share their knowledge and we learn about the birds with our own eyes while having fun. It is also possible to hold the bird on a glove, as well as feed it: its posture will tell you if it feels comfortable with you!

The way this activity is done, full of good intentions, as well as the benevolence of Dubravko and Vitold, allows to have enriching conversations and to be fully in contact with nature. It is a magical moment, where you can feel the strong bond between man and animals, but also between 2 animals of different species. Indeed, the relationship of trust between the bird and its breeder, and the cooperation and bickering between Spela and the 2 dogs was fascinating!

Zagreb by Night

Zagreb / Split: a top match

For a successful soccer match in Croatia, you need: an electric atmosphere between the clubs of Split and Zagreb, a good dose of screaming and singing fans, footballers ready to fight, and most importantly, a good zest of testosterone!

As soon as you get in line, at nightfall, the chants of the fans can be heard from all sides. Get your adrenaline pumping, the game is about to start. Songs, flags, fireworks, chorographies and adversity, but always in a good mood and respect, after this activity you will have great anecdotes to tell on your return!

Alcatraz Bar

A bar with a crazy rock atmosphere and a real hangout for the locals, with a very varied playlist that will appeal to all tastes. There are two versions of this bar, one on the south side of the central square, the other on the north side in the Thirst Street. Its fascinating decoration makes it unusual, with objects from all over the world. The perfect place to enjoy a myriad of bottled beers and homemade rakijas, such as honey, cherry or black currant!

Masters Club

This is an underground nightclub in Zagreb, with an outdoor stage perched above a tennis court near Maksimir Park. Croatian DJs play music ranging from tech to reggae, deep house and many other styles. If you are looking for an experience away from the more touristy clubs, this is the club for you.

Stroll around the Christmas market

Between two shows or concerts, stroll through the streets of the capital and taste the specialties of the Zagreb Christmas market: even better than mulled wine, taste the hot gin! And yes… Here you will find a variety of strong alcohol in hot version. To balance it all out, try hot chestnuts, roasted corn or the famous fritules at the stalls in the main squares and small streets.

The Art of Culture

Museum, action and slides

At first glance, these words have nothing to do with each other, and yet! The city of Zagreb has the most important museum of contemporary art in the country, which manages to make modern art accessible to everyone. The aim of this institution is to promote and collect the works of art of the younger generation. Some of the collections can be seen from the outside, such as the intriguing slide by Belgian artist Carsten Höller that allows you to quickly slide down the floors or even street art on the walls.  The curious building is itself a work of art, with modern and contemporary stairs, elevators and walkways as far as the eye can see. Inside is a permanent exhibition that spans 3500 m2, with a photographer’s archive, and thematic exhibitions that change with the seasons. Personally, we loved the Device Art exhibition which deals with technological devices, machines and robotics in modern art.

The exhibitions are immersive and mix visual art with performance art, sensations with emotions, to make it a lively and playful experience to present art in all its forms and make it appreciated by as many people as possible.

Shopping at Dolac

Located in the open air, just a stone’s throw from the cathedral, Zagreb’s central market is one of the city’s most fascinating attractions. The Dolac market has a tradition of more than 80 years as the main food market in the city. What better way to become one with the city’s traditions than to immerse yourself in the authenticity of local and seasonal products! Every day of the week, until 1:00 pm, producers come to town to sell their products, it is our favorite activity sunday morning. You’ll find fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and fish, fresh pasta, and meet bakers, cheesemakers, florists, and more.

This allows you to support local producers, to buy fresh and seasonal products but it is also an experience that allows you to “live like a local” and taste traditional flavors. In summer, when the sun is at its highest, the market is decked out with red umbrellas transforming the square into a colorful place.

Spomenik buildings: the art of the unusual

Discover these intriguing and fascinating monuments: The Spomenik. They are monuments erected to the glory of the Yugoslav revolution, their architecture both retro-futuristic and sometimes somewhat austere characteristic of the former Eastern bloc is of a truly surprising originality, but they are all unique in their own way. These works celebrate various events and can have very different interpretations. They are spread all over Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia, in the heart of depopulated villages, and some are even abandoned in the middle of the forest.

Crossing the Gric tunnel

Here is a really improbable and atypical place! The only World War II tunnel open to the public. The Gric tunnel is a tunnel that served as a refuge during the various wars that Zagreb has known, in order to protect the population from bombing. Nowadays, it has been opened to the public to offer various cultural events free of charge. Throughout its 350 meters, and especially at Christmas, you can see decorations, animations, sounds and lights, a giant library, or many shows.

Discover our trips to Croatia