Croatia’s capital city sits prettily beneath Mount Medvednica and makes for a jam-packed break, with museums, culture and coffee galore. Best explored on foot, wander Zagreb‘s picturesque streets to discover the city’s neo-baroque and art deco architecture, and quirky attractions such as the Museum of Broken Relationships. For the most authentic Zagreb experience, there are some charming boutique hotels to rest your weary head. Here we round up the best boutique hotels Zagreb has to offer, bookable with Culture Trip.
Marvel at the opulent decor of this wryly-named former bank from the 1920s. From gold-tiled bars to rooms and suites with original wood panelling and parquet floors, the Capital is a grand mix of art deco and art nouveau influences with contemporary touches. The private dining room in the basement still contains the original vault – now, amusingly, an honesty bar. Rooms are a mix of heritage-style that make the most of original features, including vast chandeliers. Be sure to stop by the boutique for high-end local crafts including handmade hats.
The oldest standing hotel building in the city also happens to be one of the best located. Just beyond the city’s main square you’ll find the peaceful greenery-filled courtyards of the Jägerhorn, nestled in a passage connecting the historic upper town and city centre. There are just 18 rooms, which are are cosy and compact – with vintage touches such as worn leather suitcases and vintage telephones, and all with fully stocked minibars. Book the suite, which sleeps four, if you’re travelling as a family.
Described as a boutique hotel-museum, the 35 uniquely decorated rooms and twisting hallways and staircases of this family-run establishment are crammed with antiques – alongside more than 700 paintings, photographs and vintage newspaper articles. The hotel is home to the Museum of Gastronomy, which houses the largest private collection of cookbooks in Europe with over 2,000 vintage titles. There’s also restaurant Stari Puntijar, where regional and national specialities are prepared according to the original recipes. Sparkling wine is still opened with a sword in the cellar, where there’s more than 400 wines on offer.
The first hotel to open in Zagreb in 1907, the Palace is an art nouveau-style building which supports local artists – meaning you’ll find an impressive array of artworks adorning its corridors. The grandeur of the hotel’s facade and communal areas gives way to rooms which are fairly minimalist, though some feature marble bathrooms. A heritage menu in the restaurant is available if you fancy some traditional fare – including Dalmatian prosciutto, boškarin sausage and ham from Zagorje served with fresh cottage cheese with sour cream.
Presidents, politicians, film stars and musicians have all walked the black, white and blush marble halls of the Esplanade. Originally opened in 1925 as a stylish stop for passengers of the Orient Express, the hotel has lost none of its grandeur. Personalised service is a focus, so much so that there’s even a VIP dog service, intended to allow dogs to share the luxury enjoyed by their owners. Leave them to enjoy their pampering stay and go explore in the style you’ve become accustomed to – a uniformed chauffeur and limousine can be booked on request.
Fuss-free and friendly, the family-run Hotel Jarun has built up a loyal following of returning visitors since opening in 2009. Mainly catering for business travellers, the neat property of just 34 rooms is located in a quiet neighbourhood – but within walking distance from public transport and Jarun lake. With free parking, it’s a good stop for road trippers looking to explore more of the country. Though there’s no restaurant, there’s an ample breakfast with free coffee in the mornings, a gym if you need to burn off your indulgences and a private bar for guests only.
The Antunović is a property popular with business travellers – likely because of the sheer number of services it offers. Room service until midnight and valet parking, plus a flower shop, hair salon, restaurant, bar, laundry service and fashion boutique are all available. Breakfast and access to the wellness centre – which includes a gym, a whirlpool, a pool, a Finnish sauna, a bio sauna and a steam bath – are free for all guests. Rooms range from spacious deluxe rooms with large LCD TVs, mini-bars and city views, to sprawling suites.
President Pantovack features rooms with carefully selected pieces of antique furniture and works of art by renowned artists. Unlike the popular art deco architecture found in the majority of hotels in Zagreb, this hotel has been carefully designed in contemporary style. Its large floor-to-ceiling windows look out to the park, and all rooms are oriented towards the garden. Rooms either have a large terrace or a private garden, while the glass walls can be completely opened to let in both sunlight and breeze.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Eleanor Cunningham contributed additional reporting to this article.
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