Wandering Aimlessly in Zagreb – Joel’s Journeys & Jaunts

Many of the main sights in Zagreb have been closed for restoration since the earthquake that occurred a little over three and a half years ago as I write these words. Consequently, by this afternoon I’d already visited everything visitable and recommended by the tour book and/or walking tour app I use. I rechecked those sources and scoured the “things to do” tab on TripAdviser. Nothing. All I could think of to do was wandering aimlessly in Zagreb.

A street I walked along while wandering aimlessly in Zagreb
A street I walked along while wandering aimlessly in Zagreb

The moral of this story is do a little more than just surface research when planning a trip. There’s no way in hell that I’ll end up following that advice because I don’t enjoy that part of travel. But you might want to consider it. It might save you some disappointment during your journey.

Before I booked this trip, I scanned my usual sources, saw that there was more than enough to see and do in Zagreb to fill up three full days and any part days on arrival and departure. What I didn’t do is check to see if those sights were open.

When I arrived in Zagreb, saw that so much was closed, and found out why, I vaguely recollected reading news stories about the quake at the time. But when I planned this trip no memories of it bubbled up into my consciousness from the abyss of my subconscious memory.

So I didn’t think to check if the 2020 earthquake still had stuff closed down. It never even occurred to me to do so. If it had, I probably would have booked a day or two less in Zagreb.

To make a short story long, as I said above, the only thing I could think of to do this afternoon was wandering aimlessly in Zagreb, particularly the lower and upper old town.

Wandering Aimlessly in Zagreb

Another street I walked along while wandering aimlessly
Another street I walked along while wandering aimlessly

The above makes it sound as if I think wandering aimlessly in Zagreb is a negative thing. That is not at all the case.

Despite being unimpressed with the parts of Zagreb I saw in my first few hours here, I’ve gotten to know the city better now. It charmed me.

The old town is warm and welcoming, interesting and enchanting. And even though scaffolding obscures portions of many the grand buildings of Zagreb, more than enough of their facades are visible beside, over, or under the scaffolding to give hints of their beauty.

(How, you might ask, can the facade be visible under the scaffolding? Doesn’t the scaffolding have to be anchored to the ground? Not necessarily. At the cathedral, most of the scaffolding is only around the two towers that rise up above the roof. I assume they anchored the scaffolding to the roof, not the ground.

So, I found wandering aimlessly around Zagreb to be quite pleasant, despite seeing little new.

Sit & Meet

Yesterday I told you about the Sit & Meet program that placed statues of seated notable people beside bars and cafés here. On a table beside each statue they glued a small sign that states the name of the person and provides a QR code. Scanning the QR code takes you to a webpage with a pithy paragraph about the person.

Yesterday, I posted a picture of the Marco Polo Sit & Meet statue I saw.

The tour guide on the walking tour I took the other day, pointed out one of the statues and said Sit & Meet is an art program in Zagreb. Yesterday, I followed the link to the Marco Polo page, but I didn’t look at the program’s homepage until today.

Looking at its homepage, I get the sense that it may indeed be an art program, but it’s even more intended as a money-making venture.

I couldn’t find a free map of the locations of the statues. But I did find links to book a long guided walking tour of the statues (€35/adult), a short version of the guided walking tour that visits only nine of the 13 statues (€30), and a downloadable self-guided audio walking tour that will go poof after 30 days (€15.01, don’t ask me why the .01). To be fair, the guide-guided tours include a free coffee, snack, and Zagreb funicular ticket.

During my walk I decided to take pictures of all of the Sit & Meet statues I saw today to post here. I didn’t do very well. I saw only six of the 13. And that includes Marco Polo who I also saw yesterday. (But I didn’t cheat. I took a new picture today. I haven’t tried, but if you compare today’s picture to yesterday’s you might see a difference in the angle and/or lighting.)

If I did this right, if you click on any of the pictures below it should take you to the appropriate page for the person pictured.

Goodbye Zagreb (Almost)

This will probably be my last post from Zagreb. I leave on a bus tomorrow for my next and final destination of this trip. The bus doesn’t leave until a quarter past noon tomorrow, but I don’t know if I’ll do anything worth writing about before then. Catch you later.

About The Author

Joel

I am a retired person. I like to travel. That’s all he wrote.

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