As the capital of Croatia, Zagreb attracts a mixed selection of people looking to travel to and live in a place with different nationalities and cultures.
In terms of the culture, entertainment, and nightlife that is available, many expats will be happy to know that there is a bounty of affordable things to do while living in Zagreb.
In the old town/upper town, expect to see beautiful 16th century architecture. Some unusual museums always prove a great attraction, including the Museum of Naive Art next to the church of St Mark.
The epicenter of the city is Trg Bana Jelacica, which is awash with history, including an aptly placed statue of Ban Jelacic riding a horse. To the east of this central location is Maksimir Park, which is home to a zoo that hosts snow leopards, pygmy hippopotamuses, and Bactrian camels. The park is also great for playing soccer in, a popular sport in the city.
The big international soccer team is GNK Dinamo Zagreb, renowned for being the greatest team in the whole country. The stadium is located at Stadion Maksimir, which has even hosted rock concerts in the past, including an event with Madonna, Depeche Mode, and U2 in recent years.
Zagreb is also home to the INmusic festival, one of the biggest open-air festivals in Croatia, taking place in the southwest of the city by Jarun lake. This area, along with Tkalčićeva Promenade in the north, is great for clubs and nightlife.
If a night of drinking and dancing is not of interest, there are plenty of things that cater to an upmarket, more arty clientele. From the 14th century paintings of The Strossmayer Gallery of Old Masters to the operatic stylings found at the Croatian National Theatre, there is something for every expat living in Zagreb.
Zagreb is a relatively small city, so it’s easy to get around. You can easily hire a bike and see all the beautiful historic buildings in upper town. The main public transport links in the city are covered by ZET, a city council company that operates the running of an efficient tram system, along with a commuter railway that isn’t too expensive. This railway has been around since 1992, and boasts a 15-minute frequency to local areas.
Croatian Railways run a national network that operates in the further Zagreb metropolitan area. Zagreb Airport (located less than 20 kilometers southeast) is the gateway to getting a plane to nearby European destinations, along with other international hotspots.
Any expats that are hoping to travel to Zagreb with family will be keen to know what options are available when it comes to schools and universities. No matter where in the city you choose to settle down, there should be opportunities to learn Croatian whilst being able to speak your native tongue.
The city boasts a plethora of great schools, particularly when it comes to expatriates. For example, international schools include an American school, two British schools, a Deutsche Schule, an École Française, as well as some local high schools that offer the International Baccalaureate.