My family stopped in Zagreb, Croatia while we toured Europe by train with Eurail, but little did we know that this modern-city has its roots established during Victorian times. Zagreb, Croatia is probably best known as a large city which managed to stay romantic with unlimited possibilities for visiting music and theatre events, art exhibitions, museums and enjoying pleasant walks, interesting architecture and lots of parks in the center of the city.
But, thanks to the Secret Zagreb Walks Tours’ Zagrebarium, we think Zagreb is also the steampunk capital of the Balkans. Once my family started exploring the city with Iva, owner and tour guide of Secret Zagreb Walks, we learned that Zagreb has a well-preserved historic Austro-Hungarian Victorian district, so from there it’s only one minor conceptual shift in thinking to make Zagreb all things steampunk. To Iva’s credit, she has fully embraced the steampunk vibe, going so far as dressing in costume and creating a steampunk-themed map—that my kids have declared as one of the best maps and still look at since we got home.
The tour begins at the beautiful Zagreb Main Station. From there you will see traces of the city’s great expansion in the 19th and early 20th centuries and hear stories of amazing minds and incredible events that happened in Zagreb! I don’t want to give an spoilers, but if you are a red-head, you are in for a great story…and beware. 😉 Also, did you know that the fountain pen was invented in Zagreb? This and other interesting facts will be told. Some stories will grab your kids attention that they will be talking about them for days. You will also follow the footsteps of Nikola Tesla in Zagreb, reveals the connection between great 20th century rock stars and Croatian scientists, searches for links between superstition and science and gives insight into earth-shaking events.The tour will end, as you enjoy a short yet memorable cable car ride up the world’s shortest funicular, where you can see the whole city on a hill. But watch your time, as you may want to cover your ears when the cannon goes off from the tower. It was a highlight for the kids on the tour.
First thing is first, if you have never been to Zagreb, you MUST come! Next, you need to book the Zagrebarium tour, where Iva searches for the fantastic side of Zagreb. You will hear interesting tales of amazing minds and incredible events as you explore the city’s best-known sights and some hidden gems. Then, the following days you can explore independently and see for yourself how magically ingenious Zagreb is. Oh, and make sure to see the changing of the guards at St. Mark’s Cathedral! Your whole family will pull out their phones to record this ceremony performed since the 17th century.