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Zagreb; a small buzzing European capital on the up.
If you’re looking for somewhere that’s on the up but not yet overrun by tourists, try Croatian capital Zagreb. It’s an intriguing mix of Austro-Hungarian architecture and functional, slightly tatty socialist structures, but the cobbled streets in the centre offer plenty of cafés, art galleries and shops to keep visitors happy.
The medieval Upper Town centres on Kaptol Square, where most of the buildings date from the 17th century. The Stone Gate, the eastern gate to medieval Gradec Town, is now a shrine. According to legend, a fire in 1731 destroyed all of the gate except for the painting of the Virgin and Child, reports the BBC.
In contrast, visit the Museum of Contemporary Art (www.msu.hr), Croatia's largest museum. Housed in a building designed by local architect Igor Franić, the Museum displays both up and coming Croatian painters and international artists. It’s also a centre for theatre, film, performances and concerts. And if you’re looking for small gifts to take home, head for the Dolac Market where you’ll find handmade ornaments alongside meat and dairy products.
If you like to do something slightly bizarre on holiday, you can visit Mirogoj (Mirogojska Road) at the base of Mount Medvednica. It’s one of Europe's most beautiful cemeteries and is dotted with sculptures and impressively designed tombs. Or you can donate a memento and a description of your break-up to the Museum of Broken Relationships (new.brokenships.com).
And don’t miss the July Zagreb Summer Evenings (www.kdz.hr) with concerts of classical music, jazz, blues and world music in different locations in the medieval Upper Town.
Easy Jet (www.easyJet.com) flies to Zagreb from London Gatwick from £70, while Croatia Airlines (www.croatiaairlines.com)flies from Heathrow, Manchester and Birmingham from £220.