Welcome to my final Croatia blog!
After visiting the breathtaking Plitvice Lakes, we began the final leg of our journey and travelled north to Zagreb, the capital city.
Arriving in Zagreb:
After staying in hostels for the majority of our holiday, we decided to treat ourselves to hotel accommodation. We stayed at the Doubletree Hilton and got our room so cheap! This hotel was just incredible and was a stark contrast to our previous accommodation. It was in the business region of the city, but still only a quick 20 minute walk from the centre. We decided to walk to the centre of Zagreb because we were unsure about how the trams worked!
Things to do in Zagreb:
We embarked on our journey to the centre of Zagreb after seeing the Mirogoj Cemetery. It was a long walk up a hill, although you can take the bus if you prefer. I don’t know what we were expecting, but the Cemetery was underwhelming and I wouldn’t recommend visiting unless you have a reason to be there. Not only did it feel disrespectful to take pictures of the beautiful architecture and gravestones there, but there was something peculiar and unsettling about being the only people there.
We later walked through the colourful centre and did some quick sightseeing. We took some photos of the Zagreb Cathedral and the main square before visiting the Lotrščak Tower in the Upper Town, boasting incredible views over the vast city.
Our final sightseeing stop was St. Mark’s Church, one of the oldest architectural monuments in the city. Unfortunately, it was undergoing construction but we still got some good shots of it!
In the evening we headed down the cobbled streets and made our way back to our hotel. We spent the rest of the night there chilling by the pool and we ate our dinner in the hotel’s restaurant too.
The next morning we actually visited another country! We took a minibus across the border to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia before stopping off at Lake Bled.
I’m not exaggerating when I say that Ljubljana is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been to. It was so colourful, clean and green. I wish we had spent more time there, but unfortunately we only had a few hours.
In our short time in Ljubljana, we walked across the Dragon Bridge and photographed the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation before wandering through the city streets. We headed to a rooftop bar for a drink and some great views over the city. Shortly after, with only an hour left to spend in the city we saw St Nicholas Cathedral and the Ljubljana Tower.
The Cathedral is one of the prettiest I have ever seen, as although the door is dark and gothic, the interior is made from pink marble and has stunning mosaics and painted ceilings. It is such a beautiful place to stumble upon and take a few moments of silent reflection in. From the Cathedral, we began the short ascent to the Tower which overlooked the city. It was nice and quiet and we sat up there for a while before it was time to resume our tour and head to Lake Bled!
I think Lake Bled is *slightly* overhyped. Unless you take a boat to the island, it is almost impossible to get any photos of it as it is so far away. I did enjoy the serenity of the Lake though and how it was almost like a park, making it feel less remote. I was not expecting it to be so commercialised and busy though, there were many stalls and shops for food.
We were going to do the hike to get a view over the lake but ended up resting on a park bench instead. I was also annoyed we weren’t able to swim in the Lake, as it had closed for swimming the day prior! If you’re planning on going to Bled, definitely be sure to go before the start of September if you want to swim.
We then drove up to the Castle above the Lake. We were able to get better pictures of Bled from the Castle and it was nice sitting up there for a while before heading back to Croatia.
I would love to go back to Bled, as I feel I didn’t really get to do everything it had to offer. I think it would be nice to spend a couple days there to really relax and see the area.
Visiting Lake Bled concluded our Croatian / Slovenian holiday as once back in Zagreb we got on our plane and went home!
Did you enjoy this travel series? Maybe I’ll share more soon!
Let me know if you have been to Zagreb, Ljubljana or Bled as I’d love to read what you thought of them!