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Zagreb or Ljubljana?

I'm planning a September trip to explore the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea. I want to fly into Ljubljana or Zagreb. I've already been to Venice and want to explore a new area I probably won't get to again. I would be renting a car. Do I fly into Zagreb or Ljubljana? I'd be interested in your opinion on either of these 2 cities. My plans so far is to fly back from Dubrovnik. Thanks

Posted by
106 posts

Thats easy, Ljubljana! Personally just think it has way more charm and it has a really laid back cool vibe. Easy to explore and loads of great bars and restaurants on the riverfront and beyond. Check out drinks and views from the Neboticnik: car rental: have fun deciding

Posted by
1948 posts

I went to both cities on my trip last fall. I think pretty much everyone who responds is going to say Ljubljana - it's got cool, quirky architecture, it's a lively university town and it's a nice place to spend two days. However, I would also tell you that I really really enjoyed Zagreb. It was a more educational stop for me, I guess. Zagreb has a fantastic, and much larger, downtown area, with massive outdoor coffee shops. There are literally thousands of outdoor coffee tables, shop after shop after shop. I mastered the art of sitting outside doing nothing there. In addition, Zagreb has incredible outdoor farmers' markets. What I liked most about Zagreb, though, was how visible recent history was in the city. The buildings have that "communist"-era look to them. And while some have been cleaned up and painted, many are drab and grim-looking still. But the city has such life to it! It's busy and bustling and I felt like I was walking around in 1940 or 1950. Zagreb was the low point of my travel partner's trip, but I was very happy there. Ljubljana deserves its "Disney" comparison - it's a charming, happy-looking town. But Zagreb was the real thing - a working city, few Americans around, everything was extremely inexpensive. You'll like either city, but they're very different experiences.

Posted by
2525 posts

Ljubljana is a great city to visit with thoroughly enjoyable atmosphere, architecture, people, food, etc. Love it. As for Zagreb, I really liked it. Although drab by comparison to Ljubljana , I'd most certainly visit there again.

Posted by
470 posts

If you'll be renting a car take into account that cross-border rentals are a lot more expensive than dropping off a car in the same country. That being said, and although I can probably be considered biased, I would have to vote for Ljubljana. Like others have said, it's a beautiful, interesting and somewhat alternative city and it has some great architecture, although not as grand as some of Zagreb's major buildings.

Posted by
821 posts

Hi, The replies so far have been dead on. We were in both cities for several days (4-5) each. My wife immediately says Ljubljana as the restaurants along the river were so nice and the city was prettier. This is where the beggar complained that he didn't want the coins Sally offered, he wanted paper. Wow, that takes hutzpa. The more she thinks about it, then more she is thinking Zagreb had more to do. I would go back to Zargeb. Big veg/fruit market above with a subterrainean (?) meat market. The Museum to Failed Relationships (I think it is the most female based museum ever, Sally loved it). The Museum of Naive Artists (untrained artists and surprisingly interesting good art). Cavapi (a spicey rough ground type of burger) at the restaurant between the fruit market level and the meat market level. MMMM good. And coffee shops. Oh, gosh and a great museum between the old town and the train station. High unemployment was leading to very peaceful protests ( not unlike Madison a year ago or so). We joined in one evening. Hey! I see you're from Madison. This is Stevens Point. Enjoy.
wayne iNWI

Posted by
2131 posts

Fly to Zagreb and rent the car. Spend 2 days. Go to LjLj and stay 2 days, in Hostel Celica. Drive to Plitvice Lakes and spend 1 night and do the park the next day (you really need to see this place). Go to Rovinj, Split, and Dubrovnik. Since you are returning the car in Croatia, you pay no country departure penalty.