Why taking an exchange semester in Zagreb is a great idea?
Zagreb is the capital of Croatia, and it is also a perfect place to do a student exchange program. The student life in Zagreb is exciting and dynamic, and since we are students ourselves, we wanted to tell you all the best reasons why we think living in Zagreb is an amazing idea for any student that wants to experience studying abroad. We can ensure you that this city won’t disappoint you!
The present city of Zagreb is composed of the Lower Town “Donji Grad” and the Upper Town “Gornji Grad”. As both parts are very close to one another, you can easily reach everything in Zagreb by foot. Also, the whole city is well connected with its signature blue trams which are very affordable, and they are the most common way of moving through the city.
EASY AND OUTGOING LIFESTYLE
One important thing you should know about Croatian people is that they adore their coffee, and they think it is a perfect way of socializing and spending quality time with their friends. So, you must drink coffee as Croats do. Drinking one coffee can last up to 3 hours and it is the most normal thing. If you come to the city center you will notice that there are coffee shops everywhere you go and they are full of people all day long, especially from around 2 pm, after we have had our lunch. The main street for long coffee drinking lovers is Tkalčićeva street, which is right next to Ban Jelačić square and Bogovićeva street that leads to Preradović square, or so-called „Cvjetni trg“ which means the Flower Square. These two famous streets are full of bars and coffee shops where young people prefer to hang out, drink their coffee, and enjoy their mornings, afternoons, and evenings.
The whole Croatian culture is very notable, and Zagreb is no exception. The Ban-Jelačić square is the central point of the town, and from there, you are surrounded by a great number of monuments and historical buildings. The city is very rich in cultural and artistic events. There are countless museums, theaters, galleries, and art exhibitions that might spark an interest in you.
EVENTS AND INTERESTING SIGHTS
There are numerous culturally oriented sights in Zagreb, breathtaking National Theatre, which is considered one of the most beautiful buildings in Zagreb, St. Marko square, and a Church with a colorful roof located in the Upper city, alongside the Croatian Parliament and the Croatian Government. The must-see museums that are popular among young people are also the Museum of Broken Relationships, the Museum of Contemporary Arts, and the Croatian Museum for Naïve Art. All kinds of festivals are being held week after week: coffee and chocolate, street food, art performances, music, and many more. Also, a new popular way of entertainment in Zagreb have become quiz nights (pub quizzes) organized in local bars all over the city center. Moreover, drive-in cinemas are becoming more and more popular, so if you have a car, that might be a perfect spot for a date night or simply as a safe alternative to cinemas during the pandemic
ADVENT IN ZAGREB
From the first week of December, the city is more alive than ever due to the Christmas market that was proclaimed to be the most beautiful winter market in Europe three times in a row! We call it Advent. The city is always full of lights and Christmas trees, everything smells like Christmas food and mulled wine, there is music all around and a big ice-skating park in one of the main squares.
The city becomes so alive during this period and young people often get together and have delicious signature Christmas drinks around Zrinjevac and Upper town where there is an organized Christmas festival called Baš Naš. Those are perfect and the most popular places for students to have fun during December.
Unfortunately, nightlife in Zagreb has gone a little down during this shocking pandemic, but as time passes by, everybody is optimistic that young people will very soon enjoy the normal Zagreb party routine! Croatia’s party city is without a doubt Zagreb. It has a limitless supply of bars, cafés, pubs, and night-clubs suitable for all tastes. You have several events happening in the Upper Town, bars lined up in Tkalčićeva street, the Lower Town with Bogovićeva street and Preradović square and Branimir Centre. For most parts, the vibe is relaxed in Zagreb clubs. Ruthlessly selective door policies and watery cocktails have not yet made inroads onto the scene. There are a few clubs where you are expected to show up in movie-star fashion, but they are a definite exception. The cover runs from about 30 to 50HRK (€4 to €7). Drinks are about the same. And the most important thing, a good time is guaranteed!
Zagreb offers a great variety of cuisine. There are many restaurants with national as well as international food. They vary in prices but are generally quite pleasant. On the other hand, there are 12 student restaurants, so-called „Menza“, scattered all over the city at faculties and student residence halls. Every student must have a student identity card (“iksica”) to get meals at a reduced price. With the card, you can get a full meal €1. Apart from that, in the last few years, the Zagreb gastro scene has gone on another level with newly opened cool restaurants and bistros on every corner. Fusion cuisine became more recognized by students. Furthermore, while Croatia is best known for Mediterranean cuisine, it’s a diverse country with many different culinary influences. You can’t leave Zagreb without trying famous cottage cheese, sour cream, and štrukli. Many things make Zagreb a truly special city, and if you choose it to be your student exchange destination, you will witness it yourself.