The country’s capital showcases a completely different face of Croatia than the one you will see on the coast.

With one million inhabitants, Zagreb is one of those towns large enough to boast a city feel, but small enough to retain the coziness.

Zagreb became from its hilltop, where two settlements coexisted in medieval times. One was Kaptol, a religious center centered on Zagreb’s stunning Cathedral; the other one Gradec, the home to merchants and tradesman. Today, a walk through Zagreb’s Upper Town speaks volumes of its history, but also of Croatia’s present, as this is where you will find the offices of the Croatian government and the Parliament. You’ll also find local restaurants, fantastic panoramic spots and interesting museums like the one of the city of Zagreb or the one of Broken Relationships - which has an outlet in Los Angeles. Descend by the funicular to the Zagreb Lower Town, and you will find yourself in a proper downtown, with busy, on-the-go people, bustling shops and cafes and many wonderful parks, squares and markets. The most hype in Zagreb takes place during its Advent Festivities, but this city will keep you entertained no matter of the time of year.

As with many European capitals, some out-of-town experiences lie already within the city limits, like Zagreb’s Maksimir Park or Lake Jarun, both ideal for long walks, cycling or hiking. But to explore the region, venture further to the rolling hills of Zagorje, an upcoming wine region and home to romantic castles like Trakošćan. In Varaždin, get a lesson on baroque and rococo, and in Krapina, track the footsteps of Neanderthal men in their in-situ museum. Go all out with a day trip to Lake Bled in Slovenia.