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Monday, 22 November 2010

When In Zagreb...Go Where The Locals Go

I remember walking by this bookstore when I spent some time last summer in Zagreb. I'm not a book worm, but I do enjoy a good read when I'm in the mood or have the time. I also have a very eclectic taste in reading material, so I'm very picky too. On this note, for anyone out there who may be contemplating going to Zagreb anytime soon, (or possibly already there right now) and if they're an avid reader, then this may pique your interest. You can buy cool books about all sorts of subjects all over Zagreb, sometimes the stores double as cd stores too. One could always go to places like the recently opened Arena Centar Zagreb, a massive new mall located right across the new Arena Zagreb, and spend ample time shopping in the stores. But if you want more authentic, local, cool tucked away kind of places, then this will be right up your alley.

At the website you can find some cool links to other places in Zagreb that are worth checking out too, especially for someone who's never been there and wants some basic information about where to go and what to see, instead of the usual touristy, busy places. There's quite a few places I would add based on my time there. (Maybe on my next trip there I'll make a similar site, who knows?) Also, as mundane as this may seem to someone living in North America, I actually highly recommend taking a ride on one of the super smooth and quiet Zagreb Electric Trams (Zagrebački električni tramvaj) also. It's like a super cheap tourist ride. The scenery, the architecture, gardens, statues, historic places, glimpses of centuries old castles and buildings, all mixed in with newer modern buildings, cafes, markets, boutiques etc, especially the central part of the city, around Ban Jelacic Square, (Trg bana Jelačića) where in the summertime, they actually do have free tourist rides around the city center about every 1/2 hour. The Zagreb Trams are a very enjoyable experience, like no public transportation ride I've ever taken over here. In my time there I didn't meet one fucktard, but I did get to talk to alot of babes, which is the opposite of here, just like the McDonalds there are the opposite of the McDonalds here, but in a good way. Anyway, there's plenty of internet sites devoted to the city of Zagreb, with many more places to get more information about, but like the name of the site reads, these places will make you feel more like one of the locals. (aka a "Purger") Here's just a few I threw in that may be of interest:

Profil Megastore – A profile you’ll easily recognize


As I’m a self-confessed bookworm, bookstores are where I really like to spend some of my free time. I can’t afford to shop every time I enter one, but there’s something about that type of place that really calms me down and makes me happy even if I walk out empty-handed.

There are many bookstores in Zagreb, but the one I particularly like is the Profil Megastore. Being one of the biggest publishing houses in Croatia, Profil also has the most impressive bookshop in the city. It’s composed of five storeys: multimedia in the basement, Croatian and foreign fiction (along with stationery) on the ground floor, and on the remaining three you’ll find a nice gift shop and a great selection of literature on various subjects like art, architecture, science, psychology, self-help etc. Don’t worry - a big part of the content is in various languages, mostly English, so you won’t have a problem with the language barrier.

There’s even a little café on the first floor – so when all that shopping or browsing wears you out, you can have a drink and relax. Profil Megastore website:

KIC club – A hot spot to chill out


The KIC club is a funky little place situated on the second floor of a building overlooking the edge of the Preradović square.

The bar itself isn’t really visually impressive – it could be described as a simple square room with walls painted in a dull shade of grey, and a cluster of small tables surrounded by colourful but shabby chairs and sofas. Yet there’s a cool, laid-back vibe to it that you just won’t be able to resist. KIC is always buzzing with lots of people, mostly young intellectuals.

As KIC stands for ‘cultural information centre’( kulturno informativni centar) in Croatian, you might think that something cultural actually takes place there every now and then. You’d be right: there are movie nights (and most of those aren’t silly blockbusters, but something you’d be glad to watch), various lectures and photography exhibitions.

Those photos are one of my favourite things about this place – you’ll spot them the minute you walk in, and they’re usually quite attractive so they’ll give you something to gaze at as you’re drinking your morning coffee. Oh, it’s evening already? Well, just enjoy the company of your friends while having a drink and chilling out at this great artsy bar.

Boogaloo Club – Let the music carry you

If you’re looking for a place where you can have a drink during the day and dance to some good music at night, check out the Boogaloo Club.

More than once I’ve seen this place half-empty during day hours; you’ll probably find a few groups of students, as the club is situated between a couple of colleges. However, in the evening it quickly gets packed with people, especially on concert nights. If there’s a tribute band having a gig in Zagreb, most likely it’ll take place here. There have been music tributes to famous Croatian bands, but also the widely popular musicians and bands as Guns ‘n’ Roses, Nirvana, The Doors, …

Even if you’re not into the whole tribute thing, Boogaloo won’t let you down- you could get a chance to listen to well-known rock and metal bands, let yourself go a little crazy on disco nights and dance to techno/electro music until the early morning hours. No chance you’ll be disappointed – this club is a place worth visiting.

Kino Europa – Culturally significant cinema


Kino Europa is the most beautiful cinema in Zagreb, made in post-secession classicistic style in 1924. It is situated in Varšavska street – street that has recently been a scene of a civil initiative and protests due to city government’s nontransparent politics related to an engineering project placed just a few meters away from the cinema.

Actually, from its beginnings, this cinema has been a bystander of political turmoil. It survived several political regimes, changed its initial name from „Balkan kino” to more eligible „Kino Europa” during the War of Independence, but in spite of all those changes, it has kept its doors open for every film buff in the city.

In 2008, after the civil initiative for preservation of this opulent cinema, city government entrusted its management to Zagreb Film Festival organization. Thanks to them, the citizens of Zagreb have one more place where they’re able to watch latest independent films, national and international festival laureates, and all those movies they won’t easily find in some Movieplex. Kino Europa has also become a national movie center that is a host to many film festivals and art related promotions as well.

Besides, it’s a place in which you can drink excellent coffee, wine and grappa at the Kino Europa café, use free wireless internet connection, check some new art-exhibition and dance at the Saturday night’s dance ball. All of that combined definitely makes Kino Europa Zagreb’s perfect hotspot.

For the exact movie program and event information, clik on the link.

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