Zagreb is Croatia's elegant capital, a compact jewel of a city where neoclassical opulence comes face-to-face with dusty, crumbling backstreets of the Upper Town. Zagreb is a city of contrasts, where the lucky traveller will be confronted with limitless options for how to spend their time there.
A stroll through the centre will bring you face-to-face with raucous groups of stag parties and students, alongside the ultra-rich and bourgeoisie sipping expensive champagne from private terraces. The city is good for a cheap bender, but it also does refinement better than most.
If you're looking for an unforgettable evening of elegance and luxury in Zagreb, look no further.
Start with an Aperitif
As the sun sets over the red rooftops of the historic city, you'll want to start your evening off in style with a cocktail or two. To experience the best of Croatian hospitality in stunning Art Deco surroundings, ensconce yourself to the elegant bar of the Esplanade Hotel, for the best martini you'll ever have. For something a little more intimate, try the underground Bacchus Jazz Bar for a glass of rich Dalmatian red.
Move onto Some Fine Dining, Dalmatian Style
A dinner is Croatia doesn't have to consist of heaving portions of Slavic fare. Zagreb is a true culinary capital, and should be explored as such. If you can get a table, your first choice should be Bistro Apetit, heading by the chef behind the former best restaurant in the world, Copenhagen's Noma. Here he infuses classic Croatian ingredients with a French cooking style, paired with some of the best wine from the region. If you can't get past the door, head around the corner to Dubravkin Put for some stripped-back Adriatic seafood with a twist.
Live It Up in the Monte Carlo of the Adriatic
Once you've had your fill of Michelin-grade food, it's time to increase the tempo. Do this with a high-roller jaunt to the gloriously opulent Diamond Palace Casino in the city centre, where you can spit the roulette wheel and try your hand at blackjack in true James Bond fashion. If you're worried about how you'll fare against Zagreb's biggest high rollers, there are plenty of online platforms such as William Hill live casino to help you work on your blackjack game beforehand with live dealers. If the stakes are too high for you, then grab yourself a comfy seat on their terrace and nurse a few cocktails as the sun goes down.
Dance 'til Dawn
Now it's time to party. Avoid the sticky student dives of the Lower Town and head a little outside the city to somewhere truly exclusive. The Gallery Club feels like a transplant straight out of Ibiza, with pools, cabanas, and white leather sofas as far as the eye can see. If it seems tacky at first, you might change your mind once the DJ sets begin, given that everyone from Calvin Harris to Tiesto has set up shop here for a spin. The place regularly stays open past 9am, so pop a bottle and dance until dawn.
Zagreb truly has something for everyone, but sometimes we all want to feel special. Follow these tips to have a refined night you'll never forget.