Zagreb in winter!? Unlike the beloved brown bear which can hardly wait for winter to come and fall into its blessed deep hibernation, Zagreb’s winter has the reverse effect whereby the cold and frosty season ignites our metropolis even more so. The city squares and streets are filled with song and dance, delicacies can be enjoyed, it’s where hiking, strolling, skating, and recreational activities thrive, or simply life being lived to its fullest.
You can skate and dance at the Šalata ice rink (D-1), from Wednesday to Sunday to the sound of disco music. (Wed - Fri 18:00 - 19:30, Sat - Sun 10:30 - 12:00, 18:00 - 19:30, 20:30 - 22:00; ticket prices Mon - Fri 15kn, 20kn on weekends; skate rental Mon - Fri 15kn, 20kn weekend). If you're a fan of indoor ice rinks, from Thursday to Sunday in the afternoon you can do pirouettes at Dom Sportova (I-3) (Thu, Fri 20:00 - 21:30, Sat - Sun 10:30 - 12:00, 17:00 - 18:30, 20:00 - 21:30; ticket prices Mon - Fri and weekend mornings are 15kn, 20kn weekend; skate rental Mon - Fri and weekend mornings 15kn, 20kn weekend). The Zagreb Velesajem is also available (I-5) (Fri - Sat 20:00 - 21:30, Sun 10:30 - 12:00, 20:00 - 21:30; ticket price Mon - Fri and weekend mornings 15kn, 20kn weekend; skate rental Mon - Fri and weekend mornings 15kn, 20kn weekend).
For those who love walking, hiking, and sledging, then Sljeme is your next destination.
Crank it up a notch with skiing and snowboarding as there are several ski slopes open to the public every day from 9:00 to 16:00 hours on Sljeme. There is also night skiing on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 19:00 to 22:00 hours. (For information on the operations of the ski slopes and ticket prices, check www.facebook.com/skijalistesljeme or www.sljeme.hr)
To help maintain top form over the winter days, swimming is a top option. The pools at Utrine (J-5), SP Mladost (H-4/5), and Mladost (I-3) are open daily to the public. Due to the extensive programme, check out the schedules and prices which are available at www.sportskiobjekti.hr
If anything has experienced a real boom over the last few years, then it is running! Running amongst Zagrebians is a true hit. You’re bound to see both young and old go jogging and almost anywhere, whether it be on the Sava embankment (I/K-4), or in one of the city’s green oases such as Park Maksimir (K-2), Bundek (J-4)...
If escaping the wintery chills and staying indoors where entertainment, recreation, and relaxation is priority, then it is worth knowing that the Buena Vista Club (I-4) from Tuesdays to Saturdays in the evenings hold various dances, from tango and salsa to swing. Admission is free, starting around 21:30 - 22:00. If you are in the mood for some rock, and yet love billiards, visit Mr. Q (J-3) (Mon - Sun 12:00 - 01:00; rental price from 12:00 - 19:00 is 25kn/h, from 19:00 - 01:00 is 35kn/h) or the Metropolis club (I-5) (Mon - Thu 09:00 - 02:00, Fri - Sat 10:00 - 04:00, Sun 10:00 - 01:00; rental price at happy hour Mon - Fri 09:00 - 19:00 is 20kn/h, usually 40kn/h or per min), as well as live music and some of the top games on professional tables.
And for those craving a completely new experience whilst simultaneously helping save the world from total destruction, or even land on the moon and leave their mark, then try the new adrenaline craze called Room Escape (D-3) (Mon - Fri 12:30 - 21:30, Sat 11:00 - 21:30, Sun 11:00 - 17:00; 60 min game in one of two rooms (the bunker or zombie lab) with a team of 2-5 players, it costs 350kn per session and should be pre-booked by phone or via www.roomescape.hr).
There is also the Legame Studio (I-3) (Mon - Fri 13:00 - 20:00, Sat 10:00 - 20:00; 30kn for a simulation up to 15 minutes, in pairs 100kn/2 simulations up to 15 minutes each, groups 2-5 persons 280kn with unlimited number of simulations up to 60 minutes). These are the latest two new attractions to the city, animation type games taken to the next level.
As can be seen, Zagreb during winter offers everything to help us stay strong and fit. Yet at the same time peace and quiet can be found here, a hidden corner in which to simply enjoy a good book or magazine. In the heart of the city, for example, you can find the Playground Café (C-1), equipped for parents with children and lovers of books, unless you have possibly purchased a top novel at the main railway station (C-4) where a Library ATM has recently been stationed!
When International Women’s Day was in full swing, with chocolate being scoffed all over the shop and flowers getting up everyone’s noses (we hope) we suddenly realised one thing: Women Are Great! So we thought we’d dig out the names of Zagreb’s most illustrious dames, ladies who truly left their mark on the city’s fortunes, and who featured in an exhibition celebrating women’s role in society a couple of years back. We’re focused on the past here, so if you feel your name, gentle damsel, has been missed off the list, it just means you haven’t yet passed the test of time. And who wants to rush things? Here are the maids of honour… Ivana Hirschmann - Zagreb’s first female physical education teacher was famous for her short haircut, extrovert dress sense and penchant for smoking cigarettes! Ms Hirschmann did much to make sport acceptable for women at the beginning of the 20th century. Tragically, she ended her life in Auschwitz – she was a member of Zagreb’s Jewish community. Marija Jambrišak – This brave lady stood up in 1871 and demanded equal pay for woman teachers, and was also a tireless campaigner for the rights of Croatian people. Thanks to her efforts, the first state school for women in the Austro-Hungarian Empire opened in Opatička ulica, and still bears her name today. Marija Jurić Zagorka – One of the best loved Croatian novelists ever, Zagorka was also the first woman journalist in the country. She was interested in witch hunts, which took place in Zagreb in the 17th and 18th centuries, and based one of her most famous tales, “The Witch from Grič” on the true story of an attractive and prosperous widow who was burned at the stake by an envious society. She fought against discrimination in all its forms. Barbara Kovačič - Worked in the corn mills which were essential to the survival of 15,000 inhabitants of Zagreb. Paula Landsky Today, you’re quite likely to spot that your tram driver sports a slick of make-up and a good manicure (men’s grooming has come on in leaps and bounds these days).But when Paula Landsky first started work as a conductor selling tickets on Zagreb trams this wasn’t such a common sight. Resplendent in an imposing uniform and with a carriage befitting her pride in her work, Landsky was a legendary sight on Zagreb’s tram network for decades, and lived to see her 101st birthday. Vjera Marjanović-Krajovan – the first woman to gain a doctorate in science and technology from the University of Zagreb (1928). Katarina Matanović – The first Croatian woman to gain a pilot’s licence (1935), and the first woman in Eastern Europe to take a parachute jump (1938), later flew military aircraft as an officer in the air force during World War II. Štefica Vidačić - Although beauty contests today still attract their share of media attention, nothing can compare to the hysteria that surrounded the 1927 Miss Zagreb contests in the Hotel Esplanade. Later that year, the winner, Štefica Vidačić, came home to a crowd of thousands after winning the title Miss Europe in Berlin – making her the most successful Croatian beauty to this day. Uršula Volf – A chimneysweep is quite a common sight in Zagreb still today, but a female one is one we’ll bet you haven’t seen anywhere. But in 19th century Zagreb, one Uršula Volf not only swapped her delicate gowns for a set of overalls, but also came to be head of the Guild of Chimneysweeps.