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Belgrade/Zagreb - Anyone been there?
Andrew1
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I’m having a terrible time trying to fit Belgrade and to a lesser extent Zagreb into my upcoming month in Europe which will mostly be spent in the northern parts of Europe with Brataslava being the furthest point south in the Central/Eastern part. As far as I know the only discount airline flying to Belgrade is Germanwings (Cologne, where I wasn’t planning on going near) and there aren’t many to Zagreb either – though Wizzair now fly from Luton (near London).
 
I’m at the point of giving them the chop but its painful after having read so much about the history of Serbia and Croatia over the past 15 years or so and after months of fully expecting to go there later this winter/spring. 
 
If anyone here has been to either of these cities – what did you think of them? How do you rate them compared to other cities in the region? Thanks.
 
 

auher
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I’ve been to both, so I thought I’d weigh in.
 
Zagreb is one of those cities that people either love, or they hate. I think in the Summer, with it’s outdoor cafe’s in the lower town it’s a very charming and fun place to be. You have to keep in mind that on Summer weekends, a lot of Zagreb’s population goes to the coast to escape the heat and enjoy the lovely coast.
 
I think it depends what you like to do – but it’s worth a stop. If you are interested in the recent wars and have read alot, I’d suggest a visit first to Sarajevo as it’s actually both a much more beautiful and interesting city, and you certainly won’t have to walk far to see evidence of the recent wars and tragedy there. It’s one of my favourite cities the world over.
 
Belgrade is a place I wish I’ve been able to spend more time. I’ve spent a lot of time on the Montenegrian coast checking out cities along the Bay of Kotor (Boka Kotorska) such as Herceg-Novi and Kotor, but my time in Belgrade was limited. From the time I spent though, I wanted more! The main pedestrian street has an amazing amount of pubs, clubs and cafes and it’s full of life. I’ve heard that the live music scene and the club scene in Belgrade in the summer is second to none – there are whole boats on the Danube and Sava for partying and whatnot.
 
Ok – so in short, you really don’t want to miss the region. If I had a short time, I’d head to things in this order:

Sarajevo (don’t give it a miss)
Croatian or Montenegrian Coast
Belgrade
Zagreb / Ljubljana (tie).

If you want more info – don’t hesitate to ask more specific stuff – I’m glad to try to help out.
 
-A

oldlady
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Zagreb is OK, but it’s not “Croatia” in terms of the picturesque towns and beaches that make Croatia a popular tourist destination.  It’s a fair distance from Zagreb to the coast — Zagreb to Split is nearly 5 1/2 hours on the fastest train, Zagreb to Rijecka is nearly 3 1/2.  

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Belgrade doesn’t have much for sight-seeing, but it has a fun personality to it.  Its worth a couple of days.  Haven’t been there yet, but EVERYONE talks very highly of Sarajevo. 

Andrew1
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Thanks for the informative replies.
 
The Croatian coast looks nice but it seems to take a lot of time getting from city to city – particularly from Dubrovnik.  My eyes lit up when I saw that Aer Lingus flies from Dubrovnik to Ireland (where I need to be right after former Yugoslavia) but like many airlines they only fly there seasonly, not Feb/March when I’ll be travelling.