An article from Croatian daily newspaper Jutarnji from the end of last week featured an interesting look at the numbers of tourists that Zagreb receives, and the experiences of those visiting Croatia’s capital.
It’s often been commented (by ourselves and others!) that the city is overlooked as a tourist destination in favour of the coast – perhaps understandably, given the charms and obvious delights of the towns, cities and islands on the Adriatic. However, Zagreb is certainly increasing in popularity as a place to visit. Last year, 602,186 tourists came to Zagreb, a figure which was up 4% on the year before. Of these visitors, most came from Germany (37,715), followed by America (29,769), Italy (29,201), Spain (29,002) and then Japan (23,611).
This increase in visitor numbers may well continue into 2011. During the Easter weekend, Zagreb welcomed 5,800 tourists, which is up by a a huge 48% on Easter 2010. (Although, of course, Easter fell earlier in the year in 2010.)
On average, most foreign visitors come to Zagreb for three nights and stay in a hotel or hostel. Those that stay in hotels are typically 43 years old and will spend €144 per day. Those that stay in hostels, meanwhile, have an average age of 28 and will spend €51 per day. The majority of visitors to Zagreb come for business, a short holiday, or to attend an entertainment or sporting event. (Seeing as Zagreb’s calendar of events is rather jam-packed this year – including concerts from a number of world-famous stars – that’s hardly surprising!)
Of course, visitors to Zagreb have a number of positive and negative comments to make about the city. In general, tourists find that taxis are expensive and also comment on the unnecessary parking restrictions in the centre of the city. Zagreb’s airport also comes under fire for its provincial “feel” with only one terminal building, whilst the graffiti that appears on some buildings in the city centre is understandably disliked. Some visitors also comment that they are disappointed in not being able to buy many souvenirs, whilst the short museum opening hours is also commented on.
Happily, visitors do also comment on a number of positive things about the city. They say that Zagreb’s cleanliness and safety are two major pluses, whilst also praising the city’s friendly people and atmosphere. Many also enjoy the rich history of the city.
Let’s hope that Zagreb’s visitor numbers increase further and many more come to enjoy this city!