“Servus My Fair Zagreb” – Storytelling your way through Croatia’s capital

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Do you believe in magic? If you come to Zagreb, you will see that we do. The old name of our city – Agram – says it all.

Wherever you go, there is a gram of Zagreb’s most beautiful stories waiting for you. So, let us take you for a “špancirancija” with your local storyteller – Purgerica (“lady from Zagreb”), a licenced tourist guide in our capital.

Now, what is a “špancirancija”? It is a sort of an old Zagreb slang word, derived from German, and it means a promenade-style, galant walk. And when we say galant, we mean Zagreb-in-the-Orient-Express-era-galant. Imagine this – the year is 1929, you have just stepped down from your train at Zagreb’s Central Rail Station, the first thing you see is a gorgeous green park, with neo-classic palaces embracing it, a fountain humming in its centre, and a golden-yellow Art Padillion at the top of the park, waiting for your visit.

First old cars are slowly driving by, a man in a top hat is offering you a carriage ride. But no, you must go – you have arranged to meet your friends at the decadent art-deco hotel, built for the guests of the Orient Express. As you enjoy on its terrace, shaded by unusual red-flowered chestnut trees, gossip stories come to your ears. The famous Josephine Baker is in Zagreb. Welcome to “Servus My Fair Zagreb”, a themed walking tour, inspired by Zagreb’s crazy, jazzy, decadent 1920s and 30s!

In Zagreb, it is always a good time to stop time. And then travel through it, by the magic of words, paired with the fine craft of storytelling and some of Zagreb’s most famous Down Town sites. Let Purgerica tell you how time stopped at the very end of the 19th century, when the Grand Earthquake hit our capital, and forever changed its image, to a Viennese-like city, which will simply steal your heart with its hidden old-school charm. This tour will take you from the Grand Central Station, along Zagreb’s most famous park – Zrinjevac, which turned from a muddy farmers market into the most wanted zone for to “see, and to be seen”.

The mix of historical facts, interesting details from the lives of old Zagrebians, gossip and legends, will tell you how we built the first cafeteria and hotel, why does coffee in modern-day Zagreb have to last at least one hour, where did we enjoy Sunday matinee concerts on the open, dressed up elegantly for the occasion, and what kind of a huge scandal was brought on by a “mushroom” which was waisting too much water. Did you write something with a pen today? Great.

Purgerica will take you to see where  Slavoljub Penkala, the famous inventor of the first mechanical pencil, lived and what exactly did he eat for breakfast every single morning at 10 am. Following the rails of the old-horse tram, you might hear about the elegant, first-ever department store in Zagreb, taste some authentic, vintage candy, wrapped in red velvet, and hopelessly fall in love with Zagreb’s Green Horseshoe, as it once was. 

If we sparked interest and you would like to take the “Servus My Fair Zagreb” tour, visit Purgerica’s  Facebook and Instagram page or contact her via email [email protected] or via text, Whatsapp, Viber or call the number: +385 91 6363 661.

Welcome to the city with a storytelling spirit!

This post is also available in: Croatian