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Spread over the plain on the southern side of River Sava, Novi Zagreb (New Zagreb) is a vast grid – iron of housing projects and multi-lane highways  that nowadays looks much less attractive than its utopian planners intended.

Thrown up in the 1960s in order to accommodate the stream of migrants drawn by the booming economy of the big city, it's a true melting pot of Croatia's population.The central part of Novi Zagreb is not that bad a place to live: swaths of park help to break up the architectural monotony, and each residential block has a clutch of bars and pizzerias in which to hang out. Outlying areas have far fewer facilities, however, and possess the aura of half-forgotten dormitory settlements on which the rest of Zagreb has turned its back.

Those drawn to the aesthetics of high-rise buildings and graffiti will find the area strangely compelling, but otherwise there's little to do here except visit the Zagreb Fair Grounds (Zagrebački velesajam) on Avenija Dubrovnik, where major trade exhibitions take place throughout the year – the Zagreb tourist office will have details of what's on. To get there from Trg bana Jelačića, take tram # 14 (destination Zaprude) until you see the main entrance building on your left.

The only other reason to venture into this part of town is to stroll around the Bundek, an incongruously swampy, kidney-shaped lake surrounded by thick woods and untended meadows. Located on the northern fringes of Novi Zagreb near the banks of the Sava, it's popular with picnickers and dog-walkers eager to escape from the concrete wastelands nearby. Paths lead towards the Bundek from opposite the Zagreb hotel.


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