Contacts:, +385 98 968 1827, Skype: bestofzagreb
Knowing the local culture of Zagreb

Knowing the local culture of Zagreb

Some events, while being very universal in their content and offering do reveal a local culture better than other events. Project Ilica Q’art is one of them. After two long years of pandemic and earthquake consequences, the city gave space to the local creative community. During one Sunday per quarter Ilica street from Frankopanska St to the Square of dr Franjo Tudjman is closed for traffic and becomes a creative fair made for its citizens.

Zagreb Ilica Q’art Event Draws Crowds and Praise since 2017

Yesterday, May 21st, the streets of Zagreb’s Ilica neighborhood were filled with music, art, and excited crowds as the annual Ilica Q’art event got underway. Featuring dozens of local artists, musicians, and performers, the event was a celebration of creativity and community that drew visitors from across the city and beyond. Popular attractions included a pop-up market featuring handmade crafts and artisanal
foods, as well as a series of live music performances by up-and-coming bands and DJs. I would highlight the Valerija Nikolovska trio, Big band Hrvatske liječničke komore (Croatian doctor’s chamber) and couple of jazz trio’s and quartets along Ilica Street.

You can check yesterday’s program here.

And if you plan on visiting Zagreb in autumn or in winter, plan to include next Iilica Q’art events: September 17 th and December 10 th .

See you soon in Zagreb, Croatia
Samia, your local guide

Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla

July 10th we celebrated Nikola Tesla’s birthday. He was born in 1856 in Croatia, in a small village of Smiljan, not far from Gospić – Lika region, and just one hour drive from the Plitvice Lakes. He was born during the period of the Habsburg Monarchy. He went to school in Gospić and in Karlovac, and he often said that he was influenced and inspired by two other geniuses: his mother and his high school teacher.
Croatia is a small country, but Lika is the largest Croatian region (so-called county). Its natural features are very specific. While the little boy Nikola was playing in the fields near Gospić, he looked towards the massive mountain Velebit (1758 m altitude), which seems like a natural border on the way to the sea. Mountains, rivers, fields, weather conditions and sudden and violent storms, which for centuries inspired myths and encouraged people to continue to pass them on in the desire to try to understand the world around them, caused a completely different curiosity in Nikola. As a boy I see him throwing a challenge to nature for duel – I can hear him say „ I will understand you, I will learn your language! “– this is how I understand his fascination with nature. I don’t think he was far from John Muir’s standpoint:
“As long as I live, I’ll hear waterfalls and birds and winds sing. I’ll interpret the rocks, learn the language of flood, storm, and the avalanche. I’ll acquaint myself with the glaciers and wild gardens, and get as near the heart of the world as I can.” — from The Journals of John Muir
As a result of his immense curiosity and genius mind here are his inventions:

AC power (alternating current)
Tesla coil
Magnifying transmitter
Tesla turbine
The radio
Neon lamp
Hydro power plant
Induction motor
Radio controlled ship

And here is a list of inventions he was working on: earthquake machine
camera for thoughts
wireless energy transfer
artificial tidal wave
electric supersonic aircraft
death ray (source Tportal)



Sightseeing walks in Zagreb, Croatia

Sightseeing walks in Zagreb, Croatia

Culture and History walk, around 2h : 17 EUR per person (minimum 2 people)
Food and Culture visit of Zagreb: around 2,5h : 40 EUR per person
Easy and Simple Zagreb Food Tour, around 1,5h : 35 EUR per person
Zagreb around World War II, around 2,5h : 25 EUR per person for a minum of 2 people.

Groups visit of the historical center (Kaptol, Upper Town, Ban Jelacic square) around 1h – 1,30h: Top attractions!
small groups of minimum 5 people : 65 EUR
medium size groups (6-20 people) : 90 EUR
large groups (20+ people): 120 EUR

See you soon in Zagreb, Croatia

Samia, your guide 🙂

Samia Zitouni, your guide in Zagreb, Croatia
Samia Zitouni, your guide in Zagreb, Croatia


Strange findings in closets and attics

Strange findings in closets and attics


Texte by Vesna Miholić

The challenging time connected to the pandemic of virus Covid 19 has changed the course of everyday life for the people all around the world. Being on a lock-down at our homes, especially now, with the beginning of spring, we, the tourist guides, are feeling it strongly.

We had to accept a new “normal“ and instead of uncovering the secrets of Zagreb‘s streets to our foreign visitors we had to adapt and venture into discovering the secrets of our home’s nooks and crannies that were somewhat neglected for too long. At least, that is what I have done. So, with great joy I share my findings.

This beautiful uniform set, that was patiently waiting in the back of my closet, is a part of my family’s inheritance passed down to me from my great-great aunt Barbara. She and her husband Franjo were the upstanding citizen of city of Zagreb, and together they witnessed the turbulent era of Mid 1900’s. Two World Wars and the financial crises didn’t crush their spirits. At the beginnings of 1920s, Franjo, as an ex-solder joined The Humanitarian society “Ban Jelačić” founded in 1886 and kept the membership until 1948 when all the activities were stopped. They were promoting the philanthropic agenda and provided for the financial aid to their members during the time of illness and support to the widows and the children after the member’s passing away. As a Society they were entitled to participate to the official city events, anniversaries, and the religious processions. During these „outings “, they had the right to wear the official uniform that consisted of the blue trousers and the blue-gray jacket. My great-great uncle Franjo was at one point the President of the Society and his uniform was decorated with the golden epaulets and trims. Over the jacket a red cape was worn with the golden braids. The uniform was completed with the sabre. The sabre was considered only an honorary weapon and it was strictly forbidden taking it out of its sheath.

Blissfully unaware of this rule, that sabre was a faithful companion  to my brother’s and mine childhood plays, but even if the whole set had been a part of our life since we could remember we always knew that it was an item worthy of respect. And we were right.

The Uniform’s design introduced in 1933 was inspired by the historic uniform of the Governor and general Josip Jelačić and one of the most respected Croatian political figures of the 19th century whose equestrian sculpture today dominates Zagreb’s main square.

Having served in the military the members of the Society wore their uniforms proudly supported by the official Society flag as seen in the image taken during a procession in the center of Zagreb in 1934.

They had all the right to be proud because not only they assured the security of their families, but they were, at the same time, Zagreb’s first responders in case of the major natural disasters.

My uncle’s lavishly decorated uniform is maybe tucked safely in the closet but the willingness to give a helping hand to your fellow man in times of need is a value and a tradition still very much alive today, proven these days in the city of Zagreb which is healing after destructive March 22nd earthquake.

Samia Zitouni – your local guide

Samia Zitouni – your local guide

Hi, my name is Samia, and I have been a tour guide for some time now. I love to show my hometown – Zagreb to people, first time visitors and those of you come back to Zagreb and Croatia! For me, Zagreb is home and on my walking tours, I will share with you stories and information that make Zagreb so special to us. I am a passionate explorer of culture, and let me share with you the highlights and stories about the past and present times and people.

Zagreb as the capital of Croatia is the perfect place to start learning about history, people and culture of Croatia.

I am a Certified Interpretive Guide, certified by the Interpret Europe, European Association for Heritage Interpretation, I am also a Certified Interpretive Trainer.

I guide in English, Russian, French and Croatian.

Contact me on info (at) 
Mobile /Viber /WhatsUp  00 385 989681827


Medieval Free Royal Towns

Medieval Free Royal Towns

“If you were to lose all your freedoms tomorrow, what exactly would you lose? “

What can we learn from an old document from 1242. called the Golden Bull / Zlatna bula of Gradec, the medieval Zagreb community?
Today, we easily take for granted the freedoms we have, as if they fell from the sky! In fact, everything we have today is the result of a very long development. No freedom goes without obligations and especially not without responsibility, but we are forgetting it today. And I am constantly amazed by my tourists, whom I regularly ask this question from the title, at the entrance to Gradec, that is, in front of the Stone Gate of the Zagreb Upper Town.
How do we (guides) interpret our heritage? I am personally convinced that every material heritage hides the stories and truths about the intangible heritage. During sightseeing, I always encourage discussions and an exchange of opinions and knowledge. When I talk during the walk, I try to do it more as an introduction to a conversation, to a debate. So, in front of the Stone Gate, I develop my first presentation of medieval Gradec (Zagreb Upper Town) based on several facts, hoping to hear questions from my guests or a new discussion 🙂
When asked „If you were to lose all your freedoms tomorrow, what exactly would you lose?” most people can’t answer when unprepared! Then, after some thinking, the vast majority says: free speech! But, is the freedom of speech really the greatest and most important freedom? I’m afraid today we call it freedom to avoid being held responsible for all kinds of slander and gossip!

Back to the Middle Ages and the freedoms of Zagreb Gradec!

Gradec (Zagreb’s Upper Town) received its freedoms in 1242. And as it is written in the introductory part of the document called the Golden Bull: “These are, therefore, the rights and freedoms of citizens who live and dwell on the before mentioned Hill, which they themselves wrote and we approved” …
Zagreb City Muesum gives a link to the transcript in Croatian here, the original is in Latin:

„The free royal town of Gradec, on the Zagreb hill“ received certain liberties or freedoms and rights that are just one link in the chain of the development of today’s freedoms. This document i.e. freedoms and rights did not fall from the sky! Even in dark Middle Ages there was a development, there was a handing over a relay baton from one point to the next. In the process something was lost and something was gained. This is the development process – learning from each other, using various situations, trade and fairs, war conquests, pilgrimages, etc. to pass on the information and knowledge and to acquire new ones. Many cities that meant something in the Middle Ages are forgotten today.
Zlatna bula 1242. signed by the king Bela IV, photo form Wikipedia, Neoneo13 – Croatian State Archive, Public Domain,

We have always been moving towards globalization, but this movement has been so slow that it has not been noticeable during a single human life. And it accelerated so much in the 20th century that we witnessed great leaps during one human life! Today, with the deliberate neglect of education, we do not realize how much as a humans we had to work and create to have today’s level of democracy and freedoms.

What freedom catches your eye from the Golden Bull?

We, guides, interpreters, are constantly educated, and every one of us will interpret the Golden Bull differently, depending on which freedoms are closer to our hearts. My attention is drawn to the fact that Gradec was a well-organized community that cared about individuals being free to work, and on the other hand, cared of their community and their city as a group, sometimes sacrificing some personal freedoms.

However, we should take great care that measures that we witness today during the Covid-19 crisis are not abused, we have seen that in the past. Professional and qualified journalism would come in handy here!
The freedom of speech that is constantly brought up by my clients, is it really the fundamental freedom? Personally, I do not think so. The freedom of choice would be for me a freedom of higher priority. That was also the most important freedom given to the citizens of Gradec, Zagreb’s Upper Town in the 13th century.

Take a Zagreb Food Tour Quiz!

Take a Zagreb Food Tour Quiz!

Interested in our Zagreb Food Tour? Take this quiz as an introduction to the topic of food and eating habits in Zagreb and Croatia!

Facts vs Fiction

Facts vs Fiction

You, a traveler, should ask yourself what you prefer more: real life stories based on facts or fairy tales and fantasy. There is no good or bad answer here. It is a fact that we accept new information more easily through stories, real or made up. How far should we go in interpreting the heritage without compromising facts and real life behind it?

And does it event matter?

Look at the pictures that we posted two weeks ago with a question – what do you think these carvings are?

Well, these are the walls in the basement of Muzej Slavonija in Osijek, Croatia. These carvings have to be examined yet, but what we do know is that they were made mostly by prisoners of war.

Did your perception change once you learned the facts?

Now, look at the “Zagreb Tunnel” and share your impression with us. Is it a medieval tunnel, is it just a corridor?

What speaks to you more: the left tunnel or the right tunnel?

Whatever you chose, come and follow the stories of people who lived in Zagreb and who created our history.
Come to our Zagreb around the WWII tour to learn real life stories, other people’s experiences that influenced the post WWII world so much, that, yes, we can say that we live better today than we would have lived 70 or more years ago.

You, a traveler want to discover new cultures, people and traditions. We, as guides, will make our best to interpret the heritage. The process between the three of us is interesting! (1. you, 2. we, 3. What do you think is under “3”). In between is a message transferred by a story.

See you soon in Zagreb, Croatia.
Best of Zagreb guides and tours

Who is Zagorka?

Who is Zagorka?

Dolac Market
The view from Zagorka’s house arrest! Zagorka, apartment Dolac market

Who is Marija Jurić Zagorka?

The famous journalist and author Marija Jurić Zagorka was born in 1873 and died in 1957. She is the first woman journalist in Croatia, and in her 84 years, she was a journalist, the most popular novelist, a fighter and activist for women’s and civil rights, a promoter of Croatian and Zagreb culture. She lived in different places in the Lower Town, worked in the Upper Town and in the Lower Town, researched and wrote extensively about the history of Zagreb and Croatia, criticized and analyzed the social, political and cultural scene from 1895 until her death in her apartment on Dolac market in 1957.

Her life and activity mark nearly every street of the historical part of Zagreb.

Fighting for women’s and human rights all her life, Zagorka ended up confined inside her apartment on Dolac market No 8 after WWII. Follow in the footsteps of the most famous Zagreb and Croatian journalist and author, Marija Jurić Zagorka.

Price per person 175 Kunas (25 EUR), minimum 2 people (350 Kunas, around 50 EUR)

For groups of more than 5 people : 150 Kunas per person.

Groups of more than 12 : on request.

Book your local guide at The walk lasts around 2,5 h. Available in English, French and Russian.

See you soon in Zagreb,


Zagorka working
Zagorka, the Journal of the Association of Maria Jurić Zagorka


Visit Zagreb now!

Visit Zagreb now!

Late March and Easter in Zagreb:
book your local guide now at info @

Official calendars say spring starts on March 21st, but old calendars say that spring starts on St. Joseph’s day, March 19th. Others insist on later dates, St. George’s on April 23rd.
Next week is the Holy Week – the week before Easter. If in Croatia Easter is Uskrs or Vazam. Croatians are predominantly Roman Catholics and Easter is their most important holiday. The ties with Vatican are long (since the 9th century) and strong. But let’s think back a little and remind ourselves how the mobility of Easter enabled this Christian holiday to be perfectly imbedded in the spring festivities of the awakening of nature. To be imbedded into very old, archaic beliefs.
Check the walks I offer in Zagreb in :

For many, Easter starts much earlier, at the end of the Carnival season, on Ash Wednesday. During Lent many people commit to fasting, as well as giving up certain luxuries. Since the beginning of culture this was a difficult and long period of forced fasting as winter was ending and nature did not give yet its new fruits. The real purpose of the Christian custom was lost during the 20th century, giving up to trendy seasonal cleansing to prepare the body for the warmer season and for summer. We understand the word ‘sacrifice’ differently today.

But who cares what season we are in, when we have all nature’s fruits and gifts all year in the supermarkets!
This is why our farmer’s markets are so important. There we can see the seasons change, and one after the other, new, young and fresh spring fruits and vegetables appear on the markets around the town.

When visiting Zagreb and Croatia – you have a possibility to get to know a new culture. Check my Culture & History Walk at :

The Easter table (Easter Sunday) makes us happy! For whatever reason you were fasting at the end of winter, enjoy now the spring veggies, fruits and traditional cakes!
These include spring onions, ham and hard-boiled eggs with horseradish and radishes for breakfast. It also includes different kind of meat – remember – traditionally people were fasting for forty days, so the Easter lunch would and should usually include meat. Meat is served with spring vegetables, lettuce, and all kinds of fresh season greens.


Try the Easy and Simple Zagreb Food Tour – morning walk (starting before noon)  possible every day if it’s not a holiday 🙂 :

Your local guide,

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