I took a solo backpacking trip through Europe a little more than a year ago. Making my way through Slovenia, Croatia, and Hungary, I had no idea what to expect when stopping by the capital of Croatia. Zagreb seemed like a strange mixture of Western and Eastern European ideals—the architecture was similar to what I had seen in Austria, but the lifestyle was much more like what I had experienced in Greece.
However, one of the most interesting parts about seeing Zagreb was seeing how many museums were available. I took an evening and headed to the Museum of Broken Relationships, an intriguing name for an equally intriguing museum. After paying a very reasonable ticket price, I entered in the museum with no idea what I was about to face. Recently, the museum has expanded to several other locations around the world, but I had never heard of it before.
Wandering through the exhibit, viewers were allowed glimpses of former relationships through items that had been donated to the museum. One of my favorites was a dog toy that had summed up an entire relationship in a few words. Other items included a toaster, shoes, a book by Bob Dylan, and more. Oftentimes very funny, but also incredibly sad, this museum made me realize how fleeting a relationship can be—even when you’ve spent years together and you’ve invested so much time in making it work.
I also headed to the Modern Gallery in the heart of the city, which featured work from Croatian artists since the 1800s. I loved seeing exhibits from little-known artists, but ones who had shaped the country’s identity. Holding over 10,000 works of art, it took up most my afternoon. Some of the most fascinating works were from the two World Wars—you could see the influence of that period in history in even the colors that were chosen.
Zagreb itself was not my favorite city on my trip, but I did love having access to some amazing museums for very affordable prices. Also, they weren’t like any other museums in any other place I had been to—making it a reason to visit the city just to take a few afternoons and peruse the exhibits.
Have you ever been to Zagreb? Which museums were your favorite?