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Despite its Yugoslav past, Zagreb is a city that looks north to central Europe rather than south to the Balkans. The city centre’s pastel-coloured houses recall a miniature Vienna, while the cafés clustering around its central Jelacic Square and in the nearby 18th century Gornji Grad area look and feel very much like part of the old Austrian Empire’s coffeehouse culture.
Often overlooked by visitors heading for the coast, the Croatian capital’s manageable scale and jewel box old town nonetheless make it a good choice for a city break. Indeed, sometimes Zagreb feels like a livelier version of a small town. The Gornji Grad’s knot of old lanes is packed with bars and cafes, while the central Dolac market is great for picking up local cheese and honey. Zagreb has good museums too – Zagreb’s Museum of Contemporary Art, opened in 2009, is probably the best of its kind in south-eastern Europe, while the quirky Museum of Broken Relationships showcases objects left over by departed lovers. Still within the city's official borders is wooded Mount Medvenica, whose 1,000 metre high peak is easily reached by cable car.