I think Varazdin is one of the loveliest towns in Croatia. It’s in the region of Zagorje in central Croatia about an hour north of Zagreb, quiet and quaint, off the beaten path. It’s one of our family’s favorite places to spend a day. John Shea loves running around the Varazdin Castle, which is where we like to walk circles around to get Grace to nap. There’s a heavy Baroque influence from the Reformation period throughout the city center and it’s one of the prettiest places to sit outside for a cup of coffee and a piece of cake. I love all of the flower boxes in nearly every window (they were gorgeous in the summer!), the smallness and walkability of it, the colors, pink cathedral and churches, and the friendly people, which isn’t taken for granted in this part of the world.
Just a few fun things to know if you visit Varazdin…
*It’s a quiet, uncrowded, small town; the two times a year it gets crowded are during the Spancirfest Festival at the end of the summer and the Baroque Music Festival in October.
*The cafes in the main square are great for sitting outside with a cup of coffee, or kuhano vino during Advent, while taking in the beautiful architecture and daily life. I love this square because it’s the perfect size for John Shea to run around while we take turns chasing after him. Our secret to sitting down for five minutes, ha.
*My Way is another cafe in a very pretty square with a view of the Varazdin Castle, which houses the town museum.
*We’ve wanted to try Verglec Restaurant, but with our kids we stick to grabbing sandwich wraps from one of the bakeries.
*During Advent there is a small Christmas market, an ice skating rink and Christmas decorations throughout the town. Such a pretty place to get in the Christmas spirit!