Vanja was born in Zagreb, on November 25th, 1978, and has lived in Zagreb ever since. After finishing the Classical Gymnasium, he continued his education by studying History, Geography and Swedish Language and Culture at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb. Shortly after his studies, he started to work as a guide, as a result of working on a guide book about Zagreb. Experienced also as a teacher and a writer, he considers Zagreb and guiding his greatest love, and has therefore decided to work as a guide full-time. No other job gives him an opportunity to meet so many different people and to share the passion that he feels for his hometown and homeland with them.
Education: History, Geography, Swedish Language and Culture
Languages: English, Swedish
Guide since: 2008
… restaurant in Zagreb is Le Bistro Esplanade, a very chic restaurant and a part of Zagreb’s most beautiful hotel, Esplanade. Besides its art deco setting and marvelous cuisine, which combines traditional Croatian recipes with Parisian specialties, the restaurant has a sentimental value for him, because it was here that his family treated him on many important occasions.
… museum in Zagreb is the Zagreb City Museum, because it’s like a dream come true for a history buff. The museum is located in the former monastery of the order of Poor Clares, but is also the site of the former Celtic settlement (1st century BC) and the old city walls (13th century), which were built in order to protect the town from foreign invaders. It’s as if one walks through the history of Zagreb, as well as different layers of human history from the time before the city was founded.
… Croatian product are Kraš chocolates and sweets, especially Bajadera, which is known for its specific taste (it’s a nougat praline enriched with almonds, hazelnuts and walnuts), and Životinjsko carstvo (Animal Kingdom) chocolate, which enables you to enjoy delicious chocolate and explore animal species by collecting their stickers, at the same time.
… thing to do in Zagreb is taking long walks through Mirogoj Cemetery, located in northern Zagreb. It’s very close to the city centre and its rush, but at the same time, it feels like another world. Mirogoj is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Europe, a solemn and serene place, known for its trees and vegetation, as well as architecture, sculptures and paintings. It’s like a big open-air museum, as it contains works of amazing artists, but it also represents a stroll through the turbulent history of our country, as many important Croats were laid to rest here.
… destination in Croatia outside of Zagreb is the city of Rijeka, the most important Croatian port, situated in the Kvarner Gulf, where the Mediterranean penetrated deepest into the European continent. Rijeka is the town of rich history and an interesting music scene. It’s a very funky and cool place, due to its inhabitants and their spirit. It’s the centre of the region known as Hrvatsko primorje, where my roots are from.