I meet with Bruno, co-founder of Segway City Tour Zagreb in the valet area outside Luxury Hotel, Esplanade and immediately insinuate my desire not to die or harm anyone in my path today. You may call me dramatic but bear in mind that I haven’t driven a car in almost 3 years and usually place my life in the hands of an Uber driver. Bruno is confident that my fears are unnecessary and that I’ll not only still be alive by the end of our tour but I’ll also have another skill to add to my CV.
Celebrating it’s 10th anniversary, Segway City Tour is popular among tourists visiting Zagreb and seeking a rather adventurous way of experiencing the city. Many customers in the past have called this, “the best non-walking tour,” on TripAdvisor and a unique way of seeing the city, given the day is bright and the wind not so strong. On this particular autumn day, we’ve been blessed with perfect weather for October.
Despite believing that I’ve seen it all in Zagreb over the last month, my knowledge of the city is limited and therefore the leisure tour is ideal for me or anyone looking for an informative insight into Zagreb’s history. While it’s hard to imagine a poor view in Zagreb, it also isn’t hard to see why the city continues to attract more and more visitors each year.
We begin at the terrace of the Esplanade Hotel where we are given basic training on how to navigate a segway. My initial reaction is that I may be ‘too dumb’ for something so cool but I muster up the courage to get on and get good at it. Afterall, I have no choice.
Our first stop is one of Zagreb’s most iconic monuments, Trg Kralja Tomislava (Tomislavac) and after crossing my first two-way tramway street, I figure that I may get the hang of this sooner than I imagined. Trg simply means “square” and Kralj Tomislav was the first King of Croatia in the 10th Century, so the monument stands here in his honour with a beautiful park behind where people from all walks of life are able to enjoy. Bruno, our tour guide (and often my guardian angel) often goes into details about the Yugoslav War and how it was unfortunately essential in Croatia’s Independence. Throughout the leisure tour he often mentions my birth city, Vukovar, when he references the war and compares it to the ongoing devastation in Aleppo, Syria.
The most memorable part of the tour was our brief visit to one of Zagreb’s more noteworthy landmarks, Mirogoj Cemetery, the final resting place for over 355,000 people and also Croatia’s first President, Franjo Tudman. The cemetery is filled with autumn hues while the energy is calm and peaceful. The entire cemetery is well-kept and dates back to 1876. I promise there was an aura of angels following if you paid attention closely. There is also war memorial in memory of those lost and still missing from Croatia’s War of Independence.
Zagreb is a city full of steep hills and I can’t imagine walking around seeing all that I did in the space of less than three hours. Riding a segway through Zagreb was one of the most exhilarating things I have ever done, I even managed to multitask riding a segway while vlogging. Things got a little trickier after we left the cemetery and started riding through busy main roads where tourists and locals were out enjoying the sunny afternoon.
There is no guided tour in the city that doesn’t walk you through Zagreb’s busiest centre,Trg Ban Jelačić. This square is the most common meeting place for people, one of the first things I learned about the city.
One of my favourites parts of Zagreb is Gornji Grad, Upper Town, where most of the historic buildings are found, such as The Church of St. Mark. This church is recognisable by it’s colourful tiled roof is more breathtaking in real life than in photos.
Another location we were taken to on the leisure tour was The Croatian National Theatre, another large bright yellow building surrounded by a beautiful bright garden. Zagreb’s architecture is very Austro-Hungarian and this building was no exception with influences hinted throughout the exterior of this stunning building.
FUN FACT: Did you know the Croats invented the necktie (Cravat)?
I can’t imagine any other way of seeing Zagreb and will recommend The segway Tour to anyone visiting the city as a unique alternative to walking around all day. I understand that many people may feel uneasy about entrusting their lives to a device that responds solely to your movements while on it but rest assured, the team at Segway City Tour are there to give you the training and confidence needed to embark on a very intimate tour of the city. I only suggest that you be patient and focus on the direction, if I can do it, trust me you can too.
Our Tour Guide, Bruno was a very insightful and passionate guide who spared no details about Zagreb’s rich history, side pockets and inside jokes while giving great coverage of Zagreb City. This comprehensive guide is available to groups between 2-10 people and costs €65/person.
If you’re interested in booking in a time, please click here.
Got a GoPro along? Bring it along the journey.
Photos: Adriana Kupresak
Have you ever done a segway tour? Share with us in the comments.