The Most Charming Village Just 30 Minutes From Zagreb, Croatia

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Samobor is a small town, or village, located just over 30 minutes from central Zagreb. A favorite weekend destination for residents of Zagreb, Samobor is truly charming and boasts loads of cultural experiences and attractions that will delight any visitor.

Christmastime in Samobor is festive and offers everything from decorated trees in the main square, cozy cafes to curl-up in, small outdoor markets and beautiful hills to hike for magnificent views over the surrounding areas. Residents from Zagreb used to take a special, slow-moving train into Samobor for day or weekend festivities. But, today, most drive and find themselves here to get a little peace and quiet, as well as to soak-up the magical air that seems to envelop the area.

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I visited Samobor for the day and found plenty to do in this small town. After strolling through the main square to view some of the beautiful period architecture and holiday decor, I retreated to a cafe known for serving the town’s iconic custard cake – Kremšnita. Essentially, the cake is layers of custard cream with flaky pastry dough – who wouldn’t love that? I sipped a small glass of bermet with the cake. Bermet is a wine-like liquor made from dried fruit and herbs. It’s very tasty, especially when mixed with champagne or sparkling wine.

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After my cafe experience, I visited the Samobor Museum. This small museum is housed in a beautiful historical building and holds everything from town documents and artifacts from the region’s past, to archeological finds from the area dating back to the Paleolithic era. The museum is small, manageable and impressive.

Visitors can choose to hike the hills throughout any season, even stopping to visit the ruins of a castle fortress which once presided over the city. You can stroll along the back alleys where a small river flows, or get lost in the little boutiques that dot the main square. If you’re visiting Zagreb and are looking for a day away, look to Samobor. You’ll be charmed instantly by its splendor.