Although it is often forgotten by the tourist circuit, Varaždin is a wonderful Baroque city with clear Austro-Hungarian influences, rich in castles, gardens and parks of great beauty.
It was once the capital of Croatia and its former glory is evident in its elegant mansions, the Baroque harmony of its streets and the imposing and fairytale-like white fortress of Stari Grad.
Its elegant and ancient centre has been proposed on the list of cities aspiring to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Municipal Museum: housed within this magnificent white fortress, a true jewel of medieval defensive architecture, surrounded by magnificent gardens. You can admire the architectural conformation with its drawbridge, atmospheric meanders, courtyards, chapels and fairytale towers.
The Varazdin cemetery is an ornamental masterpiece dating back to 1905, full of picturesque views: a labyrinth of paths and promenades with no less than 700 magnolia, birch and beech trees.
Cathedral of the Assumption: built in 1646, it is a fine example of Baroque architecture and the venue for concerts during classical music events.
There are several old palaces to admire: Patacic Palace, Patacic-Puttar Palace and the Croatian National Theatre. Don’t miss the Town Hall, one of the most beautiful buildings in the city, in Romanesque-Gothic style with a marvellous sculpted portal.
Also beautiful is the Traditional Crafts Square, where demonstrations of ancient crafts related to ceramics, weaving and hat-making take place!
If you fancy a nice walk, head to the Drava Embankment, where you will find a wonderful riverside promenade full of picturesque paths and outdoor cafes where you can relax!
If you want to relax a few kilometres from Varaždin and get a nice massage, head to Varazdinske Toplice, a beautiful spa town founded by the Romans.
Around it you can take wonderful walks through the forested hills or through the town, which is full of churches and historical buildings.
Sights in Varazdinske Toplice include the Baroque Stari Grad castle, the town museum with Roman artefacts, the remains of Aqua Iasae, an ancient spa built between the 1st and 4th centuries AD, and the spa centre outside the town.
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