Hi all – I’m super excited to share this post! This is my first guest post, written by the lovely Danijela (you can find out more out Danijela at the bottom of this post in the author bio). As always, I hope you enjoy and please feel free to comment below 🙂
When we think of Croatia usually what comes to mind are islands and the sea coast. Sometimes it is Plitvice lakes and the capital city, Zagreb. But in recent years more and more travelers are learning about the hidden gems of the Croatian northwestern region called Zagorje.
This part of Croatia is famous for its wines, cuisine, and rich history. Among many other historical locations, Trakošćan Castle is one that is best preserved and very popular. The museum inside the castle works almost every day of the year, including the 1st of January.
Except for the museum the estate includes a beautiful lake and a park, a restaurant, and a museum store. Recently the entrance was renovated so when you arrive you can buy tickets for both museum and the park, get maps and brochures in different languages, and all the information you might need. However, due to recent events please double check in advance if you need to order your tickets and things online beforehand.
Parking is free and usually there are enough parking lots, but this is a subject of availability. In Christmas time there is a small Christmas market in front of the castle, and it can get quite busy with all the people visiting from Zagreb and Varaždin. For tourists coming from Zagreb, it is the easiest to get an organized bus tour, or rent a car and drive for about an hour and a half to get here.
If you are planning on visiting here, then make sure you plan well enough in advance! Know what day you are going, what time, how to get there and what you will bring with you is super important. Make sure you pack all the essentials as this will help you have an amazing trip!
Visiting the Castle
The castle was fully renovated and open to the public several years ago. You can walk around the castle walls, go inside and follow the exhibit from one room to another, and see original artifacts, furniture, and artworks.
Trakošćan Castle was built in the 13th century, and it has changed many owners to this day. The purpose of this castle was to be a small observation fortress for monitoring the road from Ptuj to Bednja Valley. It also served as home to the Counts of Celje, before their entire family disappeared in the 14th century.
The estate kept changing owners until King Maximilian gave it to Juraj Drašković (1525–1587) for his services. The Drašković family did not take care of the estate until a few centuries later when they renovated it in the Romanticist style.
The castle reveals different styles of building over the centuries, and also each room is decorated to reflect a different era. Collections include armory, photographs, books, clothing, and many personal items.
This well-organized museum makes you feel like you are walking through centuries. From windows and terraces, you will see incredible nature surrounding the castle and dream of living here.
When you finish your visit to a museum and after taking all the beautiful photos don’t miss out on a visit to a lake. Choose to walk all around the lake or simply just have a short walk across from the castle so you can see a reflection in crystal clear water.
This park has been an inspiration to many artists and photographers. Also, it is a perfect photo op for your family or fellow travelers. Rent a canoe for a few hours if you want to see the area from the water, or have a coffee break in a restaurant nearby.
Visiting Trakošćan Castle can be a full day excursion if you are coming here from another city, like Zagreb or Varaždin. On the other hand, there are several hotels and villas nearby, and staying here also allows you to go on a hike in a gorgeous nature close by.
If you want to add another stop to your trip to Zagorje, check out castle Veliki Tabor, and also Krapina Neanderthal Museum located in the city of Krapina which is just a half an hour drive from Trakošćan Castle.
Zagorje also has many traditional restaurants where you can try out some amazing homemade food and wine. Some of my favorites are Lojzekova Hiža, Grešna Gorica, and Vuglec Breg.
This is not one to miss, and would certainly make for a great travel adventure!
Let me know in the comments if you have ever visited Trakošćan Castle or somewhere in Croatia, I’d love to know if there are any other hidden gems. Thanks all for taking the time to read this!
Author Bio: This post was written by Danijela Milovanović, who is a travel blogger at PlanetaryExcited.com