Heartbreak in Zagreb! Museum of Broken Relationships, indie cinema, rickshaw restaurant & witches.

black white striped shirt, sun hat

Why am I dressed like a retro film star? Because I had a dramatic day in Zagreb, Croatia with my travel film team — involving broken hearts and a Mask of Shame.

Read on, to see how our “emo day” unfolded!

black white large brim hat, striped top

We were lucky to have Andrea as our local guide – she graciously hosted us in her cute Zagreb flat (available via AirBNB). She knows the city by heart, and has connections to the coolest people and places in town.

Sadly, we didn’t have time to go to Dubrovnik and the Croatian coast, as it’s quite a few hours away from the railway line. But we’re eager to come back and stay in Andrea’s gorgeous beach-side apartment, which you can rent from her via Airbnb (tell her we sent you!)

Outfit details: I’m wearing striped top sent by Sourpuss Clothing, similar to this shirt with stripes. My black and white hat is almost exactly like this one sold online. The scallop shorts are KiLaRa Hello Kitty, from Hong Kong.

Illamasqua store, makeup shop zagreb

The city center had so many cute boutiques, including this Illamasqua makeup shop, one of the only stand-alone Illamasquas in the world.

sailor twee paintings, art

We also enjoyed this twee basement, filled with sailor paintings and clothes. Next door was a necktie shop because… the tie is a Croatian invention.

boudoir corsets, zagreb fashion

We passed by few alternative fashion boutiques like Boudoir. They sell antique-inspired meets avant garde corsets and bustiers, which I could see on Lady Gaga.

kino europa, zagreb croatia movie theater

I told Andrea that we wanted to see what was cool and upcoming in Zagreb. She took us to Kino Europa (Varšavska ulica 3), a 1920s cinema that endures as a home for indie films.

divine pink flamingos makeup, john waters painting

Kino Europa has an outdoor cafe and gift shop, with goodies like this Pink Flamingos artwork of Divine.

Professor Balthazar, croatian cartoon character

Here, I met Professor Balthazar! This bespectacled character is from a popular Croatian / Yugoslavian cartoon that ran in the 1960s and 70s.

charlie chaplin pose, feet, funny face

This store is a movie-lover’s dream. I did my best impression of Charlie Chaplin.

zagreb cinema, film screenings

I was tempted to get this sushi-cat game.

hipster camera, hipster girl hat

And one of these Diana cameras. (Have you played around with vintage or toy cameras?)

colorful chairs, film screening room

I’ve never seen a small screening room as well-decorated as this one. Each of these chairs was rescued and reupholstered in rainbow colors.

purple hair pigtails, colorful sofas

Locals meet here to watch films that aren’t shown in mainstream theaters. This is also home to festivals and special events.

old eastern european movie theater

The main room is an ornate 1920s marvel, with a red carpet entrance flanked by these white statues. Kino Europa is looked after by a gentleman who has been here since the beginning. Once you get him started on his favorite films and meeting old-time stars, he can reminiscence for hours!

mermaid graffiti art, zagreb kino theatre

Like many of the cities we visited on our Eurail-Vision journey, Zagreb is filled with young, poppy street art. This mermaid holding a cat-balloon was one of my favorites.

wok by matija, zagreb croatia

Time for lunch. We got a lift from Matija Nikolić, a winner of TV’s Masterchef.

rickshaw restaurant, asian fusion zagreb

He offers free cycle-rickshaw rides from the city center to his young restaurant, Wok by Matija. (Varšavska 16) The concept is Asian street food fusion, with mostly organic ingredients from his family’s farm.

wok by matija, masterchef Matija Nikolić

The place has a charming pop-up feel, as if he invited his friends for an impromptu outdoor meal. Matija chatted with us while cooking, and customized the Thai noodles for those of us with peanut allergies. (Remember the no-nuts travel sign from the Budapest food post?)

zagreb graffiti, streets, cycle rickshaw bicycle

The fresh, sustainable ingredients and relaxing atmosphere were pure win. Thank you, Matija and friends, for this perfect lunch; Wok is a restaurant to look out for.

museum of broken relationships sign

Now, for some tears… at the Museum of Broken Relationships (Ćirilometodska ulica 2).

This is one of the quirkiest and most fascinating exhibits I’ve ever visited. There’s a permanent museum in Zagreb, but the displays rotate and go on tour overseas.

broken relationships display, zagreb weird museum

In a nutshell, people from around the world send mementos of personal heart-break, and the most compelling ones go on display. Every object comes with a story, such as a first encounter gone wrong or a tragedy that pulled the couple apart. Above is one of the more disturbing entries: a woman was forced to wear these “jugs” to please her partner.

weirdest museums, world's most bizarre museum

There had to be something here that struck a note with your own experiences, from handcuffs to boots left behind. But the Museum of Broken Relationships isn’t all about pain…

broken relationships exes

… there was also plenty of humor in the tales, and the gift store had lighthearted mementos (like a zippered “love pillow”).

zagreb tram, funicular, city rooftops

The day wasn’t over yet. We rode the Zagreb Funicular (or inclined tram) to the top of the hill. This is one of the shortest and steepest funiculars in the world. And no, I didn’t know what a “funicular” was until I rode it.

The trip was fun (ha ha) and gave a terrific view of the red rooftops.

St. Mark's Church, colorful tile roofs zagreb

Andrea knows I have a spooky side, so she arranged for us to go on a Upper Town Witches Tour. We began in front of the Gothic St. Mark’s Church, famous for its colorful tiled roof. This is where 14-16th century women, accused of being witches, had to publicly march…

witch hunt tour, mask of shame

… while wearing this iron Mask of Shame! It’s on display at the Zagreb City Museum, along with other torture devices.

As part of the tour, we got to make a mask like this one, out of black construction paper.

croatia witches prison, jail

Our guide also took us to the building where witches were unjustly put on trial, and locked away in a tall tower. Every place has a dark side…

zagreb cathedral, croatian church

We walked past historic sites where witches were killed, and ended up at Zagreb Cathedral, another striking example of Gothic architecture. (Travel photography by Melissa Rundle.)

gold angel statue europe

Wow, that’s a lot in one post — and I still have more stories from Zagreb. Thanks to Andrea and everyone who took care of us, including our friends at If you come to Zagreb, you can get the same royal treatment by booking Andrea’s rental apartment.

Do you like my black and white stripey coordinate? If you could add an item to the Broken Relationships museum, what would it be?

PS: Thanks to Riss of Fashion Vandals for interviewing me on “life lessons, staying true to yourself, and where you can find the hottest goth party in Japan.”



  1. Israel
    Posted November 17, 2013 at 1:59 am | Permalink

    O.M.G i FEEL IN LOVE #LaCarmina ^^

  2. Margaret
    Posted November 17, 2013 at 2:05 am | Permalink

    Beautiful post!

  3. Figment
    Posted November 17, 2013 at 2:06 am | Permalink

    I love LaCarmina….

  4. Jose
    Posted November 17, 2013 at 3:51 am | Permalink

    I didn’t know that Croatia had so much weirdness ha ha

  5. Jillian
    Posted November 17, 2013 at 3:52 am | Permalink

    The travel posts of late has been very good, keep it up

  6. MelissaR
    Posted November 17, 2013 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    Amazing Croatia! I’ve got to go back!

  7. Bef
    Posted November 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Mask it’s scary

  8. Lola
    Posted November 17, 2013 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Zagreb is more interesting than I thought.

    • lacarmina
      Posted November 17, 2013 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      The next post with feature underground clubs!

      • Dr.
        Posted November 18, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        check out masters :D i think its one of best underground clubs in zg ofc! :)

  9. CB
    Posted November 17, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    No cevapi?!?!

  10. Ava
    Posted November 17, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    :) :)

  11. Wear
    Posted November 17, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    Are you in town ?

  12. Rena
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    We hope you are having a wonderful time :)!

  13. tony
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 6:11 am | Permalink


  14. Miralem Rasidovic
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    im from east part of croatia (slavonija),and must say zagreb were the most beautiful city in the world when lacarmina was there..sorry for bad english

    • lacarmina
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

      Thank you so much for your kind words! I LOVED Zagreb, I’ve wanted to visit for years. I have more posts coming up, please check back!

  15. Filip
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    I’m from Zagreb, and even I didn’t know all this :) great post :D

    • lacarmina
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

      Yayy! I have more posts coming up, about the subculture and music here – please check back!

  16. Filip Galetic
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    Love to see my city represented like this but seriously our skyline is a bit lacking to say the least, I always cringe when I take my foreign friends there :)

  17. mucko
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    više zna o zagrebu nego pola hrvata koji žive u RH, ništa isforsirano, umjereno, zanimljivo i realno. svaka čast

  18. Zoran Varga
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    really nice Zagreb tour…but there is even more mysticism and darkness in that eerie town…as well as really great goth poetry

    • lacarmina
      Posted November 18, 2013 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

      Yes it’s wonderful! I wish I could have shared all the photos but we took hundreds haha. I have more Zagreb posts coming up, please check back!

  19. Belle
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    my city :)

  20. Šime Đodan
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    Damn girl u r hot, and great article btw :))

  21. Lee
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

    I’m reading your blog for years, like really long time and I never thought you’d visit Croatia. Glad you like Zagreb *proud* ^^

  22. alan
    Posted November 18, 2013 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

    Love it

  23. Marko
    Posted November 19, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    Sweet! Didn’t know that bit about witches and the mask (although I saw it on display a few years back). Did you, by any chance, happen to visit any of our famous ice-cream parlours? Lik Vincek or Millenium?
    BTW, very interesting article, people on the Croatian subsection of the Skyscrapercity forum are liking this very much

    • lacarmina
      Posted November 22, 2013 at 2:59 am | Permalink

      Fantastic! I had some delicious meals, which I’ll talk about in the next post :) LOVE Zagreb!

  24. Hugo Cross
    Posted November 19, 2013 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Girl you are beautiful! Greeting from Zagreb // SkyscraperCity Croatia loves you!
    Powers 1971 & Hugo Cross

  25. Heartlly
    Posted November 19, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Omg u were in my country and i didt know shame on me i live a hour away from zagreb wish i could have met u :(
    Looking forward to the next posts

    • lacarmina
      Posted November 22, 2013 at 2:59 am | Permalink

      Aww I love Croatia so much! Hope to be back soon, and more posts coming!

  26. Lara
    Posted November 19, 2013 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed your blog and thank you once again for visiting Zagreb and posting a nice article ^^

  27. Davida
    Posted November 19, 2013 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Love it!

  28. Adachi
    Posted November 19, 2013 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Jedan dan u Zagrebu kroz oči japanske goth

  29. GDR.
    Posted November 20, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    The trip looks a combination of beautiful and highly interesting.
    [Carefully!] Playing around with vintage items is one of my favourites.
    I love being here at home and going to antique/vintage shoppes.
    All kinds of fun knick-knacks.

    Poor witches though! It’s an awful punishment being trapped in a tower.
    I could reminisce about that for hours, but oh, let’s not.

    Thanks for sharing this. I’d love to visit if I only could.

    • lacarmina
      Posted November 22, 2013 at 2:55 am | Permalink

      Thanks so much! I loved Zagreb, there was culture everywhere :) More to come!

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