Travel hosting in Zagreb & Belgrade: wine bars, a comedy club & Slovenia scenery.

tvornica kulture, zagreb alternative music concerts

I’m smiling wide… because my travel episode about Belgrade and Zagreb is out! Watch the third and final installment of my Eastern European journey, featured on the front page of Business Insider.

In this video, my journey takes me to floating raft bars, cutting edge fashion stores, and much more. I hope our coverage will encourage you to visit Croatia and Serbia in person.

Video and photography by Melissa Rundle and Eric Bergemann
Japanese subtitles translation by Jotaro Tojo

hello kitty tshirt, skeleton leggings

Here are the rest of the photos from my coolhunting journey in Zagreb. Our friend Andrea introduced us to divIT, a young tech company that is revolutionizing the way people experience video games.

Do you like my “two buns” hair? I’m wearing a Hello Kitty KiLaRa top, and leggings from Izzue HK.

iron man dance, 3d modeling program

Inspired by Kineckt technology, this “3D Gesture Recognition” program lets you control an avatar (Iron Man, The Hulk) with your body movements.

rollercoaster ride 3d virtual reality mask

divIT is also working on a virtual reality headset that is a giant leap forward from the 1990s versions. Put on the Oculus, and you find yourself in a 360 degree fantasy world (look up and behind you – there are no blank areas). I felt like I was in a rickety roller-coaster, climbing up… and then throttling down. The rush feels real; I was hanging on to my seat!

Studio Smijeha, zagreb comedy club

Speaking of ground-breaking, Andrea took us to Studio Smijeha (Vlaška 92), the first comedy club in the former Yugoslavia. In this region, locals aren’t familiar with the concept of stand-up. As Seinfeld would say, “What’s the deal with that?”

stand up comedy, zagreb croatia

It’s tough, engaging audiences when they’ve never experienced stand-up comedy before. I’m impressed by the Smijeha crew’s ambition and drive; they write hours of new material each week, and set high standards for their performances. Before long, I’m sure they will be making waves.

Wine Bar Basement zagreb

During this trip, I ate some of my best meals in Zagreb. Near the base of the “funicular” (remember what this is?), there lies Wine Bar Basement (Tomićeva ulica 5). This bunker-like space has a huge menu of Croatian wines, which have recently been getting raves from connoisseurs.

basement, zagreb wine bar, croatian wines

We paired our red wines with a plate of sheep and goat cheese, prosciutto, cranberries and other munchies. Let me tell you… these cheeses from local farms have so much more flavor. Nothing from the Whole Foods specialty corner can compare.

Strossmartre zagreb, outdoor concerts

We hung out with Tom, vocals/guitar of the swing and rhythm n’ blues band, Tom & The Twisters. He took us to Strossmartre or “Summer on Stross,” a seasonal festival that transforms Upper Town into celebration of music, dancing, and drinking.

Strossmartre festival, croatia pirates

Arr, we behold Pirates! Locals hung out under the colored lights, listening to the live bands and dancing in a circle. Down the street was another free event: Summer Cinema Gradec, an open-air screening of art films.

missing the train, railway

Thanks to Andrea for being an incredible friend and guide — we wouldn’t have known about these places without her. We hope you’ll get to experience her hospitality too, by renting her Zagreb apartment or Croatian seaside apartment when you visit.

slovenia landscape, eastern european scenery lakes

One of the best parts of traveling by train: the front-row scenic views. My film team and I passed through Slovenia, during our final ride from Zagreb to Vienna. These photos don’t do the country justice; you really have to be there in person, seeing the picture-perfect farms and sun reflecting off the lakes…

europe trains, eurail pass review

None of these experiences would have been possible without our partner Thanks for the comfortable journey, and we hope you’ll check out their passes and bundles — there’s no better way to discover Europe.

Don’t forget to read all my Eastern European posts, and watch my Croatian/Serbian travel video on Business Insider. Were you surprised by what we found in these countries?



  1. Leo
    Posted January 22, 2014 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Nice :)

  2. Kevin
    Posted January 22, 2014 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Car-mee-na: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Car. Mee. Na.

  3. SG
    Posted January 22, 2014 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    We’re so happy @lacarmina enjoyed #Zagreb!

  4. Supermarket
    Posted January 22, 2014 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Pogledajte video od preslatke

  5. zagreb tourism
    Posted January 22, 2014 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Thank you! :)

  6. Alpharius
    Posted January 22, 2014 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Can’t recommend Belgrade’s nightlife enough. Great clubs and Kafana.

  7. Eki
    Posted January 22, 2014 at 7:25 pm | Permalink


  8. Gere
    Posted January 22, 2014 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    So cool!

  9. Smytg
    Posted January 22, 2014 at 7:26 pm | Permalink


  10. Mario
    Posted January 22, 2014 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    you showed me places that i didn’t know they exist and i lived in Zagreb 14 years :-D

  11. Martam
    Posted January 22, 2014 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    Great report, as always! I live in Zagreb & I’m amazed-so many cool places in just 2 days! It inspires me to plan my future trips like that (oh dreams)…

  12. Trudy
    Posted January 24, 2014 at 2:55 am | Permalink

    Love this

  13. Peter
    Posted January 24, 2014 at 2:55 am | Permalink

    Come to Prague!

  14. San
    Posted January 24, 2014 at 2:55 am | Permalink

    I saw u on tv the other day

  15. Katherine
    Posted January 24, 2014 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    so pretty!

  16. Drake
    Posted January 24, 2014 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    Like your Belgrade report

  17. Vanja
    Posted January 24, 2014 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful. Thank you La Carmina, I really appreciate your work.

  18. Drake
    Posted February 22, 2014 at 12:10 am | Permalink

    Great travel blog. Thx

  19. muyuu
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 10:06 am | Permalink


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