A return to the past

Oldtimers – Ferdinand Budicki Museum

Author: excursor team

Can you imagine what the streets of Zagreb looked like in 1901? While we drive every day, complain about the traffic and are stressed out by the fact that it is so difficult to find a parking space, that ancient year one salesman, Mr. Ferdinand Budicki brought the first car, Opel, from Vienna to Zagreb. Ferdinand most certainly didn’t have trouble finding a parking space but had many other worries. His Opel scared the horses, cars from that period didn’t have windows or roof and maximum speed was 30km/h. Few years later, Ferdinand introduced the first taxi service, bus transport and founded the first driving school.

In 2012, 111 years later, someone came up with an idea that all documentation and photographs should be brought together and along with the cars, displayed in a museum. This someone was actually Mr. Valentino Valjak who wanted to give the society the opportunity to go back to the past. Mr. Valentino is the originator of the idea and now the Director of the Museum. Just 2 km from the center of Zagreb, in an abandoned hall of the old Cork factory, he saw the future in the past and – was right.


The old Cork factory – before, during and after the renovation


Valentino gathered his friends and with the help of different private donors, independently renovated the premises of the former factory. Very soon, this unique museum was ranked among the three most visited within the Night at the Museum, in competition with 240 other participants of this event.

The rest is history. The museum was relocated in 2018, and is now a part of West Gate shopping center.

While talking to Mr. Valentino, we found out that there is a children’s playroom within the museum.

„We have a 60m2 playroom for children and we also organize children’s birthday parties. Our playroom is everything but usual since the children can drive a car via 2 car simulators from former driving schools. We also offer other activities such as building a town model with wooden houses, traffic signs, cars and pedestrians. Children can enter certain cars and trucks, sit on motorcycles and bicycles, pretend to be firefighters or police officers while their parents can, during these events, spend time in our special retro room.“


Ferdinand Budicki Museum – playroom for children


We have to admit that the playroom is tempting even for us who are a bit older. Rarely will anyone be able to resist the ever-popular Pac-Man game or drinking coffee in a retro environment.


Ferdinand Budicki Museum – retro room


So, if your afternoon is reserved for shopping but at the same time you or your kids want to find out more about the history of automobilism in Croatia, you have to visit this unique museum in West Gate.

In addition to viewing authentic historic cars, motorcyles and bicycles, this museum also organizes many thematic photo exhibitions, tehnical workshops, lectures, car restorations, film screenings and other events.

General information:

Location: shopping center West Gate

Ticket price:

– adults 30 HRK

– children 5-15 years old 20 HRK

– children younger than 5 have a free entrance

Buy tickets online

For more information about the Museum and it’s numerous events, visit their website or Facebook page.

When You say unforgettable memories… We say… excursor