21 Unforgettable Issues To Do in Zagreb, Croatia

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There are such a lot of cool issues to do in Zagreb, Croatia. The capital of Croatia is a medium-sized metropolis with a giant character — but it typically results in the shadow of the islands, seashores, and waterfalls that outline what number of vacationers see Croatia.

However Zagreb is likely one of the greatest locations to go to within the nation. Right here you’ve a beautiful strolling metropolis — elements with candy-colored buildings and conventional cobblestone alleyways, elements which can be gleaming and fashionable, and a superb assortment of parks. The cafe scene right here is fabulous, and right here you’ll discover the perfect eating places within the nation.

Zagreb can be residence to my favourite museum on this planet (sure, the WORLD) — the Museum of Damaged Relationships, which is able to transfer you time and again with its bite-sized tales of affection misplaced.

Some come to Zagreb for the start of your Croatia street journey. Come to Zagreb for a metropolis getaway weekend when the climate is heat. Come to Zagreb for the perfect Christmas markets you’ve by no means heard of.

Zagreb is right here and ready for you.

This put up was printed in April 2023.

A skyline view of Zagreb, sun dappled on brightly colored buildings and church steeples.
Zagreb in late afternoon solar, by way of Shutterstock.

Issues to Do in Zagreb Croatia

How a lot time do you want in Zagreb?

I like to recommend spending one or two days within the metropolis of Zagreb to get essentially the most out of the town earlier than heading on to additional locations in Croatia.

What are the perfect issues to do with youngsters in Zagreb?

Top-of-the-line issues to do with youngsters in Zagreb is visiting the parks — and don’t miss the Botanical Garden!

When’s the perfect time to go to Zagreb?

Like most European capitals, you’ll be able to go to Zagreb year-round, because of there being a lot of outside and indoor issues to do in Zagreb. Spring and fall have the nicest climate, however summer season brings pageant season and December is all about Christmas markets!

Zagreb has numerous cool issues to do for all types of vacationers. On the very least, I like to recommend taking a Zagreb walking tour. This guided tour will introduce you correctly to the town, together with a lot of vacationer sights, and educate you a lot of fascinating tidbits you by no means would have recognized in any other case.

All proper, let’s get began. Listed below are among the greatest issues to do in Zagreb, Croatia!

A church in Zagreb topped with orange , blue, and white tiles in a pattern underneath a bright blue sky with clouds.
St Mark’s Church within the Higher City of Zagreb

Higher City

The oldest a part of Zagreb is the Higher City, often known as Gornji Grad, and was first settled within the eleventh century. The one method into Higher City is thru a medieval stone gate and on the heart you’ll discover St. Mark’s Sq., residence to St. Mark’s Church, a Thirteenth-century church with a tiled and colourful roof. 

Zagreb’s Higher City is positioned excessive on a hill above the town and has slim cobbled streets and exquisite buildings. It’s a lot quieter than the Decrease City and a historic place nice for photographs.

To get to Higher City, you’ll be able to both stroll up the steps or take the shortest funicular experience on this planet. It prices 0.66 EUR (lower than $1) to experience the funicular railway to Higher City, making it a enjoyable a part of the expertise.

A woman crossing a busy street with tram tracks in Zagreb.

Decrease City

Decrease City is the place you’ll discover Zagreb’s metropolis heart. It’s the busiest space within the metropolis and residential to high-end retailers, avenue distributors, eating places, bars, and parks. That is the cease for concert events, festivals, cultural occasions, and extra.

Decrease City, additionally referred to as Donji Grad, is understood for its number of museums and its wonderful structure, the place fashionable structure meets crenellated pastel buildings.

You’ll be able to spend time right here simply strolling the totally different streets within the heart of Zagreb, popping into cafes that look inviting.

People walking down a cobblestoned street with colorful buildings and street cafes.

Tkalčićeva Road 

Positioned in Decrease City, Tkalčićeva Road (locals name it Tkalča) extends from Ban Jelačić Sq., the central sq. of Zagreb. The road was as soon as a river that separated the 2 early districts of Zagreb — Gradec and Kaptol — till the top of the nineteenth century. After contamination and air pollution from all of the retailers, the river was stuffed and became a avenue.

As soon as a well known brothel avenue (spicy!), immediately it’s well-known for its bars, eating places, cafes, and retailers. The buildings are very colourful, making it probably the most photographed locations within the metropolis. 

It’s of the most well-liked locations to go to in Zagreb and the proper place to seize a chunk to eat, or people-watch, and luxuriate in Zagreb. I like to recommend stopping for a morning espresso and a night beer.

A fresh produce market outside in Zagreb with lots of red umbrellas, a church tower in the background.
Dolac Market is a should! By way of Ivan Smuk on Shutterstock.

Dolac Market

Dolac Market is an open-air farmer’s market in Zagreb that has been working every day since 1930. It’s positioned very near Ban Jelačić Sq. and has each an open space and a lined market. 

Farmers from surrounding area promote their contemporary produce and selfmade items. You’ll discover bakery objects, flowers, souvenirs, butcheries, contemporary pasta distributors, and a fish market. You’ll be able to actually discover all of it at Dolac Market! (Even a Dolac Market food tour — extra on that beneath.)

Positively pop in right here, even in the event you don’t plan on cooking throughout your Zagreb go to. Choose up some outstandingly contemporary fruit to snack on.

Every of this stuff tells a heartfelt story.

Museum of Damaged Relationships

The Museum of Broken Relationships is my favourite museum on this planet. Significantly. I like it greater than any museum I’ve visited in New York, Paris, Rome, you title it. This museum is a set of artifacts that folks submit from their previous relationships, together with a narrative.

This museum! There’s a lot vulnerability that folks share, and with just some paragraphs you hear the entire story. The cork from a bottle of a champagne a girl popped to have a good time her leaving the person who cheated on her. A online game from an ex who didn’t take note of her. An Oktoberfest gingerbread cookie from a long-distance relationship that couldn’t make it.

You’ll want to learn each single story on this museum. They’re so humorous, and unhappy, and uplifting. Generally they even make you reevaluate your life.

The museum is positioned within the Kulmer Palace within the Higher City. Admission is is 7 EUR ($8) per grownup. And in the event you’re touring the world, you’ll typically see pop-up exhibitions of the museum. I as soon as went to at least one in New York!

In search of extra quirky museums in Zagreb? Don’t miss the Croatian Museum of Naive Art (no, that’s not a typo), the Zagreb Ethnographic Museum, the Museum of Illusions, the Mimara Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

A man pouring hot water from a silver teapot into a Chemex glass coffee vial.
Espresso is each a science and an artwork at Elliscaffe in Zagreb!

Go to Cool Cafes

I like looking for out cool cafes on my travels, and at all times want a caffeinated afternoon pick-me-up! (Right here’s a tip — seek for “flat white” on Google Maps and also you’ll discover the good espresso spots.) Zagreb is residence to a implausible espresso scene with quite a few third wave espresso retailers, together with some that roast their beans in-house.

Elliscaffe is an absolute MUST for hardcore espresso snobs. Right here you’ll be able to have espresso ready in quite a lot of scientific methods with outrageously good beans from all around the world.

Botaničar is positioned close to the Zagreb Botanical Gardens and it’s each a restaurant and bar. The institution is filled with greenery with a retro vibe, impressed by the close by gardens. The menu has quite a lot of drinks together with espresso, tea, craft beer, and wine. It additionally doubles as an artwork gallery.

Finjak has probably the most ostentatious interiors in Zagreb, with heavy gold image frames and chandeliers hovering above the tables. It’s fairly an aesthetic espresso store with its luxurious and timeless decor. You’ll discover French teas, espresso, juice, and beer.

Quahwa earns rave critiques from coffee-loving Zagreb residents, that includes gourmand roasted beans and a sleek-yet-cozy inside.

If you happen to’re a cat lover, visiting the Cat Caffe is a should! Cats roam freely by means of the cafe so you’ll be able to pet and cuddle all of them you need. You’ll be able to take pleasure in a cup of espresso in a calming and loving surroundings. Particularly good in the event you’re lacking your fur infants at residence.

A red wooden. bridge crossing a small pond surrounded by trees in the Zagreb Botanical Garden.

Zagreb Botanical Backyard

Positioned in Decrease City Zagreb, Zagreb Botanical Garden was based in 1889 as a part of the College of Zagreb. At the moment, there are over 10,000 species of crops within the backyard, together with 1,800 unique crops.

With intensive grounds overlaying 12 acres of land, it’s a fantastic place to discover, loosen up, and benefit from the greenery and blooming flowers. There are additionally ponds for the water crops. 

The Botanical Backyard is open at 9:00 AM every day and closes at 2:30 PM on Mondays and Tuesdays and at 7:00 PM the remainder of the week. Grownup tickets are 2 EUR ($2 USD). The gardens are closed in the course of the winter months.

If you happen to’re trying to go to extra parks in Zagreb, don’t miss Maksimir Park, the biggest park in Zagreb, in addition to Zrinjevac Park.

A building lined with green columns covered with ivy.
Miragoj Cemetery is an architectural gem. By way of Shutterstock.

Mirogoj Cemetery

The Mirogoj Cemetery was inbuilt 1876 and designed by the identical architect who labored on the Zagreb Cathedral and St. Mark’s Church. You is perhaps stunned to see how beautiful the structure is right here, with ivy-covered porticoes stretching alongside the size of the monument.

There are over 300,000 individuals buried at Mirogoj Cemetery, together with many rich and well-known Croats it’s possible you’ll acknowledge. Even in the event you don’t know anybody, the graves are sometimes artistic endeavors. It’s probably the most stunning cemeteries in Europe.

It’s free to go to the cemetery and among the finest issues to do in Zagreb if you want contemporary air and nature. It’s open from daybreak to nightfall.

A cyclist in Zagreb riding past a busy coffee shop.

Discover Zagreb on a Bike Tour

Do you prefer to take pleasure in new cities by bicycle? It’s not my factor, however in the event you take pleasure in that, GOOD FOR YOU! Significantly! You will get some train in and simply see numerous landmarks in a a lot shorter period of time than on foot.

On this 2.5-hour guided bike tour, you’ll begin within the metropolis heart, discover Decrease City, take a fast espresso break, and head to Higher City, earlier than ending again up in the primary sq.. The bike rental, espresso, and water are included.

Understand that Zagreb has some hills. If that makes you excited, go forward!

Scallops shells filled with a mix of seafood, rice, and vegetables.

Go on a Zagreb Meals Tour

Happening a meals tour is one in every of my favourite issues to do once I arrive in a brand new metropolis or particularly a brand new nation, and Zagreb isn’t any exception. Immediately you’ll study what the native meals are, among the greatest spots for getting them, and also you’ll be having fun with them the remainder of your journey!

In the case of guided meals excursions, you’ve a couple of choices. If you happen to’re excited by meals and historical past, strive this three-hour food tour, which incorporates meals at three totally different Zagreb eating places.

You can even take a 3.5 hour foodie tour of Dolac Market to take pleasure in the perfect of Zagreb’s native produce, from burek to štrukli pastry to prosciutto and cheese.

A glass of white wine in front of a plate of two different cheeses.

Wine Tasting 

Croatia is an underrated wine vacation spot. As a result of the producers are usually small, Croatian wine is hard to seek out within the US (I keep in mind practically rejoicing when Croatian wine was on the menu at The Purple Pig in Chicago!), so take benefit when you’re in Zagreb. Why not head out on a wine tour within the metropolis?

On this 1.5-hour Zagreb wine tasting tour, you’ll find out about Croatia’s numerous wine areas and style 4 totally different Croatian wines. Along with the wines, you’ll be capable to snack on Croatian treats like prosciutto, cheese, and extra. Plus you’ll get a lesson on the wine secrets and techniques of Croatia. This tour lasts 1.5 hours and can be booked here.

For these in search of a extra in-depth wine tasting, this two-hour Zagreb wine tasting tour consists of seven wines from all around the nation. this tour. It lasts 2 hours and likewise encompasses a platter of Croatian snacks like prosciutto, cheese, bread, olives, and pumpkin seed oil.

People cooking in a kitchen over bubbling pots.
You’ll love taking a Zagreb cooking class! By way of Shutterstock.

Croatian Cooking Class

Studying to cook dinner a brand new dish for family members at house is the final word memento, which is why it’s superior to take a cooking class whereas touring! Croatian meals doesn’t get as a lot consideration as a few of its neighboring cuisines, however there may be a lot to take pleasure in.

This Zagreb cooking class first takes you on a stroll by means of Dolac Market along with your information displaying you the way to decide on the proper native elements.

You’ll study to make three dishes together with an appetizer, a important course, and a dessert, all of which you get to take pleasure in with a glass of Croatian wine.

A person using a flame to shape a glass test tube into a sculpture.
There are numerous variations between flameworking and glassblowing. By way of Shutterstock.

Study Flameworking and Make Glass Artwork

For a very distinctive expertise in Zagreb, you’ll be able to strive glass sculpting! This can be a nice strategy to study a brand new craft and take residence a singular memento.

You’ll go to a glassmaking studio within the coronary heart of Zagreb, the place you’ll be working with small handheld torches fairly than blowing glass into the enormous glory holes you see on Blown Away.

You’ll use your torch to sculpt a glass-blown vase or pendant of your personal. After one week, your merchandise might be accessible for pickup or cargo. You can book this tour here.

A woman with a French braid holding a fierce hawk on her gloved arm.
You’ll be able to hang around with Croatian birds of prey in Zagreb! By way of Shutterstock.

Study Falconry Outdoors the Metropolis

In search of probably the most uncommon issues to do in Zagreb? Take into account a falconry tour! You’ll go to Medvedgrad Fortress on Mt. Medvednica, which has wonderful views of the town, and also you’ll get to see a falconry demonstration firsthand. 

This tour consists of round-trip transportation from Zagreb. First, you’ll spend two hours on the citadel the place you’ll be able to discover it and find out about its historical past. You’ll then go for the falconry demonstration and watch extremely skilled birds of prey and their reference to an individual.

A couple with their arms around each other, peering into a telescope overlooking Zagreb.
This wasn’t a professional shoot…I simply caught a cute second!

E-book a Skilled Photograph Shoot in Zagreb

I like reserving photograph shoots in numerous cities I go to by means of Airbnb Experiences. This fashion, you’ll find yourself with top quality photographs of your self in an attractive location — oh, and also you gained’t need to ask strangers to take your photograph or stick with selfies.

This photographer focuses on portraits, the varieties that look costly, and takes you round essentially the most stunning neighborhoods in Zagreb.

This photographer will give you a 50-shot package with photographs taken all through the town. You’ll additionally obtain a information to their favourite locations in Zagreb, together with eating places and low retailers.

A tiny church on an island in a lake surrounded by mountains.
Lake Bled, Slovenia, is a far however doable day journey from Zagreb.

Go to Slovenia

I do know, I utterly perceive — Croatia is nice, but it surely’s onerous NOT to go to one other nation if you’re SO CLOSE! Zagreb is positioned very near the Slovenian border. When you have the time, contemplate taking a visit to the close by nation.

I like to recommend visiting the enchanting small metropolis of Ljubljana, which is an hour and 45 minutes from Zagreb by bus (90 minutes by automobile). If you happen to’re keen to go additional, the spectacular lakeside city of Bled is a two-hour drive from Zagreb, which I solely advocate doing by automobile.

Wish to be part of a gaggle tour? This day trip from Zagreb includes both Ljubljana and Bled! You’ll go to Ljubljana’s previous metropolis heart, the Ljubljana River’s Triple Bridge, Bled Fortress, and Lake Bled, the place you’ll go on a picket boat experience.

This full day tour lasts roughly 13 hours, so simply know that this one is an extended one.

Learn Extra: Scenes from a Slovenia Highway Journey

An overhead view of a pathway leading between green lakes in front of several waterfalls in the Plitvice Lakes, Croatia
The magnificent Plitvice Lakes, by way of Shutterstock.

Go to the Plitvice Lakes

So many individuals I do know who visited Croatia did so as a result of they noticed an image of Plitvice Lakes Nationwide Park. This space is crammed with cascading waterfalls and appears straight out of Fern Gully. It’s additionally one in every of Croatia’s UNESCO World Heritage Websites.

That is one in every of my favourite locations to take pleasure in nature in Croatia, however take into account it will get very busy in the course of the summer season months, particularly across the common Decrease Lakes.

If you happen to’re road-tripping by means of Croatia, I like to recommend visiting the Plitvice Lakes on the way in which to the Dalmatian Coast, spending two nights within the space so you’ve one full day on the nationwide park earlier than persevering with your journey.

However in the event you’re solely visiting Zagreb and never road-tripping, you would possibly want doing an organized day journey from Zagreb, which is a few two-hour drive every method.

This Plitvice Lakes tour departs from Zagreb, visits the lakes and surrounding space, and returns 10 hours later.. It consists of spherical journey transportation, admission charges to the Nationwide Park, and a tour information throughout your journey.

An aerial shot of a pretty-looking small town with orange roofs and a white and orange castle.
Varaždin is such a reasonably metropolis! By way of Shutterstock.

Day Journey to Varaždin and Trakošćan Fortress

Varazdin is an attractive Baroque city about an hour’s drive from Zagreb, and it makes a worthwhile day journey from Zagreb. You’ll be able to add on to your day by visiting Trakošćan Fortress, which is perched on a hill on a river and appears straight out of a fairy story.

You’ll be able to go to each Varaždin and Trakošćan Fortress on this organized day trip from Zagreb, which helps you to sit again and benefit from the surroundings with the experience of a tour information.

You can even simply go to these spots by yourself when you’ve got a rental automobile.

An advent wreath with candles lit in front of Christmas market stalls in Zagreb.
Introduction in Zagreb is a giant deal. By way of Shutterstock.

Have a good time Introduction in Zagreb

Croatia might not be what first involves thoughts for Christmas markets in Europe — however I promise you, they’re ESPECIALLY good right here. Christmas here’s a pageant referred to as Introduction in Zagreb, which takes place from the final week in November into early January.

Introduction is a merry time of 12 months in Zagreb, and the town is filled with Christmas lights, themed streets, and an outside skating rink. It additionally continues to develop bigger each vacation season. 

If you happen to’re visiting Zagreb throughout Christmas time, anticipate festive huts promoting souvenirs and meals, Christmas lights in beautiful shows in all places, and smiling locals having fun with the vacation spirit.

A row of crenellated buildings in Zagreb and a building celebrating the World Cup in front of it.

The place to Keep in Zagreb

I like to recommend staying in or near the Previous City of Zagreb to maximise your time in Croatia’s capital. You’ll be capable to discover the town on foot — at all times an enormous plus — and have every thing at your fingertips.

Listed below are the top-rated motels in Zagreb:

  • High-Rated Luxurious Lodge in Zagreb: Hotel Le Premier is beautiful, stylish, and conveniently within the coronary heart of the Decrease City.
  • High-Rated Mid-Vary Lodge in Zagreb: Manda Heritage Hotel provides rooms with a contemporary aptitude and the workers earns raves.
  • High-Rated Price range Lodge in Zagreb: National Plus is in a good location with easy, clear rooms.

Find deals on Zagreb hotels here.

A gate reading "Strossmartre" in front of a narrow street lined with trees and cafes.

How A lot Time to Spend in Zagreb

I feel a day or two is sufficient time to sink your enamel into Zagreb and get to know the town — although when you’ve got greater than two days, you’ll be able to at all times discover extra deeply, or take a day journey or two!

At minimal, I like to recommend you’ve one full day in Zagreb. Spend it exploring each the Decrease and Higher Cities, and don’t overlook the Museum of Damaged Relationships.

A bright blue tram heading down the street in Zagreb.

The way to Get To Zagreb

If you happen to’re arriving in Croatia by air, you’ll in all probability fly into Zagreb Airport. Yow will discover connections all through Europe, each on Croatian airways and numerous different airways. If you happen to’re coming from the US, you would possibly fly by way of Frankfurt or London or Milan. Check flight pricing on Skyscanner here.

Zagreb can be linked by practice, with direct journeys to Ljubljana, Vienna, Belgrade, Cut up, and extra. Understand that trains don’t run to Dubrovnik. There’s additionally a powerful bus community in Croatia and I like to recommend evaluating bus and practice occasions and costs, as a result of on this nation the bus is commonly higher than the practice.

And I completely love exploring Croatia by automobile, and extremely advocate it. Roads are in nice situation, drivers are first rate, so many locations are simply accessed by street, and it’s a very simple to journey by street journey.

As for getting round Zagreb, you’ll be able to stroll round fairly a little bit of the town, whereas supplementing your journeys with trams and buses. Uber exists in Zagreb, too.

A man on a horse statue in Zagreb, surrounded with bright pink blossoms in springtime.
Springtime in Zagreb is beautiful! By way of Shutterstock.

Greatest Time to Go to Zagreb

If you happen to’re in search of a nice local weather with out too many vacationers, the perfect time to go to Zagreb is in the course of the spring and fall. Assume April by means of June, and late September by means of October.

Croatia could be very busy in the course of the summer season months, with many individuals coming for the islands and seashores, however deciding to go to the Croatian capital as properly. This generally is a crowded and costly time of 12 months, however Zagreb’s crowds are by no means on the extent of, say, Dubrovnik’s.

When it comes to festivals, like most European cities, Zagreb places on a lot of enjoyable festivals in the summertime months. Introduction in Zagreb makes the town notably festive and joyous between late November and early January.

That mentioned, Zagreb is a metropolis stuffed with museums, cafes, and eating places, and which means you’ll be able to have a good time right here year-round. Sure, even within the winter. I wouldn’t be against visiting Zagreb within the winter. Simply ensure you convey a pleasant winter jacket and a few gloves!

Learn Extra: Greatest Time to Go to Croatia

Journey Insurance coverage for Zagreb

Lots of people don’t assume it’s essential to get journey insurance coverage for Croatia — in spite of everything, it’s a secure nation with first rate healthcare. However you want it, even in Zagreb. If you happen to get sick or injured in your journey, in the event you get robbed, or even when you must be flown residence, journey insurance coverage will shield you from monetary destroy. I’ve used World Nomads for journeys to Croatia.

I’ve fortunately by no means wanted to name my journey insurance coverage for assist whereas in Croatia — however I do have a pal who needed to go to the hospital after being stung by a wasp in Cut up, one who sprained her ankle after falling down the steps in Dubrovnik, and one who obtained her pockets stolen and wanted to go to the police station.

Whereas Croatia’s hospital costs aren’t anyplace close to what the US would cost you, you might find yourself paying some huge cash for a critical medical difficulty. However journey insurance coverage protects you and refunds you on your prices. It’s the form of factor you don’t know you want till you want it. See if World Nomads is best for you right here.

A couple walking past a dilapidated looking brick house now housing a cafe.

Is Zagreb Value it?

Sure, visiting Zagreb is unquestionably price visiting, even in the event you’re planning on visiting islands and seashores for the remainder of your Croatia journey! Visiting Zagreb gives you a a lot higher perception into what Croatia is immediately — and that’s earlier than you embrace the retailers, coffeeshops and museums.

Take pleasure in your time in Zagreb — then I hope you head on to one in every of my many favourite locations in Croatia!

Planning a Journey to Croatia:

Croatian Islands and the Dalmatian Coast:

Istria and the North:

Have you ever been to Zagreb? What’s your favourite factor to do? Share away!