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 an enormous character — but it usually results in the shadow of the islands, seashores, and waterfalls that outline what number of vacationers see Croatia.

However Zagreb is without doubt one of the greatest locations to go to within the nation. Right here you’ve an exquisite strolling metropolis — components with candy-colored buildings and conventional cobblestone alleyways, components which might be gleaming and fashionable, and a superb assortment of parks. The cafe scene right here is fabulous, and right here you’ll discover one of the best eating places within the nation.

Zagreb can be dwelling to my favourite museum on the planet (sure, the WORLD) — the Museum of Damaged Relationships, which can transfer you many times with its bite-sized tales of affection misplaced.

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

Zagreb is right here and ready for you.

This publish was printed in April 2023.

A skyline view of Zagreb, sun dappled on brightly colored buildings and church steeples.
Zagreb in late afternoon solar, through 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 town earlier than heading on to additional locations in Croatia.

What are one of the best issues to do with children in Zagreb?

The most effective issues to do with children in Zagreb is visiting the parks — and don’t miss the Botanical Garden!

When’s one of the best time to go to Zagreb?

Like most European capitals, you may go to Zagreb year-round, because of there being numerous out of doors and indoor issues to do in Zagreb. Spring and fall have the nicest climate, however summer time brings pageant season and December is all about Christmas markets!

Zagreb has quite a lot of cool issues to do for every kind of vacationers. On the very least, I like to recommend taking a Zagreb walking tour. This guided tour will introduce you correctly to town, together with numerous vacationer sights, and train you numerous attention-grabbing tidbits you by no means would have identified in any other case.

All proper, let’s get began. Listed here 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, also called 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., dwelling 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 town and has slender cobbled streets and exquisite buildings. It’s a lot quieter than the Decrease City and a historic place nice for pictures.

To get to Higher City, you may both stroll up the steps or take the shortest funicular experience on the 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 outlets, road distributors, eating places, bars, and parks. That is the cease for live shows, festivals, cultural occasions, and extra.

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

You may spend time right here simply strolling the completely 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 Avenue 

Positioned in Decrease City, Tkalčićeva Avenue (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 tip of the nineteenth century. After contamination and air pollution from all of the outlets, the river was stuffed and become a road.

As soon as a well known brothel road (spicy!), right now it’s well-known for its bars, eating places, cafes, and outlets. 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 right place to seize a chunk to eat, or people-watch, and revel 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 day by 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 may really discover all of it at Dolac Market! (Even a Dolac Market food tour — extra on that under.)

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

Every of these things tells a heartfelt story.

Museum of Damaged Relationships

The Museum of Broken Relationships is my favourite museum on the planet. Critically. I find it irresistible greater than any museum I’ve visited in New York, Paris, Rome, you title it. This museum is a group of artifacts that individuals submit from their previous relationships, together with a narrative.

This museum! There may be a lot vulnerability that individuals 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.

It would be best 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 case you’re touring the world, you’ll usually see pop-up exhibitions of the museum. I as soon as went to 1 in New York!

On the lookout for 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 really like in search of 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 dwelling to a improbable espresso scene with quite a few third wave espresso outlets, together with some that roast their beans in-house.

Elliscaffe is an absolute MUST for hardcore espresso snobs. Right here you may 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 a cultured espresso store with its luxurious and timeless decor. You’ll discover French teas, espresso, juice, and beer.

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

Should you’re a cat lover, visiting the Cat Caffe is a should! Cats roam freely by the cafe so you may pet and cuddle all of them you need. You may get pleasure from a cup of espresso in a soothing and loving setting. Particularly good in case you’re lacking your fur infants at dwelling.

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. Right this moment, there are over 10,000 species of crops within the backyard, together with 1,800 unique crops.

With intensive grounds masking 12 acres of land, it’s an incredible place to discover, chill out, 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 day by 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 through the winter months.

Should you’re seeking to go to extra parks in Zagreb, don’t miss Maksimir Park, the most important 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 in-built 1876 and designed by the identical architect who labored on the Zagreb Cathedral and St. Mark’s Church. You could be shocked 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 folks buried at Mirogoj Cemetery, together with many rich and well-known Croats you could acknowledge. Even in case you don’t know anybody, the graves are sometimes artistic endeavors. It’s probably the most lovely cemeteries in Europe.

It’s free to go to the cemetery and among the best issues to do in Zagreb whenever 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 get pleasure from new cities by bicycle? It’s not my factor, however in case you get pleasure from that, GOOD FOR YOU! Critically! You may get some train in and simply see quite a lot of 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 principle sq.. The bike rental, espresso, and water are included.

Remember the fact 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 is not any exception. Straight away you’ll be taught 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!

On the subject of guided meals excursions, you’ve a number of choices. Should you’re concerned about meals and historical past, strive this three-hour food tour, which incorporates meals at three completely different Zagreb eating places.

You too can take a 3.5 hour foodie tour of Dolac Market to get pleasure from one of the best 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 search out within the US (I bear in mind practically rejoicing when Croatian wine was on the menu at The Purple Pig in Chicago!), so take benefit whilst 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 study Croatia’s numerous wine areas and style 4 completely 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 on the lookout for a extra in-depth wine tasting, this two-hour Zagreb wine tasting tour contains seven wines from all around the nation. this tour. It lasts 2 hours and likewise includes 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 get pleasure from.

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

You’ll be taught to make three dishes together with an appetizer, a primary course, and a dessert, all of which you get to get pleasure from with a glass of Croatian wine.

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

Study Flameworking and Make Glass Artwork

For a very distinctive expertise in Zagreb, you may strive glass sculpting! It is a nice technique to be taught a brand new craft and take dwelling 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 reasonably 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 individual. After one week, your merchandise shall be obtainable 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 may hang around with Croatian birds of prey in Zagreb! By way of Shutterstock.

Study Falconry Outdoors the Metropolis

On the lookout for probably the most uncommon issues to do in Zagreb? Think about a falconry tour! You’ll go to Medvedgrad Fortress on Mt. Medvednica, which has superb views of town, and also you’ll get to see a falconry demonstration firsthand. 

This tour contains round-trip transportation from Zagreb. First, you’ll spend two hours on the fort the place you may discover it and study its historical past. You’ll then go for the falconry demonstration and watch extremely educated 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!

Guide a Skilled Photograph Shoot in Zagreb

I really like reserving picture shoots in numerous cities I go to by Airbnb Experiences. This manner, you’ll find yourself with prime quality pictures of your self in an attractive location — oh, and also you received’t need to ask strangers to take your picture or persist with selfies.

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

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

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 fully perceive — Croatia is nice, nevertheless it’s laborious NOT to go to one other nation whenever you’re SO CLOSE! Zagreb is positioned very near the Slovenian border. If in case you have the time, think about 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 automotive). Should you’re keen to go additional, the spectacular lakeside city of Bled is a two-hour drive from Zagreb, which I solely advocate doing by automotive.

Wish to be part of a bunch tour? This day trip from Zagreb includes both Ljubljana and Bled! You’ll go to Ljubljana’s outdated metropolis heart, the Ljubljana River’s Triple Bridge, Bled Fortress, and Lake Bled, the place you’ll go on a wood 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 Street 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, through 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 stuffed 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 get pleasure from nature in Croatia, however take note it will get very busy through the summer time months, particularly across the fashionable Decrease Lakes.

Should you’re road-tripping by 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 case you’re solely visiting Zagreb and never road-tripping, you would possibly favor 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 contains 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 may 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 may 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 too can simply go to these spots by yourself if in case you have a rental automotive.

An advent wreath with candles lit in front of Christmas market stalls in Zagreb.
Creation in Zagreb is an enormous deal. By way of Shutterstock.

Have a good time Creation in Zagreb

Croatia will 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 Creation in Zagreb, which takes place from the final week in November into early January.

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

Should you’re visiting Zagreb throughout Christmas time, count on festive huts promoting souvenirs and meals, Christmas lights in beautiful shows all over the place, 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 Outdated City of Zagreb to maximise your time in Croatia’s capital. You’ll be capable to discover town on foot — at all times an enormous plus — and have all the things at your fingertips.

Listed here are the top-rated lodges in Zagreb:

  • High-Rated Luxurious Lodge in Zagreb: Hotel Le Premier is beautiful, elegant, and conveniently within the coronary heart of the Decrease City.
  • High-Rated Mid-Vary Lodge in Zagreb: Manda Heritage Hotel affords rooms with a contemporary aptitude and the employees earns raves.
  • High-Rated Funds Lodge in Zagreb: National Plus is in an honest 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 tooth into Zagreb and get to know town — although if in case you have greater than two days, you may 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.

Easy methods to Get To Zagreb

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

Zagreb can be related by practice, with direct journeys to Ljubljana, Vienna, Belgrade, Cut up, and extra. Remember the fact that trains don’t run to Dubrovnik. There may be 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 usually higher than the practice.

And I completely love exploring Croatia by automotive, and extremely advocate it. Roads are in nice situation, drivers are first rate, so many locations are simply accessed by highway, and it’s an easy to journey by highway journey.

As for getting round Zagreb, you may stroll round fairly a little bit of 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

Should you’re on the lookout for a nice local weather with out too many vacationers, one of the best time to go to Zagreb is through the spring and fall. Assume April by June, and late September by October.

Croatia could be very busy through the summer time months, with many individuals coming for the islands and seashores, however deciding to go to the Croatian capital as effectively. This is usually 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 numerous enjoyable festivals in the summertime months. Creation in Zagreb makes town significantly festive and joyous between late November and early January.

That stated, Zagreb is a metropolis stuffed with museums, cafes, and eating places, and meaning you may 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 carry 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 protected nation with first rate healthcare. However you want it, even in Zagreb. Should you get sick or injured in your journey, in case you get robbed, or even when it’s a must to be flown dwelling, journey insurance coverage will shield you from monetary damage. 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 buddy 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 acquired her pockets stolen and wanted to go to the police station.

Whereas Croatia’s hospital costs aren’t wherever close to what the US would cost you, you could possibly find yourself paying some huge cash for a critical medical concern. However journey insurance coverage protects you and refunds you in your prices. It’s the sort 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 certainly price visiting, even in case you’re planning on visiting islands and seashores for the remainder of your Croatia journey! Visiting Zagreb offers you a a lot better perception into what Croatia is right now — and that’s earlier than you embrace the outlets, 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!