Explore Croatia: Zagreb Travel Guide

Zagreb

Zagreb is Croatia in miniature. In this metropolis, you will find everything you wish for a nice urban vacation. It houses 50 museums and galleries, 15 theaters, numerous old churches, monasteries, parks, mountains, and even nature preserves.

Zagreb is the Croatian capital and largest city located in the northwest part of the country, along the Sava River on the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain. The thousand-year-old Upper Town (Gornji grad), 19th-century Lower Town (Donji grad), and modern post-World War II area of New Zagreb (Novi Zagreb) are the main three parts of the city.

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How to Get to Zagreb

Zagreb Franjo Tudjman Airport (IATA code: ZAG; ICAO code: LDZA ) is placed 11 km (6.8 mi) from the city center. Every 30 minutes a shuttle bus is available and it takes to the city bus station. For travelers who want to get to know the country better, it would be great to rent a car, especially since Zagreb is at a major highway junction.

Zagreb train station
Steam locomotive at Zagreb Train Station


Zagreb is well connected to direct train lines with many European countries, including Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Serbia, and Switzerland. The central train station is just 10 minutes walk from Ban Jelacic Square.

Zagreb tramway
Line 13 tram on Ilica Street


The city's public transportation presents by an extensive network of tram and bus routes, in addition to a funicular line on Tomicheva Street in the historical center, connecting the Upper and Lower Towns.

Top 10 Zagreb Attractions

1. St. Mark's Church

St. Mark's Church in Zagreb
View of the church from the south


Located next to the Croatian Parliament building in the Upper Town, the picturesque church of St. Mark is the oldest parish church and one of the most famous landmarks in Zagreb. It was mentioned first in 1256; in the 14th–15th century, it received main external contours and was restored in the 19th century, creating today's interior look.

On the high slope of the roof, two huge coats of arms displayed with colored tiles: the historical coat of arms of the Triune Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia, and Dalmatia, and the coat of arms of the city of Zagreb (white castle on a red background).

Address: 
Trg Sv. Marka 5, 10000 Zagreb

Transportation:
Bus (line 130): Markov trg

Opening hours:
Daily 7.30 am-6 pm

Price:
Free

2. Zagreb Cathedral

Zagreb Cathedral
View of the cathedral from the hill of Grič


Zagreb Cathedral depicts on the 1000 Croatian kuna banknote. It is one of the country's symbols and visible from all points of the city's center. 

During its centuries-old history, it was repeatedly destroyed, rebuilt, and remodeled. Sadly, in spring 2020, the Neo-Gothic building was damaged in the earthquake.

Address: 
Kaptol 31, 10000 Zagreb

Transportation:
Bus (lines 105, 106, 201, 203, 226, 238): Kaptol

Opening hours:
Daily 7.00 am-6 pm

Price:
Free

3. Tkalciceva Street

Tkalciceva Street
View of the southern part of Tkalciceva Street


Tkalciceva Street is the most vibrant street in Zagreb, lined with bars, cafes, restaurants, shops, and small parks. This quiet, cobblestone pedestrian street is just a few steps from Trg Bana Josipa Jelačića, the main city square.

Transportation:
Bus (line 150): Trg bana J. Jelačića

4. Ban Jelacic Square

Ban Jelacic Square
Busy Ban Jelacic Square


Ban Jelacic Square is the main pedestrian zone and the central square of the Croatian capital. It is in the Lower Town. Although founded in the 17th century, the place has 19th and 20th centuries buildings in different architectural styles, including baroque, classicism, and modern.

In the square, there is also an equestrian monument (erected in 1866) to the Croatian politician and commander Count Josip Jelacic von Buzim, the country's largest Zagreb bank, first high-rise business building Neboder (built-in 1959) in the city, a 19th-century Mandusevac fountain, multiple cafes, restaurants, and shops.

Transportation: 
Tram: (lines 1, 6, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 31, 32, 34): Trg J. Jelačića

5. Ilica Street

Ilica Street
Ilica Street


Ilica is Zagreb's main street and one of the oldest and longest city streets. Numerous cultural institutions, banks, offices of various companies, expensive stores, cafes, and restaurants concentrate on Ilica. It is also considered the most expensive street in the capital of Croatia for living and renting premises.

Transportation:
Tram (lines 2, 6, 11, 31): Slovenska

6. Dolac Market

Dolac Market
At the market


Opened in 1930, Dolac is the largest and most famous market in Zagreb. Located between Ban Jelacic Square, Kaptol Square, and the Upper Town, the market consists of outdoor (for fruits and vegetables) and indoor (for fish, meat, dairy products) sections.

According to tradition, parasol at the market has the same colors and patterns as the 18th-century Sestine umbrella. It is part of the folk costume worn in the Sestine region of Zagreb and recognized souvenir of the Croatian capital.

Kumica Barica
Bronze statue of the Kumica Barica


A traditional saleswoman sculpture, set up at the top of the stairs which lead to Dolac, was created by the Croatian sculptor Stjepan Gračan in 2006. It characterizes the importance and appreciation of the Kumica Barica, a village woman working in the market. 

Address: 
Dolac 8, 10000 Zagreb

Transportation: 
Tram: (lines 1, 6, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 31, 32, 34): Trg J. Jelačića

Opening hours:
Mon to Sat 7 am-3 pm; Sun 7 am-3 pm
 

7. Centar Kaptol

Centar Kaptol
Centar Kaptol shopping mall


Centar Kaptol – one of the first shopping malls in the city – has 85 shops, Zagreb's first Japanese restaurant, five cinema auditoriums, various bars, and cafes. It is situated only a few minutes walks from Ban Jelacic Square. 

Address: 
Nova Ves 17, 10000 Zagreb

Transportation: 
Bus: (line 105): KAPTOL CENTAR

Opening hours:
Mon to Sat 9 am-9 pm; closed on Sundays

8. Art Pavilion

Zagreb Art Pavilion
View of the Art Pavilion from the south


The Art Pavilion, located in the Lower Town, north of the Zagreb Train Station, is the oldest art gallery in Southeast Europe and the only gallery in Zagreb to host large-scale art exhibitions. It has a total display area of 600 m² (0.148 ac) and specializes in temporary individual and group exhibitions.

Construction work took place at the very end of the 19th century. The new art gallery was inaugurated in 1898 with a large exhibition of works by local artists called the Croatian Salon. 

Address: 
Trg kralja Tomislava 22, 10000 Zagreb

Transportation: 
Tram: (lines 2, 4, 6, 9, 13, 31, 33, 34): Glavni kolodvor

Opening hours:
Tue to Sun 11 am-8 pm; closed on Mondays

9. Park Zrinjevac

Park Zrinjevac
Alley in Zrinjevac Park


With tree-lined footpaths, green grass flowers, water fountains, and beautiful statues, Park Zrinjevic is the most romantic place to take a walk and talk with your better half or to sit down and relax in an otherwise big and busy city. During the year, many various activities are going around that you can enjoy: open-air concerts, food festivals, the Christmas market, etc. The park is in the Lower Town, between the Art Pavilion and Ban Jelacic Square.

Transportation:
Tram (lines 6, 13, 31, 34): Zrinjevac

10. Croatian National Theatre

Croatian National Theatre
View of the building of the Croatian National Theatre


Opened in 1860, the Croatian National Theatre is the oldest and most significant theatre institution in Croatia. It is a well-known center of performing arts, especially for musicals. Under its roof, it has drama, opera, and ballet ensembles.

The imposing Neo-Baroque building of the Croatian National Theater is a masterpiece of Late Historicism by the architects Ferdinand Fellner (Austria) and Hermann Helmer (Germany). It is just a few minute's walk from Ban Jelacic Square.

Address: 
Trg Republike Hrvatske 15, 10000 Zagreb

Transportation: 
Tram: (lines 1, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 32, 34): Trg Rep. Hrvatske


Zagreb Map

How to use this map

Click the orange icons on the map to get more information about the places I mention in this post. If you would like to save this map in your own Google Maps for later use, click the star next to the title.

I visited Zagreb (and Croatia in general) only for one day, which is definitely a short time to get to know the city in detail. The idea to visit the Croatian capital was born on my vacation in Ljubljana, the Slovenian capital, spontaneously. Since the distance between these two cities is only 117 km (73 mi) and the train connection – always my favorite way to travel – was very convenient, I fulfilled the wish perfectly.

Although Zagreb is similar in architecture to any other major Central European city, it still has a southern spirit, so you know here is already Southern Europe. I especially like dry, hot summers, hilly towns, narrow cobbled streets, old churches, exotic plants, fresh fruits, and red wine, so to me, Zagreb is one of the cities I could visit countless times.

I hope you enjoyed my Explore Croatia: Zagreb Travel Guide post. If you like European capital cities with a unique atmosphere and historical heritage, here are a few more posts that I recommend you read next:

What to Buy in Zagreb

Pag Cheese. A natural product made from sheep's milk and olive oil.

Wine. The best Croatian wines are Babic, Grasevina, Marastina, Posip, Trbljan.

Lavender Souvenirs. Air freshener bags, essential oil, herbal tea, scented candles, sleep pads. This plant is an all-natural relaxant and helps headaches, stress, insomnia, and strengthens the immune system. 

Sestine Umbrella. The umbrella – part of the folk costume worn in the Sestine region of Zagreb and one of the city's most recognizable souvenirs – is characterized by the red cotton canopy, multicolored horizontal stripes on the edges, thick wooden shaft, and naturally crooked chestnut handle.

Wooden Toys. Carved by dried beech, lime, and willow trees and decorated with bright colored paint, the traditional toy manufacturing in the Hrvatsko Zagorje region became protected by the UNESCO list in 2009.



11 comments


  1. I've been to Zagreb twice and would go back tomorrow. is a city where I would like to live and that really excites me beyond measure, I think you have suggested a very useful and precise guide of the city and its most beautiful and symbolic places.

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  2. Wow! I had no idea that Croatia was so beautiful. I'd love to see Zagreb one day. It's a gorgeous city.

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  3. I would love to visit Croatia one day. It looks like a beautiful destination!

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  4. Croatia sounds like a great place to visit someday with plenty of wonderful areas to explore. Quite an informative and helpful travel guide as well.

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  5. This looks like such a great place to go to! I'd definitely be interested in visiting, post-pandemic.

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  6. Croatia has always been in my list since some of my favorite tennis players live there. I can't wait to visit Zagreb. I want to see the places on this list.

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  7. I have been to Zagreb and reading this makes me reminisce my travel experience before. Ohh I miss traveling so much. Wishing I can go back soon.

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  8. Admire the fabulous cityscapes. Croatia has highest number of UNESCO Intangible Goods of any European country. I wish come to visit this country one day. It's my dream.

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  9. What an exciting list!! I love the scenery and structures, I hope to see these places live someday. Thanks for sharing your experience.

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  10. Oh wow, Croatia looks so beautiful and charming. Definitely on my list of places to visit.

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  11. Nnnniiiiiiiiccccccccceeeeeeeeeee....I love them all but most especially, the Tkalciceva Street and the Park Zrinjevac, respectively!

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