Zagreb Travel Guide

Zagreb

Zagreb is like all of Croatia in miniature. This metropolis has everything you might want for a great urban vacation. There are superb museums, galleries, and theaters in the city, also a plethora of medieval churches, monasteries, beautiful parks, mountains, and nature preserves.

Croatia's capital is located in the country's northwest, along the Sava River on the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain. The city's three main parts are the 1000-year-old Upper Town (Gornji grad), the 19th-century Lower Town (Donji grad), and the post-World War II post-war area of New Zagreb.



Zagreb was the second city I visited in Southern Europe and the Balkans after Ljubljana. If I didn't feel the southern vibe in the Slovenian capital, it is abundant in Zagreb's architecture, flora, air, and people mentality. Right here, my fascination for Southern Europe began, as I had previously been an enthusiastic traveler in Scandinavia and Scotland.

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Zagreb Map


How to Get to Zagreb


By Plane


Zagreb Franjo Tudjman Airport is 11 kilometers (7 miles) from the city center. Every 30 minutes a shuttle bus is available and it takes to the city bus station.


By Train

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 a 10-minute walk from Ban Jelačić Square.


By Bus


You can also get to Zagreb from neighboring countries by bus. A list of available international routes is on the Zagreb Bus Station website.


Zagreb Public Transportation

Zagreb tramway
Line 13 tram on Ilica Street

Trams and buses comprise the city's public transportation. A funicular line on Tomicheva Street in the historical center connects the Upper and Lower Towns.


Car Rental in Zagreb


DiscoverCars.com is the best site to rent a car in Zagreb. They compare car rental prices from many providers so you can find the best deal for you.


Top 10 Attractions in Zagreb


1. St. Mark's Church

St. Mark's Church in Zagreb
St. Mark's Church from the south

The magnificent Church of St. Mark, located close to the Croatian Parliament building in the Upper Town, is Zagreb's oldest parish church and one of the city's most recognizable landmarks. First mentioned in 1256, it received its main external contours in the 14th–15th centuries before being restored in the 19th century, giving the building its current interior appearance. Two massive coats of arms with colored tiles adorn the steep slope of the roof: the historical coat of arms of the Triune Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia, and Dalmatia, and the coat of arms of Zagreb (white castle on a red background).

Address: Trg Sv. Marka 5, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Website: Archdiocese of Zagreb


2. Zagreb Cathedral

Zagreb Cathedral
The Zagreb Cathedral, as seen from the Grič hill

The Neo-Gothic Zagreb Cathedral is the largest Croatian sacral building and one of the most valuable monuments of the country's cultural heritage. From any spot in the city center, you can see this icon of Croatia. The image of the Zagreb Cathedral adorns the 1000 Croatian kuna banknote. Over the history of its centuries-long existence, the building has been destroyed, rebuilt, and altered countless times. Unfortunately, in spring 2020, an earthquake measuring 5.5 on the Richter scale destroyed the top of the cathedral's south bell tower. 

Address: Kaptol 31, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Website: Glas Koncila


3. Ivana Tkalčića Street

Tkalciceva Street
Ivana Tkalčića Street's southern end

Ivana Tkalčića Street, dotted with pubs, cafes, restaurants, stores, and tiny parks, is Zagreb's most vibrant street. This cobblestone pedestrian lane is just a few steps from the main city square, Trg Bana Josipa Jelačića.


4. Ban Josip Jelačić Square

Ban Josip Jelačić Square
The bustling Ban Josip Jelačić Square

Ban Josip Jelačić Square is the Croatian capital's main pedestrian zone and central square, located in the Lower Town. Despite being founded in the 17th century, the area contains buildings from the 19th and 20th centuries in various architectural styles, including baroque, classicism, and modern. There is also an equestrian monument (erected-in 1866) to Croatian politician and commander Count Josip Jelačić von Bužim, the country's largest Zagreb bank, the city's first high-rise business building Neboder (built-in 1959), 19th-century Mandusevac fountain, and numerous cafes, restaurants, and shops in the square.


5. Ilica Street

Ilica Street
Ilica Street

Ilica – Zagreb's main street and one of the city's oldest and longest streets – stretches 5.6 kilometers (3.5 miles). Numerous cultural institutions, banks, offices of various companies, expensive stores, cafes, and restaurants concentrate on Ilica. It is also the most expensive street in Croatia's capital for living and renting an apartment.


6. Dolac Market

Dolac Market
At the Dolac Market

Opened in 1930, Dolac is the largest and most famous market in Zagreb. Located near Ban Josip Jelačić Square and the Zagreb Cathedral, it has two sections: an outdoor area for fruits and vegetables and an indoor area for fish, meats, and dairy products. According to tradition, parasols at this market have the same colors and designs as the 18th-century Šestine umbrella, a well-known souvenir of Croatia's capital and part of the traditional costume worn in Zagreb's Šestine region.

Kumica Barica
The Kumica Barica bronze statue

A traditional saleswoman sculpture, created by Croatian sculptor Stjepan Graan in 2006, stands at the top of the stairs leading to Dolac. It illustrates the significance of the Kumica Barica, a village woman who works for the market.

Address: Dolac 8, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia


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 only a short distance from Ban Josip Jelačić Square. 

Address: Nova Ves 17, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Website: Centar Kaptol


8. Art Pavilion

Zagreb Art Pavilion
The Art Pavilion from the south

The Art Pavilion, located in the Lower Town, north of the Zagreb Train Station, is Southeast Europe's oldest art gallery and the only gallery in Zagreb that hosts large-scale art exhibitions. It has a total display area of 600 square meters (6458 square feet) and specializes in temporary individual and group exhibitions. Construction began at the very end of the 19th century. A show of local artists called the Croatian Salon inaugurated the new art gallery in 1898.

Address: Trg Kralja Tomislava 22, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Website: Art Pavilion in Zagreb


9. Park Zrinjevac

Park Zrinjevac
An alley in Zrinjevac Park

With its tree-lined walks, flowers, water fountains, and gorgeous statues, Park Zrinjevic is the most romantic location in an otherwise big and bustling city to take a walk and converse with your better half or to sit down and relax. You can enjoy various annual activities such as open-air concerts, cuisine festivals, the Christmas market, and so on. The park lies between the Art Pavilion and Ban Josip Jelačić Square in the Lower Town.


10. Croatian National Theatre

Croatian National Theatre
A view of the Croatian National Theatre's building

The Croatian National Theatre, which opened in 1860, is Croatia's oldest and most significant theatre institution. It is a well-known performing arts center, particularly for musicals. It also hosts opera, ballet, and drama performances. The imposing Neo-Baroque building of the Croatian National Theater is a masterpiece by Ferdinand Fellner, an Austrian architect, and Hermann Helmer, a German architect. Ban Josip Jelačić Square is only a few minutes away by foot.

Address: Trg Republike Hrvatske 15, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Website: HNK


Best Zagreb Tours


Take a walk or bike tour with a private guide to learn about Zagreb's history, culture, and architecture. Enjoy!



Croatian Currency


Croatia's currency is the kuna. Once it meets the requirements, as a member of the European Union, the country will be adopting the euro.


Where to Stay in Zagreb


Zagreb has a wide variety of accommodation options. In contrast to Croatia's coastal destinations, hotel prices in the city are consistent throughout the year. Booking.com has over 1,200 hotels and other places to stay in Zagreb.

Booking.com


According to this online travel agency for lodging reservations, Apartment Comeback, Apartment Spectre and Karlo Main Square Apartments have received excellent reviews from guests in Zagreb for the views from these accommodations.



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 Šestine 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.


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