10 Attractions in Zagreb

Zagreb

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


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After Ljubljana, Zagreb was the second city I visited in Southern Europe and the Balkans. If I didn't feel the southern vibe in the Slovenian capital, it is evident in Zagreb's architecture, flora, air, and people mentality. My fascination with Southern Europe began in the Croatian capital, as I had previously been an enthusiastic traveler in Scandinavia and Scotland.


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


Best 10 Zagreb Attractions


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


You might also like: Zagreb Cathedral – Croatia's Largest Sacral Building


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

Located in the Lower Town, Ban Josip Jelačić Square is the Croatian capital's main pedestrian zone and central square. In the area founded in the 17th century, you will find buildings dating from the 19th and 20th centuries in different architectural styles, such as baroque, classical, and modern.


In the square, 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.


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, and the Christmas market. 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


Zagreb Map


Where to Stay in Zagreb


According to Booking.com, in Ljubljana, Hotel Capital is highly rated by couples and families, and it has received great reviews from travelers regarding the views from the hotel rooms.


Croatian Currency


Croatia's currency is the kuna. Croatia will join the Eurozone in 2023, so a trip to its neighboring countries – Austria, Italy, and Slovenia – will be convenient for you.


Experience Zagreb with a Local – Private Walking Tour


Take the Private Walking Tour to experience Zagreb with a local if you want to move through the city at your own pace, with personalized attention and a flexible schedule.


Have you been to Zagreb? Which one attraction would you prioritize if you visited Croatia's capital? Do you have any suggestions based on your previous experience? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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