Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, is a vibrant and cultural city that has something for everyone. Whether you are a history buff, a foodie, or an art lover, Zagreb has plenty of attractions and activities to offer.
Interesting things about Zagreb that make it a unique and exciting destination:
- Zagreb has a rich history that dates back to the Roman times. The city has been ruled by various empires and kingdoms throughout the centuries, and each has left its mark on the city’s architecture and culture.
- Zagreb is home to one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Europe, the Mirogoj Cemetery. The cemetery features stunning art nouveau architecture and sculptures, and is the final resting place of many famous Croatians.
- Zagreb is a city of museums, with over 30 museums and galleries showcasing everything from art and history to science and technology. The city also hosts many temporary exhibitions and events throughout the year, making it a dynamic and engaging cultural hub.
- Zagreb has a vibrant street art scene, with colorful murals and graffiti adorning the walls of buildings and alleys throughout the city. Visitors can take a street art tour to discover the hidden gems of Zagreb’s street art scene.
- Zagreb is home to one of the most beautiful parks in Europe, the Maksimir Park. The park features lakes, forests, and meadows, as well as several historic buildings and monuments. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the park, rent a bicycle, or enjoy a picnic in one of the many scenic spots.
- Zagreb is a food lover’s paradise, with a delicious fusion of Mediterranean and Central European flavors. Visitors can sample traditional dishes like cevapi, sarma, and strukli, as well as fresh seafood and local wines. The city also hosts many food festivals and events throughout the year, showcasing the best of Croatian cuisine.
- Zagreb has a thriving music and arts scene, with many festivals and events throughout the year. The Zagreb Film Festival, the Zagreb Jazz Festival, and the Advent in Zagreb are just a few of the events that attract visitors from around the world.
- Zagreb is a city of contrasts, with a mix of old and new, traditional and modern, and urban and rural. Visitors can explore the historic landmarks of the Upper Town, or experience the modern and vibrant street life of the Lower Town.
In this article, we will explore the 20 best things to do in Zagreb.
Visit the Zagreb Cathedral
The Zagreb Cathedral is a stunning Gothic-style cathedral that is one of the tallest buildings in Croatia. Visitors can admire the intricate carvings and ornate decorations on the exterior, and climb to the top of the cathedral for panoramic views of the city. Inside, visitors can marvel at the beautiful stained glass windows and frescoes that adorn the walls. A visit to the Zagreb Cathedral is a must for anyone interested in history, art, or architecture.
Explore the Upper Town
The Upper Town is the historic heart of Zagreb and is home to some of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Visitors can wander through the narrow streets and admire the beautiful architecture, or take a guided tour to learn more about the history of the area. Highlights include St. Mark’s Church, with its colorful tiled roof and intricate carvings, the Stone Gate, with its small chapel and painting of the Virgin Mary, and the Lotrscak Tower, with its stunning views of the city.
St. Mark’s Church
St. Mark’s Church is a beautiful medieval church that features a colorful tiled roof with the coats of arms of Croatia, Dalmatia, and Slavonia. Visitors can admire the intricate carvings and statues on the exterior, as well as the beautiful frescoes and paintings inside. The church is an important landmark in Zagreb and a must-visit for anyone interested in art or history.
The Stone Gate
The Stone Gate is a historic city gate that dates back to the 13th century. The gate is home to a small chapel that contains a painting of the Virgin Mary, which is said to have survived a devastating fire in 1731. Visitors can light candles and say a prayer at the chapel, or simply admire the beautiful architecture and historic significance of the gate.
The Lotrscak Tower
The Lotrscak Tower is a historic tower that dates back to the 13th century. Visitors can climb to the top of the tower for panoramic views of the city, or watch the daily firing of the cannon, which has been a tradition since the 19th century. The tower is a great place to learn about the history of Zagreb and enjoy stunning views of the city.
Visit the Museum of Broken Relationships
The Museum of Broken Relationships is a unique and thought-provoking museum that explores the concept of heartbreak and loss. The museum features personal objects and stories donated by people from all over the world, and offers a fascinating insight into the universal human experience of love and loss. Visitors can learn about the stories behind the objects and reflect on their own experiences of love and loss.
Sample the Local Cuisine
Croatian cuisine is a delicious fusion of Mediterranean and Central European flavors, and Zagreb is home to some fantastic restaurants and food markets. Visitors can sample traditional dishes like cevapi, sarma, and strukli, as well as fresh seafood and local wines. Foodies will love exploring the culinary delights of Zagreb and discovering new flavors and tastes.
Visit the Dolac Market
The Dolac Market is a vibrant and bustling market that is popular with locals and tourists alike. Visitors can browse the stalls selling fresh produce, cheese, honey, and other local specialties, or enjoy a coffee at one of the nearby cafes. The market is a great place to soak up the atmosphere of Zagreb and experience the local way of life.
Take a Stroll Through Maksimir Park
Maksimir Park is a beautiful and tranquil park that covers over 1,000 acres of land. The park features lakes, forests, and meadows, as well as several historic buildings and monuments. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the park, rent a bicycle, or enjoy a picnic in one of the many scenic spots. The park is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy some peace and quiet in nature.
Visit the Zagreb Zoo
The Zagreb Zoo is a fun and educational attraction that is home to over 275 species of animals. Visitors can see lions, tigers, elephants, and giraffes, as well as a petting zoo and a playground for kids. The zoo also features several restaurants and cafes, making it a great place to spend a day with the family.
Learn About Croatian Art and Culture at the Museum of Contemporary Art
The Museum of Contemporary Art is a must-visit for art lovers, featuring a collection of over 12,000 works of art from Croatian and international artists. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions and events, making it a dynamic and engaging cultural hub. Visitors can learn about the history and development of contemporary art and gain a deeper understanding of Croatian culture and society.
Explore the Tkalciceva Street
The Tkalciceva Street is a lively pedestrian street that is home to a variety of shops, cafes, and restaurants. Visitors can wander through the colorful street and soak up the atmosphere, or stop for a coffee or a meal at one of the many cafes and restaurants. The street is a great place to shop for souvenirs, try some local delicacies, or simply people-watch and enjoy the lively street life.
Visit the Zagreb City Museum
The Zagreb City Museum is an excellent place to learn about the history and culture of Zagreb. The museum features a collection of over 80,000 objects and artifacts, including archaeological finds, artworks, and historic documents. Visitors can learn about the development of the city over time and gain a deeper appreciation for its rich cultural heritage.
Enjoy a Concert or Show at the Croatian National Theatre
The Croatian National Theatre is a beautiful and historic theatre that is home to a variety of performances, including opera, ballet, and drama. Visitors can enjoy a show in the stunning surroundings of the theatre, which dates back to the 19th century. The theatre is a great place to experience the vibrant cultural scene of Zagreb and appreciate the talent and creativity of Croatian artists.
Take a Day Trip to Plitvice Lakes National Park
Plitvice Lakes National Park is a breathtaking natural wonder that is located just a few hours’ drive from Zagreb. The park features a series of cascading lakes and waterfalls, as well as forests and wildlife. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll through the park, or hike one of the many trails to explore the stunning natural scenery. A day trip to Plitvice Lakes National Park is a must for nature lovers and anyone who appreciates the beauty of the great outdoors.
Visit the Zagreb Botanical Garden
The Zagreb Botanical Garden is a peaceful oasis in the heart of the city, featuring a collection of over 10,000 plant species from all over the world. Visitors can take a guided tour or simply wander through the beautiful gardens and enjoy the tranquility. The garden is a great place to learn about botany and appreciate the beauty and diversity of nature.
Explore the Medvednica Mountain
The Medvednica Mountain is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, featuring hiking trails, ski slopes, and stunning views of the city. Visitors can take a cable car to the top of the mountain, or hike one of the many trails that wind through the forest. The mountain is a great place to escape the city and enjoy some fresh air and exercise in nature.
Visit the Zagreb Ethnographic Museum
The Zagreb Ethnographic Museum is a fascinating museum that explores the cultural heritage of Croatia and its neighboring countries. The museum features a collection of over 80,000 objects and artifacts, including traditional costumes, tools, and crafts. Visitors can learn about the customs, traditions, and way of life of different ethnic groups in the region, and gain a deeper understanding of the rich cultural diversity of Croatia.
Attend a Festival or Event
Zagreb is home to a variety of festivals and events throughout the year, including the Zagreb Film Festival, the Zagreb Jazz Festival, and the Advent in Zagreb, which is a month-long celebration of Christmas. Visitors can enjoy live music, food, and entertainment at these vibrant events, and get a taste of the local culture and traditions. The festivals and events in Zagreb offer a great opportunity to meet locals and make new friends, and to experience the city’s lively and dynamic atmosphere.
Take a Walking Tour of Zagreb
A walking tour of Zagreb is a great way to explore the city and learn about its history and culture. Visitors can choose from a variety of tours, including historical tours, culinary tours, and off-the-beaten-path tours. A walking tour is a great way to get oriented in the city and discover hidden gems and local secrets. It’s also a great way to meet other travelers and exchange tips and recommendations.
Zagreb is a vibrant and cultural city that offers a wide range of activities and attractions. From exploring historic landmarks to sampling the local cuisine, there is something for everyone in this beautiful city. Whether you are a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, Zagreb is sure to leave a lasting impression.
What is the best time to visit Zagreb?
The best time to visit Zagreb is from May to September, when the weather is warm and sunny.
What are some must-try Croatian dishes in Zagreb?
Some must-try Croatian dishes in Zagreb include cevapi, sarma, and strukli.
Can you recommend a good place to stay in Zagreb?
There are many great hotels and apartments in Zagreb, depending on your budget and preferences. Some popular options include the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel, the Hotel Dubrovnik, and the Hotel Jagerhorn.
How do I get around Zagreb?
Zagreb has a reliable public transportation system, including buses and trams. Taxis and rental cars are also available, but can be more expensive.
Are there any day trips from Zagreb worth taking?
Yes, there are several day trips from Zagreb that are worth taking, including a visit to Plitvice Lakes National Park, Samobor, or Varazdin. These destinations offer a glimpse into the stunning natural beauty and rich history of Croatia.