Zagreb is the capital and the largest city in Croatia. I visited here for a week in July during the middle of my five month long Europe trip, and this was the last place I stopped at in Croatia. Since it’s not really a tourist city, there aren’t as many things to do in Zagreb. Despite this, I actually quite enjoyed Zagreb, since I got a much better feel of the local culture, versus the very touristy vibe I got in the other cities in Croatia.
What To Do In Zagreb
The old town is the central area of Zagreb, where the majority of the tourist sites, bars, and restaurants are. The beautiful architecture of the buildings reminded me of the old-styled buildings in my hometown of San Francisco.
Ban Jelacic Square
Central square in Zagreb, right below Old Town. Features a few big historical buildings of classicism to modernism styles, a fountain, and occasional concerts.
It’s a giant cathedral built in the Neo-Gothic style. It reminded me a bit of La Sagrada Familia, a giant Roman Catholic church in Barcelona. You can enter for free, when I went there, was a service going on.
A nice small street with food, drinks, and concert performances. This was my favorite spot in Zagreb; lots of locals gathered here in the evening to hang out, drink, and relax. Fantastic, a popular hot dog stand offers boar and deer hot dogs for 25 kuna; I tried the boar, and it was delicious!
St. Mark’s Church
One of Zagreb’s oldest buildings, with emblems decorating the roof.
A nice park just southeast of the central square, with a small soccer field for children, a fountain, beach chairs, and food stands offering dessert, drinks, and snacks. When I went, there was a concert in the middle of the park.
Museum of Broken Relationships
An interesting museum made up of donations from peoples’ past relationships. Each exhibit contains a memento from a past relationship, and the story behind it. I paid 30 kuna to enter, and stayed for about 2 hours. Definitely worth a visit!
How To Get Around Zagreb
Compared to other cities in Croatia, Zagreb has a well developed and efficient public transportation system, with bus, tram, and train routes throughout the city. A one-way ticket costs 10 kunas, which is about 1.5 euros. You can read more about the schedules and maps here.
Another option I highly recommend is taking Uber. Uber is very cheap in Zagreb, and if you’re traveling as a couple, the prices will be about the same, and sometimes cheaper than taking the bus. It’s also more convenient and usually faster. This is the option my girlfriend and I went with during our time in Zagreb.
How To Get To Zagreb
Since it’s the capital of Croatia, you can get to Zagreb pretty much any way you want. You can fly into Zagreb International Airport, which is 17km from the city center. You can take trains into Zagreb Central Station from the nearby major European cities such as Budapest, Munich, and Zurich. There are also buses to Zagreb from all over Europe and from the other Croatian cities, which is the option I chose, since I was coming from Plitvice Lakes National Park. Finally, if you have a car or if you rent a car, you can drive there yourself. From most expensive to least expensive, it goes from plane, train, bus, then car (assuming you have your own car).
Where To Stay In Zagreb
Since the majority of the places to see as a tourist are in the Old Town, I recommend staying near there. But as long as you’re not too far away, it’s okay, since the transportation in Zagreb is inexpensive and fast. I recommend using Airbnb, as there are lots of offerings, and they are quite cheap as well. I stayed in an Airbnb, and it was cheapest in Zagreb compared to all the other places I visited in Croatia.
Although Zagreb isn’t known as a tourist city, it’s a great place to visit for a day or two. There is an Old Town with beautiful architecture and cobblestone streets, and it’s very economical as well, with cheap, delicious food and inexpensive accommodations. I also felt that Zagreb gave me the best local experience, since it didn’t feel as touristy as other cities in Croatia. Finally, nearly everyone spoke English, which was very convenient. So if you are visiting Croatia, definitely consider stopping by Zagreb!
I hope this list helped, and gave you an idea of things to do in Zagreb. For some more destinations in Croatia, check out these posts!