City trip Zagreb

Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, may not be the first thought of this country, as many will associate it with its coastal cities such as Dubrovnik or Split. Zagreb is a continental European city, and although the city is rich in culture and history, it is still one of the lesser known metropolises in Europe.

With more than 800,000 inhabitants in the city and about 1.2 million inhabitants including the metropolitan area, Zagreb has more than a quarter of Croatia’s population.

Zagreb is much more than the best awarded Christmas market. So discover the main attractions during a weekend break!

Day 1 – Upper Town


The most natural starting point for a visit to Zagreb is the central square. So take the streetcar to Ban Josip Jelacic Square from any direction and continue on foot. This square is the most famous meeting point from which you can explore the famous Upper Town (Gornji Grad), the historic old town of the city on two hills, also known as Kaptol and Gradec. This medieval core of the city contains the most recognizable sights in Zagreb. Head to Tkalciceva Street, but first you may want to stop by Dolac Market, where locals descend daily to buy fresh produce. You’ll notice that Tkalciceva is lined with cafes and restaurants. So if you feel like a morning snack or coffee, choose a place and enjoy.

At the top of Tkalciceva Street, on the left, is the stone gate with the shrine of the Virgin Mary, a popular place for prayers. As you continue, you will soon notice Zagreb’s most famous landmark, St. Mark’s Church. It is located on the square of the same name and is the most photographed place in the city. Right next to the church is the Croatian parliament building.

Church of St. Mark

At this moment there are several nearby museums you may want to visit. We recommend you to visit the Croatian Museum of History and the Croatian Museum of Naive Art. However, if you are looking for something different, don’t miss the emotional roller coaster called Museum of Broken Relationships.

Just a few steps away is the beautiful Gallery Klovicevi Dvori, which hosts exhibitions of both Croatian and international artists. The next sight is directly across from the museum and it is the Lotrscak Tower, once a fortress protecting Gradec. Continue and walk along the Strossmayer promenade to enjoy the most romantic view of the city.

Here you will find that there is another way to get to the upper city, and that is by the famous Zagreb funicular railroad, which connects the promenade with the main street Ilica.

Before leaving this area, we recommend you to pass through the Gric tunnel, the only tunnel from the Second World War that is open to the public.


By now you may be exhausted from all the sights, so it’s time to sit down for lunch! The two most famous restaurants in this area are definitely Nokturno and Leonardo. From pizza to all kinds of Croatian dishes to international cuisine, these two are a must when you visit Zagreb!

For the afternoon we have reserved another landmark, the largest in the city, Zagreb Cathedral. Although the twin towers seem to be under renovation for ever, this magnificent Gothic and neo-Gothic structure will make great impressions.

Before it gets dark, you might be interested in visiting another place a little further north. A 15-minute ride by streetcar or bus will take you to Mirogoj, the burial site and beautiful park.

The day has undoubtedly been long, so we recommend you return to Tkalciceva Street and have a drink in some of the numerous bars and pubs. If you feel hungry, there is fast food and restaurants on every corner. Just think of a meal, and it will probably be within walking distance of you.

Day 2 – Lower Town


The second day is reserved for the Lower Town, a more urban downtown with some of the most beautiful squares and green spaces in the city. This time we recommend you to arrive by train, streetcar or bus at the main station (Glavni kolodvor) and continue on foot.

Right next to the main train station are the three central green areas, a meeting place for many locals – King Tomislav Square, Josip Juraj Strossmayer Park and Zrinjevac Park. Take a walk to admire their beauty, but also visit some of the valuable buildings located in them, such as the Art Pavilion and the Strossmayer Gallery of Old Masters. During the winter vacations, this area becomes one of the top locations for the Zagreb Christmas Market.

For a break from the cultural side of the city, stroll on until you reach the longest and most central street in Zagreb, Ilica. This street starts from Ban Jelacic Square and is therefore easy to find. Ilica is home to numerous stores, boutiques, restaurants and cafes. Take your time to explore them and go shopping. When you are done, take a break for lunch or coffee to relax. The most popular place for a coffee is Cvjetni Square (Flower Square), also known as spica, which literally means top.


The afternoon schedule includes a few more museums and major attractions. What you will find in Ilica Street is the Museum of Illusions, a huge tourist attraction and a fun, interactive place that shows various optical illusions through different games and puzzles. Head south to find a few more places worth visiting. Throughout the Croatian National Theater is the Ethnographic Museum with a collection of more than 2800 cultural items on display. Right next door is one of the most famous museums in Zagreb, the Mimara Museum. It houses more than 1500 exhibits of about 3700 different works of art from prehistoric times to the 20th century. Century. Here you will find some of the most famous artists such as Bosch, Rubens, Van Dyck, Goya, etc.

Another museum you should visit is the Nikola Tesla Technical Museum, which displays various technologies with more than 6000 objects from Croatia and abroad.

Round out this busy afternoon by visiting a green oasis in the heart of the city. The Zagreb Botanical Garden offers a colorful yet tranquil atmosphere with more than 10,000 plant species, some of which are endangered.

Depending on your wishes, you can spend an evening walking to the Sava River, along the shore to the artificial lakes – Jarun and Bundek.

If you prefer a livelier night, some of the biggest clubs are within your reach. For a good gig or just a place with good music check out what Boogaloo, Vintage Industrial Bar, Bikers Beer Factory or MoCvara have to offer.

Day 3 – Maksimir and Sljeme


For your last day in Zagreb, take it slow like the locals do. The day is reserved for nature and relaxation, and fortunately Zagreb is rich in beautiful green spaces. Whether you like to walk, jog or just take a stroll and enjoy the beautiful surroundings, Maksimir Park is a place you can go to. Maksimir is located in the eastern part of the city and is easily accessible by streetcars 11 and 12 from Ban Jelacic Square.

Enter now this wonderful green oasis, the oldest public park in the city and habitat for many species of animals and plants. A visit to Maksimir is always a good idea, as the park is breathtaking at any time of the year. However, if we had to choose our favorite time of year in Maksimir, autumn would be an absolute winner. Covering 18 hectares, it can feel like you’re far away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

You will find several large meadows, streams and five lakes, numerous paths, places to sit and – the Zagreb Zoo! The zoo is located in a park directly opposite the stadium and is one of three zoos in the country with 2225 animals of 275 species from all over the world. It is part of several international organizations that contribute to the protection of animal species.

Maksimir is also ideal for birdwatchers, as there are over 100 species of birds in the park.


Take this connection with nature one step further and head to another favorite place of the locals. Medvednica and its highest peak Sljeme rise on the northern side and merge with the city. Most of the area is a nature park and the place is mostly known as a ski resort where some of the biggest ski competitions take place. Getting to Medvednica is possible by car, public transport or… maybe even hiking?

Medvednica is not only the ski resort in winter and a park in all other seasons. You can find some interesting attractions like several castles like Medvednica Castle, Zrinski Mine, Veternica Cave and much more.

Historical castle on Medvednica

After a long and active day, you’ll want to take it slow for the evening. Zagreb is a city with numerous options without bars and clubs. How about a theater performance? Zagreb has a good number of theaters where amazing performances take place. Just choose one according to your genre preferences. For important social issues go to the Exit Theater, a good satire awaits you at the Kerempuh Satirical Theater and for the world class performances visit the Croatian National Theater.

If you still have enough time, don’t stop here and visit some more interesting places in Zagreb, like Zagreb Eye, Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall or some more museums.

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