20 Things To Do In Zagreb

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Croatia’s capital is a modern European city in the heart of my beautiful country. The city of around a million people is a scientific, cultural and political hub. Zagreb is divided into two parts, Upper Town and Lower Town. Upper Town is where you can step back into medieval times and enjoy its rich history, art and architecture. As a bonus, you will get amazing views of the whole city. On the other side, Lower Town is filled with colourful parks, monuments, museums, theatres, bars and restaurants.

These two parts of Zagreb are separated by the main square, Ban Josip Jelačić, a local meeting point. Besides being a cultural gem, Zagreb will amaze you with its beautiful nature, green parks and biodiversity. The city is bordered by Mount Medvednica on one side while the longest Croatian river, the Sava, flows on the other.

Zagreb has a special place in my heart as it’s my second home and where I spent six years of my life. It’s the city that never sleeps, with always something exciting to do, from cultural events and clubbing to walks in nature. It’s close to the other parts of Croatia, and most of all, it’s spotless and safe. It’s a perfect-sized city full of opportunities, cultural diversity and nature. These are my 20 top picks of things to do in Zagreb.

Zagreb, Croatia

Top 3 Tours

things to do in zagreb in december Zagreb cathedral panoramic aerial view
Looking for things to do in Zagreb, Croatia? Check out our top 20.

20 Things To Do In Zagreb

things to do in zagreb historic city center aerial view
If you’re looking for things to do in Zagreb, start by exploring the historic city centre.

1- Mend Your Heart in the Museum of Broken Relationships

Do you remember the emotional roller coaster you experienced after your first breakup? Maybe even after the second or third one? Did you think it was the end of the world?

So many memories, emotions and feelings. Well, that’s love. What’s the world without love?

The Museum of Broken Relationships takes you through heartbreaking stories and symbolic possessions, where you will find a collection of items and anonymous stories.

You will laugh, maybe even cry, but most of all, it will remind you that love is beautiful and we can’t live without it.

In 2010, the museum won the EMYA Kenneth Hudson Award for the most innovative and daring museum project in Europe.

The museum has a bistro and café, where you can taste delicious food made of locally sourced organic ingredients depending on the season.

Located in the Upper Town, it can get quite crowded, don’t lose your opportunity to reserve your ticket here.

The Museum of Broken Relationships is at Ćirilometodska ul. 2, 10000, Zagreb.

2- Change Your Reality In The Museum of Illusions

The Museum of Illusions is where reality takes on a different dimension to please your inner child and where you become the master of illusions, just like in the movie “Now you see me”.

The museum will teach you about perception, the human brain and science.

It combines entertaining and educational content suitable for all generations.

It contains over 70 exhibits, including defy gravity room, a rotating room, a maze of mirrors and one of the largest hologram exhibitions in Europe.

It’s in the centre of Zagreb, on Illica street, approachable by tram or foot. Check it out here

The Museum of Illusions is at Ilica 72, 10000, Zagreb.

3- Discover The History Of Electricity At Nikola Tesla Museum

Explore the life of one of the greatest inventors in the history of the world, a man who changed the way we live.

Nikola Tesla gave us light and made many other inventions in the production, transmission and application of electric power.

Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American engineer and physicist who invented the first alternating current motor, the radio, tesla coil, neon light and many more.

The museum consists of a planetarium and exhibitions part that will guide you through the great inventions of Tesla.

You can get there by tram, just 10 minutes from the main square. Find out more here.

Nikola Tesla Museum is at Savska cesta 18, 10000, Zagreb.

4- Indulge In Croatian Cuisine

best things to do in zagreb Delicious traditional fried sea food plate for two traditional croatian cuisine.
Tasting traditional Croatian food is one of the top things to do when in Zagreb.

Be prepared to fall in love with Croatian cuisine. The country’s food varies depending on the region.

The northern part involves more meat products, while Dalmatia focuses fish and seafood.

Some famous seafood dishes are black risotto, brodetto and buzara. Strukli (savoury pastry filled with cheese), fuži and pljukanci are the types of pasta characteristic of Istria.

You’ll taste prosciutto, cheese, olive oil and local wine.

You can find many good restaurants on Tkalčićeva street if you go by yourself, or join this tour to learn more about each dish. 

5- Explore On A Walking Tour And Take A Funicular Ride

things to do in zagreb croatia Funicular and Lotrscak Tower.
Riding the funicular is one of the things to do in Zagreb to get your bearings.

If you are short on time and would like to hear a brief history from the locals about the central points of Zagreb, this walking tour with a funicular ride is a perfect option for you.

In this 2.5 hours of guided walk, you will pass from the main Ban Jelačić square, the Cathedral and Tkalčićeva street to Upper town.

You will hear the history of the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, pass through the bar street, known as Tkalčićeva street, where all the generations meet for brunches, dinner, and casual drinks.

From Tkalčićeva street, you will pass the oldest pharmacy in Zagreb, then Stone Gate, all the way to the Upper town.

There you will see Lotrščk tower, St. Mark’s Church and Gradec.

This tour will give you a perfect opportunity to take an old funicular ride back to the meeting point.

6- Discover Croatia’s War History

things to do in zagreb lonely planet two tanks and a ruin
Visiting the Museum of Army Collections is one of the interesting things to do in Zagreb to learn more about the war.

Going back 31 years ago, Croatia declared independence from Yugoslavia. Before that, Croatia, along with Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Slovenia and Macedonia, were part of Yugoslavia.

That year, on the same day, both Croatia and Slovenia declared independence, and while Slovenia left the country in peace, that was not the case for Croatia.

The ethnic Serbian minority in Croatia rejected that decision, demanding an independent Serbian state that covered a third of Croatia’s geographical territory.

This war lasted for five years, until the fall of 1995.

Take a tour with a local historian to learn insights into the devastating events that occurred during those years and discover underground tunnels that were used as shelters. Find out more here.

7- Explore Plitvice Lakes And Rastoke

fun things to do in zagreb Beautiful wooden path trail for nature trekking with lakes and waterfall landscape in Plitvice Lakes National Park, UNESCO natural world heritage and famous travel destination of Croatia.
Taking a trip to Plitvice Lake is one of the unmissable things to do when in Zagreb.

Plitvice Lakes is one of Croatia’s largest and oldest national parks, known for its stunning landscape and biodiversity, protected by UNESCO World Heritage since 1979.

On the way, it’s perfect to stop at Rastoke, known as Little Plitvice, which is 30 km from the national park.

What is interesting to see are the mills that were powered by water to produce the flour for the bread.

This tour will give you a perfect opportunity to experience beautiful nature and historical insights of Plitvice Lakes.

8- Say A Prayer At Zagreb Cathedral

things to do in zagreb in january
Visiting the city’s historic cathedral is one of the things to do in Zagreb.

The neo-Gothic building in Kaptol Square holds the title of the tallest building in Croatia.

Zagreb Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary dates back to the 11th century and was once known as St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

It consists of Archbishop’s Palace, with twin high spires up to 108 m (354ft), tombs of Croatian heroes and martyrs, a treasury and organs.

The Cathedral is easily accessible by foot from Ban Jelačić square, around five minutes, and the entrance is free.

9- Listen To The Cannons Of Lotrščak Tower

top 10 things to do in zagreb croatia tower against blue sky
Keeping an ear out for the cannon firing is one of the things to do in Zagreb to soak up its historic atmosphere.

Lotščak Tower dates back to the 13th century when it was built to guard the southern part of Gradec, known as Upper Town.

It had a key role in protecting a former small gate Dverce, which was demolished in 1812, but later reconstructed and is today known as Strossmayer Promenade.

By the end of the 16th century, the tower lost its protective purpose after the Ottoman attacks.

There are two options to reach it, climb many stairs or take a ride with the small funicular to the top, which has breathtaking views of the town.

The top attraction is a Grič cannon which, up to one year ago, fired exactly at noon every day, but it was stopped after an earthquake.

The entrance ticket to the tower is around three euros.

Lotrščak Tower is at Strossmayerovo šetalište 9, 10000, Zagreb.

10- Admire The Coat Of Arms On St. Mark’s Church

10 things to do in zagreb
Visiting St. Mark’s Church is another thing to do in Zagreb, Croatia.

Famous for its colourful tiled roof, this sacral, gothic building from the 13th century is a must-see attraction in Zagreb.

It was created in 1880 by Friedrich Schmidt and Herman Bolle.

The colourful design represents the medieval coat of arms of three regions, with Slavonia, Croatia and Dalmatia on the left and the emblem of Zagreb on the right.

According to legend, the emblem marks the entrance to the interweaving corridors under the Upper Town.

Besides the roof, the southern portal is also an interesting detail with 15 sculptures, including Christ, St. Mark, Virgin Mary with the child and other apostles.

St. Mark’s Church is open only during mass and is in St. Mark’s square, reachable by foot from Ban Jelačić square.

St. Mark’s Church is at Trg Sv. Marka 5, 10000, Zagreb.

11- Take A Walk Through The Grič Tunnel

According to the legend of the underground corridors of St. Mark’s Church, the path leads you to the Grič tunnel.

This tunnel was built in 1943 to protect civilians from frequent bombings and during the Croatian Independence War in the nineties.

After all the wars ended, the tunnel became a perfect party place for raves.

At Christmas time, the tunnel transforms into a fairytale spot, with lighting and installations that vary depending on the season.

Often there are other temporary exhibitions and events. It is a pedestrian tunnel, perfect for escaping from the summer heat.

12- Shop At Dolac Market

things to do with kids in zagreb
Shopping in Dolac Market is one of the fun things to do in Zagreb today.

Dolac Market is Zagreb’s leading open-air farmer’s market.

The indoor market sells freshly baked bread, delicious homemade pastries, homemade pasta, fresh meat and fish.

The market’s upper floor is filled with colourful locally grown fruit and vegetables, local wine, olive oil, cheese and nuts.

Dolac is also a great spot to go shopping for handmade crafts, souvenirs, clothes, shoes and other gifts.

The market is in the centre and a two-minute walk from Ban Jelačić square.

13- Light A Candle At The Stone Gate

best things to do in zagreb croatia
Stopping by the Stone Gate is one of the things to do in the capital of Croatia.

Walking to the Upper Town, you will encounter a place of silence, prayer, and love known as the Stone Gate.

The gate was created in the 13th century and was damaged four times in fires, where the last fire badly damaged everything aside from a painting of the Virgin Mary with baby Jesus.

After the fire, the owner of the painting built a chapel inside the Stone Gate, where it exists until today.

The Stone Gate is at Kamenita ul., 10000, Zagreb.

14- Relax In Zrinjevac Park

things to do in zagreb in february
Relaxing in Zrinjevac Park is another thing to do in Zagreb to get away from the crowds.

This green spot is a perfect escape from walking around the city.

Only a few minutes away from the main Ban Jelačić square, filled with flowerbeds and water fountains, Zrinjevac is a perfect place to rest and enjoy nature.

Imagine having a coffee or takeaway lunch, sitting on a blanket, surrounded by trees and flowers, and listening to the songs of birds in the city centre.

It’s even more magical at night, with all the lights and open-air concerts in the Music Pavilion in the centre of the park, making it a perfect place for a date night.

Besides nature, Zrinjevac has statues of famous heroes along the pathways.

15- Visit The Zoo In Maksimir Park

cool things to do in zagreb
Visiting Maksimir Park is another thing to do in Zagreb, Croatia.

Maksimir Park is another green spot in Zagreb and a 15-minute tram ride from the main square.

It has trees, flowers, lakes and animals, making it a perfect spot for a family picnic, gathering or a romantic date.

The zoo is within the park and has 370 animal species, such as leopards, red pandas, wisent, chimpanzees and different snake species.

Tickets for adults cost 4 euros, while for children cost less than 2 euros.

The park has five beautiful lakes and is home to squirrels, bats, foxes and martens.

It’s a popular place for recreation, such as yoga, running, riding a bike, or meditation. There’s a cafe in the park and entry is free.

Maksimir Park is at Maksimirski perivoj 1, 10000, Zagreb.

16- Take A Walk Around Jarun Lake

Jarun Lake is a beautiful lake that is popular for walking, jogging and having picnics.

In summer, it hosts a popular music festival called IN music and, during the rest of the year, is a favourite location for sporting events, wedding parties and concerts.

The park is about 30 minutes from the city centre and is known as Zagreb’s sea.

17- Watch A Ballet At The Croatian National Theatre

things to do in zagreb tripadvisor blue sky and yellow historic building
Watching a performance at the Croatian National Theatre is one of the things to do in Zagreb, Croatia.

This neo-baroque masterpiece is a stunning building and a great place to watch a ballet, drama or opera.

Besides its stunning exterior, this unique building will amaze you with its internal decor of gold walls in contrast with red curtains and statues.

There are about 100 theatres in Croatia and this is one of five that has the status of a “national theatre”.

The program is robust, with over 220 stage performances per season.

The theatre is a 10-minute walk from the main square and you’ll often find young people hanging around in front of the theatre, chilling on the grass, playing music or practising an artistic performance.

You might even hear the artists rehearsing plays inside the theatre.

Tickets for the performances vary from 8 to 20 euros and a building tour costs 4 euros.

18- Visit The Mirogoj Cemetery

things to do in zagreb county
Wandering around Mirogoj cemetery is one of the things to do in Zagreb for history lovers.

The buildings will surprise you with green oxidized copper domes, brick-coloured walls and carved arcades.

With plenty of greenery, you might think you’re walking through the park and not a cemetery.

Graves of important Croatian poets, sports players, presidents and other important figures are found here.

Look for the grave of Petar Preradović, one of the important figures of Croatian Romantic poetry, a famous Croatian basketball player from the 90s, Dražen Petrović, the first president of Independent Croatia, Franjo Tuđman and Croatian sculptors Ivan Mestrović and Ivan Rendić.

2 November (All Souls’ Day) is the day when people go with their families to the cemetery to light the candles for their deceased.

The night is magical, with thousands of flickering candles and a peaceful environment.

Mirogoj Cemetery is at Aleja Hermanna Bollea 27, 10000, Zagreb.

19- Hike Around Sljeme

Breathtaking sunsets, amazing views of the city, nature and good food are the things that describe Mount Medvednica.

You can take many trails to arrive at the peak of the mountain, Sljeme.

Some routes are more difficult than others, so check before you go.

Hiking along the mountain is an everyday weekend activity for many families with their children, friends, elderly people and professional hikers.

On the top of the mountain, there are restaurants where you can rest and enjoy freshly prepared local food.

In winter, Sljeme becomes a place for skiing as it’s 20 minutes from the city centre to the foot of the mountain. Take tram 14 from the main square.

20- Enjoy The View From Medvedgrad Castle

zagreb things to do in a day view of the castle and city
Visiting Medvedgrad Castle and admiring the view is one of the wondering things to do from Zagreb.

One of the best views of Zagreb is from Medvednica Castle, which was built for defensive purposes on a hill called Mali Plazur.

Its main tower is visible from far away, and inside the castle is the altar of the homeland dedicated to Croatian soldiers killed in the Croatian War of Independence.

Tickets cost around two euros, and the opening hours vary depending on the day and the season.

The best way to get there is by car, but you have an option to arrive by bus, plus walking for around an hour.

September is the time to visit for medieval culture, whereas in July you can enjoy the music concerts. Find out more here.

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This is Marjana, but friends call her Mare. Like sea, wild, powerful and often unpredictable. She is a Croatian baby, born and raised on sunny coast of Šibenik. Her journey started 2018 in Spain when she decided to leave her first footprint outside of the comfort zone and never look back. All the amazing humans she met and life stories she heard immersing herself in different cultures left a mark on her. After graduation she moved to Belgium, got some new life stories and experiences, but pandemic decided to change her plans so few months later she landed a job in Malta. Now, two years later she is still sending postcards from sandy sunny beaches drinking cocktails and enjoying in island life. She is just one of the lucky ones who realised that life has something more to offer than staying in your comfort zone.