Here’s my round up of all our travel tips on things to do in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, from our expert Neha. It’s one of those cities that a lot of people pass through on their way to somewhere else but don’t stop to appreciate – I’m guilty of that too, having spent two or three hours there in the middle of the night while changing buses! If you are planning a trip to Croatia, then take some time to explore Zagreb with the help of Neha’s insider tips.
Zagreb City Museum by neha
Podcast on Things to Do in Zagreb
Landmarks of Zagreb
The main cathedral of Zagreb, the The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Mary, is an impressive neo-gothic building with particularly tall spires, and you can use them to navigate your way around the town centre.
Zagreb’s cathedral by neha
The Croatian National Theatre is also well worth a look, and if you have any interest in opera, ballet or theatre, then check out what will be performed during your visit.
Zagreb’s Old Town is also full of intriguing architecture, including the LotrÅ¡Äak Tower, which dates back to the 13th century. These days you can climb to the top of the tower for some good views over Zagreb. You should also take a look at the Stone Gate in Zagreb, the only surviving town gate from medieval times.
Zagreb’s stone gate by neha
You will also inevitably come across Illica, the main street of Zagreb. Look out for the cafes in between the numerous buildings; there is also plenty of convenient accommodation along this street and it’s a handy location to stay in.
Zagreb’s main street, Illica by neha
If you’re visiting in December, then the main city landmark becomes the Zagreb Christmas Markets, with a giant Christmas tree being erected on the main square and numerous stalls being set up to sell all kinds of Christmas fare.
Christmas Markets in Zagreb by neha
Museums and Galleries in Zagreb
One of the most visited museums in Zagreb is the Zagreb City Museum, housed in an old convent in the Old Town. Exhibits range from artefacts from the Iron Age through to modern models of the city of Zagreb.
Art lovers will get a lot out of this round-up of five Zagreb galleries, including the Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art and the Mestrovic Studio where famous Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic’s works can be found.
In the Old Town you can find the Croatian Museum of Naive Art; there were several famous Croatian artists in the naive style in the 1930s and they popularised this art form, making this museum full of the works of successful local artists.
Naive art by neha
Parks in Zagreb
The planners of Zagreb apparently realised the importance of parks. The largest green area in Zagreb is Maksimir Park. It includes a running track, several cafes, a new zoo and concerts during summer.
Closer to the centre, the Lenuciâ€™s Horseshoe (or Lenucijeva Potkova) is a series of parks and squares running between the main station and the main square in the shape of a horseshoe.
Lenuciâ€™s Horseshoe by neha
And finally, while not quite a park, the tree-lined Strossmayer Promenade is still very green and is also home to the Strossmarte street festival during the summer.
Neha recommendations for locations in which to sip a coffee include Tkalciceva in the city or slightly further afield at the artificial lakes of Jarun or the Sljeme peak (reachable by cable car).
Day Trips from Zagreb
If you want to escape winter in Zagreb, Neha recommends heading about two and a half hours away to Volosko, a small fishing village on the coast which has a reputation for warmer weather. It’s famous for its seafood restaurants so take your appetite with you!
Volosko by neha
One of the most obvious day trips from Zagreb is to head to the Plitvice Lakes. This is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited and I can’t recommend it highly enough, except to say that rather than making a day trip from Zagreb to Plitvice, try to stay there for a couple of days instead.
Plitvice Lakes by Amanda Kendle
Neha also recommends several other day trips from Zagreb, including Samobor, Veliki Tabor and Trakoscan castles and Krapina.