Zagreb, the capital city of Croatia, is a vibrant and charming destination that offers a wealth of attractions and experiences for visitors. Known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and lively cultural scene, Zagreb has something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in exploring historic landmarks, indulging in delicious cuisine, or immersing yourself in the local culture, Zagreb has it all.
In this blog, we will take you on a journey through 22 wonderful things to do in Zagreb, from admiring the colorful St. Mark’s Church to shopping at the bustling Dolac Market, and much more.
1. St. Mark’s Church
St. Mark’s Church is a renowned landmark in Zagreb, known for its exquisite colorful tiled roof. This impressive church dates back to the 13th century and features a blend of Gothic and Romanesque architectural elements. Its most distinctive feature is the colorful tiles on the roof, which depict the Croatian coat of arms and the city’s emblem.
Visiting St. Mark’s Church is a must for any sightseeing tour of Zagreb. As you approach the church, you’ll be greeted by its magnificent exterior, adorned with intricate carvings and stonework. Step inside to discover the church’s equally stunning interior, with beautiful stained glass windows and religious art.
The church is located in the heart of the old town, overlooking St. Mark’s Square, and stands as a symbol of Zagreb’s rich architectural heritage.
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2. Stop at the Stone Gate
As you explore the historic Upper Town of Zagreb, make sure to stop at the Stone Gate, one of the city’s most important landmarks. This medieval gate is the only surviving entrance to the old town and has long-held religious significance for the people of Zagreb. Within the gate, you’ll find a shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary, which has become a popular spot for locals and visitors to light candles and say prayers.
The Stone Gate, with its stone walls and iconic roof, offers a glimpse into the city’s past. Walking through the gate, you’ll feel transported to another time, as the cobblestone streets and historic buildings surround you.
Take a moment to appreciate the architecture and the serene atmosphere of the Upper Town. The Stone Gate is a place of spiritual significance and is worth visiting for its historical and cultural value.
In addition to the Stone Gate, the Upper Town of Zagreb is home to other attractions such as St. Mark’s Church, the Croatian Museum of Naive Art, and the Lotrscak Tower. Exploring the narrow streets of the Upper Town, you’ll discover charming cafes, art galleries, and boutique shops, offering a unique and atmospheric experience.
3. Tkalciceva Street
Capturing the urban charm of Zagreb, Tkalciceva Street is a vibrant and lively promenade located in the heart of the city. Lined with an array of cafes, restaurants, and boutique shops, it offers a picturesque setting for visitors to indulge in alfresco dining and strolls.
This popular street exudes a lively atmosphere, making it the perfect spot for people-watching and immersing oneself in the city’s culture. Tkalciceva Street is truly a wonderful place to experience the essence of Zagreb’s urban appeal, offering a blend of street art, fashion shows, and a unique ambiance that is worth visiting.
4. Mirogoj Cemetery
Nestled in the Croatian capital, Mirogoj Cemetery is renowned for its serene and monumental ambiance, characterized by striking architectural beauty. Adorned with elegant arcades, domes, and art nouveau elements, this cemetery offers visitors a tranquil space to explore while paying respects to notable figures.
Steeped in cultural and historical significance, Mirogoj Cemetery provides a peaceful setting conducive to reflection and remembrance, making it a truly important site in Zagreb. It’s a place where visitors can immerse themselves in a unique sense of tranquility and appreciate the artistic and historical value of this remarkable location.
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Nestled in the heart of the city, Zrinjevac provides a serene escape with its lush greenery and scenic beauty. This charming park boasts graceful pavilions, lively fountains, and colorful flowerbeds, creating a perfect setting for relaxation and strolls.
Hosting an array of cultural events and concerts, it serves as a popular spot for both locals and tourists to unwind and immerse themselves in the cultural fabric of Zagreb. Zrinjevac stands as a tranquil oasis, offering a peaceful retreat from bustling city life, making it a must-visit destination for those exploring the Croatian capital’s vibrant charm.
6. Museum of Broken Relationships
The Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb houses a one-of-a-kind and touching assortment. It displays individual accounts using contributed items from relationships that didn’t last. Guests can delve into the museum’s stimulating displays and introspective stories, offering a space for recovery, empathy, and comprehension. It provides visitors with a tranquil environment for contemplation and collective human connections.
7. Shop at Dolac market
Located in the heart of Zagreb, Dolac Market stands out as the city’s largest open-air market, offering a vibrant and authentic experience. It’s the perfect place to immerse yourself in the local culture and interact with welcoming vendors.
From fresh produce, meats, and cheeses to handmade crafts and souvenirs, the market boasts a wide array of local specialties. Whether you’re a culinary enthusiast or simply seeking authentic Croatian ingredients, Dolac Market has everything you need to cook up a traditional meal. Be sure to indulge in local delicacies like štrukli and ajvar, adding a flavorful touch to your visit.
8. Look at Zagreb from above
For breathtaking views of the Croatian capital, take the funicular to the upper town and delight in the panoramic sights from Lotrscak Tower. Explore the Strossmayer Promenade, offering beautiful vistas of the city, or climb the spiral staircase at Zagreb Cathedral for a bird’s eye perspective.
For a memorable experience, ascend to the 16th floor of Hotel Dubrovnik and enjoy stunning views from its rooftop bar, or opt for a hot air balloon ride for a unique and captivating outlook. Additionally, visit the observation deck at Zagreb 360 for unparalleled 360-degree views of the city.
9. Funicular Railway
Connecting Zagreb’s lower town with the upper town, the funicular railway offers a quick and convenient way to navigate the city. As one of the oldest modes of public transport in Zagreb, it provides a nostalgic journey with scenic views along the way, adding a touch of old-world charm to the Croatian capital.
The funicular railway is a wonderful way for visitors to experience the city’s history and architecture, making it a popular choice for those on a walking tour of the city. With its central location and rich history, the railway is one of the best things to do in Zagreb, especially for those looking for a unique and historic experience.
10. Jelacic Square
Ban Jelacic Square, the central square of Zagreb, holds great historical significance and is a popular meeting place for various events and gatherings. Visitors can explore its architecture and enjoy lively street performances surrounded by elegant buildings, shops, and restaurants.
This vibrant hub in the heart of the city provides the perfect backdrop for a walking tour while taking in the diverse street art and fashion shows. Jelacic Square is a tourist attraction worth visiting, offering a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the Croatian capital.
11. Croatian Museum of Naive Art
The Croatian Museum of Naive Art in Zagreb offers a fascinating insight into the unique world of self-taught artists. It is housed in a historic 18th-century building, showcasing a collection characterized by its simplicity and authenticity. Visitors can explore the museum’s exhibitions of Croatian naive art, which provides a distinctive perspective on the artistry of Croatian artists.
12. Check out the local cafes
Immerse yourself in Zagreb’s vibrant cafe culture, where a plethora of cafes line the city’s streets, offering something for everyone. Whether you prefer traditional coffee houses or trendy cafes, Zagreb has it all.
Relax and soak up the city’s atmosphere at the local cafes, while indulging in delicious pastries, cakes, and sandwiches. Cafe de Paris, Velvet, and Botanical are some popular choices that are worth a visit to experience the city’s cafe scene.
13. Marvel at the Oktogon
Marvel at the Oktogon, a historic building nestled in the heart of Zagreb. Dating back to the late 19th century, this architectural gem served as the new gateway to the main square, designed by the renowned architect Herman Bollé. Its distinctive eight-sided structure and dome-shaped roof make it an unparalleled landmark.
Step inside to behold stunning mosaic tiles and intricate ceiling designs. Today, the Oktogon hosts cultural events, exhibitions, and concerts, making it a vibrant space worth visiting for its rich history and artistic allure.
14. Gric Tunnel
Explore the enigmatic Gric Tunnel, an underground marvel with a compelling history. Created as a bomb shelter during World War II, this unique attraction now showcases captivating art installations, events, and live music performances.
Visitors can stroll through the tunnel, absorbing its historical significance and gaining insight into Zagreb’s intriguing past. Gric Tunnel offers a rare glimpse into the city’s wartime resilience and vibrant contemporary culture, making it an essential stop on any visit to the Croatian capital.
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15. Lotrscak Tower
Offering panoramic views of the city, Lotrscak Tower, dating back to the 13th century, is a must-visit in Zagreb. The daily cannon firing from the tower is a popular tradition that attracts both locals and tourists.
Visitors have the opportunity to climb the tower for a breathtaking view of Zagreb and admire the city from a different perspective. As part of the city’s fortification system from the 19th century, Lotrscak Tower stands as a historical landmark, providing a perfect vantage point to appreciate the beauty of the Croatian capital.
16. Shop at the flea market
Hrelic or “the Sunday market” in Zagreb is a popular spot for both locals and visitors. The market offers a wide array of goods, including antiques, vintage items, second-hand clothing, and household items. Bargaining is common, so be prepared to negotiate. To avoid the crowds and get the best selection, it’s advisable to arrive early. Also, remember to bring cash as credit cards may not be accepted by many vendors.
17. Enjoy the culinary scene
Zagreb offers a diverse culinary scene with something for every palate. Must-try traditional Croatian dishes include peka, pašticada, and štrukli, available at many cafes, restaurants, and wine bars in the city. Food festivals and events throughout the year showcase local and international cuisine, complemented by local craft beer and rakija.
18. Relax in the pleasant parks
When in Zagreb, take a break from your sightseeing and enjoy the serene parks scattered throughout the city. Maksimir Park, the oldest public park in Zagreb, boasts picturesque walking trails, tranquil lakes, and even a quaint zoo.
Zrinjevac Park’s tree-lined paths, elegant fountains, and live music during the summer months provide a perfect setting for relaxation. For a peaceful retreat, head to Ribnjak Park, where a serene pond and expansive grassy areas await a delightful picnic.
Nature enthusiasts will find solace in Tuškanac Forest Park, an urban oasis ideal for hiking and communing with nature. Don’t miss the Botanical Garden, home to over 10,000 plant species from around the globe, making it a must-visit for all nature lovers.
19. Witness the cannon fire
When in Zagreb, don’t miss the opportunity to witness the cannon fire, as the city has many attractions to offer. Start by visiting the famous St. Mark’s Church and walking around the Dolac Market, one of the oldest markets in Zagreb.
Explore the Upper Town and see the beautiful architecture, visit the unique Museum of Broken Relationships, and take a stroll through Maksimir Park, the oldest public park in Zagreb. It’s a wonderful way to experience the Croatian capital and its intriguing history, art, and culture.
20. Plitvice Lakes National Park
Nestled within the Croatian capital, Plitvice Lakes National Park beckons nature enthusiasts with its stunning lakes and lush forests. A day trip here offers a serene escape from the bustling city center of Zagreb, allowing visitors to witness the crystalline lakes, majestic waterfalls, and verdant landscapes.
Recent years have seen a surge in its popularity, drawing fewer crowds in the off-peak season, making it the perfect place for a tranquil retreat amidst nature. From the main square in Zagreb, a visit to Plitvice Lakes National Park via public transportation is one of the best ways to experience the natural beauty of this popular tourist attraction.
21. Archaeological Museum
The Archaeological Museum in Zagreb showcases a diverse range of artifacts from different historical periods, including prehistoric, Roman, Egyptian, and Greek. This offering provides valuable insights into Croatia’s history, featuring exhibits dating back to the prehistoric era.
Visitors have the opportunity to explore various archaeological finds such as tools, pottery, and ancient art, making it an educational experience that offers a glimpse into the region’s rich cultural heritage. The museum is a perfect place for history enthusiasts and anyone with an interest in ancient civilizations, providing a captivating journey through Croatia’s compelling past.
22. Zagreb Cathedral
Nestled in the heart of Zagreb, the Zagreb Cathedral stands as a stunning testament to Gothic architecture, adorned with intricate carvings and spires that capture the essence of historical craftsmanship.
As visitors step inside, they are greeted by the cathedral’s awe-inspiring stained glass windows and ornate interior, emanating an aura of tranquility and reverence. With a rich history of enduring reconstructions and natural disasters, the cathedral exudes resilience and timeless grandeur, inviting all to bask in its peaceful ambiance.
A visit to the Zagreb Cathedral is a must for enthusiasts of religious history and architectural marvels, offering a perfect setting for reflection and admiration of this monumental structure.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are some must-see attractions in Zagreb?
Things to do in Zagreb, Some must-see attractions in Zagreb include the Zagreb Cathedral, which is the tallest building in Croatia, Tkalciceva Street with its historic restaurants and bars, St. Mark’s Church known for its colorful tiled roof, and the Museum of Broken Relationships featuring objects from failed relationships.
Where are the best places to eat and drink in Zagreb?
Things to do in Zagreb, Some of the top dining and drinking spots in Zagreb include Vinodol, Agava, and Takenoko for delicious meals. For traditional Croatian cuisine, Pivnica Medvedgrad or Konoba Didov San are worth a visit. Coffee lovers should check out Velvet Cafe, Johann Franck, or Kava Tava. To experience the vibrant nightlife scene, Hemingway Bar or Swanky Monkey Garden are must-visit destinations.
What are some unique experiences or activities to do in Zagreb?
Things to do in Zagreb, Experience the unique Museum of Broken Relationships, where donated items tell stories of failed relationships. Take a ride on the funicular to the Upper Town for stunning views of Zagreb. Explore the bustling Dolac Market for fresh produce and handmade crafts. Don’t miss performances at the Croatian National Theater showcasing opera, ballet, and theater productions.
Are there any hidden gems or off-the-beaten-path locations in Zagreb worth visiting?
Things to do in Zagreb, Zagreb has several hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path locations that are definitely worth exploring. The Museum of Broken Relationships offers a unique and emotional experience, while the Mirogoj Cemetery is a beautiful spot with stunning architecture. For panoramic views of the city, visit the Medvedgrad Fortress.
Things to do in Zagreb, Zagreb is a vibrant city with a wide range of attractions and activities to offer. From historical landmarks like St. Mark’s Church and the Stone Gate to cultural experiences like the Museum of Broken Relationships and the Croatian Museum of Naive Art, there is something for everyone in this charming city.
Don’t forget to explore the local food scene and visit the Dolac market for a taste of authentic Croatian cuisine. Take some time to relax in the city’s beautiful parks and enjoy the panoramic views from spots like the Lotrscak Tower.
If you’re up for some adventure, consider visiting the Plitvice Lakes National Park for a truly breathtaking experience. With so much to see and do, Zagreb is a destination that should not be missed.
Ferona Jose is a passionate travel writer and blogger at Travelistia. She has traveled throughout Europe, Asia and the Americas. Her writing focuses on cheap travel destinations, travel experiences, cultural insights, and travel hacks.