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Zagreb Travel Blog: Things To Do In Zagreb
Despite being the capital city of Croatia, Zagreb is often overlooked as a destination in its own right. Yet this city has remained at the forefront of history and culture in Croatia since medieval times. There is always something happening in Zagreb. Visitors will undoubtedly find enough things to do in Zagreb to keep them busy, ranging from elegant restaurants to fascinating museums.
We’ve been to Zagreb several times, including for the Advent in Zagreb festivities last Christmas. We agreed on this list of things to do in Zagreb, but it is by no means an exhaustive overview. Zagreb is the buzzing capital city of Croatia, yet unlike other capital cities, it’s not over-crowded or polluted.
In Zagreb, you just can’t get lost. There are signs on every corner, leading the way to all of the biggest Zagreb attractions. Zagreb is like all famous European cities, in that it has museums, galleries and churches, and other landmarks to visit. Before making the trip, make sure have all the essential travel necessities to make your trip that much more comfortable.
You’ll definitely find something to do in Zagreb. Croatia’s capital is flat and compact, which makes walking about (especially with a pram) super easy.
We’re still adjusting to traveling with a toddler. With our Baby Donkey, we were not game enough to head into any of the fancy museums or galleries as he likes to run left when we are walking right. So, instead, we took on a few different sites.
Our Suggestions For What To Do In Zagreb
What to see in Zagreb depends entirely on your own taste, interests, and preferences. That said, though, there is plenty for you to do in Zagreb, regardless of what you’re after. To give you an idea, we have compiled a list that has something for everyone. Also, if you have time, consider going on a fun day trip from Zagreb, there are plenty.
First things, first, head to the Tourist Information Centre (Trg Bana J. Jelačića 11) and buy a 24 or 72 hour Zagreb Card. This bad-boy gives you significant savings to many things on this list – including public transport.
Start here; it’s within an easy walk of all the tram and bus stops. As with most funiculars, it’s nothing special to look at, but having been in operation since 1893, it does make for a quick and easy trip to the top. It costs just 4 Kuna (approx 0.80 cents) and takes you to the Upper Town, the location of the historic district.
Even if you skip the funicular ride and walk up, which will take you past some shops and coffee bars if you decide to stop by one of those, you’re in for a treat, with a top-notch view overlooking the lower city, this vantage point is one of the best views in Zagreb. Once there, you can see many museums, galleries and the like.
By all means, take the fun Funicular, but whatever else you do, do not miss out on three of the best highlights of Zagreb up top: the Museum of Broken Relationships, Saint Mark’s Church and the daily (12 pm) canon shot from Lotrščak Tower (see below)
360° Zagreb Eye Observation Deck
Located on Ban Jelačić Square in Zagreb on the 16th floor of a Zagreb High-Rise on Ilica 1a, the 360° – Zagreb Eye Observation Deck offers a spectacular view of Ban Jelačić Square, Manduševac fountain, Kaptol, Gradec, Upper and Lower Town, and the most important cultural and historic structures in Zagreb, including its squares, streets, and parks.
Oh yeah, and on a clear day you can see as far east as Moslavačko Gorje, and west to Žumberak and some say Slovenia.
While there, you can grab a drink at the bar, kick back on the sofa and soak up the views for as long as you wish.
Don’t ask me to pronounce it. Out of all of the things to do in Zagreb, this one I just can’t wrap my tongue around. Just head there and enjoy a meal or coffee from the numerous places to eat and drink.
Be sure to wander along Tkalčićeva Street after dark. At night, all the shops are lit up, and the street has a very romantic feel about it.
Museum Of Broken Relationships
Yes, a museum that is dedicated to those trinkets people kept that remind them of broken relationships. Allow about an hour to see this award-winning, small, yet fascinating museum.
The contents of the museum are just as intriguing as the name suggests. Set in Zagreb’s historic Upper Town, the Museum of Broken Relationships is a place you must visit when in Zagreb. Rather than being some bitter and twisted take on relationships, each piece has a little story of a real person who donated the item and what it meant to them. As you walk from item to item, you feel connected to the person, and their feelings of loss and loneliness or relief, as the descriptions were written by the person to whom the item belonged, as opposed to a museum curator.
Baby Donkey insisted on being out of the pram, and because it was not some thousand-year-old vase or painting, I was comfortable with him wandering about the museum. Once you have seen the exhibition, you can enjoy a coffee in the cafe and browse the gift shop. Overall an exceptional place to see, and one of the many things to do in Zagreb that are family-friendly.
This is probably not something that you notice at first glance, but when you find out that there are several statues dedicated to characters from local books, it suddenly hits you: Zagreb loves its writers. Not only is Zagreb a creative city, but they also tend to honor that fact.
Unfortunately, you can’t really find a lot of translated works by Croatian writers, so you will just have to trust us. They’re amazing, and we adore them. We even use nicknames for some of the writers, like Fritz for famous Miroslav Krleza or Gustl for poet Antun Gustav Matos.
There are memorial museums dedicated to some of the writers, bars that have kept memories of the other ones, and statues of authors and their fictional characters all over the city. Hey, there’s even a football team that we call Pjesnici – The Poets. Zagrebians just love their authors.
The ‘Nin Salt’ Museum Store
Opened recently in the center of Zagreb, this is one of the yummiest Croatia tourist attractions. This museum shows an interesting story of how salt is made today and how it used to be done in the past.
The salt factory in Nin is said to date back to Roman times, yet here in Zagreb, you can check out the how-tos of years gone by with photos and displays. Don’t leave without buying a gift, though. We suggest the bath salts, but you could also opt for the table salt.
Other Zagreb Museums
Did you say you like museums? Good, Zagreb has plenty of them. I won’t list them all because there are just so many, but here are a few recommendations to get you started:
- Do be sure to take kids to the Tehnički muzej. The Technical Museum was established in 1954, exhibiting numerous historic aircraft, cars, machinery, and equipment.
- The Museum of Illusions, which opened the summer of 2015, is another excellent place for kids and adults alike. Watch water flow uphill, climb onto the ceiling, see your friends shrink right in front of you… It’s a museum entirely dedicated to optical illusions, puzzles, brain busters and more.
- For a more adult-appropriate museum trip, the new Torture Museum offers guests an up-close experience with instruments of torture that have been used throughout human civilization, including the chance to touch a guillotine and be locked in a replica of a dungeon.
- Zagreb City Museum, modernized in the last few years, has loads of fascinating historical, cultural, archaeological, and artistic exhibitions that give visitors a great overview of Zagreb’s rich history.
- Art lovers might want to check out the Mimara Museum at Roosevelt Square. Housed in a huge 18th-century building, it exhibits a wide variety of European art and artifacts spanning several centuries.
- A similar museum to the one above, the Museum of Arts and Crafts Zagreb showcases European arts and crafts from the 1300s until the present, from paintings to silverware. The building itself, a gorgeous Renaissance structure, is a beautiful sight in itself.
St. Mark’s Church
We’ve had the pleasure of visiting countless churches across Europe, so I’ll be honest and say that this church lacks the big “wow” factors on the inside that more famous churches do. However, it does have one distinguishing feature. What a roof!
Croatians are known to be patriotic, and the roof of St. Mark’s is a testament to that fact. With the White Castle (Zagreb’s Coat of Arms) and the National Red, White and Blue tiles emblazoned on the roof for all to see, it’s the reason I’ve included this as one of the absolute best things to do in Zagreb.
Ban Jelačić Square
Zagreb’s central square, Ban Jelačić Square is the beating heart of the city and the center of the city’s pedestrian zone. It lies conveniently near the old districts of Gradec and Kaptol, and the Dolac Markets. Dating from the 1600s, this historic square is lined with gorgeous architecture and is the setting of many annual events, most notably the atmospheric Christmas markets in December.
An unexpected attraction in the heart of Zagreb, the Grič Tunnel is a pedestrian tunnel underneath the historic Grič (also known as Gornji Grad) neighborhood.
Constructed in 1943 as a bomb shelter and underground promenade, it consists of two passageways, leading respectively to Stjepan Radić Street in the east and Mesnička Street in the west, and a central hall, as well as six exits. You can walk through this underrated, and perhaps unknown feature of the city.
You also do not have to walk the entire length; you can take several exits to get to various parts of the city.
Dolac Markets: Fruit, Vegetables, And Other Tasty Treats
I wanted to make this the number one item, but that would have just been so predictable of me. Right? Nevertheless, Zagreb has a fabulous 80-year-old market called the “Dolac Markets.” You’ll find the markets located beside Trg Bana Jelačić Square.
The markets are easy to spot, just keep your eyes peeled for “Kumica” atop the stairs at the entrance into Dolac. Once you see this peasant lady with her basket on her head, the open space will be filled with rows and rows of red umbrellas. Then you’ll know you’ve arrived.
The Dolac Market consists of an enormous traditional-style outdoor area of vendors selling fruit, vegetables, beans, and some cheeses. Furthermore, underneath, you’ll be amazed at the covered space where you can buy meat, bread, cheeses, and so much more. A big highlight for us in Zagreb was the rows and rows of little piggy’s hanging up in the butchers’ windows.
Almost every town in Croatia has their form of outdoor farmers-style market; we visit our own in Zadar often. Oh, how I wish we had one like this, it’s spectacular. Had we not been staying at the swanky Hotel Esplanade Zagreb Hotel, and instead rented an apartment where we could cook, we would have gone “bananas,” purchased tons of fabulous produce and cooked some great meals. My advice is if you love food, book accommodation in Zagreb where you can prepare meals.
The market scene in Zagreb is terrific, so much variety, and if you are traveling on a dollar or euro, things are very affordable. (Sorry to all of those with the Kuna, things are not as cheap.) Markets are the perfect way to eat like a local during your holiday!
If your dream job is to fire a cannon every day at noon, Zagreb is where you need to be. The only problem is… that job is already taken. And the person who does it seems to really enjoy it. There is a cannon blast at Lotrščak Tower every day precisely at noon, so don’t startle when you hear a loud bang. Just saying! You can also climb the tower for incredible panoramic views over the city.
Pimp My Pump
Zagreb is becoming a hotspot of incredible street art. There are, in fact, several street art museums in different neighborhoods around the city. The most famous street art initiative around is Pimp My Pump. Old water pumps can be found throughout the city, but they used to be invisible. However, they can’t go unnoticed once they get their makeover done by the Pimp, My Pump crew. Read more thanks to local Iva here.
Active Life And Nature Of Zagreb
If you like hiking, Zagreb is a superb destination for you. The city was built on the slope of a mountain, so you can start walking straight from the city. Swimming? There are two lakes. Skiing? Water or alpine? Zagreb has it all. If you’re an outdoor activities type, you’ve come to the right place. Parks, lakes, forests and even a mountain, they’re all just around the corner. Read more thanks to local Iva here.
If you want to enjoy some natural scenery, take a day trip and spend the day hiking up a mountain. Head up trail #12 for the best views. Or, you have 69 other trails to choose from, as well as eight cycling routes. Consider heading to Sljeme. At the peak of Medvednica Mountain, this it is a super destination for an active vacation in Zagreb, which is just 30 kilometers away. This is a fantastic place for hiking in summer, while in winter, it’s a popular destination for skiing and snowboarding.
Walking In Zagreb
You don’t need to leave the city center to treat your legs to a fun hike, though. To fall in love with Zagreb, you should walk through Zagreb, a city where aimless walking will take you off the beaten path in no time. You’ll end up in local cafes and eateries, uncover non-obvious sites, and go beyond Zagreb’s tourist highlights. In a short while, Zagreb will become much more than what is usually staged for a passing visitor.
Be on the lookout for cool street art. It’s all over in hidden and in your face spots.
Dental Tourism In Zagreb
Croatia is one of the best dental tourism locations, and Zagreb is home to one of the very best dental clinics in Europe. If you’ve ever considered dental implants, Croatia is a great place to get it done! Now, this may not be the first thought you have for your holiday, but check out my incredible dental implant experience and get ideas on how to spend your downtime here.
Cathedral Of Zagreb
This Roman Catholic cathedral is the tallest building in Croatia, and you can see the Cathedral spires from many locations in the city. The Zagreb Cathedral has a sculpture inside, created by Croatia’s famous Ivan Meštrović. I spotted it straight away; his style is so unique and is not like any other thing I have ever seen in a Catholic church.
When we visited, there was a large-scale restoration project underway. To the left of the building, there are examples of the pre- and post-restoration works, and the difference is beyond amazing.
Don’t be alarmed at the name. The Mirogoj Cemetery is nowhere near as creepy as it sounds and is really a very relaxing and sacred place. It’s more like a park, and on a nice day, you’ll find students sitting about reading and studying.
Shopping In Zagreb
Zagreb shopping is not what you would expect for a capital city of Europe, although the shopping options and experience get better and better each year I visit Zagreb. There are some excellent stores, though. Make sure to head into the tie shop Croatia, Croatia’s tie-selling leader with shops all over the country.
When I say movies, I‘m not speaking about that occasion when Jackie Chan destroyed the entire Dolac market in his famous Armour of God car chase scene. I’m not even speaking of all those awarded movies that have been filmed in Zagreb, including Sophie’s Choice, Fiddler on the Roof, and Orson Welles’s The Trial.
I’m actually suggesting you should just go to the movies when in Zagreb. Allow yourself a little break during your travels and visit an old-school cinema, like Europa or Tuskanac, because they don’t make them like this anymore. These cinemas often screen festival programs, and there are, indeed, a lot of film festivals here in Zagreb.
If you’re fortunate, there’ll be a film screening in the summer cinema Tuskanac during your stay in Zagreb. That is a really unique experience, a cinema well hidden in the very city center. And best of all, in Croatia, we still use subtitles, no dubbing.
There are dozens of options to take a tour of this city or in the surrounding areas. Here are just a few ideas with Get Your Guide – if you book in advance you can lock in a cheaper rate.
Go On A Spooky Adventure
Go and meet Iva, who is a Zagreb local and the host of Secret Zagreb Walks. She does by far the best storytelling (scary) walking tours in Zagreb, which are inspired by the mysterious side of Zagreb. Find out more about her tours on her website
Find More Things To Do In Zagreb
Unique Bars in Zagreb
In recent years, Zagreb has changed. From an array of organic, gourmet burger bars, to the graffiti-covered ‘art park,’ to swanky and posh cafes, the city that was once voted Europe’s most boring capital has become a destination of its own.
Yet, sometimes the new scene’s hipness can feel a bit put on and inauthentic. It might not be genuinely cool, but merely the artifice of cool. As a countermeasure, for those of us that long for something that’s not cool, but real, I present two of Zagreb’s most exceptional bars. Places that feel lost in time have their own authentic flavor and are far beyond cool and hip because, well, they just don’t give a shit.
Though the Sunshine Inn’s sign says “Welcome back to the Sixties,” the interior feels more like it’s straddling the threshold of the 1970s and 1980s. Graced with a wall of small booths and an ever-present cloud of cigarette smoke, stepping into Sunshine Inn always reminds me of the kind of bar that’d been in a Springsteen song: Booze, billiards, regular Joes and Janes, and rock ‘n’ roll!
And while the aesthetic is more retro rock than classic rock, the sounds are just what the sign promises, the best hits of the 1960s (and the early 1970’s). And since nearly every other cafe in Croatia seems to be inundated by the soulless, electronic beats and beeps of EDM, Sunshine Inn’s infinite playlist of Pink Floyd, Them, The Animals and the Rolling Stones acts like an oasis to one’s soul and ears in a desert of groove. Seriously, having had a weekly drink here for five years, I’ve never heard a bad tune.
But you’d know that just from looking up at the wall. There, hanging in the dim light, masked by the cigarette smoke, is an array of authentic LP’s, framed and perched above the crowd like a glimpse of heaven through the parted clouds. Bob Dylan, Steve Miller, Boney M, Arlo Guthrie looking down at us mortals from on high.
The prices are reasonable, less than what you would pay in the city center, and the selection is quite varied. From Croatia’s standard beer Ožujsko to the newer regional brews that have sprouted up across the country, Velebitsko, Osječko, and the latest Zagreb local, Zmajsko.
You can find Sunshine Inn in Zagreb’s neighborhood Vrbik at Poljička ul. 4. It’s a short walk from the Teachers’ Faculty tram stop, up the footpath bearing Yuri Gagarin’s name. The hours are 8 AM to 11 PM on weekdays, and 8 AM to midnight on weekends.
Route 66 feels as if it could be on Route 66, and having grown up on America’s infamous “Mother Road,” I speak with some authority. Housed in a squat building that looks more like it fell to earth than someone built it, Route 66 is the kind of place you might find on the edge of town in Eastern Oklahoma, Southern Arkansas, or better yet, a Louisiana bayou. There is nothing “cafe” about this place; it’s all bar.
Outside is a courtyard ringed by a wooden fence, filled with wooden picnic tables, and large sawed-off logs to sit on. And even though you’re near the heart of Zagreb, a stone’s throw from the National University Library, and a quick walk to the main train station, it feels more as if you are in the countryside. The bar has an aura that draws to mind the phrase juke joint, an off-beat, local place where you might hear the likes of an undiscovered B.B. King or Chuck Berry.
Inside, beneath the exposed crossbeams of the slouching roof, you have a bar, a few stools, and some tables that look as if they can easily be cleared away in the event of a concert. Route 66 frequently hosts live music, often enough to keep a permanent drum kit set up on stage. The music tends to be just like you would expect: blues, rockabilly, and rock n’ roll. A hodgepodge display of photos taken during these concerts serve as a testament that everyone seems to have a good time.
The selection is pretty standard, Karlovačko, Ožujsko, Pan, and the Czech Staropramen, along with various rakijas and harder drinks. It’s definitely not the kind of place I would recommend ordering wine, but while I was there, the table next to me ordered a bambus, which is red wine mixed with Coca-Cola. So if beer or rakija isn’t your thing, there’s always that.
Route 66, at Paromlinska cesta 47, lies on the edge a large park near the intersection of Vukovarska and Hrvatske Bratske Zajednice (the street with the fountains on it). It’s open on weekdays from 10 AM to 1 AM and on the weekend from 4 PM to 1 AM.
If the bout of Zagreb’s burger bars, new swanky clubs and cafes are able to endure the entropic nature of people’s tastes and the changing times, then I’m sure they, too, will become considered unique and authentic.
At one point in the past, Sunshine Inn and Route 66 might’ve been on the cusp of Zagreb’s cutting edge: two places that were different from the old Kavanas and their newspapers. But today, they feel like they belong to an age that has long since faded, not just from Zagreb, but from much of the Western world.
And it’s both places’ decision to remain unchanged that gives them an air of authenticity, a feeling that you are actually someplace that has a true sense of self and permanence. A place that has kept, and you know will continue to keep, it real.
Best Restaurants In Zagreb
Frank & Otto
Head here to eat breakfast before you start your day – or for lunch (I recommend the tuna salad). This is a small but pleasant bar & bistro located right in the city center of Zagreb.
Oxbo Bar & Grill
At OXBO Bar and Grill, you can enjoy a vast selection of wines, both domestic and international. Enjoy food or drinks here all day, as it’s both a bar and a restaurant. You are guaranteed the best steak in Zagreb at OXBO, plus you’ll get to try traditional Croatian dishes with a twist. We’ve raved on about how astonishing this restaurant is many times.
You won’t find anything like OXBO in Zagreb. It’s the first restaurant of its type, and although there are many tasty places to eat in Zagreb, you simply have to give the best steak place in town a try. Even if you don’t like steak, their menu has something for everyone.
I was surprised to learn that OXBO Bar and Grill import the beef from a producer in the USA, who allow the cows to graze in huge pastures and are fed organic yellow corn. This makes for real quality beef, which in turn becomes great steak. OXBO is on the list of Zagreb restaurants to revisit time and time again. Read our full review here.
Located in the Esplanade Hotel, this is unquestionably Zagreb’s finest and most expensive place to eat. Dishes have a modern twist on traditional cuisine. Check the website
This small restaurant on Skalinska street specializes in one thing, and one thing only: Štrukli. This traditional Croatian dish is one you have to try when you visit Zagreb, and this spot serves up a hot plate of it for a low price. Check the website
Both a restaurant and a wine bar, Dubravkin Put is a casual, warm, and inviting restaurant focusing in Mediterranean cuisine. Set in Tuškanac forest, which is only minutes from the city center, its terrace offers pleasing views of the surrounding natural scenery. Its contemporary interior makes it a grand place for everything from family lunches to business dinners. The wine bar, located at the entrance, is a wonderful spot for a relaxed bite to eat and a glass of delicious wine. Check the website
Rubelj Grill inviting
Rubelj Grill is the place locals go for a quick, inexpensive bite. Many branches are located around town, and grilled meats are the house specialty. Local dish to try here? The ćevapi. These grilled meat and onion sausages are quite good!
Stari Fijaker offers high-quality local cuisine. Their claim to fame is authentic traditional culinary delicacies from the Zagreb-Zagorje region. One such local dish we recommend is štrukli. This very thin pastry is covered with a mixture of tangy cottage cheese, eggs, and sour cream, and is tantalizing for your taste buds. Plus, if that is not enough, you can choose from a selection of loaves of bread at Stari Fijaker, all of which are home-made. Check the website
Restaurant Cuvee is a small restaurant just ten minutes from the town center, with modern decor. You’ll find it on one of Zagreb’s nicest looking streets, which one of Zagreb main attractions all on its own: Tkalčičeva Street. This pedestrian zone has many great bars and restaurants like Cuvee. For us, the key to Restaurant Cuvee’s success are their staff. The waiters are extremely friendly and attentive. Their specialty is a beef tartare, made in front of your eyes! Check the website
Konoba Didov San
The Gornji Grad location of this restaurant is an excellent place to enjoy a mixture of Bosnian-Herzegovinian and Mediterranean cuisine at prices that aren’t too expensive. Some traditional dishes include uštipak (fried dough), house-made prosciutto, and brudet stew (this one has a frog in it!). Check the website
Pod Gričkim Topom
With a rustic charm, this restaurant located in Gornji Grad gives guests sweeping views of the city rooftops. It’s been described as “unpretentious cuisine” enjoy some delicious, Dalmatian home-cooking. A healthy dose of seafood, a top selection of wine and prices that won’t break the bank draw locals and visitors alike to this restaurant. Check the website.
La Bodega Cheese And Wine Bar
The tapas, wine, and service are all amazing, as well as the decor and atmosphere. They even have chargers for all types of mobiles in case you’re low on battery. Check the website
Previously voted as the best pizzeria in Zagreb, Vagabund is a place pizza lovers will certainly like. Its elaborate menu, warm atmosphere, and rock music attract a variety of people, from locals to tourists, from musicians to professors, from doctors to bohemians. Check the website
The Bulldog Pub
Super yummy cocktails. Enough said. Check the website
This bakery and cafe are highly recommended for a quick, affordable bite. With twelve locations around the city, seek out one of these establishments to enjoy fresh bread, pastries, cakes, and more. Check the website
If delicious cakes and sweets are what you’re after, you absolutely must make a stop at Amelie. Locals love this 2015 Certificate of Excellence TripAdvisor winner, and its delectable desserts will have your sweet tooth dancing in no time! Check the website
Situated in the heart of Zagreb, Vinodol is a popular restaurant serving traditional continental and Mediterranean food. This classy establishment is a great spot for wining and dining after a fun day exploring Zagreb. Its menu features traditional Croatian dishes prepared with a modern touch, as well as wonderful daily menus with seasonal foods. Check the website
Voted the best restaurant in Zagreb in 2018, Bistro Apetit is a superb restaurant by chef Marin Rendic, who’s been recommended by none other than Michelin. Its bright and cozy interior provides a wonderful setting to indulge in amazing culinary-artistic dishes. Food is prepared with ingredients from Zagreb’s Dolac. Dishes are mainly innovative and modern, but with roots in Croatian tradition. Check the website
Vis A Vis
Owned by the food company of the Vincek family, Vis à Vis is a fantastic cake and pastry shop with patio in central Zagreb. It’s arguably the best place in the city for healthy desserts, since they follow the latest nutrition trends. For example, all of their cakes and pastries are gluten-free, while only agave syrup, stevia and brown sugar are used as sweeteners. Moreover, there are also a dozen of flavors of organic (soft-serve) ice cream, raw-food and vegan cakes, and dairy-free desserts. Check the website
Events In Zagreb
Fantastic Zagreb Film Festival. This is fiction, science-fiction, horror, thriller, suspense, fantasy, animation festival and was the first open-air film festival in Zagreb. More details.
Špancirfest Festival. One of the best annual street festivals to check out while vacationing in Croatia is Špancirfest festival. It takes place every year in the region of Varaždin, less than an hour from Zagreb. There are concerts, entertainment zones, shopping kiosks, and eateries. It also showcases street performers, musicians, and all kinds of artists that line the streets to perform. More details.
Zagreb Film Festival. The latest and most exciting debutant films of more than one hundred films from all over the world. The festival takes place in several locations, including Europa, Tuškanac and MSU Cinemas. For a week, Croatia’s central puppet theater turns into an attractive movie theater, offering the best documentary films from all around the world. The main program offers feature-length and short fiction films and documentaries. More details.
Accommodation In Zagreb
Travelers making their way to Zagreb will need a place to rest, so here is a list of some of the best places in to stay in Zagreb. There are lots of Zagreb hotels for all budgets, including many last-minute accommodation choices. Just make sure not to wait too long if you want the best rates. Note that the hotels in Zagreb are not in the main square, but are an easy walk to it.
Best Hotels In Zagreb
We like to stay in hotels when visiting big cities on short breaks, and our two top picks are the DoubleTree Hilton or the Hotel Esplanade. Both are 5-star hotels and are within walking, or short tram rides from all of these things to do in Zagreb. No matter what you plan to do in Zagreb, these hotels are all well-located options.
As you arrive at the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel, you’ll be greeted by a wonderfully cheerful doorman, who will swing open the metal-studded door and lead you to your seat in the full-open reception area. With the check-in formalities over, you can then take in all that the Esplanade Zagreb has to offer, like a very elegant marble staircase up to the hotel rooms. This is pure luxury accommodation. No two ways about it, save your pennies and stay at the Esplanade if you’re planning a trip to the capital city of Croatia. It’s always a good choice, even if you are traveling with kids, like us.
Hotel Esplanade Zagreb
5-Star Luxury Accommodation in Zagreb
These hotel luxury rooms are impressive – and brand spanking shiny and new. The hotel opened its doors in 2012, and so the Hilton DoubleTree Zagreb is very modern and stylish. There is something about a newer hotel that is just so appealing. This 5-star hotel has a HUGE bathroom, with a separate bathtub and giant walk-in rain shower. Hello, long hot showers, with a fluffy white robe to wear afterward. Head to floors number nine and ten. It’s there you’ll find a 12-meter swimming pool, steam room, sauna and a place to work out, all while overlooking the city landscape, and all complimentary.
DoubleTree Hilton Hotel
5-Star Accommodation in Zagreb
This particular establishment is located directly across from the bus station, and it is also a short train ride from the city center, making it a convenient place for travelers to stay. The comfortable suites have both air-conditioning and complimentary Wi-Fi, while amenities that are provided for guests include bathrobes, slippers, and various toiletry supplies. There is also a car park for guests to use free of charge. The staff members at this hotel are friendly, and the daily breakfasts are said to be incredibly delicious. Allergy sufferers will also be happy to learn that hypoallergenic suites can be arranged upon request.
Best Western Premier Hotel Astoria
The professional and friendly service at the Best Western Premier Hotel Astoria helps keep visitors coming back to this posh four-star hotel. A wide variety of modern amenities is provided for guests, such as French toiletries, heated flooring, and cable television. The suites are kept spotlessly clean as well. Complimentary private parking and Wi-Fi are available for those staying here, while the onsite bar and a restaurant will keep travelers from going hungry. The breakfast buffet is considered quite tasty and has a massive selection of comestibles, but guests should come early because the offerings tend to get eaten rather quickly. The Best Western is close to the bus and train stations as well as the city center.
Built in 1827, this centrally located boutique hotel got a makeover in 2013. It lies on a quiet street so that guests can get plenty of sleep. Lovely town views can be glimpsed from the cozy, comfortable suites and also from the rooftop terrace. Free Wi-Fi and on-site parking are available as well. A delicious breakfast is included in the hotel room charges. The repast is served in the picturesque garden when the weather is nice outside. There are both hot and cold foods available at this meal, as well as a variety of individually prepared coffee drinks. Meanwhile, the hotel’s staff members are quite well informed about local points of interest. These helpful employees go out of their way to assist travelers and often commemorate guests’ special occasions with additional touches.
Hotel Vila Tina
Found in the Maksimir Park area of Zagreb, this 3-star hotel is but a short distance from the local zoo. The center of town is about 20 minutes by bus. As with most other hotels in the city, free parking and Wi-Fi are provided for guests, and the incredibly clean suites all have air-conditioning units as well as in-room safes. This hotel booking offers room service, a 24-hour reception desk, and packed lunches in order to meet the needs of their patrons. Those who arrive hungry will be happy to learn that the onsite eatery serves up delicious, high-quality food that caters to both local and international tastes. Additionally, shuttles to the airport are also available for travelers that need them.
This 4-star establishment is somewhat out of the main city center, but getting into town requires only a quick taxi or bus ride. Though this hotel has antique furnishings in the rooms, the modern comforts have not been overlooked. Televisions, air-conditioning, in-room safes, and spacious bathrooms are present in all suites. There is also free Wi-Fi and desks in every room, which makes the hotel ideal for business travelers. Mediterranean cuisine is served in the onsite restaurant, and guests often choose to have breakfast on the terrace, which overlooks the nearby park areas. There are free parking and laundry facilities available for guests to use as well.
Apartments In Zagreb
If you are traveling to Zagreb with kids in tow, or you just like more space, how about renting an apartment? Find vacation rentals through places like Booking.com, or you can take a more personal route and use an Airbnb host. Hosts are helpful and will give you local info, like where to eat, things to do in Zagreb, places to visit, and so on. Use this link to get an €18 credit when you join Airbnb. You can also find other cheap Zadar apartments for rent when you arrive. There are just that many!
- Apartment Roza Zagreb. Owned by my friend, I can tell you this place is spotlessly clean and well located to the city center, which is just an easy 2-kilometer walk of away. Check availability here.
- ZigZag Apartments. Many of our friends have stayed here. These apartments are modern, fresh, and spacious, and just 100 meters from the main square. Moreover, the price tag is very reasonable. Check rates for your dates.
Hostels In Zagreb
Do you need cheap accommodation in Zagreb? Then you are in luck because there are several budget accommodations on offer, including the following Zagreb hostels.
- Hostel Shappy. Check for prices on your dates.
- Youth Hostel Zagreb. Look at prices and other hostels in Zagreb here.
- Swanky Mint Hostel Zagreb. Check for prices on your dates.
- Chillout Hostel. Read reviews and get a price here.
- Hostel Casablanca. Check for prices on your dates.
- Hostel Bureau Zagreb. See rates & more budget accommodation rates here.
If you are looking for something a little quirky, you could try the Train hostel located at the central railway station.
Things To Do In Zagreb Map
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Zagreb To Dubrovnik
- Fly. During peak season, there are several Croatian Airlines flights from Zagreb to Dubrovnik. The flight it just 45 mins. Straight up and back down in no time! You can make your way to the Zagreb Central Bus Station where there are frequent airport transfers.
- Car. Driving from Zagreb to Dubrovnik takes around 6 hours without traffic or pit stops, so we suggest that you make a midway stop. Perhaps Plitvice Lakes or a stop in another Dalmatian city like Zadar?
- Private Transfer. Many holidaymakers are choosing to use the services of Private Transfer companies to transport them around Croatia because they are really affordable and take all the stress and hassle away from driving in a foreign country. Whether it be airport, festival or national park transfers, the use of transfer services has never been easier and cheaper than it is now. Contact our Croatia transfer partners Octopus Transfers for more information.
- Bus. From Zagreb to Dubrovnik, there are daily buses throughout the year. Sometimes, however, the bus schedule will mean traveling at inconvenient times. If that is the case, take a bus to Split, and then a second bus to Dubrovnik.
- Train. Trains to the Adriatic Coast are virtually non-existent, so I would not suggest this as a mode of transport.
Rent A Car Zagreb Search
Hint, Tips & Tricks
- Taxi. Phone +385 11777
- Help. 112
- Street Performers. You’ll see these all over. Throw in a 5 Kuna coin (just 60 euro cents) and enjoy the show.
- Guide. Pick up the Zagreb for you Guide, which has all of the latest info on what’s new and hip that week you’re in Zagreb.
- Wifi: Find out here
Have you been to Zagreb? What were your top things to do in Zagreb?greajShare