It may not be one of Croatia’s most visited destinations, it is not a beach or series tourism destination such as Dubrovnik (Game of Thrones). However, visiting Zagreb you will discover that it is an ancient city with a young spirit, with a beautiful medieval old town and with many traditions to know.
Zagreb is the capital. In addition, it is the largest city in Croatia. It is located in the northwest of the country, along the Sava River, on the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain and 140 km from Ljubljana, 340 km from Budapest, 357 km from Vienna and 375 km from Venice.
It is a fantastic enclave to visit beautiful eastern cities of Europe: Dubrovnik, in Croatia, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Lubliana, …
Come and discover this beautiful city of Eastern Europe!
What is the best time to visit Zagreb?
The climate in Zagreb is oceanic (the 4 well-marked seasons), so the best time of the year to visit Zagreb is in spring or autumn (warmer temperatures) . Although the other stations are also good.
In summer, particularly at night, it is where the Croatian capital comes alive, as its squares become true outdoor parties. The most prominent festivals in summer are Cest is D’Best, which brings together several street performers to the city, and in July the Courtyards Festival, where concerts take center stage in private courtyards.
On the contrary, if you love winter, Christmas and prefer to travel around these dates, you should know that this city has one of the best Christmas markets in Europe and a wonderful ice rink in the square of King Tomislav.
How to get to Zagreb?
Our recommendation is that you plan your trip through Eastern Europe well , visiting Zagreb as part of a larger tour of different places: Prague, Vienna, Budapest and Ljubljana. In this way you can visit this beautiful city during your tour of other more tourist and renowned cities.
Use a web search engine (we use skyscanner) and plan your route. For example, you can buy a one-way flight to Prague and then go through eastern cities by bus or train, until you reach the last city, from where you fly back. It is somewhat more expensive than buying a round trip flight from the same destination, but it is much more comfortable and you save the return trip by bus/train.
Visiting Zagreb: Where to Stay?
You have a multitude of accommodation options for all tastes and prices in the neighborhoods of the city.
If you value the place and you don’t mind paying something else, Gornji Grad (Upper Zone) is your choice. On the contrary, if you prefer something cheaper, you have the options of Donji Grad (Low Zone) or Novi Zagreb (new neighborhood farthest from the center). Equally good areas to rest after visiting Zagreb throughout the day.
How to get around Zagreb?
This city rewards those who like to walk the streets on foot. By having Zagreb a small historic town we believe that this is the best way to get to know because in this way you can get lost and discover every corner of the Croatian capital.
However, if you are tired of walking or want to make the most of your time, you can take the modern city tram. In that case, we recommend that you buy your Zagreb card to use any public transport. So you can visit Zagreb at your own pace.
Visiting Zagreb in 1 day
Zagreb is divided into zones, the most touristic being the Upper city (Gornji Grad), the Lower city (Donji Grad) and Kaptol. In these areas you can be surprised by its cobbled streets, churches, parks, beautiful cafés with terraces …
- Ban Jelačić: Main square of the city. It is surrounded by palaces of classical, modernist and rationalist style. It is here that locals meet to eat, go shopping or watch people go by.
- Tkalčićeva street: Much of the movement in the city focuses on this pedestrian street, which has a lively outdoor atmosphere. It is full of cafes in which, even if it is winter, the citizens of Zagreb enjoy their terraces.
- Dolac Market: Located right in the heart of the city, Zagreb’s bustling fruit and vegetable market has been a center for merchants since the 1930s. Products from all over Croatia arrive here for sale. It is a picturesque place that retains its traditional airs.
- Saint Mark’s church: Gothic church in the we appreciate brightly colored tiles on the ceiling (laid so that they represent the Zagreb shield). It was built around the 13th century and rebuilt in the 14th century.
- Kamenita vrata (Stone Gate): Converted into a sanctuary of the Virgin Mary, patron saint of Zagreb, it was the only medieval passage that was saved after the fire of the year 1731 that destroyed much of the city.
- Zagreb Cathedral: Beautiful cathedral that was built in honor of St. Stephen, St. Ladislaus of Hungary and the Assumption of Mary. In front of it you can see a spectacular fountain surrounded by four golden angels. It is located in the neighborhood of Kaptol.
- Art Pavilion of Zagreb: It is one of the oldest art galleries in Eastern Europe. It is, together with the National Theater of Croatia, one of the artistic corners of Zagreb
- Museum of Broken Relationships: It is a place where memories of certain love failures live. It may be a bizarre or not so typical place, but it is a space of humor and introspection where broken heart lovers donate significant objects of love affairs that did not end well. In the end, each passion has a spectator.
Visiting Zagreb: typical food
In this beautiful city we not only enjoyed its streets and monuments, but we could also taste some of its typical dishes.
We loved the following dishes:
- Gulash: Typical meat stew from Eastern Europe (we also tried it in Prague and Budapest).
- Cevapi: Minced meat quite spicy accompanied by onion and a typical bread of the area.
- Strukli: It is a kind of puff pastry stuffed with cheese and with a sour cream typical of the area.
Do not forget to try them on your trip!
Tourist cities near Zagreb
- Ljubljana: It is the capital of Slovenia. It stands out for its river, canals and green areas and well maintained. It is located 140 km from Zagreb.
- Budapest: The capital of Budapest is a work of art in itself. Its streets, buildings, monuments and parks are wonderful. It is together with Prague one of the jewels of Eastern Europe. It is located 340 km from Zagreb.
- Vienna: The capital of Austria is one of the cities with the best quality of life in Europe and the world. Located on the banks of the Danube River, it is known, among other things, for its palaces and its National Opera (you can not miss your visit). It is located 357 km from Zagreb.
- Venice: The city of canals, gondolas, palaces, Murano glass, carnivals, … What else can we say about this beautiful and historic Italian city! It is located 375 km from Zagreb.
Zagreb is culture, beautiful cafés, classic facades, neo-Gothic buildings, … Don’t you feel like discovering its charms in person visiting Zagreb?
Do not hesitate, add it and travel through Eastern Europe this summer. Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Berlin, etc … They are waiting for you!
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