The Top 10 Things to Do and See in Zagreb, Croatia

Enjoy the views from Zagreb cathedral
Enjoy the views from Zagreb cathedral | © Dalibor Brlek / Alamy Stock Photo
Ieva Mickute

While Croatia is best known for its coastline, the landlocked capital is less recognised by visitors. It’s time to put Zagreb in the spotlight. Sights such as Ilica Street, King Tomislav Square or the Museum of Broken Relationships cater for everyone. Discover this inspiring city rich of history, culture and lovely people with this top 10 list.

1. The Upper Town

Historical Landmark

Narrow cobblestone streets, captivating buildings, historical surroundings, the Upper Town will charm you away. If you want to feel and see the old part of the city, this is the place to start. You can reach the Upper Town either by stairs or funicular. Either way, the trip up the hill is worth your while. From street to street you can sightsee the best places of the upper town, including St Mark’s Church, whose beauty is seen from afar thanks to its distinctive roof.

2. Maksimir Park and Zagreb Zoo

Park, Zoo

Escape the city noise and take a brisk stroll in the oldest public park in Zagreb. What could be better than a lovely walk in the park full of meadows, streams, creeks, lakes and other natural surroundings, where you can fully channel your inner nature lover. From the magnificent nature, you can only get distracted by the cultural heritage that this place has to offer. While you’re in the park, do not forget to visit Zagreb Zoo, which is also located here. It’s perfect for a peaceful break from the city.

3. The Zagreb Eye

Architectural Landmark

The Zagreb Eye observation deck is a visual paradise for lofty view seekers. It has 360-degree views so you won’t miss a thing. Here, you can see the whole city panorama and its fabulous surroundings from the 16th floor, and there is a lot to see, including old historic structures and modern skyscrapers. Zagreb is a picturesque city and this is the place for its charm to unravel in front of your eyes.

4. Dolac Market

Market

If you want to experience local life, this central open-air market in Zagreb is the place to visit. It’s a great spot not only to buy locally grown produce but also to feel like a local. Located just behind the main square and visited by hundreds of people every day, this market is an inseparable part of the city. Farmers from all around the Zagreb area come here to offer their wares such as fruits, vegetables and meat.

5. Zagreb Cathedral

Building, Cathedral

Zagreb cathedral panoramic aerial view, capital of Croatia
© Dalibor Brlek / Alamy Stock Photo
This great landmark is formally known as the Cathedral of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This spot is not to be missed while you’re visiting Zagreb. This masterpiece is the most monumental building in Zagreb. The jaw-dropping beauty survived one earthquake and many reconstructions that transformed it into a neogothic monument. And the interior is just as astonishing as the outside. Probably the most famous part is the twin towers that can be seen from far away.

6. Mali Medo

Bar, Croatian

Even though Croatia is best known for its wines, Zagreb also has plenty to offer for beer lovers, and the welcoming Mali Medo bar is the place to start. Located in the busy Tkalčićeva Street full of tourists and locals, everyone is catered for. Not only does it serve locally produced beer such as Mrki Medved, Dva Klasa and Crna Kraljica, it also specialises in local dishes. Tourist-friendly staff, and reasonably priced and locally produced beer make this bar stand out from the others in the area.

7. Museum of Broken Relationships

Museum, Shop

Zagreb is an innovative and daring city. One example of this is the Museum of Broken Relationships, which is a unique venue to visit. You can find compelling and heartbreaking stories told by hundreds of personal belongings of past lovers from all over the world. Uncommon displays of mementos that tell the universal story of love and break-up is what makes this museum so appealing.

8. King Tomislav Square

Historical Landmark

Art Pavilion in King Tomislav Square, Zagreb
© Robert Wyatt / Alamy Stock Photo

The largest city square named after the first Croatian king will definitely catch your eye. It’s in front of the Central Train Station, so for those who come to Zagreb by train, it’s the first sight you’ll see. The spectacular statue of King Tomislav and the Art Pavilion are the square’s most striking features. This picturesque square is a great place to relax in and people often come here to sit and enjoy a moment. In winter, it becomes an outdoor skating paradise.

9. Ilica Street

Shopping Mall

Ilica Street runs from Ban Josip Jelačić Square to the Vrapče District, making it one of the longest streets in Zagreb. This lengthy shopping location is a tourist attraction for a reason. You can find everything you need here, from local boutiques to well-known clothing shops for fashion lovers. To enjoy a cup of coffee or a classy meal, you are spoilt for choice with dozens of restaurants, cafes, bakeries and bars.

10. Kava Tava

Cafe, Croatian

Breakfast or brunch are available all day at Kava Tava. Situated in the busy Britanski Square, this funky decorated cafe is known for its incredible food. English breakfast and toasted sandwiches are a very popular choice, but it is the appetising pancakes that are the specialty. Pancakes are smothered with a chocolate sauce of your choosing. Coffee drinkers will also be thrilled, as the cafe offers numerous brews to suit everyone’s tastes.

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