This post may contain affiliate links to things like tours, hotels, Amazon associates and products. These help me earn a small commission at no additional charge to you.
While visiting Croatia‘s capital, I was excited to find street art. If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll know I seek it out wherever I go. The Zagreb street art scene may not be world-famous (yet) but I was pleasantly surprised with what I found.
Many of the baroque buildings (dating back to Austria-Hungarian Empire days) are grand and beautiful; the older churches and cathedrals are equally stunning. However, under communist Yugoslavia, Zagreb’s look was influenced by Soviet-style housing blocks that exist to this day.
Many of these buildings are bleak to look at, while others are crumbling and abandoned. But you know what? It’s the perfect canvas for street art.
Want to take a Zagreb street art tour?
If the idea of finding all these locations solo sounds like hard work, consider taking a guided street art tour with a local Zagreb guide (€30). I always enjoy taking tours with locals to glean information about their city and culture.
Who are the Zagreb street artists?
I always like to start my street art blogs with an introduction to the artists. After all, without them, there would be nothing to write about!
Meaning ‘eye’ in Croatian, OKO‘s sketch-style black & white murals feature figures with animal heads. Inspired by reading that birds are carriers of the soul after death, she creates bird-headed images to represent freedom.
Where to see Oko’s street art in Zagreb: Medika (more about this place to come) and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Related read: Interview with OKO.
Also from the capital, Lonac is one of the best-known Zagreb street artists. Trained in classical art, he claims his work is not street art but ‘creativity in the streets’. His career has taken him around the world, creating murals from Asia to North America.
What I love about Lonac’s work is how it incorporates its surroundings, for example the scuba diving man pictured above. An old factory air vent makes up his snorkel.
Where to see Lonac’s work: the Student Centre and Medika. More on these places to come!
Follow Lonac on Instagram.
Miro Petković / Boris Bare
Miro Petković and Boris Bare are two Zagreb street artists who came together to create the Lapo Lapo street art studio, an exciting space with art exhibitions and occasional film screenings and DJ events.
Boris Bare has worked on murals for the Art Park and Pimp My Pump project; an initiative to brighten old water pumps around the streets of Zagreb.
Zagreb street art map
Let’s begin this self-guided Zagreb street art tour…
Zagreb street art hubs (parks and centres)
What did I love most about the Zagreb graffiti scene? The many parks and informal cultural centres where you can see a bunch of vibrant murals in one place. I haven’t experienced this trend in many other cities.
If you’re short of time and want to see several murals in one go, the following places are your best bet…
Art Park Zagreb
I was thrilled to find this colourful mural park (uncreativity named Art Park Zagreb) in a section of Park Ribnjak close to Zagreb Cathedral.
Park Ribnjak has been popular with Zagreb locals since the 1800s and comes to life in the summer with live music and open-air cafes. A modern addition is the collection of urban murals found towards the north of the park (towards Bornstein wine bar – check it out after).
See what’s going down on Art Park’s Instagram.
Medika – Autonomous Cultural Center
Medika is an autonomous cultural centre in Zagreb with a mission to encourage alternative thinking and expression. Knowing about Croatia’s history after being governed by communist Yugoslavia and noting the centre has been open since 1997, it must have been one of the first places of its kind.
Close to Mimara Museum and the Student Centre, it’s worth working into your sightseeing plans if you’re a street art fan. I spotted the impressive murals by accident while passing and only later learned about its significance.
Here you’ll see the Lonac scuba diving man with a snorkel designed from an old factory vent.
The Student Centre
Hoorah! This colourful hub is where I found some of the best street art in Zagreb. The Student Centre is a hub of event spaces splashed with colourful street art. You don’t have to be a student or event-goer to visit; anyone can stroll in.
It’s hidden away from the main street meaning tourists don’t know about it unless they’re actively looking.
Here you’ll see some old outhouses splashed with colourful patterns. They may not look like much but they hold historical significance: Jews were held here before being taken to concentration camps during WWII.
This blue girl mural is by Michel Velt, a Dutch artist who studied Autonomous Visual Art but became bored of working in galleries and began painting his portrait-focussed art outdoors.
There are two entrances to the Student Centre, one on Savska Cesta street (across the road from Nikola Tesla Technical Museum) and another beside the train tracks near the Botanical Garden. When I arrived at the former, I felt like I was entering private property. But I followed the road around and eventually arrived beside this vibrant street art.
If you’re arriving by tram, it’s nice and simple: the stop is called Studentski centar.
In its five decades of life, the Grič Tunnel has gone from a war bunker to a storage unit and now an art exhibition/handy shortcut around Zagreb. A few of the entrances are decorated with funky street art including this purple one.
I’ve also seen photos of an entrance decorated to look like you’re walking into a cat’s mouth. I never found it myself but keep an eye out!
Art Park (the original)
Although the art collection in Park Ribnjak is more impressive, I believe this is the first outdoor collection of murals in Zagreb, designed to brighten up the appearance – and reputation – of a small, inner-city park.
Since it’s several years old, the murals aren’t in the greatest condition. An entrance to the Grič Tunnel covered in intricate purple patterns (pictured above) can be found here.
To find this park, head to Roots Bar near the funicular and walk past a hostel into the small park (on Google Maps as Art Park).
Sunken Mural Park
Sunken Mural Park is yet another Zagreb street art hub. Unlike the other parks which don’t strictly have a ‘Croatian’ feel, these murals pay homage to Croatian inventors, or those with a connection to the country, including Nikola Tesla (the Serbian-American inventor).
Sunken Mural Park is in Upper Town near to the funicular, Lotrščak Tower and Strossmayer Promenade. Soak up panoramic views of the city and finish by snapping these funky murals.
More street art in Zagreb
Moving away from the dedicated parks, there are several individual murals dotted around the streets of Zagreb.
Maksimirska Cesta (near Park Maksimir)
When exiting Park Maksimir, I spotted these murals dotted along the main road, Maksimirska Cesta. To find them, simply locate the main entrance to the park (close to Restaurant Maksimir) and you can’t miss them on the other side of the road.
The dodo above is by Lora Elezović and the drinking man’s tag reads MMXXI although I can’t find any information about this artist.
Best Western Premier Hotel Astoria
Mural Igora Taritaša
Mural Igora Taritaša was created, unsurprisingly by Igor Taritaš, a Croatian artist educated at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb.
His unusual art has a 3D style usually featuring buildings and houses. This mural features a modest, communist-style apartment overlooking water and mountains. A metaphor for something, surely!
I suspect this mural was painted a few years ago as it’s looking slightly tatty now with graffiti scribbled on it.
Tip – this mural is near one of my favourite Zagreb cafes, Program Bar with a decadent, arty interior.
Not far from the Igor Taritaš mural is this yellow mural of a man’s silhouette painting with a roller. I couldn’t find the artist tag nearby.
Head to KIK Textilien Martićeva to see it.
Shell mural by Lonac (beside Heritage restaurant)
This piece of street art in Zagreb has seen better days! The shell mural by Lonac is painted on the side of a building that seems to have partly collapsed. I’m not sure how much longer the 3D shells will be around but, as of February 2022, they’re still there.
Find it beside Heritage Restaurant and stop for some delicious locally-sourced Croatian food.
This partnership between GRIF beers and Boris Bare, a notable name on the Zagreb street art scene, can be found on Dobojska Ul, a 25-minute walk from the city centre.
Although it’s probably not worth going all that way to see a single mural, it’s located halfway between Tržnica Trešnjevka farmers market and Karibu Kaaawa, a fantastic coffee shop. If you have time, combine the three.
Thanks for reading!
- Things to do & see in Dubrovnik
- Guide to visiting Lokrum Island
- How to visit Bosnia & Herzegovina from Dubrovnik
- 35 amazing things in Split
- 21 stunning Split day trips – islands & more!
- The ultimate Krka Waterfalls day trip from Split
- Things to do in Trogir during a day trip from Split
- 18 best restaurants in Split
- The top coffee shops in Split
- The top things to do in Zadar, Croatia
- Cheese, lace and salt traditions on Pag Island
- The top natural attractions on Dugi Otok island
Looking for street art inspo? You might like:
- The ultimate guide to street art in Porto, Portugal
- Where to find street art in Camden, London
- Brick Lane street art guide & maps
- Street art in Manchester’s Northern Quarter
- Bristol street art self-guided walking tour
- Where to see street art murals in Glasgow, Scotland
- My Asia street art blogs!
Liked this street art graffiti in Zagreb? Pin this for later on Pinterest.
TRUSTED RESOURCES FOR VISITING EUROPE
Getting around by air – I use Skyscanner to find the best-value flights, using the ‘search by month’ tool to find the cheapest dates. You can also use the ‘to anywhere’ feature if you’re flexible on where you’re going.
Driving in Europe – use Rentalcars.com to compare car rentals in European countries (and all around the world).
For trains, I use RailEurope. The search feature allows you to compare prices, and they show live departure times on the website.
For buses, I use FlixBus. Find journeys between European countries from €1!
Use Omio to compare trains and buses in one search. It’s so handy!
For hotels and self-catering apartments, I use Booking.com. You can filter by review score and price to find the best-rated budget places. For hostels, I use Hostelworld.com.
To save money on accommodation, I use Trusted Housesitters, a website that connects homeowners going away and travellers who can sit their homes & pets.
Browse tours and activities on GetYourGuide.
Need travel insurance? I use World Nomads. They cover 150 countries and have 24-hour emergency assistance.
Check out my resources page for more travel discounts and budget tips from my 10+ years on the road!