32 Things To Do in Zagreb (And What Not To Do) + Best Food

Lotrscak Tower zagreb things to do

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I recently spent a wonderful week in Zagreb, eating, exploring, spotting street art and drinking coffee (the things I do best!). To help you have the perfect trip, I’ve prepared this list of things to do in Zagreb, Croatia including the main tourist attractions and some hidden gems. Enjoy!

ZAGREB ESSENTIALS

Accommdation: Booking.com / Hostelworld

Getting there: flight (Skyscanner) / car / bus (Flixbus) / train (Trainline)

Getting around: foot / bus / tram / taxi

Activities: GetYourGuide

Food activities: EatWith

Read next: my tried & tested Croatia itinerary

How long to spend in Zagreb?

Around 2-3 days in my opinion. There’s lots to do in Zagreb and, while you could do a walking tour of the main sights in a day, you wouldn’t have time to linger. As the ‘city of museums’, you may want to spend longer to tick off a few.

Add an extra day to visit Plitvice Lakes.

Mini Zagreb itinerary:

Day 1: Free walking tour and Zagreb sightseeing.

Day 2: Plitvice Lakes day trip.

Day 3: More Zagreb sightseeing. Visit extra museums, parks, street art… Whatever takes your fancy. All the options are coming up.

Getting to Zagreb

By air: As Croatia’s capital, Zagreb is well connected with the world, particularly other European cities. I flew from London for €8! I use Skyscanner to get the best deals on flights.

By car:
Many tourists cross the Croatian border by car. To hire one in Zagreb and explore further afield, use Rentalcars.com.

By bus: The Flixbus is the cheapest way to travel between cities in Europe. My ticket from Zagreb to Split was €15. Bargain! Book on the Flixbus website.

By train: Although there aren’t many trains in Croatia, you can arrive in Zagreb from other European cities. Use Trainline to find tickets.

To get around Europe, use Omio to compare journey prices & times.

Main square zagreb
Get ready for all the top things to do in Zagreb

What is Zagreb like?

Zagreb isn’t my all-time favourite city in Europe but it’s still pleasant. With just 700,000 residents, it has the feeling of a ‘big village’. During my free walking tour, the guide bumped into four people he knew and each time reminded us that everyone knows each other in Zagreb.

With a mountain backdrop, it’s a relaxed place to be. Although there are many derelict buildings and Soviet-style architecture, there are also grand buildings that will remind you of Germany, Budapest, Prague, Vienna and Bratislava.

Zagreb is made up of Upper Town and Lower Town. Upper Town can be reached by foot or the funicular and has older buildings, while Lower Town has wider streets and large baroque buildings from Austria-Hungarian Empire days. Many of the notable things to see in Zagreb are located on Lower Town’s green horseshoe of parks.

Quick history of Zagreb

Zagreb was originally two cities, Gradec and Kaptol. The latter was the bishop’s turf while the locals, ruled by the king, resided in Gradec. Tensions divided the two settlements and the river connecting them was often red with blood.

Ancient city walls surrounded Zagreb to protect against Turkey invading. Sections of the walls and one of the gates remain to this day.

Following the breakdown of the Austrian-Hungarian empire after WWII, Croatia became part of former Yugoslavia. The Croatian War of Independence (or the Homeland War) in the early 1990s saw Croatia fight for its independence which it was granted after the dissipation of Yugoslavia.

Things to do in Zagreb

Let’s start with the main tourist sights before moving onto a few quirky Zagreb attractions, day trips and of course, what NOT to do in Zagreb.

1. Museum of Broken Relationships

Croatia’s most popular museum is the world-famous Museum of Broken Relationships, showcasing donated items from around the world that tell the story of love lost. As the museum explains, society has funerals and marriages but there’s no way to lament – or indeed celebrate – the ending of relationships.

I wondered if the museum but seem depressing. Far from it! The items and stories are a mix of funny, rude, jaw-dropping and thought-provoking. Many come back to the relationship with oneself and how healing and growth occur with the passing of relationships and time.

If I had to recommend just one thing to do in Zagreb, it’s this! Don’t miss it.

Entry price: 40kn (€5).

Address: Ćirilometodska 2, 10000, Zagreb.

Opening times: 10am-9pm.

Tip – stick around for a coffee or cocktail at the stylish cafe, Brokenships Bistro. With signs saying ‘we have drinks colder than your ex’s heart’, it could only be the Museum of Broken Relationships!

2. Visit art museums in Zagreb

Art Pavilion things to do zagreb
Art Pavilion

Zagreb is an arty city encompassing all types of creation from fine art to contemporary and even street art (more about that later). Here are a few of the best art museums for your Zagreb sightseeing plans:

  • Croatian Society of Fine Arts (KOPAC) – built by Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović and converted to a mosque during WWII, this space displays work by famous Croatian artists. Entry costs 55 kuna, closed Mon & Tues. Head to nearby Monocycle cafe after.
  • Museum of Arts and Crafts (temporarily closed in 2022) – this sunny yellow museum opened in 1880 to preserve national Croatian crafts. Browse over 100,000 items from fine art to ceramics and textiles. Entry costs 30 kuna.
  • Art Pavilion (temporarily closed in 2022) – on the Lenuci Horseshoe, this is an iconic yellow mansion hosting art exhibitions from all periods. Tickets from 40 kuna.
  • Mimara Museum – hosting over 3,000 items from around the globe belonging to private art collector, Ante Topic Mimara, the collection is almost as impressive as the neoclassic mansion housing it. Entry costs 40 kuna.
  • Museum of Contemporary Art – in the south of Zagreb, the country’s biggest museum is worth a visit for modern art fans. Entry is 30 kuna or free on Wednesday mornings. Take a walk in Bundek Park after.
  • The Croatian Museum of Naïve Art – near St Mark’s Church, this museum displays Naïve Art (a style with childlike simplicity popular in the 20th century). Entry costs 25 kuna.
  • Lauba – catch number 11 tram to east Zagreb to visit this modern Croatian art gallery in an old warehouse with a bar. Entry costs 25 kuna.
KOPAC gallery
Croatian Society of Fine Arts (KOPAC) in the Meštrović Pavilion
Museum of Arts and Crafts
Museum of Arts and Crafts (temporarily closed in 2022)

3. More museums

Zagreb isn’t dubbed the city of museums for no reason! If you love history and culture, these are some of the best places to visit in Zagreb:

  • The 80’s Museum – tour a recreated former Yugoslavian home, learning about the era in an interactive way. It sounds similar to one I did in Sofia, Bulgaria which was fantastic. Entry is 40 kuna.
  • Zagreb City Museum – for a full introduction to Zagreb (and info about the witch trials of Europe), visit this museum for 30 kuna.
  • Museum of Illusions – made with Instagram in mind, this is the place to take cool photos with trickery and props. Entry costs 50 kuna.
  • The Mushroom Museum – now here’s a quirky thing to do in Zagreb! This collection of fungi is managed by an enthusiastic man (don’t make me say fun-guy) who will spoil you with facts. It’s a small place (not mush-room) but worth a quick visit. Entry costs 20 kuna.
  • Nikola Tesla Technical Museum – named after the Serbian-American inventor, this museum showcases scientific inventions from Croatia’s history including aircraft and cars. Entry costs 20 kuna.

4. Take a free walking tour

I do these everywhere I go! They’re a fantastic introduction to new cities, usually led by funny and informative local guides. My Zagreb tour was no exception!

I tend to give €5-10 depending how much I enjoy the tour.

5. Visit St Mark’s Church

St Mark's Church sightseeing zagreb

St Mark’s Church is one of the oldest buildings in Zagreb, dating back to the 13th century and reconstructed in the 19th century. The tiled roof we see today shows the emblem of Zagreb as well as the flags of Croatia, Dalmatia and Slavonia.

Inside, you can see sculptures by Croatia’s most famous sculptor, Ivan Meštrović.

6. Walk through the Stone Gate

The last remaining of Zagreb’s original five gates is the Stone Gate. It survived many fires and when you consider the city was basically made of wood, it probably didn’t deserve to!

In a particularly intense fire in 1731, a statue of the Virgin Mary survived unscathed: a miracle or made-up story depending who you listen to 😉

To this day, locals still come to light candles in gratitude and pray to the Virgin Mary. Walk through the Stone Gate to see them at worship and spot ‘hvla’ tiles: messages of thanks etched onto the walls.

Stone gate

The small blue-green star on top of the Stone Gate? An ancient device used to knock witches off their brooms, evidence of the horrific Witch Hunts of Europe that continued to the 18th century.

7. See Vegas chandeliers inside Zagreb Cathedral!

Things to do Zagreb Cathedral
One of the key places to see in Zagreb

Perhaps you’re keen to visit Zagreb Cathedral for its own merit. Personally, I’ve seen one too many religious buildings in Europe and found the story about Vegas chandeliers more interesting!

The story goes that a Croatian was working in the Gold Coast casino in Vegas and asked the owner (at his mum’s request) if they could donate some decadent chandeliers to Zagreb Cathedral which badly needed new lights. The clergy accepted them once they were blessed with holy water!

As you can see from the photo, one Cathedral turret is under construction after being damaged in the 2020 earthquake.

8. Ban Josip Jelačić Square

This typical European square in Lower Town with a statue of a man on a horse is one you’ll naturally pass through as several streets connect to it. Ban Josip Jelačić was a key player in the Revolution of 1848, however his statue was removed when Croatia was part of Yugoslavia.

After the country gained independence in 1995, the statue was returned to its rightful place much to the delight of the newly-liberated Croatians.

9. Shop at Tržnica Dolac Market

Tržnica Dolac Market

Known as the ‘belly of the city’, Tržnica Dolac Market has been feeding the people of Zagreb since the 1930s. As a tourist, it’s unlikely you’ll need fresh produce (unless you plan to cook in your Airbnb) but it’s still a notable place to visit in Zagreb.

Goods on offer include fruit, vegetables, cheese, meat, baked goods… the list goes on! Small stands around the outskirts sell wine and typical souvenirs.

Top tip – it’s cash-only. Brush up on your Croatian please (‘molim’) and thank yous (‘hvla’ pronounced fala) because the older locals manning the stands are less likely to speak English than young people working in cafes.

Foodies, keep reading: I have lots of gastronomic things to do in Zagreb coming up.

More markets

Tržnica Trešnjevka
Tržnica Trešnjevka Market

In the heart of the city, Tržnica Dolac is both a local haven and a Zagreb tourist attraction. For a totally local alternative, visit Tržnica Trešnjevka before 2pm. From flowers to cheese, honey, jam and veggies, it’s an atmospheric experience whether or not you buy (although there’s a bakery stand, Dubravica, where I think you WILL want to buy!).

Although it’s a trek from the centre, one of my favourite coffee shops, Karibu Kaaawa is just around the corner. If you’re at a loose end, take a 25-minute stroll from town.

10. People-watch on Tkalčićeva Street

Ranked as the #1 thing to do in Zagreb on Trip Advisor, Tkalčićeva is a pedestrianised street prime for people-watching. There are outdoor cafes and restaurants benefitting from live music. In the evenings a bunch of lively bars get going.

11. Buy souvenirs (cravats and truffles) on Radićeva

Tie shop Radićeva
Famous Croatian kravatas (ties)

Did you know neckties originate from Croatia? Croatians started wearing neckties for good luck during the war but the French adopted them as a fashion item during the Napoleonic wars, calling them ‘cravats’ after the word ‘Croat’ (the name for Croatian people).

If you want to buy your own cravat to take home, alongside other souvenirs, wander the length of Radićeva.

Mio Corazon bar
A quirky bar

Once you’re tired from shopping and Zagreb sightseeing, stop for a drink at Mio Corazon, a quirky bar on Radićeva. In the winter, they serve mulled wine and hot chocolate.

12. Ride the tiny funicular to Upper Town

funicular ride what to zagreb

Places usually show off about being the biggest, tallest or grandest. Zagreb? They have a unique claim to fame: the world’s shortest funicular railway!

The ride takes less than two minutes along a 66-metre track. Since trams depart every 10 minutes, most travellers will find it quicker to walk up the flight of stairs beside it. But for those with mobility issues, it’s a handy option with tickets for just 5 kuna.

It connects the Lower Town with Strossmayer Promenade and the Upper Town where you’ll find Lotrščak Tower, St Mark’s Church and the Museum of Broken Relationships.

13. Grič Tunnel

Grič Tunnel

This eerie – and arty – tunnel runs underneath Zagreb, connecting several areas of the city. The Grič Tunnel was built as a World War II evacuation tunnel, repurposed as a storage unit, then abandoned for years.

In the 1990s, it became a popular venue for underground raves. Finally, in 2016, it was reopened as a cultural centre. Spot modern art exhibits as you walk through.

With a few relatively clean public toilets, it’s also a useful addition to Zagreb city centre.

Several entrances have colourful designs adorned with street art including one in the park next to Roots cocktail bar.

14. Soak up views from Strossmayer Promenade

At the top of the funicular tracks lies Zagreb’s best viewpoint. Running along the old city walls once used for defence, Strossmayer Promenade is an atmospheric part of Upper Town to wander at sunset.

Park yourself on a bench or get a bird’s eye view from…

15. The Lotrščak Tower – climb for sunset views 

lotrščak Tower climb zagreb activities

For panoramic views, one of the best things to do in Zagreb is climb the Lotrščak Tower. Admire the city to one side and the mountains to the other. Visit just before sunset to see the city bathed in golden light.

The tower is home to the Grič cannon, a notable Zagreb landmark fired daily since 1877 to mark midday. After the 2020 earthquake, it’s temporarily out of action.

Entrance is just 20 kuna and opening times are 11am-7pm, closed Mondays. It’s a steep climb to the top but I believe in you!

16. Catch a show at the National Theatre

National Theatre croatia

If you’re looking for things to do in Zagreb at night (and fancy something more unusual than hitting the bars) you might be interested in the Croatian National Theatre. This neo-baroque palace is part of Lenuci’s Horseshoe (a U-shaped set of parks with notable buildings including the Botanical Gardens).

Theatre, opera and ballet all take place at the National Theatre with tickets from 50 to 170 kuna. Get dressed up and enjoy your night!

Top tip – it’s best to watch the opera or ballet as the language barrier won’t be such a problem. Watching a theatre production in Croatian may be a little confusing.

17. Zagreb 360° Observation Deck – temporarily closed in 2022

I was hoping to get a panoramic view from Zagreb 360° Observation Deck but it’s currently closed, whether due to the impact of the 2020 earthquake I don’t know. I’ll update this when it reopens.

18. Admire the Oktagon

 Oktagon zagreb things to do

Petar Preradović Square is connected with Ilica street via the Oktogon, a gorgeous passageway designed by architect, Josip Vancaš, in the late 1800s. It’s worth wandering through to snap some photos and admire the symmetrical glass-domed ceiling.

Walk through from 8am to 8pm (or until 3pm on Saturdays. Closed Sunday).

Nearby on the street outside, you’ll notice a huge gold orb. This is part of the Zagreb Solar System, an art initiative featuring small planets dotted around the city.

19. Learn about the 1990s war

Croatia has been through a lot in the past few decades including one of Europe’s most recent wars. The Homeland War saw Croatia struggle for independence after its time in Communist Yugoslavia.

Since the War Photography Museum has closed, your best option to learn about this era is a walking tour with a knowledgeable local guide. Walk through underground tunnels and visit the Memorial Centre of the Rocket Attacks on Zagreb.

20. Relax in Park Maksimir

Park Maksimir lake

If you’ve exhausted the other things to do in Zagreb, spend half a day relaxing in Park Maksimir, the oldest and largest green space in the city.

Bring a picnic and sit by the lake or visit the open-air cafe pavilion in the centre. On a sunny day, this is a lovely place to grab a coffee and overlook the long promenade running through the centre. Considering it’s not a speciality coffee shop, I thought the coffee was decent!

Maksmir is a bit of a trek from the city centre so I would recommend catching the tram. Numbers 4, 11 and 12 stop near the entrance.

Foodie things to do in Zagreb

Sure, the cultural and historical attractions in Zagreb are nice but what’s more important than food? Nothing.

There’s plenty of great food in Zagreb and, better yet, it’s affordable. Although there are tourist restaurants, there are always local eateries in a city this size. Croatian wine is great and there’s also a notable Zagreb craft beer scene.

Here are some of the top Zagreb activities revolving around food & drink…

21. Try štrukli (cheese heaven)

štrukli croatian cheese dish

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be thrilled to learn that one of Zagreb’s most popular dishes is baked cheese. Bliss!

There are two ways to serve štrukli: baked and wrapped in dough, or in a dish (pictured above): kind of like white lasagne. La Štruk restaurant serve both types for 35 kuna with toppings including truffles, walnut & honey, pumpkin pesto, and even sweet ones like blueberry.

For a super-indulgent option, I can vouch for the truffle cheese!

22. The coffee scene

One of the best things to do in Zagreb is relax and enjoy the coffee scene. I take coffee so seriously that I put together a whole Zagreb coffee guide based on my findings during a week in town.

A few great options are:

  • Cogito – this is one of Zagreb’s most famous cafes with excellent third wave coffee and baked goods.
  • In the Yard – also serving Cognito coffee, this is a hidden gem with outdoor seating and cool murals. I get the feeling it’s local students who hang out here rather than tourists (but you’ll still feel welcome). I had a great matcha latte while befriending some local cats.
  • Korica Bakery – I don’t think you’ll find better baked goods in Zagreb. The cruffins (croissant muffins) were delicious with various fillings like pistachio cream and chocolate. I paid 30 kuna for a cruffin and cappucino.
  • Quahwa – this speciality roastery is spacious with a warehouse feel, giant roasting machines and booths for co-workers upstairs. Although I kept it simple, there are lots of unusual options like espresso tonic and matcha lattes.

Read next: a complete guide to speciality coffee in Zagreb

23. Try truffles

truffles zagreb

Harvested in abundance in Istria, it’s not surprising that many restaurants in Zagreb serve truffles.

Many delicatessens stock truffle-infused alcohol, cheese, meat, and even honey. Buy them in jars to take home and serve over pasta or eggs. Next door to Mio Corazon bar is a luxury deli where you can sample products before buying.

24. Take a food tour

One of my favourite things to do while travelling (especially solo) is take food tours! With just a few days in a city, it’s hard to get an understanding of the cuisine independently.

Take a Zagreb food tour for €60 including 6 dishes, a market visit and wine or beer. Having a local guide will bring you up to speed on what and where to eat in Croatia’s capital!

25. Sample Croatian tapas at Heritage

 Heritage street food

Easily some of the best food I had in Zagreb was at Heritage Croatian Food, a tiny restaurant using fresh ingredients sourced sustainably in Croatia. Try one of the meat or fish flatbreads (24 kuna) with a fig, cheese and walnut salad (55 kuna and serves about four… I ate it solo, obvs!).

Wash it down with Croatian wine or craft beer. DON’T do what I did and order a mint juice. Weird. Don’t know what I was thinking!

In peak season, make sure to book ahead. It’s the #1 rated restaurant in Zagreb and there are only a few tables.

26. Meat coma at Pri Zvoncu

When a tour guide mentioned a local restaurant off the tourist track with huge portions of food, I knew I had to go! Pri Zvoncu is a cosy, authentic spot serving Croatian dishes as well as general European dishes with a focus on meat and fish.

With a friend from the Plitvice Lakes tour, I tried an enormous Weiner schnitzel, a pork fillet stuffed with cheese and ham, the fried cheese starter, and tiramisu. We were stuffed and paid €25 each.

27. Try Bosnian/Serbian food

Börek (pastry filled with meat or spinach) is found from cafes to supermarkets for 5 kuna apiece, while cevapi (ground meat sausages in bread) is a typical dish in modest restaurants.

Plac Kitchen & Grill is a popular option for cevapi but, if you don’t mind the walk, MERAK is ridiculously cheap. A serving of cevapi bigger than your head costs 17 kuna (€2!). Don’t miss the baklava. It closes at 9pm.

Submarine

July 2022 update & bonus item – I just visited Zagreb again and discovered the city’s best burgers at Submarine. My Beyond Meat burger with truffle cheese fries was to die for!

Unusual things to do in Zagreb

Maybe you’re spending more than a few days in Zagreb or perhaps you’re bored of seeing churches and medieval fortifications around Europe. Here are some unusual Zagreb sightseeing activities…

28. Find street art

street art what to do zagreb

With plenty of old Soviet-style buildings, Zagreb is the perfect canvas for urban art. As a big fan of street art, I was excited to check it out.

I found lots of colourful murals including a few dedicated street art parks.

Read next: Zagreb street art guide

Take a street art tour of Zagreb with a local guide.

29. Kaptol Boutique Cinema & Bar

Kaptol Boutique Cinema & Bar

North of the city centre inside Centar Kaptol is an offbeat Zagreb attraction: a boutique cinema with quirky aesthetics and a bar and lounge.

Luckily, Croatia generally add subtitles rather than dub movies which means you’ll be able to understand. The only thing dubbed is generally the cartoons, which actually was a shame since I wanted to watch Encanto and couldn’t!

Check movie times on the Kapitol Cinema website. Google the days of the week in Croatian to work out what’s on.

30. Mirogoj Cemetery 

Mirogoj Cemetery unusual places zagreb

This is certainly an unusual place in Zagreb and not somewhere you’ll visit during a flying trip. However, if you have spare time, Mirogoj Cemetery is not as morbid as it sounds. This tranquil park and cemetery is full of elaborate graves that resemble tombs or mini churches.

With lavish domed gates surrounding the plot, it looks more Ottoman than Roman Catholic (the national religion of Croatia). Several Croatian celebrities like Dražen Petrović (basketball legend) and Petar Preradović (poet) are buried here.

Yellow church Mirogoj Cemetery 

It goes without saying that you should be respectful as there will be locals remembering their loved ones. I only got my camera out when no one was around.

I’ve heard that All Souls’ Day (November 2) is a particularly atmospheric time to visit when candles are light and flowers laid.

Catch bus number 226 or take Uber/Bolt there (€5) from Zagreb centre.

Take day trips from Zagreb

Most of these activities in Zagreb will fit into two days (unless you want to visit ALL the museums then you need to stay a month!) so spend a third day exploring Northern Croatia.

31. Plitvice Lakes

Plitvice Lakes
The only photo of me during my solo trip to Zagreb

Read next: How to visit Plitvice Lakes from Zagreb

Although it’s 2 hours away, one of the most popular things to do near Zagreb is visit the majestic Plitvice Lakes National Park. The natural wonderland of flora and fauna is world-famous for its cascading waterfalls and sixteen lakes with brilliant blue water.

Plitvice Lakes croatia

I visited in February and had the rare and magical experience of seeing Plitvice almost empty! In the summer months, it’s undeniably more green and bountiful but receives up to 18,000 tourists visit PER DAY, turning into a packed Disneyland.

To get there, you can drive, take a public bus or an organised day trip. There are two types: mass coach trips from April-October that take a shorter hike around the park, and small group tours (max 8 people) all year which take you deeper into the park, climate dependant.

I would obviously recommend the latter! Small group tours cost around €30 more so it depends on your budget, of course.

Plitvice entrance fees (included in the price of tours) vary from €10-35 depending on the season.

32. Truffle hunting in Istria

Although it’s an expensive excursion, it’s high on my bucket list next time I visit Zagreb. You may have tried truffles before but do you know they’re harvested in Istria in Northern Croatia?

Several companies including Truffle Hunting Zagreb will take you from Zagreb to Istria to hunt your own truffles and eat them during the tour. I’m drooling at the thought.

I was recently interviewed about my travels by the Nomadic Foodie podcast and I noticed he also has an episode on truffle hunting from Zagreb. Check it out!

What NOT to do in Zagreb

I think this section needs to become standard in all my blogs. Every city has overrated attractions (Porto, I’m talking about your ‘Harry Potter’ library!) and sometimes as a tourist, you just don’t know.

Here’s what I did in Zagreb and didn’t love…

The Museum of Hangovers

Museum of Hangovers zagreb attractions

After visiting the Museum of Broken Relationships, I heard about the Museum of Hangovers which sounded equally quirky. I headed to check it out but didn’t find it worth the 40 kuna.

Although it doesn’t say so, it was certainly inspired by the Broken Relationships concept. I can’t criticise because it IS a good concept; however the museum is very small and the content wasn’t super engaging. The personal stories were the sort of things teenage boys show off about, and the other information (facts about alcohol, the history of US probation etc) felt a bit disjointed.

I bought a beer and regretted it since I didn’t stay longer than 20 minutes in the two rooms that comprise the museum. Since they offer the chance to win a ticket by wearing ‘beer goggles’ and throwing darts, I would suggest only entering if you can get it for free! Nurse a beer elsewhere.

Ride the tram in the wrong direction

TRam ticket

One evening when I was trying to avoid a 30-minute walk to dinner, I accidentally caught the tram in the wrong direction not once but twice!

It took me over an hour to get to dinner. Fail! Make sure to check you’re getting the right number in the right direction. It’s surprisingly easy to go wrong since trams sometimes travel in the direction of traffic and sometimes in the opposite direction.

Go for a coffee at Booksa

I heard this place mentioned as a nice cafe to go for a coffee or get some work done. However, I walked there for 30 minutes lugging my laptop only to be told it’s members-only and I couldn’t stay for a coffee without paying a monthly fee. Annoying!

Where to stay in Zagreb

Lower Town, Upper Town and Kaptol are all great places to stay in Zagreb. A few accommodation options include…

Hostel – right in the Old Town, Swanky Mint has dorms, privates and studios with a young clientele of travellers from around the world. There’s even a seasonal pool and a cool Asian restaurant, Soi Fusion, attached serving amazing food. Book from €11 a night.

Apartment: Close to the Cathedral, Apartments Downtown are clean and cool with thoughtful details, TV, Wi-Fi and toiletries. Check availability from €40.

Affordable hotel: the oldest hotel in Zagreb, Hotel Jägerhorn, is one of the best with period rooms and spacious courtyards to eat the complimentary breakfasts. Check availability from €80.

Splash out hotel: the Esplanade Hotel is known as one of the best hotels in Zagreb with five-star rooms, art-nouveau rooms and bathrooms with marble floors and elegant bathtubs. If you need a treat, this is it! Check availability from €150.

How to get around Zagreb

It’s easy to get around Zagreb on foot. If you stick to the city, you won’t need any transport. If you leave the city centre, your best options are…

Trams: These are a quick and efficient way to travel around. Buy tickets for 4 kuna at any newspaper stand (look for the red Tisak stands) then validate them on board. Generally, only the machines at the front and back carriage have the validation machines.

Bus: I didn’t take any myself but I hear you can pay onboard with cash (6 kuna).

Uber/Bolt: These taxis work as they do elsewhere. Travelling from one end of the city to the other generally costs 35 kuna. My airport taxi was 90 kuna.

Cycling: Rent a Next Bike for 5 Kunas per 30 minutes. Download the app, register then unlock bikes using your phone.

Tour bus: finally, for a tourist-friendly way to see the city, take the open-top bus tour.

Is Zagreb solo travel friendly?

Yes! As you can tell from the lack of photos of me in this blog, I was in Zagreb solo and felt totally safe. Croatia has the 17th best safety index in the world with little violent crime. Zagreb is a safe place to walk even at night.

It’s worth noting there are earthquakes but these are usually relatively mild.

It’s also a good place to meet people while travelling solo because there are lots of hostels. If that’s not your vibe, try walking tours or group tours for example to Plitvice Lakes. Use all my solo travel tips if you need them. Enjoy!

Read next: the ultimate guide to solo travel in Croatia

Thanks for reading!

More Croatia blogs…

General:

Zagreb:

Split:

Dubrovnik:

Zadar:

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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 and Trainline. The search features allow you to compare prices and book in advance.

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!

2 thoughts on “32 Things To Do in Zagreb (And What Not To Do) + Best Food

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