If you’re looking to spend some time in Zagreb, Croatia, here are some suggestions on what you could add to your itinerary. As a disclaimer, at the time we visited, many of the museums and attractions were closed due to damage from the earthquake that occurred March 2020.
Itinerary for One Day
If you only have one day in Zagreb, Croatia, here are some must do’s while you’re in the city.
- 1. Visit Lotrščak Tower. Climb to the top of Lotrščak Tower for 360 degree views of the city. The price to get into the tower is 20 kuna (about $3 USD) for adults and 10 kuna (about $1.30 USD) for children 7 to 18 years old. Also, make sure to visit the tower at noon for the daily canon blast.
- 2. St. Mark’s Church. While in Upper Town, head to the beautiful St. Mark’s Church to see the iconic colorful tiled roof. At the time of writing this (2022), St. Mark’s was closed due to construction.
- 3. The Museum of Broken Relationships. This is the most popular museum in Zagreb and houses personal items with stories of past relationships. The entrance fee is 50 kuna (about $7 USD) per adult.
- 4. See the Stone Gate. The Stone Gate is the medieval eastern gate to the oldest part of the city and is Zagreb’s most important shrine. It houses a painting of the Mother of God. Which happened to be the only item to survive the 17th-century fire.
- 5. Buy fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and cheeses from Dolac Market. As you make your way from the Upper Town into the Lower Town, walk through Zagreb’s main open-air market. Here you will find a variety of fresh produce, homemade items, meats, cheeses, and breads from the locals.
- 6. See Zagreb Cathedral. Again, at the time of writing this (2022) the cathedral was closed for repairs. However, you can still marvel at the architectural beauty that has been there since the 11th century.
- 7. Head to Ban Jelačić Square and then grab at bite to eat at Tkalčićeva Street. Jelačić Square is the largest square in Zagreb, is bustling with vibrant life, and houses the Ban Josip Jelačić statue. From there you can easily walk to Tkalčićeva Street. This is the hub for cafes, restaurants, and nightlife.
- 8. Take a tram or walk to the Zagreb Lenuci horseshoe. The Lenuci horseshoe (or Green horseshoe) is a u-shaped system of city parks. Easily walk-able, you can visit a variety of historical buildings and relax in the beautiful parks. Do not miss the National Theater or the art pavilion.
- 9. Walk through Grič Tunnel. Especially if it is a hot day, this is a great way to get to various parts of the old town while staying cool.
Itinerary for Two Weeks
Now, if you have more than a few days to spend in Zagreb, Croatia, definitely see and visit all the recommendations listed in the itinerary for one day. However, some other recommendations include:
1. Wonder at the beauty of Mirogoj Cemetery. This is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Europe, so definitely make time to visit. It is easily accessible by car, taxi, or bus 106. Unfortunately, at the time of our visit, there was still a lot of damage from the earthquake. But still incredibly beautiful.
2. Picnic at Maksimir Park. Another option would be to grab a coffee and take a walk around the beautiful lakes. Since this park is an easy tram ride from Jelačić square, it’s a great way to escape the city for some nature.
3. Hike Medvednica mountain and visit Medvedgrad Castle. Obviously for more nature, head to Medvednica. You can find easy to moderate hikes and we recommend taking one of the trails to Medvedgrad castle. However, it is only open on Tuesdays and Sundays, neither of those days being when we went. So don’t be like us, plan accordingly.
4. Take a stroll through the botanical gardens. A beautiful respite from the city, the botanical gardens are a great place to visit. However, we would not recommend going if the temperature is 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37 Celsius).
Itinerary for One Month
Now if you are seeking to spend one month in Zagreb, there are some other places and activities we recommend. Again, we recommend you check out the activities and sites mentioned above, but on top of those, here are some other places and activities you can do while in Zagreb.
1. Visit Plitvice Lakes. Basically, this is one of the most popular national parks in Croatia and is definitely a must see. Undeniably, the easiest way to get to Plitvice is to rent a car. However, you can take a bus or a train then a taxi.
2. Take a trip to Ljubljana, Slovenia. Without a doubt, one of the most popular trips to take from Zagreb is to visit Slovenia. Since Ljublijana is close to Croatia, it makes it especially easy to access. In fact, you can take a bus or train to get there. Unfortunately, this is not something Sean or I did as our time in the Schengen zone did not allow it. So our tip, make sure you have time if your passport is one that is affected by the Schengen zone.
3. Check out all of Zagreb’s museums. Since a month can be a long time in Zagreb, which is not a very large city, find time to put some of the museums on your itinerary. Other than the popular Museum of Broken Relationships, you can find the Museum of Illusions, Archeology Museum, Zagreb City Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art. And if they happen to be open, the Art Pavilion and Mimara Museum (which were both closed as of 2022).
Where to eat and drink
1. Heritage – Croatian Street Food. This happens to be one of the top rated places to eat. Whether your itinerary for Zagreb is for one day or one month, this place should definitely be on your list.
2. La Struk. Strukli is food that can only be found in the Zagreb area. It is a traditional Croatian dish that originated in the region. Therefore, it is a must try, especially for anyone who is a cheese lover. Strukli is a dish of dough and fresh cottage cheese, either baked or boiled (the baked way seems to be the most popular option). It can also be served either sweet or salty and with a variety of flavors. We particularly loved the salty cheese, as well as the walnut and honey.
3. Curry Bowl. Again, one of the most popular restaurants in Zagreb. Curry Bowl is a Sri Lankan restaurant that serves delicious food.
4. Plac Kitchen & Grill. This was the recommended place for Ćevapi. Although this food is the national dish of Bosnia & Herzegovina and Serbia, it is also commonly found among other Baltic countries. If you’re looking to try some Ćevapi while in Zagreb, this place is one to add to the itinerary.
5. Qwaha and Cogito. These are two great places for coffee in Zagreb.
6. Roots – Juice & Cocktail Bar. Recommended for great smoothie bowls and juices.
7. Pivnica Mali Medo. For good beer. Medvedgrad beer happened to be our favorite beer we have tried so far on our travels. Definitely recommend grabbing a drink here and people watching.
If you’re interesting in more locations or want to follow along with our travels, check out our full blog.