The attractions of Zagreb are mainly numerous museums, a well-kept old town and historic churches, which are completely free to visit. The Croatian capital is usually not the first place we want to see in this country, but it is definitely worth a visit. As the most important administrative, economic and cultural center, it has a lot to offer to tourists. Nevertheless, Zagreb is not a popular destination on the tourist map of Croatia.
This city will be perfect for sightseeing enthusiasts, especially sacred buildings, as well as admiring museum collections. Zagreb is a good place both for walks and blissful laziness in the local parks, as well as for more ambitious hikes in the surrounding mountain range. As one of the smaller European capitals, it delights with its unhurried atmosphere and numerous eateries where you can simply sit down and enjoy the local cuisine. The Croatian capital also tempts with a varied nightlife, which is enjoyed by not only local residents.
Visiting Zagreb is uncomplicated, because the city itself does not resemble large European capitals. There are no skyscrapers, crowded neighborhoods and no big city bustle here. Most sights and attractions are within walking distance. Thus, Zagreb is best explored simply on foot. Most of the interesting objects are located around two districts – Gradec and Kaptol. We can get to other attractions using inexpensive public transport.
It is worth spending two days visiting the capital of Croatia, i.e. a weekend. Then you can easily see all its interesting places. However, even one day is enough to see the most important monuments and attractions of Zagreb. So it all depends on what time we have, and above all how many days we want to spend in the Croatian capital.
The best time to visit Zagreb is spring and early autumn. Then the temperatures are at a pleasant level, which makes it much easier to discover the charms of the city. In summer, it is often just too hot to visit Zagreb comfortably. However, the Croatian capital also has its charm in winter, especially during Advent, when Christmas markets are organized here. Then the city is usually covered with white fluff.
See what monuments are worth visiting while on a trip to Zagreb.
Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Zagreb is one of the most outstanding monuments in the local architecture. Its characteristic twin towers can be seen from afar. The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the tallest building in Zagreb.
See on the map of Zagreb where exactly the cathedral is located:
The first temple was built in this place in the 11th century, one was successively destroyed and rebuilt, now it represents the neo-Gothic style in architecture. Inside, it is worth paying attention to the colorful stained glass windows and frescoes decorating the walls. It is in this cathedral that the cape of King Ladislav is kept in the treasury. Despite the turbulent history, you can also admire the organ from 1855 and the painting – “Golgotha” by Albrecht Durer.
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Another monument eagerly visited by tourists in Zagreb is the Stone Gate. It is a remnant of the defensive walls from the 13th century with which this city was surrounded. Only one gate remained, guarding the entrance from the eastern side. It is built of stone and its roof has a characteristic conical (tent) shape.
In the middle of the Stone Gate there is a painting of the Mother of God, which is considered miraculous by the local population. Apparently, during the great fire of the city in 1731, only the painting survived intact. To this day, people who believe in its miraculous properties place thanksgiving tablets in the chapel surrounding it. Currently, there are libraries and archives above the gate.
St. Mark’s Church
St. Mark is another well-known and recognized monument in Zagreb. Its characteristic element is the roof, decorated with colorful tiles in the shape of the historical coats of arms of Zagreb and Croatia. This temple is a combination of two architectural styles – Romanesque and Gothic.
Inside, you can see a Gothic door ornament, which took the form of 15 saints. In addition, in the church of St. Mark in Zagreb, there are sculptures depicting Jesus and Mary, as well as numerous frescoes and colorful stained glass windows decorating the local windows. It is also worth paying attention to the belfry from the 17th century, which was consumed by flames several times, but it was successfully restored each time. In the middle of St. Mark’s Church, you can also admire a brand-new organ, ordered for 450,000 euro, collected from donors and believers.
When visiting Zagreb, it is also worth visiting the Mimara Museum. It is here that you can admire the works of world-class artists, initially gathered by a private person, Ante Topić Mimara. After his death, the whole thing was handed over to the state and therefore an art museum was established here.
The museum’s collection includes nearly four thousand works by artists from across different centuries, ranging from prehistory to the 20th century. The collections concern not only Croatian painters, but also those from Germany, France and the Netherlands. Among other things, you can see such famous names as Rubens, Rembrandt or Manet. In addition, at the Mimara Museum you can admire the collections of oriental products and ceramic dishes.
Tourist attractions in Zagreb
There were monuments and now other tourist attractions in Zagreb.
Ban Josip Jelačić’s Square
The heart of Zagreb is undoubtedly the Ban Josip Jelačić Square. It is here that one of the attractions of this city is located, which is the Manduševac fountain, with which the legend about the name Zagreb is associated. Apparently, a knight passing by asked a young girl to draw him water from the local spring. According to the stories, the Manduševac Fountain is that spring.
In addition, on the square there is a statue of ban Josip Jelačić on a horse, which is responsible for the unification of the Croats. In addition, you can see an interesting bas-relief by Ivan Meštrović – muscular men dressed in white robes on one of the buildings.
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Zagrebačka uspinjača funicular
Another tourist attraction in Zagreb is the funicular that connects the Lower and Upper Towns. It dates from 1890, but was rebuilt in 1974. Zagrebačka uspinjača funicular is one of the shortest in Europe. Its main task is to shorten the road that leads from the lower part of Zagreb – from Ilica street to the upper one, Gradec.
The entire route is only 66 meters, which the trolley covers in less than a minute. 28 people enter it at a time, and the courses take place approximately every 10 minutes. Of course, you can also walk this path via wooden stairs.
The Lotrščak Tower is also a big attraction for tourists in Zagreb. This is another remnant of the medieval walls surrounding the city. Its creation dates back to the 13th century and at one time there was a bell in it, which, tolling at 7 p.m., informed that it was time to return to the city, because the gates would be closed.
Currently, it is a five-story building with a metal dome on the roof. Around it, a terrace was built from which you can admire the panorama of Zagreb. In addition, every day at noon, a cannon is fired here, which is to symbolize the withdrawal of Turkish troops from the Croatian capital. According to the legend, a bullet fired from a cannon at one time was supposed to hit the plate of the commander of the Turks, who considered it a bad sign and retreated.
Museum of Technology
The Technical Museum is also a popular tourist attraction in Zagreb. On site you can admire the inventions of probably the most famous Croatian engineer, Nikola Tesla. In addition, you can see vintage cars, planes and various types of machines (e.g. steam).
Tourists at the Technical Museum in Zagreb can also see a 300-meter model of coal and other deposits and old fire-fighting equipment. But perhaps the most impressive are the demonstrations of various experiments, which mainly use the laws of physics. It is a good place for whole families with children.
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What else is worth seeing and visiting in Zagreb apart from tourist attractions and monuments?
Maksimir Park with a zoo
One of the places that is definitely worth seeing in Zagreb is Park Maksimir with its zoo. This green complex was founded in the 18th century and was designed in the style of then fashionable English gardens. It is an ideal place for unhurried walks, and on hot days you can hide here for a while from the scorching sun.
The city zoo is located right next to Maksimir Park. You can see over 300 species of animals there, including such rare species as the bactrian camel or snow leopard. In addition, the zoo includes chimpanzees, lions, hippos, red pandas and leopards.
Another place worth seeing when visiting Zagreb is the Mirogoj Cemetery. Quite a peculiar place, but it is worth visiting, as it is considered one of the most beautiful necropolises in Europe.
The Mirogoj cemetery is distinguished by arcades with domes, in which distinguished national Croats are buried. Among the writers, politicians and singers is also the first Croatian president. The arcades with the columbarium stretch through this cemetery for a good several hundred meters.
See on the map how to get to the Mirogoj cemetery in Zagreb:
Museum of Broken Relationships
When visiting Zagreb, many people recommend a visit to the Museum of Broken Relationships. This is another quite unusual place where exhibits donated by donors are collected after the breakup of their relationship. So every thing has its history (Croatian, English) described briefly or slightly more. From classic engagement rings to the equipment taken from the bridegroom’s house.
Interestingly, initially it was only a temporary exhibition, entitled – What to do with souvenirs from your ex-partner. However, it grew to such an extent that it was decided to create a separate museum dedicated to these items. In addition, the collection is constantly growing.
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Interesting places in Zagreb
While in Zagreb, we can meet various interesting places, especially if we stop focusing on monuments and tourist attractions for a while.
An interesting place from Zagreb is Jarun Lake, which is situated in the very center of the city. It is a good area not only for sunbathing and swimming, but also for practicing all kinds of sports. From cycling and running, to kayaking and other water sports. There are many walking paths and picnic areas.
In addition, around the local promenade there are pubs and nightclubs where the fun lasts until dawn. Jarun Lake is an artificial reservoir that was created in 1987 for the needs of international sports competitions.
It is also not far from Zagreb to Lake Bled, which we also recommend!
Another interesting place worth seeing in Zagreb is Dolac Market. This is where sellers from all over Croatia and other countries trade their goods. The stands hidden under the characteristic red umbrellas hide fresh fish and seafood, vegetables and other local products. You can also buy souvenirs from Zagreb here.
It is a great place to stock up on excellent food products, but also to observe the everyday life of local residents. The Dolac market, also known as Zagreb’s belly, is often recommended by tourists as a good place for shopping, as the prices here are definitely lower than on the Croatian coast.
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An interesting place, but a bit distant from the center of Zagreb, is the Medvednica massif. It is a mountain area with paths prepared for hiking and biking, amidst lush greenery. The perfect place to relax, also known as the green lungs of the Croatian capital.
In summer, it is worth climbing the highest peak of Sljeme (1,033 m above sea level) or visiting the ruins of Medvedgrad Castle from the 13th century, from where there is a fantastic panorama of the entire city. In winter, you can use the local snow-covered slopes, because there is a ski resort here. There are also restaurants, parking and tourist hostels.
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Zagreb tourist attractions map
On the map you will find all the interesting places, monuments and tourist attractions that are worth seeing and visiting during a trip to Zagreb:
We are waiting in the forum for your feedback on visiting attractions and monuments in Zagreb. Maybe you will give us some interesting places that are worth seeing?