Things to do in Zagreb
Zagreb is the capital of the Republic of Croatia. It is located on the southern slopes of Medvednica Mountain along the banks of the Sava River. Culturally, Zagreb is a European city well worth visiting, with its numerous historical monuments and medieval architecture. In short, here’s things to do in Zagreb
Today, it is the only city in Croatia with a population of over one million. The centre of Zagreb is divided into two parts: Gornji Grad (Upper Town) and Donji Grad (Lower Town). Because of its historical structures, churches and religious monuments, Gornji Grad has great historic value attached to it and is literally a tourist’s paradise. Donji Grad, on the other hand, mostly contains shops, cafes, museums, and parks. Some attractions that are far away from the city are easily accessible by bus or tram.
What to see in Zagreb
Tkalciceva Street is meeting point for all the visitors and inhabitants of Zagreb. The colourful Tkalciceva Street, in the very heart of the city, still reflects the spirit of old Zagreb. The street is lined with restaurants, cafés and boutiques which continue the tradition of Zagreb’s craftsmen and merchants.
The Cobble Stone Streets
The cobble stone streets with red tile roof buildings of the medieval Upper Town (Gornji Grad) are a beautiful place to start a sightseeing tour of Zagreb. Upper Town is home to the cities Cathedral, parliament building, numerous museums, and churches.
The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was formerly known as St Stephen’s Cathedral. The twin Spires of the Cathedral are a landmark feature of Zagreb and the most famous structure in Zagreb. A cathedral has stood on this spot for hundreds of years. The current structure was built in the later half of the 13th century, although many alterations and renovations have been made since that time, changing the structure almost completely.
Church of St Catherine
The Jesuit Church of St Catherine was built in the first half of the 17th century and is considered one of the finest churches in Zagreb. The interior of the church contains some beautiful Baroque art. Stucco reliefs by the Italian artist Antonio Quadrio date from the 1720s.
The Tower of Lotrscak
The Tower of Lotrscak (Kula Lotrscak), which dates to the 13th century, was built to guard the southern gate of the Gradec town wall. The square Romanesque tower once held a bell, which rang out each night prior to the closing of the gates. After such time anyone left outside the gates would have to remain there for the night. In the 19th century a fourth floor and windows were added to the Tower of Lotrscak and cannon were placed on the top. The cannon have been fired every day at noon since that time. It is supposed to mark a historical event in Zagreb’s history but is most commonly used to set watches. Visitors can climb the tower for stunning views over the city.
The Church of St Mark
The Church of St Mark is easily recognizable by its brightly coloured tile roof, bearing the coats of arms of Croatia, Dalmatia, Slavonia, and Zagreb city. The roof was actually a recent addition, which took place in the late 1800s. The first Church of St Mark was documented as far back as the mid 1200s.
The Stone Gate
The Stone Gate (Kamenita Vrata) in Zagreb’s Upper Town is the last remaining of the five gates which once stood. They were the entrances through the walls around Gradec, the district next to Kaptol. The Stone Gate, which was the eastern Gate to Gradec town, was built in the 13th century, as was the adjacent tower. As the story goes, in 1731 a fire destroyed much of this area, burning all the houses to the ground. The gate displayed a painting of Mary and Jesus which was “miraculously” undamaged by the fire. To protect the painting a chapel was built and the painting remains behind a metal grille. The painting is visited regularly by people who come to pray and leave gifts.
The City Museum
The City Museum in Zagreb’s Upper Town, is comprised of the Convent of St Clair, a tower from the 1100s, and a 17th century granary, and is built along the eastern town wall. It has been in operation since 1907 and houses 12 collections which include almost 75,000 pieces. Together the collections describe the history of Zagreb through documents, maps, art, archaeological finds, and other historical pieces. Among the items on display is a scale model of the old town of Gradec. The City Museum also has interactive museums to interest children.
The Mestrovic Gallery
The Mestrovic Gallery is housed in a 17th century home where Ivan Mestrovic once lived and sculpted. On display in the house are his sculptures in wood, stone, and bronze, as well as drawings, furniture and lithographs. The pieces, more than 300 in totals, represent a variety of themes including, religion, portraiture, and nude.
The Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum (Hrvatski Prirodoslovni Muzej) is housed in the Amadeo Palace, which operated as a theatre from the late 1700s to 1834. In 1868 the Palace Amadeo opened as The Natural History Museum, and remains one of the foremost museums in Zagreb. The museum houses some 2.5 million pieces, including minerals from around the world, an extensive zoological collection documenting a huge variety of plants and animals from all over Croatia.
Ban Jelacic Square
Ban Jelacic Square, officially known as the Trg Bana Jelacica, is the central square of the city and named after Ban Josip Jelacic. People simply call it Jelacic Square. It is located in Zagreb’s Upper Town area. The square marks the intersection of many streets such as Illica from the west, Radiceva from the northwest and small streets. The square is marked as a pedestrian zone and therefore no vehicles are allowed inside the area. But it is accessible by tram.
The Museum of Broken Relationships
The Museum of Broken Relationships is located in the beautiful baroque Kulmer palace, dated 1776, classified as national heritage in the Upper Town. An unavoidable sight in your exploration of Zagreb and a unique emotional journey around the world through hundreds of love break-ups.
The Museum of Illusions
You should definitely go to the Museum of Illusions. You will enter a world that will blow your mind but also give you an opportunity to learn all sorts of things… It will be for sure an amazing and unimaginable experience because whatever you see, especially here in the Museum of Illusions, is not what it appears to be.
Located a little away from Zagreb city centre, but easily accessible by public transport, is the beautiful and ‘heavenly’ Mirogoj Cemetery. Designed by Hermann Bollé in 1876 at the base of Mount Medvednica, the cemetery is counted among the top 10 cemeteries of Europe.
Andautonia Park is an archaeological attraction located near the village of Scitarjevo, close to Zagreb. The area is located on the remains of the ancient Roman town of Andautonia which dates back to the 1st century AD. The village of Scitarjevo is also worth visiting where you can get a glimpse of traditional Croatian wooden houses.
Maksimir Park which houses the Zagreb City Zoo is located to the east of Zagreb and is the city’s biggest park. Also, it is one of the most visited family attractions in Zagreb. The whole area can be accessed free of charge (except for the zoo).
What to do in Zagreb
Hiking or Skiing on Sljeme
Croatian capital Zagreb can boast with having a ski resort situated only about twenty minutes car ride from the city centre. On the ski slopes of mountain Medvednica the best Croatian skier, Janica and Ivica Kostelic, made their first ski steps on their journey to ski fame. If you don’t like winter so much, you can go hiking and enjoy the nature and fresh air!
Rent a Bike
You can rent a bike and enjoy a ride around the city! Cheap, healthy and ecological!
If you are hungry?!
The range of cuisines and an award winning repertoire of restaurants make Zagreb the gastronomic capital of the country. Croatian cuisine is very often a complex mix of continental and coastal delicacies.
When you are in Zagreb behave like you are from Zagreb
For Zagreb citizens drinking coffee is a lifestyle, even when they go for another drink. Go and drink coffee like you never did. Enjoy in coffee sitting on terraces of cafes and looking around.
Experience the Nightlife
A good place to start any night out in the Croatia capital is Tkalciceva Street in Upper Town. A pretty throughway it also boasts the city’s highest concentration of bars and cafes. The Main Square also makes a decent place to begin the night, with a continental cafe vibe presiding and a chance to see the world go by.
Once however you’ve sampled the charms of Zagreb’s Old Town you might want to track down some of its classier hangouts.0