When you think of Croatia, often it is whether to visit Split or Dubrovnik.
But have you considered visiting Croatia’s capital Zagreb?
During our 10 countries 10-night road trip from North Germany to Italy, we took a trip to Zagreb, an underrated city of Europe.
Zagreb is a beautiful city you can easily visit with a walking tour.
While the upper town of the city was built on the Kaptol and Gradec Hills in the early centuries, the architecture of the lower town will also impressive.
If you wanting to see more of Croatia than the 10 Must-See Sights of Zagreb, here is some more information to help with your travel itinerary of Croatia.
Where to Stay in Zagreb
The small hotel of Nome was our choice. It’s a little hotel within walking distance of the old town city with the bonus of great coffee.
The room we booked had a kitchenette and was good value for only € 50 a night.
We used the free app hotels.com for our booking so it won’t be long until we have our tenth night free.
Or you can use Booking.com for an immediate 10% discount.
Make sure to organise your Travel Insurance
We have been using CoverMore since 2016 for our worldwide travel insurance. CoverMore is very easy to set-up online, and make it easy to liaise with them when organising our online claims (we have had two trouble-free claims).
If you need a quote, then just click on the Ad below to take you to their website.
Best Things to See and Do in Zagreb
When you visit Zagreb you will often hear the locals refer to the Upper Town and Lower Town of the city.
The reason for the two distinctions, the Upper Town is situated on the two hills Kaptol and Gradec, at the foothills of Medvednica Mountain. The Lower Town area being flat with stunning architecture and parks.
What to See in Zagreb’s Upper Town and Lower Town
The Green Horseshoe – Lower Town
The Green Horseshoe or Lenuci’s Horseshoe consists of seven squares forming the shape of a horseshow. It’s easier to see on a map. The square’s form a green space of around 12,500 sqm providing a resting and meeting point. Some of the highlights you’ll find are:
1. King Tomislav Square
In this wonderful relaxing area where you can sit and read, or take a nap on the grass, you’ll find the Art Pavilion.
This impressive building is the oldest gallery in Southeast Europe opened in 1898 and is as impressive now as it must have been then.
2. Nicola Subic Zrinski Square
Here in this square, you will find another wonderful piece of architecture, the Gallery of Old Masters.
In 1884, Bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer donated his collection of over 4,000 items, and some of it is displayed in this building.
3. The Zrinjevac Park
This wonderful area and once again it is a place to sit and relax. Locals use it for walking, meeting, or having a picnic with the family.
The park is often used for staging promotions so is quite busy on those days.
In the centre of the park is the 19th century Music pavilion which serves as an open-air concert stage.
You will also find Zagreb’s first fountain here. It was built in 1878 and is popularly known as “The Mushroom”.
4. Croatian National Theatre
The Croatian National Theatre was purpose built in 1895 to showcase theatre, opera and ballet.
Its style is Baroque Revival architecture and is considered one of Zagreb’s most elegant and spectacular buildings.
5. Zagreb 360 degree – Observation Deck and Café (Lower Town)
On Ban Jelacic Square you can gain access to the observation deck 365 days of the year.
It is open from 10 am to midnight but we suggest seeing it earlier in the day. That’s if you want the sun behind you to take photos of the Cathedral and Upper Town.
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Gornji Grad – Upper Town
The Upper Town is one of the best preserved medieval places to visit in Croatia, built on the hills of Kapto and Gradec.
It’s here you can walk along cobblestoned streets viewing majestic old buildings.
6. Zagreb Cathedral
This monumental cathedral dates to 1287 and is the tallest building in Croatia.
The Cathedral’s spires at a height of 108 metres were built after the 1880 earthquake when the nave and original tower collapsed.
7. Old Town Gate
In 1731 a fire destroyed the wooden gate of the town except for a painting of the Virgin Mary.
Inside the gate, you will find a small altar and it is said if you light a candle under the altar, you will receive good luck.
Please remember to remain silent as you pass through.
8. St Mark’s Church
This beautiful church with its colourful roof is in the middle of two important buildings. The Croatian Government and Parliament buildings in St Mark’s Square.
Our visit in the evening showcased the beauty of the church.
The church was originally built in the 13th century and was heavily reconstructed in the late 1500’s.
The Coat of Arms on the left side of the roof represents Croatia, Dalmatia and Slavonia with the emblem of Zagreb on the right.
Now here is a place to visit.
During the day, you will find crafts and works of love by local artists available to buy.
In the afternoon when the bars have opened the area is buzzy and you will enjoy the live music of the evening.
Morning, afternoon or evening, you will have views out across the city.
But if you don’t feel like a walk back down to the lower town, then you can purchase a ticket for a short trip on the funicular.
And, if you want to stay a little longer, why not take a seat at Pod Grickim Topom Restaurant.
You never know, there may even be a movie showing while you relax with a drink in the outdoor area.
This would be one of the liveliest pedestrian café, bar and restaurant streets in Zagreb.
If you are wanting a Pizza and a Beer, then look for number 36 Tkalciceva.
Pivnica Mali Medo is a local craft beer brewery so make sure you try some of their medley of beers.
An extra highlight to Consider
Our visit to Zagreb wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t mention the most unusual museum we have seen -the Museum of Broken Relationships. This museum showcases stories and items left behind after a relationship break-up. We had a quick peek in the foyer and read a couple of stories about items sent to the museum.
Just click on the website here Museum of Broken Relationships as the stories are fascinating – anything from a stiletto shoe, an axe and even a duvet cover.
Here’s Your Free Walking Map
As promised we have included a map for your next visit.
You’ll find this map helpful to navigate your way around the 10 Must-See Sights of Zagreb. Zagreb is an underrated city well worth a visit.
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