Zagreb, Croatia's friendly capital
Set on the bank of the Sava River on the southern slopes of Medvednica mountain, Zagreb is the political and economic centre of Croatia.
With a vibrant city center and a medieval old town (these together make up the upper town) and a splendid 19th-century lower town Zagreb is an essential Eastern European city to visit.
Spring in Zagreb - Zagreb residents are having a picnic in the parks of the Lower Town
Why do I like Zagreb?
With 770,000 inhabitants Zagreb is a fairly small and relaxed capital. Its upper town is characterised by cobblestone streets and fine buildings, some of them with a medieval flavour while the lower town offers vast parks and magnificient palaces: reminders of the Habsburg era.
Zagreb is undoubtedly Croatia's most lively cultural centre with theatres and museums and several important annual festivals. The whole city is packed with small ideas and there is always something new to discover.
5 things you should not miss out in Zagreb
- A stroll in Mirogoj Cemetery
- Indulging yourself in a Kras choco bar!
- Taking a ride on the funicular
- Visiting the Museum of Broken Relationships
- Visiting Dolac, the colourful vegetable market
The colourful parasols of the city market
What else to do in Zagreb?
Exploring Kaptol and Gradec
The forerunners of the medieval Zagreb were twin towns of Kaptol and Gradec. Kaptol was an ecclesiastical centre grown around the Zagreb Cathedral, while Gradec, the craftspeople's quarter, was centred on St Mark's Church.
The landmark of Zagreb, the cathedral was consecrated in 1217. As the bishopric at Kaptol was founded by the Hungarian king, Ladislaus I, who extended his rule over Croatia, the cathedral at first was named after the first Hungarian king, St Stephen I. This cathedral was destroyed by an eartquake in 1880 and the present building now bears the long name of Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
This Gothic St Mark's Church is located on St Mark's square, the historic centre of medieval Gradec. Its colourful painted-tile roof bears the coat-of-arms of Zagreb and the Triune Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia.
St Mark's square is also the home to Sabor, Croatia's National Assembly. On the western side of the square the presidental palace (Banski Dvori) can be found.
The colourful tiles of St Mark's Church
Guard changing ceremony on St Mark's square
Read more about Zagreb!
Zagreb is a city of museums. Both the upper and lower towns boast numerous galleries and exhibition places. This short list includes the most famous museums and collections in Zagreb. Every year a popular event called Night of Museums takes place in Croatia when many museums all over the country can be visited at night for free or at a discounted price.
- Mimara Museum
- Museum of Contemporary Art
- Strossmayer Gallery
- Historical Museum of Croatia
- Gallery of Naive Art
- City Museum
- Mestrovic Atelier
Mimara Museum - as you have never seen it! - A fascinating 3D mapping projection at Advent
Last year Santa paid a memorable visit to Mimara Museum. Why wouldn't you do the same?
Zagreb Zoo is located in Maksimir Park, a beautiful green surface east of the city centre. From Jelacic square take tram No11 or No12 to get here or if you walk, this funny pedestrian crossing will show you the way.
The cage of Homo Sapiens in Zagreb Zoo - Could you sit here all day long (for a lifetime)?
Getting here and away
As Zagreb is Croatia's most important transportation hub, it is very likely that you will find yourself passing it through.
The main railway station is an elegant building in the lower town, a 15-minute walk from the heart of the city. Unlike the railway station, the building of the main bus station is modern and ugly but very busy: buses leave from here to all corners of the country.
Zagreb Airport - Have a glimpse into the future!
Croatia's biggest international airport can be found in Zagreb, as well and there are grandiose plans for its new terminal.
Zagreb surroundings - View over Medvednica mountain
The top of the wooded hill that rises up behind the city is called Sljeme and it is a popular hiking and skiing area.