Zagreb is a capital of Croatia. Located in the continental part of the country, underneath the Medvednica mountain, Zagreb is becoming more and more popular as a tourist destination.
The old city center and its historical buildings are a wonderful place to get lost in the crowd, or enjoy a relaxed afternoon in some of the many hidden coffee shops and restaurants, away from the main streets. Old center is surrounded by modern residential neighborhoods, and there you can explore the everyday life of local people.
When visiting Zagreb, you should definitely go to Sljeme, the top of Medvednica mountain. There are numerous hiking trails, but also a road and a bus line to the top. There you will find a TV tower, few small restaurants with traditional food, and wonderful views. In summer, you can cool down in the forest. If you are there in winter, try skiing in one of the four trails. There is even an international ski contest every year, where you can see the best skiers in the world.
What do you like best about your city?
It is hard to choose just one thing, but if I have to, I would definitely say the “vibe” that city has. Everything is always in motion, people are friendly and known for their relaxing lifestyle. Many visitors are surprised when they see bars full of people 24/7, and they always ask “when do you people work?”. The truth is, Croatians are masters in using every second of their free time for enjoyment.
Best Walk in Zagreb
City Center tour
Walking anywhere in the center you can’t go wrong, but I would advise you to start from the main square. Then walk to Ilica street and use a very small and short funicular to get to the upper city. From there you can see the whole center. Visit Lotrščak tower for even better views and continue your walk on Strossmayer path. When coming back to Lotrščak tower, continue to St. Marko church. This walk is ideal to see old city architecture. When you go back to the main square, make sure you walk a minute more to see the cathedral.
If you are a nature lover, make sure you visit park Maksimir, a wonderful forest in the city, where you will also find Zagreb ZOO. This park was built by Bishop Maksimilijan Vrhovac, and it is the oldest public park in Zagreb. You will walk around 5 lakes and numerous creeks. A lot of animal and plant species live there and it is a perfect place to go when you want to run away from loud and busy city.
The third option is walk around lake Jarun. Why just walk, there you can swim, ride a bike or even wake-board. Path around the lake is 6 kilometers long and on the way you will find bars, restaurants and street vendors selling ice-cream. It is a perfect place for a night out too, as many of the bars become clubs and cocktail-bars in the evening.
Best Restaurants in Zagreb
Depending on what kind of food you like, I will mention few places for everyone’s taste.
If you are in the mood for traditional cuisine, this is the place to go. Food is excellent, prices affordable and the ambient will be a trip to the past. Try some roasted turkey with “mlinci” or “sarma” to taste some local dishes.
Sri Lankan Curry Bowl
If you are exotic food lover, this small but charming place will amaze you. It is located near the main square. Founded by two guys from Sri Lanka it became one of the most popular and highest-rated places for exotic food in Zagreb. In summer, you can sit outside, but in winter make a reservation as the restaurant is small and busy.
Magazinska Klet – Pri Staroj Smokvi
This is a place to go for a barbecue lover. They offer a variety of meat dishes in a nice and clean environment. Prices are reasonable and the service is great. It is very popular among locals who go there during lunch-break so make sure you avoid that time.
If you are visiting Zagreb in Summer, try to get there during INMusic Festival. This 3-day event takes place on Jarun lake and you can enjoy different concerts and see some world-famous artists performing. And the atmosphere is great! Happy crowds, hot summer nights and great music are definitely the best combination for fun.
In the past years, Zagreb in winter becomes a Christmas fairy tale. Imagine ice-skating in the city center, eating delicious food and listening different concerts every night. And Zagreb Advent is huge! Half of the city transforms at that time. You can visit the main streets and their attractions, but you can also explore less crowded but equally excellent smaller locations. This “festival” got numerous rewards for being the best of its kind in Europe.
Best Nightlife in Zagreb
This is one of the best clubs in town. It is a modern place, with indoor and outdoor area, great for both summer and winter parties. Famous DJ`s are playing the best music and you can drink some of the best cocktails in town. Dress up and enjoy!
Well, this one is completely the opposite. Smaller, cheaper and playing rock and punk music. It’s a symbol of local underground scene and if you are into that, make sure you visit this place. Here you can listen and support local bands who are trying to succeed in music business.
Best Day Trip Out of Zagreb
If you want to explore the area, there are tons of possibilities. One of the best places you can visit it Samobor City. It is a small town about 40 minutes drive from Zagreb. There is a regular bus line too. You can explore the whole city in less than 2 hours. Make sure you try the famous local cake “kremšnita”, trust me, you will get addicted. Samobor is surrounded by beautiful hills and nature where you can walk and relax. It has been one of the favorite places for locals to visit on their days off. Visit the near-by old fortress to see parts of the city past.
Something that not many travelers would know about Zagreb
The shortest street is called Novodvorska. It is located in Trescaronnjevka and 22 steps are enough to walk from one end to another. Two houses and one building surround the street, and they have house numbers 2,3 and 5. Many of the locals don’t know this either.