It’s always a good time to visit the capital of Croatia, especially during Advent when the city is overrun by Christmas lights, decorations and traditional food stands. 24 hours are not merely enough to see all of it’s beauty, but we will try and give you a short city guide with the list of things you have to see before your departure.
If you are coming by plane, there is a shuttle bus which will take you to the Central Bus Station in the city centre. From there, you can either walk to your destination or use a public transport: there are 5 tram and many bus lines connected to the bus station which will take you to any part of the city (a single ticket is 10 kunas ~ 1,50 €).
09:00 – Start with Zagreb Funicular, as it is within walking distance of all the tram and bus stops. It runs since 1893 and for a price of only 4 kunas (0,60 €) it will take you to the Upper Town, a part of the town perched on the Medvednica mountain, from where you can see the historic district. Along with Kaptol, Upper Town is the oldest part of the city. It will give you an amazing view of the city museums and galleries. Also, the traffic there is limited and there is never too much people so you can relax exploring small museums, art galleries, nice bars, etc. However, do not miss to see the Croatian Parliament building, the Klovicevi Dvory gallery (the most popular art galley in Zagreb), the Lotrscak Tower, the Stone Gate…
11:00 – If you’re in for a treat, go to Tkalčićeva Street, where you will find many bars and restaurants with affordable prices. Still, it is better to visit the street in the evening, when all the lights are lit and the street looks very romantic.
12:00 – After resting a bit, go and see the favourite places among tourists in Zagreb, the Museum of Broken Relationships. It is literally what the name suggests and each item in the museum was donated by a real person together with a story behind it. A ticker per person costs 20 kunas, which is a bit under 3,00 €. The other museum which we recommend you to visit is the Museum of Illusions, opened in 2015. It’s a place for children and families dedicated to optical illusions, brain busters, puzzles and much more.
NOTE: If you happen to be in the city between May and September, don’t hesitate to see Grič, a night tour of the Upper Town based on historical events blended with urban legends and stories of popular Croatian writer, Marija Jurić Zagorka. The tour takes place every Friday and Saturday at 09:00 p.m.
14:00 – In a former Meštrović’s family house, there is the Meštrović Atelier, dedicated to Ivan Meštrović, one of the top sculptors of the 20th century. Apart from his works, you can find information on the family, photos, furniture, etc. However, the atelier lacks information in English, so it is recommended to either familiarize yourself with the facts prior to the visit or bring your own guide book.
15:00 – Go shopping at Dolac, the city’s biggest farmers’ market. You can buy traditional food, fresh fruit and vegetables and many other stuff. It is situated in the centre on two floors, behind the main square. The upper level is an open-air green market with souvenirs, and clothes, enclosed fish market, bars and fast food restaurants or marenda. The ground level is enclosed and it contains butcheries, bakeries and speciality food stores.
16:00 – Visit the Croatian Museum of Naive Art, apparently the first of its kind in the world. It displays works of Croatian naive artists such as Ivan Generalic, Mirko Virius and Franjo Mraz, the founders of the movement. The staff is very friendly and at your service if needed a tour.
17:00 – Now it’s time for Maksimir, the Zagreb’s oldest and biggest public park, where you can find a ZOO as well. Five artificial lakes, meadows and creeks are what makes this place the favourite one among the Croatians. Also, the other part of the park is an original forest.
18:00 – After relaxation, it is time to shock yourself a bit! Go to Tortureum – Museum of Torture, which displays a collection of torture machines and devices throughout the history. A ticket costs 40 kunas ~ 5,50 € per person. The museum tends to demonstrate how violence originated from the fear of unknown and unexplored over centuries and how even today we all are exposed to different kinds of torture.
19:30 – Visit the Zagreb Cathedral, close to the main Ban Jelačić Square (very beautiful in the evening and definitely worth seeing as well). The cathedral is the most impressive Gothic-style sacral building in this part of Europe. From the very beginning, the cathedral was dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
20:00 – If it’s December then it’s time for a Christmas market tour (last year Zagreb had the best market in Europe!). However, if the Christmas time hasn’t arrived yet, go and do some shopping in the Croatian capital, since the prices there are pretty low in comparison to other European cities. You can choose from Arena Centre, City Centre One West, Avenue Mall and many others. While doing so, stop in one of the restaurants nearby and try traditional Croatian food at reasonable prices.
22:00 – End your stay with a crazy night out! Zagreb is famous for its amazing clubs offering various kinds of music for all types of people. Dance your night away in H2O, Johann Franck, VIP Club, Tvornica Kulture, Taboo Club and many other. It is always a good call to ask a local for a recommendation.
If you care to visit some other Croatian cities, check out our connections Zagreb to Split, Zagreb to Rijeka, Zagreb to Zadar, Zagreb to Dubrovnik, Zagreb to Osijek, or if you are interested in some international routes see the following links: Zagreb to Budapest, Zagreb to Vienna, Zagreb to Ljubljana, Zagreb to Sarajevo…
There are numerous connections from Europe to Zagreb, you can look them up on GetByBus.com.