Unique Things to Do in Zagreb

General information with links to attractions, maps and walking route for Zagreb Croatia

Zagreb, the stunning capital city of Croatia with a population of about 1 million, is a city interspersed with modern and 18th and 19th century Austro-Hungarian architecture

Info about Zagreb Croatia

Zagreb City general information, very helpful!

Upper Town (Old Town) Zagreb Croatia

In the middle ages, Zagreb’s upper town was made up of two separate feuding hilltop settlements; Gradec on the western slope and Kaptol on the eastern slope. Gradec was a free town where tradesmen and artisans lived. Four Stone Gates as well as Medveščak creek with its mills, separated the settlements. The creek was covered in 1898 and today it runs underneath the present day street of Tkalčićeva. Kamenita vrata was the eastern entrance and is called the Stone Gate. The Stone Gate is the only gate preserved from the middle ages although it was burned down in the 18th century with only the painting of the Virgin Mary surviving the fire. Visiting the Stone Gate and lighting a candle is one of the things to do in Zagreb.

The Gate was rebuilt and became a chapel that houses the painting of the Virgin Mary. The Stone Gate Museum preserves the historical significance of the gate in Upper Town.  Eventually the two feuding hilltop communities united in the 17th century to form the northern section of historic Zagreb with the main trading center in the lower town at Ban Josip Jelačić square, Today the Dolac market is located just behind Ban Josip Jelačić square on the way to Upper Town. Upper Town Zagreb (Old Town) is more historic with attractions such as the Zagreb Cathedral of Kaptol, the seat of the Bishop

Lower Town Zagreb

Lower town includes the pedestrian friendly Tkalčićeva street with cheerful outdoor cafes and bars. One of the things to do in while visiting Zagreb is to spend some time exploring this street. The centerpiece is Ban Josip Jelačić main square. It is characterized by art galleries and zany museums as well as businesses and spacious parks. Zagreb is bisected by the gently flowing Sava River; on one side of which lies the more modern “New Zagreb” that was developed after the second world war. The other side is the upper and lower town connected by the Funicular (a short cable car). At a cost of €1, the shortest funicular in the world will take you in 64 seconds between Upper and Lower town. Those people who like exercise can climb the stairs on the side of the medieval hill which is now called Radićeva ul. (street)

Zagreb Lower Town
Zagreb Lower Town, Arial View

6 Unique things to explore while in Zabreb:

1. Saturday Morning Ritual

Zagreb’s vibrant coffee culture peaks every Saturday when Zagreb’s cafes in the city center are filled with locals from morning to early afternoon. Following an everlasting tradition, they dress up and head downtown to meet friends to catch up on news and walk through the city center.  It’s a social phenomenon known as špica that turns the streets around Ban Jelačić Square into a pedestrian promenade between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm every Saturday morning

2. Antique Fair

The Antique Fair is held every Sunday on British Square. British Square is about 1 km south of the main Ban Jelacic Square, along the tram line. Well worth a visit, it is a reflection of Croatian Culture with stall holders trading porcelain, jewelry, glass and crystal, artwork, vinyl records, ancient radios, furniture, old cameras and various mechanical parts. It is a vibrant, eclectic and fun place to spend a few hours exploring Zagreb’s past. You may even find a unique souvenir!

3. Changing of the Guard

During the Thirty Year War, the Croatian Light Cavalry joined the ranks of the French Army and distinguished themselves not only in battle but also in their stylish uniforms which included the Cravat. Their service was recognized by the founding of the Croatian Regiment of Royal Cravates within the French Army. The Changing of the Guard Ceremony gives us a view of how the traditional soldiers were dressed and armed

The approximately two-hour march begins after the Gric Canon fires at Lotrščak Tower in Upper Town Zagreb. Ceremonies begin with the “Preparation of the Guards and Arms inspection”. The guards march through Zagreb’s upper town districts of Gradec and Kaptol as well as the Ban Jelalic Square in Old Town Zagreb. You will see the 12 soldier squad in their colorful uniforms, accompanied by trumpeters, flag bearers and drummers on Tkalčićeva, Krvavi Most, Radićeva, the Stone Gate and the Dolac Market between 12 and 2:20pm every weekend. At the end of the 2 hour march and ceremony soldiers are assigned to guard St. Marks Square, Ban Josip Jelačić Square, and the statue of Our Lady at Zagreb Cathedral

4. Untold secrets of Grič

One of the more unique things to do in Zagreb is to explore the Grič tunnels used during the war. The Secrets of Grič is a theatrical journey showing the history and legends through the eyes of Marija Jurić Zagorka, Croatians most famous writer. The event takes place on Saturday evenings. It is based on Marija’s fictitious characters and enacted by the tour guides and other costumed actors on the dark streets of the city. It is a fun, interactive and an informative way to spend the evening. Enjoy!

5. Explore the Gric Tunnels

One of the interesting things to do in Zagreb walk to Upper Town (Old Town) Zagreb and Lower Town Zagreb using the the Gric Tunnels and the PDF google map and guide

6. Attend Mass at St Marks Church in Upper Town Zagreb

The church is open to all denominations, it is not open for touring however you can attend go inside to attend mass. Mass times are Monday – Friday at 6pm, Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 10:30am and also at 6pm

Delightful Summer Events, Entertaining things to do in Zagreb

1. Summer at the Strossmayer (May to September)

Uplifting and entertaining programs with shows for the kids, and adults. Events include music concerts, art displays, retro open cinema, prize contests, painters and wine fests. The program starts midday near the Lotršćak Tower at the Strossmayer Promenade and runs into the evening

2. Summer Cinema at Gradec

This free evening event of movie screenings, takes place in the medieval Gradec, on a small platform next to St Catherine’s Square in Zagreb. It is a very popular event, attracting more than 100,000 visitors in the past years, so you will need to come early to get your seat as it fills up quickly

3. List of Current Events

The Zabreb Tourist Board has a list of current events and activities happing in the city. Visit their website or walk to one of their locations for a complete list of things to do in Zagreb during the time you are visiting

4. Visit Jarun Lake, the largest entertainment area in Zagreb

Jarun Lake is located south of the city center and a popular destination to spend the day. Formerly a swamp, it was turned into a man made lake in 1987. Spending time at Jarun Lake is a favorite thing to do . Zagreb’s locals spend the day swimming, sun bathing, rowing, or visiting on of the many lively bars. To get to Jarun Lake, you can take the #17 Tram from Jelačić Square

Self Guided Walking Routes

  • Zagreb Upper Town, Old Zagreb. Visit the sites of Upper Town using this walking tour map and attractions guide. The tour will take you from 2 hours to 6 hours depending on how much time you want to spend at the attractions and whether you stop for a snack or a meal along the way
  • Zagreb Lenuci Horseshoe. The Lenuci Horseshoe is a U-Shaped configuration in Lower Town comprising of 6 squares and the Zagreb botanical gardens. A huge underground shopping mall is found under one of the squares. This self guided tour will take you about 3 hours, however the area has open air cafes and the shopping mall which could extend your tour
  • Zagreb Lower Town, City Center. A Self guided walking tour of the attractions downtown including the Gric tunnels. Follow the tour to see how the locals use the underground tunnels built during the war as shortcuts to get around central Zagreb. The tour should take you about 2 hours if you don’t make any stops

Free Wifi Zone in Zagreb Croatia

While enjoying their Saturday morning coffee ritual and dressed in the latest fashion, Zagreb locals can access the internet and check emails using the free Wi-Fi system available in the city center, and in the big shopping malls. There are plans to expand this free Wi-Fi network to other areas including the Zagreb Zoo, Jarun, Bundek Lake, and other locations across the city.  

One of the most valuable thing to do in Zagreb is to access Wifi when you are exploring the city. We brought an old smartphone to Croatia and bought a SIM card for it. We then used this to access the internet in Croatia and found that it was very helpful as a tourist guide and route map. SIM cards are fairly inexpensive and can be topped up. You will need to bring your passport when you go to one one the local providers to purchase a SIM card. I purchased mine at Hrvatski Telecom in Cvjetni Trg

  • Hrvatski Telecom (www.hrvatskitelekom.hr/visiting-croatia); 
    Tele 2 (www.tele2.hr/welcome-to-croatia); and
    Vipnet (www.vipnet.hr/tourist-offer/en)

Zagreb Airport

Zagreb Airport, is locally referred to as  Franjo Tuđman Airport (ZAG =IATA airport code for Zagreb International Airport). The airport is located about 15km from the city center and has all the facilities of a modern airport, such as restaurants, banks, ATM’s, cafes, bars, postal outlets and car rental agencies. Located on the upper level, there is an area with cots available 24/7 if you need to sleep at the airport. Both limited free wifi and paid internet access is available. If you have a long layover, you should take the bus transport into town and follow one of the self guided walking routes suggested above

Airport Transportation

Car Rental

Car rental agencies are located at the airport but it is advisable to book before you arrive as it gets busy and you may be able to not get a car

Airport Shuttle Bus

Pleso prijevoz which operates in cooperation with Croatian airlines, tel +385-1-6331-982 , is an inexpensive option from the airport to the main bus station in central Zagreb. Ticket prices, bookings are available online. Buses leave every half an hour outside the airport terminal. Look for “Croatia Airlines” and “Eurolines” banners. The journey is about 30-40 min one way and costs 30 Kunas (£3.50/€4/$5); tickets can be purchased from the bus driver but you have to have exact change ready. For long layovers, purchase a 40kn same day round trip

Public Bus – ZET

When you exit the terminal building and walk straight towards the main road, you will notice the bus stop across the street and on your left. To make sure you are going in the right direction to Zagreb, you should be facing the airport main building when you cross the road to the bus stop. The 290 line operates in 25-30 min intervals and you can find the schedule HERE. Half hour tickets costs about 4Kn and you can buy them on the bus. If your journey takes more than ½ hour buy another ½ hour ticket but you will need to have exact change


You can take also a taxi from the Zagreb airport to the city Centre for about 200 Kunas (about £22/€27/$34) in 2018. They wait outside the baggage claim area of the terminal building

There are taxis also readily available at the Pleso international airport and may charge additional for luggage. In Zagreb, taxis are obliged to have their taxi-meter on and you won’t fare well if you try to bargain. Pick a registered taxi with a yellow sign on top of the car and ensure it’s a metered taxi.  Make sure you understand the pricing BEFORE getting into the taxi. You want to confirm total cost including luggage (not per person or luggage extra)

There are three taxi companies in Zagreb:

Uber in Zagreb

  • Uber is available in Zagreb (and other Croatian cities) via the Uber app

Zagreb Croatia City Transportation

Video has both trams and taxi information


Zagreb has an extensive and efficient public transport system comprising of trams, buses and trains called ZET. Many of them stop either at Trg bana Jelacica (the main square) or at the main train station

Schedules and stops for trams, buses, funicular and special tourists services at http://www.zet.hr/en. Prices for tickets at http://www.zet.hr/tickets-and-fares/fares/605 available online

Tickets can be purchased from an authorized ZET vendor including Tisaks. Tisaks are stands that sell newspapers, phone cards, candies, etc and are often found at bus, train or ferry stations. They are usually closed Sundays

Tickets need to be validated and should be scanned or stamped once you board and transfers are valid in the same direction

To promote Zagreb’s Christmas Markets, public transport is free during weekends and holidays from December 1- January 7 This includes the funicular but not the trains

Tourist Buses in Zagreb

There are two tourist bus routes in Zagreb, the red route and the green route. The buses which operate several times a day are open air buses and operate a hop on/hop off service. The red route covers the city center while the green route is much longer and includes places like Maksimir Park and Lake Bundek

The Zagreb Funicular

For those not wanting to walk or take the stairs between Upper and Lower Town, the funicular is a fun way to go. Operating since 1890, the shortest cable car in the world transports people from lower town to upper town. The lower station is at Tomićeva Street and the upper station is at Lotršćak Tower


  • Lower Town has a flat terrain with a well-developed bicycle lane network. Hourly bike rentals are available
  • Zagreb is ranked in the top 6th most bike friendly European capitals according to Euronews. It has over 500 bicycle parking lots and 300km of bike paths
  • Bike rental agencies are generally helpful and will assist with bike routes and helmets which can be rented by the hour


Tourist Train: There is a vehicle that looks like a train and operates a small route in the city center. The route stars and ends at the main square, Ban Jelacic, and runs every ½ hour between 9:30 and 7:30pm

Glavni kolodvor, is the Zagreb main railway station. The bus system is much better developed than the rail system, connecting the majority of towns and cities unlike the rail system.  Bookings can be made at https://prodaja.hzpp.hr/en/Ticket (hint: leave the option “Via” blank). The names of the station can be found under the menu item “Stations”

Tourist Information Centers in Zagreb Croatia

Airport Transfers to Zagreb Old Town

Croatia Travel Guides

  • Dubrovnik
    • Dubrovnik Game of Thrones and Old Town Self Guided Tour – Follow the Map and Guide to visit the film locations for Game of Thrones, beaches and churches. The self guided tour will take you a full day if you also visit the beaches. Use the map and attractions guide to visit the attractions of Old Town Dubrovnik and the locations of the Games of Thrones Scenes. The map has picture of the sites and how they looked for the film scenes.  The walking tour will take you ½ a day. If you visit Lokrum island and spend time at the beach/monastery/fort on the island, this will take you another ½ day to full day. Lokrum Island is the location of the City of Qarth in GoT and is a 10 min water taxi ride from the Dubrovnik Port
    • Dubrovnik Day Trips. Spend a day at each of the villages of Ston and Cavtat a short distance from Dubrovnik. Cavtat is a charming village that was invaded by the Slavs. The inhabitants fled and were the original settlers of Dubrovnik. Visit the historical beaches and spend time on the beach or hike the Ronald Brown Pathway.  Ston is a small village on a hill surrounded by a 7 km wall that is second in size to the Great Wall of China. It is famous for its defensive walls, its salt “mines” and its oyster bays. The oysters from Ston are well renowned
  • Zagreb
    • Upper Town, Old Town Zagreb – 15 must see attractions of Old Town Zagreb. Walk the attractions of Upper Town Zagreb, the self-guided walking tour will take you to the various attractions in ½ a day. You may want to explore some of these attractions in greater depth such as the Museum of Broken Relationships or climb the Lotrščak Tower. In that case the self guided tour will take more than half a day
    • Zagreb Lower Town, Lenuci Horseshoe – Visit the 7 Squares and Botanical gardens in the shape of a horseshoe, including the under ground 31,000 sq meter shopping mall. A ½ day tour of the U-shaped system of 7 parks and Zagreb botanical gardens. The Lenuci horseshoe in Lower Town Zagreb is a short walking distance from Zagreb’s main Ban Jelačić Square and facing the main train station Glavni Kolodvor. The Square include pavilions, theater, museums, state archives and an underground mall amongst its many historical buildings dotted throughout the horseshoe
    • Walking tour Zagreb Lower town and Grič Tunnels – A 2 hour tour of the tunnels under Zagreb old town; they were built as shelter during the war and are now used by the locals to cross Old Town or to go between upper town and lower town. Not only are they a short cut, they are cool in the summer and a welcome relief from the searing sun. Explore the old world war tunnels and visit the sights of lower town
    • Unique and Fun things to do in Zagreb – Explore activities and places to visit such as Jarun Lake, the Antiques Fair or discover current events in Zagreb
  • Split
    • Old Town Split and Marjan Hill – Explore the Old Town Square, then head over to Marjan Hill. This self guided tour can take a whole day as the walking portion of the tour will guide you to attractions in the Old Town and then on to Marjan Hill. This part of the tour will take ½ a day. The tour will end at the beach where you can spend the rest of the day, take the local bus back or walk along the promenade back to Old Town
    • Split, Salona ancient Roman Ruins – On the outskirts of Split, don’t miss the roman ruins of Salona, the birthplace of Emperor Diocletian. Step outside of the Old Town of Split and visit the nearby city of Solin (which is the ancient city of Salona, Diocletian’s birthplace). Then continue onto the town of Trogir. This self guided tour has instructions for local buses to take you on a route for a full day trip from Split to Salona (stop in Salona, then continue onto Trojir. Then catch the local bus back to Split
    • Trogir, UNESCO World Heritage Site – This attraction is often overlooked. It is a charming, authentic village, a heritage city where the Old Town is on an Island. It is an easy bus ride from Split to Trogir, with a stopover in Salona (Solin)
    • Split, Diocletian’s Palace – Not to be missed, the10 must see attractions in the palace to stop and take pictures. The Palace tour is a ½ day self-guided tour through the palace that will end at the market which you can explore
  • Zadar
    • Zadar Western Half – The old town is located on an island; explore the attractions on the westerns side of the island in this  ½ day self guided walking tour.  Attractions include popular attractions such as the Sea Organ, Greetings to the Sun and the Roman Forum / Ruins
    • Zadar Eastern Half – Take a ½ day to visit the churches, parks and other attractions on the eastern side of Zadar Island. Visit the fish markets and green markets for fresh food and explore the cobblestone alleyways for a touch of ambiance and potential souvenir shopping
    • Zadar islands – The Zadar Archipelago has around a 100 islands off its coast, many of them uninhabited. Visit all or any of the 9 popular islands in this map and use the attractions guide to the islands. You can rent a boat rent a boat with or without a captain, get a water taxi, take the ferry/ to visit the islands and swim in the Adriatic or anchor at hidden beach/cove
  • Island Visit
  • Croatia Islands – Rent or hire a boat to visit the 9 popular islands off the mainland. Visit 1 or 2 or all 9 islands for a fabulous day out to sea
  • Hvar Island
    • Hvar old town attractions and Španjola fortress (Fortica) – Use the self guided tour map and attractions to visit the popular sites in Hvar Old Town. The tour will take ½ a day to the major attractions in Hvar Town, including climbing to the Spanjola fortress that has been protecting Hvar for hundreds of years. However it could be longer if you want to spend time visiting the museums or spending an afternoon enjoying the magnificent views from the Fortress
    • Hvar Island driving tour – Take the local bus, rent a car / scooter for the day to visit the numerous attractions on the island.  This can take two days as there is a lot to see and do. It includes: wine tasting, visiting a cave monastery high on the hills, quaint fishing villages, popular beaches, hidden coves and harbours A great tour that will take you across the island
    • Hvar Islands and Lavendar Fields Tour – You can rent a boat (with or without a captain) and visit the islands off Hvar Island. The Pakleni Islands are an archipelago of 20 islands off the coat of Hvar. They are known for beautiful beaches, charming village towns and secluded coves.  You can take the bus to visit the abandoned villages of Velo Grabjle and Malo Grabjle,. It is a short bus ride or scooter/car trip from Hvar Town. Explore the fields of lavender and Olive Grove farms
  • Getting around Croatia – Information on Croatian buses and ferries