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Zagreb is not the most popular capital, but it still has plenty to offer.

15 Fun Things to Do in Zagreb: Croatia’s Capital City

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Croatia is becoming a super popular tourist destination, and is home to some of the most beautiful islands in Europe. However, most people skip the capital, and head right for the coast. Don't get us wrong- this is certainly our favorite part of the country! But did you know that there are also plenty of things to do in Zagreb, to make a visit worth it?


While it may not be the best city in Croatia, or the wildest capital in Europe, we loved our stay in Zagreb, and definitely think it is worth spending a night.


In this guide we're going to share everything you need to know about visiting Croatia's capital, from how to get there, to the best things to do in Zagreb. So without further ado, let's begin!

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Where is Zagreb, Croatia?

Unlike most popular destinations in Croatia, the capital is actually located inland, rather than on the coast. Zagreb is situated in the central north of the country, and is actually just a few hours from the neighboring country of Serbia.

where is Zagreb

Zagreb is located in the north center part of Croatia.


How to Get to Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb can visited in a number of ways, as it is pretty well connected to other cities throughout Europe. Here are the different options for traveling to Zagreb, Croatia.


Flying to Zagreb

Zagreb has plenty of flights that are both domestic and international. Within Croatia, the cities that fly to Zagreb include Split and Dubrovnik.


Other cities that also fly to Zagreb include Belgrade, Bratislava, Frankfurt, Istanbul, London, Memmingen, Munich, Paris, Skopje, Sarajevo, Vienna, and Zurich..


Driving to Zagreb

When we visited Zagreb, we actually decided to drive from Serbia. Zagreb is just a 4 1/2 hour drive from the most northern city, Subotica. Budapest is a 3 1/2 hour drive, and Ljubljana is just an hour and 45 minutes away. Banja Luka in Bosnia & Herzegovina is a 2 hour and 20 minute drive, Vienna is a 4 hour drive, and Bratislava is 4 1/2 hours away. Finally, Venice is another city that is just 4 hours away by car.


Within in Croatia, some of the other bigger cities to travel from are actually the same, if not further than those that are international! Split is 4 hours away, while the drive from Dubrovnik is a little over 6.


If you really want to explore the things to do in Zagreb, but don't find super cheap flights into the capital itself, you can always fly into one of the other cities nearby, rent a car, and do a little road trip like we did.


Other Ways to Get to Zagreb

If you're not a confident driver, and can't seem to find cheap flights, but are determined to get to Zagreb, there are still other ways. Many cities throughout Croatia, as well as capitals throughout Europe, have buses that go to Zagreb. Additionally, you can try Bla Bla Car, which is a great ride sharing app. It allows travelers to connect with drivers who are already doing the trip, so it is cheaper for everyone!


Here are a few bus routes that you can book in advance:

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Entry Requirements for Croatia

Traveling in Europe can be a bit confusing, as there are different requirements for every country, within the EU, as well as within the Schengen Zone. That's why we're here to clarify a few things.


Visa Requirements for Croatia

In many European countries, the "90/180" rule applies for those that are not European. This means that in a 180-day period, tourists can only stay in the Schengen Area for 90 days in total.


Some countries are in the EU, but are not part of the Schengen Zone, while some are in the Schengen Zone but are not part of the EU. Some are in both of them, while some are in neither. You can imagine that this can be super confusing when trying to calculate your travels! 


The good news is though, that although Croatia is part of the EU, they aren't actually part of the Schengen Zone. This means that you can freely travel here even if you've already expired your 90 days in the Schengen Zone (which is exactly what happened to us). Tourists are able to travel to Croatia visa free for a total of 90 days within a 180-day period, despite whatever other European countries they have visited prior.


Covid Entry Requirements for Croatia

While the entry requirements to enter and stay in Europe may get confusing, luckily when it comes to Covid, it is not! Croatia is now open to all travelers, with or without being vaccinated. There are also no longer any rules about wearing masks, and you won't find anyone really wearing them anymore.

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Local Adjustments

Whenever traveling to a new place, there are things that you may forget about. These could be different from where you are coming from, and are what we like to call "local adjustments:. Here are a few of them to have in mind while traveling to Croatia.


Language

The official language in Croatia is Croatian. Croatians really appreciate when you try to speak even a few Croatian phrases, so we definitely suggest learning some of the basics. That being said- there is no reason to stress, as almost everyone speaks English too.


Currency

The currency used in Croatia is the Kuna. Currently (December 2022) the exchange rate is 7.5 Kuna to every 1 USD or euro. The country is actually expected to change to the euro though by the beginning of 2023.


Credit cards are accepted in many places, so we won't need a ton of cash. We do however suggest carrying a bit on you for tips, as well as drinks if you are going out.


Outlets

Croatia uses the same plug types as the rest of Europe, which are types C & F. The standard voltage in Croatia is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz.


If you are from the US, you'll want to get an adapter with energy conversion so that you can properly connect your electronics.


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Water Potability

The tap water all over the country of Croatia is potable. Many restaurants will automatically bring bottled water when you ask for water, but it isn't necessary at all, It can also get quite expensive, so we always make sure to ask for tap water. It's pretty hit or miss, as some restaurants will gladly give it to you, while others won't be so happy about it.


We definitely suggest carrying a reusable water bottle, as there are some squares that have free fountains with drinking water to fill up at.


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Tipping Culture

The tipping culture in Croatia is typically 10% of the bill. If you are taking a tour, it is highly encouraged to leave a tip. Also, if you sign up for a free walking tour, it is assumed that you will leave something, so please support the hard working locals with at least 20-30 Kuna. Also, make sure to check your bill while eating out, because sometimes in nicer restaurants they will already include the service charge.

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Things to Do in Zagreb, Croatia

Now that you know the basics are getting there and around, let's get into the fun stuff! Being that this city isn't located on the water, it is much different than the other cities in Croatia. Here you won't be exploring ancient towns, nor hitting the beaches. However, Zagreb is a great place to check out some fun museums, and learn about the culture of the country. Here are some of the best things to do in Zagreb, Croatia.

things to do in Zagreb

Zagreb usually gets overlooked, but it has plenty of things to offer.

Take a Free Walking Tour

Free walking tours are definitely one of the best things to do in new cities, especially those that happen to be underrated. Walking tours give you a chance to connect with locals, and learn all the details about the city that you otherwise may not have learned. They are great because they let you have a new appreciation for the city, and maybe even get to see some hidden gems or get great recommendations.


We suggest speaking with your hostel/ hotel to get you set up with one, or you can also sign up for one online. Tours are free of charge, but don't forget to leave a tip for the guide!


walking tour, things to do in Zagreb
walking tour, things to do in Zagreb
walking tour, things to do in Zagreb

Free walking tours allow you to explore hidden gems throughout the city.

Stop by St. Mark's Church

If you have an image of Zagreb in your mind, then this church is probably exactly what you're thinking of. St Mark's Church is one of the oldest architectural monuments in the city, and is also iconic due to its beautiful tiled roof. Stopping by St Marks Church is definitely one of the top things to do in Zagreb for tourist attractions.

Zagreb, where to go in Croatia

St Marks Church is one of the most iconic spots in Croatia.

Check Out the Zagreb Cathedral

This Roman Catholic Church is the second tallest building in Zagreb, and can be seen and admired from many spots in the city. With its two large towers and gothic style, it's definitely one of the top sites in the city of Zagreb.

Zagreb Cathedral, things to do in Zagreb

The Zagreb Cathedral can be appreciated from many areas of the city.

Browse the Dolac Market

Located right in the center of Zagreb is a market that features fresh produce, flowers, and local products. We definitely suggest coming here to check out all of the flavors of Croatia, and to be immersed more so in the every day life of the locals. Make sure to bring some cash, as most stalls don't accept credit cards.


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Explore the Museum of Broken Relationships

This is one of the most unique museums we've ever been to, and it is definitely one of the best things to do in Zagreb, Croatia. The museum of Broken Relationships is a collection of items around the world that have come from couples that have broken up. The items have been donated to the museum, and each item has a story behind it, as well as a description to what happened to the couple who is no longer together. 


Not only is the museum super interesting, but they have a really funny gift shop, and a cute coffee shop to hang out at.

Museum of broken relationships, things to do in Zagreb

The Museum of Broken Relationships is one of the most unique things to do in Zagreb.

Check Out the Museum of Hangovers

This is another super unique and fun thing to experience while in Zagreb. The Museum of Hangovers tells hilarious stories of things people have done all around the world while drunk or hungover. If you're looking for a good laugh, then this is one of the best things to do in Zagreb.

Museum of Hangovers

The Museum of Hangovers has funny stories from those who were drunk or hungover.

Play Around at the Museum of Illusions

The Museum of Illusions has now become popular in quite a few big cities. We didn't get to go to the one in Zagreb, but we did get to see the one in Belgrade, which is said to be quite similar. This museum has a few different floors of different exhibitions that will play with your imagination, and also be fun for photo opportunities.


Taste Your Way Through the Chocolate Museum

If you're a chocolate lover- then this is definitely one of the best things to do in Zagreb for you. The Museum of Chocolate brings you on an interactive tour of the history of chocolate, and even includes tastings!


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Discover the Art Pavilion

Located just a few blocks from the center of Zagreb, the Art Pavilion of Zagreb has beautiful architecture, and a bright yellow hue. Surrounded by well manicured gardens and fountains, this is a great place to check out even if you aren't interested in art. Head inside and you can enjoy a large gallery of both solo and group exhibitions of all styles.


Art Pavilion, things to do in Zagreb
Art Pavilion, things to do in Zagreb
Art Pavilion, things to do in Zagreb

The Art Pavilion is a gallery with beautiful architecture.

Explore the Mimara Museum

Right around the corner from the Art Pavilion lies another beauty art museum. Mimara has been temporarily closed (September 2022), so if you'd like to visit just check beforehand to see if it has reopened.

Mimara, things to do in Zagreb

Mimara is one of the most popular museum in the city.

Roam Tkalciceva Street

If you're looking for where the action is, then come to this busy street. Full of restaurants, bars, and shops, this is the perfect place to add to your list of things to do in Zagreb. We suggest coming in the afternoon for a drink, or grabbing a bite to eat.

Main Street, things to do in Zagreb

Tkalciceva Street comes to life in the afternoons.

Visit Mirogoj Cemetery 

We normally wouldn't put a cemetery on a list of things to do, but this is certainly no ordinary cemetery. Mirogoj Cemetery is just stunning. With its teal domes and tall stone walls covered with greenery, you won't regret coming to appreciate the beauty here. More than just a place for buried corpses, Mirogoj Cemetery serves as an open art gallery, and one of the most noteworthy attractions in Zagreb.

Mirogoj Cemetery, things to do in Zagreb
Mirogoj Cemetery, things to do in Zagreb
Mirogoj Cemetery, things to do in Zagreb
Mirogoj Cemetery, things to do in Zagreb

Mirogoj is one of the most beautiful cemeteries.

Take in the Views From Zagreb 360 Observation Tower

Looking for some of the best views in the city of Zagreb? Make sure not to miss out on the 360 Observation, giving you stunning 360 views of Croatia's capital. The observation deck is on the 16th floor of a skyscraper, and is definitely one of the best things to do in Zagreb to enjoy its beauty. 


Note: The tower was temporarily closed when we visited this summer (2022), so when you visit make sure to check beforehand to see if they have reopened.


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Attend a Festival

If you're lucky enough to be able to visit Zagreb in the summer (late May through August), chances are you'll be able to check out one of the amazing festivals. There were actually three happening at the same time we we visited, and it was just the start of festival season.

festival, things to do in Zagreb
festival, things to do in Zagreb
festival, things to do in Zagreb

Zagreb is full of festivals in the summer months.

Some are more orientated towards food, while others are sponsored by beer or wine companies. They normally start each day in the afternoon, and go all night with food, drinks, and live music. We definitely think this was one of our favorite things to do in Zagreb, so make sure to ask which ones are taking place if you visit in the summer.


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Take a Day Trip to Plitvice Lakes

One of the best things to do in Croatia is to explore Plitvice Lakes. This group of stunning lakes and waterfalls make up an enormous park that you could spend hours upon hours enjoying. Being just two hours from Zagreb, this is the perfect day trip to take and enjoy the beautiful nature that this country has to offer.


Plitvice Lakes, things to do in Zagreb
Plitvice Lakes, things to do in Zagreb
Plitvice Lakes, things to do in Zagreb

Plitvice Lakes are one of the best places to see in Croatia.

Want to know all about it? We've written a full guide for everything you need to know for visiting! Simply click the link below to learn more.



Want to book a tour from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes? Here are a few great options to choose from:


Things to Do in Zagreb: Food & Drink

We only were able to spend 24 hours in Zagreb, so didn't have a ton of experience checking out the restaurant scene. However, we will share a place that we went and absolutely loved. Heritage is a tiny restaurant serving tasty fresh sandwiches and salads. Using only the freshest ingredients, we were truly impressed by the quality of the food, as well as the service here, and highly recommend it.


Another thing to add to your list if you're a foodie is truffle. Croatia is well known for their truffle production, and many restaurants incorporate it into their dishes. Make sure to add tasting this delicacy to your list of things to do in Zagreb!

Heritage, restaurants in Zagreb

Heritage has insanely good food with super fresh ingredients.


Moving Around Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb is a pretty well connected city, and also a very walkable one. The main things to do in Zagreb are mostly very close to one another, therefore you won't need to take transportation that often as a tourist.


If you need to get from one end of the city to the other, then there are plenty of options. Zagreb has a network of 19 tram lines, as well as 117 buses. There are also taxis, as well as Ubers, so you won't have an issue, even if you are heading to the outskirts.

tram in Zagreb
tram in Zagreb

Zagreb has plenty of trams and buses to get around the city.


Where to Stay in Zagreb

If you want to easily access the top things to do in Zagreb, then we highly suggest staying somewhere in the Old Town. If you'd like to know exactly where that is, then make sure to check out the map below, with all of the different accommodation options in the area.

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Is Zagreb, Croatia Safe?

Out of the 93 countries I have visited, Croatia makes it to the top of my list when it comes to safety. There is very low crime rate here, and locals will even tell you how confident they feel. It is even common to to see people keeping their windows down or their doors unlocked. If you're a solo traveler or a nervous one, then Croatia is definitely a great country to enjoy yourself while feeling safe.

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Other Things to Know About Visiting Zagreb, Croatia

Now that you know the best things to do in Zagreb, as well as the basics, here are a few other things to keep in mind during your visit.


The Best Time to Visit Zagreb, Croatia

We happened to visit Zagreb in early June, and found it to be the absolute best time to visit. The weather was just perfect, before being overbearingly hot in the summer months. Late May is also when all of the different festivals start, so we suggest getting there around the end of May or early June to be able to enjoy all of the great things to do in Zagreb at this time.


Another great time to visit Zagreb is in December, because they have some fun Christmas markets! There are plenty of things to do in Zagreb related to the holiday season, making it a particularly magical time to visit.


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Weather & Packing for a Trip to Zagreb, Croatia

Croatia is one of the countries in Europe with the most sunshine. With over 300 days of sunshine a year, you can count on have better weather here than some other countries that are north of Croatia. That being said, this country does have four seasons, so you can enjoy all different types of weather depending on when you decide to visit.


Packing for a trip to Zagreb will definitely depend on exactly when you plan on visiting. We suggest bringing comfortable shoes to explore the city with, and if you decide on doing a day trip to Plitvice Lakes, then you'll want to bring layers, as it gets much colder in that area of the country.

Zagreb

So are you ready to explore all of the fun things to do in Zagreb and around it? If you'd like to just hit the highlights, you can easily come here for a day trip from Zadar or another nearby city. However, we definitely suggest staying for at least one night to fully immerse yourself in the different cultural things to do in Zagreb.


Are you planning on visiting other parts of Croatia? We have full guides for Plitvice Lakes, Dubrovnik, Hvar, Brac, and even more coming up!


Want to book your trip but don't know where to start? Or are you looking to find a cheaper way to plan your getaway? We can help! We at Scratch Your Mapa are dedicated to helping you create the most epic trip, and making you save money along the way. Just take a look as some of our  travel planning packages.


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