Last Updated on March 30, 2020
Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, is the largest city in the country and has a population of over 820,000 people. But it is not just those who call the city home that have a love for Zagreb, with the city being an extremely popular tourist location with millions visiting every year.
Zagreb sits in the North West of the country and has a prime location on the Sava river, which is always a plus point for any city since the water is a real attraction to visitors and local alike. The city has a strong cultural history in a variety of areas, most notably in the arts such as music and theater as well as having a long history of painting and sculptors.
The city dates back many years and finds its roots back in the Roman times. Although it is worth noting that much of the architecture in the city dates from the 18th and 19th centuries and this is something for which the city is famed. Another talking point when it comes to Zagreb is it’s strong industrial background, making it a thriving hub for business to this day.
If you are considering taking a trip to this stunning European city, you may be wondering what sites of notability can be found here. As with many European cities, many of the tourist locations have a historical feel. In this article, we are going to take a look at some of the most interesting and exciting things to see and do whilst in Zagreb.
1. Museum of Broken Relationships
If you want to see a museum but you don’t want a traditional type then the museum of broken relationships could be just the ticket. The museum is based around relationships which have failed and features an unusual collection of items which have been left behind after the relationship breakdown.
The exhibition began as a travelling one before becoming so popular that it finally settled in one spot. As strange as the exhibit may be, the museum has in fact, won awards, putting it firmly on our list as one of the most intriguing things to do in this city.
2. Zagreb Cathedral
No city break would be complete without visiting the cathedral. Zagreb’s offering comes in the form of a 12th century building which is in a neo-gothic style. The cathedral is actually the tallest building in the country and the spires are a landmark of the city. The church is a roman catholic establishment and is the seat of the Archbishop of Croatia.
3. Ban Jelacic Square
The main square in the city of Zagreb, Ban Jelacic is a social hub for the locals and many tourists flock here in their thousands too. It is little wonder since the square features some beautiful 19th century architecture which line the main plaza and is often host to a variety of performances and events.
Despite the array of 19th century buildings here, the square in fact dates back to the 17th century.
4. Croatian Museum of Naive Art
For art lovers the museum of naive art is certainly something to experience. Featuring an impressive collection of art works from naive artists from throughout the twentieth century, the museum is home to over 1900 pieces including sculptures, paintings and drawings. On occasion the museum plays host to temporary exhibitions too.
If you are looking for something a little more action packed on your visit to Zagreb, why not spend a day or two at Sljeme which is a ski resort to be reckoned with. Not only can you take part in a spot of skiing but there is also the opportunity to climb and take part in some trail running. This mountain is one of the only professional ski slopes in the whole of Europe.
6. Zoo Zagreb
This seven hectare zoo is part of the European endangered species program, putting it at the pinnacle of the care on conservation of wildlife in Croatia. There is a lot for visitors to do whilst here including viewing one of the many public feedings or adopting an animal. The zoo is one of only three in the whole country.
7. Muzej Iluzija
Translating to the museum of illusions, this is a fantastic afternoon out for those who are travelling with children since the attraction is fully interactive and will boggle the mind for hours. If you are looking for something to do that is unique and memorable then this is the one.
8. Gric Tunnel
The Gric tunnel sits below the neighborhood of Gric, hence where it gets it’s name and is a 350 foot long tunnel in which there is a mysterious hidden world just waiting to be discovered.
Many visitors to the city get much enjoyment from exploring the tunnel which was once used as a bomb shelter during the second world war, making it not only interesting but also part of the history of this city. If you visit at Christmas, you will experience the tunnel fully decorated and lit up which is a site that has to be seen to be believed.
9. Nature Park Medvednica
Spending time in the city can be an exhausting venture and so sometimes it is important to find a relaxing space to take a few deep breaths and regain your thoughts.
The best place to do this in Zagreb is at the nature park Medvednica where visitors can take advantage of the beautiful woodland here and take a quiet walk along one of the many trails. Reconnecting with nature is easy here and the park boasts some amazing views back over the city.
Bundek is a natural lake which is extremely popular with swimmers. The Croatian summer time is notoriously beautiful and so if you are visiting during those months a trip here is a must!
The lake was renovated in 2005 since at the time it was nothing more than a wasteland but today is one of the most impressive sites in the city. It is a hot spot for tourists and often gets quite busy. The lake features a pebble beach for relaxing on after you have taken a dip.
11. Dubravkin Put
Whilst in Zagreb, you cannot ignore this restaurant, one of the most highly rated in the city, Dubravkin put offers a sleek, modern dining room with a laid back atmosphere.
The food here is second to none and the great thing is that the menu is constantly changing so that if you are regular to the city, you will always get something new. At the start of each season, the dinner menu changes, with the lunch menu being mixed up once a fortnight. The Mediterranean cuisine goes great with the extensive in house wine menu.
An amazing natural wonder, Verternica is a huge cave, the 6th largest in the entire country if you wanted to be exact and offers visitors the chance to explore and get up close and personal with the bats that call the cave home. At the nearby mountain lodge there are a variety of workshops that you can take part in.
13. Aquae Vivae Water Park
For those who have children who need entertaining, why not try this impressive water park. The complex features six pools, one of which is of the outdoor variety as well as a whole host of other water based activities.
There are various water entertainments here as well as saunas and a wellbeing center. Once you have finished in the water there is a great restaurant on site to quell your appetite. The water park opened in 2015 and is extremely well looked after.
14. Art Park
The art park is completely unique and interesting. The abandoned park was completely disused and unloved until it was taken over and renovated.
It is now home to a glorious array of street art from a variety of artists and the green space makes for the perfect backdrop to appreciate the works. Located in the city center, the park is ideal for fitting into an afternoon of exploring.
15. Ice Park
If you are travelling to Zagreb in November or December, one of the most loved attractions by the locals is the advent ice park which comes to town for the festive season. Put on those ice skates and make the most of the beautifully presented temporary rink and then enjoy a hot chocolate in one of the neighboring cafes.
Zagreb is a truly diverse city with historical attractions alongside areas of stunning nature, the city truly does have something for everyone. Whether you are interested in the city’s inspiring architecture or want to do something a little more Adrenalin based, you are sure to find something in this amazing European city.
One of the most notable things about Zagreb is the sheer amount of unusual and unique attractions such as the museum of broken relationships and the Gric tunnel, for those who are looking for a city that has something new to offer, Zagreb is a great location.