What to see in Zagreb – the best attractions

In the Croatian capital Zagreb, the Upper City and the Lower City are divided, and each of them has something to see, there is where to take a walk: there are a lot of galleries, museums, architectural monuments, cathedrals, parks. But all the most interesting sights of Zagreb can be seen in one day, because most of them are located close to each other.

Zagreb city, Croatia

Upper City

Upper City

In the Upper Town (Gornji Grad) is located most of the historical sights of the capital of Croatia. Gornji Grad is located on two hills – Kaptol and Hradec. Once there were separate settlements, but over time they merged, and between the hills a new street settled – Tkalchicheva.

Gornji Grad is a favorite place for walking not only tourists, but also residents of Zagreb. Beautiful cobblestone streets attract numerous cafes and bakeries – the latter offer delicious fresh bread and a variety of pastries. In the evening, Upper Grad is especially romantic: old gas lanterns that are lit by lanterns are still used to illuminate it.

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Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary
Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary

The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary in Zagreb is a tourist attraction throughout Croatia, because it is the largest Catholic church in the country. The cathedral is located on Kaptol Square 31, and thanks to two towers 105 m high it is clearly visible from anywhere in Zagreb.

The building is decorated in a neo-Gothic style, the windows are decorated with multi-colored stained-glass windows. Inside, everything is simple: a beautiful altar, a carved pulpit and many carved comfortable benches. Going inside you need to be mentally prepared for the fact that a transparent glass sarcophagus with the ashes of Blessed Aloysius Stepinac, who lived in Croatia during the Second World War, is placed on the altar.

Stained Glass in the Cathedral

Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary – acting. At the entrance there is a schedule, you can see in advance when the service is held and attend it. During the service, solemn sounds of the organ are heard, strong male singing sounds – just close your eyes and you can imagine that this is an opera. During the mass it is allowed to take pictures and shoot on a camcorder.

Inward access ceases at around 7 p.m. But if the entrance is already closed, and there are still people inside, then you can try to enter the side door on the left side of the building, where parishioners usually go.

Tkalchichev Street

The inhabitants of Zagreb simply call the street Tkalčićeva “Old Tkalcha”. A walk along it is included in the program of almost all tourist routes introducing the sights of Zagreb. There are always a lot of people here, very lively and noisy – not only in the season, but even in rainy autumn weather. Nevertheless, the townspeople managed to maintain a special, incomparable provincial atmosphere.

Street Tkalčićeva, Zagreb

This is where most of the restaurants, bars, cafes and souvenir shops located in Gornji Grad are concentrated. Such establishments are found everywhere, and they all occupy ancient restored authentic buildings, which are sights in themselves. As for the prices, they are different – from minimal to very high.

Monument to the Croatian writer Maria Juric
Monument to Maria Yurich

At the beginning of the street there is a monument to the Croatian writer Maria Juric, known under the pseudonym Zagorka. A little farther is another monument dedicated to one of the girls Zagorka wrote about, due to circumstances that ended up in a brothel. This sculpture was not accidental here, because in the 19th century there were many brothels on Tkalčićeva.

To the left of the monument there is a modest path leading to a narrow steep staircase – this is an ascent to the hill Hradec.

Church of St. Mark

St. Mark’s Church is a bright colorful landmark of the Croatian capital, located on the hill Hradec at Trg Sv. Marka 5.

Church of St. Mark

The southern portal of this temple is very interesting, where there are 15 wooden sculptures in separate niches – at the top is the Mother of God with Joseph and baby Jesus, at the bottom are 12 apostles.

Tiled roof of St. Mark's Church

But in Croatia and far beyond its borders, the church of St. Mark became famous for its unique tiled roof – so unusual that all the guests of Zagreb are in a hurry to see it. On the high and steep slope of the roof, tiles of different colors laid out 2 coats of arms: Zagreb and the Triune Kingdom of Croatia, Dalmatia and Slavonia.

And around the church there is a completely deserted stone square – no trees, no decorative objects. Probably, so that the look is not distracted from the colorful roof.

But there are many people here. Mostly tourists – single and organized groups – who are interested in seeing this unique attraction of Croatia.

Lothrschak Tower

It has already been noted that the Lotrščak tower is located in close proximity to the funicular station, at 9 Strossmayerovo šetalište.

Lothrschak Tower

This majestic square structure, which served to protect the southern entrance to Hradec, is not much of what has been preserved from the ancient fortress walls.

Now on the first floor of the building is a souvenir shop and exhibition gallery, where you can see the masterpieces of painting.

Wooden spiral staircase

But the main thing that attracts the Lothrschak tower is the observation deck, to which a wooden spiral staircase leads. To climb it, especially in hot weather, it will take some effort, but the view from above is worth it: you can take a bird’s eye view of the whole of Zagreb and take unique photos of the sights.

Climbing the stairs, you can see the cannon behind the glass partition. Every day at exactly noon, a deafening shot is heard from it, according to which the townspeople are used to checking their watches.

View from the tower Lothrschak
  • The entrance to the tower is open: from Monday to Friday from 11:00 to 21:00, on Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 to 21:00.
  • And you can see this magnificent building from the outside at any convenient time.
Strossmayer Alley
Strossmayer Alley

Starting immediately from the Lothrščak tower, the picturesque Strossmayer promenade (Strossmayerovo šetalište 16-99) stretches along the southern fortress wall of Hradec.

From this alley, partially resembling a balcony, mounted on the fortress wall, you can see beautiful and very spectacular views of the Lower City. In the evening there is quite crowded, a lot of young people gather.

This pedestrian alley, paved with paving stones, leads down to the central city square of Ban Jelacic and to the Lower City.

Ban Elachich Square

At the foot of the Kaptol and Hradec hills lies the main square of Zagreb, named after the commander Josip Jelasic and serving as a kind of border between the Upper Town and the Lower Town.

Ban Josip Jelacic Square

Trg bana Jelasica offers a magnificent view of the main city avenue, with many trams. Narrow shopping streets of Zagreb depart from the same square, including one of the most famous – Ilitsa. Various social events and various fairs are held here, and numerous cafes and restaurants are located in the nearest buildings.

By the way, in the house number 11 opened a tourist office. In addition to a detailed map of the city, you can take avenues with photos and descriptions of the sights of Zagreb.

Here, to be exact, on the nearest street of Tomich, there is a funicular station. With it, you can get to the Upper Town, directly to the tower Lothrschak. This line is the shortest in the world – only 66 m, travel time about 1 minute.

Funicular in Zagreb
  • The cable car is open from 6:30 to 22:00, departure every 10 minutes.
  • The cost of the ticket is 4 kuna.
Tunnel Grick

Before heading from Jelacic Square to the New Town, it is worth looking at the underground Grik tunnel, located in the very center of Zagreb, under the historic district of Hradec.

Tunnel Grick

From the central hall (about 100 m²) of the tunnel, 350 main corridors stretch for 350 m. One of them comes from the east side – in the courtyard on 19 Radicheva Street, and the other from the west – on Mesnichka Street. There are 4 more lateral branches that extend south to Jelachich Square – one of these exits is located on Tomicha street 5a, the second is on Ilitsa street.

Grik Tunnel Scheme

The tunnel was created during World War II, it was recently reconstructed and began to be used as a venue for cultural events. Periodically, various exhibitions with interactive elements are organized there, concerts are held.

  • This landmark of Zagreb is open daily from 9:00 to 21:00.
  • The entrance is free.

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Lower City

Lower City

Donji Grad, dominated by structures of the nineteenth century, was built up very thoughtfully. On the flat terrain in front of the hills of Hradec and Kaptol, a beautiful chain in the shape of the letter “U” is equipped with numerous parks and squares with fountains, sycamore alleys, sculptures. In Zagreb they are called the “horseshoe Lenuzzi” in honor of the architect who designed them.

The structures along these parks look like enclosed fortresses: their front facades look outward, and green courtyards are hidden behind them.

Croatian National Theater, Zagreb
Croatian National Theater

Among the numerous buildings, the spectacular Croatian National Theater ( exact address Trg Marshala Tita 15) stands out . The theater is decorated in neo-baroque style, and if you just look at it, it immediately becomes clear – this is the main theater of the country. In front of the main entrance is another attraction – the famous fountain “Source of Life”.

It is in this part of the Lower Castle that the majority of Zagreb museums are located: the Art Nouveau Gallery, the Mimar Art Museum, the Art Pavilion, the Museum of Decorative and Applied Arts, the Academy of Sciences and Arts, the archaeological and ethnographic museums. Their doors are open for anyone who wants to see interesting exhibits, get to know the history and culture of Croatia closer.

Archaeological Museum

The Archaeological Museum of Zagreb, located at Trg Nikole Šubića Zrinskog 19, contains objects that were found on the territory of modern Croatia. There are several exhibits related to the prehistoric, antique, medieval periods.

Archaeological Museum of Zagreb

There really is something to see:

Etruscan letters in which the mummy was wrapped
Etruscan letters
  • Etruscan letters printed on cotton ribbons in which the mummy was wrapped;
  • subjects of the Vucedol culture, including the famous pigeon;
  • items found during excavations of an ancient Roman village in North Dalmatia;
  • large-scale collection of numismatics.

The viewing starts from the 3rd floor, you can get there by elevator. The elevator is also a tourist attraction, because it is already more than 100 years old.

A 3D printer is installed in one of the halls of the museum, which prints a copy of the famous “Vucedol Dove”. And in the courtyard there is a gift shop selling copies of artifacts.

Cafe in the courtyard

In the courtyard, among the stone statues of the Roman era, visitors are welcomed by a cozy cafe.

  • You can visit the museum and see its exhibits at such times: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday – from 10:00 to 18:00, Thursday – from 10:00 to 20:00, Sunday – from 10:00 to 13:00.
  • Entrance fee 20 kunas.
Mirogoiskoe cemetery

Near the intersection of the Mirogoiskaya highway and Hermann Bolle Street there is the Mirogoj cemetery, address: Mirogoj Aleja Hermanna Bollea 27. You can get to it on foot – take about 30 minutes from the center, but it will be more convenient to go from Kaptol Square by buses No. 106 and 226 or by trams No. 8 and 14.

Entrance to the Mirogoy cemetery

All tourists are eager to visit this attraction – even those who have arrived in the Croatian capital for a short time and are considering what to see in Zagreb in 1 day. This is not surprising, because Mirogoj is recognized as the most beautiful cemetery in Europe.

The fortress wall of the Mirogoy cemetery

As conceived by the architect German Bolle, the Mirogoiskoe cemetery has the appearance of a fortress – calm and open to all who enter. At the main entrance on a wide circular base, surrounded by four stone towers, stands the majestic Peter and Paul Chapel. The dome of the chapel, painted in blue and green, repeats the shape of the dome of St. Peter’s in the Vatican. The attraction of Mirogoy is its main gate and arcade, located near the western wall. In principle, the entire cemetery is an open-air museum where you can see exhibits such as sculptures, tombs, crypts, mausoleums.

Graves in Mirogoisky cemetery

But it is also the burial place of many famous people. There are whole family tombs of prominent figures of Croatia. Emigrants who came to Croatia from the Russian Empire in the 20th century are also buried. Located at Mirogoy German military cemetery, there are monuments to the Yugoslav heroes. There are also monuments to the Croats who died in the War of Independence and in the First World War.

  • Visiting the Mirogoy cemetery from 6:00 to 20:00
  • The entrance is free.

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Park Maximir

A little far from the main tourist routes of Zagreb is the oldest park in southeastern Europe – Maximir. It is located in the eastern part of the city, from the center by tram you can drive in 10-15 minutes.

Maximir Park, Zagreb

The park is very large. First comes a more refined territory: there is a cafe, a playground, alpine slides, lakes, paths with asphalt surface. If you go a little deeper, a real forest begins, in which shady groves smoothly turn into glades illuminated by the bright sun. Nevertheless, convenient benches and urns were installed throughout the area, everything is very clean. It is nice to walk here, look around, feel the fusion with nature.

Lake in the park Maximir

The natural complex Maksimir is ideal for outdoor activities. Due to the different terrain with a height difference and many paths, runners and cyclists choose convenient routes.

Many people here walk with animals. By the way, in the territory of Maximir there is a zoo. Although there are not too many animals, they are all kept clean and it is a pleasure to look at them.

  • Maksimir is open to visitors daily from 9 :: 00 until sunset, the zoo is open until 16:00.
  • Entrance to the park is free.

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