Best places to see in Zagreb

Zagreb is a cozy and interesting city that combines the best of Western, Eastern and Southern Europe. There is outstanding architecture, expressed in Baroque and Classicism, medieval heritage, a large number of gardens, parks and alleys. Also lots of entertainment, museums, good cafes and restaurants. Zagreb, surrounded by mountains, partly resembles Switzerland, partly – Prague, and it also very similar Belgrade, with which they share the same Sava River. What you need to see and where to go is in this post.

Main attractions

Zagreb Cathedral

Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary was founded in 1093. It was built on the site of an ancient church that was destroyed during the Mongol invasion. However, this cathedral was partially destroyed by the 1880 earthquake. During the restoration, it was decided to add elements in the neo-Gothic style, resulting in a mixture of Renaissance and Gothic.

The square where the cathedral is located is one of the centers of the Old Town, and you can start the walk around the city from here.

Tkalčićeva Street

Not far from the cathedral there is a busy Tkalčićeva Street. This is a small pedestrian street with many cafes and restaurants.

St. Mark’s Church

St. Mark’s Church is one of the oldest buildings in the city, built in the 13th century. The church is easily recognizable thanks to the multi-colored roof that became one of the Zargeb’s symbols. The colored tiles show the coat of arms of the city as well as the Triune Kingdom. Triune Kingdom included Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia and dates back to the period when it was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Lotrščak Tower

Once upon a time, Lotrščak Tower, built in the 13th century, protected the city. Here was the southern border of medieval Zagreb, and the southern gate with a tower is the little that has survived from those times. The tower has an observation deck overlooking the center. Now there is a gallery where art exhibitions are held, and a cannon that fires every day at exactly noon.

Ban Josip Jelačić Square

Zagreb’s main square was named after the 19th century Austrian commander. Architectural composition of houses in the Baroque, Classicism, Art Nouveau styles and the monument to Josip Jelačić. This is the busiest place in the city, the main streets depart from here, and there are cafes and shops around the square.

Church of St. Catherine

Not far from St. Mark’s Cathedral is the Church of St. Catherine, built in the 17th century. The simple and graceful architecture of the building gives an idea of the Baroque style in Croatia at that time.

Croatian National Theatre

Speaking about baroque and neo-baroque, the most expressive example of this style in Zagreb is the Croatian National Theater. The rich decor of the building immediately catches the eye, as does the scale of the entire building. The theater represents the revival of Baroque architecture and continues the traditions of the 17th century.

Croatian State Archives

Monumental building, which is located opposite the Botanical Garden on St. Mark’s Square.

A viewpoint in Upper Town

In the Upper Town, not far from the Museum of Broken Relationships and the Church of St. Catherine, there is an observation deck overlooking the central streets. This is a pleasant place with alleys and benches, so you can plan a little walk here.

Funicular Railway

The Upper and Lower towns are connected by a funicular that operates since the 19th century. The ascent takes less than a minute, which is why going up on your own can be faster than waiting for the funicular, since the movement interval is about ten minutes. However, the cable car system itself has become a famous sightseeing, and the carriages also offer panoramic views.

Botanical Garden

The small and cozy garden is perfect for walks and quiet relaxation. There are elements of an English and Japanese garden, a greenhouse with tropical plants and many other plants.

Park Bundek

Park Bundek is located on the other side of the Sava River in the New Zagreb. You should go there if you want a little rest in a quiet place in the company of swans and ducks.

Church of Saint Blaise

An unusual church built in an eclectic style in 1916. There is a combination of traditional Croatian architectural traditions with early modernist features.


A shopping arcade with a glass dome, similar to those in Milan and Budapest. You can come in to admire the atrium.


Zagreb architecture itself deserves special attention. Zagreb has a fairly large center, where you come across remarkable buildings: mansions, palaces, churches and just unique residential buildings. Often gloomy and unrestored facades create a special atmosphere in their own way, seeming more authentic than in well-kept cities.

Most of the preserved buildings appeared in the period pf the Austria-Hungary; when the classicism was popular. But a lot of Baroque and Gothic heritage has also been preserved. It’s also interesting to see defensive fortifications built to protect against the Ottoman invasion.

Socialist modernism

The socialist era left a big mark on all the countries of the former Yugoslavia, including Croatia. The heritage of social modernism and unusual architectural monuments of this style are encountered along the way from the center to Bundek Park. For example, along Miramarska Cesta street, Slavonska avenija and closer to the Sava embankment. Another area with large-scale modernist development is New Zagreb on the other side of the river, which somewhat resembles New Belgrade.

Read also: Belgrade architecture


Mimara Museum

Zagreb’s main art museum with an impressive collection of European art. The collection includes such artists as Bosch, Rubens, van Dyck, Velazquez, Renoir and many others.

Museum of broken relationships

The Museum of Broken Relationships and divorces is a relatively new place in Zagreb, but has already won awards for being the most creative museum. There are many exhibits here with the history of the relationships behind them. All stories are in only two languages: Croatian and English. At the entrance there is a shop with unusual products on the theme of breakups.

There are also several unique museums in the city. For example, the museum of hangovers, of the 80s, of illusions and modern art museum. Many tourists say that Zagreb Zoo is also worth a visit.

Places nearby

Maksimir Park

Maksimir Park is a bit far from the city center, but is worth a visit if you have a spare day. This is a large green park in the English style with historical pavilions and sculptures. Therefore, if you want to take a break from city attractions and appreciate Croatian gardening art, you should go to Maksimir. The Zagreb Zoo is also located here.

Mirogoj Cemetery

Mirogoj Cemetery is considered one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Europe. There are many outstanding sculptures and crypts here.

Flickr / Te lo juro por Madonna

Medvednica mountain

Medvednica mountain is a popular destination for nature lovers. There are caves, tunnels, hiking trails and archaeological artifacts.

Wiki / Commons