So, you have just a day in Zagreb and want to make it worth? No worries, I got you covered!
I have been to Zagreb so many times that I cannot count them, staying for a day a lot of times or staying for several nights. Below you can find an easy on foot route that will show you the best of the capital of Croatia! I added several bonus experiences if you have the time!
Note that my husband and I managed to do this route with all of the bonus experiences together with our baby girl IN ONE DAY in winter time, so you’ll be fine 😉
Start with the flea market on British Square
This place is not actually very popular with tourists, but all the locals are very familiar with it. The flea market at Britanski Trg or British Square is very authentic and offers really cool vintage stuff, antiques and lots of books.
The tricky part is that the flea market is here only half the week. It opens on Thursdays, Saturdays up to 2:00PM and Sundays. Be sure you check it out if you happen to be in the city one of these days!
Take a walk on the city’s oldest street Ilica
Ilica Street is very representative of the city Zagreb. It is a long shopping street that will lead you to the very center of the city.
You can explore Ilica on foot walking from Britanski Trg towards Ban Jelačić Square. Check out the local boutiques and enjoy the vibes of this area where you’ll see many locals passing by or just shopping.
Bonus experience: Trust your eyes at the Museum of Illusions
Get on the shortest funicular in the world
Costs 5 HRK or EUR 0.8 as of the winter of 2018 and is a fun way to go up to the so-called Upper town. Not to mention, kids would love it!
The trip lasts a minute, but the funicular cars are old school and very authentic. Alternatively, you could climb the wooden stairs to the top. It won’t get you tired, but since you’re doing a lot of walking, it is better to take the funicular.
Climb up the Lotrščak Tower and see Zagreb from above
There are about 100 steps up. The 360 view is stunning and will give you a much better idea of what is where in Zagreb. Also, you’ll want to take a thousand pictures on the tower’s tops – it’s just so beautiful!
If you are here around noon, be aware of an interesting sight as the Grič cannon at the top of the Lotrščak Tower is fired every day at midday.
According to the story, the cannon saved the city from the Turks as a cannon shot landed on the Pasha’s meal and he got scared of how skilled the Croatians were. Thus, he decided not to attack Zagreb and the canon is fired ever since.
Bonus experience: The Museum of Broken relationships
See Saint Mark’s Church
Saint Mark is one of the most interestingly decorated churches at this part of Europe. You’ll probably seen pictures of it by now and will recognize it from the distinctive art on the roof representing the country’s coat of arms and Zagreb’s coat of arms.
Finished in the 13th century and reconstructed a century later, Saint Mark is a treat to the eye. The impressive roof tiles date back to the late 19th century. The church is an absolute must-see in Zagreb. It is located at St. Mark’s Square, where you’ll also find the Croatian Government, Parliament and Constitutional Court’s buildings.
Take a moment to feel the spirit of Stone Gate
Very closely to St. Mark’s Church you’ll see another unique spiritual place with interesting history – Kamenita Vrata or Stone Gate. Originally dating back to the 13th century, this is a small archway with a gate where people installed thankful monuments on the walls.
Legend has it that the icon of Mary, which you can see here, survived the great fire of 1731 and was found unharmed after the fire.
Please be quiet when passing through as many locals come here to pray.
Bonus experience: Get lost in the tunnels of Zagreb
Have a drink on Tkalčićeva Street
After all the sightseeing, you’ll need to relax a bit and have a drink or some food. Tkalčićeva Street is a charming pedestrian street full of cafes, bars, fast food and restaurants. This is a place to have a coffee or a meal during the day and long drinks at night.
Colorful one-two-store buildings surround Tkalčićeva, adding a lot to the atmosphere here.
Consider going out here in the evening, if you have the time.
Buy some groceries at Dolac Market
The colorful Dolac market is a famous farmers’ market in the center of Zagreb. The lovely red umbrellas have become its trade mark.
Take a walk and buy some fresh local fruit, vegetables or meat. Even if you don’t need any food supplies, just enjoy the noise and the authenticity of the place.
Admire the Cathedral of Zagreb
It is hard to miss the cathedral of Zagreb, which has two 105-meter high towers at its front. The beautiful neo-Gothic cathedral with full name Zagreb Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was built in the middle of 13th century. It has been reconstructed several times over the years.
This cathedral is the absolute landmark of Zagreb. Be sure to get in and admire the place from insight, too.
Bonus experience: Chill for a while the old school way at Gradska Kavana
Cross Ban Jelačić Square
The main square in Zagreb serves as a central point and a place for events. There are plenty of cafes, food and shopping opportunities nearby. Locals often meet each other at this square and you’ll notice many people just standing and waiting for someone. Also, many trams stop here, so if you travel in the city it’s really easy to get here.
The place is named after the historic figure of Josip Jelačić. You’ll see his monument at the center of the square.
Relax at the cafeterias around the Flowers market
Well, if you are passing through the city you probably don’t need flowers, right? Don’t worry, there is much more to the place.
The actual and official name of the place is Petar Predanovic Square. In addition to admiring the pretty flowers and bouquets here, you can once again have a break and check out one of the many cafes, bars and restaurants in the region.
Locals love coming here and there are small details that you’ll just love. For instance, I was surprised to find the small wall monument of a dog from 1899 you see on the pic below. Pluto was a watchdog at the construction site of the building, but tragically died at the very place. The architect was really fond of Pluto, thus the dog is now forever remembered with this small monument.
Let me know if you need more info about Zagreb! Would love to help you with your time in this great city!