What to see in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia

One of the most surprising Croatian cities, increasingly visited by tourists, is Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. Away from the spectacular beauty of cities like Dubrovnik, Zadar or Rovinj, Zagreb has a more stately charm, more Central European style. Situated along the Sava River and surrounded by the southern slopes of Medvednica Mountain, Zagreb has several historical sites that you shouldn't miss. Find out what to see in Zagreb in the list below.

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What to see in Zagreb

St. Mark's Church

What to see in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia
Church of San Marco -

The church of San Marco (Crkva sv. Marka), located in historic quarter of Gradec, is perhaps the most picturesque and photogenic building in Zagreb. It was built in the XNUMXth century in the Romanesque style and later reformed in the late Gothic style.

Its most important part is the portal of the south facade, with 15 Gothic statues, but what attracts the eye are the two huge coats of arms which occupy the entire roof; that of Zagreb and that of the kingdoms of Croatia.

A St. Mark's Square several important buildings surround the church, such as the seat of the Croatian government, the Croatian parliament and the constitutional court of Croatia.

The upper town of Zagreb, Gornji Grad

Undoubtedly, the upper town of Zagreb is the main attraction of the city. It houses the two most beautiful districts of the capital: Gradec e Kaptol, which form the medieval core of Zagreb.

And the most curious thing is that throughout history they have not always gotten along. For centuries they competed a lot on a political and economic level but in 1850 they joined other surrounding areas and became part of the integrated city of Zagreb.

Now they both make up the historic center of Zagreb while the economic center is located in the lower part of the capital. Strolling through the colorful streets and enjoying the atmosphere of Gornji Grad are some essential activities to do in Zagreb.

Zagreb Cathedral

What to see in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia
Zagreb Cathedral -

The most important symbol of Kaptol is the Zagreb Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral of the Assumption. With its two huge Gothic towers, 108 meters high, it is visible from almost everywhere in the city.

The original temple, very different from what can be seen today, was built in 1093, but subsequent invasions and an earthquake in the XNUMXth century led to the building being rebuilt almost from scratch.

Mercato Dolac

Between Kaptol and Gradec you will find a very interesting market. It has been in operation since the 1930s and is a good place to feel the local atmosphere even though it has become more and more of a tourist attraction over the years.

Mainly food is sold here but you will also find souvenirs, flowers and even clothes. AND the most popular market in the city. The sellers are also from different parts of the country. Undoubtedly, one of the main attractions to see in Zagreb.

Via Tkalčića

The best way to get to Gradec is to take a long walk along Tkalčića street (Ulica Ivana Tkalčića), a lively street full of bars and restaurants. It is the favorite leisure place for the inhabitants of Zagreb. We suggest you also explore the perpendicular streets, which often hide little gems forgotten by tourism.

On the same street Tkalčića you will find one statue of Zagorka, an icon for Croatians. She was the country's first female journalist, a great writer and also a great fighter for women's rights.

What to see in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia
Zagreb city center -

Stone gate (Kamenita vrata)

One of the most curious things to see in Zagreb is the mysterious Stone Gate, known as Stone door. Besides being one of the oldest structures in the city, it also hides an interesting history.

In different parts of the Gradec district, which was once an independent city, you can see the old defensive walls. Of the four access gates built between 1242 and 1261, today only the Stone Gate (Kamenita vrata) remains.

Inside was an image of the Virgin Mary. In 1731 a fire destroyed a large part of the city. It destroyed almost everything except one thing: the image of the Virgin. It has since become a very important site for the inhabitants of Zagreb as well a revered pilgrimage center.

The Lotrščak tower

One of the most pleasant areas of Gradec is the Strossmayer Promenade (Strossmayerovo šetalište), which offers a magnificent view over the city and where you can find terraces, live music, open-air cinema, etc. Its most symbolic place is there Lotrščak tower (Kula Lotrščak), built in the 13th century as part of the defensive wall.

This is another of the emblematic and historical buildings to see in Zagreb. Inside you can visit an art gallery and, after a steep climb, climb to the top of the tower for an unparalleled view of Zagreb. Admission costs 20 Kuna (about € 3).

By the way, very close is the original the Museum of broken relationships. Started in 2006 as a traveling exhibition, it has become one of the most visited museums in Zagreb. Admission costs 40 kuna (approximately € 5).

Piazza Ban Jelačić

The Old Town (formed by the districts of Gradec and Kaptol), also called the Upper Town (Gronji Grad), connects with the Lower Town (Donji Grad) in the huge Ban Jelačić square, the nerve center of Zagreb.

Besides the trams, its most notable feature is the statue equestre by Josip Jelačić, the national hero who gives it its name. The Ilica shopping street, which crosses it longitudinally, is the longest street in Zagreb.

"The green horseshoe"

It is a huge horseshoe-shaped area of the Lower Town made up of about 8 blocks of parks, gardens and tree-lined avenues. If you do the full loop (about 3km), you will find numerous buildings from the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The most notable are the Art Pavilion, the huge train station (in the Zrinjevac park) and the beautiful Croatian National Theater. Very close to him, if you are interested in painting, you can visit the Mimara Museum.

Mirogoj Cemetery

What to see in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia
Cimitero Mirogoj -

Another place where you can contemplate the splendor of XNUMXth century Zagreb is thehuge multi-religious cemetery Migroj, where some of the most famous Croats in history are buried. Its main gate is one of the most beautiful in any cemetery in the world.

Lake Jarun

Jarun is the Zagreb's most popular recreation and sports center. Here you can kayak, canoe, sail, surf, swim, jog and skate. Around the lake you will find many nightclubs and cafes, which are particularly popular during the summer months.

The slopes of the Sljeme

Zagreb boasts a ski resort just twenty minutes by car from the center of the city. It is on the ski slopes of the Medvednica mountain that the best Croatian skiers, Janica and Ivica Kostelić took their first steps to ski. You should try it too!

But if you don't like winter or skiing, you can always go hiking and enjoy nature and fresh air. A cable car can take you from Bliznec to the top of Sljeme.

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What to see in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia
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