Zagreb skyline autumn morning fog view
© xbrchx

Perfect autumnal days out in Zagreb

With warm, sunny days and chilly nights, autumn is a beautiful time to explore Zagreb

Written by
Time Out contributors
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Autumn is a special time in Zagreb, the season holding its own particular events and charms. On the outskirts of the city, seasonal vegetables are grown in abundance with a range of food festivals to accompany. Zagreb's autumn days are often warm and sunny, offering the perfect weather to go walking and sightseeing in the city; it's never too hot to traipse around all day like it often can be in summer and it's not too cold for you to want to stay indoors. Autumnal evenings in Zagreb are a different matter and the warmth of the day can recede as fast as the sun disappears, with temperatures turning decidedly chilly as the night progresses. You'll often need a completely different wardrobe for daytimes and night times in the city at this time of year, but in Croatia's fashion capital, a chance to change outfits of a day is never a bad thing. Here are our suggestions for fun things to do on a day out in Zagreb in autumn.

RECOMMENDED: Reasons to visit Zagreb in autumn.

Perfect autumnal days out in Zagreb

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Zagreb

A ten-minute tram ride from the main square heading east of the centre, these attractive 18 hectares (45 acres) of welcome greenery were opened to an appreciative public in 1794, the many woods, meadows and lakes landscaped in what was then considered the English style. Rolling hills cradle footpaths and cafés, providing ample room for jogging, romancing and relaxation. At one end you'll find the City Zoo, with the daily feeding times posted up for the seals, sea lions and otters, so that you can time a family visit around them. On the other side of the road stands Croatia's national football stadium, also called the Maksimir, base of home-town club Dinamo Zagreb.

See the leaves change colour at the Botanical Gardens
© Fumie Suzuki/Time Out

See the leaves change colour at the Botanical Gardens

Just west of the train station and forming the east-west arm of the Green Horseshoe, these lovely gardens were founded in 1889. The first plantings took place in 1892. Since, the 4.7 hectares (11.6 acres), dominated by an English-style arboretum, and containing rock gardens, lily-pad-covered ponds, symmetrical French-inspired flowerbeds and ten glasshouses (closed to the public) have been an island of tranquillity in the city centre. It's an idyllic spot to grab a shaded bench in summer. About 10,000 plant species come mainly from Croatia, some from as far as Asia. The park closes on October 31 until spring.

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  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Zagreb

Sljeme is the mountain that serves as a spectacular backdrop to the city of Zagreb and is the highest point of the Medvednica Nature Park. The walk to the top is a fine excursion, and this is the best time in the year to make the trek. The views offered at the summit are truly impressive and grant an even better understanding of the vastness and georgraphy of the city that lies below than when arriving by plane. There are also some great restaurants in the locale where you can reward yourself after the climb. 

  • Attractions
  • Cemeteries
  • Zagreb

Mirogoj is widely regarded as one of Zagreb's architectural gems. Behind a series of green, onion-shaped cupolas that cap ivy-covered brick walls, are tiled arcades, monuments to Croatia's most prominent citizens and the final resting place of 300,000 souls of various religious backgrounds. Stjepan Radić, who was shot in the Yugoslav Parliament in 1928, is buried here; so are Croatian literary giants Petar Preradović and Tin Ujević. Designed by Hermann Bollé of Cathedral fame, Mirogoj opened in 1876. As the rolling landscape continues to gain residents, it also gathers more museum-worthy sculptures, headstones and memorials. Renowned 20th-century Croatian sculptors Ivan Meštrović and Ivan Rendić are responsible for some of them. Of special note: Franjo Tudjman's modern, black-marble monument, worthy of an independent nation's first president. The grave of basketball legend Dražen Petrović, who died in a car accident at 28, is one of the most visited sites. Mirogoj comes into its own on All Souls' Day, November 1, when Croatian families visit loved ones equipped with thousands of flickering candles – a moving experience.

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  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Lower Town

Walking from Zagreb's main train station to the city's main square, Ban Jelačić, via King Tomislav Square and parks Strossmayer and Zrinjevac is one of the city's most beautiful experiences, taking in calm, open, green areas, tree-lined paths and the spectacular architecture of the majestic 19th-century Art Pavilion plus the charming bandstand in Zrinjevac

  • Shopping
  • Markets and fairs
  • Kaptol

Dolac is Zagreb's main, outdoor daily market, located right in the heart of the city on a raised square just up a set of stairs from main square Trg Bana Josip Jelačić. It has been the city's major trading place since 1926. Farmers from surrounding villages come to sell their home-made foodstuffs and some of the freshest fruit and vegetables you'll ever taste. In the covered market downstairs are butchers, fishmongers and old ladies selling the local speciality sir i vrhnje (cheese and cream). Flowers and lace are also widely available. Alongside, the renovated fish market, ribarnica, sells fresh produce every day but Monday.

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