Medvednica
Antun StegmayerMedvednica

Where to admire the autumn leaves in Zagreb

Take in the vast array of seasonal colours offered by Zagreb's parks and public places

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As the days draw in, the sunlight hours grow shorter and the weather significantly cooler. But mother nature makes up for it by offering a glorious display of autumn foliage, framed by a low slanting light. Our list of where to see the seasons' change includes local favourites Maksimir and Sljeme alongside some lesser-known locations. Here's our pick of the best places in Zagreb to admire the falling leaves.

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Where to admire the autumn leaves in Zagreb

Zrinjevac park
© ilijaa

Zrinjevac park

In autumn, the leafy Zrinjevac park might be devoid of students and workers on a lunchbreak lying on the grass, but the park's tree-lined routes are more inviting than ever. One of Zagreb's most beautiful parks, although far from its largest, this is one to take in at a snail's pace, absorbing the architecture of Zagreb visible through the trees. With Advent on the way, this park also holds a completely different feel after dark, its trees and pretty bandstand gloriously lit in an explosion of winter lights.

Maksimir park
© izzzy71

Maksimir park

A ten-minute tram ride from the main square, heading east of the centre, these attractive 18 hectares (45 acres) opened to an appreciative public in 1794, the many woods, meadows and lakes landscaped in what was then considered the English style. At one end of the park you'll find the City Zoo, which takes part in Advent for the first time in 2018. Elsewhere you can find other famous landmarks such as the Vidikovac building.

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Sljeme
© Marko Vrdoljak

Sljeme

Sljeme, the highest peak of Medvednica Nature Park near Zagreb, can be covered in snow for up to 100 days of the year. It is a beautiful point from which to look down on the city and getting there is almost as much fun as the view. Autumn is perhaps one of the best times of year in which to take on the hike. 

Jurjevska
© Miroslav Vajdić

Jurjevska

Arguably one of Zagreb's prettiest streets, Jurjevska is an old road that gently winds its way from the top of the Upper Town, past Ilirski trg and onto Radićeva into Zagreb's main square. It's a lovely walk into the city, trees lining all of the upper route, breaking to display some remarkably varied detached housing. Start at the top, making sure you take in the peaceful Jurjevska cemetery. Then, once past Ilirski trg, you can admire the beauty of the cobblestone and old architecture of Radićeva as it slopes down into town.

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Mirogoj
© Daryl Mersom

Mirogoj

Widely regarded as one of the Zagreb's architectural gems, Mirogoj boasts a series of green, onion-shaped cupolas that cap ivy-covered brick walls, tiled arcades and monuments to Croatia's most prominent former citizens. Designed by Hermann Bollé, who also designed Zagreb's cathedral, Mirogoj opened in 1876. Renowned 20th-century Croatian sculptors Ivan Meštrović and Ivan Rendić are responsible for some of the monuments and headstones here and at autumn's start, on All Souls' Day, November 1, the cemetery comes into its own as it floods with candles and dutiful visitors.

Ribnjak park
© xbrchx

Ribnjak park

Located in Zagreb's upper town, although Ribnjak most definitely has the feel of a neighbourhood park, its close proximity to the city centre means that it is increasingly used as a site for cultural events appealing to visitors and locals, particularly in summer. Until 1946 the park was the private property of the Zagreb archdiocese but after World War II, the ruling Socialist authorities expanded the park and opened it for all of the public to enjoy. In colder months it's a quiet spot to walk around, taking in the fountains, meadows and ever-expressive weeping willows.

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Jarun
© Miroslav Vajdić

Jarun

A man-made lake with a string of islands running through it, Jarun lake is an attraction beloved by locals all year round. The lake's two-kilometre circumference is dotted with cafes, bars and clubs, its six kilometres of paths utilised by joggers, dog walkers, roller-blading teens and bicycle riding couples. In summer, the central islands are the location for Zagreb's internationally recognised InMusic Festival, but outside of that time, anyone can wander across these islands, passing through woods and meadows that hold an even more peaceful air than the activity-filled ones around the circumference.

Tuškanac
© Flammard

Tuškanac

A courtyard just off the central thoroughfare of Ilica brings you to this charming hidden park. The location of the cinema Kino Tuškanac and it's outdoor sister-venue Tuškanac Summer Stage, it feels a million miles from the city bustle. The tree-lined streets are also often walled, but on occasion break into a wilder, natural vista.

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Bundek
© ilijaa

Bundek

Renovated in 2007, Bundek now serves as a neighbourhood park to residents of Novi Zagreb, as well as holding many summer and autumn music, art and flower events. It attracts many people on summer days, but its bike paths and serene gardens, which surround a small, man-made lake, are just as enjoyable in cooler months. It is also a great place to visit before stepping into the nearby Museum of Contemporary Art which is located one block away. It's the perfect spot for a stroll following Sunday lunch.

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