Zagreb

Restaurants and bars, museums and galleries, clubs, music, shopping and more...

The best Asian restaurants in Zagreb
Restaurants

The best Asian restaurants in Zagreb

Looking for Asian food in Zagreb? A decade ago, there wasn't a stir-fry in sight, but that's all changed in recent years. The 'Asian food' umbrella is, of course, a wide one, especially when you consider the delicious tapestry of ethnic cuisines that make up the eats of the East. Truth is, Zagreb has been slow on the uptake - but what the city lacks in quantity, it more than makes up for in quality. These days, Cro-Asian gastronomy packs real culinary clout. Fusion joints like Time Restaurant & Bar specialise in destination dining, while more specialized restaurants serve up Japanese dumplings and Korean kimchi. Chopsticks at the ready - here's our list of the best Asian restaurants in town. RECOMMENDED: More great restaurants in Zagreb

Zagreb's best art house and independent cinemas
Things to do

Zagreb's best art house and independent cinemas

Offering diverse and well thought-out movies, independent cinemas can be the place to catch up on some of the best films made around the world or the place to introduce a friend or date to one of your most cherished old classics. Luckily, Zagreb has a crop of art house cinemas showing the best of world and independent movies - with many screened in English. Here's where to find them. RECOMMENDED: The best film festivals in Croatia.

Zagreb Film Festival releases one of this year's themes: Tycoons
News

Zagreb Film Festival releases one of this year's themes: Tycoons

Tycoons, oligarchs, magnates; there are many words to describe those who hold great wealth, influence and power at the slim top of the capitalist system. Some descriptions hold their own specifics, and some are more complimentary than others. These figures lie a world away from the lives of most people, their wealth and standing acquired via often suspicious means or passed down from generation to generation, ensuring that few outside can ever attain or begin to understand such power and riches. In today's world, such people taint the lives of every man and woman alive, their unseen hands guiding us and halting us as we travel through life. Alongside the environmental rape of the planet for short-term gains, they are the only logical end result of a capitalist system many seem to embrace, their effect on our lives more akin to being urinated on than the 'trickle down' economics such figures are purported to provide. These tycoons will come under closer inspection at 2018's approaching Zagreb Film Festival, Croatia's premier film event. The festival's programme holds several themes this year, with the Tycoon presentations, curated by critic Diana Nenadić, joining a recently announced showcase of Czech filmmakers, the ZFF PLUS programme plus the festival's ambitious expansion to several cities outside Zagreb. Five films make up the Tycoon programme during the festival. 'The Promised Land', Polish director Andrzej Wajda's classic 1975 indictment on deceit and greed, depicts a

Darko Rundek & Ekipa
Music

Darko Rundek & Ekipa

Darko Rundek has been combining folk music elements from the Balkans and around the world with rock and pop music since the end of the 1970's and has played concerts to thousands all around the region. One of his latest incaranations is as Darko Rundek & Ekipa, in which he plays alongside an ensemble of young, adventurous mmusicians, most of whom live in Zagreb. At this date, they present a performance entitled Zvuk Oluje (Sound of the storm). Quite what that entails or how different it will be from the usually fantastic show this group of musicians put on, we don't quite know. What we do know is that it's another chance to catch one of Croatia's most interesting and adventurous musicians, playing alongside one of the most spirited and forward-thinking combos he's collaborated with in his career.

Perfect autumnal days out in Zagreb
Things to do

Perfect autumnal days out in Zagreb

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.

The best of Zagreb

20 great things to do in Zagreb
Things to do

20 great things to do in Zagreb

There are countless cultural things to do in Zagreb, and its compact size makes it easy for first time visitors to navigate. Attractions range from historic sights and fascinating galleries, complemented by destination restaurants, clusters of busy bars and numerous live music venues. Discover the very best things to do in Zagreb with our list of unmissable activities.

The best Zagreb restaurants
Restaurants

The best Zagreb restaurants

This ultimate guide to Zagreb restaurants covers it all: from splash-out fine dining to street food, bistros and east-west fusion. Our critics are constantly on the look-out for brilliant new restaurants (which we visit anonymously, of course) to bring you this list of our favourite tables in town. A few words on the selection criteria: our choice doesn't reflect only the expensive, upmarket restaurants that Zagreb has to offer. We're looking for originality over exclusivity; value for money over fancy frippery. Our pick is a mix of daring, cool, cosy and downright tasty eateries to satisfy every spectrum of diner. Dobar tek! RECOMMENDED: our guide to restaurants in Croatia.

Zagreb nightlife guide
Nightlife

Zagreb nightlife guide

Vienna? Budapest? Ljubljana? Zagreb nightlife is matched by few places owing to the range of regular live music on offer – and for the sheer number of venues to stage it. Zagreb is also known for its music bars – places such as SPUNK transform into small clubs as the night wears on, with occasional live acts too. Read on for our list of the best places to dance the night away.

The best Zagreb bars
Bars and pubs

The best Zagreb bars

People in Croatia's capital city always give themselves time to linger and socialise over drinks. Whatever the time of year, new Zagreb bars are always raising and lowering their banners across the city centre and beyond, while traditional landmarks stay firm. Time Out's experts discover the best places to sip across town.

LGBT+ guide to Zagreb
LGBT

LGBT+ guide to Zagreb

The rainbow flag doesn't flutter quite as brilliantly in Zagreb as in nearby European capitals, but that's not to say Croatia's capital hasn't got a characterful queer scene of its own. Although compact, a range of organisations and queer-friendly venues work hard to make sure the city's LGBT+ scene is as inclusive and buzzing as possible. Read on for the best gay bars and queer spaces in Zagreb.

More great things to do in Zagreb

Where to go for retail therapy in Zagreb
Shopping

Where to go for retail therapy in Zagreb

Croatia’s capital has barrels of charm and is perfectly suited for first-time visitors.

Vintage Zagreb
Shopping

Vintage Zagreb

Cross Mladost Bridge southbound on a Sunday morning and the first thing you see will be an ant-like procession of human forms moving purposefully along the River Sava embankment. It’s the weekly pilgrimage to Hrelić, a vast outdoor market that spreads itself across a gravelly lot, some 2km east of the bridge. Here a grid-plan mini-city of stalls sells everything from cheap jeans and T-shirts to footwear, no-longer-fashionable toys, second-hand sunglasses, and spare parts for machines you never knew existed. Some sellers only deal in specialised items (one offers fishing rods, another accordions); others simply set their junk out on the gravel in a disorderly pile. If you enjoy rummaging for used clothes, or dream of finding that offbeat fashion accessory that you never even knew you wanted until you saw it gleaming up at you from a dusty car-park floor, then Hrelić is most definitely for you. For a rather more genteel take on the same experience, the Sunday antiques and bric-a-brac market on Britanski trg provides the chance to browse the kind of junk that has been elevated to collectable status – old postcards, vintage magazines, second-hand books, and the kind of kitchenware your parents threw out years ago and now wish they hadn’t. Prints, militaria, old coins, folk costumes, retro furniture and genuine antiques also turn up, making Britanski trg a crucial stop-off for the determined curiosity hunter. It’s also an important Sunday social ritual, with the square’s café te

Zagreb shopping guide
Shopping

Zagreb shopping guide

In Zagreb, shopping has undergone a makeover. From being a staid and rather quaint shopping backwater, the Croatian capital can now justifiably claim to be a hub of contemporary design. But for all these recent developments, Zagreb has not lost its traditional charm. The Dolac market behind the main square is still everyone's first port of call for fresh fruit and vegetables, and second-hand record stores abound. Read on to find out where to go shopping in Zagreb.

Essential Zagreb attractions
Things to do

Essential Zagreb attractions

Zagreb attractions number plenty of stately icons among their ranks, owing to the city's status as a former Habsburg hub and capital of a new nation. Towering cathedrals, a venerable zoo and a stately cemetery all provide plenty of things to do in Zagreb. Our experts pick out the best.

20 great things to do in Zagreb
Things to do

20 great things to do in Zagreb

There are countless cultural things to do in Zagreb, and its compact size makes it easy for first time visitors to navigate. 

Latest news

13 beautiful photos of autumn in Zagreb

13 beautiful photos of autumn in Zagreb

Autumn. The return of crisp days, cold nights and warm colours. It's also the time of year when Zagreb is at it's most beautiful. Just take a look at this gallery of our favourite Instagram posts to see what we're talking about.  Feeling autumnal? Read about Zagreb and Dubrovnik in autumn.   View this post on Instagram A post shared by IVΛИ М (@the_ivxn) on Sep 26, 2018 at 6:04am PDT View this post on Instagram A post shared by sаяа (@charlie.etc) on Sep 16, 2018 at 10:01am PDT View this post on Instagram A post shared by Marko Ilijaš (@ilijasmarko) on Sep 18, 2018 at 4:59pm PDT View this post on Instagram A post shared by Filip Dzoic (@fidz_photos) on Sep 22, 2018 at 12:14pm PDT View this post on Instagram A post shared by Tena K (@oph.idia) on Sep 26, 2018 at 3:21am PDT View this post on Instagram A post shared by Damjan Šprem (@kinder.jajce) on Sep 24, 2018 at 10:40am PDT View this post on Instagram A post shared by om.razglednice (@om.razglednice) on Sep 27, 2018 at 12:16am PDT View this post on Instagram A post shared by Visit Zagreb | Travel Guide (@vi

New Zagreb venue X-Club opens on Saturday with KUKU$
News

New Zagreb venue X-Club opens on Saturday with KUKU$

New venue X-Club opens in Zagreb this weekend with a performance by the city's much-loved trap music sensations KUKU$. The new venue is situated at Medvešćak 2, just north of Park Ribnjak in the centre, on the same site as the old Gjuro 2 venue. Picking up where Gjuro 2 left off, the new venture will strive to offer the best urban music sounds, from trap and R&B to hip hop and dancehall, plus pop and house music too. Future music programs are set to include both live performances as well as DJ-led club nights. The club will initially open just for weekend nights, with plans to also open on Wednesdays. In keeping with the audience demographic they are aiming for, drinks will be at affordable prices and craft beer from Zagreb's Zmajsko Pivo will be available. X-Club's programme continues on Saturday 6 October with the R&B night Samo Vibez. Tickets for the opening night with KUKU$ are 30 kuna in advance and 40 kuna on the door.

Small producers market Mali Plac returns to Zagreb
News

Small producers market Mali Plac returns to Zagreb

After spending a successful summer scattered around several locations in Zagreb, the Mali Plac (Small Place) market is set to return to the city. The market, which concentrates on organic and artisan goods made by specialist, small producers, will be found in two entirely new locations within the city for its autumn and winter season. The market will appear every Wednesday at the Kaptol Centre in Gornji Grad (upper town), at the end of Tkalčićeva and Kaptol streets. And, for the first time, the market will also appear in Novi Zagreb. You will be able to find Mali Plac at Supernova in Buzin, every Friday. Over ten producers stalls will be present at each market. The market has become increasingly successful over its now six year run, offering many eco-friendly, organic products from small-scale producers. Alongside organic olive oils and rare mountain honeys, you’ll find a range of jams or preserves, natural fruit juices, pâtés (both meat and vegetable) and natural soaps and cosmetics. There are specialist bakery products and the stall holders are usually either the producers themselves or are extremely well in formed about the goods they offer, and are happy to impart that information to you. One of the market's key traits is its operating hours; Mali Plac manages to appeal to visitors, everyday shoppers and the after work crowd by taking place from the mid afternoon until the early evening. This is in contrast to most other markets in Zagreb, which usually run from early

And the winner of Zagreb Burger Festival is.....
News

And the winner of Zagreb Burger Festival is.....

The 2018 edition of Zagreb Burger Festival has come to a close, with the announcement of the festival's best-judged burgers being released on its final day. Over the course of the festival's 11-day run, over 190,000 people visited the event, making it the most successful yet. The number of burgers was matched by an extraordinarily large amount of beer sold and serviettes handed out, although ketchup and mayonnaise could still be seen creeping from the corners of many mouths long after the burgers had been eaten.  There were three categories in which burgers were judged; one award was made by public vote, another by food bloggers and the third by mainstream food media. Visitors were able to sample food from 18 different caterers, who visited from as far as Split and Pula, although a significant number of Zagreb-based entrants were also present. The award given by public vote was considered to be of most significance, with Mason Burgers & Stuff winning first place. Pula-based Mason also snagged the award last year, making them Croatia's undisputed burger kings. Zagreb's Burger Bar came second, with Đurina Hiža, who travelled from Varazdinske Toplice to take part, coming in third place. The first place award from food media was again won by Mason Burgers & Stuff with second place taken by first-time entrants, Zagreb's Kascheti. Đurina Hiža again came in third. The food bloggers award first place went to The Burger Bar, second place to Submarine with street food outlet Cellar

Need to pig out? Slavonian pork restaurant opens in Zagreb city centre
News

Need to pig out? Slavonian pork restaurant opens in Zagreb city centre

Need to pig out? A new restaurant specialising in dishes made entirely from Black Slavonian Pig has just opened in Zagreb. The new restaurant, Lokal, is located on Teslina, right in the city centre, and on the same site formerly occupied by Duck Fast Bistro. The restaurant is open for breakfast, offering choices like bacon of Black Slavonian Pig with scrambled eggs or Slavonian breakfast. At lunchtimes, they offer dishes such as black pig burger, bruschettas or pan-fried pigs liver, with alternating daily specials. Reasonable menu prices position the restaurant within the bracket of the best-loved fast food outlets on this busy Zagreb thoroughfare. Black Slavonian Pig, or fajferica as it is known locally, was first bred on the estate of Count Pfeiffer in Orlovnjak near Osijek at the end of the 19th century. The pig is a cross between the rare breed Berkshire, which offers premium pork with a high-fat content, one of its derivatives, the US-bred and extremely large Poland China and the Large Black Pig, sometimes called the Cornwall Black. All three ancestors are wholly or mostly black-coloured and are prized by chefs for their flavour, which is closer to boar meat in its depth than standard, intensively farmed pork.

The best bars and restaurants in Zagreb

Vegetarian restaurants in Zagreb
Restaurants

Vegetarian restaurants in Zagreb

Croatian cuisine is famously meat-heavy, but that doesn't mean veggies will go hungry in the capital. A small crop of eateries are providing wholesome, delicious and cheap alternatives to meat - making limp tomato and lettuce salads a thing of the past. Do you agree with the choices? Use the comments box below or tweet or Facebook your suggestions. RECOMMENDED: More great restaurants in Zagreb.

The best Asian restaurants in Zagreb
Restaurants

The best Asian restaurants in Zagreb

Looking for Asian food in Zagreb? A decade ago, there wasn't a stir-fry in sight, but that's all changed in recent years. The 'Asian food' umbrella is, of course, a wide one, especially when you consider the delicious tapestry of ethnic cuisines that make up the eats of the East. Truth is, Zagreb has been slow on the uptake - but what the city lacks in quantity, it more than makes up for in quality. These days, Cro-Asian gastronomy packs real culinary clout. Swanky fusion joints like Tekka specialise in destination dining, while more specialized restaurants serve up Japanese dumplings and Korean kimchi. Chopsticks at the ready - here's our list of the best Asian restaurants in town. RECOMMENDED: More great restaurants in Zagreb

Craft beer bars in Zagreb
Bars and pubs

Craft beer bars in Zagreb

The popularity of craft beer - progressive beers produced by small-scale breweries - has well and truly exploded in Zagreb. Fans of bold, flavorsome beers are rejoicing. After years of market dominance from behemoth brewers Ožujsko and Karlovačko, the craft beer revolution has taken hold, and Zagreb's bars and restaurants are fully waking up to the trend. Craft aficionados have even more reasons to be be beerful with this year's arrival of The Garden Brewery, and dedicated tap-rooms Hop In and Craft Room, which have bubbled in popularity since their recent inception. Happy drinking!

The best burgers in Zagreb
Restaurants

The best burgers in Zagreb

In need of a burger fix? Zagreb has some serious beef, just eat your way through this list to find your favourite. Do you agree with the choices? Use the comments box below or tweet your suggestions. RECOMMENDED: The best Zagreb restaurants

The best bistros  in Zagreb
Restaurants

The best bistros in Zagreb

Once, eating out in Zagreb meant choosing from a slew of local restaurants with menus featuring meat, pastry, and more meat. But the capital's recent gastro-revolution has changed that. A wave of recently-opened bistros are making lunch a more exciting prospect in the capital, and most of them are the projects of passionate entrepeneurs - which means that these independent little places offer top-quality food and hand-selected decor. Like a traditional French bistro, those in Zagreb master breezy, intimate atmosphere, but their menus - often based around global 'street food' - are a welcome update. Here's our batch of the best bistros in Zagreb.  RECOMMENDED: more great restaurants in Zagreb.

Best galleries in Zagreb

Moderna Galerija
Art

Moderna Galerija

Housed in the impressively renovated Vraniczany palace on Zrinjevac, the Modern Gallery is home to the national collection of 19th- and 20th-century art. It kicks off in spectacular fashion with huge canvases by late-19th-century painters Vlaho Bukovac and Celestin Medović dominating the sublimely proportioned hexagonal entrance hall. From here the collection works its way chronologically through the history of Croatian painting, taking in Ljubo Babić's entrancing 1920s landscapes and Edo Murtić's jazzy exercises in 1950's abstract art. Several contemporary artists are featured here too - sufficient to whet your appetite before hopping over the river to the Museum of Contemporary Art to see some more. The Moderna Galerija's most innovative feature is the tactile gallery, a room containing versions of famous paintings in relief form (together with Braille captions) for unsighted visitors to explore.

Museum of Contemporary Art
Museums

Museum of Contemporary Art

Costing some €60 million and covering 14,500 square metres, the MCA – MSU in Croatian – is the most significant museum to open in Zagreb for more than a century. Its collection includes pieces from the 1920s and gathered since 1954 when Zagreb's original MCA (in Upper Town) was founded. Of particular note are Carsten Höller's slides, similar to the 'Test Site' installation he built for Tate Modern's Turbine Hall but custom-made and site specific for Zagreb – pieces of art patrons can ride to the parking lot. Croatia's outstanding 1950s generation of abstract-geometric artists (Ivan Picelj, Aleksandar Srnec, Vjenceslav Richter, Vlado Kristl) play a starring role in the collection, alongside photographs and films documenting the more outlandish antics of legendary performance artists like Tom Gotovac and Vlasta Delimar. The new-media and computer-art works produced by the Zagreb-based New Tendencies movement in the late '60s and early 70s reveals just how ahead-of-its-time much of Croatian art really was.

Mimara Museum
Museums

Mimara Museum

When it comes to historical art collections, the Mimara is certainly Zagreb's biggest in terms of quantity. Donated to the city by wealthy patron Ante Topić Mimara, the collection includes paintings, statues and archaeological finds, organised chronologically and thematically but with little by way of English explanation. Highlights on the ground floor include oriental carpets, south-east Asian sculpture and Chinese porcelain, while the picture galleries upstairs display works from every era from the Gothic period onwards, with artists like Velázquez, Rubens, Rembrandt and Manet each putting in an appearance. It's also an important venue for temporary exhibitions with an art or archeological theme.

Greta Gallery
Art

Greta Gallery

Zagreb has always lacked the kind of small-scale independent galleries that occupy the fertile spawning grounds in-between public art institutions and private dealers. Which is why Greta, a gallery in a former clothes shop that opens a new exhibition every Monday night, has proved such an instant hit. Greta doesn’t follow too strict a curatorial framework, ensuring the widest possible variety of artistic approaches. The gallery’s location, at the apex of a bohemian Bermuda Triangle formed by the Fine Arts Academy, the Architecture Faculty and the Sedmica bar, ensures a knowledgeable and enthusiastic public. Indeed Greta regularly receives more visitors than many of the more established galleries, with opening-night celebrants spilling out onto the pavement outside.

Lauba House
Art

Lauba House

Lurking mysteriously in a little-visited area 4km west of the centre is this brand-new private art gallery, occupying a century-old barrack block painted in alluring matt black by modern restorers. Displaying the collection of businessman Tomislav Kličko, Lauba includes major works by virtually everyone who is anyone in Croatian art from about 1950 onwards. If you've already visited the Museum of Contemporary Art, then Lauba will provide you with a refreshingly alternative take on the local art establishment, concentrating on visually appealing works as well as more conceptual exercises. Figurative paintings by Lovro Artuković and disarmingly bling sculptures by Kristian Kožul are among the highlights.

Day trips from Zagreb

Zagreb day trips
Things to do

Zagreb day trips

If you're looking for Zagreb day trips, you're spoilt for choice. Natural beauty spots surround the capital, ranging from the majestic waterfalls of Plitvice Lakes National Park to the marshy wetlands of Lonjsko Polje. If your city break has left you gasping for rural greenery and fresh air, these wonderful day trips are exactly what the doctor ordered. RECOMMENDED: More great travel destinations in Croatia

Plitvice travel guide
Travel

Plitvice travel guide

Plitvice Lakes is one of Croatia's most alluring attractions. Just a few hours from capital city Zagreb, and easily reached by road, this remarkable feat of nature is very accessible. Visitors flock here in summer months to gaze at the 16 startlingly clear lakes and heavenly cascades spread over its lush terrain. Carefully protected by the government, Plitvice is not overrun with eateries and hotels, but you can easily find places to dine and doze around the fringes of this natural wonderland.  RECOMMENDED: more great travel destinations in Croatia

Varaždin
Travel

Varaždin

Varaždin is one of the true Baroque jewels of Central Europe, with a parade of fine palaces and churches presiding over a calm, pedestrianised centre.   It is also home to the country’s one unmissable non-Adriatic summer festival, the Špancirfest, a week-long series of parades, outdoor concerts and club events that takes over the town at the end of every August. With the Trash Film Festival in September and the highbrow Baroque Music Evenings soon afterwards, there’s enough going on in Varaždin to warrant the two-hour journey from Zagreb.   Historically, Varaždin was a fortress town, and flourished as a strategically important Habsburg stronghold against the incursions of the Ottoman Turks. Croatian aristocrats who prospered from these border wars built their townhouses in Varaždin, turning it into a lively centre of society and culture. Meetings of the Croatian parliament were held here from 1756 onwards, and the town may well have become the long-term capital of Croatia were it not for the great Varaždin fire of 1776.   It’s an easy town to explore, with a compact centre bordered by strips of park that follow the lines of the former fortress moat. Presiding over grassy embankments at the north-western corner of the centre is the resplendently whitewashed Castle, with a beautiful Renaissance courtyard girdled by earlier, 15th-century towers. Inside the castle is the City Museum (042 658 754; 9am-5pm Tue-Fri, 9am-1pm Sat & Sun; admission 25kn), with displays of arms, lo

Samobor
Travel

Samobor

Samobor is an easy hop, only 20km west of Zagreb near the Slovene border. A cantonal centre under Napoleon, Samobor has always been an important stop between Zagreb and the sea.   Many travellers alighted at the hotel K Gradu Trstu on their way to or from Trieste. It was also at the hub of the 19th-century Illyrian movement and attracted many a Croatian poet, writer and politician whose works called for independence. A tradition of folk carnivals and balls is maintained to this day.    This dovetails nicely with Samobor’s penchant for leisure and relaxation. The first spa, Šmidhen, was opened in 1868, the first public park, Anindol, in 1883, and locals flocked here from Zagreb every weekend. By 1914, Samobor could boast three hotels, a boarding house, a restaurant, a coffeehouse and 50 pubs. Until 1979, the narrow-gauge Samoborček slowly shuttled between the capital and Samobor; today it’s a quicker but perhaps less bucolic journey by car or bus (from Črnomerec or the main bus station).    Visitors still come in numbers for relaxation, around Samobor’s main square of Trg kralja Tomislava, through its narrow streets, along the Gradna creek, and in the parks of Vugrinščak and Anindol. Well-preserved sights include the churches of Sv Anastazije and Sv Mihalja, and the chapel of Sv Ana. The Town Museum contains a small but delightful display of local ethnography.    Samobor’s other great asset is its proximity to a wealth of easy hiking opportunities. Šoićeva kuća, a rust

More great day trips from Zagreb

More things to do in Zagreb

Botanical Gardens
Attractions

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.

Maksimir Park & Zoo
Attractions

Maksimir Park & Zoo

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.

Zagreb Cathedral
Attractions

Zagreb Cathedral

The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Holy Virgin Mary (Katedrala Uznesenja Blažene Djevice Marije) is Zagreb's principal landmark. And though much of the exterior has long been veiled behind construction sheathing, its neo-Gothic twin towers, visible over the city, are as close as Zagreb gets to a visual identity worthy of calling-card status. The first church was destroyed by the Tatars in 1242 and later reconstructions were damaged by fire. After an earthquake in 1880 the city hired architect Hermann Bollé, who added a monumental pair of 105m-high bell towers. The interior remains austere: neo-gothic altars, 19th-century stained glass, and an Ivan Meštrović relief that marks the resting place of controversial Croatian Archbishop Alojzije Stepinac. An effigy of the archbishop rests on a raised platform behind the main altar.    

Mirogoj
Attractions

Mirogoj

It's a pity more don't make it to this attractive cemetery. Mirogoj is widely regarded as one of the city'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. Stejepan 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.

St Mark's Church
Museums

St Mark's Church

Two coats of arms grace the red-white-and-blue chequered roof of this emblematic church: Zagreb's and Croatia's. Since the 1200s when the Romanesque original was built, the church has gone through many architectural styles – note the Gothic south portal and baroque, copper-covered belltower. Inside are hand-painted walls by Jozo Kljaković and a crucifix by Meštrović. The square outside, housing the Ban's Palace and the Croatian Parliament, has been the hub of political activity since the 1500s.