Your ultimate summer style guide
Croatia's capital is a stylish place, so if you've left anything behind - or find yourself in need of something special to wear - check out this shopping list curated by Time Out and Arena Centar. Featuring everything you could possibly need on holiday, from amazing skincare products to the coolest shades around, say hello to summer with our ultimate shopping guide. Shoppers seeking holiday essentials head just south of the Sava to Arena Centar, one of the region’s biggest indoor shopping malls. Situated next to the city’s major sports hall where all the major games and music events happen, this giant shopping and entertainment complex hosts all the brands you know from home - and many, many more. Fantastic local stores rub shoulders with recognisable internationals, with heaps to do once you're there - you can grab a cocktail, catch a film or explore the dizzying range of options at the food courts. If there's anything you've forgotten to pack, or if you want to pick up a sassy souvenir in Croatia, read on for our ultimate summer wishlist.
Zinfandel's launches new summertime menu at Esplanade Hotel, Zagreb
The new Zinfandel restaurant yesterday welcomed celebrity guests, food and wine buffs and members of the media to the resplendent Oleander outdoor terrace of the Esplanade Hotel in Zagreb. The occasion? The launch of the restaurant's exciting new menu, masterminded by talented and well-known head chef Ana Grgić. The presentation on arrival of red fruits – watermelon, strawberries, raspberries – accompanied by cocktails and champagne made for the perfect summertime welcome. After a short address of the audience by representatives of the hotel, including Grgić herself, attendees were invited to sample some of the new menu's offerings.Goose liver truffles and homemade breadBeef tartare, prepared freshly before the diners A beef tartare, expertly made before the eyes of diners, formed a part of the first course served, which also included rich truffles made with goose livers. Main courses available to try included a wonderfully tender and slightly smoked fillet of Pag lamb, served with roasted carrots, plus a creamy, pale risotto.The smoked lamb fillet from Zinfandel's new menu A chef prepares risotto on the terraceA great selection of wines was served with the mains, leaving not much room for the plentiful desserts which included panna cotta and various inventive chocolate creations. In her audience address, Grgić explained that her new menu was constructed with sustainability in mind, as well as the reduction of food waste. As well as the new summer à la carte menu, Zinfand
How to survive a restaurant in Croatia
Well used to the annual summer influx of international visitors, almost every restaurant you will visit while on holiday in Croatia will do their best to help you smoothly enjoy the experience. Most waiters will speak English at a decent level or better and restaurant menus too will be in English, possibly also German and Italian. But Google Translate is not always wholly accurate. You do often see funny Croatian menu listings on social media, their innocent homemade direct translation attempts creating hilarious results. Pâté described as 'suffering from liver', shrimps described as 'smallpox' and a multitude of dishes described as being 'angry' rather than 'spicy' are just some of the classic examples. Less easy to navigate are some of the cultural differences you may encounter. Lucky then, dear reader, that you have Time Out Croatia at hand to guide you through the experience.
23 amazing things to do in Zagreb this July
There's plenty of things to do in Zagreb in July. The city basks in the heat of this mid-summer month, with festivals, concerts and culture blooming at every crossroad. You’ll find promenades to stroll down on balmy nights, and park festivals for entertainment on dazzling afternoons. While many succumb to the calling of the coast, the Croatian capital has its own magnetic pull - here are just a few great things going on this July. RECOMMENDED: More great things to do in Croatia.
The best of Zagreb
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
There's a Terry Gilliam retrospective at Zagreb's Kino Kinoteka
Zagreb's Kino Kinoteka turns the spotlight on one of the most distinct movie directors of the last 40 years, Terry Gilliam. An original member of Monty Python, Terry Gilliam moved out of his role as the team's animator in the late '70s as the comic troupe moved into making movies. After Monty Python's dissolution, he went on to direct 12 of his own movies, each of them marked by wild flights of imagination, fantasy magic and, in places, an unflinching black humour. Kino Kinoteka's Terry Gilliam opus begins on Tuesday with the fantastical 'The Adventures of Baron Münchausen'. The 1988 film is the final part of Gilliam's first trilogy (which began with 1981's 'Time Bandits' and 1985's 'Brazil') and bombed upon release. However, it won four Oscars and remains one of Gilliam's best-loved movies among his fans. On Wednesday 5 December Christoph Waltz plays a reclusive computer genius working on a formula that will find out if life has any meaning in the 2013 film 'The Zero Theorem'. The following day, Thursday 6 December, sees a screening of what many regard as Gilliam's earliest masterpiece, the 1985 dystopian black comedy and doomed love story, 'Brazil.' On Friday 7 December, Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges give stand out performances in 1991 film 'The Fisher King', which sees a self-obsessed radio DJ trying to make up for the terrible damage he has caused to a stranger. The Gilliam series ends on Saturday with a screening of his latest film, 'The Man Who Killed Don Quixote'.
Free weekend trams and buses in Zagreb for all of the Advent season
Here's a Christmas gift everyone can enjoy - even the hardiest grinches among us. The City of Zagreb have declared that all city buses and trams will be free over the weekends of the Advent period. From Saturday 1 December, all trams and buses will be free for passengers travelling on weekends in the central districts, with no travel tickets being required from midday on Friday until Sunday midnight. The free weekend transport continues until Advent closes on Sunday 6 January 2019. Zagreb's award-winning Advent will also this year see the return of the special Christmas tram. Popular with children, the Christmas tram is a half an hour ride with Santa Claus as the driver. Tickets for the Christmas tram are 25 kn
The Cure to headline Zagreb's INmusic festival in 2019
British rock band The Cure have been announced as one of the headliners for Zagreb's INmusic festival in 2019. The appearance will be the debut performance of the goth-pop legends in Croatia. The Cure are celebrating the 40th anniversary of their debut release next year and, to mark the occasion, announced that they will be trying to see as many of their fans as possible throughout the year. In order to do so, they have agreed to undertake a tour of major festivals. Their appearance at the 14th annual INmusic is part of that tour. Formed in 1976, The Cure started releasing music at the end of the '70s, displaying a strong punk influence. However, as they established themselves in the '80s, their music became increasingly dark and more expansive, particularly on their second, third and fourth albums, 'Seventeen Seconds', 'Faith', 'Pornography' and later on 'Disintegration'. Singles from this period such as 'The Hanging Garden', 'Charlotte Sometimes', 'A Forest', 'Pictures Of You', 'Lullaby', 'Fascination Street' and 'Primary' were classics of the gothic rock genre, which The Cure helped pioneer alongside others like Bauhaus. After their fourth album, though The Cure would continue to revisit dark themes within their music, they also incorporated more New Wave and pop elements into their music, scoring huge pop hits with songs like 'Just Like Heaven', 'In Between Days', 'The Love Cats', 'Close To Me' and, later, 'Friday, I'm In Love'. INmusic will be held at Zagreb's Lake Ja
In pictures: the first snowfall of the season in Croatia
It's still autumn but things took a very wintry turn last night, as parts of Croatia woke up blanketed in a layer of snow. North and Central Croatia including Zagreb, Slavonia and parts of Istria, awoke to snow on Tuesday as temperatures sank to 0°C. See beautiful pictures of the first snowfall of the season below. View this post on Instagram A post shared by Gorski Kotar (@gorski__kotar) on Nov 19, 2018 at 11:28am PST View this post on Instagram A post shared by UNIQA osiguranje (@uniqa_hrvatska) on Nov 19, 2018 at 11:58pm PST View this post on Instagram A post shared by Ivanka Papic (@ipapic88) on Nov 19, 2018 at 9:47pm PST View this post on Instagram A post shared by Juraj Parag (@juc__) on Nov 20, 2018 at 12:30am PST View this post on Instagram A post shared by M.M. (@tina_mm_) on Nov 20, 2018 at 12:23am PST
Croatia's first Nepalese restaurant opens in Zagreb's Kaptol
Budget food and another international cuisine to scratch from your checklist await if you step over the threshold of Bistro Himalayan Curry in Zagreb's Upper Town. 'So what’s Himalayan food like, then?’. Well, the flavours are a little like those of inland China (intense, rather than delicate), just without the fire. Plus the odd velvety nod to north India. This new Nepalese restaurant in Kaptol has a pocket-friendly menu that spans all three. Yet to be reviewed by Time Out, the menu seems to offer a lot - traditional Croatian dishes also feature alongside the momos and Karahi chicken. Try it at Kaptol 18.
The best bars and restaurants in Zagreb
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
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
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 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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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 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 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 things to do in Zagreb
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
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.
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.
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
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.