Last few days to enjoy Zagreb's vibrant new street art trail
Visitors and locals alike may be surprised to see Zagreb's streets interrupted by a new street art route passing through the city. Renowned French street artists Levalet and Oak Oak are among those adding to the ever-evolving public art project. From early July, the OKOLO project has initiated some small art installations and urban interventions which prompt a revival of the city spaces they inhabit, transforming them into places where art spontaneously touches the city's everyday life. Four interventions by renowned French street artist Levalet began the project, which is run with the co-operation of Zagreb city's tourist board. A former art teacher, Levalet is notable for works that interact with the existing environment and with his works in Zagreb he has excelled in these regards. We won't spoil the surprise entirely, but rest assured Levalet has given great consideration to the spaces he has placed his works and, as with much of his earlier work, his Indian ink drawing are humorous, sometimes bordering on the absurd. In contrast, Oak Oak sometimes hides his works or obscures them by working in miniature. Ends this week.
Public Service Broadcasting
Sample-heavy soundscapes are this excellent London duo's stock-in-trade. Using live guitar, drums and synths – and sometimes piano, brass or even banjo – they create eerie, white-knuckle instrumentals with vocal tracks from old radio broadcasts, public information films and crackly archive speeches. Their live show uses projections of archive footage to take their musical histories into new, audiovisual dimensions.
Crossover Festival Zagreb
Ribnjak park hosts five evenings of international drinks, food and music, welcoming local and international visitors with a free musical line up biased towards jazz and brass. Local DJs set the vibe, before two live shows daily between 8 pm and midnight. Veteran players of Royal Garden Dixie Band Zagreb kick things off on July 25, playing before Gipsy Groove, a Kosovo based band who were the highlight of last year's festival.On July 26, Serbian band Naked offer a Balkan influenced take on modern jazz, followed by Zagreb's leading young jazz pioneers, the intricate and sometimes funk influenced Chui. After Soul Shadows on July 27, British duo Smoove and Turrell supply their trademark fusion of funk, northern soul, hip-hop and electronica, played on decks and sampler, with live vocals and percussion. July 28 sees young contributors, the 10-piece Jam Bucket, play covers of jazz swing from the '20s, '30s and '40s. Later that evening, Italy based saxophone quartet and drummer Techno Vikings play jazzy interpretations of 90s dance music classics from the likes of Faithless and Mr Oizo. The finale on July 29 sees Amsterdam-based modern jazz band Eargonauts return to Zagreb, followed by Mimika Orchestra, a London-based outfit boasting 16 members, who play a world music-informed sound that frequently veers off in wild, improvised directions. On Friday and Saturday, the festival holds an afterparty, until 3am, at Kaptol Boutique Cinema.
Things to do in Zagreb this week
Discover the hottest happenings in Zagreb from the latest art exhibitions, museum shows, gigs and live concerts to food and drink events, here you'll find the very best Zagreb has to offer over the next several days. If you've got a tip for something fun happening in Zagreb, get in touch by email or Facebook and help spread the word. RECOMMENDED: More great things to do in Zagreb.
Great things to do in Zagreb in 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.
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.
World famous Motovun film festival takes over three nights at Tuškanac outdoor cinema
Croatia's world-famous Motovun Film Festival visits Zagreb this week, taking over evenings on the July 17, 18 and 19 at Tuškanac Summer Stage's outdoor cinema. The programme of three contemporary films, designated as classics of the 21st century, is intended to act as a warm up to the festival proper, which takes place in the picturesque hilltop town of Motovun in central Istria from July 24 to 28.The three featured directors are England's Andrea Arnold, Greece's Yorgos Lanthimos and Sweden's Ruben Östlund, all of whom have won awards and critical acclaim for their work.On 17 July, Motovun will present Andrea Arnold's first full-length film, 2006's Red Road. Arnold prefers to work with non-professional or first-time actors and although you couldn't tell from excellent performances by leads Kate Dickie and Tony Curran, Red Road is no different. Set in central Glasgow, this thriller depicts a CCTV security operator spotting in her monitors a man she knows from her past. She follows him first on camera and then infiltrates his life. He doesn't seem to know her like she knows him and you're left guessing as to their connection until the film's end. The film depicts just how pervasive CCTV has become within normal life in the UK.One of Europe's most original modern directors Yorgos Lanthimos is showcased on July 18 with his fourth film, 2011's Alps. Less disturbing than his third film, 2009's Dogtooth and far less surreal than his fifth, 2015's The Lobster, Alps nevertheless offer
This cinema in Zagreb will look after your plants while you're on holiday
Need to make sure your Bonsai won't die while you're away on holiday? Want your Yucca to be pukka when you come back from your time at the beach? Worried your Sentry Palm won't keep so calm in your absence? Residents of Zagreb needn't worry any longer. The city's Cinema Europa is now offering a new houseplant minding service for those leaving the city. One of Zagreb's oldest cinemas, and one of the best in the centre, Kino Europa is beloved by locals. The seats outside the venue are always full of the city's youth drinking coffee. And now they will be joined within the venue by an ever-changing plant nursery. The altruistic folks at Cinema Europa are offering the service free of charge. All you have to do is bring your plants to the Cinema Europa counter or Cinema Europa shop and drop it off. For additional information about the service, feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Zagreb comes to a standstill as Croatians flock to the capital to welcome home football heroes
Anyone trying to order fast food or visit a supermarket in Zagreb yesterday evening could be forgiven for believing they were living in some kind of post apocalypse. Popular websites collating available food delivery services showed that nothing in the Zagreb area was working. Phones went unanswered and businesses were closed as the whole country watched the World Cup Final and then celebrated as Croatia received the competition's Silver medals.Disruption of normal life in the capital continues today as over 100, 000 are expected to line the streets to welcome home the Croatian national team. They may not have won first place, but they gave their all in the competition and reached further than any Croatian team has before. Theirs will be a heroes' welcome.The team will arrive at Zagreb's impressive Franjo Tuđman airport on a specially branded plane at around 2 pm. There they will board two open top buses (one for players, one for coaching staff) and drive through Pleso on Ulica Rudolfa Fizira until the road meets Zagrebačka, where surely most fans from the Velika Gorica area will be there to wave them on. The party will continue down Zagrebačka, past Velika Mlaka and Veliko Polje until it takes Avenija Većeslava Holjevca and passes through Buzin. From there, the bus will pass through Novi Zagreb on Ulica Savezne Republike Njemačke before turning left on Avenija Dubrovnik, passing between Središće and Sopot until it rejoins Avenija Većeslava Holjevca just before Avenue Mall an
We're in love with this new bistro in downtown Zagreb
Run by the team behind the Flying Pig on Hvar, Beštija is a fabulous new bistro on Masarykova in downtown Zagreb. Flying Pig is famous for its juicy burgers and moreish sides, but Beštija is breaking away from its parent restaurant with a menu that serves delectably light, fresh food perfect for burning hot summer days in the city. Majoring in breakfast, brunch and lunch, you can start the day with egg dishes and freshly baked sourdough or wholesome cereals. The lunchtime menu changes daily depending on what's fresh at Dolac market, but the line-up usually includes a few meat dishes and a fish and veggie option. Beštija is developing its menu with plans to open for dinner time after the summer season - it opened its doors last Thursday so head there soon for a first taste. Credit: Beštija You can find Beštija on Masarykova 11. RECOMMENDED: Our favourite restaurants in Zagreb.
These cool new murals in Zagreb fuse street art with nature
Zagreb is no stranger to graffiti, from its downtown walls covered in rashes of swirling name-tags to bright and beautiful murals that add flourishes of colour to the city. Capitalising on the uptick of interest in street art, Zagreb's annual flower show Floraart are testing a cool new marketing strategy. Mixing verdant foliage with spraypainted images, they've come up with some awesomely textured one-off pieces to promote the event. Teaming up with Boris Bare from Zagreb's Art Park, the project works with trees, ivy and green climbers to celebrate nature in urban spaces. All image courtesy of Floraart. You can find them on Opatovina, Ribnjak and Bundek. RECOMMENDED: a street art tour of Zagreb
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! RECOMMENDED: more great bars in Zagreb.
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.
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.