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Yes No Maybe: What (Not) To Do In Zagreb

Zagreb is a city of attitude, historic in places and modern in others. It’s actually pretty compact, so you can see most of it in one or two days, and it also makes a good base if you want to take a few day trips further afield. As I often travel through Zagreb en route to my hometown in Bosnia, I like to take the opportunity to explore and tick off a few things each time I pass through. Over time, I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks on what to do. So, if you’re heading to Zagreb—whether by road, plane, or Interrailing—here are some insider tips on what (not) to do with your time there.


Snoop Around at the Museum of Broken Relationships

In Zagreb you’ll find one of the most unusual museums: the Museum of Broken Relationships – known for being host to a collection of objects that remind people of their broken relationships – a painful memento warehouse so to speak.

Enjoy a Cup of Coffee

Coffee is a serious thing in Croatia (well, across the whole of the Balkans actually) and it is more than a drink…it’s a ritual that lives on and where people actually come together in a cute coffee shop and chat for hours over a brew. It’s pretty much everything Starbucks is trying to sell, but without the overpriced cookies, fake sincere name-writing-on-cups, and queue for the toilet.

Stroll Around Maksimir Park

Maksimir Park is THE place for a relaxing day and if you want to escape the (actually not so) busy city life. It’s the oldest public park in Zagreb and is home to long pathways which wind through it, and is home to squirrels and other small animals who will pose for a photo if you offer them some food (don’t try this on any homeless people though).

Do Some Vintage Shopping in Zagreb

Ulicni Ormar (Street Closet) is one of my favourite second hand stores EVER. It’s cheap and actually holds vintage finds actually worth finding. It’s like going though your grandma’s closet and the prices can sometimes be ridiculously low. My best kept secret and it’s all yours now … for free.

Soak up the Culture at the Museum of Contemporary Art

South of the river, just past Gradski Park Bundek, is the Museum of Contemporary Art. This striking modern building showcases a great selection of modern art by mainly Croatian and ex Yugoslavian artists, including intriguing regular temporary exhibits. When you’re done with the art, embrace the fun and try out the metal exit slide that curves around the outside of the building, and don’t forget the mirrored table tennis. If modern art isn’t quite your cup of tea, you can always head to the big shopping mall across the street. Fun fact, the gallery happens to be equipped with some of the best air conditioning in the city – perfect for cooling off on a typically hot Zagreb day.

Eat Local Food

If you are looking for a restaurant that serves local food then head over to the old Town, near St. Mark’s Church. Here is a tavern called Didov San (Grandpa’s Dream) that serves delicious traditional dishes from the Dalmatian area (no they don’t serve dog!). It’s bit expensive (for Zagreb prices that is), but the portions are very generous. And try the wines, Croatia does a mean Merlot.

plitvice lakes

Take A Daytrip To Plitvice Lakes

A daytrip to Plitvice Lakes should actually be on top of your list. National Park Plitvice is one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to. The bustrip to Plitvice will take around 2 hours – make sure your camera is fully charged because you won’t be putting it down!


Don’t go on a tour that is more than €10 or 75 kuna. It’s probably a rip off and you are being overcharged because you are a ‘Westerner’.

Zagreb is exceptionally safe and as tourist the worst thing that can happen to you if you are not careful enough is being shaken down by a taxi driver … like pretty much everywhere else.

Don’t forget to enjoy the cuisine as a common rule, eat where residents eat.


Hike Mount Medvednica

If you like nature, be sure to visit Mount Medvednica for a hike and nature appreciation, as well as the instagram-worthy-views; it’s reachable by tram (number 14 and 15).

Buy a tie? You will notice a lot of Croatia ads around the city/country for these. Zagreb became famous for being the homeland of the necktie. The story that goes that a French hipster essentially copied it after seeing some Croatian soldiers wearing them back in the 17th century. There, now you have a awesome story to tell your travel buddy or any other travellers you meet in Croatia.

Daytrip To Jarun Lake

There is no sea in Zagreb, but Jarun Lake is a great alternative if you don’t feel like taking the bus to the coast. Just hop on tram number 17 or number 5 and it will bring you all the way to Jarun.

Have you been to Zagreb?

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Comment & Leave A Reply


  1. Thank you for this post. You’ve shared some great tips.
    Zagreb is actually my final stop on my upcoming internal trip.

    I didn’t know about the tie thing – that’s good to know.

    —–Would you recommend renting a car to drive around Croatia?

    I have about 5 days there and I would like to see the rest of the country as well!
    Thank you,
    Marilia: Wanderingislander.com

  2. I went to Zagreb a few years ago and though it is pretty small was a great introduction to Croatia, I could not agree more that Plitvice is an absolute must it is one of the most beautiful places I have visited. These are some wonderful tips I wish I had them before my first trip.


  3. I went to zagreb and I didn’t really liked it. It is very small and I guess I expected more of a capital. Nevertheless I totally agree with the museum and plot vice, and I guess zagreb is nice for a day.

  4. My best friend lives in Croatia at the moment (about an hour or so from Zagreb) and I am planning a visit this year, so this is super helpful for the time I may explore Zagreb alone whilst she is working :).

  5. Awesome, I can confirm everything is spot on! Though I didn’t go to see Plitvice, which is on my wishlist for the next time I go to Croatia. A great post, loved it!