1. Ban Jelacic Square
It is the main square in Zagreb and the most common meeting place for people in Zagreb. It’s named after ban Josip Jelačič. In the middle of the square, there is a large statue of Josip Jelačić on a horse, made by Austrian sculptor Anton Dominik Fernkorn in 1866. The Square is not accessible by car as it is a part of the pedestrian zone, but it has a good connection with trams. Styles of the buildings have different architectural styles from classicism, secession, and modernism. In the December, the square is well known for its Christmas market and nicely decorated buildings. The North side of the square is linked to the square Cvjetni, which is well known for a shopping mall of the same name (Shopping mall Cvjetni).
2. Maksimir Park
The first public promenade in south-eastern Europe opened to the public in 1794. It is designed as an English garden, with alleys, lawns, and artificial lakes. It is easily accessible by trams 11 and 12 from Jelačić square. More than 300 species of various plants, besides autochthonous tree and shrub species, were planted in the Park at the time it was formed, but many of them have disappeared. Most known structure in the park is the Bellevue Pavilion, constructed in 1843. Besides the Pavilion, the Park prides itself with some other notable buildings, like chapels, villas, old factory and some other old houses with cultural heritage. The zoo in the park extends over 7 hectares and hosts several rare species. The park offers many sports activities like Nordic walking, jogging, cycling, rowing lake, and for children, there are two modern playgrounds.
3. Croatian National Theatre
The first stage facilities were opened already in the 11th century. The building as it stands today was opened at the end of the year 1895. Since then it had two major renovations. The first one was in the year 1937 when only the technical equipment was reconstructed and the second one was in the year 1967 with complete construction renovation. The program consists of three artistic branches: drama, opera, and ballet, which are hosting both locally recognized artists as well as foreign ones.
Mirogoj is the central cemetery in Zagreb. It is considered as one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Europe. It is known as a monument of tolerance, as the cemetery for all religions is common, but yet divided on an equal area. The policy of cemetery doesn’t allow construction of any fence between religious areas and it has three equal religious signs: Catholic cross, Orthodox cross, and the Jewish star. However, Mirogoj is also a beautiful park and an outdoor art gallery. Due to a large number of prominent people buried there, it is called Croatian Pantheon.
5. Jarun Lake
Jarun is a clean and very tidy lake, located in the eponymous village, Jarun. It has 6 islands, well-arranged rowing trails, and nice beaches. Jarun regularly hosts rowing, sailing, kayak and canoe competitions, swimming marathons, athletic and bike races. The place is perfect for active leisure, as surrounding paths are appropriate for cycling, running and walking. It has some great bars, restaurants, and clubs, which now, after several years of stagnation, are again coming back to life with new, updated offer.
6. Nature Park Medvednica
Mountain range Medvednica, which is covered by a dense forest of beech, oak, chestnut and fir trees, is one of the most popular tourist spots in Zagreb. There are numerous walking paths, some appropriate for less demanding hikers and others for more experienced ones. Both are equipped with benches and information tables. It is possible to get directly to the top with a cable car, which has the starting point in the city.
One of the most popular points is a medieval castle Medvedgrad (Bear Castle), located on the elevated area in the middle of a dense forest and is only half an hour walk from the last townhouses. There are also some other natural attractions such as caves, gorges, waterfalls, old mines and small churches. At the top, there are numerous mountain huts where hikers can rest and enjoy the popular home specialties such as beans with sausage or cheese and apple pies.
7. St. Mark’s Church
This church is known as the parish church of the old town and it can be found on St. Mark’s square. It is one of the most famous tourist attractions of Zagreb and it shares its location with the Croatian Parliament which is located on the same square. The church was built during the 13th century and today it is a beautifully constructed masterpiece loved by many. The building’s Gothic composition is really interesting because of its beautiful details, so it’s a ‘must-see’ phenomenon when you’re visiting Zagreb.
8. Zagreb Funicular
The funicular is located in Tomić Street in the center of the city. It is known as one of the shortest funiculars in the whole world and also the oldest means of organized transport. It was built in 1890 and it is operational since 1893. Today it is known as a cultural monument and is protected because it still has many of its original properties. They operate every day from 6:30 till midnight and the ride is really cheap, it costs only 0.54€. It is definitely worth it because you’ll gain a lifetime experience!
9. Lotršćak Tower
This tower is located in an old part of Zagreb which is called Gradec. It dates back to the 13th century and there’s a story that its name comes from the Latin campana latrunculorum which translates to thieves’ bell. This tower was used to signal the closing of the gate around the 17th century. It’s a really big part of the history of the city, especially since the 19th century when firing a cannon every day at midday became a tradition which lives on even today. It’s truly a really interesting part of their history and it’s definitely worth checking out.
10. Medvedgrad Pub in the Upper Town
Medvedgrad is a huge beer brand in Zagreb, and one of the biggest beer brands in whole Croatia. They have many pubs in the city but the biggest one is located on Ilica Street and it is an amazing place! They have really tasty food and beers, the service is really nice and the waiters are always really friendly and incredibly professional. You can go there to celebrate something or just to hang a bit with your friends. This place is a part of the history of the city since 1994. If you want quality beer and food which isn’t so expensive, you should definitely check them out!
11. Zagreb Cathedral
The Zagreb Cathedral is located on Kaptol, an old part of Zagreb. It is said to be the tallest building in Croatia and it was built in a Gothic style. Thanks to its height it can be spotted from almost any part of the city and so it became one of the best-known landmarks of Zagreb. It was pronounced as a cathedral in 1093 by King Ladislaus who moved the bishop’s chair from Sisak to Zagreb. The only negative part of this beautiful building is that it’s almost always under construction so you can rarely see it in its full glory, but it’s still really amazing and worth visiting.
12. Stone Gate
The Stone Gate is located in the Upper town in Zagreb, just a few steps from St. Mark’s square. It is part of the old walls which once surrounded Gradec, a part of the old town. It is said that they built it around the 13th century and it was really important during the Black Death because it was the only gate which was open. It also survived many fires through history and it still stands untouched. The citizens use it as a shrine to St. Mary, Mother of God and they go there to pray and light a candle for their loved ones. It is truly an amazing and breath-taking sight.
Updated: April 7, 2016