Top 10 Zagreb City Sights
There are many things to do in Zagreb for locals and for tourists. While Croatia is best known for its coastline and sea, we decided to put emphasis on the capital city itself. Explore this amazing city, rich of history and culture, and enjoy inspiring sights with our Top 10 Zagreb City Sights.
1. Ban Jelačić Square
Ban Jelačić Square is the central square of Zagreb and its area. First of all, this is a central point, located between two oldest cities, Gradec and Kaptol.
On the Square, you can see a large statue of Ban Josip Jelačić on a horse and The Manduševac Fountain. The Square is named after the Ban Josip Jelačić, a Croatian Ban (noble title) who abolished serfdom and announced the first elections for the Croatian Parliament (Sabor).
Furthermore, Croats usually gather here for big events (especially football matches or concerts), so if you are here when Croatian national football team plays, put on your jersey and come to cheer for. This is certainly a unique experience!
Also, Ban Jelačić Square stands as the most popular meeting point. It is very usual to meet with someone “under the clock” on the west side of the square, or “under the horse’s tail” – a reference to the statue of Ban Jelačić. You can start your tour here or you can enjoy a cup of coffee in a lot of coffee shops in the area.
2. The Stone Gate
Kamenita vrata (The Stone Gate) is also one of the major Zagreb sights located in the Upper Town, part of the old city walls that once stood around the old town Gradec. If you are exploring the old town Zagreb, this is certainly the ideal place to start. According to a legend, a great fire in 1731. destroyed much of Gradec: houses burned to the ground, every part of the wooden gate except for the painting of the Virgin and Child. It is believed that the painting has miraculous powers. People come here to pray, light candles and leave flowers to thank the Lady for protecting them.
3. Zagreb Cathedral
Zagreb Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a Zagreb landmark. As a matter of fact, it is the most monumental sacral building in Neo-Gothic style southeast of the Alps. It is located on Kaptol Square and has been there since the 11th century. You can explore it, inside and out. This is truly a unique building with extraordinary interior and exterior too. Furthermore, in the summer, don’t miss the Organ Festival. Also, by the previous announcement, you can visit the treasury. There is a lot of interesting facts about Zagreb Cathedral so take a peek at out 20 things you probably didn’t know.
4. Saint Mark’s Church
St Mark’s Church is one of Zagreb’s most iconic buildings, dating from the 13th century. It is located in the Saint Mark’s Square in the Upper Town. First of all, the Church is best known for its colorful tiled roof. The roof was constructed in 1880. and has the medieval coat of arms of Croatia, Dalmatia, and Slavonia on the left side, and the emblem of Zagreb on the right. Furthermore, the Gothic portal, composed of 15 figures in shallow niches, was sculpted in the 14th century. Also, the interior contains sculptures by Ivan Meštrović. If you want to explore the interior, you can attend the Daily Mass since the church is open only at Mass times. Most noteworthy: do not miss Zagreb Guard-changing ceremony (it is presented in front of the church from late April to October on weekends at noon).
5. Lotrščak Tower and Grič cannon
Lotrščak Tower was built in the middle of the 13th century to protect the south city gate. Today is the best-preserved building within the old city walls and provides a wonderful view of Zagreb and its surroundings.
Every day, for over a hundred and ten years, the cannon fire from the top of tower Lotrščak exactly at noon, because of a memory of an event from Zagreb history. Also, according to the legend, exactly at noon, the Grič cannon fired a discharge from Lotrščak to the Turkish camp located across the Sava and blew out a rooster (or a turkey) which the cook was taking to Pasha on a platter. After this event, the Turks retreated and did not attack Zagreb.
Also, the Tower was named Lotrščak for the bell within it, the “Campana latrunculorum” or “the bell of thieves”, which signalized the closure of the city gates.
6. The Zagreb Funicular
The Zagreb Funicular is the oldest means of public transportation in Zagreb. It is also the world’s shortest funicular, with the track length of 66 meters. It connects the Upper and Lower Town every day from 6.30 AM to 10 PM. The rides are every 10 minutes, and a one-way ticket costs 5 kn. The Zagreb Funicular is protected as a monument of culture. If you are exploring Zagreb, you can enjoy this ride to go from Upper Town to the Lower and vice versa. Don’t miss this delight!
7. King Tomislav Square
King Tomislav Square is one of the symbols of Zagreb, also in the center of the city. First of all: it was named after the first Croatian king, Tomislav, who ruled from 910 to 928. It is located between Zrinjevac Park, Art Pavilion and the Main Railway Station. Also, the Square features a large statue of King Tomislav on horseback. This is a public space, a park with trees, with flowerbeds. Most noteworthy is that in the winter, during Advent in Zagreb, the Square transforms into an Ice skating park. You can go skating, or drink boiled wine or eat some traditional winter dishes. Therefore, you can enjoy Zagreb even more! In the spring or summer, you can sit on a bench and observe the people of Zagreb. Furthermore, you can enjoy the underground shopping mall and enjoy your daily dose of coffee or some aperitif.
8. Zrinjevac Park
Zrinjevac Park is one of the most romantic places in Zagreb. This park is a true get-away from the city’s crowd. It is located just a stroll away from the Zagreb’s Main Square. The centerpiece of the park is the 19th century Music pavilion which serves as an open-air concert stage. It has several fountains, 130 years old weather monitoring station and monuments to famous Croatians. The major Zrinjevac event is Advent on Zrinjevac in Christmas time.
You can enjoy music, drinks, buy souvenirs or just lye on the grass and enjoy the atmosphere.
9. Croatian National Theatre
HNK or Croatian National Theater building is certainly a masterpiece built in the neo-baroque style. Furthermore, it is one of Zagreb’s most elegant and spectacular buildings! If you are strolling down the city, or just driving in the trams, you certainly can’t miss this beauty. It pops right in your eyes. Furthermore, opposite the entrance to the theatre, you can enjoy the view of the whole square sitting on the Marmor bench, part of the Meštrović’s work – Well of life. The Croatian National Theater in Zagreb is certainly one of those things you have to feel and see. Also, you can enjoy different shows, from opera, drama to ballet.
10. Mimara Museum
The Mimara Museum is an art museum in the city of Zagreb. First of all, it is located at Roosevelt Square, housing the collection by Wiltrud and Ante Topić Mimara. Also, its full official name is the Art Collection of Ante and Wiltrud Topić Mimara. The building itself is certainly magnificent. You can enjoy artwork, explore the museum and also exhibitions. Furthermore, you can sit in front of the Museum and enjoy the view or have a drink in one of the nearby coffee shops. As a result, you will feel great.