Zagreb - Everything I need to know

Zagreb - Everything I need to know

Find all information you need about the Capital City Zagreb in Croatia. Enjoy your holiday even more and have fun exploring.

Zagreb - Everything I need to know

You have already decided to come to Zagreb or you are just planning your vacation? Either way, our tips and tricks will help you to know more about Zagreb. You will explore it like a real local.


The Capital City

First of all,Zagreb is thecapitaland the largest city ofCroatia.It is located in the northwest of the country. It is also placed along theSavariver, at the southern slopes of theMedvednicamountain. Also, Zagreb lies at approximately 122m (400ft)above sea level. Furthermore, the estimated population of the city in 2018 was 802 762. Moreover, the population of the Zagreb urban agglomeration is about 1.2 million. That is approximately a quarter of the total population of Croatia.


Hence, the city extends over 30 kilometers (19 miles) east-west and around 20 kilometers (12 miles) north-south.

The main point

Zagreb is the seat of thecentral government,administrative bodies, and almost allgovernment ministries. Therefore, almost all of thelargest Croatian companies,media, and scientific institutions have their headquarters in the city. As a result, Zagreb is the most important transport hub in Croatia. Here meet Central Europe, theMediterranean, andSoutheast Europe. This makes the Zagreb the center of the road, rail and also air networks of Croatia. Moreover, it is a city known for its diverseeconomy, high quality of living,museums, sporting, and entertainment events.

How the City got its name?


Name origin?

The etymology of the nameZagrebis unclear. First, people used the word for the united city only from 1852. But it had been in use as the name of theZagreb Diocesesince the 12th century. And was increasingly used for the city in the 17th century. Ostrogon archbishopFelician first recorded the name in a charter by, dated 1134, mentioned asZagrabiensem episcopate. The older form of the name isZagreb. Nicolas Sanson first recoreded the modern Croatian formZagrebin a 1689 map. On the other side, the name might be derived from Proto-Slavic word*grębъwhich means hill, uplift. (However, note Serbo-Croatianbrȇg< Proto-Slavic*bergъ, whichalsomeans '(smaller) hill', andza brȇg'toortoward the hill'.

How Germans called Zagreb?

On the other side, Germans in the Habsburg period used the nameAgram. First of all, this name has been classified as "probably of Roman origin". But it could be anAustrian Germanreanalysis of*Zugram. Moreover, inMiddle LatinandModern Latin, Zagreb is known asAgranum(the name of an unrelated Arabian city inStrabo),ZagrabiaorMons Graecensis(alsoMons Crecensis, in reference toGrič(Gradec).

Local story

In Croatianfolk etymology, the name of the city has been derived from either the verbza-grab-, meaning "to scoop" or "to dig". Therefore, oral stories and folk legends tie the name to a drought of the early 14th century. First one is that Augustin Kažotić(c. 1260–1323) has dug a well which miraculously produced water. In another legend, a city governor is thirsty and orders a girl named Manda to "scoop" water fromManduševacwell (nowadays a fountain in Ban Jelačić Square). He ordered her using the imperative:zagrabi, Mando!("Scoop, Manda!").

Source: več

The History of Zagreb

Zagreb is a city with a rich history. The time dates from Romantimes to the present day. The oldest settlement located in the vicinity of the city was the RomanAndautonia, in today'sŠčitarjevo. Zagreb became afree royal townin 1242. In 1851 Zagreb had itsfirst mayor, Janko Kamauf.

From the early days...

The first recorded appearance of the name Zagreb is dated to 1094. At that time the city existed as two different city centers: the smaller, easternKaptol and the larger, westernGradec. Clergy and housing Zagreb Cathedral were in the Kaptol. On the other side, craftsmen and merchants were in Gradec. Gradec and Kaptol were united in 1851 byban Josip Jelačić, who was credited for this, with the naming the main city square,Ban Jelačić Squarein his honor.During the period offormer Yugoslavia, Zagreb remained an important economic center of the country and was the second largest city. AfterCroatia declared independencefrom Yugoslavia, Zagreb was proclaimed its capital.


The climate and the weather

The climate of Zagreb is classified as anoceanic climate(Köppen climate classificationCfb), but with significant continental influences and very closely bordering on ahumid continental climate(Dfb) as well as ahumid subtropical climate(Cfa). Zagreb has four separateseasons.

Zagreb Spring

Seasons in Zagreb

Summers are warm, at the end of May the temperatures start rising and it is often pleasant with occasional thunderstorms. Heatwaves can occur but are short-lived. Temperatures rise above 30°C (86°F) on an average 14.6 days each summer.

Zagreb Summer

Rainfall is abundant in the summertime and it continues to be in autumn as well. Zagreb is Europe's 9th wettest capital, behind Luxembourg and ahead of Brussels, Belgium.Autumnin its early stages is mild with an increase of rainy days and a steady temperature towards its end. Morningfogis common from mid-October to January with northern city districts at the foothills of theMedvednicamountain as well as those along theSava river being more prone to all-day fog accumulation. 

Zagreb Autumn
Source: tripadvisor

Don't miss the Christmas Market in winter!

Winters are cold. Even though there is no dry season, February is the driest month with 39mm of precipitation. On average there are 29 days with snowfall with first snow falling in early November. Springs are generally mild and pleasant. It can be frequent weather changes. And also windier days than other seasons. Furthermore, sometimes cold spells can occur, mostly in its early stages. The average daily temperature in the winter is around 1°C (34°F) (from December to February) and the average temperature in the summer is 22.0°C (71.6°F).

Zagreb Winter

Winter is certainly a great time of the year to visit Christmas Market (Advent in Zagreb). It has been declared as the best Christmas Market three times in a row. This is truly a unique experience and you should not miss it! Some interesting info... The highest recorded temperature at the Maksimir weather station was 40.4°C (104.7°F) in July 1950, and the lowest was −27.3°C (−17.1°F) in February 1956.


Zagreb is also an important tourist center. Not only in terms of passengers traveling from the rest of Europe to the Adriatic Sea but also as a travel destination itself. It has attracted close to a million visitors annually. The tourist come mainly fromAustria,Germany, andItaly. But in recent years many tourists from the far east (South Korea, Japan, China, and last two years, from India). It has become an important tourist destination. And not only in Croatia but in the whole region of southeastern Europe. Zagreb is a safe city, but still here are some local tips of what to avoid on your holiday.

Sights & Happenings

There are many interesting sights and happenings for tourists to attend in Zagreb, for example, the two statues of Saint George, one at theRepublic of Croatia Square, the other atKamenita vrata, where the image of Virgin Mary is said to be the only thing that hasn't burned in the 17th-century fire. In the Upper Town you can enjoy a great view on Zagreb Cathedral and also visit it.

Kamenita vrata, Zagreb

The heart of the City

The historical part of the city to the north ofBan Jelačić Squareis composed of theGornji GradandKaptol, a medieval urban complex of churches, palaces, museums, galleries and also government buildings that are popular with tourists on sightseeing tours. Furthermore, the historic district can be reached on foot, starting fromJelačić Square, the center of Zagreb. And also by afunicularon a nearby Tomićeva Street. During your vacation, don't miss local food and enjoy some of the best restaurants you will ever visit!

Upper Town, Zagreb

Most noteworthy! Each Saturday, (from April till the end of September), onSt. Mark's Squarein theUpper town, tourists can meet members of the Order of The Silver Dragon (Red Srebrnog Zmaja). They reenact famous historical conflicts betweenGradecandKaptol. It's a great opportunity for all visitors to take photographs of authentic and fully functional historical replicas of medieval armor. You will certainly have a lot of fun!

Enjoy your holiday in Zagreb!

Finally, the Croatian capital Zagreb is young and playful at heart, despite the almost thousand-year-old history of its old town. The locals welcome visitors with traditional Croatian hospitality. 

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