Museums, markets and cannonball in Zagreb!
The capital of Croatia is sophisticated and historical. It’s the perfect size to walk around, check out cool sites and take in the Hungarian-Austrian architectural vibes. Here are some must-do’s in Zagreb that will become your favorites.
One of the most important religious landmarks in the city is the Zagreb Cathedral which is also the tallest building in Croatia. The Gothic-style architecture was already in existence from the mid-13th century. You’ll want to snap a few photos, step inside and witness the interior decor. It was King Ladislaus of Hungary who commissioned the church into a cathedral in 1093.
Who doesn’t love a lively market in a foreign country? Not too far away from Zagreb Cathedral is Dolac Market which is…AWESOME! Here, you can buy the freshest peaches, cherries, berries that can’t compare to the ones in supermarkets. The cheese stalls are provincial. This vibrant scene is perfect for people watching. Thank goodness there are cafes in the market square to gawk ’til you’re ready to move on.
Ready to get out the tissues! Museum of Broken Relationships is a quirky concept. As one of Europe’s most innovative museums, it started out as a traveling collection of donated items. Don’t be surprised if you weep by the end of the visit.
4. SEE: St. Mark’s Square
10000, Zagreb, Croatia (map)
St. Mark’s Square is known for St. Mark’s Church featuring the gorgeous roof tiles representing the coat of arms of Zagreb and Kingdom of Croatia, Slavonia and Dalmatia. The square itself is also surrounded by important governmental buildings, and is also where presidential inaugurations occur. Get your cameras out, this is definitely a snap-worthy site.
Lotrščak Tower (which means thieves’ bell) was constructed during the 13th century. It was meant to protect the southern gate of Gradec town wall. You’ll want to arrive at noon so you can witness the canon fired from the tower that alerts churches all over Zagreb to ring the midday bell. Then, climb up the tower to capture an amazing view of the entire city. It’s a magnificent sight on a sunny day!
6. DO: Ride the funicular
Strossmayerovo šetalište 9, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia (map)
After the tower, ride the world’s shortest funicular. With a 66-meter track, the funicular is kept in its original shape since 1890 when it was first built.
This ride has never encountered an accident involving humans, making it the oldest, the shortest and the safest.
Zagreb’s legendary 5-star Esplanade Hotel is home to Le Bistro Restaurant featuring its first female chef Ana Grgić who combines classic French cuisine with Croatian tastes. Not to be missed on the menu is the famous “Esplanade Strukli” – a conventional Croatian pastry covered in sizzling cottage cheese concealed with cream.
Since it coins itself as “food with heart and soul,” Mundoaka Street Food’s pulled pork sandwich is not to be missed. The portions are enormous, perfect to share family-style. The menu changes daily, ranging from sandwiches, salads to tasty desserts.
Healthy and delish! Submarine burgers are no joke. There are several locations in Zagreb, and they make the perfect spots to take a break from sightseeing. Each burger is made from organic ingredients without additives, and the beef is incredibly fresh paired with local vegetables that come from all regions in Croatia.
12. SHOP: Neckties
Did you know that neckties are from Croatia? Back in the 1600’s, Croatian mercenaries in the French service wore their traditional knotted neckerchiefs, that triggered Parisians’ interests. Why not get a necktie here as souvenir?
13. SHOP: Gingerbread Hearts
In Zagreb, you’ll see Gingerbread Hearts everywhere! The city premiered the ballet named “The Gingerbread Heart” in 1924. Since then, guys will offer a gingerbread heart to a girl he likes. The symbol means: eternal love.
14. SHOP: Boromina
Boromina are super fun kicks that you’ll see all over Croatia. These designs come in all sorts of fun patterns that you won’t find anywhere else!
15. SHOP: Naïve Art
In the turn of 20th century, many ordinary Croatians became successful artists with reverse glass painting. Naïve art also became a democratic movement, showing that anyone can create valuable art despite not having any formal training.