Things to do in Zagreb, Croatia | Zagreb Travel Guide | What to do in Zagreb in 48 Hours

February 14, 2019

An Exuberant Experience of Exploring the Upper and Lower Town of Zagreb 

 

The Journey


Normally, I prefer trains over buses but this time I wanted to experience the road trip from Munich, Germany to Zagreb, Croatia. To be honest, the experience was not so well because I made the wrong choice in the bus service. 

 

Old Town of Zagreb, Croatia

 

I took Cjana Bus which was already late by one hour in Munich ZOB. It was my first time crossing a Non-Schengen border by road. By passing through the snowy mountains of Austria and plain lands of Slovenia, we reached to the Slovenian-Croatian border.

 

 

Crossing the Snow covered fields of Austria. Enroute Zagreb, Croatia

 

We were already 3 hours late from our schedule because of the heavy traffic in Germany and Austria. The whole scene was totally unexpected. There was a long queue of the buses on the border control too and it took almost 2 hours to clear the border. As we reached the border everybody came out of the bus and started waiting for their bus turn.

 

To avail Discount on your Stay in Zagreb, Croatia. Click here Booking.com

 

Looking at the Snowy Peaks of Slovenia 

 

There was also a rest area with washroom and wending machines for the passengers. When our bus was about to reach near the border control point, everybody went inside the bus. At the border control we came out again and show their identity cards or passport to immigration officers. In my case, as I was holding a Pakistani Passport with Schengen Visa and was entering Croatia the Slovenian Officials put an Exit Stamp on my passport as Croatia is part of EU but doesn't come in Schengen Area.

 

 

After that, everybody sat on the bus and it moved towards the Croatian Border Control. The immigration Officer came inside in our bus and checked the identity cards and passports of the passengers and put the Entry Stamp on my passport. That is how I entered into Europe's Non-Schengen Area.

 

To avail Discount on your Stay in Zagreb, Croatia. Click here Booking.com

 

Our Room

 

After the hectic journey of 12 hours, we finally reached to Zagreb Main Bus Station. I had already booked the house through Airbnb and took the Uber (It's quite cheap). Normally, I always check the reviews on Airbnb but this time I gave a try for the new host.

 

A highway in Zagreb, Croatia

 

I must say that it's the best Airbnb I had experienced so far in more than 42 countries I have visited so far. The house was not located in the down town but it was well connected to the city center with frequent public transport. The host was also super nice. The house has a separate space for the guests which includes open kitchen with dining table, Living room, washroom and bed room. It was well furnished with all the modern and new equipments.

 

To avail Discount on your Stay in Zagreb, Croatia. Click here Booking.com

 

 

Lower Town of  Zagreb

 

After dropping the luggage, we went straight to Zagreb Downtown. Zagreb has Upper and lower district. On the lower district, I selected Jelacic Plac to visit first. It's one of the most famous squares which have different small streets taking to the different places in lower town. Your's "What to do in Zagreb List" must include exploring both Upper and Lower Districts.

 

Experience the Nightlife of Zagreb at Jelacic Plac

 

 

Exploring llica Street in Zagreb, Croatia

 

The square has different shopping stores, shop, kiosks, tram station and it is always full with people. There's always something exciting going on this square. This December, I got an opportunity to enjoy the different traditional Christmas performances on the big stage. This is the place where I loved to sit and lost myself in observing the people and the hustle and bustle of the city.

 

 

The street leads from Jelacic Plac to the famous fashion avenue of Zagreb called llica, which is one of Europe's best destination. It has all the world leading brands to local Croatian brands and also narrow streets which take to different restaurants and cafes.

 

To avail Discount on your Stay in Zagreb, Croatia. Click here Booking.com

 

Exploring Zagreb, Croatia 

 

On the south of the Jelacic Plac there's a famous farmer market called Dolac Market. It has small open stalls up on the stairs selling fresh vegetables and fruits in very cheap price and sheltered stalls below the stairs selling meat, cheese and also old ladies selling local specialties. It's one of the most visited market in Zagreb.

 

Night View of Dolac Market in Zagreb, Croatia.

 

Dolac Market in Zagreb, Croatia during busy hours

 

 

Zagreb Cathedral is a Roman Catholic Church. It's one of the tallest buildings in Croatia and one of the top visited tourist attractions in Zagreb. Unfortunately, I was not able to visit it from inside due to the crowd but I will highly recommend visiting it.

 

To avail Discount on your Stay in Zagreb, Croatia. Click here Booking.com

 

Zagreb Cathedral

 

 

Tkalciceva Street is one of the most happening and lively street of Zagreb. It has lots of amazing restaurants, cafés and bars and probably one of the best place to visit in Zagreb. With a wide range of cafes, restaurants and night clubs its a must visit place and I will recommend to explore it all.

 

 

Tkalciceva Street in Zagreb, Croatia

 

Zagreb has a tunnel pedestrian called Gric Tunnel. The tunnel has a central hall and it's connected with different passage ways. The passage takes into different streets of the old town. The tunnels were changed into the theme of ice rock from inside with different lightings in the Christmas season. It gave me the true feelings that I am in an Ice age.

 

Gric Tunnel in Zagreb, Croatia

 

 

 

 

Zagreb Funicular is a shortest funicular ride of the World. It takes around 55 seconds to reach to Upper Town with a very little price of 5 Croatian Kuna. But do remember that they don’t accept payment by Credit Card or Euro. After waiting in a long queue, we had to go to money exchanger to exchange the money.

 

To avail Discount on your Stay in Zagreb, Croatia. Click here Booking.com

 

World's Shortest Funicular in Zagreb is a must do activity.

 

 

 

 

Upper Town of Zagreb

 

Lotrscak Tower is located in the Upper Town and serves as a defense tower since 13th century. It's one of the famous attractions due to its wonderful 360 degree panoramic view of the city. The ticket costs 20 Kuna and you can climb up the comfortable stairs. I have been there in the evening and enjoyed the perfect sunset of winters. Its one of the best thing to do in Zagreb and highly recommended to do it.

 

To avail Discount on your Stay in Zagreb, Croatia. Click here Booking.com

 

Tickets of Lotrscak Tower in Zagreb

 

Enjoying the Panoramic View of Zagreb, Croatia from Lotrscak Tower

 

 

St.Mark Church is one of the most important landmarks of Zagreb Upper Town and it’s has beautiful spectrum of the tiles on its roof and depicting the Croatian, Dalmatian and Slavonian coats of arms. If you are an art lover this is a place for you to enjoy the best art sculptures by famous Croatian artist Ivan Mestrovic.

 

 

 

St.Mark Church in Zagreb, Croatia

 

St.Mark Church in Zagreb, Croatia

 

Stone Gate is on the Eastern Gate of the Upper Town. It has a painting of Virgin Mary and a Child. It is said that everything was burnt in the fire of 1731 along with the  wooden gate except this painting.

 

To avail Discount on your Stay in Zagreb, Croatia. Click here Booking.com

 

Stone Gate in Zagreb, Croatia 

 

I walked in the Upper Town and climbed up the stairs and reached to the posh residential area. After a little walk, I saw a park and it's the best spot to enjoy the nature with an amazing view. I sat there for a while and enjoyed the voice of chirping birds. I always try to find such a spot in crowded cities to enjoy my time and to relax from modern day lifestyle.

 

 

Climbing the Stairs to explore the Upper Town of Zagreb

 

A park in the Upper Town of Zagreb, Croatia

 

I would highly suggest enjoying your dinner at Italian Restaurant called Trattoria Canzona. It's one of the cutest café with amazing food and dessert.  It has a great ambiance and gave the feel that I am in Mini Italy with the concept of small balconies and also the cozy sitting.

 

To avail Discount on your Stay in Zagreb, Croatia. Click here Booking.com

 

Trattoria Canzona Restaurant in Zagreb Croatia

 

 

 

Mimara Museum is an art museum located in Roosevelt Square and it's highly accessible from the downtown with Tram.  The Museum is exhibiting amazing art work of various artists.

 

llica Street in Zagreb, Croatia

 

Mirogoj Cemetery is the largest cemetery and held a special place as many famous personalities were buried here. It is one of the attractions of the Zagreb due to its unique architecture and also its park. 

 

 

 

Enjoying the Nightlife of Zagreb

 

Croatian National Theatre has theatre, opera and ballet house. It is always crowded so Don’t forget to make your bookings in advance. Museum of broken relation is located in the Upper town and it is depicting the irony of the failed love. It has personal belongings of the former lovers.         

 

To avail Discount on your Stay in Zagreb, Croatia. Click here Booking.com

 

Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, Croatia

 

 

 

One of the most happening city I have ever visited in 42 countries I have explored so far: Zagreb, Croatia

 

Ending Note

 

I would highly recommend to visit the Lake Jarun if you have enough time and if the weather is present. I visited Zagreb in winters and skipped my trip to Jarun Lake due to rain. I must say it's a perfect spot for summer picnics and cycling and Insha ALLAH will visit it in my next trip to this wanderlust.

 

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