Most peo­ple come to Croa­t­ia for the chic coast­line, but its cap­i­tal, Zagreb, offers plen­ty of big-city attrac­tions. Zagreb is home to a quar­ter of the coun­try’s pop­u­la­tion, being the polit­i­cal and cul­tur­al cen­ter of Croa­t­ia. A thriv­ing and vibrant city, the city boasts some of the coun­try’s best muse­ums, restau­rants and shops. Most of the main attrac­tions of Zagreb are locat­ed in the cen­ter, which con­sists of two main parts: Zagreb Gorni (upper town) and Zagreb Don­ji (low­er town). The upper city is locat­ed on a high plateau, which also hous­es the main Cathe­dral and the par­lia­ment build­ing of Zagreb. The Low­er City is a more mod­ern area with world class muse­ums and the Croa­t­ian Nation­al The­atre. A good place to start your acquain­tance with Zagreb is the main square of the city, where both parts of it meet.

sights of zagreb

The entry is from place: Croa­t­ia
Church of St. Mark

The mag­nif­i­cent cob­bled streets and red-tiled roofs of build­ings in Zagre­b’s medieval Upper Town make it the per­fect place to start explor­ing the Croa­t­ian cap­i­tal. Once two sep­a­rate towns known as Kap­tol and Hradec, Zagreb Gorn­ji is home to many of the most vis­it­ed attrac­tions in Zagrebinclud­ing the cathe­dral, par­lia­ment build­ing, and numer­ous muse­ums and church­es. Also look out for the Kap­tol Square with build­ings from the ear­ly 17th cen­tu­ry, and the Dolac veg­etable mar­ket. The most strik­ing mon­u­ment is the church of St. A brand eas­i­ly rec­og­niz­able by its bright­ly col­ored tiled roof with the coats of arms of Croa­t­ia, Dal­ma­tia, Slavo­nia and Zagreb. It traces its roots back to an ear­li­er 13th-cen­tu­ry church, and among the church’s many note­wor­thy fea­tures are the Romanesque win­dows, Ivan Pavler’s Goth­ic door­way, and a series of stat­ues of the 12 Apos­tles, along with Jesus, Mary, and St. Mark. Be sure to go inside and admire the stun­ning inte­ri­or with its stat­ues by the famous Croa­t­ian sculp­tor Ivan Mestro­vić and fres­coes paint­ed by Jozo Kljaković.

Zagreb Cathedral and Treasury

Zagreb Cathe­dral — Cathe­dral of the Vir­gin Mary, for­mer­ly known as St. Stephen’s Cathe­dral. It was installed on the site of a pre­vi­ous struc­ture destroyed by the Tatars in the ear­ly 1200s. The cathe­dral stands out for its two ornate spiers, cre­at­ed in the sec­ond half of the 13th cen­tu­ry. Since then, there have been many changes and recon­struc­tions that have sig­nif­i­cant­ly changed the struc­ture. The strongest earth­quake in 1880 destroyed most of the cathe­dral, includ­ing the dome and bell tow­er. As a result of the recon­struc­tion, the orig­i­nal medieval project was restored. Be sure to vis­it the cathe­dral’s trea­sury with its beau­ti­ful works of reli­gious art, gar­ments and sacred objects.

Mimar Museum

The Mimara Muse­um was estab­lished in 1972 to house art donat­ed by pri­vate col­lec­tors. Housed in a neo-Renais­sance build­ing from 1895, the muse­um con­tains a wide range of exhibits from dif­fer­ent parts of the world and dif­fer­ent time peri­ods. Of par­tic­u­lar note is the fine archae­o­log­i­cal col­lec­tion of arti­facts from Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Per­sia, the Mid­dle East, the Far East, India, as well as South Amer­i­ca. There is also a large col­lec­tion of glass­ware from Europe and oth­er Mediter­ranean coun­tries, along with medieval fur­ni­ture and sculp­tures from ancient Greece. Among the paint­ings, the works of the Dutch artists Rem­brandt and Ruis­dael, the Ital­ian artists Raphael and Veronese, the Flem­ish painters Rubens and Van Dyck, the Spaniards Velázquez and Goya stand out. French and Eng­lish artists are rep­re­sent­ed by works by Renoir, Bouch­er and Delacroix, while notable sculp­tures include works by Rodin and Houdon. Muse­um address: Trg Frankli­na Roo­sevelta 5.

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Zagreb Art Pavilion

The Zagreb Art Pavil­ion (Umjet­nic­ki Paviljon) was cre­at­ed for the inter­na­tion­al exhi­bi­tion in Budapest in 1896. After the exhi­bi­tion, it was returned to Zagreb on a large iron plat­form and installed in its cur­rent loca­tion. Known for its col­or­ful yel­low Art Nou­veau façade, the Art Pavil­ion is now used for con­tem­po­rary art exhi­bi­tions and con­tains impor­tant works by the respect­ed Croa­t­ian artist Ivan Mestro­vic. This is the old­est exhi­bi­tion hall of its kind in Croa­t­ia, locat­ed on the large city square named after the first King of Croa­t­ia, Tomis­lav. Also inter­est­ing for art lovers is the Mestro­vic Gallery (Atel­je Mestro­vic) in an old build­ing of the 17th cen­tu­ry, where Ivan Mestro­vic once lived and sculpt­ed. Approx­i­mate­ly 300 sculp­tures in wood, stone, and bronze are on dis­play here, along with draw­ings, fur­ni­ture, and lith­o­g­ra­phy. The exhi­bi­tion cov­ers many top­ics, includ­ing reli­gion and por­trai­ture. The most rec­og­nized Croa­t­ian painter and world famous sculp­tor of the 20th cen­tu­ry, Mestro­vić lat­er moved to Paris where he befriend­ed Rodin. One of his most famous works, Pieta Romana, is on dis­play at the Vat­i­can. Address of the Zagreb Art Pavil­ion: Trg kral­ja Tomis­la­va 22, 10000 Zagreb.

Archaeological and ethnographic museums

Focus­ing on the rich his­to­ry of Croa­t­ia, the Zagreb Archae­o­log­i­cal Muse­um (Arhe­olos­ki Muzej) has five main sec­tions con­tain­ing approx­i­mate­ly 400,000 arti­facts. Of par­tic­u­lar inter­est is the exhi­bi­tion of Egypt­ian mum­mies, Greek vas­es and the medieval sec­tion on the Great Migra­tion of Nations. One of the most impor­tant attrac­tions of the Zagreb Archae­o­log­i­cal Muse­um is the Plau­til­la from the ancient city of Salona, ​​as well as an exten­sive col­lec­tion of coins, includ­ing Greek, Celtic, Roman, Byzan­tine, and mod­ern exam­ples. Also of inter­est is the Etno­graph­ic Muse­um (Etno­graf­s­ki Muzej) with its exten­sive col­lec­tion of exhibits cov­er­ing the cul­ture and his­to­ry of Croa­t­ia. Here you will find exhi­bi­tions of ceram­ics, jew­els, gold, musi­cal instru­ments, tex­tiles, tools, weapons and elab­o­rate tra­di­tion­al cos­tumes. The tra­di­tion­al folk cos­tumes alone, with dif­fer­ent col­ors and styles, are worth a vis­it, demon­strat­ing the coun­try’s region­al diver­si­ty. The muse­ums of the cap­i­tal are one of the good rea­sons to vis­it Croa­t­ia.

Croatian National Theater

Cre­at­ed in 1895 by Vien­nese archi­tects Her­man Gelmer and Fer­di­nand Fell­ner, the Croa­t­ian Nation­al The­ater (Hrvatsko Nar­o­d­no Kaza­l­iste) is locat­ed in the north­west cor­ner of the Green Horse­shoe of Zagreb in the Low­er City. Offi­cial­ly opened by the Aus­tro-Hun­gar­i­an emper­or Franz Joseph I in 1894, this impos­ing the­ater in the low­er town imme­di­ate­ly became a promi­nent land­mark in Zagreb. The build­ing was built in the Neo-Baroque and Roco­co styles, with two small domes in the front and a larg­er dome in the back. The Croa­t­ian Nation­al The­ater also has excel­lent inte­ri­or dec­o­ra­tion with illus­tra­tions by Vla­ho Buko­vac and Ivan Mestro­vic’s Source of Life. Opera per­for­mances, bal­let or the­atri­cal per­for­mances are reg­u­lar­ly held here. Address: Trg marsala Tita 15, 10000, Zagreb

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Contemporary Gallery of Zagreb

The Zagreb Mod­ern Art Gallery (Mod­er­na Galer­i­ja) is locat­ed in the Low­er City, in the mag­nif­i­cent Palace of 1882. Here you can see many beau­ti­ful works of Croa­t­ian artists of the 19th and 20th cen­tu­ry. The Gallery of Mod­ern Art opened in 1973, despite the fact that the col­lec­tion itself has been formed since the ear­ly 1900s, when inter­est­ing works of out­stand­ing mas­ters began to enter it. Over the decades, the col­lec­tion has grown sig­nif­i­cant­ly and is now the most com­plete col­lec­tion of Croa­t­ian artists’ work. Address: Andri­je Hebran­ga 1, Zagreb

Park Maksimir

Designed in the style of an Old Eng­lish gar­den, Mak­simirs­ka Park is a beau­ti­ful green area on 45 acres. The largest park in Zagreb con­tains two pavil­ions: the Belle­vue Pavil­ion from 1843, and the Echo Pavil­ion, built accord­ing to a Swiss design. The park also has many excel­lent trails and walk­ing paths, arti­fi­cial lakes, wood­ed areas and flower gar­dens. All this makes Mak­simir a great place for a walk or a pic­nic. There is also a small zoo for chil­dren. Locals call Mak­simir the “liv­ing land­mark of Zagreb”. The park was named after Bish­op Max­i­m­il­ian Vrho­vac, who car­ried out its con­struc­tion in 1794. Oppo­site Mak­simir is the Dynamo Foot­ball Sta­di­um where Croa­t­ia holds inter­na­tion­al match­es.

Church of St. Catherine

The Jesuit Church of St. Cather­ine was built in the first half of the 17th cen­tu­ry and is con­sid­ered one of the finest church­es in Zagreb. imme­di­ate­ly attracts the atten­tion of its beau­ti­ful inte­ri­or with fine exam­ples of baroque art and relief plas­ter by the Ital­ian artist Anto­nio Quadrio in 1720. The famous ceil­ing of the nave is dec­o­rat­ed with col­or­ful scenes depict­ing the life of St. Cather­ine. Oth­er inter­est­ing ele­ments inside the church are the Altar of St. Ignatius behind the main altar, as well as the fres­co of St. Cather­ine, sur­round­ed by Alexan­dri­an philoso­phers and writ­ers, by the artist Kristof Yalovshek, dat­ing from 1762.

Tower Lotrschak

Cre­at­ed to guard the city’s south­ern wall, the Lotrs­ka Tow­er dates back to the 13th cen­tu­ry and has long been one of Zagre­b’s most rec­og­niz­able land­marks. Accord­ing to leg­end, this large square Romanesque tow­er once had a bell that sound­ed every night until the gates closed, call­ing the inhab­i­tants out­side the walls to return. In the 19th cen­tu­ry, a fourth floor and loop­holes with guns were added to the tow­er, from where a vol­ley was fired every noon. Vis­i­tors can climb the tow­er and see all of Zagreb at a glance. At the base of the tow­er is a small muse­um and sou­venir shops. Anoth­er impor­tant medieval struc­ture is the Stone Gate, the last of the five orig­i­nal city gates. Cre­at­ed in the 13th cen­tu­ry, the struc­ture sur­vived a ter­ri­ble fire in 1731. To com­mem­o­rate the impor­tance of the Stone Gate, a chapel was built near­by with a wall paint­ing of Jesus and the Vir­gin Mary. This place is still a des­ti­na­tion of pil­grim­age.

City Museum of Zagreb

The City Muse­um in the Upper City of Zagreb includes the Con­vent of St. Clara, tow­ers from the 1100s and gra­naries from the 17th cen­tu­ry. Cre­at­ed along the east­ern city wall, the muse­um has been oper­at­ing since 1907 and con­tains 12 exhibits with 75,000 exhibits. The exhi­bi­tion cov­ers the entire his­to­ry of Zagreb with many impor­tant doc­u­ments, maps, art, archae­o­log­i­cal finds and oth­er his­tor­i­cal items, includ­ing an excel­lent scale mod­el of the old town of Hradec. The City Muse­um also has inter­ac­tive exhibits to keep young vis­i­tors inter­est­ed, includ­ing fun hands-on work­shops and a chil­dren’s play­room. Address: Opat­ic­ka uli­ca 20, 10000, Zagreb

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Straussmeyer Gallery

The Strauss­meier Old Mas­ters Gallery is locat­ed on the sec­ond floor of the Croa­t­ian Acad­e­my of Arts and Sci­ences in the Low­er City of Zagreb. This 19th-cen­tu­ry Neo-Renais­sance build­ing was built by Bish­op Josip Strauss­meier in the 1870s. The Acad­e­my and Gallery of the Old Mas­ters con­tains 600 pieces of art that the Bish­op per­son­al­ly donat­ed. Works by Belli­ni, Veronese, Bar­tolomeo Capo­rali, Van Dyck, as well as Croa­t­ian artists and sculp­tors are dis­played here. Also worth a vis­it is the Zagreb Muse­um of Applied Arts, with its col­lec­tion of over 160,000 arti­facts from Croa­t­ia and oth­er Euro­pean coun­tries. Tex­tiles are on dis­play here, includ­ing the famous Varazdin embroi­dery and tapes­tries from Tour­nai, Antwerp, and Brus­sels, as well as rare jew­els, musi­cal instru­ments, Goth­ic and Baroque sculp­tures, paint­ings, and ceram­ics. The sights of Zagreb are direct­ly asso­ci­at­ed with tourists with this muse­um.

Museum of Naive Art

In addi­tion to art and his­to­ry muse­ums, Zagreb has many rather unique, even quirky, muse­ums that are def­i­nite­ly worth a vis­it. One of the most pop­u­lar attrac­tions is the Muse­um of Naive Art in Zagreb (Hrvats­ki Muzej Naivne Umjet­nos­ti) with the works of such famous “naive” artists as Ivan Gen­er­al­ic, Mraz, Mirko Vir­ius and Smaljic. The works of this style on dis­play are some­times referred to as “prim­i­tive” art. Anoth­er attrac­tion of the city is the Muse­um of Unre­quit­ed Love, with its spec­tac­u­lar array of per­son­al items donat­ed by unhap­py lovers after their breakup. Address: Cir­i­la i Meto­da 3 Sv, Gra­di­ent Gorn­ji, Zagreb.

Zagreb Botanical Garden

The Botan­i­cal Gar­den was orig­i­nal­ly cre­at­ed as a research area for the Zagreb Uni­ver­si­ty of Botany. Cov­er­ing approx­i­mate­ly 50,000 square meters, the Botan­i­cal Gar­den is one of a series of parks that form the city’s “Green Horse­shoe”. It includes a tree nurs­ery, two ponds with numer­ous aquat­ic plants, an orna­men­tal bridge and approx­i­mate­ly 10,000 dif­fer­ent plant species. This is a great place to escape from the city, where you can relax and take a walk. Near­by is the Muse­um of Nat­ur­al His­to­ry, housed in one of the build­ings of the Palaz­zo Amadeo from the ear­ly 1700s. The muse­um hous­es approx­i­mate­ly two and a half mil­lion exhibits, includ­ing min­er­als from all over the world, an exten­sive zoo­log­i­cal col­lec­tion, and many plants and ani­mals from Croa­t­ia. Address: Marulicev trg 9 A, Zagreb. If you want to add to this list of Zagreb attrac­tions, add your com­ments below and par­tic­i­pate in the dis­cus­sion. Hap­py trav­els!