Zagreb - the best of the city in its heart

Wonderguide by

Ida Hamer


Comparing to other Europe's capitals, Zagreb is much smaller but less crowded city. It's unique because of its architecture, interesting history and culture, lovely weather and lively atmosphere. Romantic streets of Zagreb can make tourists fall in love with it in the blink of an eye.

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Places to see in the heart of the city

Every year more and more tourists visit Zagreb. Often though, it's only for a day or two before they continue their trip to Croatian's seaside. Thus, this short guide by a local like myself suggest what to see in the beautiful centre of the city in only a day.

Image - Ban Josip Jelačić Square
Ban Josip Jelačić Square
Ida:Ban Josip Jelacic Square is the central square of Croatia's capital and the most energetic point of the city. Its official symbol is Ban Jelacic statue , but unofficial one is probably the big watch. Locals often say "Let's meet by the watch!" The watch is the meeting point for many - from there, people go to grab a coffee, to visit market square Dolac or to do some shopping down the long street called Ilica.
Image - Tržnica Dolac
Tržnica Dolac
Ida:If you really want to experience Zagreb like a local, visit market square Dolac, preferably in the morning. Under the red sunshades people are selling natural and fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and fish and the atmosphere is always vibrant. It's the biggest, most famous and most important market square in Zagreb with rich history.
Image - Uspinjača
Ida:Use "Uspinjaca" to get to the beautiful old part of the city. Zagreb funicular is one of the shortest public-transport funiculars in the world and it connects the lower and upper part of the city. Tourists are always impressed by it!
Image - St. Mark's Church
St. Mark's Church
Ida:St. Mark's Church is located in the old part of Zagreb, on the St. Mark's Square and that's where Croatian government is based as well. The church itself is one of the oldest monuments in Zagreb and the whole square is really lovely and tells its unique story.
Image - Ulica Ivana Tkalčića
Ulica Ivana Tkalčića
Ida:If you wish to enjoy a morning coffee or try some Croatian beverage in the evening, this street is always a great choice! Dynamic and historical street in the city centre is full of coffee shops, bars and restaurants. What used to be the main centre for brothels, today is a charming area for socialising.
Image - Ilica
Ida:Ilica is one of the oldest and the longest streets in Zagreb. It's also the main shopping street in the central city centre, with shops from eminent world's brands or authentic Croatian ones.
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Where to try traditional food

If you are a foodie like myself and you always like to enjoy traditional specialities of the country you are visiting, then your taste buds will love Zagreb. Even though Croatian cuisine is heterogeneous and each part of Croatia has its own culinary tradition, in Zagreb you can try continental cuisine, composed by all kinds of meat, various types of vegetables, cereals, dairy products and eggs.

Image - La Štruk
La Štruk
Ida:This small, but really unique and cheerful restaurant, hidden in the centre of Zagreb, offers all types of "strudel rolls" that Croatians call "strukli." They are done by a traditional recipe in various of different ways.
Image - ​Batak grill – Centar Cvjetni
​Batak grill – Centar Cvjetni
Ida:Batak grill offers a mix of modern and traditional grilled dishes based exclusively on red meat without additives. Culinary specialities are prepared on open fire, which gives them extraordinary taste and smell.
Image - Konoba Didov san
Konoba Didov san
Ida:The taverns of the region called "Dalmatinska zagora" are known for their cosy and homely ambience and this is transferred in the upper part of Zagreb, in Konoba Didov san. They have a rich offer of traditional dishes.
Image - Sofra
Ida:Sofra doesn't represent Croatian food, but it brings you closer the food of the Balkan. It's a Bosnian restaurant which offers Bosnian traditional specialities served in an authentic Bosnian ambience. You should definitely try "cevapcici" there!
Image - Capuciner
Ida:Located in the heart of Zagreb, opposite the famous Zagreb Cathedral, you can enjoy your meal in the pleasant surroundings of the old town. Capuciner offers variety of meals, not only Croatian, but also Italian.

Having a coffee in Zagreb

There’s a special bond between Croatians and a simple cup of coffee, which might be hard to understand to any tourist visiting Croatia. For Croatians, coffee is not just a nice, warm beverage that gives you energy - it’s so much more. It's about socialising and our culture. In Zagreb, there's more than 1,000 coffee shops and all of them are independent ones. You can find a coffee shop on every single corner. Plus, in almost all Croatian coffee shops you can smoke inside. With every cup of coffee you have to get a glass of water and you don't pay for that. Normally, people would order simply “coffee with milk.”

Image - Velvet bar
Velvet bar
Ida:Not only that it's very cosy and charming, but Velvet café is also very unique - it's a first coffee shop in the world that has a "Free Reading Zone." Guests can log in to virtual library that has more than hundred thousands books in several different languages. Located in Dezmanova street, it's also a bit hidden away from the busyness of the city centre.
Image - Caffe bar Čvenk
Caffe bar Čvenk
Ida:Only about 100 meters away from the main square, but a bit hidden away in lovely Radiceva street, there is a bar Cvenk. This simple and urban coffee shop with reasonable prices is special because it's based in a historic part of the city, and the view from the terrace is lovely.
Image - Cinema Europa
Cinema Europa
Ida:This is an iconic and unique place in Zagreb; with charming movie theatre and a lovely coffee shop, Kino Europa is one of the favourite spots in the centre of the city for locals. The building was built in 1925., almost hundred years ago, thus, this is a historic place in Zagreb.
Image - Greenery Procaffe
Greenery Procaffe
Ida:Away from the centre of the city, but absolutely worth visiting, Greenery Procaffe is, without a doubt, one of the best coffee shops in Zagreb. Interior design is modern and very well thought through, dominated by a green colour and plants, currently a major trend in the world. Coffee is great, but so is gin tonic which you can create yourself.
Image - Hendrick's garden
Hendrick's garden
Ida:Called "A most unusual garden" or "Hendrick's garden" really is decorated like a garden with tree-house. Surrounded with trees, you forget you are in the city and the atmosphere is very relaxing. Along with coffee, you can also enjoy natural juices, Hendrick’s gin and craft beers.

Wonderguide map

  1. Ban Josip Jelačić Square
  2. Tržnica Dolac
  3. Uspinjača
  4. St. Mark's Church
  5. Ulica Ivana Tkalčića
  6. Ilica
  7. La Štruk
  8. ​Batak grill – Centar Cvjetni
  9. Konoba Didov san
  10. Sofra
  11. Capuciner
  12. Velvet bar
  13. Caffe bar Čvenk
  14. Cinema Europa
  15. Greenery Procaffe
  16. Hendrick's garden

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