Things to do in Zagreb

Zagreb is an European city that revolves around culture and events. There always seems to be something happening. And the best part? Many events and cultural activities are free! That’s great news for backpackers. If you’re around town in the summertime, you should definitely check out free annual events such as Summer on the Stross and the Gradec Summer Theatre.

You’ll also find many exhibition openings are free at art galleries in Zagreb, so grab your pals and appreciate the local artworks and artists with a glass of wine. Even if you’re not around for an exhibition opening, you can still get free entry to Muzej Suvremene Umjetnosti (Museum of Contemporary Art) on the first Wednesday of every month to check out over 4,000 works by 900 artists.

Of course, if you want to spend a little of your hard-earned cash, there are plenty of places to shop in Zagreb. Markets and fairs are the ideal way to mingle with the locals and bag a unique bargain. Check out the antique fair at British Square on Sunday mornings for vintage wares and covetable collectables. There’s also the old Dolac Market, which has been trading for over 80 years and counting. This is Zagreb’s main market where loads of farmers from surrounding villages sell their local produce and homemade goods. Look out for cheap and cheerful lunches at spots around the edge of the market.

Oh, and if you’re a vinyl fan, you’re going to seriously dig this place. Zagreb specialises in music stores and you’ll find heaps of second-hand record stores around town – try Free Bird, Roxy and Dobar Zvuk. For more tips on what to see and do in Zagreb, here's our must-see top 5.

Jarun

Want to row, paddle, windsurf, sail, swim, skate or cycle in the sunshine? Head to the suburb of Jarun where you’ll find the most popular sports and leisure centre in Zagreb centred around a giant lake. Formed by the Sava River, Lake Jarun is the real drawcard of the area.

Zagreb Parks – the green horseshoe

Want a free and fun day out? Pack a picnic and head to the green horseshoe or ‘Lenuci Horseshoe’ – a U-shape of 3 lush parks and small green squares linked together in the heart of Zagreb’s city centre to enjoy the sunshine and a variety of gardens and local architecture.

Ban Jelačić Square

Head to Jelačić trg a.k.a ‘Trg’ or the central square in Zagreb to see the landmark Manduševac Fountain, stop at the famous Dolac Market or do a little designer shopping at nearby Ilica. It’s the local meeting spot and a hub for the city’s trams too.

Tkalčićeva Street

Lovingly known as Tkalča, this former industrial area is now famous for eats and treats. Home to merchants and artisans for centuries, Tkalča is now a pleasant promenade with famous galleries, cafés, bars and hosts many festivals that attract tourists and locals.

Lotrščak Tower

This fortified tower in the old town was created to guard the Gradec town wall. Its name comes from the Latin phrase 'campana latrunculorum', which means 'thieves' bell', and there’s a funicular dubbed ‘Old Lady’ that’ll take you up and down every 10 minutes.