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Beaches in Zagreb Croatia + 9 Beaches NEAR Zagreb

Are there beaches in Zagreb? Technically no, but there are some pretty amazing beaches near Zagreb and I’m here to tell you all about them!

I’ve been living in Zagreb since 2014, and have been traveling to the city my entire life (my dad’s family is from here!). I absolutely love Zagreb, but I won’t lie – it can get HOT in the summertime.

Because of Zagreb’s location inland, finding a place to cool off in the city (that isn’t a swimming pool) can be a challenge. While there are no beaches directly within the city, there are beautiful lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water nearby that provide a perfect escape from the summer heat.

And if you’re willing to travel just 2 hours outside of the city, you can reach some amazing beaches!

Let’s dive into the top beaches near Zagreb.

Best Beaches in Zagreb

Jarun Lake

Also called the “Zagreb Sea” or “Zagrebacko More” in Croatian, Jarun Lake is a manmade lake on the west side of the city. It’s a popular spot among locals for catching some sun, playing beach volleyball, or cooling off on a hot summer day.

The beach is lined with a good variety of Zagreb cafes where you can grab a coffee or a beer while you sit back and relax. There is also paved path around the lake that is about 6km long which is ideal for running and biking, a few restaurants, and an outdoor playground for kids.

How to get there: Take tram number 5 or 17 toward Prečko and get off at the stop, Srednjaci. From there, the lake is about a 15 minute walk.

Bundek Lake

Lake Bundek is another artificial lake in Novi Zagreb that is surrounded by some really nice walking paths and lots of greenery. It is more scenic (in my opinion) than Jarun, but less popular for swimming.

Nonetheless, if you’re craving some beach time, it’s a nice spot to lay out on the gravel beach and soak up some rays. There is a cafe on the lake, too, where you can grab something to drink.

How to get there: Take bus number 267 from Glavni Kolodvor (behind Importanne Centar) and get off at the stop, Bundek. It’s only about a 5 minute walk from there to the lake.

Bundek Lake in Zagreb at sunset on a winter day with two people sitting on the beach in coats facing the lake with a dog facing the camera.

Best Beaches Near Zagreb

1. Opatija

Opatija is my number one choice for the best beach near Zagreb as it is one of the most charming towns on the coast, and super quick to get to.

This town was actually the very first resort town in Croatia, established during the Habsburg Era, when it was quite beloved among the crème de la crème of European Society. It still maintains its charm and appeal to this day, with its beautiful beaches, gorgeous old villas, and seaside promenade (Lungomare).

Located in the Kvarner Bay, Opatija is a great destination for a day trip from Zagreb, or to base yourself for a few days as you explore some of the other towns and beaches in the area.

While there are pebbled beaches on the outskirts of Opatija, like Tomasevac Beach, the easiest ones to reach are the city beaches (pictured below). These beaches are typically concrete and have steps or ladders leading into the sea.

🤩 Check out the best hotels in Opatija

View of Opatija City Beach with the town in the background and mountain behind it on a partly cloudy day.

2. Moscenicka Draga

I love this beach. It reminds me of a French or Italian Riviera and it’s just so charming, which is why I had to include it on this list!

Moscenicka Draga is situated about a 20-minute drive along the coast north of Opatija, so it’s convenient for combining the two into one trip. The beach is mostly pebbled with a few sections of large boulders, and tons of bars and restaurants line the beach.

The sea here isn’t as calm as some other beaches, so expect some waves (but nothing too crazy). The water is clean and a stunning shade of turquoise, while the colorful houses crowded onto the waterfront make for a postcard-perfect backdrop.

A beautiful pebbled beach on a bright sunny day in Croatia with lots of people on the beach, colorful houses in the distance lined up on the coast, and gorgeous turquoise colored waves lapping up onto the shore.

3. Jadranovo

Jadranovo is a small village tucked along the coast between Crikvenica and Rijeka. It’s not well known outside of European tourists, making it somewhat of a hidden gem in Croatia for those looking for a more peaceful and authentic experience.

The village is known for its crystal clear waters, with numerous beaches and coves to explore. One of the most attractive is Lucica Beach, which boasts soft pebbled shores, a swing in the middle of the sea, and views of Krk Island in the distance.

Grabova Beach, Obala Beach, and Tepla Beach are other great beaches to seek out in Jadranovo.

A number of restaurants, cafes, and even a mini-mart can be found around the beaches of Jadranovo, so you won’t be short of options for food and drinks during your stay.

Woman sitting in a bathing suit on large rocks with a pebbled beach and trees to the right of her, and a turquoise sea to her left. Waves are lapping up onto the shore.

4. Dramalj

Formerly a fishing village, the tiny town of Dramalj boasts a 3-kilometer-long coastline dotted with some of the prettiest beaches in this part of Croatia.

The best beaches in Dramalj are located on the Kajcak Peninsula, a beautiful, untouched area covered in trees and high rocks. The natural scenery here makes you feel like you’re far away from civilization, and is just what you need for a relaxing beach day.

Surrounding the peninsula are impossibly crystal clear waters that are ideal for swimming and snorkeling – just keep your eyes peeled for sharks in Croatia’s Adriatic Sea!

5. Crikvenica

Crikvenica is a famous resort town in Kvarner Bay, and many Zagreb locals like to come here for the day or for a weekend getaway. Lots of them have vacation homes here too!

Because of this, Crikvenica can get very busy in the summertime. So if you want to avoid the crowds, I’d head to Jadranovo for a more peaceful experience. However, if you don’t mind sharing the beach with other visitors, then Crikvenica is definitely worth a visit.

The beaches around Crikvenica are all pebbled that gently slope into the sea, making them ideal for swimmers of all ages. One of the best dog beaches in Croatia can be found in Crikvenica, so if you’re traveling with your furry friend, you’ll most certainly want to stop at Monty’s Dog Beach & Bar!

📍For exact locations, plus 500 more of my favorite places, restaurants, and things to do in Croatia, grab my FREE Croatia Google Map here.

Empty pebbled beach in Crikvenica on a sunny day with a stack of white deck chairs and two closed yellow and blue umbrellas.

6. Selce

Selce, similar to Crikvenica, is another very well known seaside resort town in Croatia. This small but charming town is a favorite among Croatian and European tourists that come to relax on its single, pebbled beach.

You’ll have to get here early if you want to secure a spot under the sun. The beach has no shade, so be sure to take that into consideration when planning your stay. You can either rent an umbrella at the beach or bring your own.

7. Novi Vinodolski

Novi Vinodolski is a picturesque stretch of coastline and a fantastic choice for a beach day in Kvarner Bay. Here, you’ll find a combination of pebbled beaches, rocky coves, and even concrete beaches, all surrounded by crystal clear water.

Lisanj Beach, located right in front of Family Hotel Lisanj, is an excellent beach, awarded with a Blue Flag (meaning that the water is impeccably clean and safe for swimming).

The beach is pebbled, with shallow waters ideal for families with small children. Multiple restaurants, cafes and bars are situated along the beach, and sun loungers and umbrellas can also be rented for the day.

If you prefer more of an active vacation, or need a break from lounging around, you can find lots of fun activities in the area from kayaks and paddleboat rentals to the nearby waterpark.

A few other beaches worth visiting in Novi Vinodolski include Prva Drazica, Zagori Beach, and Riva Beach.

An aerial view of a rocky beach with large stones jutting out into the turquoise water and people swimming.

8. Rijeka

Rijeka is the third largest city in Croatia, and is mainly known as a port city and for its shipbuilding. However, because of its location on the coast, you can still find some great swimming spots on the outskirts of the city.

A few of the best beaches around Rijeka include Kostrena Beach, Sablicevo Beach, and Javna plaža Pećine.

You can easily reach these beaches from Rijeka city centre by public bus, or you can drive to them if you’re renting a car. Having your own car with give you more flexibility if you want to do some sightseeing in Rijeka before or after your beach day.

Rocky beach near Rijeka with large stones and crystal clear water.

9. Krk Island

Krk is the closest island to Zagreb at just 2 hours away by car, meaning you can easily escape the busy city for a weekend getaway. One of the best parts about Krk is that it is connected to the mainland by a bridge, so you won’t have to waste any time waiting for ferries.

Known as the “Golden Island”, Krk is known for (you guessed it) golden-hued beaches, crystal clear waters and warm Mediterranean climate.

Because Krk is a huge island, you’ll want to stick to the beaches closer to the bridge if you only plan to spend the day there. This will help prevent spending most of your day driving around and allow you to fully enjoy the beautiful beaches on Krk.

Njivice and Malinska are good options for this and they both offer the best of both worlds – beautiful beaches with plenty of seaside amenities.

However, the further south on the island you go, the prettier the landscapes and beaches get! So if you have more time, or decide to spend the night, I highly recommend exploring the towns of Krk, Punat, and Stara Baska.

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    How Do I Get From Zagreb to the Beach?

    By Car

    Renting a car is the best way to get to the beach from Zagreb.

    You’ll get the freedom and flexibility to discover the beaches near Zagreb at your own pace, and you won’t be limited by a tour guide’s schedule.

    Plus, Croatia’s highways are very well maintained and easy to navigate, so driving from one town to another is a breeze.

    This is my go-to company when renting cars in Croatia. They compare both local and international rental companies to make sure you’re getting the best rate.

    By Bus

    If you’re not comfortable renting a car, or aren’t limited by time, then taking a bus from Zagreb is a good (and affordable) option.

    There are buses that depart daily from the main Zagreb bus station, many of them going to larger towns like Rijeka and Crikvenica.

    I like to book with Flixbus when I travel by bus in Croatia because their buses are usually newer, have wifi, and offer more direct routes.

    By Train

    Traveling by train in Croatia is not usually recommended as the infrastructure is not as developed as other European countries.

    It will likely take you twice as long (if not more) to travel by train than it would by bus, so avoid the hassle and stick to traveling by car or bus.

    FAQs About Zagreb Beaches

    Are there beaches in Zagreb Croatia?

    Technically, there are no beaches in Zagreb Croatia. Because of its location inland, Zagreb only has two artificial lakes with gravel beaches.

    How far is Zagreb from the beach?

    Zagreb is a 2-hour drive by car from the nearest beach, which is located in Rijeka.

    What is the nearest beach to Zagreb?

    The nearest beach to Zagreb is a 2-hour drive away and located in the city of Rijeka. Rijeka has a number of beaches including Sablicevo Beach, Kostrena, and Javna Plaza Pecine.

    Final Thoughts

    As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, there technically are no beaches in Zagreb (unless you consider lake beaches).

    However, there are plenty of beautiful coastlines and beaches that are just a 2-hour drive away from the city!

    I hope that the 9 beaches near Zagreb on this list will inspire you to take a day trip (or spend a few days) exploring Croatia’s northern coast.

    Before you go, check out these other awesome day trips from Zagreb.

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