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Wondering how many days in Zagreb are enough? Find out exactly how much time to spend in Zagreb to make the most of your trip!
So you’re planning a trip to Croatia and want to stop in Zagreb – great choice! I’ve been living in Zagreb since 2014 and traveling here my entire life, so I know the city like the back of my hand.
As a Zagreb local, I’m here to tell you that 1-2 days in Zagreb is enough to experience the city and see its highlights.
BUT don’t stop reading yet!
The amount of days you spend in Zagreb really depends on your interests, and how much time you have to spare in your Croatia itinerary. One day in Zagreb may be plenty for you. Or maybe you want to base yourself in the capital for 3 days and explore the areas surrounding the city too. There are tons of options!
In this post, I’ll walk you through what you can realistically expect to do and see on 1, 2, and 3 day Zagreb itineraries. That way, by the end of this guide, you should have a better idea of how many days in Zagreb is the right amount for you.
So without further ado, lets dive into how many days to spend in Zagreb.
How Many Days to See Zagreb?
Zagreb is an awesome city.
I did, after all, choose to base myself here out of all the places in the world I could have gone.
The city is compact, well-located, and most importantly, Zagreb is safe. It’s completely walkable and there are plenty of public bus and tram options to get around, so you won’t have to worry about renting a car.
Also, Zagreb is pretty affordable compared to its more expensive Croatian destinations along the coast.
Technically speaking, you could see all of Zagreb’s highlights in just one day.
But if you really want to immerse yourself in the culture and local way of life, then 2 days is the perfect amount.
Of course, extending your stay beyond 3 days opens up a world of possibilities. More time means more adventures, whether it’s exploring the vineyards of Zagorje, soaking up the iconic cafe culture, or using the city as a base to take day trips to nearby castles and charming towns.
Have a look at the itinerary suggestions below to get a better idea of what 1, 2, or 3 days in Zagreb could look like.
1 Day in Zagreb
If you’re spending 24 hours in Zagreb, start your day at the morning farmer’s market, Dolac. Located just a few steps away from Ban Jelačić Square (Trg bana Josipa Jelačića), the market can be easily recognized by its iconic sea of traditional red umbrellas.
Peruse the stalls of seasonal fruits, vegetables, locally made honey, dried fruits, and fresh cheeses, and maybe even sample a few local treats.
After you’re done wandering around the market, make your way to the Upper Town – the oldest and most charming section of the city. On the way up, stop at Kamenita Vrata (Stone Gate), an important historic landmark that was once the gateway between the Upper and Lower Towns of Zagreb.
If you’re a coffee lover like me, be sure to stop for a cup at Kavana Lav, one of my favorite cafes in Zagreb.
St. Mark’s Church
Next, make sure to stop an admire one of Zagreb’s most iconic landmarks that graces the front of many postcards and magazines – St. Mark’s Church. The intricate tiled roof is a showstopper, and one of the landmarks in Zagreb worth checking out.
Step inside the church to catch a glimpse of the breathtaking ceiling, adorned with 22-carat gold leaflets. As you explore further, you’ll also encounter a few impressive sculptures crafted by the renowned Croatian artist, Ivan Meštrović.
Continue your walk to one of the most beautiful photo spots in the city, Plateau Gradec. Here, you’ll find a gorgeous panoramic view of the cathedral and the orange rooftops of the city’s buildings down below.
Take the stairs from the plateau down to Strossmayer Promenade, one of the city’s oldest and most famous walkways that overlooks the city. Follow the tree-studded path to Lotrščak Tower, where a cannon is fired every single day at noon since 1877.
For a small fee, you can enter the tower, which houses a small museum, and take the stairs all the way up to the top for 360 degree views of Zagreb. The nearby Park Grič is one of my personal favorites, and is a lovely little spot to take a short break as you soak in the city skyline.
In the afternoon, explore Zagreb’s Lower Town, where you’ll find a lively mix of business, arts, shopping, and museums. Think streets lined with elegant Viennese-style buildings alongside sleek modern designs.
Make sure to check out some of the must-visit spots in Zagreb’s Lower Town, like the bustling Ban Jelačić Square, Zrinjevac Park, Ilica Street, Bogovićeva Street, the local hotspot of Cvjetni Trg, and the Croatian National Theater.
End your day at the famous Tkalčićeva Street, a pedestrian-only street right off of the main square Ban Jelačić. This cobblestone lane is flanked with bars, restaurants, and cafes galore.
If you’re looking to try some traditional Croatian dishes, La Štruk is an awesome Zagreb restaurant to taste continental Croatia’s most famous comfort food – štrukli.
Štrukli is a lasagna-like dish with layers of homemade dough and cheese, usually boiled or baked. At La Štruk, you can enjoy sweet štrukli prepared with blueberries or sweet cheese, or you can enjoy them savory featuring fillings like salty cheese and truffles.
A few other great places to grab a bite in Tkalčićeva include Otto & Frank, Submarine Burger, Curry Bowl, Royal India, or Duksa for delicious Croatian pizza.
If you prefer to explore with a guide, you might want to join a Zagreb walking tour like this one. You can learn about the city’s history, see all the major sights and get insider tips from a local expert.
2 Days in Zagreb
For 48 hours in Zagreb, follow the 1-day itinerary laid out above for the first.
Spend your second day exploring beyond Zagreb’s highlights and historic core. This is the perfect chance to visit one of the most noteworthy landmarks in Zagreb, Mirogoj Cemetery.
It might seem like a strange recommendation, but Mirogoj Cemetery is truly a beautiful and peaceful spot just outside of the city center. Designed by Hermann Bollé, the same architect responsible for Zagreb’s cathedral, Mirogoj is an architectural masterpiece featuring gothic elements, copper domes, and ivy-covered walls.
Did you know that Zagreb is home to over 60 museums and galleries? From classic staples like the Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb City Museum and Archeological Museum, the city also boasts an interesting selection of specialty museums.
You’ll find unique exhibits like the Museum of Broken Relationships, Chocolate Museum, Museum of Illusions, Hangover Museum, Eighties Museum, Cannabis Museum, and even a Mushroom Museum. That’s right! A museum of over 1,500 species of preserved mushrooms.
Zagreb’s eclectic museum scene certainly won’t leave you with a shortage of things to do.
For more details, check out my full 2 day Zagreb itinerary here.
Zagreb Cable Car
For a day out in nature, take a ride up to the peak of Medvednica (the mountain that looms over Zagreb) on the newly constructed cable car. The cable car travels just over 5 kilometers up Medvednica in about 15 minutes, featuring panoramic views of Zagreb and the surrounding area the entire way.
At the summit, you can enjoy even better views by going up to the top of the Sljeme TV Tower, the highest point above the city of Zagreb. Standing at an altitude of 1118 meters, the open-air observation deck offers unparalleled vistas of lush forests, rolling meadows, quaint ski resorts, cozy mountain lodges, the picturesque Croatian Zagorje region, and even the distant Slovenian Alps.
3 Days in Zagreb
If you have 3 or more days in Zagreb, you can take your time visiting all of the sites and soaking up the atmosphere of Croatia’s beautiful capital. There’s plenty to do and see, and with guidance from the itineraries I’ve laid out for you, you won’t be short on things to do!
You can easily extend your visit to Zagreb beyond 3 days with some of these day trips:
- Plitvice Lakes and Rastoke Small Group Tour
- Ljubljana and Lake Bled
- Fairytale Castle Tour With Wine Tasting and Lunch
Find even more day trips from Zagreb here.
FAQs About How Many Days in Zagreb is Enough
Is Zagreb a good holiday destination?
Zagreb is a good city break destination if you are visiting from somewhere else in Europe. If you are traveling from countries that are further away, Zagreb is a good stop to add on your Croatia itinerary.
Is Zagreb tourist friendly?
Yes! Zagreb is a tourist friendly city. In fact, many Croatians speak English very well, so communicating is not a problem.
Is Zagreb a cheap city?
Whether or not Zagreb is cheap depends on your budget and travel preferences. It is slightly cheaper than some western European destinations, but certainly not as cheap as some other eastern European cities.
Is Zagreb a walkable city?
Yes! One of the best things about Zagreb is the fact that it is extremely walkable. You can easily explore the city and all of its highlights on foot.
There you have it! From a quick 24 hour city tour to 3 or more days in Zagreb, there are so many options when it comes to visiting Croatia’s capital.
Ultimately, the “right” duration for your Zagreb trip depends on your pace of and what you wish to experience.
I still feel that 2 days is the perfect amount of time to visit Zagreb. This gives you one full day in the Old Town, one full day to explore Lokrum Island (a must), and one beach day. You’ll also have a little wiggle room to squeeze in anything you want to revisit or check out a cool spot you heard about.
No matter how many days you choose to spend in Zagreb, I hope that this guide has helped you to get a better understanding of what this city has to offer and how to make the most out of your visit.
Before you go, make sure you choose the best place to stay in Zagreb!
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Croatia Travel Planning Guide
💸 What is the currency in Croatia?
As of January 1st, 2023, the official currency of Croatia is the Euro and NOT the Kuna (which is also the name of the national animal of Croatia).
🇭🇷 What language do they speak in Croatia?
Croatian is the official language of Croatia. Learn some phrases in Croatian before your trip with the Ling app!
🚑 Should I buy Croatia travel insurance?
10000% YES – Seriously, don’t leave home without it. You never know what can happen on the road. I like SafetyWing because they provide excellent coverage for as little as $1.50 a day.
📱 Will my phone work in Croatia?
Maybe – check with your provider to see if you’ll have service while traveling Croatia. If you don’t have service (or it’s too expensive) I recommend getting an eSIM like Airalo. Airalo allows you to have data while traveling without the high costs of roaming. They have super affordable plans available for 190+ countries, including Croatia. Download the app and get your plan before you leave home so that you have data as soon as you touch down in Croatia!
🏨 What’s the best way to book my Croatia accommodations?
For Croatia hotels, Booking is by far the best site.
🛫 What’s the best site to buy Croatia flights?
I always use Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights.
🚗 Is it safe to rent a Car in Croatia?
Yes! – In fact, renting a car in Croatia is one of the best ways to see the country! I recommend Discover Cars because they check both local and international rental companies to ensure you get the best deal. (Get your Croatia road trip itinerary here)
💦 Is it safe to drink the water in Croatia?
Tap water in Croatia is completely safe to drink, so bring your reusable water bottle and fill up!
Do I need a visa for Croatia?
Depending on where you are coming from you may or may not need a visa to enter Croatia. Check the official Republic of Croatia Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for more information on who should apply for a visa.