Zagreb is the capital of Croatia and yet one of the lesser-visited cities in Croatia. With its location in the country’s interior, many do not include a trip to Zagreb in their Croatia itinerary. A real pity. Because it’s definitely worth it exploring Zagreb in 2 days or more.
Even if 2 days in Zagreb sound quite short at first, you can easily experience the Croatian capital on foot and thus visit the most important sights of Zagreb on your own in only a short time.
In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know for a fantastic 48 hours in Zagreb. Among other things, this Zagreb itinerary 2 days includes the best sights in Zagreb, places to stay, transportation in and to Zagreb, and a bunch of helpful Zagreb travel tips.
What to find out in this post
- 1 Zagreb Facts
- 2 Where is Zagreb
- 3 How to get to Zagreb
- 4 Zagreb Transport – Getting around the city
- 5 Zagreb Itinerary 2 Days – The best things to do in Zagreb
- 6 Zagreb in 2 Days – Day I
- 7 Zagreb Cathedral
- 8 Ban Jelačić Square
- 9 Tržnica Dolac – The Market Square of Zagreb
- 10 Kamenita Vrata – The stone gate of Zagreb
- 11 Tkalčićeva – Ivana Tkalčića Street
- 12 Zagreb in 2 Days – Day 2
- 13 Uspinjača – Zagreb’s Funicular
- 14 Strossmayer Promenade
- 15 Lotrščak Tower
- 16 Grič Tunnel
- 17 Museum of Broken Relationships
- 18 St. Mark’s Church
- 19 Zagreb City Museum
- 20 Alternative things to do in Zagreb
- 21 Where to stay in Zagreb
- 22 Frequently Asked Questions about Zagreb
- Capital of Croatia
- Zagreb is the union of the cities Gradec and Kaptol
- The largest city in Croatia
- The only city in Croatia with more than 1 million inhabitants
The most popular activities and tours in Zagreb
Getting there: Make sure to check for the best flight deals on Flight comparison-Sites like Skyscanner
Transport: Best walking or by car
Want to rent a car? You can find great deals on RentalCars.
Zagreb Must-Have: Practical Croatia Travel Guide
Where is Zagreb
Zagreb is located in the interior of the country (continental area) in central Croatia, about 150 km from the Croatian coast. Zagreb is considered one of the crossroads between Central and Southern Europe.
How to get to Zagreb
Getting to Zagreb by plane
For many international visitors, the airplane is the most convenient method of arrival. Zagreb is served by many European and international destinations.
It is worth booking your flight a few weeks in advance to get a good price. Also, use flight comparison sites like Skyscanner to compare the best providers.
Getting to Zagreb by car
Due to the proximity to the south of other popular destinations within Europe, many travel to Croatia by (private) car. The roads of Croatia have a surprisingly high quality and are easy to drive on.
From the north of Croatia, you can reach Zagreb without any problems within a few hours on the highway (attention, toll!).
If you are not traveling by your own car, a rental car can also be worthwhile. It is recommended to book your car before you arrive, e.g. via the car rental comparison site Rentalcars.
Extra tip: You will usually find the best prices when picking up your car from the airport and not from the city center.
Getting to Zagreb by bus
Another great and eco-friendly way to get to Zagreb is by bus. Especially those who travel from nearby destinations can reach Zagreb by bus.
Maybe you are already in Croatia. In this case, the (long-distance) bus is an excellent option to travel within Croatia.
To find the best deals, I recommend using a bus comparison site like Busbud.
Zagreb Transport – Getting around the city
Although Zagreb is one of the most influential cities in Croatia, many visitors are surprised at how small the city is compared to other European capitals.
Accordingly, the best way to explore Zagreb is on foot. The sights in Zagreb are only a few minutes’ walk from each other.
If your accommodation is a bit further out, you can also easily use public transportation such as the tram and buses.
If you prefer to explore a city in company, one of the various city tours is worthwhile. The selection is large. You can find different tour offers at GetYourGuide.
One last option is the Zagreb Hop-on-Hop-Off-Bus, which takes you to the most popular sights in the city.
Zagreb Itinerary 2 Days – The best things to do in Zagreb
Zagreb in 2 Days – Day I
Already from a distance, you can admire its high white towers. Impressively, the cathedral stands in the heart of the city.
With its remarkable towers, the cathedral not only stands out in the cityscape of Zagreb but is also one of the largest buildings in all of Croatia.
Anyone approaching the cathedral can also spot the former ten-meter high tower of the imposing cathedral, perched on the forecourt. This broke off in March 2020 during an earthquake. Since then, the cathedral has also remained closed for renovation work for the time being.
Also over the centuries, the cathedral was repeatedly destroyed or damaged and later repaired.
Ban Jelačić Square
Ban Jelačić Square is the main square of Zagreb and one of the most popular meeting- and transfer points of the city. It was named after the Croatian commander of the same name. This is also the one you can recognize on the impressive statue in the middle of the square.
With its magnificent buildings and a colorful facade of houses, the square is also a popular photo spot.
Tržnica Dolac – The Market Square of Zagreb
Opening hours Market: depending on the stand, ca. 06.30 am – 04.30 pm, Sat: 06.30 am – 03 pm, Sun: 06.30 am – 02 pm
Entrance Fee Market: free of charge
If you’re in the mood for a snack, Tržnica Dolac is the place to be. Here you can find local delicacies of all kinds.
The market is considered one of the most important in Croatia. Since the 1930s, a daily farmers’ market has been held here, where local vendors can sell their fresh produce.
In addition to fresh fruit and vegetables from the region, typical Croatian cheeses are on the product list.
Kamenita Vrata – The stone gate of Zagreb
Once, Zagreb was surrounded by a large city wall. The stone gate of Zagreb, Kamenita Vrata, which was once a part of this important wall, has been preserved to this day and is an important piece of the city’s history.
It is believed that the gate was completed in the 13th century. However, it was further elaborated and changed its design until the 18th century. Today, the gate is a popular spot for visitors and locals of the city.
Especially religious visitors come to the interior of the gate to light a candle or pray to the statue of the Virgin Mary, which is located here. In addition, there is a small holy room from the early 18th century.
Tkalčićeva – Ivana Tkalčića Street
After so much sightseeing, you’re surely hungry. Therefore, the last item on our list for today is arguably one of the best places in the city to experience the local life and gastronomy of Zagreb, Ivana Tkalčića Street, Ulica Ivana Tkalčića.
This area of Zagreb is particularly suitable for discovering the nightlife of the Croatian capital. With numerous clubs, bars and cafes, the selection is wide. So there is something for everyone. The best thing to do is just let yourself drift and choose one of these fantastic places to try a refreshing beer or one of Croatia’s famous wines.
Zagreb in 2 Days – Day 2
Uspinjača – Zagreb’s Funicular
Opening hours Funicular Zagreb: 06.30 am – 09.50 pm
Price Funicular Zagreb: 5 Kuna (ca. 0,60 €)
If you have ever walked through Zagreb, you will quickly realize that the Croatian capital is divided into two parts, the upper town, Gornji Grad, and the lower town, Donji Grad.
If you want to travel back and forth between the two parts, it’s worth taking a ride on Zagreb’s funicular. You can take the funicular between the two parts of the city almost every ten minutes. The ride only takes about a minute and is part of any Zagrab 2-day itinerary.
The funicular has been in operation in Zagreb for 130 years, which makes it the oldest means of transportation in the city. It also holds the title of the shortest funicular.
Once you reach the Upper Town, you should discover one of the most romantic streets in Zagreb, the Strossmayer Promenade. Stroll along it to enjoy the view of the lower town.
Opening hours Lotrščak Tower: Mon – Fr: 09 am – 07 pm; Sat + Sun: 11 am – 07 pm
Entrance fee Lotrščak Tower: 20 Kuna (ca. 2,50 €)
Let’s move on to another building of Zagreb full of historical personality, the Lotrščak Tower. You most likely won’t miss it when coming from the funicular, as it is located right at the exit.
The tower is not only historically an important building in the city, but it is also considered one of the best viewpoints in Zagreb. In the 13th century, the imposing tower was built as a defensive structure and had since adorned the cityscape of the Croatian capital.
A visit here is especially worthwhile during lunchtime. Because every day at noon, the cannon, located in the tower, is fired. Be warned, however, that the shot can be pretty loud. You have been warned.
The Grič Tunnels is a sight that was once not planned as a touristy sight at all. On the contrary, the construction of the tunnel took place during the Second World War.
Actually, the tunnel was supposed to provide safety for the residents. Today, however, this place is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country.
Walking through the tunnels can be quite impressive as the wide cold tunnels might feel a little bit scary for some.
Museum of Broken Relationships
Opening hours Museum of Broken Relationships: 10 am – 09 pm
Entrance fee Museum of Broken Relationships: 50 Kuna (ca. 6,50 €)
As the name suggests, this unique museum is about the end of relationships. This does not mean political or historical relationships but interpersonal relationships. The museum is definitely a unique experience that you can’t find anywhere else in the world.
Having read so many good things about this museum before, I was now eager to visit it as well. While I thought for a moment in the first exhibition room that the museum was somehow overrated, it totally captivated me after just a short time.
With a great mix of emotional, funny, and sad moments, for me now clearly one of the highlights of my trip to Zagreb.
Extra tip: After your visit to the museum you can enjoy a deliciously creamy coffee on the terrace of the museum café.
St. Mark’s Church
Öffnungszeiten St. Mark’s Church: Only during Mass, Mon: 6 pm & Morning Mass Saturdays and Sundays.
Entrance fee St. Mark’s Church: free of charge
Let’s move on to one of, if not the most iconic building in the city, St. Mark’s Church. The special feature of this church is its unusual roof, which is decorated with colorful plates.
It shows both the coat of arms of Croatia, Dalmatia, and Slavonia, as well as the city coat of arms of Zagreb. Today, the church is considered one of the most important photo spots in the city because of its eye-catching coats of arms.
The vivid church dates back to the 18th century, while the famous roof decorations were added in the 19th century.
Zagreb City Museum
Opening Hours Zagreb City Museum: Tue – Sat: 10 am – 06 pm; Sun: 10 am – 02 pm; Mondays closed
Entrance Fee Zagreb City Museum: 30 Kuna (ca. 4 €)
If you want to learn more about the city, its inhabitants, culture, history and politics, the Zagreb City Museum is the place to be. The museum itself is located inside a former monastery from the 17th century.
Besides the regular collection, the museum also offers changing temporary exhibitions that can be worth a visit.
Alternative things to do in Zagreb
Do you have more time? Then you will find in the following part a few more great Zagreb sights that you can combine with your Zagreb two-day Itinerary.
Zagreb Art Pavilion
A great place for all lovers of contemporary art. Even from a distance, the striking yellow building catches the eye. If you feel more like resting, you can use the park around the pavilion for a bit of relaxation.
The Croatian National theater
As the name suggests, this sight in the lower town is a theater. With its yellow color, the building is already a real eye-catcher from the outside.
Where to stay in Zagreb
The best budget accommodation in Zagreb
Great small accommodation in the lower town of Zagreb. The two-star accommodation is especially popular for its friendly hosts and cleanliness. Rooms Eliza is an optimal option for travelers with a smaller budget.
The best middle-class Hotel in Zagreb
Very centrally located, this B&B welcomes you in the heart of Zagreb’s Lower Town, just a three-minute walk from the city’s main square. With an excellent price-quality ratio, this 4-star accommodation is one of the best rated in Zagreb.
The best luxury hotel in Zagreb
If you are looking for something more luxurious, Bumblebee Apartments is probably the right place for you. The apartments are located just 300 meters from Cvjetni Square and convince their guests, especially with complete equipment and great central location, cleanliness, and quietness inside the apartment.
Didn’t see the perfect place? >> Check all accommodation in Zagreb on Booking.com
Frequently Asked Questions about Zagreb
Theoretically, you can discover Zagreb easily within one or two days. If you want to see more, e.g. the various museums of Zagreb or excursions in the surrounding area, you should definitely plan 2-3 days.
In general, Zagreb is considered a very safe travel destination. Nevertheless, you should keep an eye on your valuables at all times to avoid pickpockets.
Zagreb is neither considered a very expensive nor a very cheap destination. Prices are usually a little bit cheaper than in countries in central or northern Europe but more expensive than in the surounding countries, like Albania or Bosnia.
In Zagreb, as in the rest of Croatia, the local currency, kuna, is used. One euro is equivalent to about 7.54 kuna. From 2023, however, the euro will be introduced as the official currency
Tap water in Zagreb, as in the rest of Croatia, is safe to drink. Accordingly, you can easily fill up your water bottle at the tap.
As in the rest of Europe, type C + F plugs are used in Croatia. So if you come from central Europe, you don’t need an adapter, if you come from the US or UK, you should bring an adapter.
Tipping is quite common in Croatia. About 5-15% of the invoice amount is given.
Any questions? Feel free to let us know what’s on your mind or give us tips from your own trip in the comments below the article.
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