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Zagreb is underrated when it comes to travel as most travelers flock to the cities on Croatia’s coast, like Dubrovnik and Split. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit Zagreb though! There is plenty to do in Zagreb even if just for a day. This itinerary will give you what to do for one day in Zagreb.
Once you’re up and awake, head to the Dolac Market to grab something for breakfast. There are a host of vendors selling cheap, local produce and food. You are bound to find something that will be cheap, fresh, and fill you up. Keep an eye out for burek. This delicious Croatian staple is something you must eat while visiting Zagreb.
After breakfast, head to Zagreb 360. This is a tall building located right off Ban Josep Jelacic Square, in the center of Zagreb. The 60 kn ($9 or €8) entrance fee isn’t too expensive, and it grants you access to the observations deck for the entire day. This is why you should go in the morning, see the view during the day, and then go back and see Zagreb from above at night!
Zagreb 360 has outstanding views of the city from above, places to sit and relax, and even food and drinks. They’re a little pricier, but it’s a great place to enjoy a cocktail if it’s in your travel budget.
Museum of Broken Relationships
Once you have your daytime photos of the best view in Zagreb, head up to the Upper Town, or Gradec, area of Zagreb and visit the Museum of Broken Relationships.
The Museum of Broken Relationships was first started in Zagreb. It houses objects from previous relationships of people from all over the world and are accompanied by a story about the object and its importance to that relationship. This is something you must do when you visit Zagreb. It’s a truly unique and innovative museum. The artifacts and their stories in the museum are everything from sad to funny to heart-wrenching to ridiculous to depressing and everything in between.
St. Mark’s Church
Just up the street from the Museum of Broken Relationships is St. Mark’s Church. It’s worth walking by even if you aren’t too into visiting churches in Europe. The colorful tiled roof of St. Mark’s Church is worth seeing though because it’s unlike most other churches.
Instead of taking the steep walk down from Gradec, take this historic form of public transportation. The Zagreb Funicular is special because it’s one of the world’s shortest and steepest funiculars. It’s only 217 feet (66 meters) long and travels up about 100 feet (30.5 meters) at a 52% incline.
The funicular runs everyday and only costs 4 kn (€0.50). It isn’t something you absolutely must do in Zagreb, but it’s a little oddity that can be fun to see when traveling and visiting new places.
Now that you’ve had almost half a day exploring Zagreb, it’s time for lunch! There’s nothing better to eat in Zagreb than Strukli.
Strukli is a baked dough that is filled with a variety of different foods. It can be made more savory with vegetables and cheese or sweet with nuts and honey. Strukli is a very popular and traditional dish in Zagreb and inland Croatia. If you just stick to visiting the more popular cities on the Croatian coast, you will miss out on this delicacy.
The best place to eat Strukli in Zagreb is La Struk. After all, it gets its name right from the dish its famous for. La Struk not only makes amazing strukli, but its located right in the center of Zagreb, so you won’t have a long walk to get there.
Cathedral of Zagreb
After devouring your strukli, continue to explore everything there is to do in Zagreb starting with the Cathedral of Zagreb. It’s occupies a huge part of Zagreb’s skyline with its two tall towers. Once again, it’s not the most impressive cathedral in Europe, but it’s worth at least walking by.
Ban Josip-Jelačić Square and Lower Town
From the Cathedral continue exploring Zagreb by foot. There’s an Art Park right behind the Cathedral if you want to relax in a park and check out some local public art. Otherwise, head to Ban Josip-Jelačić Square and down to the Lower Town and walk around, shop, or just relax strolling through Zagreb’s beautiful streets.
There are plenty of bars and restaurants with outdoor seating if you want to relax with a drink. Some of the nearby parks, like Park Zrinjevac, have outdoor events going on in summertime too.
When you’re hungry again for dinner, head to Tip-Top for more traditional Croatian food. This time go for the Crni rizot, which is a squid risotto died black with the squid’s ink.
While it might sound gross to you, order it and you won’t be disappointed. That is of course if you like risotto and seafood. If not, order one of their other traditional Croatian foods.
Zagreb 360 at Night
After dinner, it’s back to Zagreb 360 for a nighttime view of Zagreb. You paid for admission for the entire day, so you might as well take advantage of it and see Zagreb from above one more time in a different light. It’s definitely worth it since you don’t have to pay to go up again.
If you still have energy left to go anywhere but bed, we recommend heading to Alcatraz Bar. They have a lot of outdoor seating on the street. Order a Rakija, Croatia’s national drink. It’s a fruit flavored brandy that comes in a bunch of different flavors, each with their own distinct taste. This is a great way to end your one day in Zagreb.
Bonus! Day Trip to Plitvice Lakes!
If you are going to spend more than one day in Zagreb, consider doing a day trip from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes!
Plitvice Lakes is a national park that is an easy day trip away and something that is totally doable when you visit Zagreb.
If Plitvice Lakes is on your Croatia itinerary as a day trip but not from Zagreb, check out these Tips for a Day Trip to Plitvice Lakes to make sure you have the best possible time at Plitvice!
Zagreb is absolutely worth visiting when in Croatia, and hopefully this itinerary has given you some ideas for one day in Zagreb!