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While most travelers in Croatia don’t visit Zagreb, it is a city you should considering visiting, even though it’s inland and away from the pristine Croatian coast. You might be asking what is there to do in Zagreb, or how many days should I spend in Zagreb? While there isn’t an exact answer, spending two days in Zagreb seems ideal.
In two days in Zagreb, you can explore most of the capital of Croatia, and get to visit one of the premier national parks in Croatia, and the world!
If you are still skeptical on even visiting Zagreb, there are plenty of things to do in Zagreb. Plus, since it’s not heavily visited, it’s a great way to get an authentic travel experience.
Zagreb is also relatively small, so you will be able to see the city and explore at a leisurely pace.
Day 1 in Zagreb
On your first day of your two days in Zagreb, there are a few things you will definitely want to do.
Starting with breakfast, head to the Dolac Market and get some cheap, local produce or food. Try a burek if you can! These delicious local, delicacies are a food you won’t want to miss in Croatia!
Next up, head to Zagreb 360. Zagreb 360 is a tall building right in the center of Zagreb on Ban Josip Jelacic Square. You can buy a ticket and head up to the bar and observation deck at the top. If you love great views, this is one of the best views in Zagreb!
It will cost 60kn ($9 or €8) to go up, but that ticket gets you full access for 24 hours, so you can go up in the morning and then go back at night to see Zagreb from above at night. While it’s a little pricey for the budget traveler, it’s a huge bonus that you can revisit and go up to Zagreb 360 as many times as you want in one day.
After checking out Zagreb 360 observation deck, head to one of the most unique museums in the world: Museum of Broken Relationships.
The Museum of Broken Relationship is about exactly what it seems. It is full of artifacts and stories of broken relationships. Some are funny, and others are heart-wrenching. While you may not have high hopes for the museum, it is 100% worth visiting.
On this side of Zagreb, you will also be able to see the famous St. Marks Church. It’s not necessary to go inside, but it’s worth seeing the colorful tiled roof.
If you are not feeling like walking down the hill from that side of Zagreb, you can always take one of the world’s shortest and steepest funiculars, which is basically a short tram that goes up a hill.
The Zagreb funicular travels up and down 100 feet (30.5 meters) at a 52% incline and only goes about 217 feet (66 meters). It runs every day and is only 4kn (€0.50) to ride it. Obviously, this is not one of the top things to do during your two days in Zagreb, but it’s a little oddity that’s fun to know about.
For lunch, you will want to stop at one the best places to eat in Zagreb: La Struk.
La Struk is famous for their strukli, one of the best foods in Zagreb, and all of Croatia!
Stukli is a baked dough that is filled with different foods. It can be filled with cheese, vegetables, nuts, honey, or really anything! They vary from being savory to sweet. No matter which kind you are in the mood for, Stukli is a must-eat while visiting Zagreb, and La Sturk is the best place to get it!
Fun fact: While strukli is an authentic part of Croatia cuisine, it’s not very popular on the Croatian Coast, which is why you need to get it in Zagreb!
After lunch, go check out the other side of Zagreb with the Cathedral of Zagreb. It’s not the most beautiful or famous cathedral in Europe, but it’s worth checking out, especially because it’s so close to everything else.
Head over to Ban Josip-Jelacic Square and see the center of the city. If it’s nice out, head to the area just south of the square for some patio drinking and people watching. There are numerous bars in that area with tons of patio seating.
When you get hungry for dinner, go to Tip-Top for another traditional Croatian meal: Crni rizot. This is a squid risotto that’s died black with the squid ink. You will not be disappointed even if it doesn’t sound appetizing to you at first. It’s really good and another fantastic traditional Croatian dish.
If you are continuing your travels on to coastal cities, like Dubrovnik, you can also get this there too.
For a post-dinner drink, head to almost any bar in that area—Alcatraz Bar would be our recommendation—and order up some Rakija, Croatia’s national drink.
Rakija is a fruit flavored brandy that comes in a ton of different flavors. Try them all and see which one you like best!
Finally, end your first of two days in Zagreb with heading up to Zagreb 360 to see the city night. This is a perfect ending for your first day in Zagreb!
Day 2 in Zagreb
Technically, you will spend your second day in Zagreb on a day trip to Plitvice Lakes National Park, one of the most beautiful national parks in the world!
While you can take a day trip to Plitvice Lakes from many cities in Croatia, it is really easy from Zagreb because both are inland.
The day trip from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes will take up most of your second day in Zagreb, so outside of breakfast and dinner you will be out of the city.
You have to buy your bus ticket to Plitvice Lakes ahead of time. Try to buy a ticket for an early departure time, so you can get to Plitvice Lakes early and spend more time there before the crowds arrive.
When you get to Plitvice Lakes, take your time and explore the park as much as you can. It’s an absolutely gorgeous park with features that are not seen in other parts of the world.
Once back in Zagreb, get dinner and maybe some drinks somewhere and enjoy your last night in Zagreb.
As you leave Zagreb, know that you have seen everything to see in your two days in Zagreb with this itinerary.