Zagreb

Ban Jelačić Square

Zagreb is a city in Central Croatia and the capital of Croatia.

Understand

Zagreb is a vibrant city of around 800,000 people (metropolitan area: 1,200,000). The city boasts a charming medieval 'old city' with architecture and cobbled streets reminiscent of Vienna, Budapest, Prague and other Central-European capitals. In 2005 it was visited by over half a million tourists, mainly from Austria, Germany and Italy.

Get in

By plane

Zagreb International Airport (IATA: ZAG), is located 17 km south-east from the city center in the district of Pleso.

Neighboring airports in Rijeka, Ljubljana, Graz, Klagenfurt and Trieste are serviced by low-cost carriers and are often a viable alternative to travelling directly to Zagreb. EasyJet flies to Rijeka, Ljubljana and Ryan Air flies to Pula,Graz and Klagenfurt.

There is a bus link between the airport (Zračna luka) and the bus station (Autobusni kolodvor) in Zagreb. A single (one-way) ticket costs 30 kuna (~ €4.20). The bus leaves the airport at 7AM and every thirty minutes between 8AM and 8PM. Between the last regular bus at 8PM and the first one at 7AM the next morning, there is a bus leaving for the bus station every time a Croatia Airlines plane lands.

The bus line between the bus station and the airport is fairly simple, with buses every 30 minutes from 4:30AM until about 9PM (depending on the day). Full details are available in English from . The buses are located at the edge (facing city center) of the bus station. You'll see "Croatia Airlines" and "Eurolines" written on that part of the building.

Zagreb airport transfer has tariffs, service details and you can make bookings.

Car renting information .

By train

Glavni kolodvor - Zagreb's Main Railway Station

Zagreb is a railway hub which has direct services to major European cities such as Vienna (6 hours), Budapest (6.5 hours, one way approx. 9,000 HUF), Zurich, Munich, Salzburg, Ljubljana, Sarajevo (one-way ticket costs 59 BAM), Belgrade as well as domestic services to all major towns (except Dubrovnik). There is also an all-year-round overnight train (with sleeping compartments) between Zagreb and Split.

Rail travel times within Croatia have been made competitive with car travel in many instances with new 160 kph “tilting trains” connecting Zagreb with Split and other major cities in Croatia such as Varaždin, Osijek and Požega. If you make a reservation early enough you can get a substantial discount.

Tourists coming from or going to neighbouring capitals should note the following EuroCity and InterCity railway lines:

Most services are operated by the Croatian Railways, whose schedules are also available on the internet in English.

By car

Almost all highways (motorway; autocesta in Croatian) in Croatia start or end in Zagreb.

Travellers from Vienna can pass by Graz and Maribor and then take the A2 highway upon entering Croatia. Mind the toll in Slovenia.

Travellers from Budapest can pass by Székesfehérvár and then use the Croatian A4 motorway. It also connects Varaždin. You will have to pay toll from shortly after entering Croatia until shortly before reaching Zagreb.

Travellers heading from Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Greece and Turkey can use the Croatian A3 motorway to reach Zagreb.

Travellers heading from Ljubljana can use the A3.

Travellers coming from the west - Italy, as well as Rijeka or Istria - can use the A7 motorway (near and bypassing Rijeka), A6 motorway (Rijeka-Bosiljevo) and then the A1 (Bosiljevo-Zagreb).

Those travelling from Italy can bypass the expensive motorway toll in Slovenia by using the state route SS21 through Trieste, route E61 through Slovenia (in a bad shape) and then A7 south to Rijeka, then Rijeka bypass, then A6 east to Bosiljevo and A1 northeast to Zagreb.

Travellers heading from the south - Dalmatian coast (Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik, ...) or from Montenegro - can use the A1 highway, often combined with the state roads D8 (by the coastline) and D1 (through the hinterland).

To use highways in Croatia you must pay a toll either in Croatian national currency, the Kuna, or in Euro. One may also pay by credit card- American Express, Diners, MasterCard, Maestro or Visa cards. A third option is to use the HAC Smart Card, which can reduce the cost of travelling on the Croatian highways by 10-25%. It is issued by Hrvatske Autoceste, but pays off only if travelling more than 500 km (that's a return trip Zagreb-Zadar or Zagreb-Serbia) or 250 km for a seasonal Smart Card (a return trip Zagreb-Rijeka or two return trips to Zagreb from Austrian border). You can find a toll calculator here (click Calculator on the left navigation bar).

By bus

The central bus station (Autobusni Kolodvor) is located to the south-east of the railway station - approximately 10 minutes walk, or 3 stops by tram (lines 2 and 6). Timetable information and prices can be found on the AKZ website .

Direct bus from Budapest, Hungary to Zagreb by Eurobusways.

Numerous Croatian and International coach operators maintain scheduled lines covering all major domestic and European cities, as far as London, Paris, Rotterdam and Amsterdam, numerous cities in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Hungary, many destinations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro, and Macedonia.

Get around

Zagreb Tram
Zagreb Bus
Funicular Railway
Suurban Railway

Zagreb has a well-developed and efficient public transport system that consists of trams, buses and trains.

Tram

The tram network (route map) operates 24 hours a day - from 4AM to 12AM there are 15 "day-time lines" (tram lines 1-9, 11-15 and 17), and from 12AM to 4AM there are 4 "night" lines (tram lines 31-34) which cover most of the day-time lines on a reduced (around 30-40 minute) frequency. Occasionally, buses replace trams on night lines. Tram line 3 does not operate Saturdays, Sundays and on public holidays. There are maps of the tram lines on almost every stop, so if you know the nearest stop to your destination you can simply figure out the shortest trip while you're at the stop.

Bus

As for the buses, there are 113 day-time and 4 night lines. ZET buses cover the area outside the city center, as well as some neighboring towns that administratively belong to Zagreb county. The buses use the same ticketing system as the trams.

Funicular

A historic funicular railway (uspinjača in Croatian), one of the steepest and shortest in the world, operates between the lower and upper towns with a travel time of just one minute. Monthly, daily as well as single tram/bus ticket can be used, otherwise there is a 4 kn ticket for a ride. The funicular operates every 10 minutes, for a fee of 20 kn (in addition to regular tickets for everyone on board) an immediate start can be purchased.

Trains

Trains operated by Croatian Railways (Hrvatske Željeznice) run every 15 minutes from east to west, connecting the suburbs of Zagreb with the central railway station. They are usually the quickest form of transport for those coming from the areas of Zagreb far from the railway station (Glavni kolodvor), or beyond the tram network.

Ticketing System

As of October 2013 (price list of 01-Oct-2013 in Croatian), the price of a single one-zone ticket valid for 1.5 hours in one direction is 10 Kuna (~ 1.3 €), between midnight and 4 AM 15 Kuna. The different prices when buying at the driver or the kiosk or using the electronic ticket (E-vrijednosna karta) have been removed. The ticket can only be paid in the local currency Kuna. There is also a day ticket (dnevna karta), valid until 4 AM of the next day, available at 30 Kuna (~ 4 €). For longer stays there are tickets available for 3 (70 kn, ~ 9 €), 7 (150 kn, ~ 20 €), 15 (200 kn, ~ 26 €) and 30 days (400 kn, ~ 52 €). Buy a ticket and stamp it (insert it) in the little orange machine once you enter to validate. All single tickets are transfer tickets valid in multiple vehicles traveling in a single direction, so you won't need a new ticket when switching trams and/or buses. Tariff zone system exists, but only for townships and communities outside of Zagreb city limits, all trams are in zone 1, as well as buses in the City of Zagreb. If you plan on taking more than two rides, buy a daily ticket.

Zagreb Card

Travelers who intend to visit many museums should consider buying the Zagreb Card. The card offers unlimited travel on public transport in Zagreb, discounts at virtually all of the city's museums, reduced prices at many restaurants, shops, and service providers and many other concessions. As of September 2013, it costs 60 kuna (approx. €8) for 24 hours or 90 kuna (approx. €12) for 72 hours from the date and time entered on the card. Holders of the card also receive a special booklet with a list of all of the establishments and the discounts available to them. The card can be purchased at any of Zagreb's Tourist Information Centers, at the reception desks of the majority of Zagreb's hotels, and ordered online (shipping cost is added).

Bicycle

Since 01-Jun-2013 there are automated public bicycle rental stations in Zagreb. It started with a three-month pilot period during which approx. 50 bikes were available at 6 stations in the city centre: at the main train station; in front of the Technical Museum at Savska Street; at the intersection of Petrinjska and Amruševa; at the intersection of Gundulićeva and Varšavska; in front of the National University Library; at Šubićeva Street at the green market on Kvaternik Square. The pilot was successful, three more stations have already been added, one of them in Novi Zagreb next to the Avenue Centar Mall at the tram/bus stop museum of contemparary art (muzej suvremene umjetnosti).

Payment can only be made with credit or debit cards from VISA, MasterCard und Diners, in addition a mobile phone (can also be foreign) is required. The registration at nextbike Zagreb is free, account activation requires transferral of 79 kn (~ 11 €), which can be completely be used for bike rental. As of September 2013 there are two tariffs: In the standard tariff, which does not cost a monthly fee, per day the first half hour is free of charge, then each started hour costs 8 kn (~ 1,30 €) up to a maximum of 5 hours (including the free first half hour), a longer rental costs a flat fee of 79 kn (~ 11 €) up to a total of 24 hours. Warning: If a bike is not returned to a station no longer than 24 hours after it was removed, a late fee of 750 kn (~ 110 €) is charged! The nextbike tariff costs a monthly fee of 20 kn (~ 3 €), for that on each rental process (even several times per day) the first 30 minutes are free, the next up to 4.5 hours are only 4 kn (~ 0,60 €) each, and the flat fee for rentals between 5 and 24 hours is reduced to 39 kn (~ 5,60 €). Even here if the bike isn't returned after no more than 24 hours the late fee of 750 kn (~ 110 €) is charged. A customer card for easier rental (instead of using a smartphone app or activation SMS) cost a one-time 20 kn (~3 €) fee.

Walks

Zagreb is a compact city and can be best explored by walking. For the lower town (Donji Grad) the six squares of Lenuci Horshoe and the Botanical Garden can be covered in about 2 - 3 hours of walking. This area is also the home of Zagreb's majopr museums, galleries and theatres. The upper town (Gornji Grad) can also be covered in about 2 - 3 hours of walking and includes the Cathedral, St. Mark's Church and Square and the Museum of Broken Relationship.

Taxi

There are three taxi companies in Zagreb:

See

Zagreb Cathedral
St. Mark's Church
St. Catherine's Church
Old Stone Gatel
Museum of Broken Relationship
Klovićevi Dvori Galleryl
King Tomislav's Statue at King Tomislav's Squarel
Pavilion at Botanical Garden
Mimara Museum
Archaeological Museum
Art Pavilion
Croatian National Theatre
Museum of Contemporary Art
Grounded Sun
Entrance to Mirogoj cemetery
Ariel View of Jarun Lake
Bundek Lake

The city of Zagreb is mainly divided into two parts Gornji grad (Upper Town) and Donji grad (Lower Town). They are the cultural, religious, and commercial hubs of Zagreb. These are where most of the restaurants, bars and tourist sights are located. The Upper Town, which is the medieval core of the city, developed as two separate (and often warring) towns - Kaptol, the seat of the Bishop (where the imposing Cathedral now stands), and Gradec, the free town where tradesmen and artisans lived (proclaimed by King Bela of Hungary in the 12th century) merged in the 1770s to form the northern section of historic Zagreb. Following this, the city expanded south of today's Trg Bana Josipa Jelačića (Jelačić Square) to the railway station and the Sava River. Apart from the two main parts the City of Zagreb extended both is North - South and East - West. The Northern part consists of the mountains and wilderness while the Southern part extends beyond the River Sava and cosists of modern Zagreb and is known as Novi Zagreb. So Zagreb can be classified under four areas:

Gronji Grad (Upper Town)

Churches and Religious Structures:

Parks:

Museums: Most museums and historical sights close at 1PM on Sundays and do not reopen until Tuesday.

Donji Grad (Lower Town)

Parks:

Other city parks are connected in the "Lenuci Horseshoe", an unfinished project of combining small green squares and parks at the core of the center of the town.

Museums: Most museums and historical sights close at 1PM on Sundays and do not reopen until Tuesday.

Street Architecture:

Northern Zagreb

Novi Zagreb

Lakes Zagreb has two very popular lakes:

Museums:

Do

Cinemas

Learn

The University of Zagreb combined with the Croatian Heritage Foundation Matica Hrvatska offers comprehensive Croatian language courses for foreigners. The courses occur in the fall and spring semesters along with an intensive one month course in July. All courses cost around €600. More information can be found by visiting the University's website.

Many universities in Croatia accept a small group as international students every year, who stay in dorms and learn Croatian.

FER (Fakultet elektrotehnike i računarstva, trans. Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing) is a globally-appreciated school of computer related learning. It is part of the University of Zagreb and accepts around ten international students a year.

Work

For creative types, Croatia is occupied by some street performers and many stands selling jewelery or other hand-crafted products, so the populace has an open mind to casually buying things from an interesting stand near the main square or dropping a few coins into a musician's case.

Buy

There are many small grocery stores around Croatia such as Konzum and Diona. There you can buy most necessary foods, hygiene products and items like cigarettes and alcohol. If you have a more specific need (like appliances, cutlery) or wish to go bulk shopping then try one of the larger Konzums, Kaufland or Mercator. Bread in Croatia is sold unsliced and is generally inedible after the second day of life, so if you don't eat bread much then ask for half a loaf "pola". Most brands that you likely know from home, like Nutella or M&M's, can be found in the larger stores but are rather expensive. Trying a domestic alternative or knock-off is not a bad idea.

Zagreb also has designated areas, the singular being a "platz", where you can buy and barter for clothes and shoes as well as perfume, chocolate and souvenirs. Illegally imported cigarettes are also often sold for cheap there (because of high importation taxes).

Souvenirs

Foreign books

Eat

Tobacco smoking is banned in all enclosed public spaces, including restaurants and some (but not all) bars and cafes. The smaller bars / cafes could opt (and some did) to allow smoking.

Budget

There are many take out, pizza-cut, sandwich bars and fast foods around the city. Most are located in the city center (main square - Ban Jelačić and surrounding blocks). There are also food chains such as the "McDonald's", "Daily Fresh", "Mlinar", "Pan Pek", and the preferred "Dubravica". Sandwich prices around the city varies from 10 to 20 kuna. You can also find many kebabs and pancake-to-go places.

Mid-range

Splurge

Desserts

Vegetarian

Drink

Bars and pubs

Many bars are located around Flover square (Cvjetni trg), the main square (Trg Bana Josipa Jelačića), Preradovićeva, Tkalčićeva, Radićeva, Bogovićeva, and Gajeva streets.

Clubs

Sleep

Budget

Hostels

Mid-range

Hotel Esplanade, Zagreb, Croatia
Palace Hotel

Splurge

Connect

Internet

Stay safe

As other cities in Croatia, Zagreb is very safe, but just as anywhere else dark alleys, parks during the night, etc. should generally be avoided, and common sense should be followed. The chance of getting in trouble in Zagreb is fairly low, especially in the center where most of the hotels and restaurants are located, and for foreigners who are in general respected and welcome. Visitors soon realize that Zagreb is way safer than the vast majority of other European capitals such as London, Paris, Vienna, Rome, Budapest, etc.

Pickpocketing isn't a particularly common occurrence in Zagreb, but you might be approached by beggars and similar people on the street - ignore them and they will go away.

Also, outbursts of homophobic behaviour have been known to occur, so it is advisable for homosexual couples not to show affection when near large groups of bald people or people that look like football hooligans. A lesbian couple from UK was assaulted by an angry passenger in a tram, and they suffered minor injuries, and the perpetrator was apprehended by the police. Watch out for aggressive people like that one.

Park Ribnjak, located very close to the city centre, is safe during daytime and worth visiting, especially for children. However, it has recently become a night-time meeting place of alternative youngsters, and subculture violence involving "skinheads" and similar violent young people has occasionally occurred. It's best to steer clear of Ribnjak after dark, which shouldn't be a problem because of a lack of interesting content for most tourists anyway.

Further, if you are going out at night (especially on weekends) steer clear of any drunk and rowdy groups of young people you might encounter in the street or night trams as random beatings have been known to occur. It is not uncommon for such groups to start unprovoked attacks on passersby, although they target mainly younger crowd and teenagers. These are not common but they do happen occasionally, and people have been killed by such attacks in the past, so take precautions. It is advisable for men not to wear overly pink clothes.

Avoid clubs which play what is known in Croatia as "Turbo-folk" music. These clubs are often featured in the local newspapers as violence erupts in them quite easily.

Also, avoid strip clubs at all costs. Zagreb is not famous for such clubs and they are rare, however most of them are often run by very shady characters, and often overcharge their guests. Recent cases include foreigners that were charged €2000 for a bottle of champagne. These clubs overcharge their customers to the extreme, and their bouncers will not have any mercy if you tell them you are unable to pay. You will soon find yourself in a local hospital. This not only applies to strip clubs in Zagreb, but also all over Croatia.

Cope

Reading and Speaking

Croatian children start learning a foreign language in primary school, and for the majority it is English, so younger people can usually speak the language well enough, and many older people know some. You may also try German or Italian, as both are popular (for historical and cultural reasons).

It is also advisable to learn a some basic Croatian words and phrases - because Zagreb can be a vibrant, busy city, a few basic molim (please), hvala (thanks) or oprostite (excuse me, pardon me, I'm sorry) will go a long way to avoid being ignored by a busy local.

Visiting during summer

Summer time is traditionally time in Zagreb for maintenance and road repairs. If you visit Zagreb at that time, you should do some research on what streets are open and what aren't and also be prepared to get stuck in traffic jams during rush hours.

Embassies

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, March 28, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.