One day in Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb, Croatia

Even after all this time traveling together, getting to a new country is still exciting for us. And while we’ve come to appreciate spending longer stints of time in the places we visit, if a new country is close, we’ll try to go there, even if it’s only for a day. So that’s pretty much why we took a day trip to Zagreb, Croatia from Ljubljana, Slovenia. Croatia was also Sarah’s 50th country so it was quite a milestone! It was an awesome day and so we’re sharing things to do in Zagreb in one day.

How to get from Ljubljana to Zagreb

We took the train from Ljubljana to Zagreb. Tickets weren’t cheap, but they were easy to buy the morning we left from the ticket counter at the Ljubljana train station. The trip is quite pretty, especially along the Sava River. It’s supposed to take 2 hours and 20 minutes, but our train ended up sitting a little longer than normal at border control. Speaking of which… bring your passport on your day trip from Ljubljana to Zagreb! Since Croatia isn’t in the Schengen Zone like Slovenia, you’ll get stamped in and out.
Zagreb train station, Croatia

Getting situated in Zagreb

Zagreb is not on the Euro. Its currency is the Croatian Kuna and some places we encountered didn’t take credit cards. So we took cash out at an ATM upon arrival.

The main parts of Zagreb are separated into Upper Town and Lower Town. Arriving, you are in the Lower Town. Immediately you are faced with the beautiful Ledeni Park and Art Pavillion. It’s a grand welcome. This great yellow building is representative of the style of architecture throughout the city.
Ledeni park, Zagreb, Croatia

Art Pavillion in Ledeni park, Zagreb, Croatia

If you continue walking straight, you’ll reach the center of the city, including Ban Jelačić Square, and eventually Upper Town.
Ban Jelačić Square, Zagreb, Croatia

Dolac Market in Zagreb

One of the coolest spots in Zagreb is Dolac Market. Located between the Upper and Lower Towns, it has both indoor and outdoor stalls (but the outdoor part is much more photogenic!). If we were staying longer than a day we definitely would have done some food shopping at the market.
Dolac Market, Zagreb, Croatia

Dolac Market, Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb’s Upper Town

Upper Town is in fact up. You can take the funicular up to it, but we decided to walk (albeit slowly). We actually found a nice little route up through the Art Park.
Art Park, Zagreb, Croatia

You have to climb some steep stairs, but it didn’t seem as long an uphill as going some other ways. And we were treated to nice views whenever we (Sarah) wanted to stop for a quick rest.
Art Park, Zagreb, Croatia

The view of the Zagreb from the top Is great, especially on a sunny day. Definitely worth the climb.
Zagreb, Croatia

The streets in Upper Town are small and winding. We wandered through them, just taking it all in as we do. We tried to go to the popular Museum of Broken Relationships, but were broken-hearted ourselves to find that it was closed.

Soon, though, we stumbled onto the super cool looking St. Mark’s Church. Its colorful tiled roof was incredible especially against the backdrop of the bright blue sky (we got quite lucky with the weather on our Zagreb day trip!).
St. Mark's Church, Upper Town, Zagreb, Croatia

We descended back to Lower Town via the Stone Gate, which also serves as a chapel. There were shrines and candles lit throughout. Upon exiting, we walked past the Statue of St. George and the Dragon, set among flowers and against a wall crawling with vines. It was all quite beautiful.
Statue of St. George and the Dragon, Zagreb Upper Town, Croatia
Statue of St. George and the Dragon, Zagreb Upper Town, Croatia

Back in Lower Town in Zagreb

Lower Town is more sprawling than Upper Town. Its streets and buildings are bigger and it’s where the major museums and cultural attractions are. We thought about going to the Mimara Museum or the Modern Gallery, but it was such an incredibly nice day, we really just wanted to stay outside. So we did what we do best… we walked and wandered, looking at buildings, stopping to sit in parks, and just enjoying the city.
Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb, Croatia

Flowers, Zagreb, Croatia

Meštrovićev paviljon, Zagreb, Croatia

Croatian State Archives, Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb, Croatia

Where to eat lunch in Zagreb

We had a delicious lunch at Vallis Aurea. It is located in the Lower Town, on the same street as the funicular to the Upper Town, but isn’t touristy at all. They offer a really great, inexpensive lunch special with a few options. We were happy to have hearty Croatian food during our one day there.
Lunch, Vallis aurea, Zagreb, Croatia

Even though it was a lot for one day (even the border control guards looked at us funny), we are glad we made our day trip from Ljubljana to Zagreb. Zagreb is a great city with so much to see and do. We’ll definitely be back for another visit there and to see more of Croatia.

Also interested in visiting Ljubljana? Read all about our week there!

Pin it!

9 thoughts on “One day in Zagreb, Croatia

  1. Alexandra Schmidt says:

    Zagreb is one of my favorite cities in all of Europe, and you sure did it justice! There is also a really cool Museum called the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb I would recommend too! Hope you had a nice time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.