Croatia Travel Guide Europe

18 Reasons Why Zagreb is the Coolest City in Europe

August 3, 2017
Awesome Reasons to Go to Zagreb - More Colourful Architecture. read more.

Zagreb is the coolest city in Europe. Fact. We’ve even got the photos to show it. Time to pack your bags and head to the Croatian capital for a weekend of culture, beers and amazingly good food. 

1. The Cathedral is Fancy as F*ck

Awesome Reasons to Go to Zagreb - Zagreb Cathedral

Zagreb’s cathedral is an all-out neo-Gothic pile of fabulousness. The twin spires can be seen from all over the city.

2. The Markets are Insane

Zagreb's Dolak Market - So Many Awesome Reasons to go to Zagreb. Read more.

Zagreb’s famous for its Christmas market, but there are loads of year-round markets to explore too. Our favourite is Dolac Market, in the city centre.

3. There’s Cool Street Art Everywhere

Street Art at Dolak Square Awesome Reasons to Go to Zagreb

And we mean pretty much everywhere. In the parks, on the sides of buildings – Zagreb’s home to some very talented artists who aren’t afraid to show their skills.


Love street art? Check out our pieces on street art in London, street art in Lisbon and street art in Lima, Peru.


4. You Can Climb A Tower and Get Awesome Views Over the City

Great Views over the City - Awesome Reasons to Go to Zagreb . Read more.

It’s a bit of a huff and a puff to get to the top of Lotrsčak Tower but the views over the city are well worth it when you do.

5. The Bizarrely Beautiful Church

St Mark's Church should be at the top of your list of what to see in one day in Zagreb. Here's why.

St Mark’s Church is kind of normal, until you catch a glimpse of its colourful tiled roof – complete with the city’s coat of arms.

6. They Fire a Cannon Over the City Every Day

Firing the cannon from Lotrscak Tower - Awesome Reasons to Go to Zagreb. Read more.

Every day at 12pm sharp, a custodian fires a cannon (filled with paper, don’t worry) over the city from the Lotrsčak Tower. A handy way to tell you it’s almost lunchtime.

7. The Quirky Museums

The Museum of Broken Relationships Awesome Reasons to Go to Zagreb. Read more.

There are lots of museums in Zagreb but the pick of the bunch has to go to The Museum of Broken Relationships and the Museum of Naive Art (which are conveniently located a few minutes walk from each other).


Convinced? Check out our guide to spending 24 Hours in Zagreb.


8. It’s A Great Place To Dine Like a King and Spend Like a Pauper

Delicious Food - Awesome Reasons to Go to Zagreb. Read more.

It’s really, really hard to eat a bad meal in Zagreb as there are so many great restaurants. Only have time to visit a couple? Vjestica and Lari & Penati should be at the top of your list.

9. It’s a Boutique Shopper’s Paradise

Boutique Shops Awesome Reasons to Go to Zagreb. Read more.

Sure, there are the standard high street shops, but Zagreb’s centre is brimming with small indie shops (like Koza Leather Shop and Galerie Ana) with gorgeous wares. Bring an empty suitcase.

10. There are All Kinds of Quirky Customs and Stories for You to Discover

Awesome Reasons to Go to Zagreb - Cool Customs + Traditions. Read more.

Everywhere you look and every corner you turn, there’s another story to tell. Locals light a candle and say a prayer for lost one at the Stone Gate – a tradition that is said to have started centuries ago when the whole gate burned down but the Virgin Mary statue was miraculously untouched.

11. The Main Square is The Best Place to People Watch

Striking Architecture -Awesome Reasons to Go to Zagreb. Read more.

Ban Jelačik Square is the best place for people watching in Zagreb. Sit down with a coffee in hand and watch as the city passes you by. Plus, Ban Jelačik’s statue is pretty impressive.


Need more European City Break Inspo? How About The Best Things to See in Lisbon?


12. You Can Burrow Under the City in the Grič Tunnels

Awesome Reasons to Go to Zagreb - Gric Tunnels. Read more.

The Grič tunnels once hosted one of Europe’s biggest underground raves. These days they’re a tamer affair but a pretty cool way to get around the centre.

13. There are So Many Green Spaces

Awesome Reasons to Go to Zagreb - Beautiful Outdoor Spaces. Read more.

The centre is packed with small greens and parks. Take a 5-minute bus ride from the centre to the outskirts and walk along the Sava River to really get away from it all.

14. It’s Impossibly Beautiful at Night

Zagreb is Beautiful at Night - Awesome Reasons to Go to Zagreb - Read more.

If Zagreb is pretty during the day, it really pulls out all the stops at night.

15. You’re Never Quite Sure What to Expect

Awesome Reasons to Go to Zagreb - Beautiful Churches. Read more.

You can walk into a standard-looking church (The Church of the Holy Transfiguration) and be confronted with something that looks like this.

16. The Colourful Buildings

It’s impossible to feel grumpy when the skies are that blue and the buildings are so pretty.

17. The Botanical Gardens are a Real Treat

Tucked away in the Lower Town, the Botanical Gardens are a quiet haven and the perfect picnic spot.

18. Even the Airport is Pretty Cool

Awesome Reasons to Go to Zagreb - Zagreb's New Airport. Read more.

The new airport is pretty cool, though you won’t be happy to see it again because it means it is time to go home. Bye bye to the coolest city in Europe. Hello to a new adventure.


Looking for more travel inspiration? Read more of our Croatia travel guides. Or check out this piece on travelling along the Dalmatian coast.


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Zagreb, Croatia is one of the best places to visit in Europe - thanks to awesome architecture, restaurants, food and galleries. You should add it to your European bucket list now! Check out the coolest things to do in Zagreb. Read the full guide.

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9 Comments

  • Reply jin August 5, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Oh I absolutely LOVED Zabreb when I was traveling through Croatia last year! You’ve listed some great places to see and they certainly are very good reasons to love Croatia! Thank you for sharing and happy traveling!

  • Reply Kavey at Kavey Eats August 6, 2017 at 8:03 am

    OK, I’m bumping it higher up my list! You had me only a few in but the Botanical Gardens sealed it, the list just kept getting better and better!

    • Reply Julianna Barnaby August 6, 2017 at 10:48 pm

      I really would Kavey – it’s awesome, plus the food is wonderful – an irresistible combination!

  • Reply Alexandria Iveson August 6, 2017 at 12:05 pm

    Oh it looks fantastic! I would love to go to Zagreb – great pics 🙂

    • Reply Julianna Barnaby August 6, 2017 at 10:47 pm

      It’s awesome – absolutely love it and would definitely recommend!

  • Reply Marine August 6, 2017 at 12:59 pm

    I’m sold! I’ll be in Croatia next month and now I’ve read your article I won’t miss Zagreb!

  • Reply thefashionablephysician August 6, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    I’ve never even heard of this place but now I’m dying to go! Beautiful pictures.
    http://www.thefashionablephysician.com

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