The Unmissable Sights: Top 10 Tourist Attractions in Zagreb

After all of those Introduction articles (which you can find just by clicking this link), I think the best way to start this website is by telling you about the most known tourist spots around Zagreb.

These landmarks are something you just need to visit.

The best way to start is with, of course, with the main square – Ban Josip Jelačić Square (1). This is the biggest sqare in Zagreb and it is located in the hearth of the city. It is called by the Josip Jelačić, who was the Croatian nobleman and Ban of Croatia between 1848 and 1859. In the middle of the square, there is a huge statue of him.

Most of the buildings that surround the square were built in the 19th century.

Ban Josip Jelačić square is a popular meeting spot for locals and tourists, and it is the most known for “meeting under the clock“ or “under the horse’s tail“.

The next landmark is the first of two you can find on the Upper Town (called Gradec in the past) – and it is the Lotrščak Tower (2), one of my favourite buildings in the city. The Lotrščak Tower dates back to the 13th century, and it was built to guard the southern gate of the Gradec town wall.

Today, you can climb up there and have an amazing 360 degrees view of the city. That is the place with the best view of the oldest part of the city – today known as the Upper town (Gradec in the past).

After the Lotrščak Tower, we’re heading a bit north. The next landmark is the St. Mark’s church (3) located in the middle of the St. Mark’s square. To its west side you have Croatian government, and to its east side you can see Croatian parliament.

The most known part of this landmark is its roof – it was constructed in 1880 by Friedrich Schmidt and Hermann Bolle. Up there you can see the medieval coat of arms of Croatia, Dalmatia, and Slavonia on the left side, and the emblem of Zagreb on the right.

Oh yes, the church was built in the 13th century and it is one of the oldest architectural monuments in Zagreb.

After one church, we’re heading to the largest – to the Zagreb Cathedral (4) which is located on the „enemy hill“ called Kaptol. Zagreb cCathedral is there since the 11th century, but today’s cathedral doesn’t represent the original architecture.

The first Cathedral was damaged during the enemy attack and a great fire in the 13th century. Finally, it was severely damaged by the 1880 earthquake and was restored in the Neo-Gothic style by Hermann Bollé, the cathedral you see today.

The cathedral was 108 meters tall, but today it is less than that since the 2020 when a strong 5.5 earthquake hit Zagreb. The top of the south tower collapsed during the earthquake, and the top of the north tower was removed a couple of weeks later.

Next to the Zagreb Cathedral there is a place you also absolutely must visit – the Dolac Market (5). Dolac is the main open air farmers market. It is known for its red parasols, as well as combination of traditional open market with stalls and shelted market below.

There you can find fresh and local produced food luke fruits, vegetables, homemade cheese, fish and much more.

After shopping, we’re heading to the nature  – and that means the most popular parks in the center of the city. The Zrinjevac Park (6), also known as Nikola Šubić Zrinski square, is located just a bit south from the main square. The park provides a chilled and relaxing spot from the city’s urban vibe. This is a place where you can just sit and enjoy.

The park consists of the 19th century music pavillion (located in the center of the park), three fountains, 130 years old weather monitoring station and monuments to famous Croatians.

After six landmarks in the center of the city, let’s use Zagreb’s public transport to visit the next landmark. But first, let’s talk about ZET – Zagreb Electric Tram (Croatian Zagrebački elektricni tramvaj), which are mostly familiar blue Zagreb trams (7). There is more than 116 kilometers of tram railway around the city.

Trams have been important part of Zagreb’s public transportation system for over a century. The first horsecar tram line was opened in 1891, and the first electric tram started driving in 1910.

After a short tram drive from the main square, we’re in the Maksimir Park (8)! Maksimir Park was founded in 1787, opened to public in 1794, and today it is the largest park in Zagreb. It covers over 316 hectares and it is located between 120 and 167 meters above the sea.

The park itself is an amazing garden architecture and home to hundred-year-old oak forests, meadows, lakes and streams, as well as more than 100 bird species.

Within the park, there are landmarks like Echo Pavillion, Swiss house, St. Juraj Chapel, and the famous Maksimir viewpoint seen from the main entrance to the park.

Now, it’s time to go the other side of the city – to the Jarun Lake (9). This is also a beautiful place with nature and a lot of space for sports activities. Jarun is a man-made lake located in the southwestern part of the city.

The lake is surrounded by cycling tracks, parks, and promenades. The track around the lake is 5.5 kilometers long.

During night, Jarun lake transforms into a nightlife hotspot with numerous clubs and bars.

And, for the last landmark for today, we’re heading to the Medvednica mountain to visit the Medvedgrad Fortress (10). The Medvedgrad Fortress is located on the south side of the Medvednica mountain. It is a medieval forstress built between 1249 and 1254, after the Mongol invasion in 1242 which destroyed Zagreb to the ground.

There is a beautiful view of the city from the fortress, since it is located 500 meters above the sea level. Parts of Medvedgrad castle have been reconstructed, along with the octagonal chapel of St. Philip and Jacob, and the south defensive tower. At present, historical festivals and knight tournaments take place in the castle.

That’s all for this article. I’ll write more about each of these landmarks in more details, and I know – there are much more landmarks around Zagreb that need to be seen!

Hi! My name is Ivan, and I'm an author of discoverzagreb.com. I have been photographing and exploring Zagreb for more than 15 years, and if you want to know more about me and discoverzagreb.com, read the Introduction articles by clicking here.

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