Zagreb – Croatia’s cultural capital and it’s unique history

iStock: Zagreb main square and cathedral aerial view, Croatia

Far from the scenic coastlines and sandy beaches typically associated with Croatia lies the country’s thriving capital, Zagreb.


Zagreb is a bustling city filled with rich history and medieval architecture but is also heavily influenced by the arts. There truly is something for everyone in Croatia’s capital. 


So, leave the snorkel at home and experience this magical city, we promise you it will be the experience of a lifetime!


Here’s some must see spots you have to visit during your time here!

Gornji Grad – Zagreb’s historic old town

iStock: Historic Zagreb towers sunrise view, capital of Croatia

Gornji Grad (Upper Town) lies at the top of the city, as you walk up the cobbled streets you can feel yourself being transported back to medieval times. Not only is the walk around Zagreb’s old town a step back in time, it is also home to some of Zagreb’s most visited attractions.

St. Mark’s Church

iStock: St Mark's Square in Zagreb, Croatia.

One of Gornji Grad’s main and oldest attractions is St. Mark’s Church. Dating back to the 13th century, this Gothic church has a strikingly colourful tiled roof and contains many sculptures from Croatia’s most famous sculptor Ivan Mestrovic.


The churches unique roof was constructed in 1880 by Friedrich Schmidt and Herman Bollé. At the top you will see the medieval coat of arms of Croatia, Dalmatia and Slavonia on the left-hand side, and the emblem of Zagreb on the right.


The church is open for daily masses and if you call by on a Saturday you might spot some happy newlyweds taking photos outside it!

Zagreb Cathedral

iStock: Aerial view on cathedral in Zagreb city.

Gornji Grad is also home to Zagreb’s Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This towering figure is the tallest building in all of Croatia and dates back to the 11th century. The cathedral is an architectural masterpiece and is also home to one of the top ten finest organs in the world!


In 1994, Pope John Paul II conducted the holy mass at the Cathedral to celebrate the 900th anniversary of the Zagreb Archbishopric. The Cathedral is free to enter so you can tell your friends at home that you have been in the same room as His Holiness!

Dolac Fruit and Vegetable market

iStock: Zagreb, Dolac market.

Close to the Zagreb Cathedral is the bustling farmers market which has been running for over 80 years.


Here you can find fish stalls, butchers, fresh pasta, cheesemongers, florists, bakeries, Croatian souvenirs, and the freshest fruit and vegetables in all of the city.


The market is open daily from 7am-3pm and is a must see in the Gornji Grad region.

Zagreb’s art and culture

Art Pavilion Zagreb

iStock: Art pavilion and fountain in Zagreb

Zagreb is a city filled with impressive art galleries and museums, too many to mention in this article alone. A spot we recommend you absolutely must visit is Zagreb’s famous Art Pavilion. Constructed in 1897, it is the oldest gallery in Southeast Europe. This gallery has hosted exhibitions for famous artists such as Picasso, Warhol, Goldini, Braut and Henry Moore.


The gallery does not have a permanent display, instead it hosts changing exhibitions regularly with beautiful displays by both Croatian and other international artists from all periods and styles.

The Museum of Broken Relationships

iStock: Kissing couple

Arguably one of Zagreb’s most popular museums, is The Museum of Broken Relationship, a must see for your travels. The museum is a rollercoaster of emotions and contains collections of personal items, each telling a touching story of a relationship that didn’t quite work out. People from around the world share their items that they consider to be the symbol of their failed relationships.


A uniquely quirky museum that will make you laugh, cry and experience every emotion in between. There is also a poignant café and a cute gift shop with some unusual gifts you can take home as a memento of your visit here.

Zagreb Botanical Gardens

After a long day of walking around the city, there’s no better place to relax than Zagreb’s botanical gardens in the heart of the city. Escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre and take a wander around the old greenhouses, prehistoric flora and take a seat by the still lakes where you can make friends with some of the beautiful turtles that inhabit the waters!

iStock: Exhibition pavilion of the Botanical garden in Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb reaches high temperatures in the summer, with heights of up to 28°C, so pack summer clothes for your rambles around the cultural capital in the summer months.

In the winter you can expect much cooler weather with temperatures ranging from -3°C to – 9°C, so you will need your coat if you plan to visit during the season.


Zagreb is a wonderful city that beautifully captures both a historical past and cultural present. We promise you that your trip to the Croatian capital will have a little bit of everything for the whole household to enjoy.