Top 5 Sites to see in Zagreb, Croatia

Often overlooked as a major city, Zagreb (the capital of Croatia) is an up and coming must see destination. While the county is often known for it’s quaint coastal cities, the inland city of Zagreb has a charm of its own. The city has a combination of Austro-Hungarian and socialist architecture, which give it a unique personality. Zagreb is the perfect destination for anyone looking to stroll through cobblestone streets, spend an afternoon at a café, explore museums, or dine at unique restaurants.

Zagreb City landscape

Zagreb View from the Upper Town

When to Visit Zagreb

If you plan to make your way from Zagreb to the coastal cities of Dubrovonik and Split, it is best to visit Croatia in the summer. The summer months are incredibly sunny with temperatures averaging about 21C/70F. Spring and fall are also good seasons as there are less tourists during this time and it is great for experiencing the parks and buzzing markets. We visited Zagreb in the middle of March, which during the daytime was pleasant with temperatures about 10C/50F, however, the evenings were cold.

What to Bring to Zagreb

Dress according to the season and carry layers. With all the outdoor walking and activities, sunglasses are advisable, especially in the summer time. Most places take both cash or credit card, but it’s better to keep both just because smaller restaurants and shops may only take cash. Free Wi-Fi is easy to find throughout the city, so bring a tablet or phone with wifi connectivity.

How to Get to Zagreb

Non stop flights to Zagreb (ZAG) can be found from London (LHR), Munich (MUC), Istanbul (IST), Amsterdam (AMS), and Copenhagen (CPH). If traveling to Zagreb from within Croatia, the most efficient means of travel would be by bus. If comfortable with it, another option would be to rent a car and drive from city to city. The inter-city highways are some of the best I’ve ever seen as they are well maintained and fairly easy to drive on.

Top 5 Things to Do in Zagreb

  1. St. Mark’s Church is a popular landmark in Zagreb as it is one of the oldest buildings in the city and is easily recognizable amongst the other buildings due to use uniquely colorful roof. If visiting between April and May, a changing of the guards’ ceremony can be seen outside the church at noon on Saturday’s and Sunday’s.
  2. Explore Tkalčićeva Street. This street is lively with many shops and places to eat and drink. At night, the street is beautifully lit up and perfect for an evening stroll.
  3. Visit the local markets. One of the most famous markets in the city is Dolac market, which can be found right in the city center. The market is so colorful and full of fresh locally grown produce, definitely something worth seeing. It’s a great way to immerse yourself into the local culture.
  4. Catch a show at the ostentatious National Theatre in Zagreb.
  5. Take a trip to Mirogoj. It may seem strange that a local cemetery is a tourist destination, but this Austro-Hungarian style cemetery has beautiful archways and lush greenery. Mirogoj is also much more than a cemetery, throughout the memorial park lie sculptures designed by local Croatian artists.
Tkalčićeva Street in Zagreb
Tkalčićeva Street in Zagreb
Zagreb national theater
National Theatre in Zagreb


Being the capital city of Croatia, Zagreb is very cosmopolitan and has a wide variety of cuisines—expanding from the local Croatian food, seafood, Italian, and Asian. We recommend:

The Wine Bar– The Wine Bar is a trendy and classy bar located just outside the main square in the city center. What caught our attention was the distinctive outdoor seating. Outside the restaurant are two individual glass box rooms, candlelit, with high rise tables. The wine bar has a wonderful selection of wines and cheeses.

Boban– Located in the city center, Boban is a chic Italian restaurant and bar. On one side is a cozy bar/lounge and on the other is the restaurant. The décor is eclectic with dim lighting and chalkboards. The menu is extensive with something for everyone. The soups and homemade pasta were really good.


Thanks to Nikitha for sharing her travel tips on Zagreb! Follow her on Instagram @_pairofpassports

Top 5 Things to Do in Split, Croatia

Along the coastline of Croatia lies Split, the country’s second largest city. Full of character, it is the perfect combination of both history and modernity. Within the old city walls are mazes, small alleys filled with quaint shops, restaurants and bars. An outdoor promenade lined with restaurants faces the sea, where you can get a glimpse of the turquoise water. It is the perfect place to enjoy a lovely lunch on the edge of old town, with a view of the sailboats, cruise ships, and locals walking by.

Split, Croatia

Just like the rest of Croatia, the best time to visit Split would be during tourist season, May- September, when the weather is warm (highs in 80’s, lows in 60’s Fahrenheit). However, to avoid crowds, mid to late April is a good time as well. Split does have its own airport (Airport Code: SPU), with flights coming in from London, Munich, Vienna, Rome and other major European cities. Flying into Zagreb or Dubrovnic and driving along the coast is another option as well. There are various bus tours that stop in Split as part of the itinerary, however we chose a private car. We had a great experience driving from Dubrovnik to Split with Blue Bay Excursions, a local family run company.

Split, Croatia

Here are the top 5 things to do while in Split:

Diocletian’s Palace

The main attraction in Split is Diocletian’s Palace, the Roman Emperor’s residence in which he lived after retirement until he died in 313 AD. Although the most of the palace had been destroyed, remnants lie throughout the old city. You can spend time walking through and looking around, and even stop by a restaurant to break for a drink. There is no entrance ticket for just the palace view, however if you wish to tour the basement halls it is 40 KN adult/20 KN child.

Diocletian's Palace Split Croatia

St. Dominus Cathedral and Bell Tower

This was originally the mausoleum of Diocletian, as it lies within the palace boundaries. To climb up the bell tower it is 25 KN, and to enter the cathedral it is 25 KN. After climbing to the top of the bell tower, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the whole city of Split and the sea as well.

Marjan Forest Park

This site is said the be the “lungs of the city.” If the weather is nice, take a quick break and hike up to Marjan.  Not only will you get a breath of fresh air but lovely views of the city as well. There are trails running through the forest in which you can choose to hike or you can bike along the seafront (bikes can be rented from the northern entrance for about 15 KN/hour).


Gallery of Fine Arts: Located very close to the palace, this building was once the city’s first hospital. Here you can see a mix of ancient and modern Croatian art pieces. Entrance tickets are 20 KN adult/10 KN child.

Archaeological Museum: A ten minute walk from the town center, here you can see excavations from the Roman and early Christian periods. Tickets are 20 KN adult/10 KN child.

Ethnographic Museum: Get a glimpse into the old life and culture of Dalmatia.  You can see old photos, costumes and other pieces important to the citizens. Tickets are 15 KN adult/10 KN child.


There is a large selection of restaurants, mostly local Croatian, seafood, Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. There is a variety of small casual mom and pop type places, as well as modern/trendy places.

Recommended restaurants (at the time of this post):

Bokeria- Located in the old town. More on the trendy side, great variety on the menu, and presentation and atmosphere are fantastic. Lovely selection of wine and drinks as well.

Galija- Hidden gem, located inside old town. Well lit outdoor seating covered in Christmas lights.  Pizza was really good, staff was really friendly, and everything is reasonably priced.

Brasserie on 7- Located right on the promenade (Split Riva). We stopped here for a coffee break, lovely hot chocolate!  Very homey feeling, decorated in shades of aqua and sand. Gives you the feeling of being on the ocean.  Their lunch and dinner menu consists of a mix of seafood, burgers, and more.

Split, Croatia

Split, Croatia

Thanks to Anisha, a senior at Syracuse University, for sharing her travel tips on Split, Croatia. Follow her on instagram @_pairofpassports
Thanks to Anisha, a senior at Syracuse University, for sharing her travel tips on Split, Croatia. Follow her on instagram @_pairofpassports