July 7, 2019

14 Main Attractions (& Museums) in Zagreb

Zagreb is really freakin' cool.

I don't think Z-town is making anyone's "Top 10" list of anything anytime soon, but if you've got a spare couple of days, Zagreb is sure to provide a really great experience!


I will have another post about Zagreb and how wonderful it was to me later this summer. Until then, here are the bones of the city, all within easy walking distances and passing tons of delicious meal and snack options.

The best vantage point to start a tour around Zagreb is for sure at Lotrscak Tower. You can climb up to the tower or take the funicular train. Either way, once you're there, pay the cheap entrance fee to make your way up the stairs inside the tower to the top. Every landing area has another set of historical placards and opens the history of Zagreb from the top of the city.


Be smart with your timing; the cannon in the tower will wail a huge BOOM at noon everyday!

Turning the corner from the tower, you'll arrive at the Museum of Broken Relationships. This. Is. An. Extremely. Emotional. Experience. It's wild, it's tragic, it's hilarious, it's ironic, and I've never been to a museum this interesting. I thought it would be really kitschy and pathetic (like, "Boo-hoo, my ex was mean!"), but instead it was a very real and very deep dialogue from real people who went through any and every kind of broken relationship: romantic, familial, friendship, death, you name it. I think the "artifacts" may rotate often, but, if you go, take a moment at the life-size real door with notes on it. I wish this was some kind of tradition in every culture.


Around another corner and you'll be at the door of the Klovicevi Dvori Gallery. This museum houses all sorts of eclectic art and design pieces, I just didn't have time to go during my visit. However, walk down a narrow street and it will bring you to one of the main landmarks of Zagreb: St. Mark's Church. This darling chapel has a fabulous patriotic roof with the Croatian flag and the coat of arms of Zagreb. It is indeed small, but the square is large, and it's fun to imagine the huge markets that used to take place there.


Meandering downhill will lead you to the Stone Gate. This is kind of an L-shaped tunnel that winds you down to the next level of the city below. It's more of a shrine than a passageway, where you can light a candle and offer a prayer while even touring the city. Stumbling upon a group praying or singing together at the Stone Gate happens more often than not.


One of my absolute favorite experiences in Zagreb was at the Zagreb 80's Museum. What a great and fun idea!!! Not only is it cool because of the idea and title, but even more so because once you're inside, you have full access to all the exhibits, costumes, accessories, games, you name it! I want to have all my birthday parties in this crazy apartment-turned-museum!


The beautiful Cathedral of Zagreb is next on our list. The square around the cathedral is bright and lively with locals, school groups, and tourists alike. In the early spring, it was decorated with lovely flower arrangements and the atmosphere in the sunshine was wonderful. I spent a very nice nap on the benches outside in the nearby park, and it was so peaceful and relaxing.


Going southward, the Croatian Sports Museum is just off the main square of Ban Josip Jelačić. Soccer, is, of course, huge in Croatia, especially after their World Cup finals appearance against France in 2018. Most of the population enjoys being outside and participating in many sports, so this museum gives insight into that part of the culture, and can be a huge hit with people in your group that may not be really into the typical museum fare.


On a more serious note, The Memorial Centre of the Rocket Attacks on Zagreb 1991/1995 is also just down the street. If you want to dig deeper into the cultural contexts, southwest of the main square lies the Croatian National Theatre, the Academy of Dramatic Arts, the Mimara Museum filled with classical paintings (some are real and some are copies!), and the Croatian State Archives.


Zagreb is full of interesting attractions and museums - this just lists the main highlights! Hopefully, you have time to experience all of what Zagreb has to offer. If not, then you are at least on the right track to figuring out what you and your group are going to enjoy the most!


Best day trip from Zagreb is absolutely to Plitvice Lakes!!!

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