Over the years, Zagreb has been overlooked as a tourist destination, most people have favoured the picturesque coastal towns and islands Croatia has to offer. But the city is rapidly growing in popularity, with lots of things to see in Zagreb.
Our team here at Project X, have visited this city a number of times. We have visited both with our Scout Group (on European Summer Expeditions) and on our own adventures and road trips around Croatia. In fact, this summer we visited the city as part of a 2-week European Road Trip, with a group of 16 Explorer Scouts. Although our visit to Zagreb was brief (just a stop-over between Krk, Croatia and Budapest, Hungary), we all enjoyed the warm sunshine whilst exploring the quirky sights and the best of what Zagreb has to offer. We were treated to a tour of the city by a long-time Scouting friend – Filip, who has lived and worked in the city his whole life.
Project X Top 5: Things to see in Zagreb
Here’s Filip’s walking tour of Zagreb – starting and ending in the Central Plaza.
The Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (known by tourists as Zagreb Cathedral) is one of the most monumental gothic-style building in Eastern Europe. This Cathedral was built in the 11th century, with twin spires that can be seen across the city. Furthermore, the location of this Cathedral has always been occupied by a Cathedral. The first Cathedral was destroyed during the Tartar attack in the 13th century. Therefore, the current Cathedral was built soon after the attack but has been restored after it suffered immeasurable damage from an earthquake. The dome and the bell tower have been restored keeping to the medieval design.
2. Dolac Market
The Dolac Market is Zagreb’s colourful fruit and vegetable market. Sellers from all over Croatia come to sell their produce. Dolac has been a buzzing hive of activity since 1930’s. First set up by the city authorities using the space between the Upper and Lower Towns.
The marketplace incorporates a raised open square lined with stalls selling fruit and vegetable produce, with a street level – indoor market for meat, fish and dairy stalls.
3. Bloody Bridge
This alley connecting Tkalčićeva Street and Radićeva Street is called Bloody Bridge because of violent events that have occurred over the centuries. There were two separate settlements in the location of the current Upper Town of Zagreb – Kaptol, which was a religious centre and Gradec, a centre of tradesman and businesses. These settlements were separated by a creek, which now runs under Tkalčićeva Street. The creek was used by both settlements, which caused conflicts between the rivals, sometimes turning into bloody fights. Consequently, one deadly fight occurred in the 14th century. Locals have been lead to believe the amount of blood spilled, caused the creek to turn red – naming the bridge, Bloody Bridge. Although the bridge does not now exist, the street built in place, still bears the name.
4. St. Mark’s Church
One of the oldest buildings in Zagreb, St. Mark’s Church is known for its brightly coloured roof. Situated in St. Mark’s Square, in Zagreb’s Upper Town, this 14th century church is a must see on your next visit to the city. The roof wonderfully pictures the Croatian, Dalmatian and Slavonian coats of arms, along with Zagreb’s city emblem. Unfortunately, due to natural disasters over the years, little remains of the original building.
The Zagreb Funicular is the shortest cable car and safest form of transport in the world! The funicular is the oldest form of organised public transportation in the city. Ironically, the journey only lasts just 64 seconds, it is a fun and effective way to reach the Upper Town. This funicular is actually pretty busy, with departures every ten minutes, seven days a week – from 06:30 to 22:00. A one-way ticket cost just 4 HRK (£0.49).
Route Around Zagreb, Croatia
We hope this gives you a little inspiration. Here’s our route visiting our Top 5 Things to See in Zagreb, ready for your next adventure!