Zagreb is definitely one of the underrated European capitals, additionally shadowed by the beautiful Croatian coastline and paradise-like islands. However, this city offers an abundance of activities for every kind of traveler. So without further ado, let’s talk about what to do in Zagreb in 48 hours!
We recommend spending your first day exploring where it all began - the upper and the lower town center. The heart of Zagreb consists of two green and charming hills called Kaptol and Gradec - these are where the city was founded. The lower town flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries, and with its central Ban Jelačić Square has been and still is a focal point of the city.
Consider joining our Swanky Travel Free Walking Tour to get to know the city and to make it easier to find your way around it.
Zagreb is a city riddled with farmers markets, and one of the oldest and biggest ones is the Dolac market, dating to the year 1930 (at the current location). Just a few steps away from the main square, at this market, often called the belly of Zagreb, you will find fresh homegrown produce from all over Croatia. Grab a coffee, take a walk and pick up some fresh fruit and veggies, a piece of the most delicious homemade cheese, and prepare a tasty and healthy breakfast in the hostel kitchen.
Insanely photogenic, with piles of fresh produce and uniformed traditional Zagreb sun umbrellas, the chatty and busy atmosphere of this market is bound to motivate you for the rest of the day.While you are there, check out vendors that sell traditional Zagreb souvenirs like Licitar hearts or Šestine umbrellas.
Spend your afternoon exploring the city your way, because Zagreb indeed is a city with something to offer to everyone. If you enjoy nature, consider having a picnic in one of our numerous parks. City park Zrinjevac or a park-forest Tuškanac are located just a few minutes walk from the hostel in the city center, but you will feel like you escaped far from the business of city streets and into nature.
To visit some of the most popular parks that are further away from the center, rent a bike on our reception and pedal 20 minutes through Zagreb to the forest-park Maksimir or Jarun lake where on warm days you can even go swimming.
Zagreb is famous for its museums, ranging from art and history museums to some pretty unique ones. You probably already know about our Museum of Broken Relationships, but make sure to check out the Archeological museum where you will see a real Egyptian mummy, the Chocolate museum where the entrance ticket is edible, or travel back in time visiting the Zagreb 80s Museum.
So after a super busy day of sight-seeing and walking around, you will probably be searching for a nice meal. Whether you are looking for a pub dinner with good craft beer, a more romantic setting, traditional or street food, the city center is riddled with places that will be kind both to your stomach and wallet (ubaciti link na članak o restoranima).
The bar scene in Zagreb is insane, in the most positive way possible. Check out Tkalčićeva street, the street that in the late 19th and early 20th century made Zagreb the first European city with an actual Red Light District. Today this street is Zagreb’s most popular bar street with an abundance of bars, pubs, clubs, and restaurants with charming terraces perfect for people watching.
If you want to finish your first night in Zagreb with some clubbing, we got you covered there as well! Join a pub crawl that will take you around the center's most popular bars and clubs, or check out one of the clubs more beloved by locals, like Alcatraz, Funk or Boogaloo.
Don’t worry if you stayed longer at dinner or want to take a nap after a long day, most clubs here stay open even until 5 am. And for those who want to keep exploring the city, Secret Zagreb offers cool and spooky tours focused on the city’s stories about witches, ghosts, and dragons.
After a busy and fast-paced first day, on the second day, you can take it easy and enjoy Zagreb the way locals do.
Maybe you heard about this ‘’weird’’ coffee culture in Croatia where people go to a bar, order one small cup of coffee, and enjoy it for 2 hours at a time. Yeah, we do do that, but pair that coffee with a nice breakfast in one of Zagreb’s many coffee shops or bistros and you have a recipe for a nice relaxed morning going through photos of the previous day and recharging your batteries for the rest of the day. If you are up early and ready for the next adventure, consider visiting Hrelić, an insanely unique and quirky flea market, the biggest one in this part of Europe.
Use the afternoon to explore the historical streets of the Upper Town, and beautiful architecture and landscaping of the Lower Town. We suggest taking a Funicular to the Upper Town. This is the shortest funicular ride in the world, with 66 meters long rails that will take the little cabin 64 seconds to ascend. When you exit the funicular you will be greeted by the 13th century Lotrščak tower. This symbol of Zagreb offers two attractions worth seeing: there is a noisy surprise every day at noon, and you can climb to the top of it where there is a viewing deck that offers an amazing 360-degree view of the city.
Take a walk around this area to be amazed by plenty of plateaus with the most photo-worthy views, the most unique and beautiful buildings like St. Marko’s church, and museums in almost every street. If you need some peace and quiet to get your thoughts together, because we all know how stressful traveling can be, take a short walk to the Cathedral from where you can hop on a bus that will take you to Mirogoj. Mirogoj is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Europe open to visitors, often referred to as an outside art gallery, where you can take a walk, enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and take some amazing photos.
Your last evening in Zagreb should be reserved for a good session of wining and dining because you don’t want to miss out on delicious Croatian traditional cuisine. Medvedgrad pub is a must for those who enjoy a good craft beer and simple but hefty meal. If you are looking for something more traditional that even the most strict Croatian grandma would approve of, check out restaurant Stari Fijaker. To finish your evening, consider finding a pool or an ice-skating rink, depending on the season, or if you are up for a more relaxed evening, that 2-hour coffee culture can easily be translated into evening edition with a tasty cocktail or a glass of famous Croatian wine.
Ice Park - Seasonal ice skating rink