Maurizia Swaney

Written by Maurizia Swaney

Modified & Updated: 23 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Zagreb, the capital city of Croatia, is a vibrant and beautiful destination that boasts a rich history, diverse culture, and stunning architecture. With its fascinating blend of medieval charm and modern developments, Zagreb has something to offer every visitor.

In this article, we will delve into 40 intriguing facts about Zagreb, giving you a unique insight into this enchanting city. From its origins as two separate towns, Kaptol and Gradec, to its vibrant arts and music scene, Zagreb is a destination that will captivate and delight you.

Whether you are a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply someone looking for a memorable travel experience, Zagreb has it all. So, let’s dive into the fascinating facts about Zagreb and discover why this city truly stands out as a gem in the heart of Croatia.

Key Takeaways:

  • Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, is a vibrant city with a rich history, stunning architecture, and a thriving cultural scene. From picturesque parks to unique museums, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this enchanting destination.
  • Despite being hit by a devastating earthquake in 2020, Zagreb has shown resilience and is undergoing restoration efforts to preserve its architectural heritage. The city is a charming blend of history, modernity, and picturesque landscapes.
Table of Contents

Zagreb is the capital and largest city of Croatia.

As the country’s political, economic, and cultural hub, Zagreb is a bustling metropolis that offers something for everyone.

The city of Zagreb is divided into two parts: Upper Town (Gornji Grad) and Lower Town (Donji Grad).

The Upper Town is the historic core, filled with cobblestone streets, medieval buildings, and enchanting squares. The Lower Town showcases elegant architecture, modern amenities, and vibrant shopping districts.

Zagreb has a population of over 800,000 people.

With a diverse community of residents, the city buzzes with energy and a cosmopolitan atmosphere.

The city’s name, Zagreb, is derived from the Croatian word “zagrabiti,” which means “to catch” in English.

Legend has it that a famous Croatian ruler’s wife once said, “I will catch a hawk in the forests of Zagreb,” thus giving the city its name.

Zagreb is famous for its picturesque parks and gardens.

From the beautiful Zrinjevac Park to the lush greenery of Maksimir Park, Zagreb offers plenty of green spaces for locals and visitors to enjoy.

The iconic St. Mark’s Church, located in the Upper Town, is one of Zagreb’s most recognizable landmarks.

With its vividly colored tiled roof depicting the coats of arms of Croatia, Zagreb, and Dalmatia, this 13th-century church is a must-see attraction.

The Museum of Broken Relationships, located in Zagreb, is a unique museum dedicated to failed relationships.

It features personal mementos and stories from around the world, offering visitors a glimpse into the universal experience of heartbreak.

The Dolac Market is the largest and most famous open-air market in Zagreb.

Here, locals and tourists can find a vibrant array of fresh fruits, vegetables, cheese, and local specialties.

Zagreb is home to numerous museums and galleries, showcasing art, history, and culture.

Some notable ones include the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Archaeological Museum, and the Croatian Museum of Naïve Art.

Every year, Zagreb hosts the Advent Christmas Market, voted the best European Christmas market three times in a row.

The market fills the city with festive lights, delicious food, and unique handmade crafts during the holiday season.

Mirogoj Cemetery is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Europe.

It is a tranquil and serene place, adorned with elaborate sculptures and surrounded by lush greenery.

Zagreb has a vibrant and diverse food scene.

From traditional Croatian cuisine to international flavors, the city is a haven for food lovers.

The Zagreb Cathedral, dedicated to the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is the tallest building in Croatia.

Its stunning Gothic architecture and rich history make it a must-visit landmark.

The city is home to the University of Zagreb, one of the oldest and largest universities in Southeast Europe.

It attracts students from all over the world and contributes to the city’s lively academic atmosphere.

The Lotrš?ak Tower, located in the Upper Town, offers panoramic views of Zagreb.

Visitors can also experience the famous cannon firing from the tower every day at noon.

Zagreb has a vibrant nightlife, with numerous bars, clubs, and music venues.

It is a city that comes alive after dark, offering entertainment options for partygoers and music enthusiasts.

The Zagreb Funicular, also known as the “shortest funicular in the world,” connects the Lower Town with the Upper Town.

It is a popular mode of transportation for both locals and tourists, providing a scenic ride and breathtaking views.

The Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb is a cultural institution that showcases opera, ballet, and theater performances.

It is renowned for its exceptional productions and talented performers.

The Museum of Illusions in Zagreb offers a mind-bending experience with its interactive exhibits and optical illusions.

Visitors can challenge their perception and enjoy a unique and immersive adventure.

Zagreb has a wealth of architectural styles, ranging from medieval to modernist.

The cityscape is a captivating mix of historical landmarks, Art Nouveau buildings, and contemporary designs.

The Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, founded in 1871, is one of the oldest orchestras in the region.

It plays a vital role in promoting classical music and enriching the cultural scene of the city.

The Mimara Museum houses an impressive collection of art spanning various periods and cultures.

It is named after Ante Topic Mimara, a renowned Croatian art collector.

The Jarun Lake, located in the southwestern part of the city, is a popular recreational area.

It offers activities such as swimming, boating, and cycling, making it a favorite spot for outdoor enthusiasts.

Zagreb has a long tradition of coffee culture.

Locals take their coffee seriously and enjoy spending time in the city’s numerous charming cafes.

The Stone Gate, known as Kamenita vrata, is the only preserved gate of the medieval fortifications in Zagreb.

It is considered a sacred site and is adorned with religious paintings and candles.

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb is the largest contemporary art museum in Southeastern Europe.

It features a vast collection of modern and contemporary artworks from Croatian and international artists.

Zagreb is home to numerous colorful and lively street art murals.

These urban artworks add a vibrant touch to the city’s walls and reflect its creative spirit.

“Zagreb Time Machine” is a unique interactive multimedia experience that takes visitors on a journey through Zagreb’s history.

It combines historical footage, 3D mapping projections, and storytelling to bring the past to life.

Ban Jela?i? Square, located in the heart of Zagreb, is a lively meeting point and the city’s main square.

Surrounded by shops, cafes, and historical buildings, it serves as a popular gathering spot for locals and tourists alike.

In 2020, Zagreb was hit by a devastating earthquake, causing significant damage to many historical buildings.

However, the city has shown resilience and is undergoing restoration efforts to preserve its architectural heritage.

The Art Pavilion in Zagreb is the oldest gallery space in Southeastern Europe.

It showcases temporary exhibitions, contemporary art installations, and cultural events.

The Medvednica Mountain, located just north of Zagreb, offers stunning hiking trails and panoramic views of the city.

It is a popular destination for outdoor activities and a refreshing escape from the urban hustle and bustle.

Zagreb is host to numerous festivals and events throughout the year.

From the International Folklore Festival to the INmusic Festival, there is always something exciting happening in the city.

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb hosts regular exhibitions, workshops, and educational programs.

It aims to promote contemporary art and engage visitors of all ages in creative experiences.

The Croatian National History Museum, located in Zagreb, showcases the country’s rich historical heritage.

From archaeological finds to medieval artifacts, the museum offers a comprehensive journey through Croatia’s past.

The Gri? Tunnel, a unique underground passage in Zagreb, served as a shelter during World War II.

Today, it is an exciting tourist attraction and occasionally hosts art installations and events.

The Museum of Torture in Zagreb offers a chilling insight into the history of punishment and torture methods.

Visitors can explore various devices and learn about the darker aspects of human history.

Zagreb has a vibrant street food scene, with food trucks and stalls offering a wide range of culinary delights.

From traditional Croatian dishes to international favorites, there is something to satisfy every craving.

The Croatian Railway Museum, located in Zagreb, showcases the history and development of railways in Croatia.

It features antique locomotives, carriages, and interactive exhibits that transport visitors back in time.

Zagreb is a city full of charm, where history blends seamlessly with modernity, and picturesque landscapes await at every corner.

Whether you’re strolling through its enchanting streets, exploring its cultural treasures, or indulging in its culinary delights, Zagreb is a destination that will captivate your heart.


Zagreb, the capital city of Croatia, is a vibrant and culturally rich destination that offers a blend of historical landmarks, modern attractions, and a thriving culinary scene. With its charming streets, picturesque parks, and welcoming atmosphere, Zagreb is a must-visit destination for travelers seeking a unique European experience.

Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s rich history, indulging in delicious local cuisine, or simply strolling through its beautiful streets, Zagreb has something to offer for everyone. From its medieval architecture and iconic landmarks to its vibrant art scene and lively festivals, Zagreb will captivate you with its charm and leave you wanting to come back for more.

So, pack your bags and get ready to discover the enchanting city of Zagreb. With its fascinating history, diverse culture, and warm hospitality, this hidden gem is waiting to be explored.


1. What is the best time to visit Zagreb?

The best time to visit Zagreb is during the spring and fall seasons when the weather is mild and pleasant. Summers can be quite hot, while winters can be cold and snowy.

2. What are some must-visit attractions in Zagreb?

Some must-visit attractions in Zagreb include the historic Upper Town, featuring landmarks like St. Mark’s Church and Lotrš?ak Tower, Ban Jela?i? Square, Dolac Market, and the beautiful Maksimir Park.

3. Is Zagreb a safe city for tourists?

Zagreb is generally a safe city for tourists. However, it’s always advisable to take standard precautions, such as keeping an eye on your belongings and avoiding secluded areas at night.

4. What is the local cuisine like in Zagreb?

Zagreb boasts a delicious and diverse culinary scene. Some popular local dishes to try include Štrukli (a traditional pastry), Peka (roasted meat and vegetables), and various hearty meat stews.

5. Are there any day trips that can be taken from Zagreb?

Yes, there are several day trips that can be taken from Zagreb, such as visiting the beautiful Plitvice Lakes National Park, exploring the historic town of Samobor, or discovering the charming village of Trakoš?an with its stunning castle.

6. Is English widely spoken in Zagreb?

Yes, English is widely spoken in Zagreb, especially in tourist areas, hotels, and restaurants. However, it’s always appreciated to learn a few basic phrases in Croatian as a sign of respect.

7. How can I get around the city?

Zagreb has an efficient public transportation system, including buses, trams, and trains. You can also explore the city on foot, as most major attractions are within walking distance from each other.

After exploring Zagreb's captivating facts, delve deeper into this vibrant city's world. Football enthusiasts can learn about GNK Dinamo Zagreb's storied history and NK Zagreb's fascinating club facts. Nature lovers will enjoy discovering the wonders of Zagreb Zoo, home to diverse wildlife and engaging exhibits. Each avenue offers unique insights into Zagreb's multifaceted character, inviting you to uncover more of its compelling stories and hidden gems.

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