The top ten sights in Zagreb
If you are going to visit Zagreb, you simply can’t leave without visiting these top ten places. The top ten must see sights in Zagreb, Croatia are:
- The Cathedral – The tallest building in Croatia is its Cathedral. This cathedral is magnificent. One of the two spires under construction and has been for the past twenty years. The interior is striking. A ceiling of yellow stars on dark blue compliments the dark wooden pews and intricate artwork decorating its walls.
- Dolac Market – The Dolac Market is the largest outdoor market in the city center. Located just outside of the cathedral, you will notice vendors have piled their tables with fresh produce. Don’t be fooled into thinking that it is only a one level market. Immediately under the open air section you will find the butchers, bread makers, and dairy producers.
- Tkalciceva Street – Go there to sit and be seen. The classic European coffee culture is prevalent on this street and you better be there on Saturday morning (or Saturday night.) I haven’t figured out how an Croat can make an espresso last for two hours, but they have all mastered the art. The coffee will be the size of an espresso shot even if you order it with milk. Moreover, it will be delicious. I admit to not having mastered the art of stretching that coffee over an entire morning, but I’m working on it.
- Stone Gate – An open air church of sorts. An image of the Virgin is the point of prominence here. The image was the only surviving piece of a former church that was once on the same exact site after an extremely destructive fire. Here many locals and visitors alike come to pray, light candles, and look in awe at the hundreds of plaques on the walls noting thanks to the virgin.
- St. Mark’s Church – The oldest church in Zagreb with its roots back to the 13th century. The coat of arms for Croatia is the dominant adornment on the the tiled roof of the church. Located in “old town” visitors can either take the short funicular up to visit or manage a few flights of stairs.
- Zrinjevac – If you look at a map of Zagreb, you will notice a horseshoe shaped park just north of the river and train station. This horseshoe park houses the cities arboretum, the national theatre, a few museums, and Zrinjevac park. Lined with trees and centered on a gazebo, this park is perfect for lazy walks.
- Art Pavilion – Another prominent building within the horseshoe parks is the the Art Pavilion. Art exhibits are displayed inside this gorgeous building that is rightly a piece of art itself. Be stunned by the glass dome ceiling or the art exhibitions.
- National Theatre – Even if opera or theatre isn’t your thing, you will have to be impressed by the amazing decorations of the building. It gives the Sistine Chapel a run for its money with the beautiful frescoes.
- Museum of Naive Art – My favorite museum out of the many that Zagreb has to offer. It is small and can be done quickly if you are short on time and it is worth every penny of the 20 KN entry fee. The museum focuses on artwork from untrained Croatian artists. It is amazing to look at the skill presented knowing that it was all completely untaught.
- Main Square -Ban J.Jelačića – It’s the hub of the city. A wide open space that is constantly hosting various vendors for pop up markets, the location for the city’s NYE bash, and a major tram intersection. The square is a good place to people watch and observe the daily rhythms of Zagrebian life.
You can keep yourself entertained for weeks on end in Zagreb, but make sure that you at least see these sights. I suggest that you look into Airbnb stays while you are in town as they will keep you in the middle of town. After you get through the classic sites, try the more unusual as well. Zagreb has won the “best of” award for the second year in a row for its holiday market. For that reason, be sure to check out Christmas in Zagreb.
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