Foodie Guide to Zagreb

on August 5, 2020

Zagreb, the capital city of Croatia, was born from two medieval towns developed on two neighboring hills. The first written proof of Zagreb dates back to 1094 with the founding of the Zagreb diocese of Kaptol. Nearby, the twin hill town Gradec, is first mentioned in 1242 when it was proclaimed a free royal city. Both of those hills were surrounded by towers and walls, and many interesting remains can still be found. In the medieval period, the two towns were connected with the legendary Bloody Bridge, now one of the streets in the Old Upper Town. Zagreb was described for the first time as the capital of Croatia in 1557; however, modern Zagreb was formed in 1851 when Josip Jelacic united those two hills into one city. The origin of the name “Zagreb” still remains a mystery with several theories about its origin. Through the years, Zagreb has grown into a cultural and administrative center, as well as a center of political and intellectual life in Croatia, and continues to be one of the top tourist destinations in Europe. For foodies, the cuisine in the capital city of Croatia won’t disappoint.

 

How to get to Zagreb

Zagreb is only 15 km from the Zagreb airport and is easily accessible by car, taxi, and public bus. If you’re driving, plan for parking fees which can be up to 150 kn per day.

What to do in Zagreb

There’s something of interest for everyone in Zagreb. Below is a list of top attractions.

st mark church zagreb

Top attractions and activities in Zagreb

  1. Zagreb 360: Observation deck in the heart of Zagreb positioned on main square
  2. Park Zrinjevac: Trendy park in French style in the city center surrounding classical architecture
  3. Museum of Broken Relationships: Leave a note in this museum with personal objects from former lovers
  4. St. Mark’s Church: 19-century church including many works of famous Croatian artist Mestrovic
  5. Botanical Garden: Lovely botanical jewel just 10 minutes from city center
  6. Park Maksimir: 200-year-old park not far from city center; garden architecture masterpiece
  7. Mirogoj Cemetery: Cemetery including world-class artworks
  8. Croatian National Theater: Classical European architecture and luxurious artwork
  9. Jarun Lake: Perfect place to play sports and relax having weekend picnics or visiting music festivals
  10. Lotrscak Tower: 13th century defense tower from which a cannon is shot every day at noon as it has for the last 140 years
  11. Porta di Pietra: Old stone gate with Virgin Mary shrine
  12. Hrelic Flea Market: One of the largest flea markets in Europe.
  13. Funicular: World’s shortest funicular; it connects Lower Town with Upper Town
  14. Museum of Illusions: You won’t believe what you’ll see
  15. Gric Tunnel: Underground tunnel connecting different parts of Zagreb
  16. Dolac Market: Zagreb’s farmers market
  17. Museum of Torture: See the guillotine and other torture instruments from up close
  18. Zagreb Zoo: The largest zoo in Croatia
  19. Archaeological Museum: Large selection of artifacts from prehistoric, Roman, and Greek times
  20. Heritage: Sample various Croatian delicacies

 

Foodie guide to Zagreb

There are a lot of restaurants in Zagreb, including restaurants that won prestigious Michelin and Gault & Millau awards.

Favorite restaurants in Zagreb

 

 

 

Vinodol Restaurant

Vinodol is one of the oldest restaurants in Zagreb and one of the most popular. They offer a traditional and Mediterranean cuisine prepared according to traditional recipes but with a modern touch. They have a large menu of items and also offer daily menu with seasonal ingredients. Here are some of our favorites.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Istria Gourmet Food Tours 🍷🍴 (@istriagourmet) on

Strukli

vinodol zagreb strukli

Soparnik

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Istria Gourmet Food Tours 🍷🍴 (@istriagourmet) on

Fish soup

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Istria Gourmet Food Tours 🍷🍴 (@istriagourmet) on

Lamb shank

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Istria Gourmet Food Tours 🍷🍴 (@istriagourmet) on

Grilled sardines

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Istria Gourmet Food Tours 🍷🍴 (@istriagourmet) on

Stuffed peppers

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Istria Gourmet Food Tours 🍷🍴 (@istriagourmet) on

Medimurska gibanica

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Istria Gourmet Food Tours 🍷🍴 (@istriagourmet) on

 

Submarine Burger

If you’re into burgers, like my son, then you must also try the Submarine burgers made with local, organic ingredients.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Istria Gourmet Food Tours 🍷🍴 (@istriagourmet) on

Favorite food tours in Zagreb

 

Favorite pastries & bakeries in Zagreb

 

Favorite cafes, bars & night life in Zagreb

 

dolac market seafood fish

 

Where to stay in Zagreb

Zagreb has many excellent hotels. Esplanade Hotel is our favorite because of its location, history, views, and ambiance.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Istria Gourmet Food Tours 🍷🍴 (@istriagourmet) on

 

Additional tips and resources about Zagreb

zagreb map

Additional tips

  • Follow the pink path in the map above for the highlights from this post. Special thanks to Zagreb tourist guide Darija Gotic who showed us around Zagreb.
  • Start with the Zagreb 360 observation deck to get an bird’s-eye-view of Zagreb.
  • If you’re in Zagreb on a weekend, make sure to catch the antiques market in the morning on British Square.

 

Additional resources

 

dolac market zagreb

Have a wonderful trip to Zagreb! Tag us (@istriagourmet) and Zagreb Tourist Board (@zagrebtourist) on Instagram with your favorite foodie pics in Zagreb.

Contact us with any questions.

Don't Miss Out on Best of Istria

Stay up-to-date on foodie events and food tour discounts in Istria.

Sign Up