This 900 year old city is crowned by the 13th century gothic cathedral which, with its twin spires, is the city's most impressive landmark. The cathedral is located in the historic Gronji Grad, or upper town which is a great place to wander or hang out in the many cafés. The quarter also contains the Church of St Marko with its brightly tiled roof.
Coming & Going
Zagreb is an important transport hub with lots of buses and trains to destinations throughout Croatia and elsewhere in Europe.
You can walk between the bus and train stations in only 10 minutes, although trams 2 and 6 run between the two stations which can be handy when you’ve got a heavy backpack.
Although trains aren’t as frequent as buses it is still a good way to get to Split, Osijek and the Istrian Peninsula.
Direct international trains run to Austria, Germany, Hungary, Italy and Slovenia.
Glavni kolodvor (the main train station) has fairly average facilities, however the modern Importanne Centar shopping mall beneath the station has everything you’ll need including a food court, McDonald’s, a supermarket, English language newspapers and clean toilets. Although it’s not particularly cheap, the Importanne Centar is a good place to stock up on food for your train journey.
The bus is the best way to get around Croatia with frequent departures to destinations throughout the country as well as international services to Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hungary, Slovenia and most big cities in Germany.
The bus station (autobusni kolodvor; website www.autokol-zg.tel.hr/autokol-zg/) on Avenija Marina Drzica has plenty of shops, cafés and other facilities.
Pleso Airport (website www.zagreb-airport.hr), 17 km south-east of the centre, is a small but efficient airport with a limited number of flights to destinations throughout Croatia and Europe.
Croatia Airlines run a shuttle bus service between the airport and the bus station. The 25 minute journey costs 20kn one-way.
Zagreb can be a difficult city to hitch from, however it is reasonably easy to get to the good hitch-hiking spots by public transport.
The E-70 is the most direct route for traffic heading to Milan, Trieste and Ljubljana. It is best to wait for a lift on Ljubljanska avenija before it joins the motorway. Take tram 5 or 17 and get off at the terminus, walk north along Hrvatskog sokola until you get to Ljubljanska avenija.
If you’re heading to Rijeka or Split, your best bet would be to hitch on Jadranska avenija before it joins the E-59/E-65. Take tram 7 or 14 and get off at the big roundabout on the southern side of the Jadranski most bridge. Follow the signs for Karlovac which will take you on to Jadranska avenija.
If you want to visit the Slavonija region, you’ll want to get on the E-70 going east towards Slavonski Brod. Take tram 2, 3 or 13 and get off at Zitnjak (the terminus for routes 3 and 13). Wait for a lift on the southern side of Slavonska avenija.
E-59 northbound will take you to Vienna, while E-65/E-71 north goes to Budapest. These roads form a ringroad around Zagreb which means that you can’t join the road before it becomes a motorway.
Try your luck on Ljubljanska avenija or Jadranska avenija for a lift to Vienna. Use a sign so you don’t get picked up by traffic heading to Ljubljana, Rijeka or Split.
Follow the directions for Slavonska avenija and use a sign marked Varazdin or Budapest for a lift towards Hungary.
BUG Ride (website http://europe.bugride.com) is our own web-based ride sharing service, it allows travellers to both offer lifts and search for rides throughout Europe. This is a free service which links travellers to drivers – you contact the driver by email when you have found the ride you want.
Zagreb’s public transport network (website www.zet.hr) is made up of buses, trams and a patchy suburban rail network.
Most travellers rely on the efficient tram system with frequent services connecting Trg Bana Josipa Jelacica and the train and bus stations in the centre with connections to the Jarun recreation centre, hitch-hiking spots and even the Sljeme ski centre.
There are four tram routes which operate throughout the night, the night trams stop at either the train station or Trg Bana Josipa Jelacica.
You can buy tram tickets at newspaper kiosks. Single tickets cost 6kn if you buy the ticket on board a tram or bus or 5.50kn if you buy your ticket in advance; they are valid for 90 minutes of travel (including transfers). Alternatively, 15kn will get you a day ticket – ask for a dnevna karta.
The fine for riding without a ticket is 150kn.
If you’re preparing your own food you can try the supermarkets in the Importanne Centar beneath the train station or the Konzum supermarket on Ilica near Trg Britanski. There are outdoor fruit markets in Trg Britanski and the square outside the Cathedral in the old town.