Zagreb Cable Car Top Station

Spotlight on: Zagreb Cable Car and Sljeme 360 Viewpoint

Following on from my focus on Dubrovnik’s Old Town Walls, in the second of the spotlight on series, I’m going to take a look at a couple of far more modern sights. Both found high up on Mount Medvenica above the city, they are the excellent Zagreb Cable Car and the brand-new Sljeme 360 Viewpoint in the TV tower at the peak of this mountain.

Zagreb Cable Car Top Station
The top station of Zagreb Cable Car

About Zagreb Cable Car and Sljeme 360

Zagreb’s Cable Car was opened in February 2022 whilst the Sljeme 360 experience was opening very recently indeed – in October 2023.

Zagreb originally had a cable car that opened in 1963 to transport skiers up the mountain, with a travelling distance of around 4,000 metres. This old cable car stopped operating in 2007 after it was found to require extensive repair and a decision was (eventually) made to build a new version.

The new cable car covers a distance of 5,017 metres and has a height difference of 754 metres between the lower and upper stations.

The TV tower was built in 1973 and stands 169 metres tall.

Zagreb Cable Car Bottom Station
The bottom station of Zagreb Cable Car

Getting There

The lower station of the Zagreb cable car is located in the Gracansko dolje region of northern Zagreb. It’s easy to get here by public transport, although you will most likely require a change somewhere along the way. You can make the whole journey by tram, or by tram and bus.

If travelling from the main square, take tram number 14 north to its end point of Mihaljevac. Once there, you’ll see the stop (it’s only about a minute walk away) for tram number 15 which heads to Gracansko dolje. This tram is rather unusual and an experience in itself – it only operates for four stops and at somewhat of an incline (compared to the other Zagreb trams at least) whilst it speeds along the track, seemingly mere centimetres away from the houses at points.

At Mihaljevac, it is possible to take bus number 233 for five stops to Gracansko dolje instead. Personally, I would recommend the tram option – it is far more fun!

It is also possible to reach Gracansko dolje by car, for there is a large parking garage below the base station building. Or you could also take an Uber or Bolt vehicle, but…take the tram, it’s so much fun!

Either way, once you reach the Gracansko dolje, you’ll see the gleaming, modern Zagreb cable car base station in front of you. Resist the urge to climb the climbing wall/bear hybrid here (you’ll know what I mean when you see it!) and head inside to purchase your tickets and begin your journey.

The Experience

The Cable Car

The six-person cabins of the cable car are much like any other cable car you may have come across – including those up mountains at ski resorts! Funnily enough, Zagreb’s cable car has something in common with those – for it is possible to ski on Sljeme in the winter months, and the cabins are adorned with sports equipment (i.e. ski and snowboard) holders on the outside.

Zagreb Cable Car Cabins
About to board the Zagreb Cable Car

As the cabins continuously pass by being pulled by the ever-moving cable, you have a short window to enter. Not too long and not too short, but just enough time for the four of us to enter along with the buggy we also had with us. This adds a certain excitement to the proceedings.

Visiting in the mid-afternoon in late October saw hardly any other visitors on the cable car – certainly, there was no one boarding at the same time as us, and as we ascended (and later descended), few other cabins had people in.

Going up in the cable car offers stunning views over Zagreb and of the lush forest below, which is full of autumn colours at this time of year. The full journey takes around 20 minutes each way, which is plenty of time to take in the magic of your surroundings and snap plenty of photos in all directions. And to admire the cable car itself, of course.

Interestingly, once you board the cable car at the bottom you’ll be whizzed through another cable car station almost immediately. On our journey, we wondered about the purpose of this station; it turns out that this “corner” station is required to change the direction of the cable car’s travels by 28 degrees. Huh!

There’s also an intermediate station – Brestovac – at which people can disembark.

At Sljeme

Once you reach the top of the cable car, you’re at Sljeme, the peak of Mount Medvednica. You’ll immediately the the Zagreb TV tower in front of you (home to the Zagreb 360 viewpoint which I’ll talk about in a second) as well as a little restaurant/cafe for refreshments.

OIV TV Tower, Zagreb
The OIV TV Tower

Take a look all around you for the amazing views – Zagreb stretches out in front of you (and it really does stretch out; the city is perhaps far larger than people think), whilst you can see little towns and villages at the base of the mountain in the other direction.

A short walk away from where the cable car places you are a few more restaurants as well as the Hotel Tomislavov Dom which would be an excellent place to base yourself if you really want to explore the nearby Medvednica Nature Park or Medvedgrad Castle.

The Zagreb 360 viewpoint also has its own little cafe, so after your hard work ascending the cable car you have the additional tough job of choosing where to reset for a little while, enjoying a coffee or hot chocolate. (Or a cup of whipped cream in the case of my toddler.)

We opted for Vidikovac Sljeme which has a pretty wide menu (had I not already had lunch, I would definitely have opted for one of their hearty-looking soups!) and seating next to large windows for you to really take in the view.

Should you be travelling on the cable car in winter, you might have come up to Sljeme to go skiing! There are some ski/snowboard rental shops up here too…and, of course, here is where the ski runs start!

Zagreb 360 Viewpoint

The 169 metre-tall Zagreb TV tower (the Sljeme OIV tower, to give it its proper name) is now home to the Zagreb 360 Viewpoint experience, which is located roughly highway up the tower – at an altitude of 1,118 metres above sea level.

A fast and large lift whisks you up to the inside portion of the viewpoint where there is also a cafe. To my delight, the cafe’s tables all had boards and pieces of the game Čovječe, ne ljuti see (translates to Man, don’t get angry; essentially it is the game Ludo) which I remember playing endlessly as a child. We attempted a game before the toddler interrupted and started throwing pieces around.

Covjece ne luti se board game at Sljeme 360 Viewpoint
Ready for a game of Covjece, ne luti se?

Of course, the view from up here is spectacular – and all around, seeing as you’re in a tower! I highly recommend also visiting the Zagreb 360 viewpoint once you’re up Sljeme.

Funnily enough, as we were visiting barely a week after it had opened, we could see that some of the furnishings weren’t quite finished.

Opening Hours and Prices

Make sure the weather is good before setting off to enjoy these attractions!

Zagreb Cable Car

The cable car operates from 10am to 7pm (last departure from the lower station is at 6.30pm) every day, year-round. The cable car may not operate in the case of strong winds or bad weather, so do check the Zagreb Cable Car website before you set off to make sure it is operating.

It costs €16.59 return (€9.95 one way) for adults; €9.95 return (€6.64 one way) for people aged 15-24 and 65+; and €3.98 return (€2.65 one way) for kids aged 0 to 15 or for people with disabilities. (These are all 2023 prices.)

It has to be said that Zagreb Cable Car has been accused of being too expensive – in my opinion, the experience on this modern transport method and the views make it worth it.

Zagreb 360 Viewpoint

The viewpoint is open 10.30am to 6.30pm daily (from 9.30am on Saturdays).

This costs an additional €10 for adults; €7.50 for kids aged 12 to 18, students and those aged 65+; €5 for kids aged 5 to 12; kids under 5 go free. (2023 prices)

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More info

You can learn more about Zagreb Cable Car at the Sljeme 360 Viewpoint on their respective websites, and there’s additional information on the cable car on the ZET website.

Spotlight on: Old Town Walls, Dubrovnik

In the first of a regular series looking at some of Croatia’s most famous – and perhaps lesser-known – sights in more detail, today we’re taking a look at the Old Town Walls, Dubrovnik. These famed walls run for a length of 1,940 metres around the Old Town part of Dubrovnik and are 25 metres tall at their highest point. In the interior, the walls have a thickness of between 4 metres and 6 metres, whilst on the portion facing out over the Adriatic Sea, they are 1.5 metres to 3 metres thick.

Old Town Walls Dubrovnik
A “close-up” look at the Old Town Walls Dubrovnik

The walls are stunning to experience for yourself in real life and have a fascinating history. They have protected Dubrovnik during a number of attacks over the centuries and served as excellent protection during the Homeland War in Croatia in the early 1990s. The walls also withstood an incredibly powerful earthquake in 1667 (when 2,000 locals are estimated to have died, and many of the Old Town buildings were destroyed) and were barely damaged.

History of the Old Town Walls, Dubrovnik

Portions of the walls were first constructed in the 13th century, with the basic shape fully outlined by the 14th century. The walls were continuously added to over the subsequent centuries, with considerable work on the walls undertaken in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Many builders and architects contributed to the construction of the walls and their elements over time, including Juraj Dalmatinac (who worked on Minceta Fortress) who is famous for his work in Sibenik.

Features of the Old Town Walls, Dubrovnik

As we’ve mentioned, the walls run for 1,940 metres in length and include a number of towers, fortresses and gates, and we’ll take a look at some of the best ones here.

Minceta Fortress, completed in 1464, was the main point of defence on the land side of Dubrovnik and is in fact the northernmost point of the Walls as well as the highest point. (So be sure to climb for some fantastic views!) The Tower was originally built in a rectangular shape in the 14th century but was then changed to be a round tower in the mid-15th century.

Top Sights in Croatia - Dubrovnik Old Town
A view over the rooftops of Dubrovnik Old Town from Minceta Tower

Pile Gate is the main entrance into the Old Town on the western side and stands where Pile Fortress used to be, which was torn down in 1818. As you approach this gate you will cross a 15th-century, triple-arched stone bridge. Above the gate itself you will notice a statue of St. Blaise, Dubrovnik’s patron saint, that was sculpted by the famous Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrovic; the gate itself actually consists of two gates, and outer and an inner one which were built at different times.

Pile Gate, Old Town Walls Dubrovnik
Pile Gate with the stone bridge approaching it

On the western side of the Old Town is Ploce Gate which also consists of an outer and an inner gate and a stone bridge on its approach; again, this gate was constructed in the 15th century. Be sure to check out a gorgeous view of the harbour when you cross this bridge!

Next to Ploce Gate is Revelin Fortress which is also adjacent to the Old Town port. This fortress was constructed in the late 16th century to protect the city from attacks from Venice which were considered heightened at the time. These days, the fortress is home to Club Revelin – what an amazing place to do some partying!

St John’s Fortress to the southeast of the Old Town harbour stood to protect the city from attacks from the sea. Completed in 1557, today this amazing building is home to the Dubrovnik Aquarium and the Maritime Museum.

St John Fortress, Old Town Walls Dubrovnik
St John Fortress

The circular Bokar Fortress stands to protect Pile Gate and the harbour just below. Completed in 1570, this fortress was used as an ammunition store and also to test canon range.

Lovrijenac Fortress stands separate to the town walls – but you will get an excellent view of this fortress when you make the walk on them, and a ticket to the town walls also includes a visit here. This was likely the most important defence of the city, given its position 40 metres up on these cliffs. Originally built in the 14th century – likely on the site of a previous fort, which existed perhaps as early as the 10th century – this triangular-shaped fortress was strengthened and changed over the centuries and also needed restoring after the 1667 earthquake. Amazing, the walls of the fortress that face the sea are 12 metres thick, but much, much less so on the side facing inland. Lovirjenac “plays” the Red Keep of King’s Landing in Game of Thrones.

Lovrijenac Fortress, Dubrovnik
Lovrijenac Fortress

Visiting the Old Town Walls

Getting There

Obviously, the Old Town Walls completely surround the Old Town (the clue is in the name!) so once you’re in Dubrovnik, make your way over to the Old Town.

You can obviously marvel at the walls from many a spot inside and outside of the Old Town. In fact, walking around the outside of them – on the land side, of course – is one way of appreciating the magnitude of the walls and the level of protection they bestowed on the town. Should you get a chance, opting for a spot of sea kayaking in Dubrovnik is another fantastic way of seeing the walls, this time from sea level (of course!). Again, you can imagine how imposing the walls would have been to potential marauders.

Entry & Tickets

There are entrances up to the Town Walls by both Pile and Ploce gates, and you can buy tickets for the walls at both of these locations. Personally, we like entering at Pile Gate to make the walk around on the sea side first before heading inland and marvelling at all the pretty orange rooftops. It is also possible to buy tickets online on the Society of Friends of Dubrovnik Antiquities website. Tickets cost €35 for adults and €15 for children under 18 (2023 prices). This includes entry to Lovrenjac Fortress as well.

Old Town Walls Dubrovnik

More info

You can learn more about the walls on the Society of Friends of Dubrovnik Antiquities website. This society was formed in 1952 to protect, preserve and promote the walls. The same society also looks after the stunning town walls in Ston.

Take a look at our Dubrovnik Old Town Photos gallery to see the sights visible on and from the walls.