Winter in Croatia - Plitvice Lakes in Winter

Top 5 Things to Do in Croatia in Winter

Winter is a dreary time of year, isn’t it? (The winter that’s after all the Christmas and New Year excitement, that is.) There’s seemingly not much to do, the weather is quite awful – if it’s not freezing outside it’s blowing a gale – and no one seems to be up for any fun. And there’s surely nothing fun to do in Croatia in winter, given it’s such a glorious summer destination?! Wrong! Spin that bad winter attitude right around and take a look at what I think are some of the most fun things to do in Croatia in winter.

Croatia in Winter – Enjoying the view and winter activities on Sljeme, Zagreb

Zagreb would be my top choice as a winter destination in Croatia anyway, as there’s so much to enjoy in this fantastic city – sights, restaurants, shopping, events, kids activities…the list goes on! But for a special wintery treat, head up to Sljeme above Zagreb to enjoy excellent views of the city and the surrounding area and lots of fun winter activities. I’d highly recommend that you take the cable car up to the top of Mount Sljeme as it’s a super fun experience and one of the nicest (and quickest) ways of zipping up the mountain.

So what winter activities are up here? The main one – skiing! Yes, that’s right, it is indeed possible to ski in Croatia, and Sljeme is probably the best place in Croatia to go skiing. Whilst you wouldn’t come here for a week-long skiing holiday, you can certainly enjoy a few runs on a weekend or an afternoon. (Or even at night as night-time skiing is possible on some days.)

Winter in Croatia - Skiing Sljeme
Sljeme Skiing

In fact, the ski season on Sljeme officially opens tomorrow, 23rd January 2024 (normally running until mid-March) so now’s the perfect time to try a bit of ski fun here. Organisers do use an artificial snowmaking system if the real stuff is a bit patchy.

If skiing isn’t your thing, you can still come up to Sljeme to enjoy a bit of sledging and playing around in the snow, before retiring to a local restaurant or cafe for some filling stew and a hot drink.

If skiing really is your thing, then you might be quite excited about the Snowpark Sljeme to show off your tricks.

Of course, don’t forget that Sljeme is the peak of Mount Medvednica, part of which is home to Medvednica Nature Park. You could shun the skiing/sledging entirely and explore this beautiful forested wonderland instead.

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Winter in Croatia – Enjoy the tranquillity of the Plitvice Lakes

If you’ve been to the Plitvice Lakes National Park during the peak summer months, you’ll have had the good fortune to share the experience of the stunning lakes and waterfalls with about a million other people at the same time. (I joke, of course, but boy does it get crowded at that time of year.)

Winter in Croatia - Plitvice Lakes in Winter
The Plitvice Lakes in winter…complete with frozen waterfalls!

The Plitvice Lakes are a pure joy any time of year as the nature of the park undergoes its seasonal changes. In wintertime, the park is a lot less green (the trees and shrubs, that is) but may be a lot more white if there’s been recent snowfall which gives the whole place a really magical feel. Some of the water in the lakes – possibly even the waterfalls – may also freeze if the temperatures have been low enough and consistently so.

Plitvice in winter also means that you’ll be joined by far fewer fellow visitors – nowhere near the crowds of summer. I would still suggest getting to the Park as early as possible in the day (the shorter days of course mean shorter opening hours – only until 3pm until the end of March) and do also note that the upper lakes are closed at this time of year too. But you’ll be delighted by the fact that the entry price is only a quarter of what it is in summer! (€10 in winter compared to €40 during peak summer.)

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Winter in Croatia – Celebrations in February

February is carnival month all across the world, and many locations in Croatia also celebrate with carnival processions. The largest carnival in Croatia is the Rijeka Carnival which, in peak years, attracts as many as 100,000 spectators and has a number of connected events. The carnival party in fact in fact already started this past weekend with the first event – the Rijeka Carnival Queen Pageant (where a Carnival Queen is selected!) and the Handover of the Key to the City.

More fun and games take place from 1pm Saturday, 27th January 2024, with Carnival Children’s Parade. Around 6,000 young participants will parade in their colourful costumes.

There are many associated carnival events over the next few weeks (a fun run and the Carnival Snowboard Session as examples) but the main Rijeka Carnival occasion is the parade that takes place on 11th February 2024. It’s an excellent time to be in Rijeka!

Or, as an alternative event in February, head to Dubrovnik in early February when the city celebrates its patron saint, Saint Blaise (Sveti Vlaho in Croatian). The patron saint’s day is on 2nd February which is also marked as the day of the City of Dubrovnik. Celebrations, however, stretch out from late January and beyond. Again, it’s a great time of year to visit this city too to really get a feel for a long-established festivity that is marked by local residents.

Winter in Croatia – Get your cultural fix

Croatia has a few annual events that take place all over the country on the same date and January enjoys one such event. This week, in fact! Night of the Museums (Noc muzeja) is taking place this Friday, 26th January 2024 with participating museums all over the country offering free entry from 6pm (usually until 1am). Museums also offer special talks and other events on this same night.

Winter in Croatia – Head to the coast

Sure, it’s winter, but why not head to the coast anyway? You won’t be able to do any sea swimming or sunbathing is very unlikely, but nothing beats being by the coast whatever season it is.

Winter in Croatia - Split
Split in on a sunny winter’s day

Split would be a top choice, seeing as it’s Croatia’s second-largest city and has plenty to keep you occupied even in the colder months. What could be better than taking a stroll down the Riva and enjoying the sea air.

Some of Croatia’s cities offer special deals for visitors in winter, and Split does too. The Split Card can be obtained for free from the tourist office if you stay for two nights in any kind of accommodation in the city. You can then use it to gain free entry to some of the museums here (the Ethnographic Museum, the Natural History Museum), plus discounted entry to other museums and attractions. You can also use the card to obtain discounts at certain shops and restaurants.

Getting to Croatia in winter

Currently, the only direct flights from the UK and Ireland to Croatia are those to Zagreb which are operated by British Airways, Croatia Airlines and Ryanair with all three offering flights to Zagreb. From there, you can use Croatia Airlines‘ internal flights to other destinations in the country – see our Flights in Croatia page for more details.

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Advent in Zagreb 2023

Advent in Zagreb – the city’s epic Christmas celebrations – returns to Zagreb on Friday 2nd December 2023, running until 7th January 2024. Here’s our rundown on what’s happening during Advent in Zagreb and where, and the best of what there is to see and do.

Advent in Zagreb

What is Advent in Zagreb?

Advent in Zagreb is essentially a Christmas market…but in fact, so much more than that! Having first been held in 2010, it is a large-scale celebration of Christmas that takes place in many locations all across the city. So many of Zagreb’s squares, streets, parks, shopping areas, museums, attractions and more will be adorned with beautiful lights or other festive decorations and will be used as venues for Christmas fun. There will be food and drink (oh so much food and drink!), concerts and live music,

The celebrations have received so much positive press and visitor comments over the years, often being called one of the best Christmas markets in Europe. In fact, Advent in Zagreb even won the “Best Christmas Market” category for three years straight (from 2016 to 2018) awarded by European Best Destinations.

Here’s a video preview of this year’s celebrations from Zagreb Tourist Board:

The main fun at Advent in Zagreb

Zagreb’s main square Trg Ban Jelacic will – as to be expected – have a giant, decorated Christmas tree in place during Advent in Zagreb. In fact, the tree is already in place, as of 27th November, awaiting decoration. The main square is also were the traditional Advent candles are situated, around Mandusevac Fountain.

Christmas celebrations aren’t Christmas celebrations without an ice rink, are they? Thankfully, Zagreb will indeed have an ice rink once again this winter with the Ice Park situated on King Tomislav Square – in front of the very impressive Art Pavillion. Open from 2nd December, the rink will be open daily from 10am until 11pm or 12pm (although only until 5pm on Christmas Eve). Should you like to see in the New Year on a pair of skates you can even do so – that day, the rink will be open until 2am!

Advent in Zagreb - Ice Park - Ice Rink
The Ice Park

The very cool Gric Tunnel is often kitted out for various events and this Christmas it will host the Polar Dream, offering visitors the chance to “experience” the Northern Lights.

City Break in Croatia - Advent in Zagreb
Gric Tunnel during Advent in Zagreb

A wonderful experience would be to join the gas lamp lighters for Advent Under the Lantern. Every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (from 6th to 23rd December) at 4.30pm they depart from the Lotrscak Tower to continue this 160-year-old tradition. They will be joined by vocal groups such as the gospel group The Messengers or the female vocal ensemble Cipkice.

Festive Food and Drink

This will be everywhere, ha ha!

One of the absolute best places to try some Christmas treats (and then some) is at Fuliranje (which translates to “Fooling Around”!). Located on Josip Juraj Strossmayer Square, there is a wide range of food vendors offering up some very tasty, filling grub, and plenty of warming drinks, from mulled wine to brandies. But Fuliranje is so much more besides – there will be live DJs, children’s choirs, magical decorations and Santa himself. Fuliranje is one of the most popular elements of Advent in Zagreb, and is also a top place to see in the New Year.

A previous edition of Fuliranje

Sweet Zrinjevac in Zrinjevac Park will have all manner of street food stalls selling hearty and warming winter food and drink. (Sausages! Mulled wine!). Set amongst the beautifully decorated trees of the park, it’s one of the top places to go during Advent in Zagreb. This year, it will be open from 12pm to 11pm or 12am daily from 29th November.

Be sure to head to Zagreb’s main Dolac Market from 6pm on 22nd December for the Christmas Pop-Up of PLACe Market. Local chefs and restaurants will be offering all sorts of tasty treats to go along with the festive and fun atmosphere.

Musical Delights

One of the first events of Advent in Zagreb will be a concert performed by the famed Zagreb Soloists at the Okotogon at 12pm on Wednesday 29th November.

The Advent Symphony of the City is a performance that will take place in several locations across Zagreb on different days. First taking place at Trg Petrice Kerempuha (just above Dolac market) at 8pm on 7th December, it will certainly put a smile on your face.

The 50th anniversary of the opening of Vatroslav Lisinski Concert Hall will be celebrated from 28th to 30th December with a very full programme of plays, performances, concerts and even guided tours. The grand concert takes place at 7.30pm on Friday 29th December when the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra Symphony and the Symphony Orchestra of Croatian Radiotelevision will perform.

Advent in Zagreb - Zrinjevac
Zrinjevac Park

Advent in Zagreb for kids…and for pets?!

What kid doesn’t love anything Christmas? They’re sure to have a good time just being at the Advent in Zagreb celebrations, but if you’re looking for some activities specifically aimed for the younger members of your family, you’re in luck.

Probably one of the most fun events for kids will be the Ice Fairy Tale at Ribjak Park (from 16th December). Fully decorated in icy style, the Snow Queen will be fulfilling the dreams of all children. But if your kids like all things icy, don’t forget about taking them skating at Ice Park (mentioned above) which they will surely be thrilled with.

The Croatian Chamber of Trade at Ilica 49 will be hosting a Craft Advent (2nd to 31st December) where handcrafted wooden toys and games from days gone by will come to life. “Big kids” (i.e. adults) will surely also delight in this, perhaps reminiscing about their childhood.

Certain museums will also have fun events that will delight kids. The Backo Mini Express Train Museum will be running their model trains daily during the Christmas period whilst the Chocolate Museum will be showing off sculptures made of…chocolate! (Of course!)

Zagreb Zoo – such a great place to take kids any time of year – will also have its own Christmas celebrations, and Santa might even drop by!

And yes, what about pets? The Time Out Heritage Hotel will be holding lectures and treats – for four-legged and two-legged friends – with pets even being able to take a photo with Santa. Altogether now – awww!

Not quite for pets, per se, but for pet lovers – Zagreb’s Cat Caffe will be offering a wonderfully festive hot drinks menu; the perfect way to warm up after enjoying all the outdoor fun.

More Info

Advent in Zagreb is so chock-a-block full of happenings that we’ve really only just covered the surface…phew!

You can of course find the full rundown of all the festivities taking place on the official Advent in Zagreb website and we would highly recommend you take a look to learn about all the fun things taking place.

Don’t forget to check out our guide to Zagreb for advice on accommodation, transport, restaurants and cafes, things to do with kids and much, much more!

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View from the watchtower of Ljubljana Castle

Day Trip to Ljubljana from Zagreb

As wonderful as Zagreb is with its many sights, eateries, shops, experiences, attractions and more, the city is also very well positioned for several exciting day trips. As well as visiting places in central and northern Croatia such as the Plitvice Lakes, Samobor and Varazdin, or destinations on the coast such as Rijeka or Opatija, how about hopping a border to another country! Slovenia is only about 26km away from Zagreb, so a trip across to its capital city (and more) would be a great little trip to undertake from Zagreb. Here’s our guide to a day trip to Ljubljana from Zagreb.

One interesting thing to note is – what I think – the marked difference between the two cities. Zagreb is (perhaps surprisingly, given Croatia’s size) a large city home to 770,000 people; Ljubljana, meanwhile, has a population of just under 300,000. Zagreb, to me, seems to be an incredibly bustling city all the time, with people absolutely everywhere, at all times of day! Ljubljana seems a little more laid-back and quieter. But it’s still a wonderful place to visit!

Oh, and one thing you might be wondering is…how to pronounce Ljubljana? It’s lyoob-lyana. Go on, give it a shot!

From Zagreb to Ljubljana - Ljubljana Castle
Ljubljana Castle

Getting to Ljubljana from Zagreb

By Bus

There a numerous buses per day between the two cities, including a couple of early morning options that depart Zagreb at 7.15am and 7.35am and get you into Ljubljana at 10am or just after. For the return journey, you can take your pick – but there are suitable options at 6.05pm or 7.50pm.

The bus costs €14.99 each way, and tickets can be bought on the Flixbus website where you can also look up timetables.

By Train

Travelling by train is a relaxing way of making the journey between these two capital cities, as the seats are fairly comfortable and you can stretch your legs by strolling up and down the carriages. (The scenery is also very picturesque as the train winds its way along the Sava River for most of its journey.)

There’s an early morning train departing Zagreb Glavni Kolodvor at 6.30am, arriving in Ljubljana at 9.14am – perfect for a day of sightseeing!

The best return option would be the train departing Ljubljana at 6.37pm, which gets you back into Zagreb at 8.45pm.

The train costs €9 one-way for adults, €4.50 for children (2023 prices) which is amazing value!

Driving

Should you have access to a car, driving is also a quick and easy way of making the hop over to Ljubljana. Leave Zagreb and drive over to the A2 motorway which takes you all the way to Ljubljana.

Do note that the motorway is tolled – in Croatia, it is a simple case of taking a ticket as you enter the motorway and paying when you leave it. In Slovenia, you need to purchase a vignette, which can be done online at the SI Vignette website.

Border logistics

Now that Croatia is in the Schengen Zone, there is no longer a border between Slovenia and Croatia. So whatever way you make the journey, you won’t have to show your passport!

Additionally, if you have a Schengen visa to enter Croatia, you will also be able to visit Slovenia.

What to See in Ljubljana

Ljubljana is a very walkable city (not least in the central pedestrianised area!) so you can easily make your way to most of the attractions here by foot – and it’s a great way of exploring or uncovering some hidden gems too!

Ljubljana is also a very charming city with a number of great sights, good food, and fun cafes and bars and it’s a great place to spend a day or two. Oh, and dragons! The dragon is the symbol of Ljubljana and this mythical creature appears on the city flag and in the city shops. (And on a bridge – see below!)

Ljubljana Castle

I would recommend first making your way to Ljubljana Castle which is perched up on a hill overlooking the city – you’ll see it looking down on you as you make your way around the city. This 15th-century structure was built as a defensive against the Ottomans; today it houses several exhibits and also hosts cultural events.

Ljubljana Castle
Ljubljana Castle
View from Ljubljana Castle over Ljubljana
The view from Ljubljana Castle over Ljubljana

You can reach the castle utilising the modern, fully glass funicular that’s located at ground level. After just a few minutes’ ride you’ll be up at Castle level where you can enjoy the lovely view across the city.

If you’ve purchased a full ticket for the castle, you can access the Museum of Puppetry; the Virtual Castle; the Viewing Tower with its 360-degree views with local mountain peaks pointed out rather cleverly; the Armoury; the surprisingly beautiful Castle Chapel of St George and the Exhibition of Slovenian History – which I felt was a bit thin on the ground with its content. (Poor Slovenia!)

View from the watchtower of Ljubljana Castle
The view from the watchtower of Ljubljana Castle over the central space of the Castle and beyond to the city
Slovenian money
An exhibit at the museum – editions of the first currency in independent Slovenia, the Tolar, before the introduction of the Euro in 2007

Tickets for the castle and funicular cost €16 for adults and €11.20 for children aged 7 to 18. A family ticket for four costs €38.40. (2023 prices)

Ljubljana Castle Funicular
The funicular taking passengers up to Ljubljana Castle

Ljubljana Market

Once you make the funicular ride back down to ground level, you will face Ljubljana’s Central Market, and open-air space with fruit and veg and typical market items being sold. Alongside the river is the Plecnik’s Covered Market, a beautiful structure built in the 1940s and designed by the famous Ljubljana architect Joze Plecnik.

Ljubljana Market
Ljubljana Market
Ljubljana - Plecnik's Covered Market
Plecnik’s Covered Market next to the Ljubljanica River

Should you be visiting Ljubljana on a Friday from March to October, you must visit the market to enjoy Odprta Kuhna. Chefs prepare excellent gourmet food options.

Zmajski Most – Dragon Bridge, The Triple Bridge and Other Bridges

It is always rather pleasing for a city to have a river winding its way right through the centre. This is certainly the case for Ljubljana with its River Ljubljanica…and you know what else that means? Lots of bridges!

The most famous bridge of all in Ljubljana is the Dragon Bridge, right around the corner from the Central Market. Built in 1900-1901, this bridge is adorned with four somewhat scary dragons at each edge; the bridge was the first reinforced concrete structure in the city and was one of the largest bridges in Europe at the time.

Dragon Bridge, Ljubljana - Ljubljana to Zagreb
A dragon on the Dragon Bridge

Further west is the Triple Bridge – literally three bridges, side by side. The original bridge was the central one, it’s current form from the mid-19th century. In the early 20th century, the left and right-hand bridges were added to a design by Joze Plecnik. These three bridges really are quite striking, and fun when you make the decision of which bridge to cross!

From Zagreb to Ljubljana - the Triple Bridge in Ljubljana
Looking across the Triple Bridge

Preseren Square

Right by the Triple Bridge is the wide open space of Preseren Square (Preserenov Trg), Ljubljana’s main square and clearly a gathering place for many locals. You’ll find the Preseren Momument here, depicting Slovenian poet France Preseren. The Franciscan Church of the Annunciation is also located here, as is the lovely Hauptmann House. 

Ljubljana - Preseren Statue
The statue of France Preseren on Preseren Square

Museums and Exhibitions

Plecnik House covers the life and works of the famous aforementioned 20th Slovenian architect, Joze Plecnik. He contributed greatly to the design of modern Ljubljana (as well as working in Vienna and Prague).

The National Gallery is home to almost 600 works by Slovenian and European painters, including works by Zoran Music, a leading modernist painter.

Eating and Drinking in Ljubljana

For a super hearty lunch, I would highly recommend Moji Struklji, also known as the Dumpling House. The restaurant prepares a variety of dumplings, both savoury and sweet, with traditional fillings such as cottage cheese, meat, carrot and other vegetables, nuts/walnuts, apples and more. You will honestly find it hard to choose! Alongside the dumplings, you may also like to try one of their delicious stews.

Moji Struklji, Ljubljana
A meat dumpling at Moji Struklji

Another top tip for a very filling and delicious (not to mention quick) meal is Klobasarna. Essentially, this place is all about the Carniolian sausage…and that’s pretty much all they serve! A half or whole portion will get you the sausage carved up alongside mustard, horseradish and a bread roll; I went for the sausage wrapped in sauerkraut and dough which was fantastic! And seeing as you’re in Slovenia, why not wash this down with a Cockta, the Slovenian soft drink that was invented to rival a more famous drink with a similar name?

Pizzeria Foculus is a very relaxed but fun kind of place with an astonishingly long menu. It’s all exceedingly tasty!

Cacao is the place to head to for the best ice cream in the city.

An extra day in Slovenia

If you’re truly taken by Slovenia and want to extend your time here, another option would be to stay the night in the city and use the next day to visit the magical Lake Bled. There are numerous bus departures from the main bus station in Ljubljana direct to Bled that take just over an hour. It is possible, of course, to also join an organised tour that includes transport, but it’s easy to just do it yourself!

Once you arrive in Bled, make your way down to the shimmering lake itself to take in its beauty. If you have the time and the proper footwear, I would recommend walking the full circumference of the lake for an excellent way of experiencing the nature of the place and seeing the lake and its surroundings from multiple viewpoints.

Lake Bled and Castle
Lake Bled and Bled Castle

Another must is to enjoy the lake from…well…water level. There are boats that will take you to the island in the middle of the lake; you can choose from either an old-fashioned-style wooden boat called a pletna which is rowed (really!) across to the island, or an electric boat which is faster but perhaps less traditional. (These two boat types are obviously used to preserve the clean waters of the lake.)

Pletna boats on Lake Bled
Pletna boats on Lake Bled

Once on Bled Island, you can visit the Church of the Mother of God (for an additional entrance fee) which has a 52-metre-high bell tower. Alternatively, retire to Poticnica Cafe to sample the local potica delicacy, a filled pastry-type treat; the walnut potice is the most popular.

The boats leave you on the island for a minimum of 1 hour 15 minutes, which is just about enough time to get the most of what there is here. Make sure you don’t miss the return boat!

The church on Bled Island
The church on Bled Island

There are several eateries around the edge of the lake for you to fuel up at. You absolutely must, however, leave room to try the Bled Cream Cake at Kavarna Park, which invented this sweet treat in 1953. The layered cake – made up of a crispy puff pastry crust on the top and bottom and vanilla custard and cream in between – is served up in a cube-like portion and a small glass of sweet wine is a great accompaniment. (Kavarna Park also serves up some other impressive dessert and ice cream dishes if the cake isn’t your cup of tea.) The cafe has apparently served 16 million portions of Bled Cake since its invention!

A Bled Cream Cake at Kavarna Park
A Bled Cream Cake at Kavarna Park

More info on Ljubljana and Slovenia

You can find more information on visiting this lovely city on the Ljubljana Tourist Board website.

For more tourist advice on Slovenia in general, head to the Slovenian Tourist Board website.

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)

A

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.

BeThrify Vintage Kilo Sale in Croatia – in Zagreb and Zadar – in June

Excellent news for all fans of shopping and lovers of vintage and second-hand fashion! The BeThrifty Vintage Kilo Sale is making its way to the Croatian cities of Zagreb and Zadar in June.

What is BeThrifty? The Austrian online store specialises in unique vintage pieces for both men and women, selling a wide variety of clothing items and accessories with a good range of brands – including Nike, Adidas, Reebok, Lacoste, Ralph Lauren and many more. This summer they will be hosting their Vintage Kilo Sales in cities all across Central Europe – from Pilsen to Bratislava, Maribor to Stuttgart…and in the two fine Croatian cities of Zagreb and Zadar as well!

The BeThrifty Vintage Kilo Sales allow shoppers to purchase BeThrifty’s vintage stock at a special price per kilo – in the case of the sales in Croatia, this will be €39/kg. The sales themselves will also offer clothing from across 60 different categories – everything from windbreakers to leather jackets, sweaters and hoodies, crazy print shirts and much more – in sizes ranging from XS to XX. Changing rooms will be on hand so you can be sure you look good in whatever you plan to buy!

The clothing found at the Vintage Kilo Sales has been taken from assorted old clothes collections from across Europe. All clothing items are sorted and chosen at renowned recycling centres. Only the highest quality vintage items make their way to BeThrifty. Clothes and accessories are also checked thoroughly and repaired if necessary by BeThrifty staff before being offered for sale.

These sales are a wonderful eco-friendly way of adding to your wardrobe; they’re also a stark contrast to the usual practices of the fashion industry. BeThrifty’s Vintage Kilo Sales embody environmental consciousness, thriftiness, individuality and a wide selection of the trendiest and most unique clothes and accessories.

BeThrifty Vintage Kilo Sale in Croatia - Zagreb
BeThrifty Vintage Kilo Sale in Croatia - Zadar

BeThrify Vintage Kilo Sale in Croatia

Zagreb’s BeThrifty event will be held at the Dom Sportova on 10th & 11th June 2023. Tickets can be purchased at https://bethrifty.events/products/zagreb-10-11-lipanj-vintage-preloved-sale which allows entry to the sale for one and a half hours.

Zadar’s BeThrifty event will be held at the Sportzentrum Visnjik on 23rd & 24th June 2023. Tickets can be purchased at https://bethrifty.events/products/zadar-23-24-lipanj-vintage-preloved-sale which also allows entry to the sale for one and a half hours.

There is a limited number of 200 free tickets per event; after these are sold out, tickets cost €3. For both locations, the price of purchasing items is €39/kg.

Cash and card are accepted as payment.

BeThrifty Vintage Kilo Sale in Croatia
Dom Sportova, Zagreb, 10th & 11th June 2023
Sportzentrum Visnjik, Zadar, 23rd & 24th June 2023
bethrifty.store

Ryanair

Ryanair announces more routes to its new Zagreb base – including from Manchester and Dublin

Earlier this year, to a reasonable amount of fanfare, Ryanair announced a new base at Zagreb Airport and 12 new routes to Croatia’s capital from eight different European countries.

Of interest to our British readers, today saw the start of the Ryanair London Stansted – Zagreb route; this route operates four times a week from today before switching to daily flights from 1st September.

However, today has also brought more good news for travellers to Croatia. A further eight new Ryanair to Zagreb routes have been announced which are all due to start operating in December.

Two of these routes will certainly be of interest to British and Irish travellers, as there are to be flights from Manchester and Dublin starting in the last month of the year.

Ryanair to Zagreb

Another new UK Ryanair to Zagreb route

Ryanair is due to commence a route from Manchester to Zagreb on 2nd December, flying twice a week – on Thursdays and Sundays.

Tickets are already on sale for these flights, currently priced from £17.99 one way.

Dublin to Zagreb starts on 2nd December

The new Dublin to Zagreb route will also start on 2nd December, with three flights per week – on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays. Tickets are currently priced from €19.99 one way.

Other new routes from all over Europe

But there’s still more! The other new Ryanair to Zagreb routes to start in December are:

  • Basel to Zagreb, starting 3rd December, flying Mondays and Fridays
  • Eindhoven to Zagreb, starting 3rd December, flying Mondays and Fridays
  • Malaga to Zagreb, starting 1st December, flying Wednesdays and Saturdays
  • Malta to Zagreb, starting 4th December, flying Tuesdays and Saturdays
  • Naples to Zagreb, starting 17th December, flying Mondays to Fridays
  • Paphos to Zagreb, starting 3rd December, flying Mondays and Fridays
  • Thessaloniki to Zagreb, starting 2nd December, flying Thursdays and Sundays

Book your flights today!

Tickets for all of the above routes are on sale as of today.

Together with the routes announced earlier this year, today’s announcement means that Ryanair will be operating 24 routes to Zagreb Airport this December!

Ryanair

12 new Ryanair routes to Zagreb Airport to launch in 2021

Announced at a press conference today, 12 new Ryanair routes to Zagreb Airport (from 8 different countries) are to be launch later this year.

These include a new daily service from London Stansted to Zagreb. Other Ryanair routes to Zagreb Airport to commence later this year are flights from Brussels in Belgium; Paris Beauvais in France; Milan Bergamo and Rome Ciampino in Italy; Dortmund, Frankfurt Hahn, Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden, Memmingen in Germany; Podgorica in Montenegro; Oslo in Norway; and Gothenburg in Sweden.

Ryanair will base 4 aeroplanes in Zagreb, and once all routes are up and running they will operate 36 flights per week across these 12 lines.

Latest Update Due to the success of this new Ryanair base, some routes have had their start dates brought forward – including London Stansted to Zagreb! Read more about this below.

Ryanair routes to Zagreb

A new UK to Zagreb route for 2021

Perhaps most interestingly to a UK-based travel website on Croatia (!), the airline will launch a daily service from London Stansted to Zagreb Airport from 1st September 2021. Tickets for this route are currently priced at £33.99 one-way.

Latest Update The London Stansted – Zagreb route will now start on 23rd July, flying four times a week, and then daily from 1st September.

First Ryanair routes to Zagreb will start in June and July

Of the other destinations mentioned above, the first route to go into operation will be Brussels – Zagreb, commencing on 2nd June. This route will initially operate twice-weekly (Wednesdays and Sundays), then three times a week (Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays) from 1st September.

Milan Bergamo – Zagreb will then start on 1st July 17th June, flying four times a week (Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays).

Ryanair routes to Zagreb from Germany to start in September

The Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden – Zagreb route will operate three times a week (Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays) from 2nd September.

Dortmund – Zagreb will operate twice a week (Mondays and Fridays) from 3rd September.

Frankfurt Hahn – Zagreb will operate three times a week (Mondays, Fridays and Sundays) from 3rd September.

Memmingen – Zagreb will operate twice a week (Mondays and Fridays) from 3rd September.

Rome to Zagreb route will fly three times a week

The Rome Ciampino – Zagreb route commences on 3rd September and will fly three times a week (Mondays, Fridays and Sundays).

Latest Update The Rome Ciampino – Zagreb route will now start on 23rd July, flying twice a week, and then daily from 30th August.

Ryanair’s Paris – Zagreb route to operate twice-weekly

Paris Beauvais – Zagreb will start operating on 2nd September, flying twice-weekly (Thursdays and Sundays).

Montenegro to Zagreb route

Flights from Podgorica in Montenegro to Zagreb will start on 4th September, flying twice a week (Tuesdays and Saturdays).

Ryanair’s routes to Zagreb from Scandinavia

Oslo Torp – Zagreb will operate from 1st September, flying twice a week (Wednesdays and Saturdays).

Gothenburg Landvetter – Zagreb flights start on 3rd September, and will fly three times a week (Mondays, Fridays and Sundays).

Latest Update The Gothenburg Landvetter – Zagreb route will now start on 23rd July, flying Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Special ticket prices

Tickets are already on sale on all routes and can of course be purchased on the Ryanair website. To celebrate the launch of these new routes, a special deal on tickets for travel up until March 2022 has been announced. (Special price available until 1st April 2021.)

More info

Ryanair does already operate several routes from the UK and Ireland. They fly from London Stansted to Pula; from London Stansted, Manchester and Dublin airports to Zadar; and from Dublin to both Split and Dubrovnik Airports. For more details on these and other flights to Croatia this summer, see our Flights to Croatia from the UK & Ireland page.

Museum of Illusions in Zagreb

Museum of Illusions in Zagreb – Visit Croatia Review

One November morning, Visit Croatia popped along to the Museum of Illusions in Zagreb to enjoy the illusions and tricks on the eye in this relatively new museum. See what we thought!

Visiting the Museum of Illusions in Zagreb

A rainy, grey Saturday morning in Zagreb is an ideal time to visit a museum – especially a relatively new one, and a quirky one to boot. It seems like many other people in Zagreb had the same idea that morning, judging by the queue to get into the Museum of Illusions and the number of people inside! * (see note below)

Luckily, the entrance down a small covered alleyway provided shelter from the rain…and the queue moved pretty quickly anyway. We were into the museum and ascending the stairs to the first floor of the museum swiftly.

Museum of Illusions in Zagreb
The ‘head on a platter’ (without the head!)

Here on the first floor, you have a number of the smaller exhibits, such as the clone table (where you can play cards against several versions of yourself!); the ‘head on a platter’ trick (you can be served up as a dish!); the infinity room (a closed room of mirrors, giving the appearance of multiple versions of the room’s occupants that stretch out seemingly forever! An ideal space for ‘pulling some shapes’…); and the ‘tricks on the eye’ optical illusions. I’m not giving the game away by revealing any of these exhibits here, by the way, as they really need to be seen to be ‘believed’ and are far more impressive in real life rather than just being written about!

Heading on up to the second floor, there are some of the ‘larger’ illusions – including the anti-gravity room, where it seems gravity’s gone haywire; the Ames room, where two of you can become giant and miniaturised versions of yourselves; and the rotated room, where the world has been rotated by 90 degrees. The kaleidoscope is also super fun – where you get to be in a large kaleidoscope!

Museum of Illusions in Zagreb
The Bottomless Pit Illusion

When we were there, the museum was very busy indeed and it was sometimes difficult to get to see and interact with all the exhibits, as well as take the appropriate funny snaps. But that’s of course a reflection on the popularity of the museum – and if you’re patient enough, you’ll definitely get your turn with each exhibit. (Visiting with a little one in tow who dictated patience levels meant we had to zip through most exhibits quite quickly!)

Is it worth visiting?

Is the Museum of Illusions in Zagreb worth visiting? Yes, definitely. This is one of the city’s newer museums and belongs in the same boat as some of the more quirky ones – such as the famed Museum of Broken Relationships and the Zagreb 80s Museum, to name two. There’s plenty to occupy your time, with a number of optical illusions to interact with. We’d recommend going along with a friend or two to get the most out of tricks such as the Ames Room – or, at the very least, so you can get snaps taken as one of you performs the ‘tricks’ and the other is behind the camera! It’s certainly a very visual museum and you’ll get plenty of excellent photos to share on the ‘Gram!

As for age suitability…I went with my then 4-year-old child and I’d say it was a little bit too old for her. Sure, she liked the illusions involving mirrors and couldn’t wait to try out the ‘head on a platter’ trick (although most of the fun there for her was crawling through the small tunnel!) but she didn’t quite get the fun of most of the exhibits. I’d say the museum is more suitable for kids aged 7 and older, especially pre-teens and teens. And it’s absolutely suitable and fun for adults too!

Museum of Illusions in Zagreb

The museum is priced at a reasonable 50 Kunas for adults, 40 Kunas for students and seniors and 30 Kunas for children aged 5 to 15 years.

Museum of Illusions
Ilica 72
10000 Zagreb
muzejiluzija.com

* Note: Visit Croatia visited in November 2019, well before the pandemic and any need for social distancing. Please do check before visiting for opening hours and any visiting restrictions.

Zagreb 80s Museum Feat

Zagreb 80s Museum – Visit Croatia Review

If you’re anything like Visit Croatia, you have both a strong connection to the city of Zagreb…and are absolutely in love with the decade that is the 1980s. In which case, what could be a better museum for you to visit practically anywhere in the world than the Zagreb 80s Museum!

(No? Just me then?)

Well, even if neither of the above apply to you, read on…for this is certainly one of the most fun museums to visit in Zagreb!

Zagreb 80s Museum Sign

Visiting the Zagreb 80s Museum

If truth be told, this was definitely on my list of things to see in Croatia’s capital…but I actually stumbled across it during a walk in the Upper Town one November afternoon, having finally escaped the confines of the warm indoors after a lengthy and heavy rainstorm. Admiring the statue of St George as I have done a number of times before, I turned around…to be greeted by a bright and cheery sign with everything (well, not exactly everything) that is dear to me.

Climbing up the steps to what is basically a first floor apartment, you enter the museum’s small lobby area in what would ordinarily be a hallway. But this is a hallway with a difference, for it features half a yellow Fico car (a Zastava 750) practically emerging out of one wall. And you can climb inside for photos!

Zagreb 80s Museum Fico Car
The Fico car in the lobby…climb inside!
80s Ski Gear
80s ski gear

There are several distinct rooms – apart from the hallway/museum lobby, there’s an open plan living room/kitchen with sofas, entertainment and lifestyle items (telephone, record player, TV) and even one of those giant wardrobe/sideboard items that seemed to be very popular in…well…everyone’s home in Yugoslavia in the 1980s. Beyond that there’s another hallway-slash-office-slash-tribute-to-Zagi (remember him??!); a bedroom and then a kind of games room with the ubiquitous 80s games consoles.

Zagreb 80s Museum Reception
Does this look like a living room that you remember??
80s Wardrobe
Open it up to discover the fun inside…including 80s clothes to dress up in!
80s Telephone
Yup, the standard ‘telephone corner’ with the standard 80s telephone
80s Dining Room

But what’s there to do?

The premise of this museum is that it is fully interactive and offers you an immersive experience of what living in Yugoslavia in the 1980s was like. That means nothing is off limits – you can touch everything in the museum, sit in the chairs, open up the drawers, play around with things like the games consoles. You can even dress up in 80s gear as one of the wardrobes is filled with 80s clothes!

There’s plenty of fun to be had touching and feeling the exhibits, opening up cupboards to see what’s inside. Try sitting in the living room and pretending this is your apartment, albeit one 35 years ago.

One area that brought me the most amusement was the small corner dedicated to Zagi, the blue squirrel that was the mascot of the 1987 Univerzijada (the University Olympics) which were held in Zagreb. If you were slightly obsessed by him back in that decade, well, this will be a real treat for you.

Yugoslavian money
Yugoslavian Dinars
Yugoslavian food items
Food packaging from 1980s Yugoslavia
Zagi
A corner dedicated to my beloved Zagi

Zagreb 80s Museum – Verdict

We (of course!) absolutely loved this museum and really enjoyed our visit – so it’s no surprise that we’d really recommend this place.

However, we would say that the Zagreb 80s Museum is probably for those that are either really in to the 1980s (or don’t mind it for a few hours!) and/or have some kind of nostalgia about Yugoslavia or another Eastern European country during that decade. (Whether you lived through that time, had family there or visited in some way.)

But it is actually even good for kids! Given that it’s a fully interactive museum, they’ll also have fun looking at the ‘funny’ exhibits and there’s plenty of kid-friendly things that will catch their interest. (Even if this sets the scene of a time ages before they were born.) And they’ll just love sitting in the yellow car and pretending to drive.

The Zagreb 80s Museum is also located just a short distance from many other sights in the Upper Town, so can easily be combined with a tour of this part of the city – it’s a nice way to change up the scene from walking around looking at many of the outdoor sights.

There are also some rather fun (and some…ahem…quite naughty) trinkets to take home from the little shop. I went home with a Tesla (a Yugoslavian brand) lightbulb!

Zagreb 80s Museum - 80s games consoles
The games console corner

More info

Tickets for the museum cost 40 Kunas for adults, 30 Kunas for concessions (students and 65+) and 25 Kunas for kids aged 3 to 13.

Full details on Zagreb 80s Museum can be found on the official website.

Zagreb for Kids - Zagreb Zoo Sign

Zagreb Zoo – Visit Croatia Review

Zagreb Zoo is located in the very pleasant and tranquil Maksimir Park, in the east of the city of Zagreb. The Park and Zoo are just a short tram ride away from the main part of the city, and so very easy to reach no matter where you’re staying.

Combining a day out in this pretty park with a few hours in the Zoo is a great way to spend an afternoon in Zagreb, particularly if you have kids in tow! The Zoo is also astonishingly cheap compared to zoos in other European cities and is well run and maintained, with an interesting selection of animals.

Zagreb Zoo Sign

Covering an area of 17 acres, the zoo completed the first stage of a modernisation program in 2016. Zagreb Zoo is a member of the European and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums and a participant in the European Endangered Species Programme.

Getting to Zagreb Zoo

Trams 11 or 12 operate from the main square, Trg ban Jelacic, to the road just outside Maksimir Park. Trams 4 and 7 from elsewhere in the city and also stop near the park.

Entry

Tickets for the Zoo cost just 30 Kunas for adults, and 10 Kunas for children.

The Zoo is open 365 days of the year so, weather permitting, you can enjoy it any time of year! Do note that the Zoo has different opening hours at different times of the year – obviously, longer in spring/summer and shorter autumn/winter. For example, the zoo closes at 4pm November to January inclusive, whilst it stays open until 8pm May to August. The ticket office closes about a hour before the zoo does, so make sure you make it in time to buy a ticket.

Large scale map at Zagreb Zoo
A map of the grounds, soon after entry. We are visitor number 79 that day!

What to See and Do in Zagreb Zoo

You can explore and visit the animals in the Zoo taking a largely circular route past the many exhibits. Soon after you enter you’ll walk over a bridge to get to the main part of the zoo, passing by flamingos, storks and a funny collection of capybaras.

Zagreb Zoo - lynx
Can you spot the lynx? (in the middle of the picture, to the left)

On to the main part and there’s an insectarium and lemur island and an often snoozing but beautiful lynx. The Australian section – and its wallabies – follows before you make your way over to the European brown bear enclosure.

Zebras and tapirs follow, then pygmy hippos and some very interesting exhibits in the Twilight Zone (nocturnal animals) and Tropical House buildings, including assorted reptiles and crocodiles!

Zagreb Zoo - Zebras
Zebras in a nice open enclosure
Crocodiles in Zagreb Zoo
Crocodiles in the Tropical House

The Monkey Pavillion and its chimpanzees brings you to the zoo’s restaurant, right next to the playful sea lions. Swing by the wolves before heading into the petting zoo where you can indeed stroke some of the animals such as goats.

Next you’ll see bison and camels and a large enclosed aviary before coming to probably the premier exhibit – the gorgeous lions. Nearby is also a very cute and playful red panda that is definitely worth watching for a bit!

Zagreb Zoo - Lions
The lion enclosure
Lion and lioness in Zagreb Zoo

Playgrounds

As you wind your way around, you’ll also encounter a decent number of children’s play areas which – depending on the age of your child – may delight them more than the animals!

Talks and Animals Feedings

Some days of the weeks see talks and public animal feedings take place for a number of animals in the zoo. You can see the timetable of this here, or check when entering the zoo.

Historical sights in Zagreb Zoo

The Zoo first opened in 1925 so there are a number of older structures dotted about – including a small tower (which you can climb up) just after the main entrance.

Eating in Zagreb Zoo

There is a restaurant on site called “Kod morskog lava” (which means “By the sea lion”…for the restaurant is indeed next to the sea lion enclosure. The restaurant serves traditional continental Croatian fare – think soups, Schnitzel-type meats with accompanying veg side dishes and tasty desserts.

There is also a very reasonably priced kids menu; for about 30-40 Kunas there are different ‘packages’ which contain a main, a side (usually chips) and a drink. (The more expensive ones also include a dessert.)

There are also numerous snack carts dotted around Zagreb Zoo from which you can grab a snack (ice cream, no doubt, for the kids!) or a drink.

Kod morskog lava restaurant
The sea lion enclosure (they’re in there, somewhere!) next to Kod morskog lava restaurant

Shopping

There is a cute little gift shop located not too far from the entrance that has a nice range of animal-themed gifts – soft toys, books, jewellery and other assorted knick knacks. Any kids in your group will probably find it hard to resist the soft toys…

Our verdict

Zagreb Zoo is definitely a wonderful way to spend a few hours in this city, whether you’re an animal lover or if you’re visiting with kids. The Zoo isn’t particularly big, but that’s perhaps best as some larger zoos can be quite exhausting to visit or are a full day experience. There are are also very modern facilities and amenities (toilets!) that add to the whole experience.

All the exhibits in the zoo are very interesting, and most of the animals seem well kept indeed – it certainly looks like a considerable amount of money has been invested in the zoo, and the recent modernisation programme has really helped.

I did think the sea lions’ enclosure was a little on the small side, however, and unfortunately it looked like the chimpanzees had learnt to sit, arms outstretched, begging for food from passers-by – I did hope that the ‘no feeding’ signs could be enforced a bit better.

But, all in all, I’d definitely recommend visiting Zagreb Zoo!

More information

Full details on visiting the zoo can be found on the official website.