Samobor is a delightful little town located only about 25km away from the centre of Zagreb. It’s a highly suitable place as a day trip from Croatia’s capital as it’s an easy journey, and there’s a number of interesting sights to see and things to experience. One of the big draws of Samobor, however, is food! The town is most famous for its kremšnita cream cake. Although you can sample this delicious custard cream cake all over Croatia (you can even purchase it in supermarkets!), it is in Samobor that the best kremšnita is produced.
Over the centuries, Samobor has also been celebrated for its craftmakers and artisans involved in the production of various goods – clothing, hats, leather items, licitar hearts, crystal items and more.
Getting to Samobor
Unless you have your own set of wheels, travelling by bus is undoubtedly the best way of reaching the town. There are numerous daily buses from Zagreb, with a journey time of about one hour. You can look up timetables and buy tickets on the Zagreb Bus Terminal website. (Note: make sure you buy tickets/make the journey to Samobor and not “Samobor Trilikum” which is outside of the town.)
If you’re driving, it’s an easy route from central Zagreb to Samobor (including a small section on the A3 motorway – exit at Sveta Nedelja). It should take you about 40 minutes, depending on traffic in Zagreb.
What to See and Do in Samobor
Samobor can be easily explored on foot, although a bike (if you don’t have a hire car) would be a great idea for exploring the wider region.
King Tomislav Square
The main square in the town features a number of historic buildings, including the town hall. A well is also situated here – drink from the well, legend says, and you will always return to Samobor. There are also several cafes here with outdoor seating for some pleasant refreshments!
Built in 1268 by the forces of Czech King Ottokar II of Bohemia, the castle came to be under the ownership of numerous noble families over the centuries. The castle had been in use from the 13th to 18th centuries – added to considerably by its various owners during this time – but the castle’s decline started when its last residents left in the 18th century. The Castle came to be under the ownership of the town in 1902 and today is little more than a ruin. However, at just 10 minutes walk from the town centre, it’s an interesting site to visit.
Samobor Museum is located in the former house of Ferdo Livadic, an early 19th-century Croatian composer who was an important figure in the Illyrian movement, an important Croatian cultural and political campaign in that century. The Museum houses assorted historical and archaeological findings from the town, as well as art and important documents relating to Samobor. The house was once visited by Franz Liszt, invited there by Livadic. In front of the museum is a statue of Ivica Sudnik, a Samobor-born photographer who founded the museum.
Shopping for crafts
As mentioned, Samobor has a reputation for its craftspeople and artisans. If you would like to visit some of the shops to see the specially crafted products, try Oslakovic craft shop for licitar (gingerbread) products and Kristal Samobor for crystal/glass items.
The tourist office offers several different bike routes – of varying difficultly – that will help you explore the surrounding area around Samobor. This is certainly a pleasant way of experiencing this part of Croatia.
Running and Sightseeing
If you’d like to explore and keep fit at the same time, a free app called SightRun has been developed which takes you on a 6km route through the town taking in many of the main sights. Download it to your phone, get your running shoes on and get going!
Close to Samobor
Eating and Drinking
There are a number of food specialities associated with the town, many (or all!) of which we highly recommend you try! As mentioned, the best-known food item is the kremšnita cream cake, but you may want to also try the local salami, mushroom soup, greblica (a thin savoury cake with a cheese and chard filling), Samobor krafne (doughnuts – especially so at Fasnik/Carnival time) and muštarda (Samobor mustard). For drinks, seek out bermet, an aromatic wine.
Grabreku 1929 is an excellent choice to try the traditional local cuisine, with a wide choice of meat dishes with tasty sides. This would be an excellent place to try the local mushroom soup speciality! (The 1929 in the restaurant’s name is when it was established!)
Bistro Stari Grad offers lots of grilled/barbecued meat options, and has a lovely outdoor terrace with a great view.
Samoborska Klet is a family-run restaurant that is another place to try local specialities.
Zeleni Papar is another popular choice, a friendly restaurant with a nice atmosphere.
Head to Filipec Cellar to purchase your own bermet or muštarda to take home.
Events in Samobor
Sambor’s Carnival – Fasnik – is one of the largest events of its kind in this region of Croatia in carnival month, February. A great emphasis is placed on dressing up, particularly with masks, with parades, food and drink and kids events.
The Salamijada (Salami Festival) is held on the main square in March each year, with prizes awarded for the best salami.
The Samobor Mountain Biking Weekend takes place every June on a course that starts in the centre of town and then goes through nearby woods.
Samobor Jazz Festival takes place in June each year.
Accommodation in Samobor
There’s a small selection of accommodation in Samobor, but you’ll sure to find what you need if you plan to stay over. (Alternatively, you can of course stay in nearby Zagreb and visit on a day trip.)
The three-star Hotel Livadic is a smart and charming hotel on the town’s main square with its own restaurant and pleasant terrace area. Hotel Lavica is another three-star hotel in an excellent location with free parking and a restaurant. For something a little different, try the magical Hotel Prica (Hotel of Stories) which has delightful themed rooms.
Samobor Hostel offers beds in 2, 4, 6 or 10-person rooms.
For something a little different, you can stay in a mountain hut such as the Etno Kuca pod Okicem which is located close to Samobor Highlands Nature Park.
You can also stay in private rooms, apartments and houses in the region. Search for accommodation in Samobor using the search map/box below:
You can see further details about what to see and do in the town on the Samobor Tourist Office website.