If you’re wanting to stray a little further from the city rather than staying within its confines (see our Day Trips in Zagreb page for city excursions), here are some options for day trips from Zagreb for you to consider.
Day Trips from Zagreb – Samobor
Samobor is an excellent place for a day trip from Zagreb as it’s a pretty, tranquil little town – a great place to visit in its own right – and is only just over 20km west of the capital. It’s best to travel to Samobor by bus; buses depart Zagreb Bus Terminal every half an hour and the journey itself is also only half an hour.
Once in Samobor, head to the town’s delightful main square – Trg kralja Tomislava – for a pleasant walk around the area, and to then enjoy its cafes and restaurants.
Samobor is also famous for the “samoborska kremsnita“, a custard cake. Although kremsnita can be found in many other places in Croatia, the Samobor version is supposed to be the best in the whole country. If you go to Samobor, you absolutely, positively must try a slice!
Other sights inlcude the churches of St Anastasia (sv. Anastazija) and St Anne (sv. Ana); the City Museum and the Marton Museum (the first private museum in Croatia); and Stari Grad castle in the west of the town.
- More information from the Samobor Tourist Office
Day Trips from Zagreb – Varazdin
Varazdin is a town that’s greatly overlooked by many travellers to Croatia, which is a great shame. However, as it’s located about 90km northeast of Zagreb and near both the Slovenian and Hungarian borders, it is somewhat understandable that it may be out of the way of many visitors to Croatia. Nevertheless, if you’re considering a trip from Zagreb (or find yourself in that part of the country) Varazdin is definitely worth a visit.
Once upon a time the capital of Croatia (in the 18th century), Varazdin is a very well-preserved Baroque town. The best tip for sightseeing is to head to the centre of Varazdin, and to the main square of Trg kralja Tomislava (as in Samobor – see above!) for sights including the town hall, Draskovic Palace and the nearby cathedral, built in 1647. North of the main square is the Stari Grad fortress, which is also home to the City Museum.
Varazdin is also home to Spancirfest, one of the largest open-air festivals in Croatia that takes place over 10 days every August. There’s a mix of music (of different styles), theatre performances, art workshops, street performers and more.
The best way to reach Varazdin is by bus. Again, there are numerous daily buses there and back with a journey time of between 1 hour 20 minutes and 1 hour 45 minutes, depending on which bus you take. See the Zagreb Bus Terminal website.
You can also use one of several trains that run each day. However, as these take longer than the bus (2-3 hours), train is not really advised as a method of transport. Nevertheless, see the Croatian Railways website for timetable details.
- More at the Varazdin Tourist Office website
Day Trips from Zagreb – Salajland
This one is only for Christmas! Salajland is an amazing Christmas light display set on a privately-run property just over one hour southeast of Zagreb. Featuring thousands of lights decorating the grounds of the property, owned by the Salaj Family, this is well worth a visit in December each year. (It is actually open from late November to early January.) Entry is ticketed but it only costs 40 Kunas per person (children under 7 go free) and parking is free.
The best way to get to Salajland from Zagreb is to drive, but you could also take a bus to the nearest large town, Cazma, and then take a taxi from there.
Day Trips to the Coast
If you’re wondering whether or not you’d be able to make day trips from Zagreb to the coast, the answer is “technically yes, but…”.
The nearest point of the coast from Zagreb is Rijeka. The bus journey (most of which is on a motorway) to there only takes about 2 and a half hours. There are numerous daily buses both there and back; this means that you’d definitely be able to make the whole trip in a day. However, Rijeka is a busy port city and although there’s a number of great sightseeing opportunities and lovely restaurants and cafes, if your ultimate aim is to hit the beach and have a cool dip in the sea, you’ll be disappointed.
Around Rijeka, other possibilities include Opatija, Crikvenica, and Novi Vinodolski as well as the island of Krk. Whether they’re worth just a day trip is up to you! (We’d really advise at least a one night stay.)
The first step would be to visit the Zagreb Bus Terminal website and start planning your bus journey to see if it’s do-able. You’ll find that you can reach some of the above places direct from Zagreb. However, you’ll also have more options if you travel to Rijeka first and then change buses here.
Croatia is famed for its wine (really!) but you may think most places to sample wine are located somewhere on the coast or perhaps in Slavonia, another region well-known for wine. Take a look at the Zagreb County Wine Roads website for details of establishments you can visit in and around the towns of Samobor, Jastrebasko and Sveti Ivan Zelina to enjoy a tipple or two in this part of Croatia.