By Iva Ralica
There is lots to see and do in the beautiful Croatian capital city of Zagreb. But if you find yourself based there for a while and are wondering what you can see nearby, below are 11 interesting and fun day trip ideas.
1. Plitvice Lakes
A great day trip from Zagreb is to go and see the UNESCO-protected Plitvice Lakes, which is one of Croatia’s most famous attractions. The forest reserve is located in central Croatia and is known for a chain of 16 terraced lakes, joined by waterfalls, that extend into a limestone canyon.
Walkways and hiking trails wind around and across the water, and an electric boat links the 12 upper and 4 lower lakes. The latter are the site of Veliki Slap, a 78m-high waterfall.
There are organised day trips from Zagreb which also take in the beautiful Rastoke village on the way.
2. Hrvatsko Zagorje
Visit some of the beautiful castles of this region, such as Trakošćan castle or Veliki Tabor, see the famous monument of the rebellious Matija Gubec and the nearby castle in Gornja Stubica, enjoy the beautiful nature, green hills and picturesque streams or lakes around them.
Let your taste buds sing with joy when you try the famous specialties such as štrukli.
The best preserved medieval Old Town in continental Croatia is filled with beautiful Gothic architecture, baroque and rococo palaces as well as the 16th century town hall. A walk through the interesting streets, main square, old houses and Varaždin Castle that guard them is a great way of spending a day in this city.
The gastronomic offer won’t leave you hungry, so the fun here is guaranteed – especially if coming while the Špancirfest is on.
4. Samobor & Okić
A picturesque town of Samobor offers a beautiful walk along the stream through its centre and a nice view over the surrounding hills from the ruins of the old fortress. Try the famous cake called kremšnita and then visit the beautiful nature in Okić, a part of the Pleševica mountain that hides the remains of the Okić town.
The Žumberak mountains are settled between Croatia and Slovenia. This is the home to unique flora as well as fauna – it hide bears and wolves. But all the paths are secured so you shouldn’t be afraid of the strange encounters. Beautiful view over the surrounding area and nature at its best is what makes Žumberak one of those magical mountains that will make your trip unforgettable.
One of the most beautiful fortresses is settled above the Kupa river. With a beautiful nature and the middle-aged village, a museum today, this city hides even an interesting wine road you shouldn’t miss.
7. Terme Tuhelj
This popular and well-known destination, about 50km away from Zagreb, located in the picturesque region of Hrvatsko Zagorje, Tuhelj is one of the best wellness facilities in Croatia. To enjoy and spoil yourself, thermal baths offer massages, healing thermal mud wraps, sauna programs and hamam (oriental bath) and personalized body and facial treatments.
This big water world is family friendly and has wave pools, pool for kids, water slides and can include family wellness packages. The water here contains calcium, magnesium, sodium and benefits the skin, as well as the regenerating mud used even for anti-cellulite treatments.
8. Krapina & Neanderthal Museum
Krapina is only around 50 km from Zagreb. The town is home to a modern museum exploring the chronological evolution of humans, with focus on the Neanderthal period and is one of the most important Neanderthal sites in the world.
9. Etno Park
Located on 40,000 m2 of land just 11 km from the centre of Zagreb in Mala Mlaka is Etno Park Zagreb.
An impressive 105-year-old typical house, or čardak as they are known, from Turopolje greets visitors at the entrance which is also full of unique furniture from different historical periods, including an 1800s Alt Deutsch bedroom, belonging to the Renaissance period, and a Zagreb Art Nouveau dining room from 1920. There is also a Neobaroque wardrobe from 1860 in the old house.
10. Winery Tour
Enjoy a day out visiting one of the fabulous wineries just outside of Zagreb.
With a visit to Korak and Kos-Jurišić Winery in Sveti Ivan Zelina just outside of Zagreb, you can learn about harvesting, making and drinking wine.. Korak Winery is located in Plešivica and is famous for making both white and red wine, while Zelina’s Kos-Jurišić Winery is making only white wine, mostly the famous Kraljevina sort.