If most of your budget has gone on transport to get there and a place to sleep, it does not mean that you still can’t do, see and eat a lot in a weekend trip to Croatia’s capital.
Here are Iva’s weekend tips with a around €13, or 100 Croatian kuna, in your pocket.
If you start your day at around 8 a.m and then walk to the centre of the city (all depending on where your accommodation is but Zagreb is relatively small so you are likely to be near the centre), you can drink your coffee in numerous bars on Cvjetni Trg (Flower square) or Tkalčićeva street, which is famous for its strip of bars and cafes.
The prices for a coffee, tea or nescafe vary from 7 to 14 kuna (€1-2). These are the nicest places if you wish to be a part of the “špica” or just have a nice view over the busy, but small and pleasant streets.
Grab a budget yet tasty bite in any of the nearby bakeries. I know it’s not really all that authentic, but it can be less than 10 kuna (€1.30), or just go to the Cafe Jutro in Teslina street where you can have any of the mentioned beverages plus a truly Croatian breakfast – čokolino! For children and those who feel like a child. All of that for about 25 kuna (€3.30).
After that you can enjoy walking around downtown Zagreb taking in the sights – after seeing the Ban Jelačić square, you can visit the Cathedral. Just beneath it yet another small cafe called Amelie with some of the best cakes in town! But count this for breakfast too. Then there is Dolac market to visit, Kaptol and Tkalčićeva street to walk around.
Near the beautiful Zrinjevac, you can visit the Archelogical museum and see the famous Croatian Mummy. The entrance is 20 kuna which leaves you just enough money until the end of the day.
The Strossmayer Park and King Tomislav square are as equally beautiful to visit, and nearby is the gorgeous Botanical garden – the entrance is free.
The Mimara museum and the Croatian National Theatre are beautiful to see, but enter some other time.
Right across the street is the Museum of Arts and Crafts. And after all that walking one deserves a proper late lunch, so I suggest some of the street food restaurants, such as Brko & Brko in Ilica street or Street Food in Tkalčićeva for delicious burgers for about 25 kuna (€3.30).
Then again just a little more walking towards the park Ribnjak, just beneath the cathedral, passing the European square and Vlaška street with some cozy bars and restaurants if you wish to stay in this part of the centre.
One other option, if you still have 40 kuna (€5.20), is to go to the Museum of Illusions in Ilica. A nice and a funny thing to see here! And it’s opened until 10 p.m.
At the end of the day, if you didn’t choose the Museum of Illusions, you can spend the rest of your 30 kuna (€4.00), or less if I’ve lost you on the way, in some of Zagreb’s jazz bars such as Melin in Tkalčićeva street or Bacchus Bar ( King Tomislav square), clubs in the centre or Jarun or Beer halls in Tkalčićeva or Ilica where you could also find delicious meals.
I would start a Sunday in Maksimir Park. Beautiful green scenery, nature at its best, beautiful lakes and the peaceful feeling. Nearby is Bukovačka street with some nice cafes to drink your coffee if needed and bakery for your breakfast. Again that is around 25 kuna (€3.30). There is also a choice to sit in Maksimir, in the (cafe) Lookout. Situated on the top of a hill, you won’t miss it.
If you wish to visit the Zagreb ZOO it is right that at Maksimir Park, and that will cost you 30 kuna (€4.00). It has been recently renovated and it sure is a nice place to see. After Maksimir all paths lead back to the centre. You can eat at La Štruk in Skalinska street the best authentic “štrukli” in town for 25-35 kuna (€3.50-4).
If you didn’t visit the ZOO, that means you have just enough time to make it to the Antique Market on Britanski square, just to check it out and soak up the atmosphere. One way or another, you will end up in the Upper Town later in the day.
The most beautiful part of Zagreb with a gorgeous view over it. You can go there from Ilica street and take the funicular for the authentic experience (that costs 4 kuna (50c). Once you’ve arrived up there, just walk the walk. Visit the Lotrščak Tower for 20 kuna (€2.60), Catherine’s square, St. Mark’s Square and Strossmayer Promenade.
Finish the day in the great Swanky Mint Hostel where you’ll find that the rest of the money, which is around 30 kuna (€4.00), will be just enough for a nice and fun evening, maybe with Croatian rakija, in this international hostel.