2 Day Itinerary for Zagreb

Zagreb. Aerial sun haze view of Zagreb cathedral and historic city center, capital of Croatia

Croatia is renowned for its sparkling coastlines, dotted with medieval resort towns, yachts, and breathtaking beaches. But, did you know that the Croatian capital is home to a thriving city, and it’s just a few hours north of Split and Dubrovnik?

For whatever Zagreb lacks in terms of beaches and Game of Thrones attractions, it makes up for in spades with culture, history, and a bustling nightlife scene. So, we’ve laid out the perfect 2 day itinerary for Zagreb, complete with where to stay, eat, and shop, plus tips for how to get around.

And, if you’re wondering how many days in Zagreb is enough, we’re confident you can make the most of just 48 hours in Zagreb. However, you can certainly fill 3 or 4 days if desired (see below for “Got extra time?”).

First thing’s first, let’s talk about transportation options, which are especially important when you have just a weekend in Zagreb. Budget travelers rejoice!

RyanAir now flies to the Zagreb airport from 17 European countries, including Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and many more, making 2 days in Zagreb an ideal addition to your multi-city European itinerary.

If flying isn’t your thing, direct trains are also available to/from popular destinations such as Ljubljana, Budapest, Munich, and Rijeka.

Next up, you’ll need somewhere to stay for your weekend in Zagreb. Upper Town (known as ‘Gornji Grad’) is arguably the most popular neighborhood for tourists, and for good reason. Here you’ll find attractions, restaurants, and shopping a-plenty, plus accommodation options for any budget.

Our favorite low-cost option is Main Square Hostel, located beside Ban Jelačić Square, the center of Zagreb City. For a slightly more upscale option, try Hotel Academia, situated just an 8 minute walk from the main square. Lower Town (‘Donji Grad’) and Old Town (‘Kaptol’) are also great options. In Lower Town, opt for Chillout Hostel or Hotel Park 45, and in Kaptol, check out Kaptol Hostel

With your transportation and accommodation sorted, it’s time to start planning your 48 hours in Zagreb itinerary. This plan should easily fill two days in Zagreb with all the sights, food, history, and nightlife you’ll need to get acquainted with the beautiful Croatian capital.

Carefully mapped out with budget in mind, our 2 day itinerary for Zagreb makes it possible to get around simply by walking or taking a quick public transit ride. So, without further ado, here’s what to do in Zagreb in 2 days.

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Making last-minute plans for your Zagreb itinerary. We’ve got you covered. Our recommended hotels and tours for a getaway to Zagreb are listed below.

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What to do in Zagreb in 2 days

Day 1 in Zagreb

  • Breakfast in Zagreb City

Fuel up for a full day of exploring (and walking!) with breakfast at one of Zagreb’s famous sidewalk cafés. Try Otto & Frank (2 min. walk to your first stop on the itinerary) for eggs, yogurt, oatmeal, and French toast.

A bit further from your first stop (15 min. walk), you’ll find Caffe Bar Finjak, a cozy spot with delicious coffee, tucked away on a quiet street. If you’re visiting in the winter, be sure to stop by and see their Christmas decor.

Another option is Kata brunch bar (7 min. walk), a gluten free bakery offering tons of delicious takeaway breakfast options.

  • Ban Jelačić Square

Once fueled, it’s time to start exploring. First up is Ban Jelačić Square, the beating heart of Zagreb.

With its ornate Hapsburg-era buildings and bronze statue of Josip Jelačić, a 19th century leader who has come to symbolize Croatian independence, this square truly is the cultural and geographic center of the city.

Take some time to soak in the ambiance: the locals meeting up for their morning coffees, the nearby streetcar intersection, the tour groups that are inevitably kicking off here. 

Speaking of tours, you may want to consider signing up for a professional tour of Zagreb, many of which leave from this square. We love this half-day tour of Zagreb by both foot and car.

There’s also a fantastic 2.5 hour walking tour of Zagreb that includes a ride on the famed city funicular. 

Zagreb. Ban Jelacic central square in Zagreb aerial view, landmarks in capital of Croatia
  • Dolac Market

Our next stop is a quick walk (2 mins), but be warned that you’ll need to climb some stairs. Here you’ll find the Dolac Market, a bustling daily farmer’s market popular known for its local produce, honey, wine, and more.

Agriculture is a plentiful business in Croatia, and you’ll find many of the best Croatian selections here at Dolac Market.

Be sure to snag Croatian-grown olive oil, lavender products, flowers, and honey. Even better if you can find a bottle of Croatian wine. 

ZAGREB/CROATIA-Dolac Marketplace in Zagreb. It is the largest and most famous market in the very center of the city in Zagreb Croatia.
  • Lotrščak Tower

Once you’ve had your fill of Croatian delicacies, head up another few flights of stairs (6 min. walk) to the Lotrščak Tower.

The tower was built in the 13th century to protect Zagreb from Turkish invaders. Today, it offers a sweeping 360 degree view of the city’s red-tiled rooftops.

Pro tip: The tower’s cannon blasts off everyday exactly at noon, so try to plan your visit here for that time.

Funicular and Kula Lotrscak in Zagreb. One of many tourist attractions in Zagreb, Croatia.
  • St. Mark’s Church

A 3 min walk from Lotrščak Tower will land you in St. Mark’s Square. In the center of the square, you’ll find St. Mark’s Church, the northwest exterior of which houses the oldest-known coat of arms of Zagreb.

St. Mark's Church and square by sunset in Zagreb, Croatia
  • Lunch at a traditional Croatian tavern

In Croatia, local food joints are coined ‘Konoba’, which roughly translates to ‘tavern’. At any given konoba in Croatia, you’ll find locally-sourced specialties, centered around hearty meats and Croatian wines and liquors.

Be sure to try Konoba Didov San (3 min. walk from St. Mark’s), a family-owned spot known for their hospitality and medieval ambiance.  

  • Museum of Broken Relationships

After lunch, head to the Museum of Broken Relationships (4 min. walk) for a truly unique museum experience. The museum used to travel around the world but has recently found its permanent home in Zagreb.

Step inside to see quirky artifacts donated from lovers around the world, each telling touching stories of love gained and lost.

Be sure to stop by the museum shop on your way out and buy a ‘bad memories eraser’ before leaving. 

ZAGREB, CROATIA - Museum items inside the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb.
  • Zagreb Cathedral

From quirky to traditional, after the museum it’s time to see a more conventional side of Zagreb. An easy 9 min. walk will bring you to the Zagreb Cathedral, officially named the Zagreb Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Located in the heart of Kaptol (the old town), this Roman Catholic cathedral is the second-tallest building in all of Croatia and it is dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Stop by for daily mass or simply walk around and marvel at the famous Zagreb Cathedral Organ and the many famous Croatians who are buried here. 

Aerial view on cathedral in Zagreb city, capital town of Croatia, european landmarks.
  • Tapas.. In Croatia?

Yes, you read that right. In Zagreb, you can find the Spanish-style small plates–but made with Croatian food–at local hot spot SOL tapas na hrvatski, just a 3 minute walk from the cathedral.

Reviews say the food here is an ‘out of this world experience’, where it’s ‘very hard to choose a favorite dish’ because they’re all so fantastic.

Sample locally-sourced Croatian specialties to your heart’s desire, and be sure to wash it down with some Croatian wine. Be sure to make a reservation though, because it fills up fast.

Appetizers table with italian antipasti snacks and wine in glasses. Brushetta or authentic traditional spanish tapas set cheese variety board over grey concrete background. Top view flat lay
  • Tkalciceva Street

If you need a coffee break at this point, we wouldn’t blame you. 8 minutes by foot, you’ll find the famed Tkalciceva Street, an incredibly fun neighborhood known for its sidewalk cafes, shopping, and fantastic nightlife.

Refuel before your night out with a coffee at the nearby Melin Cafe, where you’ll find delicious coffee drinks and a vibrant ambiance both indoors and out. Once caffeinated, stick around for Tkalciceva Street’s famed nightlife.

Spend the night bouncing in an out of the many bars and club dotting this street, and you won’t be disappointed. 

Historic old Tkalciceva street of Zagreb evening view, capital of Croatia

Day 2 in Zagreb

  • Breakfast

Once you’ve gotten some much-needed R&R, it’s time for day 2. The first stop on our itinerary is the enchanting Zagreb Botanical Garden, but before heading over there, grab a bite and a coffee at the appropriately-themed Botaničar café.

Botaničar is a botanical-themed coffee shop and restaurant near the botanical gardens (4 min. walk). Other great options nearby include Figa Garden by Henrik (8 min. walk to the gardens) and and In the yard (8 min. walk).

  • Zagreb Botanical Gardens

After breakfast, walk to the Zagreb Botanical Gardens, home to over 10,000 plant species. Start your walk at the Botanical Garden Pavillion and spend a couple hours winding through the expansive displays of plants, flowers, and ponds. The gardens are gorgeous, so be sure to set aside a few hours to really soak them in.

The Zagreb Botanical Garden or Botanical Garden of Faculty of Science - Zagreb, Croatia (Botanički vrt grada Zagreba ili Botanički vrt Prirodoslovno-matematičkog fakulteta Sveučilišta u Zagrebu)
  • Croatian National Theatre

10 minutes by foot from the Zagreb Botanical Gardens is the stately Croatian National Theatre. Once home to Zagreb’s city hall, today the theater boasts an impressive lineup of operas and plays.

Throughout Zagreb’s history, many famous artists have performed here, and many famous politicians have visited.

The building’s design harkens back to Croatia’s days in the Austro-Hungarian empire, reminding you that Zagreb is truly a European metropolis.

Croatia, city Zagreb, monumental national theater, tourist destination, aerial view of city center
  • Lunch

Pop in for lunch at the nearby Restoran i Kavana Muzej, a quirky spot located just 2 minutes by foot from the Croatian National Theatre.

The menu features hearty local Croatian dishes, including homemade breads, topped off with fantastic hospitality.

Reviews say that this place is hard to find without GPS, so be sure to map it out beforehand.

Another solid option nearby is Kai Street Food (11 min. walk from the theater), where you’ll find takeout-inspired dishes made with local ingredients.

Traditional croatian dish Peka view, meat and vegetables in iron cover under warm glow close-up on the table. horizontal top view from above
  • King Tomislav Square

After lunch, continue your outdoor-focused day with a stop at the King Tomislav Square, a busy public park that’s home to an art museum and an impressive fountain in the center.

Walk around the park for a while, and you’ll find quiet resting areas, more fountains, and lots of people watching opportunities. 

Zagreb. Tomislav square park and fountain springtime landscape view, capital of Croatia
  • Ilica Street

We wouldn’t let you leave the Croatian capital without shopping, so once you’ve had your fill of parks and plants, head over to Ilica Street (25 mins. on either the #2 or #6 street cars).

Ilica Street is a quaint area lined with seemingly endless shops, bakeries, and restaurants. Grab a coffee and a bite to eat at any of the cafés, and pop into shops brimming with goods from local artists.

ZAGREB, CROATIA - Ilica Street during quarantine due to a covid-19 pandemic following an earthquake that struck downtown.
  • Dinner and Drinks

By now, you might be exhausted, but you can still make the most of your last night in Zagreb. Once you’ve had your fill of shopping, hop back on the streetcar to the city center, and pop into Vinodol for dinner.

Vinodol features seasonal food with an upscale feel, and it’s definitely a bit of a splurge. Other solid options nearby include Restoran Korčula, or if you’ve had enough Croatian food by now, try Karijola, widely considered the best pizza in Zagreb.

After dinner, pop in for a nightcap at The Old Pharmacy pub for a cozy feel, or head to Kino Europa, a unique night time hangout, where old European movies play in the backdrop. 

Zagreb might be different from the country’s coastal towns to the south, but it’s certainly no less charming.

A bustling European metropolis with stately Austro-Hungarian architecture, a fascinating history of strife and communism, plus a rich food and nightlife scene to boot, it’s hard to say just how many days in Zagreb is enough.

But we’re confident that our 2 day itinerary for Zagreb will give you a taste of all that the Croatian capital has to offer, and it may even encourage you to come back one day.

ZAGREB, CROATIA -  Locals and tourists having a dinner at restaurants at Ivana Racica street. Zagreb is a capital and famous tourist destination in Croatia

Got extra time during your weekend in Zagreb

If our 2 day itinerary for Zagreb hasn’t quite filled 48 hours of your time, first of all, we’re impressed!

You’re a speedy traveler. Here are some additional sites and activities you might consider adding to your 48 hours in Zagreb itinerary.

Where to stay in Zagreb for 2 days

  • Upper Town – most popular area for tourists and houses attractions, restaurants, shops. Hotels, hostels, private apartments plentiful here. Main Square Hostel is a good choice and Hotel Academia. (Gornji Grad), most attractions for first time visitors are here
  • Lower Town – closer to Old Town and close to parks, cafes. Chillout Hostel, Hotel Park 45. (Donji Grad)
  • Kaptol – technically Old Town, old churches, but still fun. Kaptol Hostel. 
Aerial view on Zagreb city downtown with marble architecture.

Overview Of 2 Days In Zagreb Itinerary

Day 1 in Zagreb

  • Ban Jelacic Square
    • Hapsburg era buildings, bronze statue of 19th century ruler who symbolizes Croatia’s struggle for independence. 
    • Heart and soul of the city, center from which you can orient yourself
    • Major streetcar intersection and the city’s social center, where people meet up for coffee, etc. 
    • This is in lower town
  • Dolac Market
    • Climb the stairs to Dolac, daily market
    • Everything from honey to flowers to croatian wine and produce
    • Upper Town
  • Lotrščak Tower
    • Head up more stairs from Dolac
    • 13th century tower, built to protect from the Turks
    • 360 degree view of the red-tiled rooftops below
    • Cannon blast everyday at noon
  • St. Mark’s Church
    • St. mark’s square with the church in the middle
    • Church’s northwest exterior wall has the oldest coat of arms of Zagreb with the year 1499 engraved on it
  • Museum of Broken Relationships
    • Pays homage to failed relationships
    • Quirky mementos such as handcuffs and rubber shoes
    • Donated from around the globe
    • Bad Memories Eraser at the museum shop
  • Lunch! (Didov San is nearby)
  • Zagreb 80’s Museum
  • Zagreb Cathedral
    • Stop at Amelie for coffee break and dessert
  • Tkalciceva Street
    • Sidewalk cafes
    • Cica – miniscule bar in a storefront, 25 varieties of rakija (brandy similar)
    • Stay for the night for partying
  • Dinner/Evening

Pro tip: Do a free walking tour to get the lay of the land.

Day 2 in Zagreb

  • Zagreb Botanical Garden
    • 10,000 plant species
    • Created in 1889
  • Croatian National Theatre
  • Lunch
  • King Tomislav Square/Art Pavillion
  • Zrinjevac Park
  • Ilica Street
    • Go back to Lower Town
    • Lined with shops, bakeries, restaurants
    • Prostor, handcrafted designs, jewelry, lampshades, all Croatian artists
    • I-gle boutique, local designers with quirky clothing options
    • Eliscaffe for coffee break, 100 beans are roasted by a best-in-class barista named Nik Orosi
Zagreb aerial. The Mestrovic pavillion and town of Zagreb aerial view. Capital of Croatia.

Extra time left over in Zagreb?

  • Museum of Contemporary Art
    • Largest art museum in Croatia
    • Out of the way across the river, you may need to take a cab
  • Cemetery
Zagreb. Cityscape image of Zagreb, Croatia during twilight blue hour.


  • Vinidol Restaurant
  • Wine Bar Bornstein
  • Bar Alcatraz
    • Beers here are cheap, the music is excellent, and the vibes here are even better.
  • Didov San
    • Rustic tavern with hearty fare, Dalmatian style
  • Vinodol
    • Old time eatery popular with locals
    • Ivy covered patio
    • Lamb, veal, golden potatoes, cozy dining room
    • Meat-focused menu
    • Strudel 
  • Mali Bar – chef and food writer Ana, fusion tapas
  • Karijola, best pizza joint in Zagreb, thin crusts and market fresh ingredients
  • Kino Europea, 1920s cinema, cafe/bar, regular screenings of art house flicks
  • Stross, al fresco hangout with makeshift bar 
  • Otto & Frank – breakfast, eggs and other 
  • Finjak – coffee place ten minutes from Old Town, definitely worth it
  • Mundoaka Streetfood – upscale twist of streetfood, seasonal menu
  • Luca Prsuta – wine bar with meat/cheese platters too
  • Wine Bar Basement – under the funicular

Recommended tours in Zagreb

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  • Samantha King

    Sam, a seasoned traveler across four continents and 49 countries, is a leading authority in travel planning. Her website, Travelling King, offers tailored itineraries and expert guides for seamless trips. Sam's expertise in luxury travel, fast travel, and destination guides keeps her at the forefront of the travel community.

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