Best Day trips from Zagreb

Panorama of the Zagreb, view to the intersection in the city center near the national theater building.

Croatia’s capital city of Zagreb is a wonderful vacation destination. Summer months offer long days and warm weather, while winter in Zagreb offers Christmas markets and skating rinks.

Like many European capital cities, Zagreb has many things to do including food, history, architecture, arts, culture and music. However, don’t overlook the many options for fun day trips from Zagreb. Here are a few of our favorites.

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Plitvice Lakes National Park

Croatia’s most popular national park is just two hours from Zagreb. Plitvice Lakes National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site best known for the waterfalls. 16 lakes cascade into one another through a series of waterfalls surrounded by lush forest.

Plitvice National Park has several hiking trails and walkways around the lakes, or you can take an electric boat tours between some lakes. Join a bus tour from Zagreb or rent a car and explore on your own.

Day trips to Plitvice Lakes National Park

Plitvice Lakes - National Park in Croatia


Less than 30 km from Zagreb is the medieval village of Samobor. You can easily reach Samobar by bus from Zagreb and spend the day exploring cobblestone streets.

Download a walking tour before you visit, and be sure to make the 10-minute walk to visit the castle on the hill.

Samobor has lots of restaurants to choose from, and outdoor cafes pop up all over when it gets warm out.

For those looking for outdoor adventure, Samobor is surrounded by nature, so there are many hiking trails around. If you prefer, there are many tour operators offering day trips from Zagreb to Samobor.

Day trips to Samobor

Scenic view at Samobor scenery in Northern Croatia, suburb of Zagreb town.


A bit farther from Zagreb is the “City on Four Rivers.” Karlovac is a fortress town that was nearly completely destroyed in the Homeland War of the 1990’s.

Only 49 kilometers, Karlovac is a popular day trip from Zagreb, especially for beer lovers wanting to visit Karlovac Brewery.

You can schedule a tour, or attend the beer festival in August. There are several museums and an aquarium in Karlovac, or outdoor adventures like river rafting. Buses and trains from Zagreb are frequent and inexpensive.

Day trips to Karlovac

Town of Karlovac landmarks view northern Croatia

Ljubljana, Slovenia

For a day trip beyond the borders of Croatia, check out the Slovenian capital city of Ljubljana. There are at least 10 trains per day between the two capital cities, taking from 2 hours 15 minutes to 3 hours.

Ljubljana is a charming town centered on the Ljubljana River, with several picturesque bridges to explore. The Ljubljana cathedral looms over the city, with a green copper dome and ornate interior.

There are many things to do in Ljubljana, including just wandering the cobblestone streets amongst cafes, restaurants and shops.

Day trips to Ljubljana

LJUBLJANA, SLOVENIA - : Old town embankment in Ljubljana. Ljubljana is the business and cultural center of the country.


For a coastal escape from Zagreb, consider a day trip to Rijeka, a port city on the Adriatic Sea. Rijeka is easy to reach from Zagreb, with several bus and train departures making the 160 km journey each day. Rijeka is the gateway to Croatia’s islands, but is a worthy day trip destination of it’s own.

Spend the day exploring the city’s museums and attractions such as the Trsat Castle, Museum of the City, Maritime and History Museum and Rijeka Cathedral.

Rijeka is also a great place to enjoy a fresh seafood meal before you head back to Zagreb for the evening.

Day trips to Rijeka

City Of Rijeka Delta And Trsat View


Only 45 minutes from Zagreb, Krapina is an easy day trip. Krapina also sits on a river, and derives it’s name from the carp found in the river.

One of the most notable things about Krapina is that it’s the site of the largest number of Neanderthal fossil bones in Central Europe.

Today, you can visit the Krapina Neanderthal Museum that details the 1899 discovery. You can even visit the excavation site, just a short stroll from the museum.

On the main square in Krapina, you can enjoy a cafe or restaurant, and visit a few historic churches in the village.

Day trips to Krapina

Aerial view at picturesque town Krapina cityscape in Croatia, Zagorje Region scenery.


Trakošćan Castle is an interesting day trip from Zagreb. The castle dates back to the 13th century, and was originally a fortress of defense from the Ottoman Empire.

The castle offers splendid views of the surrounding countryside, and you can stroll the grounds at your leisure, enjoying the lake and forest nearby.

The best way to reach Trakošćan castle from Zagreb is to join a tour that includes transportation, or you can rent a car for the 80 km drive.

Public buses and trains don’t take you all the way to the castle, which is a bit outside of the village.

Day trips to Trakošćan

Scenic view at marble scenery in Zagorje, old castle Trakoscan landmark.


For the ultimate outdoor adventure near Zagreb, visit Sljeme, a mountain that towers over the capital city. Also called Medvednica Mountain, there are many adventures to have if you just want a break from the city.

Only 20 minutes by car or public transit from the city center, has skiing in the winter and dozens of hiking trails in the summer. Thanks to Sljeme, Zagreb is the only European capital city with professional ski slopes!

ZAGREB, CROATIA - : Hiker walking to the mountain hut Gorscica on the Sljeme mountain near Zagreb, Croatia.

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Best Day trips from Zagreb
Best Day trips from Zagreb
Best Day trips from Zagreb


  • 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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