Where to Stay in Zagreb [Best Places to Stay for 2024]

ZAGREB, CROATIA -  Zagreb Cathedral, a Roman Catholic cathedral-church in Gothic style, dedicated to the Assumption of Mary and to kings Saint Stephen and Saint Ladislaus.

Croatia’s capital city of Zagreb is a hidden gem of Europe. Zagreb has amazing food, interesting architecture, and lots of culture. Every season is celebrated in Zagreb, from summer festivals to Christmas markets.

Zagreb has a public transportation system that includes trams that are affordable and easy to use, so no matter where you stay in Zagreb, you should be able to get to some of the best neighborhoods in Zagreb.

There are many cool places to stay in Zagreb, from Zagreb apartments to hotels and hostels. No matter your budget or travel style, we’ve rounded up some of the Zagreb neighborhoods to help you decide where to stay in Zagreb Croatia.

We will cover off all types of accommodation in Zagreb Croatia; the different options from Hostels to luxury Zagreb hotels as well as how to decide where to stay in Zagreb Croatia 2024.

This guide shows off the best Zagreb hotels, best hotels in Zagreb Croatia, the best places to stay in Zagreb, hotels near Zagreb attractions, Zagreb neighborhood guide and many more. 

Below are 5 of the best neighbourhoods in Zagreb to help you make the right decision when trying to work out best places to stay in Zagreb Croatia for you.

❤️ Best Area first timersLower Town Zagreb
💸 Best Luxury HotelCanopy by Hilton Zagreb City Centre
👪 Best Hotel for For FamiliesZagreb Sleep & Eat
🏨 Best Mid-Range HotelTimeout Heritage Hotel Zagreb
🛏️ Best Budget HotelAstralis Factory Apartments- Mars & Venus
✨ Best HostelHimalayan Hostel

Are you trying to decide between upper or lower town Zagreb? The below guide will cover off those of these areas to help you make the choice that’s right for you.

We have tried to make the guide as easy to follow as possible. We have also included some things to do or places to visit as well as some eatery suggestions of either our favourite places within the areas in Zagreb so you can use this as a go to guide.

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Upper Town – Where to stay in Zagreb for nightlife

Zagreb’s Upper Town has several names: Old Town, Upper Town or Gornji Grad. Located in the Zagreb city centre, Upper Town is the most historic part of Zagreb. 

This is where you’ll find Jelacic Square, Zagreb’s main square and the hub of most activity in Zagreb.  

Tkalciceva is Zagreb’s “bar street” and extends out through Upper Town from Jelacic Square. Upper Town is also a great place to stay if you’re wondering where to stay in Zagreb for 1 night.

There is not a huge selection of accommodation in Zagreb Upper Town, but you’ll find several options in the nearby areas of the city center. 

If this is your first visit to Zagreb, and you like the option of walking everywhere, plus being close to all of the tourist attractions, Upper Town is one of the best places to stay in Zagreb, Croatia.

Why Stay in Zagreb Upper Town

Staying in the city center gives you a unique look into the history, arts and culture of Zagreb. Travel through history at Jelacic Square for your coffee and history tour during the day, then experience Zagreb nightlife when the sun goes down.

It is said Zagreb’s nightlife is the best in Croatia. A wide assortment of bars, clubs, pubs and live music will keep you dancing into the night. Staying in Zagreb Upper Town will give you a central start to a memorable vacation. 

Things To Do  in Zagreb Upper Town

  • Jelacic Square

Jelacic Square has been Zagreb’s main marketplace since 1641. Start with coffee and breakfast in one of the oldest coffee shops in Zagreb at Johann Frank. Visit the statue of Ban Josip Jelcic in the center of the square, then wander over and view Mandusevac Fountain.

A fountain built centuries ago with a beautiful love story. Built over a natural spring, it provides Zagreb inhabitants with fresh drinking water to this day.

Shop in the different boutiques and shops along the way. Jelacic Square is the best place in Zagreb to start your history tour.

  • The Stone Gate

In 1242 ”a free royal” was proclaimed on the city of Gredac. One of the commitments was they had to build a wall around the city.

By 1266 a wall was built with several gates constructed within the wall. There are only parts of the original wall left today including the Stone Gate.

Lining the Stone Gate are artisans and small shops to visit. Legend has it that this gate became an Oath Site for the Virgin Mary.

A shrine to the Virgin Mary sits in Stone Gate and is said to have magical powers. Go in, light a candle and say a healing prayer. You never know who is listening.   

  • Tkalciceva Street

Starting at Jelacic Square, Tkalciceva Street runs north to the edge of the city. Lined with great cafes and restaurants nestled among some of the oldest history in Croatia, it is a must-see destination.

The nightlife begins on Tkalciceva Street with its plethora of bars and pubs. Stop in at Plan B Bar, just in case you need a Plan B or dance an Irish jig at Oliver Twist Irish Pub.

There is always a drink to be had and a cheer to be toasted on Tkalciceva Street.  

Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Zagreb Upper Town

Best places to stay in Upper Town Zagreb

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Upper Town:

Budget accommodation in Upper Town:

Mid range accommodation in Upper Town:

Family Friendly accommodation in Upper Town:

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Upper Town:

Zagreb main square and cathedral aerial panoramic view, famous landmarks of capital of Croatia

Park Ribnjak – Where to stay in Zagreb with family

For a quieter place to stay in Zagreb, consider staying near Park Ribnjak, a neighborhood within the Upper Town district. Centered on a large park, this is one of the best neighborhoods in Zagreb for families.

Park Ribnjak was once part of the city’s fortification in the 15th century, and you can still see some parts of the medieval walls around the park. 

After centuries in private ownership, Park Ribnjak is now available for everyone to enjoy. There’s a children’s playground, walking paths and cultural attractions. You can find several Zagreb apartment rentals in this area.

Why Stay near Park Ribnjak 

When looking for a quiet place to relax with the family after a busy day of touring, Park Ribnjak has just what you need. Take a stroll down the many walkways and enjoy the colourful flora.

Sit and watch the kids play on the playground equipment and let them run and play for a restful night’s sleep.

Bring lunch or dinner and spread a blanket on the ground for a perfect picnic in the park. Events are held within the park at different times throughout the year for both children and adults to enjoy.  A little getaway from the hustle and bustle in the middle of the hustle and bustle. 

Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Park Ribnjak

Best places to stay in Park Ribnjak

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Park Ribnjak:

Budget accommodation in Park Ribnjak:

Mid range accommodation in Park Ribnjak:

Family Friendly accommodation in Park Ribnjak:

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Park Ribnjak:

Scenic view at night marble scenery in park Ribnjak with cathedral in background, Zagreb Croatia.

Kaptol – Where to stay in Zagreb on a budget

Kaptol is a sub-section of Upper Town, and is the historic religious center of Zagreb, offering some of the coolest places to stay in Zagreb. 

Kaptol is where the Zagreb diocese was founded in 1094 and home of the Zagreb Cathedral, Croatia’s tallest building that you’ll recognize from the currency.

As an older, less commercial area of Zagreb, apartments are the most common accommodation in this neighborhood. 

Zagreb city center is really quite small, so even Kaptol is only a few minutes’ walk from attractions like Jelacic Square.

Kaptol is the best place to stay in Zagreb on a budget, as it’s located in a quieter area but still close to the main areas of Zagreb. 

Why Stay in Kaptol

In this quiet section of town lies centuries of history and a medieval feel. Walk the narrow cobblestone streets lit with gas lamps of yesteryear that will transport you to the world of knights and swords, emperors and queens.

Visit historic places such as the Zagreb Cathedral or scale the Lotrscak Tower. Many attractions in this area are free of charge which makes Kaptol a place of century-old beauty that can be freely enjoyed by everyone.  

Thing To Do In Kaptol

  • Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary 

Croatia’s largest sacred building is the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Zagreb Upper Town. First constructed in 1217, this historic structure towers over the city of Zagreb.

Renovated over the centuries and rebuilt after a devastating earthquake in 1880 this beautifully constructed church will take your breath away with its beauty and charm. A sight to see and a must-visit when in Zagreb. 

  • Lotrscak Tower

Built in the 13th century, Lotrscak Tower is one of the few remaining pieces of the wall that was built around Gredac. Legend has it that there was a bell at the top of the tower that would be rung before the gates were closed at night.

Warning those outside the wall that the gates would be closing. Anyone who did not make it had to spend the night outside the walls.

Today you can climb the tower and get an excellent view of Zagreb and the surrounding area. Visit the shops that are available in the tower for that perfect souvenir. 

  • Dolac Market

A visit to the Dolac Market is a must when in Kaptol. Located just behind the main square, you can find fresh meat, fruit, and vegetables from the local farms.

This large farm market encompasses a large area with many stalls of wares. Try some local Zagreb food, a sample of fresh fruit or grab a beer. There is something there that will keep you snacking.

Best places to stay in Kaptol

Budget accommodation in Kaptol:

Mid range accommodation in Kaptol:

Family Friendly accommodation in Kaptol:

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Kaptol:

Western part of the Capital of Croatia, Zagreb

Lower Town – Where to stay in Zagreb for first timer visitors

Zagreb’s Lower Town, or Donji Grad, is the more modern part of town and is where most Zagreb hotels are located. 

Within walking distance, Ilica Street runs through Lower Town, and is Zagreb’s shopping street, so you’ll likely find yourself strolling around Lower Town a few times during your visit.

Lower Town. Lower Town is also the commercial center of Zagreb, so if you are looking for a business-style or upscale Zagreb hotel, you should consider staying in Lower Town.

Unlike the narrow, cobblestone streets of Old Town, Lower Town has wide streets and lots of open space and parks. Lower Town is the cultural hub of Zagreb as well, with several art museums and performance halls. 

For proximity to the city center, and numerous accommodation options, Zagreb is a excellent place to stay in Zagreb. In my opinion, Lower town is the best area to stay in Zagreb.

Why Stay in Lower Town Zagreb

Lower Town Zagreb is a great place for first-time travellers to stay. It is a little more modern than Upper Town, being constructed in the 18th and 19th centuries, and it has a few more amenities for newcomers.

Most of the museums as well as the luxury hotels can be found in Lower Town. A variety of cafes, parks and boutiques, and shopping makes for a wonderful first stay in Zagreb. 

Things To Do in Lower Town Zagreb

  • Ride the Funicular Railway

Travel to Upper Town in the Funicular. The oldest means of transportation in Zagreb, this 120-year-old cog-driven railway car travels up and down the hill that separates Upper Town and Lower Town.

It takes 64 seconds to ride this old city train. Over 750,000 people use this old transportation method to traverse the city. There is a set of stairs beside it, so you can just walk. But what is the fun of that?

  • Visit a Museum and Art Gallery

 The Museums are plentiful in Lower Town. The most visited museum in Lower Town is the Mimara Museum. An art and archaeological museum where you can see masterpieces by Rembrandt, Renoir and Manet.

In the archaeological room, view pieces from early medieval Europe back to prehistoric times. Visit the Strossmayer Gallery of Old Masters to gaze at some of the works of the best artist in history.

  • Stroll Through the Botanical Gardens

Unwind and relax with a stroll through the Botanical Gardens. Home to over 10,000 plant species from all over the world including over 1800 exotic plant species.

These gardens will re-energize you as you walk through and absorb the colour and the fragrance they provide. Stop to sit on the many benches that are provided and enjoy watching the ducks, turtles, and pigeons that adorn this beautiful landscape. 

  • Shop on Ilica Street

Illica Street is the longest street in Zagreb. Lined with shops and boutiques you can spend a wonderful day of shopping.

Stop into the many cafes and restaurants along the way for a traditional Croatian meal or a coffee and their famous strudel. You can find everything you need on this 6 km stretch of shopping paradise in Zagreb.

Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Lower Town Zagreb

Below is a list of hotels in Lower Town:

Best places to stay in Lower Town (Zagreb)

Cheapest Backpacking Hostels in Lower Town:

Budget accommodation in Lower Town:

Mid range accommodation in Lower Town:

Family Friendly accommodation in Lower Town:

Affordable Luxury accommodation in Lower Town:

Aerial view on cathedral in Zagreb city, capital town of Croatia, european landmarks.

Medvednica – Where to stay near Zagreb in the winter

Outdoor enthusiasts will want to stay in Zagreb’s mountain resort area. Medvednica is the mountain range on the north edge of Zagreb, about 20 minutes from the city centre.

Sljeme is the highest peak of the range, which can be reached by bus. If you are visiting Zagreb in summer, this is a great place to go hiking through the woods, or sightseeing from the chairlifts. 

However, visiting Zagreb in winter is the best time to head to Medvednica for skiing and snowboarding. At the top, there’s a mountain hut serving up tasty food.

Why Stay near Medvednica

Medvednica Mountain is a nature lover’s paradise. This mountainous terrain is blanketed with forests with hidden treasures. Hiking trails from easy to difficult will lead you to hidden waterfalls, caves and ravines.

The ruins of a Medieval town, Medvedgrad is set in a dense forest and is a popular tourist attraction. Summer is a wonderful time to enjoy the mountain, but Medvednica Mountain has some magnificent winter adventures as well.

At the peak, Sljeme, you can ski, go sledding, then head to the lodge for a warm traditional Croatia meal. No matter what time of year you go, Medvednica Mountain is your nature getaway in Zagreb. 

Things To Do on Medvednica Mountain

  •  Hike to Medvedgrad 

On the south side of the mountain, about halfway up, you will find the fortified medieval town of Medvedgrad. After the Mongols invaded Zagreb in 1242 and destroyed the city, with the encouragement of Pope Innocent IV, Medvedgrad was built in 1254 to keep watch over the city.

Inside the fortified walls stands Medvedgrad Castle. On a clear day, you can see the tower of the castle from the city.

Learn about the history at the Medvedgrad visitor center. They also have live events to bring you back to medieval times. 

  • Explore Veternica Cave

Take a guided tour of Veternica Cave. This subterranean paradise where prehistoric animals such as cave bears, lions and wild cattle made their home so long ago contains a plethora of hidden gems.

Today, bats have made their home in Veternica Cave for their winter nap. This is why you can only visit the cave from April to October.

Visit spectacular rock formations such as a stone waterfall or get challenged to go through a small passage called Gibraltar. A subterranean adventure you will soon not forget. 

  • Dine at the Top of the Mountain

Enjoy the taste and treats of home cooking on Medvednica Mountain. There are several different dining huts on the mountain to choose from.

Stop in for a snack or a meal at Graficar while enjoying its lively atmosphere or Puntijarka for roast turkey and mlinci ( a traditional flatbread).

For the best homemade bread and a beautiful panoramic view of the city stop into Runolist. Winter or summer dining on the mountain will leave you full and ready to get back on the trail or the slopes. 

  • Ski Medvednica Mountain

When the snow begins to fall and the people of Zagreb see the white of the snow on the mountain, they start packing their gear for a fun day skiing, sledding and snowboarding on the mountain.

Zagreb is the only capital city to host World Cup races. In January people come to Sljeme to ski or watch The Snow Queen Trophy Tournament.

Created in honour of Croatia’s Best female Ski athlete Janica Kostelic the Snow Queen Trophy tournament is one of the most-watched world cup races.

After a fun day of skiing, be sure to have a great meal at one of the food lodges on the mountain. Medvednica Mountain is a must for your ski vacation bucket list. 

Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Medvednica

Best places to stay in Medvednica

Budget accommodation in Medvednica:

Mid range accommodation in Medvednica:

Family Friendly accommodation in Medvednica:

Tower on Medvednica mountain in Zagreb Croatia

Zagreb Airport – Where to stay in Zagreb near the Airport

The largest and busiest airport in Croatia, Zagreb Franjo Tuman Airport, also known as Zagreb Airport, is an international airport that serves Zagreb.

From the airport to Kvaternik Square, take the ZET 290 bus at Zagreb Airport. It leaves the airport every 35 to 40 minutes, and the trip takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes. This is a fantastic choice for travellers on a tight budget. The alternative is to take a cab, which will get you to the city centre in just 30 minutes.

Travelers with really early flights who don’t want to have to wake up early to get to the airport or those who arrive really late and just want to head to bed will benefit greatly from staying at the Zagreb Airport.

Why Stay near Zagreb Airport

Situated just south of Zagreb, staying near the airport has its advantages. Regular access to a variety of public transportation services allows you to get where you want to go in a no-hassle budget-friendly way.

The convenience of being close to your departing flights helps to alleviate the worry about missing your plane.

Spend the day north visiting the exciting city of Zagreb or go south and take in the view of the Una River from the city bridge. You have the right starting point to head in any direction while staying near Zagreb Airport. 

Things to Do near Zagreb Airport

  • Visit Plitvice Lakes National Park

Croatia’s first and largest National Park is located south of Zagreb Airport. This unique lake system, which cascades from one to the next, was inscribed onto the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1979.

Visiting the colourful landscapes and aqua blue water while hiking through the dense Croatia forest makes for an unforgettable natural adventure. 

  • Take a Tour

Take advantage of all the different tours they have originating near the airport. Take a private tour of Zagreb or catch the bus and take a public guided walking tour through the city.

There are Museum Tours, Historical Tours or Hop on and Off with Zagreb City Tours. Taking a guided tour will make sure you do not miss a thing on your excellent adventure to Croatia. 

Top 5 favorites accommodation options for Zagreb Airport

Best places to stay near the Zagreb Airport

Budget accommodation near the Zagreb Airport

Mid range accommodation near the Zagreb Airport

Family Friendly accommodation near the Zagreb Airport

ZAGREB AIRPORT -Arrivals exterior with passengers in cafe.

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