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Travel Guide Budget and Itinerary for Zagreb

I thought of Zagreb as a transit destination en route to Dubrovnik, Split or other more famous destinations in Croatia. However, after I arrived, I realized it had a lot to offer visitors.

Zagreb The Wandering Juan

Here's a guide that can help you plan your upcoming trip to Zagreb.

Travel Guide Budget and Itinerary for Zagreb

Zagreb is Croatia's capital and is home to around 800,000+++ people. This city was my first stop when I entered Croatia from Austria. I didn't expect much from Zagreb, my main target for this country was really Dubrovnik. However, when I got here, I was pleasantly surprised at what the city had to offer. Zagreb has a history that stretches back to several centuries with many significant churches and landmarks. You could use the city as a base to explore nearby destinations such as Plitvice Lakes, Samobor, Ljubljana, Lake Bled, Varazdin and other places. It is also easy to go to popular places such as Split and Dubrovnik from Zagreb.

Getting a Visa

Croatia will be part of the Schengen zone by 2023. You can now enter Croatia with a valid Schengen visa.

Here's a complete guide: how to get a Schengen visa for Filipinos

Things to Do and Places to See

Here are some of the attractions in Zagreb you might want to include in your itinerary.

St. Mark's Church

St. Mark's Church The Wandering Juan

This church is one of the oldest monuments in the city. It's colroful roof is one of its most distinguishable features. 

Gornji Grad (Upper Town)

budget and itinerary for Zagreb

budget and itinerary for Zagreb

budget and itinerary for Zagreb

budget and itinerary for Zagreb

budget and itinerary for Zagreb

Gornji Grad has several old buildings and churches. It's a quaint little part of the city where you can take leisurely strolls in and get overlooking views.

Zagreb Cathedral

Zagreb Cathedral The Wandering Juan

The cathedral you see now dates back to the 13th century. Over the centuries, the cathedral has undergone many reconstructions and renovations. 

Tkalciceva Street

budget and itinerary for Zagreb

This walking street is home to many cafes and restaurants. There are plenty of locals and visitors just hanging out during different parts of the day.

Dolac Market

Dolac Market The Wandering Juan

Head on over to the Dolac Market to buy fresh fruits and veggies. This farmer's market has been around since the 1930s. 

Historic Stone Gate

Historic Stone Gate The Wandering Juan

This stone gate dates back to the 13th century and is one of the last original gates of Zagreb. 

Art Pavilion

budget and itinerary for Zagreb

This Art Noveau building has a distinct yellow color. It's home to works created by Ivan Mestrovic. There is also a large square and park just around the pavilion where many locals and visitors hang out. You can also find a statue of Croatia's first king nearby.

Croatian National Theatre

Croatian National Theatre The Wandering Juan

This distinct looking building combines Rococo and Neo-Baroque styles. It wast built in 1895. Depending on the season, you can watch some shows here. 

Ban Jelačić Square

Ban Jelačić Square

This is Zagreb's central square. It's history began back in 1641 when a marketplace was built. The square got its current name only in the 1840s.

Other places of interest in Zagreb include:

  • Croatian Museum of Naïve Art
  • Museum of Mimara
  • Museum of Contemporary Art
  • Lotrscak Tower
  • Museum of Broken Relationships
  • Maksimir Park
  • Archeological and Ethnographic Museums
  • City Museum

You can check these places out whenever you make your budget and itinerary for Zagreb.

You can also go on tours by booking through GetYourGuide.

Getting around Zagreb

Zagreb is a relatively small capital. You can walk to most of the attractions once you are in the city center. However, there are taxis, trams, and buses that can take you to different parts of the city. A tram ride costs around 4 kuna. You can also book a taxi using Uber.

Where to Stay in Zagreb

Zagreb has plenty of accommodation options regardless of your budget. I found some hostels that are affordable, I stayed in HI Hostel and Zagreb Speeka. But you you can find other places to stay whether you prefer staying in a dorm or a private room.

Here are some suggested places to stay whenever you make your budget and itinerary for Zagreb.


Zagreb Speeka: Rates and Availability

HI Hostel Zagreb: Rates and Availability

Palmers Lodge Hostel: Rates and Availability

Whole Wide World Hostel: Rates and Availability

Hostel Centar: Rates and Availability


The Dots Hostel: Rates and Availability

Timeout Heritage Hotel Zagreb: Rates and Availability

Hotel Dubrovnik: Rates and Availability

MANDA Heritage Hotel: Rates and Availability

Garden Hotel: Rates and Availability

You can find more options through Agoda.

How to Get to Zagreb

By Air

Zagreb is the capital of Croatia. You can find flights to and from Zagreb's airport with a quick search online. You can book direct flights to this city from various cities in Europe.

By Land

You can also easily reach Zagreb by bus and train. Train are more comforable than taking the bus, but buses are often cheaper. I took the bus from Vienna to Zagreb for this trip. 

You can look for bus schedules or buy tickets here: https://www.flixbus.com/

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If you're coming from Budapest, you can look for train schedules here: https://www.mavcsoport.hu/en

If you're coming from Vienna, you can look for train schedules here: https://tickets.oebb.at/en/ticket

Budget for Zagreb

Zagreb is an affordable city for those traveling on a budget.

Here's an expenses list that can help you make your budget and itinerary for Zagreb.

Everything's in Euro:

44.53 - 3 nights Zagreb Speeka

12.20 - 1 night HI Hostel

30.20 - Bus to Dubrovnik

13.36 - Transportation

33.60 - Food and drinks

83.20 - Miscellaneous (stamps, postcards, souvenirs, etc.)

11.12 - Bus to Belgrade

20.58 - Bus to Zagreb

23.10 - Bus to Budapest                                          

271.89 - Total for 5 days and 4 nights 

I stayed a little too long in Zagreb to be honest. However, the capital is a nice place to just hang out in after seeing the attractions. There's plenty of restaurants, cafes and forms of entertainment to pass the time (I watched Spiderman No Way Home here). I stayed an extra day in Zagreb because I wasn't allowed to enter Serbia for whatever reason. So I had to walk back to the Croatian border and catch the next bus back to Zagreb. 

***Zagreb was part of a longer trip that included other places in Croatia like Dubrovnik, Split, Sibenik, Trogir, and other countries such as Hungary, Spain, Austria and Ukraine.

You might want to check out my other posts as well:

Itinerary for Zagreb

Here's a sample itinerary for your upcoming trip to Zagreb.

Day 1

Dolac Market

Ban Jelačić Square

Zagreb Cathedral

Tkalciceva Street

Art Pavilion

Day 2

St. Mark's Church

Upper Town

Museum of Broken Relationships

Day 3

Day trip to Samobor or Plitvice Lakes

You can do the city in two full days, you can add or remove some places that I've mentioned above. You can stay a bit longer but that depends on how much you like museums. The city is a good jump-off point for day trips as well. So if you want to use the city as a base to explore nearby destinations, it's possible.

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