Zagreb is divided into two halves, the Zagreb Upper town and Zagreb Lower Town (Gornji and Donji Grad). The first one is the old city dating back to the 11th century, full of red tile roofs and cobblestone streets. It’s the most romantic part of Zagreb.
It’s my favorite part of Zagreb. Every time I come, I can not help but jump to this the old part of the city. If not at least for a good cup of coffee in Tkalciceva street.
It’s the part of Zagreb city fitting for walking, never overcrowded, and the traffic here is limited. It’s a city of quiet life, without the hustle and bustle, still preserving medieval times and spirit.
Two-thirds of Zagreb’s attractions are concentrated between two hills, Kaptol and Gradec. It is a charming place to explore and to enjoy some of Zagreb’s most interesting restaurants, bars and cafes, markets and museums.
Zagreb upper town map
Above map shows the must-see Zagreb landmarks: the Lotrscak tower, Stone gate (Kamenita vrata), St. Marc Church, Museum of Broken relationship, Strossmayer’s promenade, Zagreb’s Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Dolac open air market, Zagreb Funicular (Uspinjaca in Croatian).
Explore Zagreb Upper Town
Start from Zagreb’s central square, Trg Jelacica, and walk uphill to Kaptol. You can walk all the way , but in case you are not that fit, take a funicular up and down. Board one of the two cable cars which takes you 50 meters up.
When you get off, you’ll face an amazing view of Zagreb, from Strossmayer promenade (Strossmayerovo setaliste), with Zagreb Cathedral in the background.
Continuing to walk you will pass under the Stone Gate (Kamenita Vrata) a holy site of the Virgin Mary and Jesus that survived a devastating fire in 1731. Stop for the moment and light the candle!
Not far from there, between Radiceva and Mesnica streets you can visit the Gric tunnel, used as a bomb shelter in second World War. The entrance is free and tunnel is open from 9 AM to 9 PM.
Walk along the quaint, quiet old streets with cobbled streets and there’s a beautiful colored roofed St. Marc Church straight ahead of you. It’s Zagreb’s most photographed site.
From here, stop at Dolac farmers market that since 1890, still remains ‘the belly of Zagreb’. Open air markets are an essential part of Zagreb lifestyle. Vibrant, noisy and animated, they are the best places to feel a local atmosphere.
Zagreb Upper town secret sights
Except the sights and landmarks, this old town is famous for its secret sights. Particularly are known two events particularly famous for Zagreb upper town – Secrets of Gric and Dvorista (courtyards).
Secrets of Gric is turned into an interactive theater night tour, intended for visitors and citizens of Zagreb who want to discover the historical and mystical side of the capital. The tour is based on historical facts, mix together also with known urban legends, and stories of famous Croatian novelist, Marija Juric Zagorka.
This tour takes place from May through September, every Friday, and Saturday, at 9.00 PM. It lasts for one hour.
The second event describes the hidden side of Zagreb’s town is simply called Dvorista, meaning ‘courtyards‘ in Croatian. With a motto, in Zagreb ‘every courtyard has a story’, this event offers to visitors a chance to experience part of the town that is usually hidden in one of many mystical courtyard behind closed doors.
In 2015 this pilot project tour drew more than 30,000 visitors to the city’s medieval Town. It takes place in mid-July, for nine days.
Secret Zagreb Walks organizes also interesting tours of the Gornji Grad that tell another side of Zagreb. Their most interesting tours are Hidden Zagreb Tour, and Zagreb Ghost Tour.
Zagreb Upper Town Museums
Although most of the museums are in the lower town, it’s worth visiting some museums of Upper town. One of museums that has caused a lot of interest, first of all, regarding a strange name is Museum of Broken relationships.
This museum is exactly what it name says. All objects exposed here are remnants of broken relationships. Each item is accompanied with a story, some funny, others sad. You never know to find a case similar to your! It will take you an hour to explore it. Visit their website for more info!
he museum is located in Cirilometodska street. 2 , very close to St.Mark Church. It’s open from 09:00 AM to 09:00 PM and the entrance fee is 25 Kuna. Students and seniors pay 20 Kuna.
Ivan Mestrovic’s Studio in Mletacka street, 8 is another must-see museum. Mestrovic is Croatia’s most famous sculptor and artist. He actually lived with his family and worked in this house from 1920’s until 1942.