Walking Tour: Architecture, Art & Street Life

  • Start Trg Bana Jelačića
  • End Trg Petra Preradovića
  • Length 1km; 1½ hours

The natural starting point of any walk in Zagreb is buzzing Trg Bana Jelačića, the city’s main meeting point and its heart. Climb the steps up to Dolac Market and pick up some fruit or a quick snack before heading for the neo-Gothic Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Cross Kaptol Square (lined with 17th-century buildings), walk down Skalinska and come out at Tkalčićeva. Wander up the street, then climb the stairs that will take you up to Stone Gate, a fascinating shrine and the eastern gate to medieval Gradec Town. Next, go up Kamenita and you’ll come out at Trg Svetog Marka, the site of the 13th-century St Mark’s Church, one of Zagreb’s most emblematic buildings, with a colourful tiled roof; the Sabor, the country’s parliament; and Banski Dvori, the presidential palace.

Wander through the winding streets of the Upper Town, and find out more about Ivan Meštrović, Croatia’s most renowned artist, in Meštrović Atelier. Walk back across Trg Svetog Marka and down Ćirilometodska, stepping into one of the country’s most singular museums, the Croatian Museum of Naïve Art. Cross Jezuitski trg and enter Galerija Klovićevi Dvori, where local and international contemporary-art exhibitions await. When you’re finished with art, gaze up at the gorgeous Jesuit Church of St Catherine, before finally emerging at Lotrščak Tower, built in the middle of the 13th century and today offering dazzling 360-degree vistas of the city. Near the tower is a historic funicular railway, constructed in 1888, which connects the Lower and Upper Towns. Take in the cityscape then go down in the funicular, or take the verdant stairway – either will leave you on the side of Ilica, Zagreb’s commercial artery.

Cross Ilica and walk to Trg Petra Preradovića, known to locals as Cvjetni trg, where you can take a break at one of the many outdoor cafes.