With nearly 1 million citizens, Zagreb is the largest city in Croatia in terms of population and size. Situated in the North of Croatia, Zagreb is a good crossing hub of different cultures due to its location and near neighbouring countries Slovenia and Hungary. So if you plan to visit the city of Zagreb, what are the best things to do with children? Let’s check it out.
The foundations of the city of Zagreb date back from the 12th century with past history with the Romans. Being the capital of Croatia, nearly 25% of Croatian population lives in this agglomeration where jobs flourish in different sectors.
More than a million tourists visit Zagreb every day as part of their Croatian holiday adventure. With direct flights from the major cities in Europe, this destination makes a perfect long weekend holiday for a family.
Interestingly enough, the city has recently seen a surge in visits during Christmas due to its popular Christmas markets.
So without further do, let’s explore all the thing you can do in Zagreb with your kids on your next holiday trip. Idamo!
1. Nikola Tesla Technical Museum
If rain invites itself in Zagreb or you simply need to escape the hot weather in the summer, pack your kids and head to Nikola Tesla Technical Museum.
Don’t expect to drive or see the latest car from the famous car manufacturer. Instead, you will be baffled by the huge exhibit of vintage cars, trams, objects that define our history with progressive technology.
There is also a section dedicated to Nikola Tesla who was a Serbian inventor and instrumental to the discovery of what electricity would bring to our world.
2. Museum of Illusions
The museum is currently closed for renovation and will reopen later this year
This franchised museum is spreading to more and more cities in Europe. Museum of Illusions is located in lower town not too far from Nikola Tesla museum.
Your kids will love this place where puzzles, illusions and brain tricks make the venue so special. Of course, you will take lots of pictures with your children to feed your holiday photo book or your Instagram.
Usually, families spend around 1 hour inside the museum depending how crowded it is on your day of visit. Don’t forget to spend some time at the shop to bring back home some puzzles games.
3. Maksimir Park
As every big city, Zagreb has designed a large park that was finished in late 19th century called Maksimir Park to pay tribute to the Bishop Maksimilijan Vhrovac who was instrumental to build this landmark in the city.
You will be able to walk on different paths and admire how dense and rich the park is in terms of plants and animals living on the premises.
Maksimir Park is so big that you forget that you are exploring the largest urban city of Croatia. Access to the park is free and you will spoiled with playgrounds where your children can play for a well deserved break. You can also spot a café to buy snacks or your favourite hot drink.
4. Zoo Zagreb
Located within Maksimir Park, Zoo Zagreb has been welcoming visitors for nearly a century now. The zoo has been recently renovated and is a great place to entertain your children on your holiday in Zagreb.
Your family will see reptiles as well as monkeys, lions or even hippos. Depending of which season you decide to travel to Croatia, you might miss some animals who are simply hide in their indoor habitat to keep themselves warm during the winter.
The zoo will certainly be the highlight of your visit in Zagreb for your toddler or young children. You can access the zoo by tram or bus. If you hire a car, there is a public parking nearby the zoo.
5. Museum of Broken Relationships
Zagreb is lucky to host a unique museum that exhibits artefacts and genuine stories on failed human relationships. The Museum of Broken Relationships is a place where people explained how they were disappointed with a past lover and how they overcome the separation.
Younger kids might not understand this museum but I would say if your children are good readers, all these tales from all around the world might intrigue them.
You would probably find odd, funny and sad stories at this venue. Expect to spend between 1 and 2 hours at this museum depending how involved you are in each story. Some people felt so moved by certain testimonials that they forgot the time.
6. Museum of Contemporary Art
If you and your children are explorers of modern art, you will certainly love the museum of Contemporary Art. The venue exhibits over 200 artworks from local Croatian artists including films.
The building itself is an amazing piece of art with lots of space to allow visitors to scrutinise each piece of art at their own pace.
So if it’s raining in Zagreb and need to keep the kids busy by introducing them to contemporary art, this place might be right for you. However prepare to have lots of questions from your children, as some pieces are very intriguing.
7. Botanical Garden
The Garden is closed in the winter, so check their website for openings
Part of the Faculty of Science, the Botanical Garden is open to the public from March until end of November where you can see lots of plants and flowers all year round. The garden is hosting over 5,000 species with lots of tropical plants as well.
This green area is set in the middle of Zagreb and is very much appreciated by locals during spring where flowers start to show their face with milder climate.
You can walk in the garden for 1 hour or so with a small entrance fee to maintain this beautiful place.
Families love going to this garden in the summer when the temperature is scorching hot and you need to hide under the shadows of trees.
8. Dolac Market
If you decide to stay in a self-catering apartment in Zagreb, it might be handy to visit the Dolac Market where you can find fresh vegetables, meat and fish. This daily food market is very appealing for locals and tourists with many food stalls available all year round.
And if you care to make your hotel room or apartment a bit more colourful, why not picking a fresh flower bouquet at the market too.
Open in the morning, Dolac Market is your opportunity to see what Croatian eat locally at their house table.
9. Saint Mark’s Church
This 13th century church is a must see if you are visiting Zagreb with the family. The look of this parish building is very colourful famously known to bear on its roof the coat of arms of Croatia on the left and Zagreb on the right.
Unfortunately, the church has suffered many earthquakes and fires that almost nothing is original from the construction. However the site is definitely worth seeing with a great square with cobbled streets around it.
10. Take the Shortest Funicular in the World
This won’t be the lasting experience of a lifetime but taking the blue funicular is fun way to access the Upper town of Zagreb in minutes.
Apparently, this fun transportation is supposed to be the shortest funicular in the world. It costs less than €2 for one way ticket and I am sure the kids will love checking the city from the large window.
Walk inside the Gric Tunnel
This long passage was built to shelter the population during WW2 and was reopened in 2006 to the public. Funny enough, locals and visitors love this landmark and walk in this passage to immerse themselves with history.
The tunnel is about 350 meters long and 3 meters wide with people testing their voice with the huge echo available inside the place.
Occasionally the tunnel hosts some art exhibitions and is a way to get some cold air in the summer too!
That’s it for now. I hope you have found enough activities and things to do in Zagreb with your kids. Exploring the city of Zagreb needs time and shouldn’t be rushed in one day. So maybe opt in for a short stay in the city before heading to other regions of Croatia like Istria. Bon voyage!
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