Zagreb with Kids: A Historical City Break in Croatia

Zagreb is the capital of Croatia, located in Eastern Europe, around 6 hours North of the coastal city of Split and Croatia’s islands. The city has a rich history waiting to be explored and plenty to do for kids of all ages. Here is a complete guide to a city break in Zagreb with kids to help you plan the perfect trip for you and your family.

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Top 10 Things to do in Zagreb with Kids

There is plenty to do in Zagreb whether you’re travelling with a baby, toddler, child or teen. Here are our top picks:

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1. Zagreb Funicular

The funicular railway, also called a cable car or tram, is for quick travels up and down the hill – just across the street from Ilica Street – and it’s great if you visit with kids because they can see the city from above. One of the stops on this funicular close to the Jelačić square and right behind that square is Strossmayerovac park, which has an excellent playground for kids to play on.


2. Museum Mimara

If your children are older, we recommend checking out some art at the museum Mimara located near Jelačić square, as well as shopping for a new pair of shoes. it’s best to the top floor first, where there is a giant map of Croatia, and the kids can colour in the parts they have been to or would like to visit. The lower level has some interesting modern art displays as well as a free audio tour for those who need it.


3. Museum of Broken Relationships

Although the name might seem a little sad to kids, this museum is actually quite delightful and has some interesting stories behind each item on display. If you need a good laugh or maybe want something to talk about at your next family gathering, this is definitely where you need to go. The museum also has an excellent gift shop for those looking for something fun and unique to take home.


4. Jarun Lake and Park

One of the best places to visit with kids in Zagreb is Jarun lake, which has a popular shallow beach area as well as a public pool nearby. In addition to all this fun in the sun, there are also inexpensive restaurants for those who want to enjoy a good meal with a sight.


5. Croatian Museum of Naïve Art

This museum is not just one of the best things to do in Zagreb with kids; it also happens to be one of the best museums in Croatia. The Croatian Museum of naïve art is home to many paintings and sculptures from folk artists all around Croatia.


6. Maksimir park

If you want a place where everyone can enjoy nature, I suggest paying a visit to Maksimir park. This park has a zoo and also one of Croatia’s two botanical gardens. There is also a playground for young children, which includes a petting zoo and many other activities. There is no fee to enter this beautiful park (there is one for the zoo), and it can be a very relaxing spot for parents who want to enjoy some time out in the fresh air while the kids play carefree.


7. Funicular up Sljeme

In addition to the funicular that goes from Jelačić square to the top of the hill, there is another one in Zagreb which takes you up Sljeme and its surrounding areas and offers spectacular views of the city with a beautiful valley backdrop. The ride only costs 20 kunas (about 3 dollars) for an adult and 15 kunas (about 2 dollars) for a child under ten years old.


8. Medvedgrad fortress ruins

If you want to learn more about Zagreb’s history, pay a visit to Medvedgrad fortress on the Sljeme mountain. Unfortunately, the only way to get there is by car, but Uber is always an affordable option in Croatia.


9. Crkva svetog Marka (St.Mark’s Church)

St. Mark’s church is one of Zagreb’s most beautiful churches, and it is also home to a number of gorgeous displays and exhibits in honour of various saints and events that have taken place there in the past.


10. Meštrović Gallery (Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art)

The Meštrović gallery houses some interesting sculptures, paintings and drawings from Croatia’s most prominent sculptor, Ivan Meštrović – including his famous Pietà sculpture, which can be seen at many other places around town. The museum also exhibits a number of foreign artists, which gives the children a chance to learn about art from different parts of the world.


How to Get to Zagreb

The best way to get to Zagreb is by plane or bus. We recommend flying as the journey by bus will take much longer, about 10 hours longer to be precise (from most parts of Europe), due to a greater number of stops and frequent changes en route.

We wouldn’t recommend travelling by train as Croatian railroads tend to be a little slower.

You can book your flights on all major flight booking websites and apps. Booking is quick and straightforward, with lots of options for different budgets – so it’s definitely worth checking out all your options before you make up your mind.


When is the best time to visit Zagreb?

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Zagreb, Croatia from above – The perfect cityscape

The best thing about Zagreb is that the city offers so much, no matter what time of year you choose to visit Zagreb!

The most magical time of the year is during December when Zagreb hosts a magical Christmas market, an ideal attraction for the kids. In fact, it was declared the most beautiful Christmas market in Europe.

Zagreb also features many green parks like Zrinjevac or Bundek, which make perfect locations for romantic walks in autumn or springtime. During summer, Zagreb has numerous festivals that are worth visiting, like Zagreb Summer Evenings, which offer an excellent idea for an evening walk with kids.


Where to Stay in Zagreb with Kids

There are two areas that will be a memorable experience for your kids: Gornji Grad and Donji Grad.

Donji Grad started out as a town built along the medieval walls of Zagreb. Today, it has been redeveloped into a cultural centre divided into three distinct neighbourhoods:

Upper Town (Gornji Grad), Lower Town (Donji Grad). There is much to see and do here for visitors of all ages. The upper part of the town contains museums like MUMOK (Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien) and the Mimara Museum, while Lower townhouses many galleries such as the Gallery of Contemporary Art and Strossmayer Gallery. We prepared a few accommodations for you, with excellent facilities for your kids!


Budget: Hotel Jadran

Hotel Jadran is the perfect choice for travellers on the budget, which offers rooms starting at just 40 euros per night. The hotel’s central location is its biggest draw since it is only a few minutes walk from the main train station and pedestrian shopping area of Ilica Street.

While the hotel caters to those on a strict budget, it still provides guests with modern amenities such as free Wi-Fi and complimentary toiletries. The hotel also provides a flat-screen TV, air conditioning and clean bathrooms.

While the hotel doesn’t have any restaurants or bars on-site, there are multiple places to eat just steps away from the entrance of the building. They do offer breakfast for the guests on-site. You can also find numerous attractions within close proximity for guests who want to spend time with their kids outside of the hotel.

The staff members at Hotel Jadran are known for providing excellent service to its guests. It is worth noting that Hotel Jadran does not offer cots, so those travelling with toddlers will either need to bring their own or ask for an additional bed.


Mid Range: Hotel Dubrovnik

Hotel Dubrovnik is a kid-friendly hotel in the centre of Zagreb with affordable rates and excellent service. They offer comfortable accommodation in a warm and friendly environment. Hotel Dubrovnik has been in business since 1929. and it all started with just 12 rooms. Today they have 237 rooms and suites decorated with artistic paintings on the wall and several modern interior design elements that give it a cool contemporary look.

You can choose between single or double bedded rooms, either with a view of the street or overlooking one of their three inner courtyards. All rooms are equipped with complimentary high-speed wireless internet access, desk/working area, cable TV, safe, hairdryer and spacious bathroom with shower and complimentary toiletries. The hotel offers free baby cots on demand (must be requested before arriving at the location).

The Hotel Dubrovnik is conveniently located in the city centre, and it’s surrounded by great attractions, landmarks and historical sites such as the Croatian Museum of Naïve Art, which exhibits paintings from many Croatian artists, most of them considered naive art. It’s only a minute walk to the Ban Jelacic square, where you can find beautiful architecture, such as St Mark’s Church with its 98-meter tower, which makes it the second-largest building in Zagreb. Also nearby are Lotrscak tower [built in the 13th century], The Cathedral [built in the 11th century] and Kaptol -the seat of the Archbishop of Zagreb.

The hotel offers free parking in an enclosed garage with CCTV. They have a terrace overlooking one of the inner courtyards perfect for enjoying a drink or snack with family and friends.

Hotel Dubrovnik has a traditional restaurant offering Croatian cuisine and Mediterranean dishes prepared by chefs who use fresh ingredients to create flavorful dishes. They also have a breakfast hall where they serve most typical Croatian breakfast items such as ham, salami, cheese, eggs, yoghurt, honey, different kinds of bread/cakes, cereals, fruit juices, and much more.


Splashing Out: Hotel Esplanade

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Hotel Esplanade, Zagreb

The Esplanade Zagreb, a five-star luxury hotel located right in the centre of Lower Town of the historical part of Zagreb, is an ideal place for business or pleasure trips. It offers its guests magnificent views of this beautiful city and numerous facilities that will make your stay pleasant and comfortable.

Although it may have luxurious rooms, spa & wellness area, award-winning restaurant & cocktail bar, parking garage or even one of largest suites in Eastern Europe – its biggest and by far most important asset, which will catch your attention as soon as you step foot inside the hotel is a kids club. Hotel Esplanade Zagreb makes an effort to make sure that guests with children feel at home and enjoy their stay just as much as everyone else.

To make your stay even more pleasant, one of the most important pieces of info to know before booking a room in the hotel is that kids under 11 years old are accommodated for free. Baby cribs are included free of charge but must be requested before arrival.


Where to Eat in Zagreb with Kids

Eat out with the kids in Zagreb? No problem!

don’t have to go hungry or suffer through expensive, subpar food just because you are dining with children. Whether you’re looking for a delicious all-you-can-eat buffet, family-friendly chain restaurants, local dishes or even international cuisine, there is something for everyone on this list of kid-friendly restaurants in Zagreb.   

You May Like: Zagreb 4 Hour Food Tour

PRI ZVONCU

Pri Zvoncu is a traditional restaurant in the heart of Zagreb, serving up some fantastic traditional Croatian dishes as well as international cuisine from all over the world. They have a kids menu for those picky eaters at home but beware that they may just let them order off of the adult menu! There is a pet-friendly patio and an indoor playground to keep children entertained while you enjoy your meal.

Price: 70-150kn/Adult, 30-90kn/Child

Address: Ilica 72, 10000 Zagreb (


VAGABUND

Vagabund is a cosy cafe in the Upper town portion of Zagreb. This local hotspot offers delicious food and friendly service. The food here is definitely upscale, but you can get a great meal without breaking the bank. For added kid-friendliness, there are plenty of board games to keep your children entertained while you enjoy your meal.   

Price: 30-50kn/ Adult, 20-30kn/ Child

Address: Antuna Mihanovica 12, 10000 Zagreb

  Zagreb Hours: Mon-SAT 10am-10pm, Sun 10am-9pm


L’ORO DI NAPOLI

   Do you want to indulge in some delicious Italian cuisine while visiting Zagreb? Look no further than L’oro di Napoli! It is an upscale Italian restaurant with plenty of child-friendly options on the menu, including pizza and pasta. The prices are a bit higher here but worth it for the quality of food. Your kids will love that they can get their own pizzas just like mommy and daddy!   

Price: 100-200kn/Adult, 60-120kn/ Child Address: Mesnićka ulica 6, 10000 Zagreb

Hours: Mon-Thurs 11am-10pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm, Sun 4pm-10pm


BATAK GRILL CVJETNI

For some incredibly delicious international food, Batak Grill Cvjetni is the place to go! It has a buffet option or menu for those of you who prefer to order off the menu. The prices are very affordable, and if you have space after your meal, there is an indoor playground right next door where the kids can burn off their energy before heading home!  

Price: 40-90kn/ Adult, 30-70kn/ Child Address: Ilica 4., 10000 Zagreb Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-10pm, Sat 10am-11pm, Sun 12pm-9pm

VINCEK SLASTIČARNICA

   Do you have a sweet tooth? Then Vincek Slastičarnica is the place for you! Try some of their homemade cakes, ice cream or even coffee. Fun fact! Did you know that it actually means “The Sweet Shop” in Croatian? Yum! There are plenty of sweets to go around, so bring all of your friends and family here for an entire party dedicated to sugar!  

Price: 10-20kn/ Adult, 0-10kn/ Child Address: Petrinjska 14, 10000 Zagreb Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-7pm, Sun 9am-5pm


How to Spend 2 Days in Zagreb with Kids

When travelling to Zagreb with kids, you’ll be spending a lot of time walking around the city. Plan for that with comfortable shoes!

One great thing about staying in Zagreb with kids is you will have lots of options to keep them entertained. They can play at the park or visit different museums and monuments.

If you’re a culture vulture, then Zagreb is a fantastic place for you to explore.

Day 1: 1 Day in Zagreb with Kids

 Morning: Zagreb’s architecture makes it a fantastic city to explore with kids. There are plenty of buildings and street sculptures they can run around. Be sure to explore Saint Mark’s and Jelačić Squares, as they offer a number of hidden streets ideal for exploration. Also, you can find most of the museums in the city centre.

One of the best ways to end a busy day in Zagreb with kids is by visiting Tkalčićeva Street, where you can take part in many fun activities like taking photos at The Dancing House, and children’s theatre plays.

Your little ones will love eating gelato and watching street performers at the Dolac Market while you shop and eat some traditional meals at local restaurants.

Afternoon: Zagreb is a beautiful city to explore on foot so you can enjoy all the sights. There are also lots of great cafes and restaurants, so after a day of sightseeing, your kids will have plenty of energy for going out for dinner!

Why not get a hop-on-hop-off bus ticket and minimise walking? View prices and details here.

There are also a number of Zagreb walking tours that are highly recommended:


Zagreb is a multicultural hub with tons to experience. If you’re travelling with kids, you can see the best of Zagreb in just two days.

Day 2:

Morning: You might start out your day exploring the historical part of town which surrounds Zrinjevac park . Kids are sure to love seeing all the statues depicting Croatia’s history; they may even want to sit on some of them! After breakfast, take them up to Mount Sljeme, where they can enjoy incredible views over Zagreb.

Afternoon: Depending on their age, there are plenty of activities that can keep children entertained throughout the day. For example, Teens and children who enjoy art may want to go see the Mimara Museum. And everyone is sure to love taking a ride on the Zagreb Eye!

After that, you can enjoy a nice dessert in Vincek Slastičarnica, which is close nearby. Kids will love the Samoborske kremšnite!


3 Days in Zagreb with Kids

Morning: Visit Jarun lake! It is surrounded by five different sports fields and numerous basketball courts. There are also three playgrounds, a skateboarding area, a beach volleyball court, two open-air stages for concerts during the summer season, cafes and restaurants. If you want to enjoy a nice walk next to this beautiful lake while enjoying fun activities with your kids, it’s a must-visit!

Afternoon: To complete a day in Zagreb with kids, don’t forget to visit The Art Pavilion, a gallery focused more on modern art, as well as the nearby Mestrovic Gallery. The Pavilion is a 20th-century building that hosts exhibitions of contemporary artists from all around the world. You can also enjoy concerts here throughout the year! Next to it is an important museum for Croatian sculptor Ivan Mestrović. In this place, you will be able to admire his most valuable works and learn more about his life story as well as Croatia’s history during different periods.


4 Days in Zagreb with Kids

Morning: Zagreb is a city with many activities and places where you can spend time with the kids. One such example would be visiting The Botanical Garden of Zagreb, which is not only educational but also fun for them.

The garden has about 5 000 different types of plants from all around the world, and it’s bound to keep your little ones busy and occupied for hours! It’s also small enough so that they won’t get too tired of walking around.

Afternoon: If you are visiting with kids between March and October, your visit should be planned so that it includes Zagreb Zoo. They run different types of coupons throughout the year, so you have to be aware of the season before purchasing your ticket. The best deal for families with children is a ‘Family Ticket’ which costs 100 kunas (15 euros) and offers free entry for two adults, two kids under 15 years old, one kid aged between 15-20, or one adult above 20 years old. This special ticket price is only valid from March through October. If you are visiting Zagreb from November through February, their prices are much higher, but they offer half-price entry on Wednesdays, which might be convenient if you plan it right.


Day Trips from Zagreb with Kids

The capital Zagreb is a great starting point for many day trips! If you haven’t taken advantage of it yet, taking your kids out will show them more than just your apartment they’ve only seen the inside of. 

Here are some suggestions about what can be done around Zagreb with kids.


Day Trip to Samobor from Zagreb – ATaste of Old Croatia

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Samabor, Zagreb

It’s not far from Zagreb at all – just 30 km west – so it’ll take you only an hour or so by car. Samobor is a picturesque little town that has managed to preserve its historical architecture, including narrow streets and baroque buildings. They have managed to keep the traditional look of the town while at the same time being on the main traffic route.

You’ll find many attractions in Samobor – visit the castle, square, museum or watch a local performance. Your kids can also enjoy some quality family time by having delicious ice cream available everywhere.


Plitvice Lakes National Park – One Day Trip from Zagreb

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Plitvice Lakes National Park

The most popular attraction in Croatia is, without a doubt, Plitvice Lakes National Park, which is located about 130 km away from Zagreb city centre. It’s easy to get there via organized tours or taxis, and it’s an ideal way to make it an all-day activity, especially if you are travelling with children since they are curious about nature.

You’ll find out that there are 16 lakes in Plitvice Lakes National Park, all of them filled with water originating from underground springs in this same area.    

There’s also a chance to discover some rare plant species and animal life, so bring the binoculars if you have them at hand. For more information, see this link.

Varaždin – Day Trip from Zagreb for History Lovers

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Varaždin, Croatia

Once an important city during medieval times, Varaždin is now home to many museums and art galleries. Its old town core is a beautiful sight, built during the time of Varaždin’s former glory.

If you’re lucky, you might find some street performers there too, so your kids can join them on their show or maybe even participate in one of them. Take a walk through the old town and enjoy the sight while you learn more about Varaždin’s interesting history.


Getting around Zagreb with Kids

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A tram in Zagreb

It’s usually much easier to get around Zagreb by tram, bus or taxi than it is by car.

Public transportation in Zagreb is widespread and reliable. The tickets are valid for all trams and buses. A single ride ticket costs 12kn (~1.6€) and is valid for one ride with unlimited transfers on trams, buses or within 15 minutes of walking distance. If you plan to take several rides over the same period of time, it’s better to buy a 30kn (~4€) day ticket which allows you to use all public transport inside the city limits for 24 hours.

Taxis are generally metered, but Uber is a far cheaper option (and accepts cards). You should generally avoid taking taxis near Trg bana Jelačića (Jelačić square) because they will try to charge you much higher rates – often tenfold what you would pay elsewhere. It should be noted that almost no Ubers have child seats, while regular taxis often do.

Renting a car is also a great option if you’re planning a lot of day trips. For rental options, use companies like Carwizz or Hertz.

If you want to be guided around the city, why not try the hop-on-hop-off bus? View prices here.


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