Zagreb is not as tiny as the capitals of Slovenia or Serbia, but it’s still pocket-sized. However, rest assured, you won’t be bored; this truly is a vibrant city. Street performance artists, culinary extravaganzas, beautiful surroundings and a nightlife to remember: Zagreb has everything. It doesn't matter whether you arrive by train - Zagreb has great railway connections, or by plain - the new Zagreb Airport called Franjo Tudjman will bring about even better airline deals, this city you can explore with every means of transportation you want.
If you’re a fan of huge capitals like London or Mexico City, you will find this city small and perhaps not as shiny, but the secret is to take it all in. Talk to the locals and they will happily offer their best personal advice on where to eat, where to go dancing or which vineyard you should visit.
Indulge yourself with massage, high-class meals and shopping because while there, your money can stretch far, if you know where to look. But of course, when seen with the heart, this city is very rich – in history, culinary diversity and vibrant energy.
Consider a car hire in Zagreb as the offer is big and prices accessible, but more importantly having a car in Zagreb will allow you to explore the surrounding cities, hills, and spa's and use your time in Zagreb most efficiently.
Basic info and car hire in Zagreb
- Location: The capital of Croatia – northern part
- Population: 790.000 (2011)
- Official language: Croatian
- Currency: Kuna
- Weather: The climate is between humid subtropical and Mediterranean. Hot, moderately dry summers (above 77 °F / 25 °C) and mild, wet winters (around 46 °F / 8°C). Spring and autumn are pleasant.
- Holidays in Zagreb: For public holidays in Croatia click here »
- Internet coverage: Wi-Fi coverage in Croatia is improving all the time. Most public places, hotels, restaurants and cafés offer Wi-Fi.
- Car hire in Zagreb: The most common pick-up location for rental cars is Zagreb Airport. Prices for hiring a car in Zagreb are about 13.5 £ / day (15€ / day) in spring and summer and 9 £ / day (10€ / day) in autumn and winter. Keep in mind that prices change frequently. To ensure you have the lowest car hire price, make a car booking from 3 to 8 weeks prior to your vehicle collection. Alternatively, it's possible to get a great last minute car hire deal also. Find a great car hire deal in Zagreb!
Driving in Zagreb
Navigating the roads is simple once you get use to its signs and tram rails. The roads are well maintained and drivers are ordinarily tolerant of tourists, even though they are a bit more passionate than drivers in northern and central Europe. Keep in mind that the maximum BAC level while driving is 0.05 % for drivers of private vehicles.
Although street parking exsits, don’t rely on it if you’re in a hurry. It's better to park at the hotel and then use the tram, a great alternative to buses.
- Age limits: 21 (In order to hire a car, some car hire companies require that a driver has held a driving licence for at least one year).
- International Driving Permit: Not necessarily but highly recommended. Check with your car hire agent.
- Additional papers: ID (passport), a valid driving licence and the proof of insurance (It is advisable to buy insurance at the car hire company, in case your policy does not cover your insurance while driving in Zagreb.)
- Additional requirements: A warning triangle is compulsory and a reflective jacket must be kept within reach of the driver inside vehicle.
- Children in the car: Children under the age of 12 are not permitted to travel in the front seat of the vehicle. Children between the ages of 2 and 5 must wear an appropriate child restraint for their age and, if necessary, a booster seat.
- Driving side of the road: Right.
- Lights: Dipped headlights are recommended day and night and must be used not only at night, but also in poor daytime visibility.
- General speed limits: 80 mph (130kph) on motorways, 70 mph (110kph) on urban motorways, 55 mph (90kph) on other roads outside populated areas, 30 mph (50kph) in populated areas.
- Parking suggestions: Parking is allowed only in white marked spaces, while yellow marked spaces are forbidden.
What to see in Zagreb
The Upper Town has delightful hilly, narrow streets with cafes, shops and bars filling the 18th century buildings.
The Lower Town is more urbanized, but the long line of parkland that stretches from the train station to the town center makes for a nice stroll in any season. For art lovers, the Lower Town is where you’ll find most museums, including the Strossmayer Gallery, the Mimara, and the Archaeological Museum.
Our favourite spots
Ban Josip Jelačić Square
This is the heart of Zagreb, named after an army general, Count Jelačić, whose sculpture is also the focal point of this square. You’ll also find cafés, shops and restaurants.
Cars can be parked five minutes away at Cvjetni trg garage.
More parking suggestions here »
This is one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Europe. On top of that, it’s also an open art gallery and a beautiful park.
Cars can be parked outside the cemetery.
Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
You simply have to visit this cathedral, also referred as the Zagreb Cathedral. Inside you'll find the tomb of Cardinal Stepinac, which contains a sculpture by Croatia’s most celebrated sculptor, Ivan Mestrovic. He also contributed to St Mark’s Church, one of the most famous sights in Zagreb.
Cars can be parked only three minutes away at Lanov trg garage.
If you wish to take in the entire city, climb the Lotrscak Tower. If you don’t want to walk, take the ‘uspinjaca’, a funicular railway, located immediately below the Lotrscak Tower. The tower was constructed in 1888 and is the oldest public transport system in Zagreb.
Cars can be parked three minutes away at Cvetni trg garage.
For more parking suggestions click here »
Hotels in Zagreb
As the name suggests, this centrally located hotel is a great choice! Parking is available.
Art Hotel Like
Another downtown hotel with available parking and great atmosphere.
The Westin Zagreb
This luxury hotel is only a two-minute walk from Mimara Museum.
This hotel is located near the city's beautiful old town. Parking is available. No more words needed.
Drive your rental car around Zagreb
While in Zagreb, explore the nearby places as well. If you have planned ahead and hired a car in Zagreb, all you have to do is read our suggestions and drive off! If you haven't hired a vehicle yet, hire one while in you're there. You won't be sorry.
Lake Jarun is about 6mi (10km) from the capital, and it offers great swimming, canoeing and other activities, not to mention the breathtaking views of the landscape all around! It's also the location of the popular INmusic Festival held in the summer.
Samobor is a peacuful town, only 18mi (30km) west of Zagreb. Park your rental and walk the main square, visit the castle and try their famous vanilla and custard cream cake, known as Samoborska kremšnita!
You can drive to Varaždin, a rough 50mi (80km) north of Zagreb. This place often goes unnoticed by turists. There you'll find a fortress, a palace and a cathedral which are all a must-see.
If you want to travel to the coast, then Rijeka is the closest option, and it's about 100mi (160km) from Zagreb. But beware, it's a popular port town, and the beach is almost always packed. If your main goal is relaxing on the beach, then Opatija, Crikvenica and Novi Vinodolski are a lot more promissing, if you don't want to feel crammed. These places are all located close to Rijeka.
Where to eat, drink and party in Zagreb
If you have never tasted Croatian traditional dishes, this is the place for experimenting. The traditional Croatian restaurants serve dishes, such as the fuzi with black truffles, hearty soup with beans and maize called manistra od bobica, štruklji (savoury boiled cottage cheese roulade), or the Hvarska pogaca.
Major events and festivals in Zagreb
This is Croatia's biggest international open-air festival! Everybody who loves indie rock, electronica and heavy metal will definitely have a blast.
This popular festival hosts global selection of non-Hollywood production.
Thi festival joins the leading food manufacturers, wine producers, and regional organizations that show their latest tricks and promote the best wines and cooking ingredients in Croatia.
This traditional Christmas Fair takes place in the centre of Zagreb, on the streets close to Ban Jelačić Square. The stalls have everything from souvenirs, gifts, delights and more, along with a festive spirit!