While spots like Dubrovnik and the Croatian islands get a ton of cred for being among the most stunning places to visit in Croatia, don’t overlook the country’s eastward capital! Zagreb has beautiful Austro-Hungarian architecture with picturesque churches and cathedrals, historic towers boasting amazing views, and luscious parks bursting with green. From St. Marks to Ben Jelačić Square to hidden passages and cute cafes, here are the most Instagrammable places in Zagreb.
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Where to Stay in Zagreb
Here are our recommendations for where to stay in Dubrovnik. We’re in the process of creating comprehensive guides on where to stay in other Croatian cities, but for now, we recommend checking out Booking.com as early as possible or taking a look at the following places to stay in Zagreb.
Budget accommodation in Zagreb: If you are looking for a cool apartment to stay in town, with sun-drenched spaces, modern furnishing, and even a barbecue, we recommend Apartment Spectre, it has great reviews on Booking.com. Another option is Centar Guesthouse, just steps from the main square, you can read reviews and book here.
Mid-rage places to stay in Zagreb: If you can spend a bit more, then we suggest you check Timeout Heritage Hotel Zagreb, in the heart of the lower town, here you can check prices and reviews. If you prefer the comfort of a rental home, discover Houzz21, not far from the city zoo. You can book a stay here.
Luxury accommodation in Zagreb: Upgrade your visit to Zagreb by staying at the Art Hotel in the center of town. From this hotel, guests praise the friendly staff and amazing location, check it here. Alternatively, check the newly opened Manda Heritage Hotel here.
The Most Instagrammable Hotels in Zagreb
If you love photography, whether you’re an amateur or a pro, you’ll love these stunningly Instagrammable Zagreb hotels.
https://www.instagram.com/p/Br5ZLKTnDQ_/ Located across from the train station and just under a kilometer from many of Zagreb’s most important sites, the Hotel Esplanade is a five-star luxury hotel and an iconic art nouveau landmark. https://www.instagram.com/p/BsslVRhHXcP/
Palace Hotel Zagreb
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bqp4bvvBD_a/ Located in an art nouveau palace, the four-star Palace Hotel Zagreb is right out of a Wes Anderson dreamscape. https://www.instagram.com/p/BrWV_3rlLK8/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BdZ7Le1g_FD/ If you’re looking for a more modern vibe with your hotel pics, check out Hotel 9, a new uber-popular boutique hotel. https://www.instagram.com/p/BpBnPhPnRJa/
Most Instagrammable Places in Zagreb
Here are our favorite Zagreb photo spots and how to find them.
St. Mark’s Square
https://www.instagram.com/p/BW8eqi5D_D7/ St. Mark’s Church, with its colorful tiled roof, just might be the most iconic spot in the city. A stop at St. Mark’s Square to see the beautiful parish church is a must-see while in Zagreb, but it’s more than just a beautiful photo opp.
Located in Upper Town (Gornji Grad), the square is the site of the inauguration ceremonies for the President of Croatia, and many of the buildings on the square are important governmental institutions.
Some historic performers dress up and visit the square from time to time, so you may also get a glimpse into Croatia’s history while you’re here.
To photograph the square sans tourists, come early in the morning or closer to sunset. You may be lucky during the off-season and find it empty during other times, but go early just to be safe.
If you’re interested in seeing St. Mark’s Square while touring all of Zagreb’s most important sites (some of which are also on this list) then I would suggest going on a walking tour of the city. That was how I first explored Zagreb, then I went back later on my own to see a little more.
This Zagreb Walking Tour is similar to the tour I went on except that it also includes a funicular ride. The old part of Zagreb is incredibly walkable, and it was awesome to get the history and context of the places as I went.
Location: Trg Sv. Marka 5, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
https://www.instagram.com/p/BuWFgu5AcM9/ Dolac Market, the most famous of the markets of Zagreb, is a fantastic shopping opportunity and a great place to buy you Croatian souvenirs from your trip. But it’s so much more than that! The market is also an amazing place for people-watching and photography opportunities. Between the people, the produce, and the iconic red umbrellas, you’ll be snapping away to your heart’s content. https://www.instagram.com/p/Bs4wAMsHQcf/ Dolac Market is included on many of the city’s walking tours, but you can also come by on your own. Open daily, things slow down considerably at 1 pm, so come early if you want to get a photo of the place when it’s buzzing with activity!
Location: Dolac 2, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Some people Instagram photos of the 13th-century tower itself, but my favorite place to take photos from are the top of the tower. If you climb the 106 steps to the top, you’re rewarded with views of the rooftops of St. Mark’s Square from one side, Zagreb Cathedral from a different side, and to the train station from a third.
Standing at the top is one of my absolute favorite memories of the city.
Location: Tomićeva ul. 9, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Zagreb Eye (Zagreb 360 Observation Deck)
While Lotrščak Tower is my favorite place for panoramic photography in Zagreb, the Zagreb eye is a close second. There are two basic kinds of photos taken up here that I love.
The first is more meta and includes people in front of the bars so you get a feel for the weird industrial-meets-charming views that you get when you’re up here.
Of course, you’ll also want the traditional photo of Ben Jelacic Square from above, sans bars. Pay attention to the time of day, as the light changes dramatically throughout the day.
Location: Ilica 1A, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Zrinjevac Park & Strossmayera Park
https://www.instagram.com/p/Bu_ueRdlWAj/ These two parks located across the street from one another are both beautiful, but the most photographed spot here is the beautiful gazebo and the gardens.
Location: Trg Nikole Šubića Zrinskog 7, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Ben Jelačić Square
This famous Zagreb square is essentially the city’s living room, with locals using it to meet up with each other for nights out on the town or just to grab a coffee. While here, grab your iconic photo of the statue, but don’t stop there!
Because it is such a popular spot for locals to meet up if you do a bit of polite people-watching you can grab some fantastic shots. The key here is to be patient and anonymous (meaning don’t be a weirdo or a creep).
Location: Trg bana Josipa Jelačića, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Britanac Flea & Antique Market
While Dolac Market is the most famous in the city, Britanac (or Britanski) Market is a little more off-the-path but worth it. Specializing in your more traditional flea market goods, you can get amazing shots of vintage Zagreb.
Give yourself time to do some people-watching here as well since markets are a fantastic place to get street photography of people genuinely enthusiastic to be out in the city.
Location: Britanski trg 3, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
So many of Zagreb’s cafes are Instagrammable, so we had to narrow it down to just including four on our list (though our friend Megan has a whole Insta-guide to Zagreb’s cute cafes).
Up first is Botaničar, whose modern-lush-meets-vintage-botany feel is the perfect place to relax. If you’re visiting Zagreb in one day or even in 2 days, then this is a must-see place to add to your itinerary
Location: Trg Marka Marulića 6, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Another stunning cafe is the all-pastel-everything JUTRO. Go inside for the ‘gram, but think relaxing in the garden on a warm day is a can’t-miss Zagreb moment.
Location: Podbrežje 10/2, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
If you come to Zagreb and don’t photograph the spectacular yellow art nouveau Art Pavilion, were you even in Zagreb? The answer is obviously no. But don’t just get one basic pic.
There are so many great angles to get, and bonus points if you’re there when the flowers are in bloom!
Location: Trg kralja Tomislava 22, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
To be honest, I used to skip visiting Botanical Gardens until I went to Belgrade, and it changed my life. Now I’m obsessed with them! The Botanical Gardens in Zagreb are beautiful, with a red Japanese bridge and luscious green spaces.
If you are interested in taking some great panoramic views of the area, it can be a good idea to join a sightseeing tour like this one, where you can enjoy some aerial views of Zagreb.
Location: Trg Marka Marulića 9A, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Zagreb Cathedral is one of the most famous sites in the city, but it’s constantly under construction so photographs from above tend to be a bit on the disappointing side.
I love this pic taken from street level because it de-emphasizes the construction at the top and shows off the beautiful street-level view.
Location: Cathedral of Zagreb, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
The number one place to visit when in Zagreb for colorful houses and basking in the charm of the Upper Town, Tkalčićeva Street is uber touristy but that’s part of the fun.
Come for a pizza and a beer, stay for the architecture and the beautiful winding footpath.
While here, don’t miss taking a picture with Zagreb’s second most famous statue, the popular Marija Juric Zagorka. Join a sightseeing walking tour of Zagreb like this one to make sure that this street is part of the places you will visit.
Location: Ul. Ivana Tkalčića 33, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
This historic nineteen-century cemetery has a beautiful arcade and cupolas, so grab your stunning shots.
Afterward, take the time to visit the beautiful graves and memorials in this interfaith cemetery that is a beautiful and spiritual retreat from the city.
Location: Aleja Hermanna Bollea 27, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
This tunnel was used as an air-raid shelter during World War II. Sometimes it looks like this photo, a hauntingly bare and intriguing space. At other times, it is decorated with funky modern art projects that make the space both interesting and colorful.
You can visit on your own, but if you’re interested in the site’s history you might prefer to see it as part of the Croatia Homeland War Tour.
You can also discover the past of Croatia during the years of Socialism with this 3-hour back to Socialism tour, it will guarantee perfect retro snapshots of the city.
Location: Mesnička ul. 19, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
The star of the Oktagon, a gorgeous art nouveau passageway that connects Petar Preradović Square with Ilica street, the beautiful (and aptly named) octagonal stained glass window in the ceiling.
The shot of the Oktagon with light pouring through is an iconic Zagreb photography spot.
However, the passage is more than just its window. The yellow walls are also beautiful leading to the doorway to the sunlight down the hall.
Location: Ilica 5, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Famous for the INmusic festival, Jarun Lake is located on the outskirts of Zagreb. A popular place for watersports and general outdoor leisure, it’s a beautiful place for water photography.
It’s also a great place to get some beautiful close-ups and macro shots of nature. An afternoon here is never a bad idea.
Location: Jezero Jarun, 10110, Zagreb, Croatia
Zagreb’s first public park is one of the first public parks in Europe. Maksimir lake is a popular Zagreb photography location, and turtles are living at the lake that you can see if you get lucky. Of course, this beautiful lakeside pavilion is over-the-top charming.
Come here for the ‘gram, but stay for the dogs. The Maksimir dog park is frequented by some of the smallest and cutest Zagrebians.
While my dog doesn’t approve of me looking at all these cute Croatian puppies, you’re free to go and meet them in person.
Location: Jezero Jarun, 10110, Zagreb, Croatia
Gradec Whale by Etienne
Probably the most famous piece of Zagreb street art, the Gradec Whale by Etien is a building-sized blue whale mural. Don’t come to Zagreb and miss it! It was listed by the Montreal Mural Festival as one of the top ten in the world.
Commissioned by the Rendes-Vouz street art festival, the mural was done by the French artist Etienne. He returned later and added a turtle nearby.
Strossmayerovo šetalište, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
One of the most new-school meets old-school streets in the city, Ilica is lined with beautiful pre-war buildings above with modern shops at street level.
The trams here make for a great photo opportunity, especially if you can get them from the right angle and in the right light.
This is also an excellent place to walk around and enjoy yourself, so if street-style photos are your thing, here’s a great place to come and take some.
Location: Ilica 30, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Nothing gets a thirsty Instagrammer’s blood going like an effing cafe table where the seats are effing swings. It’s both genius and whimsical, which is Instagram crack.
Oh, they’re also super into latte art. #latteartgoals
Location: Ul. grada Vukovara 52 e, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
This beautiful fountain is great all day long, but it’s especially good at golden hour and right after when the light and the water play off of each other.
Location: Fountains, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Staircase off Tkalciceva
For a different take on Zagreb street art photography, check out the beautiful red graffiti wall on this staircase off of Tkalciceva street.
Location: just off Tkalciceva
Melin Cafe is teal wall heaven. These chairs? Vintage-y. Quirky. Tattered. It’s everything I love about a beautiful space that has character and the weight of history.
Location: Kožarska ul. 19, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
Autonomous Cultural Center Medika
This former factory has been turned into a street art gallery with quirky exhibitions and walls plastered with gorgeous murals. They also organize an annual street art and graffiti festival.
Location: Pierottijeva ul. 11, 10000, Zagreb, Croatia
What to Pack for Croatia
We have an entire Croatia packing list, but make sure you don’t leave these items behind! A Guidebook – While travel blogs are great, we also definitely see the benefit of having a good paper guidebook in hand to refer to in your on-the-ground travel. We recommend the Lonely Planet Croatia book.
Mosquito repellent: Mosquitos in the summer can be nasty! You can bring ones with DEET or without DEET, or I love having some of these mosquito repellent wipes that I can keep in my bag in case I suddenly start to get swarmed and don’t have my regular repellent with me.
Sunscreen: You can buy sunscreen in Croatia, but it’s likely cheaper at home or bought online in advance. I love this solid Neutrogena sunscreen. Who doesn’t love a good solid for liquid swap? Great to keep in your bag without worrying about sunscreen explosions.
Water shoes: Pebble beaches in Croatia are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the pebble seafloor is what creates that gorgeous deep turquoise-colored water that is hard to beat, as the lack of sand means you have incredibly clear water. However, on the other hand, pebble beaches and rocky shores can be downright painful!
Our friend recently cut his foot on a rocky beach in Croatia; had he been wearing water shoes, he’d have avoided such unpleasantness! We suggest these unisex water shoes. They’re not sexy, but they will make your trips to the beach far more pleasant!
A secure backpack: We both carry the CitySafe backpack by PacSafe not only on our travels but in our day-to-day lives. It’s cute, it’s functional, it’s comfortable, and it’s secure. We’re talking about interlocking zippers (which you can then put through a second clasp for two layers of security), slash-proof wire mesh construction, and RFID blockers to keep your data safe.
It’s neutral enough to be unisex, it’s roomy enough to fit a small laptop, a large camera, and tons of odds & ends, and it fits under the plane seat in front of you. We’re obsessed. Check it out for yourself!
Grayl Water Filter: Tap water is generally safe to drink in Croatia, but if you’re not used to drinking tap water from other countries, the typically harmless bacteria found in all water can cause some gut irritation.
To both be safe and not buy dozens of plastic water bottles, you can get a reusable water bottle that comes with a water filter so that you can stick to the tap water and reduce your plastic waste. If you’ll be traveling outside of the major tourist centers, check if the water is potable locally.
Sea bands: If you get seasick easily, pack some Sea bands or seasickness pills so you don’t miss out on the best parts of Croatia – being on the water! A trip to Croatia isn’t complete without a quick boat trip, so make sure you’re prepared to enjoy it to the fullest!
More Croatia Travel Resources
Headed to Croatia? We have some great travel resources to help you with your trip. First read our guide to planning a trip to Croatia, which covers visas, budgets, vaccines, and much more.
Of course, if you’re coming to Croatia you’ll have lots of opportunities to shop! Read our guide to shopping in Croatia so you know which souvenirs are truly local gems. If you’re heading to Croatia in winter, why not check this guide to Dubrovnik Christmas Market and the Dubrovnik Winter Festival? It’s insanely helpful!
If this will be one of your first trips in the Balkans, check out our massive list of things to know before traveling the Balkans as well as our Balkan bus, road trip, and itinerary guides.
We publish new content nearly every day! Bookmark our pages on Croatia and the Balkans so that you don’t miss out on any new info or resources that we publish before your trip!
Finally, Don’t Forget Your Travel Insurance!
I’m sure you’re aware that travel insurance is essential for Croatia and travel in general!
This is especially true when you’re talking about traveling with your camera and smartphone because you don’t want your trip ruined if they get lost, stolen, or fall in the lake!
Allison and I have both been paying customers of World Nomads for the last three years. We love the peace of mind it gives us in case of emergencies, accidents, illnesses, theft, or trip cancellation or disruption.
While Croatia is perfectly safe to travel around, there’s always a risk inherent in everyday travel, so it’s better to play it safe. The saying goes “if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel” is true!
Pin this Zagreb Instagram Guide for Your Trip
Stephanie has been living in and traveling around the Balkans for the past three years. She’s written for National Geographic Online, appeared on CNN Arabic and in the New York Times, and ridden more Balkan buses than is good for a person.