Enjoying Zagreb Outdoors

Zagreb is the capital of Croatia. The architecture here is famous for its 18th- and 19th-century Austro-Hungarian design. The city is divided into the upper town and lower town.

The Gothic, twin-spired Zagreb Cathedral and 13th-century St. Mark’s Church are located in the upper town. The splendid cobblestone streets and red-tiled roofs of the medieval Gornji Grad buildings is a great place to begin your sightseeing tour of the capital.

Tkalčićeva is pedestrian-friendly Street, lined with outdoor cafes and restaurants, as well as boutiques, which we loved to visit frequently. Other highlights include Kaptol Square, notable for its many early 17th-century buildings, and the Dolac fruit and vegetable market. A great place to pick up a delicious piece of fruit to enjoy while walking the city.

Ban Jelačić square is the main square in town located in the lower town. You will find many shops, restaurants, museums, and parks in the lower part of the city.

Most of the museums were closed while we were here for 6o days because of the earthquake they had in March 2020 and the COVID – 19 situations. 

So, Philipp and I focused on places we could visit, such as the Botanical Garden, Jarun lake, Maksimir Park, and Bundek Park, where the locals spend quality time with their loved ones. 

Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden (Botanicki Vrt) covers 50,000 square meters built as a research area for Zagreb University’s Faculty of Botany. On the grounds, you will find a pond with an ornamental bridge. The pond was filled with numerous aquatic plants, fish, and turtles. It is in the center of town, which makes a great place to take a relaxing walk.  During a hot summer day, the large trees and some 10,000 different plant species, making for a pleasant escape from the heat. Zagreb has many beautiful parks and green areas, including the Botanical Garden. The garden is part of a series of parks, which form the city’s “Green Horseshoe” in Donji Grad.

Jarun lake

Jarun lake, known to locals as the Zagreb sea, is located South of the city center. The development began in 1970. In 1987 the Jarun sports and leisure center was developed where sporting activities and around the lake a “Walk of fame” with the pictures and biography information of great Croatian sports athletes. This area encompasses about 983 acres.

It allows people to take time off to sunbathe, row, paddle, sail, or swim during the typical day. The lake has a track that allows joggers, bikers, roller skaters, and skateboarders to enjoy the lake. There are many cafes where people can enjoy a drink or a bite to eat. The ice cream trucks are all around for anyone wanting to enjoy a typical snack here of ice cream. Several nightclubs welcome people late at night; it is considered a very safe area of Zagreb. It is the home of the INmusic festival.

Maksimir Park

Maksimir Park is a beautiful green space covering almost 780 acres. It reminds you of an old English garden. The park has many paths and trails and lakes, wooded areas, and flower gardens, making it an excellent place for families to relax or have a picnic during their free time. The local zoo is part of this park. It is the oldest and largest park in the Baltic region. Locals refer to this park as a living monument named after Bishop Maksimilijan Vrhovac, responsible for its construction in 1794.

Bundek Lake

Bundek lake is a park with a large green area for families and friends to enjoy. It has ten barbecue areas, an excellent place for a picnic. Several playgrounds for kids to play in. You will find two volleyball and handball sand court and a great walking path for walking, Nordic walking, and running. The park is open all year round to everyone. The park extends from the Liberty Bridge to the Youth Bridge, two famous bridges in Zagreb.

The park has two lakes, the big lake, and the small lake. The big lake is great for sunbathing, fishing, and swimming; it even has ramps for disabled people to access it. You will find a stage on the big lake that can hold thousands of spectators for numerous cultural events. The small lake is home to numerous plants and wildlife species.

One other placed we loved to walk and visit Mirogoj Cemetery, so do not miss it when here in Zagreb. 

None of the green spaces or parks lack benches; they are everywhere for people to take a break and enjoy their surroundings. Zagreb citizens are proud of their parks, gardens which they treat with respect. You never see trash or litter in any of their parks. We loved our time in Zagreb.

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