Grand Austro-Hungarian buildings, vibrant cafes and restaurants at every corner, and quirky museums – these are what await you Zagreb, Croatia’s capital city.
The best part? Zagreb is a city that knows how to chill.
Wherever you are in the city, luscious green parks and hiking trails are only a quick walk away. And even though the nearest coast is a couple of hours’ drive from Zagreb, it has this chilled-out island vibe that’s so refreshingly unique compared to other European capitals.
Here are the best places to stay in Zagreb!
Where to stay in Zagreb – best hotels and apartments
While you can easily blitz through most sights in 1-2 days, if you want to enjoy Zagreb as the locals do, take time to slow down and enjoy the city. I recommend staying at least 3 days and using it as a base for day trips to nearby landmarks.
Here are my quick recommendations on the best areas to stay in Zagreb.
- If you want to explore the city’s historical and cultural highlights, stay in Zagreb’s Lower Town. With its strategic location, you’ll be walking distance away from prominent highlights and traditional restaurants, making it the ideal base for first-timers. For a 1-2 day trip, this is the most convenient spot to get the most out of your holiday.
- If you want to mix your cultural sightseeing with hip nightlife scenes and foodie haunts, stay in Zagreb’s Upper Town. You’ll be a stone’s throw away from Tkalciceva, Zagreb’s “bar street”. Explore the bohemian cafes or book a wine-tasting day trip to fully experience the essence of life in Upper Town.
- If you love unique neighborhoods and a taste of local living, stay in Tresnjevka. For an off-the-beaten-path trip, the outskirts of Zagreb are bustling with unique shops, Instagram-worthy sights, and genuine local living.
- If you want to enjoy a relaxing city break, stay in Jarun. For nature-lovers, you’ll get to enjoy endless activities – from kayaking to swimming and biking. It’s home to Jarun Lake, mainly residential, and indeed a hidden gem that’ll leave you relaxed and refreshed.
Map – where to stay in Zagreb
Use this Google map to help you plan your trip to Zagreb. I added the best areas and hotels to stay in Zagreb, as well as the top sights to visit.
Zagreb’s Lower Town is a vast array of exciting art and spacious parks.
Cruise underneath the Grič Tunnel (a previous WWII bomb shelter), snap some shots, and make your way to the Austro-Hungarian architectural sites smack in the heart of central Zagreb, the Ban Jelacic Square.
Upon your explorations, you might stumble upon art exhibits, take a self-guided walking tour of the scenic Lenuci Horseshoe, or even wander through the 31,000-square-meter underground mall.
The Lower Town is the perfect option for first-timers as it’s a perfect cocktail of modern hotels, essential landmarks, and cultural experiences.
Best hotels and B&Bs in Zagreb’s Lower Town
★Top Pick: Hotel Park 45 is a short walk from the main square, has a delicious complimentary breakfast, and has a delightful staff. Their rooms are spacious, modern, and a bit whimsical. Its convenient location allows you to check out all the sites without having to go so far, helping you make the most out of your trip. Rooms start at EUR 90/night.
If you love a boutique experience, Casablanca Boutique Bed & Breakfast is the option for you. It has an elegant but modern look, crispy white rooms, and a spectacular breakfast display. Although it’s also only a 12-minute walk from the center, it has a peaceful green oasis that truly puts you in a relaxing mood after a long day out. Rooms start at EUR 110/night.
Last but not least is a cozy, stylish, and personalized stay at Indigo Centar Hotel. The beautifully decorated rooms, responsive staff, and impressive attention to detail will have you coming back each time you visit Zagreb! It’s a 15-minute walk to both the Archaeological and Museum of Broken Relationships, so if you plan to visit those places, this could be the perfect spot for you. Queen rooms start at EUR 70/night.
If you want to mix up your cultural sightseeing with hip nightlife scenes and foodie haunts, stay in Zagreb’s Upper Town
While the Upper Town (or Gornji Grad) doesn’t have as much wide open greenery, it makes up for that in bohemian cafes and buzzing nightlife experiences.
You can’t visit Upper Town and not mosey through Tkalcieceva – a street lined with bars, restaurants, and pubs. People-watch on the Agava restaurant terrace while enjoying a modernized Croatian meal, or savor your sweet tooth with a Lime Cremme from The Cookie Factory. Once you’re satisfied, go for a wine-tasting experience or check out the famous sculptor Ivan Mestrovic’s studio artwork.
Best hotels and apartments in Zagreb’s Upper Town
★Top Pick: Hotel Academia, located directly in the middle of Tkalciceva street, has stylish rooms, a pleasant ambiance, and is highly recommended for couples. It’s a rather large establishment fully equipped with mini-shops, a garage, scrumptious breakfast, and clean rooms. Prices for double rooms start at EUR 94/night.
Regal Residence B&B also has a great location and sports a classic and royal twist. The yellow exterior is welcoming, and their one-of-a-kind rooms ensure a personalized stay. Snuggle in with your own robes and slippers while you prepare a hot cup of tea in your kitchenette. For a restful night, make use of their handy blackout curtains!
Want a splash of luxury during your stay? The Pod Zidom Rooms screams elegance and luxury. Its within the city center, yet on a quieter street. They serve breakfast that’s locally sourced and extremely tasteful, and to top it off, you get your own balcony! The best things about this experience is their hospitable staff that really goes the extra mile to ensure an exceptional stay.
Tresnjevka – or as locals call it, ‘Cherryville’ – is a diverse mix of old Croatian culture and a new gentrified atmosphere. It dates back to the 19th century and locals flock here for its nostalgia. It’s rather unknown among tourists so if you’re up for an off-the-beaten-path adventure, staying at an apartment in Tresnjevka might suit you.
Explore their cute outdoor markets and buy anything imaginable – from seasonal fruits and vegetables to hand-made outfits. Whizz by the cozy Statka Prica sweet shop for a handmade kremšnita (cream cake) and a freshly brewed coffee.
Best apartments in Tresnjevka
★Top Pick: Apartment Spectre is ideal for longer stays. The tram stop nearby is your gateway to the center. The hosts are super helpful and thoughtfully prepare anything you might need during your trip. Depending on your booking month and length, nightly prices can go as low as EUR 45 per night.
Paula Apartment is another top choice for its location, amenities, and newly furnished look. Paula’s is just a 20-minute walk away from Cvjetni Square and the Zagreb Botanical Garden and is also close to the Technical Museum. Prices start at EUR 150 per night.
Jarun is named after Lake Jarun on the southern edge of the neighborhood. If you love outdoor activities, this is the perfect spot to row, paddle, surf, swim, or bike your heart out here.
Jarun is also home to Croatia’s biggest international contemporary open-aired music festival, INmusic, named “the hidden festival gem of Europe”.
Aside from water sports and indie concerts, Jarun is a haven for foodies as food trucks and eateries line the lake. And if you don’t go anywhere without your furry friend, you’re in luck! Dogs are welcome without any restrictions.
If Jarun has piqued your interest check out these accommodations.
Best accommodations in Zagreb’s Jarun area
★Top Pick: Hotel Jarun is a stone throw from Lake Jarun and has a fitness center, spacious rooms, and most importantly, comfy beds. Enjoy a cocktail at their downstairs bar or a tasty breakfast at their restaurant. This hotel is also an excellent choice for couples! Prices start at EUR 69 per night for double rooms.
For an unforgettable holiday, Lakeside Jarun Apartment is another spot on the list. It’s perfect for bigger groups and families – they offer apartments with 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. It has all the amenities you’d need for a short stay. Nightly prices start at EUR 70.
Blue Lake Apartment is for couples and small families, has a spectacular city view, vibrant interior fixtures, and has all the accessories you might need throughout your visit. For the cherry on top, Ana (the host) is exceptionally welcoming and easy-going!
Tell us: What are you most excited about your trip to Croatia?
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Ready to plan your trip? I’m working on a comprehensive travel guide to Zagreb right now, but if you need quick suggestions, please leave me a note below.
Plan to spend at least 3 days in Zagreb. If you love road trips, stay longer and use it as a base to explore nearby sights and have outdoor adventures.
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I hope this quick and easy guide helps you choose where to stay in Zagreb! You might be tempted to head straight to the coasts, but trust me, once you set foot in Zagreb, you’ll wish you had more days to explore.
If you need extra help planning your trip or you’re looking for custom recommendations, send me a message, and I’ll be happy to help you out.
Thanks for reading and happy travels to Croatia!