With numerous green parks, lots of fountains, events and festivals, summer is a great time to visit Zagreb. The city is more quiet than usual during that time of the year. But, it still offers plenty to do and see to its visitors. If you’re wondering what to do in the Croatian capital, here is my guide with fun things to do in Zagreb in the summer.
10 Fun things to do in Zagreb in the summer
Most of Zagreb’s residents spend their summer vacation on the Croatian coast. So, the city gets more chilled and peaceful, and people get in a holiday mood over the warmer part of the year. However, the city gets even more vibrant during July and August, and I would definitely recommend visiting it. Here are my recommendations as a local for some fun things to do in Zagreb in the summer.
⤷ Read more: Zagreb City Guide – Tips from a local
1 – Relax at Zrinjevac park
Address: Trg Nikole Šubića Zrinskog, Zagreb
Zagreb is home to numerous beautiful parks, especially in the old city centre. That part of the city is called the green horseshoe. The word green refers to a large number of vast parks there. One of the largest and most beautiful parks located very close to Zagreb’s main square is Zrinjevac.
It’s filled with lovely fountains, statues of some important people from the Croatian past, numerous benches, a meteorological clock and a large musical pavilion (with regular music performances in it). During the summer months, many events are happening in Zrinjevac park. And you’ll often find pop-up shops selling ice cream, cocktails or snacks there. Visiting Zrinjevac is definitely among the fun things to do in Zagreb in the summer.
2 – Have ice cream at Amelie
Address: Vlaška ulica 6, Zagreb (Amelie)
After the whole day of strolling around Zagreb on a warm summer day, take a break and enjoy some ice cream. My favourite ice cream shop in Zagreb (and I say that as a huge ice cream lover living in Zagreb) is Amelie.
They have a good quality ice cream with some very unusual flavours. My favourite flavour there is salty caramel. Amelie is located in the city centre and have lovely terrace where you can sit and relax.
⤷ Read more: Ultimate Croatia Travel Guide
3 – Visit Strossmartre
Address: Strossmayerovo šetalište, Zagreb
Another place you shouldn’t miss if you’re visiting Zagreb in summer is Strossmartre. It’s a street festival happening throughout the whole summer. Located in the oldest neighbourhood of Zagreb, called the Upper Town, you’ll have a wonderful view of Zagreb while having a cold drink, listening to music performances or browsing through the artworks of local designers and artists.
The best way to get there is by taking the Zagreb funicular (the shortest funicular in the world). Once at the upper station, turn left, and you’ll be at the entrance of the Strossmartre. The festival takes up the whole street, and you’ll immediately see it. And yes, you’re guessing it right, it was named after the Montmartre neighbourhood in Paris.
4 – Explore the Botanical garden
Address: Trg Marka Marulića 9a, Zagreb
When the temperatures get high, one of the best places to visit during the summer in Zagreb is the Botanical garden. Being a green oasis located right in the city centre, it’s a lovely place to cool down. Founded back in 1889, today it’s protected as a cultural site and home to numerous local and exotic plants.
You’ll need to pay the entrance fee to get into the Botanical garden in Zagreb. However, it’s a symbolical price of around 1,5 euros.
⤷ Read more: Best places to visit in Croatia
5 – Zagreb Timemachine
Address: Various locations in Zagreb city centre
While wandering the cobbled streets of Zagreb during the summer months, you’ll often stumble upon people dressed as historical characters. A couple dressed in the 19th-century clothes, a lady taking the fresh vegetables to the market or the historical policeman, you’ll see them all.
During the summer in Zagreb, a manifestation called Zagreb’s Timemachine (Zagrebački vremeplov in Croatian) is organised with numerous small events happening in the city centre. My favourite is the ‘Changing of the Guards’ starting each Saturday at 11 am in front of the Ethnographic museum. Here is the link to all the events taking place within this program.
⤷ TIP: If you’d like to learn more about Zagreb’s past, join some of its guided tours, such as this 2,5 hours long walking tour with a funicular ride.
6 – Relax at Bundek & Jarun lakes
Address: Ulica Damira Tomljanovića (Bundek) & Aleja Matije Ljubeka (Jarun)
Zagreb is quite a liveable city because of its two lakes and large green areas around them. Especially during the summer months, locals spend a lot of time at them. Jarun lake is larger and perfect for rowing, running or walking around it. The path around the lake is 6,3 kilometres (around 4 miles) long.
Bundek lake is smaller but still very nice for a light stroll, having a picnic or a drink with friends. You’ll find many cafes around both those lakes. Croatians love to make barbeque in summer. So, you’ll also find many barbeque tables in both Jarun and Bundek, and you’ll only need to bring your grill.
⤷ TIP: After seeing all those cyclists at Bundek and Jarun, check out this Zagreb Bike Tour if you’d like to explore Zagreb while riding a bicycle.
7 – Tuškanac Summer Stage
Address: Dubravkin put 3, Zagreb
Tuškanac Summer Stage is an open-air cinema located in one of the most charming parks in Zagreb. It’s open in the evenings during the summer. You can find the program on their website (here is the link) and pick up the movie you like.
And you don’t have to worry about the language issues because movies aren’t dubbed in Croatia. It’s always played in the movie’s original language and has Croatian subtitles. So, you can just sit, relax, watch a movie and enjoy summer in Zagreb.
⤷ Read more: Exploring the Hrvatsko zagorje region of Croatia
8 – Climb the Lotrščak Tower
Address: Tomićeva ulica 9, Zagreb
Lotrščak tower is one of the most famous landmarks in Zagreb. Each day precisely at noon, the Grič Cannon shots from there. However, something that’s not that well known about it is that it offers one of the best views of Zagreb.
It could be a bit cold to climb the top of that medieval tower in winter, so I definitely recommend it as one of the top things to do during the summer in Zagreb. Often there are some exciting exhibitions displayed inside the tower, so you can enjoy them while there, too.
⤷ TIP: Behind the Lotrščak tower, you’ll find one of the most unique museums in Zagreb – the Museums of Broken Relationships. Here is the link to its online entrance ticket.
9 – Climb the Medvednica Mountain
Address: Bliznec 70, Zagreb & website with more info
Another area for relaxing at the edge of Zagreb is Medvednica mountain. It’s a very popular place among the residents of Zagreb. And absolutely one of the best things to do in Zagreb during the summer.
You’ll find a variety of hiking trails on it, from the easier ones to the most challenging ones. The easiest one, suitable for almost anyone, is trail number 13 (Šestine – Kraljičin zdenac). However, my favourite is trail number 14 (Gračansko Dolje – Sljeme), also known as Leustek’s trail (Leustekova staza in Croatian). It’s a bit more challenging, but anyone in decent physical shape could do it.
At the end of most hiking trails at Medvednica mountain, you’ll find restaurants serving delicious traditional food from the Zagreb region. Try some štrudle, štrukli or ask for the food recommendations at the restaurants. I always feel these restaurants are the places where you can feel the traditional Zagreb spirit the best.
⤷ TIP: Although not the highest one, be aware that Medvednica is still the mountain, and you should prepare well for it. Wear hiking shoes, have at least one litre of water per person with you and check yourself for ticks after you’re back.
10 – Have a drink in one of the bars at Tkalčićeva street
Address: Ulica Ivana Tkalčića, Zagreb
Having a drink after work or in the evening are some of the favourite things to do among the residents of Zagreb. Bogovićeva street or Trg Petra Preradovića (known as the Flower Square among the locals) are packed with cafes and restaurants.
However, one of the most picturesque streets in Zagreb is Tkalčićeva. You’ll find many different bars, cafes and restaurants with large terraces. It’s a perfect place to visit during the summer in Zagreb to just watch the world goes by.
Zagreb is a lovely destination to visit the whole year-round. However, it gets more relaxed and tranquil during the summer months. If you’re going to spend some time this summer in Zagreb, check some of my recommendations above.