Zagreb Croatia is one of the most family friendly city’s we have been to. We love it so much we are going again this week. Here are some fun activities in Zagreb with kids.
Croatia has long been on the family travel top 10 lists. Its pristine beaches, family friendly hotels and great flight connections to most major European cities make it a no brainer. We have visited Croatia 3 times since Oscar was born and I couldn’t agree more. Full disclosure I am also part Croatian but, anyway I know a good thing when I see it. Zagreb is the capital of Croatia and is often overlooked as a destination in itself. Visiting Zagreb with kids is quite simply brilliant. There is so much to do I had to edit this post several times so that it didn’t read like a novel. I have selected our current favourites, Oscar is almost 3 now and very much has a mind of his own.
RIDE A TRAM – ZAGREB WITH KIDS
If you’re visiting Zagreb with kids it’s inevitable that you will hear the phrase “I’m tired”.Time to jump on a tram.The trams in Zagreb have been running since 1891 and run both a day and night service. Most of Zagreb’s top attractions are walkable but a few like The Museum of Modern Art or Maksimir Park and Zoo are not. Both for the record are well worth a visit. The best part of the service is the price. At just 1 Euro a ride and 3 Euros for a day ticket I think this is some of the most affordable public transport in Europe and yes Croatia is in the European Union.
FESTIVALS – ZAGREB WITH KIDS
Croatia may be known best for its music festivals but there are so so many more, where should I start, film Festivals, folkloric dance festivals, animation festivals, food festivals and a rather fantastic puppet festival. We were lucky enough to be in town around the time of Zagreb’s street performance festival “Cest is best” which this year marks its 20th anniversary. With venues all over the city, the festival events are all free and mainly take place in public parks. Hosting street performers such as musicians, acrobats, clowns and some very creative souls this is truly a fantastic event if you’re visiting Zagreb with kids.
OSCAR AND HIS PALS KICKING IT AT A VINYL FESTIVAL. IT HAD CHAMPAGNE. EVERYONE WAS HAPPY.
STROSMAJERS PROMENADE + THE FUNICULAR – ZAGREB WITH KIDS
I have talked about the Zagreb Funicular or “uspinjaca” as its locally known, in our previous Zagreb guide. What I only realised after my 2nd visit was how much more the promenade called Strosmajerova has to offer. This really is the joy of slow travel, getting to spend more than a few days somewhere. In our case 3 months.Turns out the romantic promenade just under the Lotrscak tower also has a festival. Of course, it does I hear you say. It’s called Summer on the Stros and a list of events can be found HERE. Sadly the site is only in Croatian but nothing Google translate can’t fix. If you’re visiting Zagreb with kids the best part is that the area is car-free so small children can run around and explore. The views are spectacular at sunset too.
PIMP MY PUMP – ZAGREB WITH KIDS
Here’s a fun game when you’re in Zagreb with kids, “spot the pump”. An art collective set out to liven up these old and forgotten water pumps and now they are everywhere. We found this on the way to one of Zagreb’s many parks but I’m still searching for Marge from the Simpsons. If you see her please let me know!
SECRET ZAGREB WALKS – ZAGREB WITH KIDS
If you want a truly unique experience while visiting Zagreb with kids then you need to meet Iva. Iva runs Secret Zagreb Walks a wonderfully quirky walking tour compendium of the city. We met Iva on the wonderful world of Instagram and connected a year later. Taking her tour was a little challenging for Oscar this time around as it’s in the evening and even this little bundle of energy needs some rest. I won’t spoil the surprise but the tour we took called freaky Friday was laced with magical anecdotes from Zagreb’s ancient dragon inhabited past. Tunnels and cemeteries, alleyways and shrines. If you’re visiting Zagreb with kids aged 5 or above who aren’t too easily spooked then this is perfect. Saying that some adults can be easily spooked too. You have been warned.
THE TECHNICAL MUSEUM – ZAGREB WITH KIDS
I know, I know, do not let the title deceive you. This museum is awesome. I have never seen such a huge assortment of things. From helicopters to horse-drawn carriages, electrical circuits to an actual mine tunnel. This could take hours, luckily we arrived just an hour before closing. This might be a good strategy if you don’t have three months in Zagreb like I did 🙂
VISIT A “SLASTICARNA” AKA EAT ICECREAM – ZAGREB WITH KIDS
Ice cream or “sladoled” as its locally known is a Croatian obsession. Never have I seen a town with quite so many ice cream outlets. I know this because I am the mother of an exceptionally eagle-eyed ice cream fiend. I am also a total soft touch. Hence the below results. Ice cream for miles……Tough to do a TOP 5 but I will one day!. I just need a do-over to make sure I’m 100% sure.
VISIT A PARK – ZAGREB WITH KIDS
Yes, there are a ton of museums and landmarks and things to do and see in Zagreb but sometimes the best way to see a city and really feel its vibe is through its green heart. The parks of Zagreb are numerous, small and large and hidden and wild and botanical and tropical and zoological, just make sure you and your little one visit one.
Well, it’s time to pack for another Zagreb adventure but before I sign off a few more tips on Zagreb.
Getting around – We already mentioned Zagreb’s tram network so I just wanted to add that a lot of Zagreb can be seen on foot and it’s very stroller friendly. We also like to ride our bike and plenty of hotels and businesses hire them out too.
Accommodation – If you have a budget to blow the hotel Esplanade is the way to go. Built in the 1920’s for passengers of the Orient Express it’s as close to the Grand Hotel Budapest your ever going to get. I haven’t stayed there since I was a child but I hear from friend Eric and his son at Travel Babbo it’s still as excellent as it used to be. On the more budget end of the scale there is always hostels which have excellent family accommodation. We stayed at the Chillout Hostel Zagreb. It is smack bang in the centre of town, has a great park (with secret tunnel entrance!) just next door, and in our humble opinion is a great deal. Alternatively, there is always Airbnb and the department of self-promotion has to kick in here. If you use this link you will get 31 Euros of your booking and we will too. Its a win-win situation my well traveled friends!
PIN IT – ZAGREB WITH KIDS
I don’t know, everyone seems to be doing it. Here is some pretty pictures of Zagreb and this guide to please pin it.