Last Updated: March 8, 2022

Zagreb in Winter: Weather, Packing & Highlights

Visiting Zagreb in winter? Then you’re certainly in the right place because we’ve got the best tips for you, from what to pack to top places to visit!

Zagreb has the best Christmas market in the region, which is certainly the highlight of any winter visit to the city. But it’s just one of the many different things to explore in Zagreb, so read on to see all the highlights of the Croatian capital city!


Zagreb Fog

Zagreb is in northern Croatia, which has a continental climate. The winters are usually cold, with day temperatures dropping below zero degrees (Celsius) in late December and January. February is usually warmer, with the latter half of the month having daily highs in the 10-15 degrees Celsius range.

Winters in Zagreb are mostly dry – snowfall can happen, but it rarely sticks on the ground for more than a day or two. A friend of mine who moved to Zagreb five years ago told me that she hasn’t experienced real snow since she moved, which describes the Zagreb winters perfectly.

Rain is more common than snow, so you’ll want to bring an umbrella everywhere. Ice, frost, and fog are also common in the mornings, but they tend to go away a little before noon. 

What to Wear

Packing Skills

Zagreb weather can vary significantly from month to month, so what to pack and wear will depend on when exactly you’re visiting. Late December and January are the coldest months, with the lowest temperatures and highest amount of precipitation.

If you’re visiting Zagreb during this period, pack a warm winter jacket, waterproof boots, and lots of sweaters. But be sure to also pack some t-shirts and shirts because layering is always the best way to dress while you’re in Zagreb. You never know when the sun can come out and warm you up enough that you want to stroll down the city center without wearing a jacket.

February is a bit warmer than the previous months, with the latter half of February usually featuring sunny weather and daily temperature highs between 10-15 degrees Celsius. You don’t need a very thick jacket if you’re staying in Zagreb at this time, but it’s not a bad idea to pack a lightweight down jacket just in case.

Weather in Zagreb can be unpredictable, so it’s smart to pack for all four seasons. A packable down jacket will give you that extra bit of warmth, which is needed on the windier days in the city.

In addition to that, it’s worth noting that Zagreb doesn’t have a great air quality in the winter. Smog is a big issue, and winter months usually mean that there are quite a few days when the quality of air is unhealthy or even hazardous. It’s the worst in the evenings, so you should also pack air pollution masks (N95, FFP2, and N99 are the best options). 

MUST READ: Our best choices for hotels in Zagreb

Getting Around Zagreb

Traffic Zagreb

Zagreb is a fairly large city and getting around it can take a while. If you’re staying in the city for a while and you’re comfortable driving, renting a car would be the best thing to do. The public transport in the city consists mostly of trams and buses, and although they are fairly regular, getting around in Zagreb with just public transport is not that much quicker than walking.

It’s also not a great idea to rely on walking unless you’re staying in the city center and that’s the only part of Zagreb you’re interested in. If you want to go to Novi Zagreb, Medvednica, and other parts of the city, a car will be your saving grace. Although buses travel to most parts of the city, they are often late and painfully slow. 

Best Places to Visit

Places to Visit Zagreb

Croatia’s capital city is home to many interesting sights. From the city’s most iconic landmarks to the best hidden gems, here are the top places to visit in Zagreb in winter!

King Tomislav Square

King Tomislav Square

King Tomislav Square is a large public area with a fountain, benches, and the statue of King Tomislav. It’s a beautiful park that really shines during the winter when it becomes THE place to be during the Zagreb Christmas market. At least, that’s how it used to be.

An outdoor skating rink was usually set up here, and the Art Pavillion would be decorated with the brightest fairy lights. However, this wasn’t the case in 2020 and 2021, because of the social distancing measure and the new mayor trying to cut costs.

It’s possible that Tomislavac (as the locals know it) will once again feature the best Christmas market in Zagreb, so be sure to at least visit it while you’re in the city during winter.

It’s worth noting that the ice skating rinks aren’t totally gone during advent – they’ve just been moved to new locations.

Zrinjevac Park

Zrinjevac Gazebo

Zrinjevac Park is a beautiful place in Zagreb, just minutes away from King Tomislav Square. It’s one of the several places throughout the town where the Christmas market takes place, with dozens of tiny stalls that sell everything from mulled wine to authentic Croatian souvenirs.

The park boasts a gorgeous gazebo that’s an excellent spot for photos throughout the year, and which gets turned into a stage during the advent. The entire place is truly like a tiny winter wonderland, and it’s just a short walk away from the Zagreb old town.

It’s worth noting that Zrinjevac used to be the most popular place in Zagreb during the Christmas market, but things have changed a bit over the past few years. Both the pandemic and the new major are partially responsible, mostly because of the social distancing measures and an attempt to cut costs wherever possible.

Although 2020 and 2021 didn’t see the park decked out in the best Christmas decorations, we’re still holding out hope for 2022 and the following years.

Croatian National Theatre (HNK)

Croatian National Theatre

The Croatian National Theater is an iconic landmark building that you should visit even if you have no intentions of seeing a play. The building alone is fascinating – it was constructed in the late 19th century by famous architects Ferdinand Fellner and Herman Helmer.

The Viennese architects had already constructed several buildings in Vienna, so that’s why you might be reminded of the Austrian capital when you see this majestic building.

During the advent market, the park around the HNK building is beautifully decorated with twinkly lights, making the entire area even more magical than it normally is.

It’s worth noting that the Croatian National Theater hosts operas, plays, and ballets, and in case you want to see one of these while you’re in Zagreb, this is definitely the first place you should consider.

Zagreb Cathedral

Zagreb Cathedral

The Zagreb Cathedral is an imposing 12th-century Gothic cathedral that was restored to its old glory in the late 1990s. You can see its bell towers from pretty much every scenic viewpoint in the city, and they’re truly an astounding sight.

Head left of the cathedral to explore the cobblestone alleys that surrounded it. The area is incredibly scenic, and it’s very reminiscent of Hogsmeade, so Harry Potter fans will absolutely love this part of Zagreb.

It’s worth noting that the Zagreb cathedral was damaged in the 2020 earthquake, and the reconstruction is still going on in early 2022. Parts of the cathedral might be off-limits because of this, and don’t be surprised to see scaffolding in certain parts of the building.

Mountain Medvednica


Medvednica Mountain is only 30 minutes away by car from Zagreb, and it’s home to Sljeme ski resort. This is one of the best ski resorts in Croatia and the perfect place to visit if you feel like skiing while you’re in Zagreb.

It is possible to reach the mountain by public transport, but that’s going to take quite a while. Renting a car or getting a cab is by far the quickest way of reaching the mountain, so consider that if you want to visit Medvednica while you’re in Zagreb. Driving in Croatia can be a bit stressful, but it’s still the fastest way of traveling between the city and the mountain.

Sljeme has some four kilometers of ski trails, with five distinct trails you can ski on. It’s certainly not going to be the best or the most exciting skiing experience of your life, but it’s enough to just scratch the urge if you get it while you’re staying in Zagreb.

Zagreb Funicular

Zagreb Funicular

The Zagreb Funicular connects the lower town with the upper town. You can ride the funicular to the upper old town, or you can take the stairs – the former is quicker and costs money, while the latter is free and an excellent quick workout.

Whether you ride the funicular or climb the stairs is entirely up to you – the most important thing is that you make it to the upper town, to enjoy some incredibly scenic views of Zagreb.

The upper station of the funicular is also a popular spot during the Zagreb advent. There are several stalls and wooden houses in this part of the city, making it the perfect place to enjoy a cup of mulled wine along with a stunning panoramic view!

Lotrscak Tower

Zagreb View

Lotrscak Tower is a very old tower right next to the upper station of the Zagreb funicular. If you’ve already made it here to the upper old town, you just have to enter the tower and climb to the observation deck.

Tickets are about 10 kunas per person, and they’re worth every single lipa. The climb to the observation deck is a bit scary – the stairs are pretty narrow, and the part that spirals up can be nightmarish if you get anxiety from enclosed spaces. However, it takes just a few minutes to climb to the observation deck, where you will experience the best view of Zagreb in winter.

You can see all the way to Novi Zagreb from here, and you’ll get a different perspective on some of the city’s most famous buildings. It’s a fascinating experience and a great place for a few selfies and photos with a breathtaking background.

Museum of Broken Relationships

The Museum of Broken Relationships is one of Zagreb’s most interesting museums. It’s situated in the upper city, and you can visit it in the same afternoon you ride the Zagreb funicular and climb the Lotrscek Tower.

The museum’s collection includes objects from past relationships that were donated by people from all over the world. There are letters, photographs, and various other objects that all tell the story of those relationships and what went wrong in them.

The uniqueness of the museum makes it one of the best places to visit in the city regardless of the season. It’s worth noting that it might not be the best idea to go to the museum if you’re getting through a breakup, since the tour is quite emotional.

It’s also worth noting that the museum accepts donations if you contact them on their website. If you have a very interesting story of a past relationship, there’s a chance it could end up displayed at this popular Zagreb museum.

Ban Jelacic Square

Ban Jelacic Square

Ban Jelacic Square is the main square in Zagreb city center, and one of the key places for the city’s Christmas markets. If you’ve never visited Zagreb before, this is one of the first places in the city to check out since it is such a big symbol of the city.

The square is centrally located and in case you ever ride a tram into the center of Zagreb, this is most likely where you will get out. Ban Jelacic Square is dominated by the statue of Ban Josip Jelacic, and it’s surrounded by buildings.

It’s also a great starting point for a more thorough exploration of Zagreb city center since all the famous city landmarks are a short walk away from the square.

Ban Jelacic Square is also the central location of the Zagreb Christmas market, with dozens of stalls, a stage for events, and a huge Christmas tree. If you really want to experience the beautiful advent in Zagreb, this is one of the first places to visit in the city.

Plitvice Lakes National Park

Plitvice Lakes National Park

Plitvice Lakes National Park is just a 2-hour drive from Zagreb, so definitely plan to visit the NP if you have enough time in Zagreb. If you can only take one day trip while you’re in the Croatian capital, this is by far the best one.

The national park is home to dozens of waterfalls, including the tallest waterfall in the entire country. There are also many lakes, flowers, and just breathtaking nature all around you. The best part about visiting the nature park in the winter is that there won’t be too many other tourists there.

Also, tickets are a lot cheaper in the winter, which is great because the NP tickets are quite pricey in the summer months, particularly for larger groups.

Plitvice Lakes Boats

You should know that NP tickets include bus and boat rides throughout the park, which will allow you to see all the highlights of Plitvice Lakes. Take your time, stop every now and then to enjoy the view, and really take in the beauty of this magical place.

It takes about 5-6 hours to explore the park highlights if you don’t go on any longer hikes through the forests. Layer up because it gets very windy and chilly in this NP in the winter, and wear some sturdy boots because parts of the walkway could be frozen. Waterfalls could also freeze during the winter, which is truly a fascinating sight.

Tkalčićeva Street

Tkalčićeva Street

Tkalčićeva Street is the heart of Zagreb’s old town, and it’s where the magic happens in the winter. It’s a street you can’t miss if you’re exploring the center of Zagreb, and you’ll be wowed by its beauty.

It’s particularly pretty in the winter when all the cafes and pubs get adorned with Christmas decorations and fairy lights. Everything lights up in bright colors at night, making this charming street even more beautiful.

Tkalčićeva is where you’ll find an excellent selection of Zagreb’s best pubs and restaurants. The Otto & Frank bistro stands out from them all – I’d recommend Zagrebacki Dorucak (Zagreb Breakfast), especially if you’ve never had fried poached eggs (you read that right) before!

Botanical Garden of the Faculty of Science

Zagreb Botanical Garden

The Faculty of Science is situated in the center of Zagreb, just a few minutes away from Ban Jelacic Square. It boasts a massive botanical garden that’s absolutely worth checking out. The garden boasts ponds, tiny bridges, a gorgeous pavilion, and more plant and flower species than I could count.

Although the botanical garden is best experienced in the spring when all the pretty flowers are in full bloom, there are enough winter plants that you can fully enjoy the experience even in winter. It’s easily one of the best-hidden gems in Zagreb, and a place that everyone should experience no matter when exactly they visit the Croatian capital.

Radiceva Street

Radiceva Street

Radiceva Street is another beautiful street in Zagreb that you should at least walk through. It’s parallel with Tkalčićeva Street, and it ends near the Zagreb Observatory.

What’s special about this street is that many locales are adorned with plants and flowers, making it one of the prettiest places in the city. Plus, they’re even more beautiful when the entire place gets decorated with all sorts of Christmas decorations and fairy lights!

Stop by the A’e cafe bar on Radiceva Street- it’s a bit hidden away, but it’s worth searching for it if you want to enjoy a cup of coffee with one of the best views in Zagreb. Their motto is – coffee is free but you pay 10 kunas for the view, and it’s absolutely worth it!

About the Author Anna Timbrook

Anna is the co-owner of expert world travel and can't wait to share her travel experience with the world. With over 54 countries under her belt she has a lot to write about! Including those insane encounters with black bears in Canada.

Leave a Comment: