Neighbor's Guide

Honey, Did You Marinate the Food? Discover the Best Places for a Barbecue Party in Zagreb

Follow these simple rules and locations for throwing a barbecue party in Zagreb like a real Zagrebian!

Throwing a barbecue party in nature is a popular way of having fun and spending days during the warm days in Zagreb. Even though barbecue is all about food, some fun activities while waiting for food and after a tasty meal, are important as well, don’t you think? The recipe for a nice barbecue party is quite simple, all you need is a group of your dearest friends, drinks by choice, well-marinated food and a pinch of good mood. Zagrebians really like to throw barbecue parties whenever they can as a part of relaxation and escaping the busy lifestyle during the weekends or day-off.

For Zagrebians, throwing a barbecue party is a kind of celebrating the final arrival of long-awaited sunshine and warm days. People from other countries in Europe enjoy warm days with walks, sports, trips, and so on. But here, everything is about grilling that juicy piece of meat in nature, surrounded by friends and family. Also, if you get invited to a barbecue party with Zagrebians, you should know a couple of basic rules. First of all, in every group gathered to have a barbecue there is a grill master who is the absolute master of grilling meat and veggies, as you assumed. You can’t question his way of grilling! Let him do the job, as being a grill master is a well-deserved title. While you sip your drinks and wait for a delicious meal, you’ll hear, at some point, grill master yelling to the ladies to cut up the veggies for salad and to set up the table. As much as it sounds a little bit old-fashioned, in Zagreb (but whole of Croatia in general, actually) it's quite usual for men to do the grilling and women to cut up veggies for salad and prepare the table. It is just our way and we’re often making jokes about it. It’s like, we’re super modern in everyday life, but when it comes to barbecue everybody gets its own role.


Image credit: Tajana Pran


After a meal, Zagrebians like to spread the blankets on the meadow and to take a nap for a little while to digest all that delicious food they just ate. Another thing to remember is to bring all sorts of board games, cards or equipment for sports to the party. My personal favourite is playing with a frisbee. I had a barbecue party last week on Lake Bundek with my closest friends from hometown, and it’s sort of a tradition for us to play with frisbee pretty much the whole day. But there was a twist – we had 3 frisbees at once and managed to play with all of them at the same time. I don’t have to say we had a blast as it’s hard to concentrate to catch all that flying frisbees all around. Try it out and let me know what you think about this game we invented!


Image Credit: Tajana Pran 


Where to throw a barbecue party in Zagreb?

So, now that you know how Zagrebians like to have a barbecue party, it’s time for you to find out the best locations in and outside the city. The most popular places are Lake Bundek and Lake Jarun. Those lakes are not far from the main city square and you can reach them both by public transport or car. I can’t be objective to say which location is better as I live near Lake Bundek. So, yeah, I like Bundek the most. Both of these locations give you an opportunity to have a barbecue party on numerous barbecue areas incorporated with tables and benches to spend the day, and it’s totally free. But make sure to get there on time to get your barbecue area, especially at the weekends! My advice to you is to come during the week and you’ll find a free barbecue area in a heartbeat. Another popular place is Lake Zajarki in Zapresic, a city near Zagreb. It’s a beautiful lake with charming barbecue areas, playgrounds and sports fields, a great choice to take your friends for a nice day. I shouldn’t forget to mention Savica district, as there is still an ongoing construction of barbecue areas incorporated with brand new benches and tables. Near the barbecue area at Savica is a dog park, so your beloved pet can run and play with other dogs all through the day!


Image Credit: Tajana Pran


Now that you know where to throw a barbecue party in Zagreb, you can start marinating the food and making a list of your friends or family to invite! I guarantee you’ll have a great time and eat lots of delicious grilled food and drink refreshing drinks. The places I described are perfect summer locations for a barbecue party, especially the lakes Jarun, Bundek, and Zajarki. During the hot summer days, you can swim in them as it’s allowed and highly recommended if you ask me! The water in all three lakes is well-maintained during the summer so you can even go swimming while the grill master makes the food. Fun at its finest, right?


Header Image Credit: Tajana Pran


Author: Tajana Pran