Seasonal Zagreb

Escaping the Summer Heat

Summer in Zagreb can get pretty hot - find out places where you can cool yourself!

So, arguably the best season is here. Summer brings that special atmosphere, an overall carefree feeling. But let's face it – it brings a lot of exhausting heat, as well. Zagreb is far away from the sea and you can't just pack your things and go to the beach to cool yourself. However, don't panic. There are some amazing places where you can escape from the summer sun. And sure, there are public pools around the city. The most impressive ones among them are the three pools in the newly opened complex in Svetice area but if you are like me and prefer something that looks and feels more natural then take this tour!


 Image credit: Zagreb Tourist Board, Marko Vrdoljak



We will start with a forest park Maksimir, one of my favourite places in Zagreb that is a part of the same-named neighbourhood I live in. So, I guess I won't be objective about this one, but I'll try to do my best. I like to call it Zagreb Central Park – it's quite large (316 hectares) and more importantly amazingly beautiful all year round. Autumn is special because of the range of colours that trees get and paths that are covered with rustling leaves. In the winter it becomes a snowy fairy tale, and in the spring there is so much greenery that instantly puts you in the zen state of the mind. In the summertime, Maksimir is ideal for an escape from the urban asphalt because it is always at least few degrees cooler. The reason for this probably lies in a combination of forest and water. Besides thick forest, there are five lakes within the park. Although neither of the lakes is suitable for swimming, just the mere proximity to the water has a cooling effect. Besides a wild forest part, there are few urban facilities at the entrance so you can buy yourself a drink or an ice cream. Also, one part of the Maksimir forest park is reserved for the oldest zoo in the Southeast Europe. So, if you wonder what the animals are doing in the summer and how they cool themselves, there is a chance to find it out!


Image credit: Zagreb Tourist Board, Marko Vrdoljak



If you are desperate to take a swim, go to Jarun – it is a neighbourhood in the southwestern part of Zagreb that has the namesake lake formed by Sava river. It actually consists of two lakes and six little islands. Lakes, except for swimming, serve for sports activities and leisure. Beaches are marked with blue flags which guarantee you cleanliness. If you get bored with just swimming and sunbathing and need a dose of adrenaline, try some of the extreme sports like windsurfing, and if you are more of a sloth, go to one of the beach bars and sip a cocktail or two in the shade. It is much like most beaches on the Croatian coast, even with more potential activities so you probably won’t miss the sea there.


Image credit: Petra Kaić



Let's end this tour in a green oasis in the middle of the city centre that provides shelter from the heat while you are sightseeing main attractions of Zagreb. It is part of the so-called green horseshoe, which connects seven Zagreb downtown squares – in this case, a park with old plane trees, music pavilion and fountains in the middle of it. Zrinjevac is a popular meeting and resting point and you can quite often see people lying and chilling around and children jumping into the fountain. Also, this is a place where various gastronomic festivals and concerts are being held. Thus, it is advisable to remember to pack a blanket or something similar when discovering city centre in the summertime so you can take a break and relax in this beautiful park. And who knows, you may find yourself there just in time for one of the festivals and you can get a chance to try some treat or listen to a band playing.


Overall, my advice is to embrace the summer in the city, take the maximum advantage of everything it offers and escape to at least one of the places from the list when needed.


Header image credit: Pixybay

Author: Anđela Ivčević