Things to Do in Zagreb With Kids
There are so many activities that can make your exploration of the city a great family fun. All of the activities I am about to suggest are affordable, especially compared to most other European capitals.
Photo description: Parks, green areas, fun activities, and exciting attractions - it’s easy to explore Zagreb with kids
Let’s face it - kids love zoos. The Zagreb Zoo has a long history. But let's be straight here in case you are only after giraffes. There aren’t many large mammals. That’s because the management has been working hard to build quarters that would be spacious enough and to recreate the most natural living space possible.
It is common for the local families to visit the zoo at least once a year until their children are at least in their tween years. Each time they visit, there are some new embellishments and improvements, and some new inhabitants to welcome them.
The zoo is placed within the oldest public park in Zagreb, gorgeous Maksimir, a favorite getaway for Zagrebers since the 1700s.
Playful Zagreb meerkats will steal your hearts
It feels like something is lurking around the corner in tunnel Grič, but the place is safely guarded
It's time to get back to the city center. Simple sightseeing can be a lot of fun, if you visit out-of-ordinary attractions. Before visiting the Upper Town, why don’t you pass underneath it? There is a big tunnel from WWII, open to the public. Once you enter, the imagination lights up: it’s easy to exchange legends, or spooky stories once you’re inside. It’s also impossible to resist the urge to make funny noises and create an echo.
Instead of walking to the Upper Town, take one of the smallest funiculars in the world. If you’re there at midday, you will witness the explosion of the Zagreb cannon. If you’re there before the sun sets, you might spot the lamp lighter who manually lits all the gas lanterns of the Upper Town.
Zagreb funicular is only 66 m long, and more than 130 years old
How about a visit to some local museums? The Museum of Illusions with optical tricks is a favorite place for families. Backo Mini Express is a fascinating miniature tribute to trains. It is the largest railway model in South-Eastern Europe and covers an area of about 300 square meters where 150 locomotives operate simultaneously on 1500 meters of rails. The model is almost 85 percent Croatian product, it extends over several floors, at a height of almost three meters and up to ten centimeters below the surface. For a complete experience, various meteorological phenomena such as the sound of rain and thunder are simulated in the space, and it is especially interesting to see the authentic view of Zagreb, from the main railway station to the Sljeme trail.
Photo credit: Backo Mini Express
I wouldn’t skip the old-school museums if I were you, such as the Technical Museum Nikola Tesla - a place that showcases the progress of this region.
Thaks to a giant slide, children adore the Museum of Contemporary Art. Photo by M. Vrdoljak / Zagreb Tourist Board
You’re traveling with younger kids, and they’ve had enough of sightseeing? Don’t worry about that! There are playgrounds all over the city. They are a bit tucked away in safe parks in the city center. Don’t hesitate to ask for a nearby children’s park. Wherever you are in the city, there must be one at least a few blocks away.
Zagreb is the proud owner of the oldest public playground in Croatia, built in the 1930s.
Finally, there are many activities perfect for families who like exploring together. You can get a lot of ideas from our post about treasure hunts. Zagreb is known all over Croatia for its colorful offer of innovative activities for visitors. You could even explore it with the help of some apps, such as Zagreb Be There. Zagreb Time Travel is another digital experience. Thanks to virtual and augmented realities, statues come to life to guide you through the city.
Meet the historical characters, part of Zagreb Time Machine. Photo by J. Duval / Zagreb Tourist Board
There is a wide offer of themed tours, including costumed ones. In fact, don’t be surprised to randomly meet characters in historical costumes in the old town on summer weekends. They are a part of an event called Zagreb Time Machine. Feel free to approach them, ask questions, and even take photos with them.
I hope this selection of ideas is enough for you to leave all the worries behind. Zagreb is a great place for families on the road.
Zagreb is a great place for all families
Header image credit: Marko Vrdoljak / Zagreb Tourist Board
Author: Iva Silla