Despite being the capital of Croatia, Zagreb is often overlooked by travellers in favour of the sea, sun and sand that lines the Adriatic Sea. But this gem-city has so much to offer travellers, from diverse history and culture to innovative food, lively nightlife and lush and verdant nature.

But finding the best neighborhood to stay in Zagreb can be time-consuming. Which is exactly why we put together this guide for where to stay in Zagreb.

In this Zagreb neighborhood guide, we break down the best places to stay based on what you want to do. So whether you’re looking to party, eat, relax or dive deep into history, we’ve got everything you need to know – and MORE – to find the Zagreb accommodation of your dreams.

Let’s get right to it – here are our best recommendations for where to stay in Zagreb, Croatia.

Where to Stay in Zagreb

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Zagreb.

backpacking croatia
The Zagreb City Center is pretty easy on the eyes…
Photo: Chris Lininger

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Incredible rooftop apartment | Best Airbnb in Zagreb

Zagreb is a beautiful city, and it’s even prettier from above – this Airbnb has an incredible rooftop from which you can enjoy the great view, beautiful sunrise and sunset every day. Located directly in the centre, you are close to cool attractions, tasty restaurants and cosy cafes.

The host is known for going above and beyond for their guests, providing everything you need and helping with great advice. If you want to stay at one of the overall best Airbnbs in Zagreb, look no further than this home!

Chillout Hostel Zagreb | Best Hostel in Zagreb

Chillout Hostel is our favourite hostel in Zagreb because it offers social accommodations at the heart of the city. This hostel has an unbeatable location and is close to bars, restaurants, sightseeing and museums. It offers a long list of FREE features, including wifi, walking tours, breakfast, linens and more.

Sometimes the best way to experience a destination is from a good dorm room with good people. Book one of these sweet hostels in Zagreb and get ready for the time of your life!

Esplanade Zagreb Hotel | Best Hotel in Zagreb

The Esplanade Hotel is centrally located in Lower Town, the best area in Zagreb to stay in for sightseeing. This luxurious five-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with modern amenities and elegant décor. It also provides a gym, rooftop terrace, sauna and restaurant, which is why it’s our favourite hotel in Zagreb.

Zagreb Neighborhood Guide – Places to Stay in Zagreb

FIRST TIME IN ZAGREB
Lower Town 1
FIRST TIME IN ZAGREB

Lower Town

Lower Town is a lively and historic district that makes up one half of central Zagreb. It is characterized by its grand streets and avenues, its spacious green parks and its stunning Austro-Hungarian architecture.

ON A BUDGET
Kaptol 1
ON A BUDGET

Kaptol

The Kaptol neighbourhood is located north of the city centre. Once separated from Upper Town by Krvavi Most (Bloody Bridge), Kaptol is today part of the Upper Town with just a narrow street dividing the two areas.

NIGHTLIFE
Upper Town 1
NIGHTLIFE

Upper Town

Upper Town is a popular and historic district that makes up half of the city centre (along with Lower Town). It is the historical and cultural centre of the city and is where you’ll find excellent museums, churches, bars, cafes and shops.

COOLEST PLACE TO STAY
Britanski trg 1
COOLEST PLACE TO STAY

Britanski trg

The small neighbourhood of Britanski trg wins our vote for the coolest place to stay in Zagreb because of its awesome location and an excellent array of things to see, do and eat.

FOR FAMILIES
Jarun, Zagreb
FOR FAMILIES

Jarun

Jarun is a large, residential neighborhood located in western Zagreb. It is our number one pick for where to stay in Zagreb with kids because it offers so many incredible things to see and do.

Zagreb is a gem-city for travellers.

It is the capital and largest city in Croatia, and home to a great variety of museums and art galleries, as well as bars, restaurants and some of the best cafés in Europe.

Zagreb is home to numerous diverse neighborhood and districts. To help you plan your travels, this guide will look at the best areas to stay in Zagreb based on your interests, budget and needs.

The Lower Town neighborhood (Donji Grad) makes up one half of Zagreb’s city centre. It is home to grandiose streets, lush parks, and plenty of historic attractions and landmarks. Because of this, Lower Town wins our vote for the best neighborhood in Zagreb to stay in for sightseeing and exploring.

The other half of the city centre is Upper Town (Gornji Grad). One of the most historic parts of the city, Upper Town is packed with tourist attractions, architectural wonders, restaurants and cafes. It’s also home to some of the best bars and clubs, which is why it’s our top choice for the best area in Zagreb to stay in for nightlife.

Kaptol is a subsection of Upper Town and it’s where you’ll find a high concentration of hostels and good value hotels. Because of this, it wins our vote for where to stay in Zagreb for one night or if you’re on a budget.

Set west of the city centre is Britanski trg (British Square). One of the coolest places to stay in Zagreb, Britanski trg has hip hangouts, cosy cafes, trendy restaurants and quirky shops.

And finally, southwest of the city centre is Jarun. Centred on a massive artificial lake, Jarun is our pick for where to stay with kids because you can run, jump, play and get back to nature.

Zagreb’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

Now, let’s take a look, in more detail, at Zagreb’s best neighborhoods. Each is a little different from the last, so be sure to read each section carefully and pick the neighborhood that’s right for you!

#1 Lower Town – Where to Stay in Zagreb for Your First Time

Lower Town is a lively and historic district that makes up one half of central Zagreb. It is characterized by its grand streets and avenues, its spacious green parks and its stunning Austro-Hungarian architecture.

This part of the city is packed with museums, art galleries, restaurants, shops, bars and cafes. Because there’s so much to see, do and experience in Lower Town, it is our number one pick for where to stay if you’re visiting for the first time.

Lower Town, Zagreb

Things to See and Do in Lower Town

  1. Dance the night away at SPUNK.
  2. Drink cocktails at the atmospheric Bacchus Jazz Bar.
  3. Enjoy a lively night out at colourful and quirky Kino Gric.
  4. Experience the incredible Archaeological Museum and Andautonia Archaeological Park.
  5. Explore Zrinjevac Square.
  6. Go for a stroll through the lush and expansive Lenuci Horseshoe.
  7. Hang out and drink local beers at the Bikers Beer Factory.
  8. Marvel at the stunning Croatian National Theatre.
  9. Party from dusk until dawn at Alcatraz.
  10. Sip a coffee or a cocktail at Dezman Bar.
  11. Stop and smell the roses at the Botanical Garden.

Incredible rooftop apartment | Best Airbnb in Lower Town

Zagreb is a beautiful city, and it’s even prettier from above – this Airbnb has an incredible rooftop from which you can enjoy the great view, beautiful sunrise and sunset every day. Located directly in the centre, you are close to cool attractions, tasty restaurants and cosy cafes. The host is known for going above and beyond for their guests, providing everything you need and helping with great advice.

Esplanade Zagreb Hotel | Best Hotel in Lower Town

The Esplanade Hotel is centrally located in Lower Town. This luxurious five-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with modern amenities and elegant décor. It also provides a gym, rooftop terrace, sauna and restaurant, which is why it’s our favourite hotel in Zagreb.

Best Western Premier Hotel | Best Hotel in Lower Town

The Best Western Hotel is ideally located for exploring the city. It is situated in one of Zagreb’s best neighborhoods and is within walking distance of popular tourist attractions and landmarks. Rooms are modern and well-equipped with private bathrooms, TVs, minibars and there are also two delicious restaurants on-site.

AdriaticTrainHostel | Best Hostel in Lower Town

This unique hostel is one of the best places to stay in Zagreb if you’re on a budget. Set at the centre of the city, it offers easy access to popular tourist attractions, landmarks, restaurants and shops. This hostel has private and shared cabins, free wifi, and plenty of common spaces.

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#2 Kaptol – Where to Stay in Zagreb on a Budget

The Kaptol neighborhood is located north of the city centre. Once separated from Upper Town by Krvavi Most (Bloody Bridge), Kaptol is today part of the Upper Town with just a narrow street dividing the two areas.

Kaptol is the historic religious centre of Zagreb. It’s where you’ll find the stunning and iconic Zagreb Cathedral as well as several excellent galleries and museums, including the Zagreb City Museum.

This area of town is also our top pick for where to stay in Zagreb on a budget. Dotted throughout the winding cobblestone streets is a great selection of hostels, hotels and apartments that offer fantastic accommodation at a great price.

Kaptol, Zagreb

Things to See and Do in Kaptol

  1. Browse more than 140,000 artefacts at the Croatian Natural History Museum.
  2. Delve deep into history at the Zagreb City Museum.
  3. Dine on delicious local dishes at Nokturno.
  4. Drink cocktails and enjoy a few sweet treats at Corner Bar.
  5. Enjoy excellent local beers at Pivnica Mali Medo.
  6. Experience the Museum of Broken Relationships.
  7. Feast on excellent Italian fare at Capuciner.
  8. Indulge in tasty creations at Kob Mike.
  9. Marvel at the architecture and design of the Zagreb Cathedral.
  10. Sip a glass of wine in one of the oldest wine cellars in Zagreb at Vinoteka Bornstein.

Kaptol Hostel | Best Hostel in Kaptol

This deluxe hostel is one of the best places to stay in Zagreb. It offers deluxe shared and private rooms with beautiful decor and modern amenities. This hostel has free wifi, clean rooms, and breakfast is included with each reservation.

Hotel Jadran Zagreb | Best Hotel in Kaptol

This excellent hotel offers comfortable and clean rooms at the heart of the city – and all for a great price. Set in one of the best areas to stay in Zagreb, this hotel is close to popular tourist attractions, restaurants and shops. It has modern rooms, a terrace and a stylish bar.

Rooms Zagreb 17 | Best Guesthouse in Kaptol

This excellent four-star property is one of our top picks for where to stay in Zagreb for one night. This guesthouse has stylish and modern rooms with private bathrooms. Guests can also enjoy free wifi, on-site bike rentals, a swimming pool and laundry facilities.

Great private room/studio | Best Airbnb in Kaptol

Not happy with spending heaps of money on accommodation yet? You don’t have to – this Airbnb is great for travelling on a budget. The room is super cosy, has a comfortable bed, a TV and even a private bathroom. With your own kitchen, it feels more like a little studio than just a room. Cafes, restaurants, museums and everything you might want to see are just moments away.

#3 Upper Town – Where to Stay in Zagreb for Nightlife

Upper Town is a popular and historic district that makes up half of the city centre (along with Lower Town). It is the historical and cultural centre of the city and is where you’ll find excellent museums, churches, bars, cafes and shops.

But there’s more to Upper Town than history and legend. This winding maze of cobblestone streets is also where you’ll find some of the most vivid and vivacious nightlife in town. From buzzing cafes and lively pubs to boisterous dance floors and serious rock clubs, Upper Town is packed with plenty of after-dark fun and adventure.

Upper Town, Zagreb

Things to See and Do in Upper Town

  1. Choose from a wide range of beers at Pivnica Pinta.
  2. Drink Rakhia, a type of schnapps, and dance the night away at Rakhia Bar.
  3. Enjoy afternoon drinks at Vinyl.
  4. Explore the Gric Tunnel, a WWII bomb shelter.
  5. Feast on a sweet treat from The Cookie Factory.
  6. Indulge in delicious goulash at Ozujsko Pub Tkalca.
  7. Sample a vast array of local brews at Tolkien’s House.
  8. Sip cool and refreshing beers at Ceh Pub.
  9. Spend a night at TESLA New Generation.

Chillout Hostel Zagreb | Best Hostel in Upper Town

Chillout Hostel is our favourite hostel in Zagreb because it offers social accommodations at the heart of the city. This hostel has an unbeatable location and is close to bars, restaurants, sightseeing and museums. It offers a long list of FREE features, including wifi, walking tours, breakfast, linens and more.

Hotel Dubrovnik Zagreb | Best Hotel in Upper Town

This four-star hotel is an excellent option for Zagreb accommodation. It is situated at the heart of the city and is surrounded by exciting things to see and do. Its rooms are well-equipped with modern amenities and each has its own private bathroom. Guests can enjoy free wifi and delicious meals at the in-house restaurant.

Cosy studio in great location | Best Airbnb in Upper Town

Nightlife is your main priority on your trip? Great, we’ve got the right place for you! This charming little studio is located not even 100m from the main square. You’ll find yourself right in the middle of great bars, clubs and restaurants. If you want to explore the area during the day, there are also great parks around the corner. Public transport options are in walking distance as well.

Hotel Jagerhorn | Best Hotel in Upper Town

This three-star hotel is strategically located in Upper Town, our best recommendation for where to stay in Zagreb for nightlife. You’ll be within walking distance of great bars and clubs as well as tourist attractions and historic landmarks. This hotel has 18 rooms, free wifi and a beautiful rooftop terrace.

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#4 Britanski trg – Coolest Place to Stay in Zagreb

The small neighborhood of Britanski trg wins our vote for the coolest place to stay in Zagreb because of its awesome location and an excellent array of things to see, do and eat.

Tucked away on the west side of Upper Town, Britanski trg is Zagreb’s unofficial hipster district. Here you can rub shoulders with Zagreb’s literati and party with the city’s young, hip and fabulous popular at one of the area’s many popular bars.

This area is also well-connected through Zagreb via bus and tram, so whether you’re looking to pop into the city centre or get back to nature, Britanski trg is a fantastic base for all your Zagreb adventures.

Britanski trg, Zagreb

Things to See and Do in Britanski trg

  1. Dine on delicious fare at Zrno bio bistro.
  2. Enjoy great beers at Pivnica Medvedgrad Ilica.
  3. Grab a delicious snack at The Brick: Booze and bites bar.
  4. Have your mind blown at Muzej iluzija – the Museum of Illusions Zagreb.
  5. Rub elbows with Zagreb’s young literati at Caffe Bar Sedmica.
  6. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a treat from SteviQ Bar.
  7. Sing, dance and party your heart out at Rock Club Pracka.
  8. Sink your teeth into a flavourful and savoury slice at Pizzeria 6.
  9. Sip drinks at the Swanky Monkey Garden Bar.
  10. Start your day with an amazing cup of coffee from Eliscaffe.

Verified apartment | Best Airbnb in Britanski trg

The host really had a great eye for detail. This verified Airbnb apartment is more than just stylish. Keep your feet warm on the heated floor during winter season and enjoy the sun on your private patio during the hotter days. The home promises great comfort with an incredible location – stay in a safe neighborhood with posh restaurants and charming parks in walking distance.

Whole Wide World Hostel & Bar | Best Hostel in Britanski trg

Created by backpackers, for backpackers, this hostel is one of the coolest places to stay in Zagreb. They offer comfy beds, clean bathrooms and a whole host of awesome activities and events, like free pancake nights, pub quizzes and beer pong tournaments. Guests can also enjoy a free hot breakfast every morning.

Guest House Ilicki Plac | Best Guesthouse in Britanski trg

This guesthouse is conveniently located in Britanski trg, the best neighborhood to stay in Zagreb for hipsters and trendsetters. It is close to a myriad of tourist attractions as well as clubs and restaurants. Each room comes complete with a private bathroom and refrigerator. There’s also free bike rentals, a swimming pool and wifi.

Lobagola B&B | Best B&B in Britanski trg

This stately bed and breakfast is located a short walk from trendy Britanski trg, one of the best places to stay in Zagreb. It provides easy access throughout Zagreb and is close to restaurants, shops, museums and bars. Comprised of six rooms, this B&B has a swimming pool, free wifi and offers a delicious breakfast each day.

#5 Jarun – Where to Stay in Zagreb for Families

Jarun is a large, residential neighborhood located in western Zagreb. It is our number one pick for where to stay in Zagreb with kids because it offers so many incredible things to see and do.

At the heart of the neighborhood is Jarun Lake. This massive man-made lake, also known as the Zagreb Sea, is surrounded by lush parklands and verdant landscapes. The lake offers visitors clear and calm waters perfect for swimming, boating or trying out new watersports, like wakeboarding.

In Jarun, you’ll also find an excellent selection of cafes and restaurant, perfect for indulging in a sweet treat or savouring a few local dishes and delicacies.

Jarun, Zagreb

Things to See and Do in Jarun

  1. Swim in the clear calm waters of Jarun Lake.
  2. Hit the beach and work on your tan.
  3. Run, jump, laugh and play at the Jarun children’s’ playground.
  4. Rent a paddleboat and cruise along the waters of Lake Jarun.
  5. Feast on delicious homemade pasta at Il Secondo.
  6. Start your day with a great cup of coffee from Caffe bar Ae.
  7. Indulge in local dishes at Pri Zvoncu.
  8. Eat a big, juicy and succulent burger from Burger Bar Zagreb.
  9. Enjoy a delicious lunch with a great view at Jarunski Dvori.

Posh family apartment | Best Airbnb in Jarun

Jarun offers great activities and attractions for families, which is why we chose this Airbnb. Located in a safe neighborhood, you can be sure that your kids will have a great time. The apartment can fit up to 7 people so you can bring even more relatives. The lake, with its many activities, is in walking distance and your dinner will be sorted by the numerous restaurants which are close by.

New Point Zagreb | Best Apartment in Jarun

This excellent three-star property is one of the best places in Zagreb to stay for families because it has clean, comfortable and affordable accommodation. The apartment comes complete with air conditioning, a full kitchen, a private bathroom and a terrace. It’s also close to Jarun Lake and provides easy access to the city centre.

Art Lake Apartments | Best Apartments in Jarun

Located in lush Jarun, this is one of our top picks for where to stay in Zagreb with kids. It is conveniently located and is well connected throughout the city. Comprised of three apartments, this property has free wifi, a swimming pool, a terrace and modern amenities.

Apartment Fifty Shades Of Greay | Best Apartment in Jarun

This bright and modern apartment is situated in Jarun, the best neighborhood in Zagreb to stay in for families. It is close to stunning Jarun Lake and is a short drive to the centre of the city. This apartment comes complete with a full kitchen and dining area, comfortable beds, and a swimming pool.

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FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Zagreb

Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Zagreb and where to stay.

What To Pack For Zagreb

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

Product
Description
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!
Don’t Let Snorers Keep You Awake!

Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

Keep your laundry organized and stink free
Keep your laundry organized and stink free

Hanging Laundry Bag

Trust us, this is an absolute game changer. Super compact, a hanging mesh laundry bag stops your dirty clothes from stinking, you don’t know how much you need one of these… so just get it, thank us later.

Stay Dry With a Micro Towel
Stay Dry With a Micro Towel

Sea To Summit Micro Towel

Hostel towels are scummy and take forever to dry. Microfibre towels dry quickly, are compact, lightweight, and can be used as a blanket or yoga mat if need be.

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Make Some New Buddies…

Monopoly Deal

Forget about Poker! Monopoly Deal is the single best travel card game that we have ever played. Works with 2-5 players and guarantees happy days.

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Reduce Plastic – Bring a Water Bottle!

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Check out my definitive Hotel Packing list for even more top packing tips!

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance for Zagreb

ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Zagreb

Zagreb is an incredible city with so much to offer. It has a rich history, diverse culture, stunning architecture and plenty of restaurants, cafes and bars, and is home to some of the best festivals in Croatia. From Upper Town to the shores of Lake Jarun, Zagreb is bursting with excitement, energy, fantasy and fun.

In this guide, we’ve looked at the best places to stay in Zagreb. If you’re still not sure which is right for you, here’s a quick recap of our favourite accommodations.

Chillout Hostel Zagreb is our favourite hostel because it has a social atmosphere, modern amenities and a central location. It also offers a whole host of free activities and features, which means you can save even more money during your time in Zagreb.

Another great option is the Esplanade Zagreb Hotel because it is close to popular tourist attractions, restaurants and shops, and boasts a fantastic array of features, like a gym, terrace and swimming pool.

Looking for more info on travelling to Zagreb and Croatia?