This is the city’s central square, accessible only by foot and by tram. It’s a popular meeting spot thanks to the giant statue of Josip Jelačić on his horse that acts as a convenient landmark. Interestingly, the statue was removed by the communists after WW2 and only replaced in 1990 after the dissolution of Yugoslavia.
Many of Zagreb’s finer hotels are within walking distance of Jelačić Square, as are a few choice Zagreb tourism must-sees, like the Cathedral of Zagreb, the tallest building in the country just four minutes northeast by foot. Another is the Mimara Museum, Croatia’s most popular art gallery. As magnificent as the collections are, the building itself is more so, and was recently named an “immovable object” by the Croatian Ministry of Culture. Ivan Meštrović is the city’s favourite son, and some of his most iconic pieces are housed here.
The Well of Life
Designed by Ivan Meštrović, Croatia’s most celebrated artist and sculptor, this fountain is one of the many impressive things to see in Marshal Tito Square. Visitors are encouraged to admire the remarkable detail in the sculpted figures that surround the well, especially in their faces; and to learn more about the artist at the Meštrović Atelier, a gallery dedicated to him in the house he used to call home.
Travellers to Croatia generally need two to three days in Zagreb to take it all in. After that, getting a flight from Zagreb airport to Split or Dubrovnik on the Dalmatian coast for sun and surf is easy.
Athletics are a huge part of Croatian culture. Tennis, basketball and swimming are big, but like most of Europe, soccer is number one. Maksimir is where visitors can come take in a match and be among the GNK Dinamo Zagreb supporters who affectionately refer to their squad as the “Bad Blue Boys.”