Top 12 Day Trips From Zagreb, Croatia - Updated 2024

Contributing Writer
| 5 min read

Zagreb, in Croatia, is the perfect city to explore, thanks to its many museums, medieval buildings and outdoor activities. As the capital and largest city in Croatia, Zagreb is located in the northwest of the country, along the Sava River on the southern slope of Medvednica mountain. The city is a romantic, tourist-friendly and safe destination with a myriad of delights, from music, theatre performances and art exhibitions to sporting events and lush natural parks. Foodies can enjoy the many open cafes and street terraces that offer all things delicious. For stays, budget travellers can take refuge in the hostels in Zagreb while those yearning for home-like hideaways can spend the holiday in Airbnb vacation rentals. Today, Zagreb is popular for its brilliant blend of history and adventures. For the thrill-seekers, simply read on to know more about the top day trips from Zagreb, Croatia.

1. Plitvice Lakes (from USD 99.45)

day trips from zagreb | plitvice lakes

Stunning wilderness describes the UNESCO-listed Plitvice Lakes National Park. Located about 130 kilometres (81 miles) from Zagreb, Plitvice Lakes features amazing walks on scenic trails amid the dense forest overlooking the azure-green waters, cascading waterfalls and shimmering streams.

This day trip from Zagreb to Plitvice Lakes begins with a pickup from your city hotel and onward to the park for a leisurely exploration of towering forest trees, wildlife, and rare flowers along forest trails. In fact, a boat ride on the lower lakes can be arranged to experience its splendour close-up. In addition, the day trip allows guests free time to explore this geological wonder further before returning to Zagreb.

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From Zagreb: Rastoke & Plitvice Lakes Small-Group w/ Ticket

Duration: 10.0 hour

913 reviews

2. Split (from USD 744.0)

This day trip makes for a convenient transfer from Zagreb to Split, located about 409 kilometres (254 miles) away. Travellers get to experience a tour of the idyllic village of Rastoke, renowned for its well-preserved watermills on the waterfalls of the river Slunjcica.

Next, the stunning beauty of Plitvice Lakes National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, transports travellers to experience cascading waterfalls, lush forest surroundings and turquoise lake waters. Boat rides can be arranged to view the flora, fauna and beautiful lakes, before travelling to the touristy Old Town of Split.

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Private transfer from Zagreb to Split with Plitvice Lakes private tour

Duration: 8 to 10 hours

12 reviews

3. Istria (from USD 247.96)

day trips from zagreb | istria

Istria is one of the superb places to visit in Croatia for its ancient heritage and Roman architecture. The day trip to Pula, the biggest city in the Istrian peninsula, begins with a city tour of its attractions, including the Pula Arena, one of the world’s best-preserved amphitheatres and where gladiator battles used to take place. Visit the Temple of Augustus and be amazed by the gates to the city, including the Arch of the Sergii and the Gate of Hercules.

Next is an exploration of the city of Rovinj, built on a small island close to the mainland, where Insta-worthy views are everywhere. Finally, journey to the 2000-year-old town of Porec, which is renowned for its Euphrasian Basilica, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a stroll to appreciate the Roman architecture preserved to this day.

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Istria Day Tour from Zagreb

Duration: 10.0 hour

32 reviews

4. Zadar (from USD 385.0)

Located about a three hours’ drive from Zagreb, the city of Zadar holds many treasures. The city highlights include the impressive Sea Organ, an experimental musical instrument that plays music by way of the sea waves. Next is the Roman Forum, constructed between the first century BC and the third century AD.

Finally, visitors can explore the Church of St. Donatus, an unusual cylindrical-shaped church that dates back to the beginning of the ninth century. This day trip offers scenic views of the coastal city during the panoramic drive to and from Zagreb.

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Zadar Private Day Trip from Zagreb

Duration: 14 hours

5. Brijuni Islands (from USD 238.0)

Island dreams come true at Brijuni Islands National Park, located on the northern coast of Croatia’s Istria region. Soak in the untouched nature of the beautiful Adriatic islands, as this tour transports visitors on a boat ride for an extensive weekend trip from Zagreb. Lush scenery amidst historic sites and abundant flora and fauna from various parts of the world are some of its attractions.

Best of all, this smaller group tour steers you away from the crowds and allows you more time to enjoy the sights.

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Brijuni Islands National Park Day Trip from Zagreb

Duration: 12 hours

6. Belgrade (from USD 638.0)

Sightseeing in Belgrade holds many surprises, as travellers will be impressed by the historic attractions that the capital city of Serbia has to offer. Located about a four hours’ drive from Zagreb, this day trip includes a visit to the famous St. Sava Temple, the largest Serbian Orthodox church. After that, explore the ancient site of the Belgrade Fortress, built on a white ridge above the confluence of the River Sava and Danube.

Next, visitors can stroll along the pedestrian zone of Prince Michael Square and Republic Square. Finally, an exploration of Skadarlija Street offers the delights of sampling local dishes and enjoying Belgrade’s atmosphere.

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Bustling Belgrade Day Tour

Duration: 12 to 14 hours

2 reviews

7. Baranja (from USD 187.14)


Sip the finest wines on this day trip to Baranja, the Land of Wines, where breathtaking vineyards, wheat fields and rivers greet you. Step into the village of Karanac, where the locals welcome guests with warm bread and local meat delicacies. Next on the itinerary is the Village Museum of Traditional Crafts, which features Baranja’s heritage and arts. Subsequently, a cooking demonstration of a traditional meal over an open fire is showcased, while guests sample three varieties of exquisite wine from the region’s oldest wine cellar.

Finally, explore Kopački Rit Nature Park, also known as the Amazon of Europe, to discover the 18th-century fortress of Tvrđa before returning to Zagreb.

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From Zagreb: Baranja Land of Wines Tour

Duration: 10 hour

8. Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle (from USD 327.66)

postojna cave and predjama castle

Any travel itinerary in Croatia wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle, one of Slovenia’s top natural attractions located about 187 kilometres (116 miles) from Zagreb. Postojna Cave is the only cave in Europe that has a two-way railway specifically designed for sightseeing, as well as exploring the cave’s marvellous rock formations and natural galleries. Another must-see is the in-cave aquarium, which is home to the endemic olm or aquatic salamander, the world’s largest trogloditic amphibian.

A short drive away is the dazzling, Renaissance-era Predjama Castle, which dates back to 1570. Built within a cave mouth and next to a vertical cliff, the castle’s history and design will surely impress.

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From Zagreb: Postojna Cave and Predjama Castle Tour

Duration: 9 hour

9. Varaždin (from USD 192.0)

Varaždin, located in northern Croatia, is a hidden gem that promises a captivating experience for travelers. This charming and picturesque city is known for its rich history, Baroque architecture, and vibrant cultural scene.

Stroll through the well-preserved historic center, where cobblestone streets lead you to elegant palaces, churches, and squares. Admire the intricate details of the Baroque facades and visit the iconic Varaždin Castle, a magnificent fortress steeped in history. The city comes alive with cultural events, particularly during the annual Špancirfest, a vibrant street festival showcasing music, art, and gastronomy. Immerse yourself in the local arts scene by visiting galleries, museums, and theaters.

Varaždin is also surrounded by stunning natural beauty, with nearby parks and lakes offering outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, and boating opportunities. Indulge in traditional Croatian cuisine at local restaurants, sample regional wines, and savor delicious pastries from charming cafes.

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Varazdin and Trakoscan Castle Private Day Tour From Zagreb

Duration: 9 hours

36 reviews

10. Samobor (from USD 196.0)

Nestled at the foot of the picturesque Samobor Mountains, Samobor is known for its rich history, scenic beauty, and gastronomic delights. Wander through the enchanting streets of the old town, lined with colorful facades, quaint shops, and inviting cafes. Explore the medieval Samobor Castle, perched on a hilltop, and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

Samobor is famous for its culinary delights, particularly the irresistible “kremšnita,” a traditional creamy cake. Indulge in local delicacies at family-run restaurants, where you can savor traditional dishes from fresh local ingredients. Nature lovers will appreciate the nearby hiking trails that lead to breathtaking viewpoints, cascading waterfalls, and serene forests. The area is also renowned for its spring waters, making it an ideal destination for relaxation and wellness.

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Picturesque Samobor & Samobor Castle Half-day Tour

Duration: 4 hours

8 reviews

11. Ljubljana and Bled (from USD 129.0)

This day trip to Ljubljana and Bled takes travellers across the Croatian border and into stunning Slovenia, located about 231 kilometres (144 miles) from Croatia. What will take your breath away is the magnificent capital, Ljubljana, and Lake Bled with its majestic waters surrounding the 12th-century Bled Castle. A walking tour around Ljubljana brings you to the sights, sounds and scents of interesting neighbourhoods, interspersed with bustling streets that lead to iconic landmarks and attractions.

A short drive away is Lake Bled, where a boat ride will take you to Bled Castle to explore the grounds and castle interiors. Not to be missed is the journey to the castle’s top to experience the awe-inspiring views of the lake and landscapes all around.

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Zagreb to Ljubljana and Bled Full-Day Sightseeing Trip

Duration: 10 hours

4 reviews

12. Kumrovec Trakoscan Castle and Varazdin (from USD 78.0)

kumrovec trakoscan castle and varazdin

Make your holiday travels majestic with a day trip to Kumrovec Trakoscan Castle and Varazdin. This day trip is a ten-hour tour from Zagreb that explores centuries of Croatian heritage. A visit to Kumrovec, the birthplace of Marshal Josip Broz Tito, the president of Yugoslavia, will reveal the leader’s background and typical village architecture.

Undoubtedly, Kumrovec Trakoscan Castle is one of Croatia’s most beautiful castles and is surrounded by lush landscapes and clear waters. Next, discover the city of music, baroque and flowers, known as Varazdin or Little Vienna, where the town’s rich history and culture are celebrated in its many churches, palaces and monasteries.

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Zagreb to Kumrovec Trakoscan Castle and Varazdin Full-Day Tour

Duration: 10 hours

Jet off to Zagreb, Croatia, to experience some of the best day trips

We all dream of a faraway vacation. Make your dream a reality by booking one of these day trips from Zagreb, Croatia, to make your vacation spectacular. After all, travel makes one richer in experiences and this starts in the delightful city of Zagreb.

Frequently asked questions about day trips from Zagreb, Croatia

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Meet Melanie, a budding wordsmith and a full-time Trip101 writer with a penchant for weaving tales that transport readers to far-off lands. With five years of jet-setting experience as a travel...Read more

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