Croatia’s northwestern capital, Zagreb, has one of Europe’s most vibrant party and music scenes. It ticks all the right boxes for a weekend of fun-filled late night antics, with everything on offer from jazz music to alternative and R&B to techno. It’s not all about the nightlife though, as the city has some pretty amazing culture, shopping, architecture and restaurant options too.
The Croatian capital is an all year round city break destination with tons of outdoor activities on offer. Visit in summer to stroll the city’s cobbled streets and visit Jarun lake for a swim and a lakeside party. Or, visit in winter when you can ski and snowboard on the nearby Mount Medvednica. Plus, the flight prices to Zagreb are very affordable, with two direct flights from the UK available every day, on either Croatian Airlines or British Airways. What more could you want?
Explore the city
Jarun Lake is Located just outside of the city centre. It’s a popular destination for locals and visitors and it’s easy to see why. Sunbathe, swim and get involved in a host of watersports during the day, and then get ready for the party as the lake becomes a hub of exciting nightlife activity until the early hours of the morning.
The city of Zagreb consists of two main areas. Gornji Grad, the Upper Town, is full of charm and the city’s top attractions like the stunning St Mark’s church, Donji Grad. The Lower Town is a more modern area home to the central city square, beautiful parks and a host of bars and restaurants. Travel from Upper to Lower Town in the funicular of Zagreb, the shortest cable car in the world and arguably the most charming.
The Museum of broken relationships
Hopefully not a foresight of things to come for the stag/hen groups, the museum of broken relationships is definitely worth a visit when staying in Zagreb. The one of a kind museum displays objects donated from all over the world, each with a story behind them - some are hilarious, some tear-jerking and some just downright stupid.
White water rafting
If you have mates that are up for a challenge then why not book a day trip of river rafting down the scenic River Mrežnica? Get kitted up, hop into your raft, and get ready for the ride of a lifetime. Plus, its the perfect way to get everyone pumped up for a night out later.
The hilarious twist on a 5-a-side match is one of the most popular activities in Zagreb, and once the whistle blows, you’ll soon find out why. You’ll be knocking each other to the floor in seconds whether you’ve got the ball or not and trying to stay on your feet long enough to get a shot away.
There's are a lot of different nightclub options in this popular European city, playing host to all kinds of musical genres, making it great for big groups with different tastes. You can expect mega-clubs, lakeside terrace bars and casinos, all within a short distance of one another.
This stylish club has a stunning outdoor terrace overlooking the scenic lake Juan and is one of the most popular clubbing destinations in the city. It boasts 3 bars and hosts world-famous DJs, playing everything from R’n’B and Hip-Hop to House and Electro.
This trendy club is set inside an old factory with four large dance floors each offering different DJs, live acts and themes. It is one of the most famous clubs in the city and it’s become a favourite for both tourists and locals alike - it’s definitely the place to see and be seen.
Set in the 5-star Hotel Westin, this high-end 24-hour casino is world famous for its poker tournaments. It offers blackjack, American roulette and slot machines, as well as a great atmosphere and a well-stocked bar.
Eat like a local
Croatian food is super-varied, but a lot of dishes tend to revolve around deliciously fresh, grilled meat and fish. There are hundreds of restaurants dotted around the city so, if the local cuisine isn’t to your taste, there will definitely be international options that can cater to you and your mates.
Traditional Croatian cuisine
You can sample some of the freshest Croatian food at the Dolac market, an open-air farmers market in the heart of the city. Try Istrian ham, salted pork leg and Cuspajz, a meat stew - they’re just some of the delicious signature foods of the city.
Traditional Rakija Tasting
Experience Rakija, a famous fruit brandy, served strong and in a variety of flavours including plum, herbal, pear and grape. You and your mates can sample a variety of flavours in a traditional Rakija tasting session.
Where to stay
Zagreb is a tourist hotspot, so it's no surprise that there are a ton of accommodation options available in the city. But, there tend to be more top end hotels on offer than the budget options. So, if you're not planning on spending an arm and a leg, you’ll need to book your accommodation far in advance to secure the cheaper hotels.
Zagreb is Croatia’s North-Western capital and one of Europe’s most vibrant party destinations - perfect for a weekend of fun, thrills and untapped debauchery.
The city’s eclectic mix of old and new make it a sweet spot for sightseeing, dining and fun-filled late night antics - and the fact that Zagreb is often overlooked as a party destination (a big mistake) means that a trip here will go down in stag do history. Start your night right with a couple of drinks down Tkalciceya street - a kilometre long stretch of cafes, bars and pubs in the Upper town area. From there, you should look at moving Down town where clubs stay open until the early hours .
Zagreb is a city split into distinctive sections, two of which are essential to any weekend visit.
The thousand year old Gornji Grad, also known as the Upper Town, boasts the most of the city’s most beloved sights, including the iconic St Mark’s Church, as well as excellent museums, galleries and quaint cobbled streets lit by gas lamps.
Donji Grad, also known as the Lower Town, is the place to go for shopping, eating, drinking and clubbing; it’s also home many of Zagreb’s most picturesque parks and secret courtyards (not notch hangover recovery spots).
Zagreb is easily negotiable on foot and its tram, bus and funicular services run as regular as clockwork.
Bars and Pubs
Sheridan’s Irish Bar
Best for: a merry atmosphere and great craic No matter where you go in the world, Irish bars are ten a penny, so what makes this one so special? Well, the beer at Sheridan’s is plentiful yet affordable, the bar staff are treat you like you’re their best mate and the atmosphere is tip top. Many Irish bars have come and gone in Zagreb, but Sheridan’s still stands tall with locals and visitors alike. The perfect place to kick off a good old fashioned knees up with the lads.
Best for: a colossal beer menu to suit every palette This warm, rustic and decidedly secluded tavern is one of the most respected pubs in all of Zagreb and great for ramping things up before hitting the clubs. Not only does the pub boast one of the city’s biggest beer selections, it also has a terrace in Joe Strummer’s Square, in which to sit and sup some suds on milder evenings.
Best for: mind-blowing live music Get a load of this! With a more than striking name and a solid reputation, SPUNK is one of Zagreb’s best clubs for live music. Hidden under the National University Library, this bustling club showcases the city’s most memorable live acts and its comic book mural interiors give its atmosphere an electrifying edge. Cut shapes and slug shots into the wee hours – you won’t be disappointed!
Best for: partying without the pretentiousness Forget those clinical VIP only clubbing spots, or sweaty arm pitted student dives because this increasingly popular night spot is here to meet you right in the middle. The club offers free entry until 11pm on weekends and its minimalist feel makes it all the better for dancing like a lunatic to soul and R&B, while eyeing up the local talent with the lads - a solid gold stag spot!
Best for: cutting serious shapes to cutting-edge dance music The brainchild of Zagreb resident and clubbing guru Sergei Lugovic, Sirup is the place to go for serious clubbers looking to let loose on the dancefloor. Nestled amongst a bunch of anonymous looking shops and warehouses, this club has an exclusive vibe (without the snobbery) and the interior gives it the feel of an intimate lunar park. A trip to Zagreb with the lads/ladies wouldn’t be complete without a trip here, so get down there, get stuck in and make it a night to remember!
Eat like a local
Not only does Zagreb offer a wealth of choice when it comes to restaurants, it’s also celebrated for its new generation of street food offerings.
For a more traditional Croatian dining experience, the likes of La Struk or Vagabund offer delicious dishes that won’t bust the bank. If you’re looking to chow down on something a little more upmarket, 5/4, the latest venue from Dino Galvano, will provide a cutting-edge dining experience like no other, with experimental fayre served in surreal surroundings.
After a heavy night out on the tiles, rather than reaching for the supermarket potato chips or that stale kebab, why not pay a visit to Mundoaka Street Food? This buzzing little joint is the very best way to experience Croatian street food, as well as an idea place to line the stomach before going out and doing it all over again.