Lower Town Walking Tour, Zagreb

Lower Town Walking Tour (Self Guided), Zagreb

The Lower Town of Zagreb, also known as Donji Grad, is one of the two main districts in the historic heart of the Croatian capital, alongside the Upper Town (Gornji Grad). It is the more modern of the two and was built during the period of urban expansion, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Lower Town showcases a captivating tapestry of architectural splendor dominated by Austro-Hungarian and Art Nouveau designs, in which historic facades stand as timeless guardians of the city's grandeur. The sweeping boulevards lined by elegant buildings, stately squares, and green parks all contribute to the area's aesthetic charm and exude an air of refined sophistication.

A gateway to the city center is King Tomislav Square, a large square dedicated to the first Croatian king, now serving as a popular meeting place. Overlooking the square is the Art Pavilion, a magnificent venue, one of the oldest exhibition spaces in Southeast Europe.

Another major cultural attraction, not far away, is Strossmayer's Old Masters Gallery – home to an extensive collection of European art. Just across the road from it lies the vibrant Nikola Šubić Zrinski Square, named after a Croatian nobleman and military leader.

The list of cultural attractions of note goes on to include the Croatian National Theater found near Republic of Croatia Square, a bustling space lined with shops, cafes, and historical buildings, nowadays often used for various outdoor events and concerts. The Mimara Museum is also worth visiting for its impressive display of art and historical artifacts from different epochs and civilizations.

The Lower Town of Zagreb stands as a testament to the city's enduring commitment to elegance and timeless charm. Meandering through its streets is like entering a realm of cultural opulence, where every corner whispers stories of a bygone era. If you wish to do it in your good time, take this self-guided walk and enjoy yourself.
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Lower Town Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Lower Town Walking Tour
Guide Location: Croatia » Zagreb (See other walking tours in Zagreb)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.5 Km or 1.6 Miles
Author: jenny
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • King Tomislav Square
  • Art Pavilion
  • Strossmayer's Old Masters Gallery
  • Nikola Šubić Zrinski Square
  • Croatian National Theater
  • Republic of Croatia Square
  • Mimara Museum
  • Croatian State Archives
  • Botanical Garden
King Tomislav Square

1) King Tomislav Square

King Tomislav Square was the first square in the city built in the 19th century. It bears the name of the first king of Croatia and has a mounted statue of him in the middle; nearby is a large park with a fountain. The park is beautifully laid out and represents a spacious green space with lots of flowers and benches to sit on, which makes it a popular outdoor place with the locals.
Art Pavilion

2) Art Pavilion

The Art Pavilion in Zagreb is an art gallery established in 1898, it is the oldest gallery in Southeast Europe and the only purpose-built gallery in Zagreb designed specifically to accommodate large-scale exhibitions.

The idea of creating the gallery was first put forward by Croatian painter Vlaho Bukovac in the spring of 1895.

The gallery has a total display area of 600 m2 and does not have a permanent display as it specialises in one-off solo and group exhibitions representing notable oeuvres and art movements from all periods and styles, with works by both Croatian and foreign artists. Throughout its history, the gallery organised around 700 exhibitions with artists ranging from the Earth Group collective to George Grosz, Henry Moore, Auguste Rodin, Andy Warhol, Mimmo Rotella, and many others. Since 2005 every year around the time of the anniversary of the Pavilion's foundation it publishes a CD-ROM with a virtual tour of exhibitions held in the past year.

Why You Should Visit: It is a magnificent historical building with beautiful interiors and surrounded by lovely gardens, plus it always has some interesting exhibitions inside. Well worth the ticket price.

Opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 11 am – 8 pm; Friday until 9 pm.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Strossmayer's Old Masters Gallery

3) Strossmayer's Old Masters Gallery

The Strossmayer Gallery of Old Masters is a fine art museum exhibiting the collection donated to the city by Bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer in 1884. The Gallery exhibits the works of European painters from 14th-19th century

The Strossmayer Gallery holding includes around 4,000 works, of which some 250 are on display, with the remainder in storage, or on display at other museums or gallery institutions in Croatia. The holdings have been classified into three major groups: Italian, French and Northern European (German, Flemish, and Dutch) works, and also some works by Croatian artists.

The Gallery is on the second floor of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts that dates back to 1867. The building features Italian Renaissance style, and has been brought up to date technologically. The first director of the Academy was historian Franjo Racki.
Nikola Šubić Zrinski Square

4) Nikola Šubić Zrinski Square

Nikola Šubić Zrinski Square is a square and park in Donji Grad, the central part of Zagreb. It is located near the central Ban Jelačić Square, halfway towards the Main Railway Station. It is a part of the so-called Green horseshoe or Lenuci's horseshoe ("Zelena potkova" or "Lenucijeva potkova"), which consists of seven squares in Donji grad. It is spread over an area of 12,540 square meters (135,000 sq ft). The southern part of Zrinjevac sports busts of significant Croatian people: Julije Klović, Andrija Medulić, Fran Krsto Frankopan, Nikola Jurišić, Ivan Kukuljević Sakcinski and Ivan Mažuranić. In the middle of the park is a music pavilion built in 1891.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Croatian National Theater

5) Croatian National Theater

The Croatian National Theater in Zagreb was established in 1840. The theater moved into its current location in 1895; the unveiling ceremony was attended by Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph I. The building itself was the project of famed Viennese architects Ferdinand Fellner and Herman Helmer, whose firm had built several theaters in Vienna. Celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the building were held on October 14, 1995. At the theater's entrance, you can see the famed wall fountain "The Source of Life", designed by Croatian artist and sculptor Ivan Meštrović in 1905

Why You Should Visit: It is a gorgeous building in a park-like setting, surrounded by other beautiful buildings. If you are lucky, you may catch a performance and get a chance to see its equally gorgeous interiors, too.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Republic of Croatia Square

6) Republic of Croatia Square

Republic of Croatia Square is one of the biggest squares in Zagreb. The square is located in Lower Town, with the Croatian National Theatre building at its centre. It is sometimes billed as the "most beautiful square in Zagreb".

The present-day square was formed in the period between 1856 (when the former hospital was built on its northern side) and 1964 (when the Ferimport building was erected on the western side). However, the majority of buildings overlooking the square were built in the late 19th century in the historicist style of architecture.

Republic of Croatia square was the first in line of three squares which form the west wing of the so-called Lenuci's horseshoe a U-shaped belt of squares and parks.

The east wing of the belt is formed by the King Tomislav, Strossmayer and Zrinski squares, and the west wing by the Marulić, Mažuranić and Republic of Croatia squares, with the Botanical Garden connecting the two. The square is home to several cultural and educational institutions and several landmark sculptures.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Mimara Museum

7) Mimara Museum

The Mimara Museum is an art museum housing the collection by Wiltrud and Ante Topić Mimara. Its full official name is the "Art Collection of Ante and Wiltrud Topić Mimara".

Of the total of 3,700 varied works of art, more than 1,500 exhibits constitute permanent holdings, dating from the prehistoric period up to the 20th century. Some of the most famous exhibits include works by Lorenzetti, Raffaello, Giorgione and others. The museum was opened in 1987. The building itself originates from the 19th century, overseen by a Zagreb architect Kuno Waidmann, and it served as a gymnasium.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.
Croatian State Archives

8) Croatian State Archives

The Croatian State Archives building is an example of modern European style architecture with the 20th century elements. It is located in a park and holds a great number of important documents. Initially designed to host a university library and archives, it was later - between the two world wars - renamed and reestablished as an independent institution for state archives.
Botanical Garden

9) Botanical Garden

The Botanical Garden is one of the best areas in Zagreb to unwind in. Founded in 1889 by Antun Heinz, Professor of the University of Zagreb, it is part of the Faculty of Science. It is home to over 10,000 plant species from around the world, including 1,800 exotics. It has large ponds for aquatic plants. Visitors to the garden feel recharged with energy when breathing in the fresh air and walking in the beautiful natural surrounding. As well as the lush greenery, the place features quite a bit of fauna, like ducks, pigeons, and turtles. For those tired of walking, there are plenty of benches to sit on and relax.

Why You Should Visit: Admission is free and there are fun things designed for kids. So if you want to rewind or entertain your little ones, this is a good place to visit.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

Walking Tours in Zagreb, Croatia

Create Your Own Walk in Zagreb

Create Your Own Walk in Zagreb

Creating your own self-guided walk in Zagreb is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Upper Town Walking Tour

Upper Town Walking Tour

Andautonia was a Roman settlement near the location of today's Zagreb. Historical record attests to the name "Zagreb" in 1134, referring to the founding of the diocese of "Kaptol" by sainted King Ladislaus in 1094. Kaptol is the "Upper Town" of Zagreb. The "Lower Town" is "Gradec."

Upper Town centered around Zagreb Cathedral consecrated in...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles