6 Best Areas Where to Stay in Zagreb – Hotels & Airbnbs from Luxury to Budget

The largest city and capital of Croatia, Zagreb, is often overlooked by tourists. Those who don’t visit are for sure missing out on some great museums, architecture, and delicious food! It is also known as the home of dragons because of the many medieval statues picturing these long-gone creatures. If you stay in Zagreb, you can even use the world’s shortest street car funicular system, which connects the Upper Town and Lower Town. You have to love such an authentic city!

You’re probably wondering where to stay in Zagreb, which are the best places here, from luxury hotels to hostels and good cafes. It can be hard to choose when you have so many great options but don’t worry, I’ve looked through hundreds of hotel lists to find you the absolute best one for each price range. I only recommend the best-rated hotels that I would choose for myself! 

Just keep in mind that you have to book in advance to get the best deals, especially on the mid-range and budget ones. Those sell out quickly!

We all love to travel in style and find the best areas to stay! So let’s go, we’ve got many Zagreb hotels to see!

If you are in a hurry

Here’s a short list of all the best hotels for your stay in Zagreb, all located in Lower Town: 

luxury hotel

Esplanade

Best luxury hotel

airbnb

Modern Apartment

An Airbnb with amazing reviews

mid-range hotel

International Hotel

Best value for money

budget hotel

Seven Stars

Best affordable accommodation in the center

This map will guide you through all the best places to stay, broken down by areas that I will be talking about in this post:

Lower Town
(Donji Grad)
for first-timers
Upper Town (Gornji Grad)
for nightlife
Kaptol
for budget
Novi Zagreb
for the modern vibe

1. Lower Town (Donji Grad)  – where to stay in Zagreb for the first time

With charming Austro-Hungarian architecture and huge streets, the city center, also known as the Lower Town of Zagreb is the perfect choice for you if you’re traveling to Croatia’s capital for the first time. You won’t need to take the bus to get around as everything is within walking distance.

If you decide to book your trip here, you can combine all the elements that make a holiday successful, like learning about their history, going shopping and sightseeing in the beautiful town square. 

Its central location makes the city center the best area to stay in, and although it’s modern, you’ll still spot some narrow streets and huge old buildings. I hope you’re a coffee lover because in Zagreb the coffee culture is a huge thing! 

That’s why the Lower Town is perfect for you if you’re coming for the first time, you’ll get a taste of this city and its coffee, and if you want to go outside the city, the public transport is safe here. If you’re in the mood to explore more of Croatia (and I highly recommend you do), check out the best hotels near Plitvice Lakes.

Luxury hotel

I love the classical-elegant touch of this Lower Town Zagreb luxury hotel, it looks like a modern palace! Not to mention the art-nouveau, spacious rooms with amazing views of the heart of the city! You can hit the gym or spa in the morning, and then go to the hotel’s terrace restaurant and enjoy a delicious meal! This is one of the best places to stay in Lower Town!

Other accommodation in Lower Town (Donji Grad)

mid-range

This hotel in Zagreb has  modern rooms for all family members, free wifi and a modern lounge bar

budget

Stay in Zagreb in this cozy guesthouse that has spacious family rooms and air conditioning

airbnb

One of the best apartments in the city center that has a garden, free parking and a lovely kitchen 

Things to do in Zagreb Lower Town (Donji Grad)

2. Upper Town (Gornji Grad) – best place to stay for nightlife

Located near the Lower Town, Upper Town forms the other half of the beautiful city center. The Old Town in Zagreb, (that’s another one of the numerous names), is fantastic! If you want to enjoy the city’s nightlife in between museum hopping and history lessons, this part of town is perfect for you. This is one of the best areas to stay in Zagreb city for all party lovers!

You won’t get prettier views of the city than from the Upper Town, which is located on a hillside! Definitely pack those comfy shoes! The old houses and cobbled streets look so amazing from up here but fear not, the streets are not quiet! They are packed with friendly tourists, lively bars and restaurants, and other Zagreb attractions.

Make sure you book the hotels here in advance as many young people want to stay in this area in order to be close to all the bars!

In the Old Town, you’ll be able to walk around the city’s main square, the Jelacic Square, and get ready to have some fun on Tkalciceva, the “bar street” which goes all the way through the Upper Town from the square. I told you, the dance floor is waiting for you!

Luxury hotel

Located in a quiet green area in the city center, this is one of the best places to stay and it has an amazing panoramic view! Drink your coffee on the terrace and relax here before you hit the bars! This boutique hotel offers modern rooms with big windows and a restaurant. You’ll get the best of both worlds here, peace, and the heart of the city!

Other accommodation in Upper Town (Gornji Grad)

mid-range

A great hotel with modern rooms, huge glass windows, breakfast is included and you have a lovely shared lounge area

budget

A great place to stay, located near the Ban Jelacic Square (the main square), this hostel has a terrace and air conditioning in the rooms

airbnb

One of the most affordable apartments, this place has a comfy bed, a garden, and a balcony within walking distance of everything

Things to do in Upper Town (Gornji Grad)

3. Kaptol – where to stay in Zagreb on a budget

Located in the north part of the city, Kaptol is separated from Uptown by a small street. This is Zagreb’s best budget area, so you’ll find tons of affordable apartments because the neighborhood is older and not as popular as the other ones. Kaptol is the city’s religious center, so the atmosphere is quite nice, with the lovely villas and the Zagreb Cathedral, the tallest Croatian building.

This is one of the best places to stay as all the tourist attractions are just a minute walk away. So if you don’t want to spend all your money on luxurious boutique hotels, I highly recommend choosing this neighborhood! Book your spot as quickly as possible as many may be looking for good deals which make these ones sell out fast! 

You’ll find historical landmarks in this part of the city of Zagreb as well as some shopping stores and good restaurants. Make sure you stop by the Dolac Market and get a cool souvenir! I highly recommend checking out some other areas around the country like Dubrovnik, the best way to do that is by driving but there are some things you should know before renting a car.

Luxury hotel

This Zagreb hotel is very elegant; the dining area looks like one of those luxurious ballrooms from the movies. One of the best places to stay in the city that offers spa services, in case you want to relax. Enjoy a drink at the friendly bar before heading back to your room and admire the city views!

Other accommodation options in Kaptol, Zagreb

mid-range

One of the best mid-range apartments in the City of Zagreb, with family rooms and the place, is pet friendly

budget

On budget Zagreb accommodation with free parking, free wifi, and family rooms

airbnb

Stay in Zagreb Croatia in a quirky, affordable apartment  that has a kitchen, free parking, and wifi

Things to do in Kaptol, Zagreb 

4. Novi Zagreb – where to stay in the modern side of Zagreb

As you might’ve guessed this is the newest area in town, however, some old aspects were preserved so you’ll see a mix of corporations with modern architecture and some communist buildings. Located just 3 km (2 miles) away from the city center, you’ll enjoy this part of Zagreb Croatia if modern big buildings, urban spaces, and socialist villas are your thing!

The Zagreb hotels are also quite affordable here as the area is not as packed with tourists as the other ones. Like any other modern neighborhood, you’ll find a few parks here, so take a day off from any activities and spend a relaxing day admiring the beautiful nature.

There are also some museums if you want to learn more about their culture while you stay in Zagreb, Croatia. If you want to visit the Gornji Grad Upper Town or the Lower Town you can easily take the tram to either part of the city.

I didn’t find any good luxury places to stay in this area and as I only want to recommend the best of the best places where to stay in Zagreb for you, I suggest you check out the other areas if you are looking for luxury. Here are the best options for other categories in Novi Zagreb: 

Other accommodation options in Novi Zagreb

mid-range

One of the best hotels in Zagreb, with modern amenities, a terrace, and spacious rooms

budget

Stay in Zagreb city in this lovely apartment that has family rooms, a garden, and BBQ facilities

airbnb

This apartment has modern amenities, a balcony, and a beautiful view which makes a perfect home away from home

Things to do in Novi Zagreb

5. Maksimir – best place to stay for outdoor activities

Located in the eastern central part of the city, this area is often overlooked by tourists who are wondering where to stay in Zagreb, however, it will be perfect for you if you enjoy spending some time in nature and shopping in the best stores! Home to the largest and oldest parks in Zagreb and the Maksimir Stadium, there are tons of activities to try here! 

Who knows, maybe if you’re coming during the football season, you might catch a game! 

I’m sure all sports enthusiasts would love that! You’ll also find some of the best hotels in the city and restaurants here.

The park is really beautiful, especially in the autumn when all the leaves are falling and the color palette is mesmerizing. Because most of this part of Zagreb Croatia was built in recent years, you’ll find many cafes, luxury restaurants, and a great shopping mall! 

Don’t forget you’re on holiday, don’t get caught up with all the museum visits and remember to eat some good food and buy that expensive piece of clothing! You deserve it!

Luxury hotel

One of the best hotels in Zagreb, with family rooms and a spa center. I just love the little balcony room; you can spend a relaxing evening here admiring the beautiful view of the town Zagreb. They also have a nice garden where you can serve your breakfast and get ready for a new day of sightseeing!

Other accommodation options in Maksimir, Zagreb

mid-range

Stay in this Zagreb hotel that offers rooms service and free wifi, and it’s located near the restaurants and cafes

budget

One of Zagreb best budget hostels that has a restaurant and bar on-site, plus a lovely terrace

airbnb

A nice place to stay in Croatia, this old modernized apartment has a kitchen and air-conditioned rooms

Things to do in Maksimir, Zagreb

  • Take a long relaxing walk in Maksimir Park
  • Enjoy a day in the beautiful Botanical Garden
  • Take the family to the Zoo Zagreb
  • Visit the  Zagreb Stadium
  • Go to the Shopping Mall
  • Eat a delicious meal at Duksa Pizza

6. Jarun – where to stay in Zagreb for families

Are you traveling to Zagreb Croatia, with your family, and you don’t know which neighborhood will keep your kids entertained and you as well? This is the best area to stay in this capital with the family! 

Jarun is named after the artificial lake that runs through the area, also known as the Zagreb Sea. You can try numerous activities like swimming, paddling, surfing, skating, and many others at the lake. The little ones may need another vacation after this one!

Here you are away from the hustle and bustle of the center, which will be great if you’re traveling with the family, but you can easily reach the downtown area when you want to visit other museums. You might consider renting a car so you can get around easily from your hotel. Or as another option, you can take Tram 17 that goes to the city center. 

There’s a great selection of luxury hotels and budget hostels here as well, plus tons of restaurants and cafes!

Luxury hotel

One of the best luxury hotels in Zagreb, this place looks super fancy, and they have two saunas and a hot tub! The terrace looks really elegant; you can enjoy your morning coffee here before heading to the lake. The hotel is pet-friendly, and the breakfast is really good!

Other accommodation options in Jarun

mid-range

A lovely hotel in Zagreb with breakfast included that has a terrace, fitness center, and spacious rooms

budget

Stay in Zagreb Croatia in a cozy apartment that has a kitchen, free wifi and a nice view of the city

airbnb

Zagreb’s best Airbnb for families, this apartment has a unique design, a patio, backyard, and a kitchen

Things to do in Jarun, Zagreb

👑 Luxury price:€130
🏨 Mid Range:€70
🛏️ Budget:€30
🏠 Airbnb:€50
💰 Accommodation prices:Low
📍 Best Area:Lower Town
🛎️ Best luxury hotel:Esplanade
👛 Best budget hotel:Seven Stars

Frequently asked questions about Zagreb

🤔 How many days should I spend in Zagreb?

If you’re wondering how long should your stay in Zagreb Croatia be, then I would suggest spending at least 4-5 days here, most important landmarks are within walking distance of most places so that’s enough time to see everything on your bucket list.

❓ Is Zagreb safe at night?

This city in Croatia is usually safe for tourists, the crime rate is relatively low, of course, there are areas and parks that you shouldn’t frequent alone at night. 

🏨 Where to stay in lower town Zagreb?

One of the best Zagreb hotels located in the LowerTown is Esplanade, you will feel like you’re in a palace with all the furniture and art deco design.

💲 What’s the best place to stay in Zagreb on a budget?

Stay in Zagreb Croatia in the Hostel Bureau located in Kaptol, the area is perfect if you’re a budgettraveler and you’ll find some of the best deals at this hotel.

👪 What are the best hotels for families in Zagreb?

If you’re wondering where to stay in Zagreb with the whole family, I recommend the Admiral Hotel in Jarun or at the International Hotel in Lower Town.

Conclusion

Such an adventure! How cool is the Museum of Broken Relationships and all the museums in the Upper Town? They sure are creative! I hope this article on where to stay in Zagreb helped you decide whether you want to stay in the Upper Town or Lower Town, or any other area!

I’m sure you already have a list of all the best hotels, nice cafes, and restaurants where you want to eat all the delicious Croatian food.

I know I’ve offered so many options for where to stay in Zagreb during your holiday, but here are my top two favorite ones both located in Lower Town. Make sure you book any of these in advance as they are top tourist locations all year round

  • Esplanade – enjoy the royal treatment in this elegant hotel in Zagreb
  • International Hotel –  one of the best places to stay with spacious rooms

Have fun in the capital of Croatia, explore the beautiful old streets of the Upper Town, and head to the Zagreb cathedral to admire this iconic piece of architecture! If you have any more questions about Zagreb, the tourist attractions or anything else, feel free to leave a comment and I will do my best to help you! 

Safe travels, 

Victoria

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