Staying in Zagreb on the cheap
‘Staying in Zagreb on the Cheap’ is your guide to keeping down the costs and still enjoying all that the Croatian capital has to offer. With sections on accommodation, night-life, what to buy & eat and where to find wifi, it couldn’t be easier to make the most of this charmingly intimate city that fits comfortable in the list of great medieval European capitals.
Zagreb‘s budget accommodation options have undergone a dramatic change in recent years as more and more people have cottoned on to the potential of offering simple sleeping arrangements at lower prices. Hostels that are well positioned in the city centre, cost a fraction more but many offer social extras including pub crawls with free entry into selected bars & clubs thrown in. Do note, however, that if you are planning on staying in Zagreb on the cheap then you may need to book ahead especially in the summer months.
Search for Zagreb’s cheapest accommodation (hostels, airbnb, home-stays etc.).
Logistics Youth Center (Jakuševečka 87) is Zagreb’s cheapest accommodation option with a variety of dorm options ranging from €6.90–€11.73 depending on the day and the type of room. The location isn’t ideal but the staff are said to be extremely friendly and helpful and they do offer free wifi & maps. There’s also a terrace on which to relax and even camp (€4.14 – €6.21) if you really want to save the pennies.
Maju Jaya Hostel (Slavonska Avenija 3) offers 5 or 6 bedroom dorms ranging from €9.52-€12.28 and although it is a little out of the centre, visitors’ reviews have good things to say about the cleanliness, staff and cooking facilities. Additionally, security lockers and wifi are offered free of charge.
Hostel Temza (Augusta Šenoe 24) comes well recommended, although a little pricier than some other options, and offers 6-8 bedroom dorms costing €12.50-€14. It is fantastically located on one of Zagreb most lively streets and services include a free breakfast, wifi, and a 24hr bar.
The night-life in Zagreb, unsurprisingly, predominately happens in the city centre with the pedestrianised Tkalčićeva ulica the spiritual home of the pub crawl in the Croatian capital. Other bar streets include the slightly more upmarket, and thus more expensive, lounge-bars around Cvjetni trg (Flower square) & the main square Trg Bana Josipa Jelačića. That is not all, however; bars are everywhere in Zagreb, so be sure to also check out the streets: Preradovićeva, Radićeva & Bogovićeva which are also packed with a range of bars & restaurants. For something a little less aimed at tourists, bars along the Savska cesta & Ilica streets are commonly frequented by the city’s student population.
During the summer, much of the night-life decamps to Lake Jarun with the club cluster (inc. Aquarius & Gallery) drawing much of the late-night crowd. Other clubs of interest include Saloon club, which has been attracting the great and good since the 1970s and Sirup, the place to go if you are a fan of electronic music. Admission to clubs usually costs between 20kn-60kn and be aware that several clubs impose a dress code which means no trainers.
And don’t forget the charming Strossmayer Promenade which is a lovely place to have a beer with spectacular views overlooking the city and what’s more when ‘Summer Stross’ festival is held, that the street is taken over with events taking place daily from 11 a.m. to midnight.
Things to buy
Ilica, the main street running west from Jelačić, is the traditional hub of shopping in Zagreb and where a vast number of international shops and banks can be found.
There are many interesting markets to visit in Zagreb with the best known and most visited being Dolac which is the base from which farmers from the surrounding villages come to sell their produce. However, don’t miss out on the modest antique market held every Saturday & Sunday morning on Britanski trg or the Sunday morning Hrelić Flea market where all manner of weird and wonderful goods are sold.
Typical local products include Croatian wines, rakija (grape brandy), olive oil and truffles which all make thoughtful gifts for the loved ones back home. For some innovative souvenirs ideas head to Take Me Home (Tomićeva ulica 4) and on Radićeva ulica there are many independent jewellery shops and boutiques. The Tourist Information Centre (Trg bana Josipa Jelačića 11) sells everything from postcards to books and could also be a useful place to pick up something.
If you are need of urgent supplies the two shopping centres: Avenue Mall (Dubrovnik Ave 16) and Centar Kaptol (Nova ves 17) are useful places to start and for foreign language books: Algoritam (Harambašićeva ulica 19) and Profil Megastore (Bogovićeva ulica 7) are well stocked.
Things to eat
Some of Zagreb’s local specialities include purica s mlincima (roast turkey with flat baked dough), štrukli (baby cheese pasta parcels boiled then baked), and the strangely popular zagrebački odrezak (pork cutlets stuffed with cheese and ham). In addition, the stomach filling meat and offal soup ujušak, comes served with root veg and dumplings, and is certainly worth a try.
For those on a tighter budget, in the centre there are numerous pizza-cut, kebab shops, pancake-to-go and fast food restaurants including all the major chains. Sandwiches are sold across the city and usually cost between 10–20 Kuna.
Wifi & Internet
Wifi is pretty straightforward to find in Zagreb with a few internet cafés and, bars and restaurants offering the service. Simply, check out our useful map…
written by: Jon