Upper Town

Spend a few hours exploring the tangle of medieval streets and cobbled squares that make up Zagreb’s atmospheric historic district.

Upper Town, or Gornji Grad as it’s also known, was the heart of the medieval city. Located on an elevated hilltop, it looks down upon the more modern Lower Town (Donji Grad) below. Go sightseeing around the evocative lanes and alleys, which feature notable landmarks including the Zagreb Cathedral and St. Mark’s Church.

The historic core of the modern-day city is the result of merging what were once two separate districts: Kaptol and Gradec. For vestiges of these old settlements, look east where an archway, known as the Stone Gate (Kamenita Vrata) once marked the original entry point into Gradec. Today, the archway has been transformed into a shrine to the Virgin Mary. Near the arch today you might even see devout worshippers praying or lighting candles in her honor.

This part of town features many popular tourist attractions and historic churches. Notice the Zagreb Cathedral, an imposing Gothic building that sits atop Kaptol Hill. Among other notable attractions in the area are the colorful tiled roof of St. Mark’s Church and the ornate Baroque interior of the St. Catherine’s Church. Listen for the boom of cannon fire from the 13th-century Lotrščak Tower. The cannon here has been fired every day at noon since the 19th century. Climb to the top of the tower for views overlooking the city.

The district also has many museums, which can provide ample indoor entertainment on a rare rainy day. Try the quirky Museum of Broken Relationships which is filled with mementos from failed relationships. Visit the City Museum to delve into the long history of dynamic Zagreb, as told through numerous varied documents, maps, pieces of art and historic objects.

The neighborhood is known for its café culture. Consequently you’ll find many places to sit and enjoy a drink. Pull up a chair on a café terrace, sip an espresso and watch passersby.

To reach the Upper Town from Lower Town, use the historic funicular railway, which transports passengers up the steep incline. The area is also served by numerous bus routes.

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