Autumn in Zagreb: 15 best and (almost) free things to do
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The leaves get colorful, mornings become chilly and you need to use your rainy boots from time to time. You are right, the autumn is here! Although the arrival of autumn means the summer is officially gone, this colorful time of the year has its perks as well.
If you are in Zagreb, your autumn will be packed with activities and festivities. Many of the activities are suitable for every budget since they are low cost or even free. Check out the list bellow.
Get cultural: theater, concerts, clubs
After a long summer break, the various events are returning to Zagreb. The new theater, concert and the clubbing season start with the first signs of autumn in Zagreb. In Eventim and Ticketshop you can check out all the popular happenings and all about the new theater season in the National Theatre you can find on their web page.
Run Zagreb Marathon
Second Sunday in October is reserved for Zagreb Marathon. Since we arrived in Croatia, Jaime runs every year, half or full marathons. The inscription is around €20 and it guarantees a whole bunch of fun. If you are not ready for 21k or 42k yet, you can also participate in 5k citizens race.
Buy colorful autumn produces in Dolac
With the first signs of fall, Zagreb farmers markets are swamped with autumn colors. Dolac market, the most popular farmers market in the city, is the place to buy fresh and colorful produces like mandarins, pumpkins or chestnuts.
Dolac is also the best place to buy souvenirs and food of all kinds – fresh meat, fish, flowers, fruits, and vegetables. In Splavnica, a little street which connects Dolac with Zagreb’s Main Square, kumice sell beautiful autumn bouquets perfect for decorating the house in the colors of fall.
Try new dishes during the restaurant week
If you liked trying out new chestnut dishes, you will love the restaurant week too! The second week of October, many restaurants in Zagreb participate in this event with a three-course set menu for only 100 kunas (around 13€). This year we enjoyed the lunch in konoba Bracera, but as well we hated the dinner in Lauba. Make sure to double check the reviews before you go.
Eat tons of hot chestnuts
You know the autumn is here when you can feel the smell of roasted chestnuts on the streets. Pick up the bag of fresh, hot chestnuts from the street vendors or, if you do not want to get your hands dirty, visit one of city center’s pastry shops and try delicious chestnut puree with whipped cream, one of the local specialties.
Hike to Medvednica and visit Medvedgrad
Now when the hot days are behind us, it is a perfect time to stretch the legs and pick up a hike to Zagreb’s hill, Medvednica. Take a bus up to Šestine and follow the path 13 to the Queen’s Well (Kraljičin zdenac), from where you can follow the road back for around 10 minutes and climb up to the fort Medvedgrad. For only 15 kunas, you will enjoy spectacular views of Zagreb and the fort itself.
Witness the lamp lighting tradition
They say the autumn in Zagreb is the most romantic time of the year. Why don’t you take your loved one on a unique date? Every day, twice a day, a dedicated lamplighter turns on and off 214 gas lanterns in the Upper Town. This 150 years old tradition gives a special beauty and a romantic atmosphere to the old town. Parts of the Upper Town still kept that gentlemanly Austrian charm.
Find a reason to snuggle
The nights are getting colder, so autumn in Zagreb is a perfect time to get a bit closer to your loved one. Take a romantic walk around the Upper town, collect a few colorful leaves and enjoy this beautiful time of the year with your loved one.
13 days of Halloween
Halloween is a modern concoction in Croatia, but the costume parties got quite popular in last several years. Also, during the last days of October, you can enjoy some spooky (but fun) adventures, learn about witches in Zagreb and explore city’s dark history. You can take specially organized tours, visit Museum of Torture or try your luck in saving the witches in Room Escape. Last year we took the Secret Zagreb’s Ghost and Dragons tour and we absolutely loved it!
Go book shopping in Interliber
The beginning of November is reserved for Interliber, the biggest book fair in the country. In the building of Zagreb Fair (Zagrebački Velesajam), you can buy books at discounted prices, meet the authors and participate in the various workshops. Even if you are not planning to buy anything, it is always nice to stroll around and check what’s new in the world of books.
Visit the cemetery for the All Saints holiday
Mirogoj, Zagreb’s main cemetery, is a big tourist attraction and significant architectural monument throughout the year. But, around the all Saints holiday, it becomes especially beautiful. Croatians visit their deceased graves and decorate them with flowers and candles. If you visit at night, you experience the atmosphere of thousands lighted candles.
Discover Illectricity Festival
From the beginning of November to beginning of December, the whole city becomes a stage for this audio-visual festival. The festival which connects the music, visual arts, and education and introduces the newest music trends to the visitors. Besides the music, you can attend many workshops and audio-visual projects of all kinds.
Admire autumn colors in Maksimir
Every fall, wonderful Maksimir park gets a new attire. Sunny Saturday morning, trees festooned with leaves in bright autumn colors and a warm cup of coffee are everything you need for a perfect start of a weekend. Maksimir is a great place to visit anytime, but in the fall it gets particularly beautiful.
Attend Zagreb Film Festival
Zagreb Film Festival, as one of the most important film festivals in the country, takes place in the late November. The rich program includes the screening of feature and short films, children’s films and many side events in different locations. The majority of screenings take place in traditional cinemas Europa and Tuškanac as well as the Museum of Modern Arts.
Get cozy in one of the bars
Croatians love coffee bars and you will often hear a saying “Idemo na kavu?”, the sentence we use to invite each other to have a coffee (or any other drink) together. The cold weather doesn’t mean Zagreb bars get empty, in contrary, the lively terraces just move into the nicely decorated interiors and all the fun continues. The best autumn drinks are a hot chocolate or warm cup of cocoa with whipped cream.
The autumn in Zagreb is truly fascinating. The smell of roasted chestnuts, the colorful leaves crackling underfoot and heart-warming activities will keep us entertained until the first snowflakes fall down. If you happen to visit Zagreb during this lovely period, make sure you enjoy at least some of these activities.
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