10 Must-Visit Zagreb Museums

Zagreb, Croatia, is a vibrant and cultural city with a rich history and heritage. Zagreb Museums are among the best places to explore this city, offering a glimpse into its past, present, and future.

Our family residing in Zagreb has allowed us ample opportunities to immerse ourselves in its wonders. In fact, we even lived in Zagreb for a while! We have enjoyed visiting most of Zagreb’s museums and numerous art galleries.

Zagreb Museums, Art Pavillon, Illustration

From the historical and artistic to the whimsical and entertaining, we have curated a list of must-visit museums in Zagreb that are not to be missed.

Join us on this enchanting exploration of Zagreb’s cultural tapestry!

1. Museum of Broken Relationships

The Museum of Broken Relationships has a really interesting focus on failed relationships. This museum in Zagreb is the most well-known and popular among all Zagreb museums. It is a unique and interesting place to visit, conveniently located in the Upper Town on Cirilometodska 2, the street connecting Lotrscak Tower and St. Mark’s Church.

Broken light bulb, Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb

You’ll get to see personal items donated by people from all over the world, sharing the stories of their past relationships that didn’t work out. Some items and stories are funny, while others are quite emotional. But the museum’s collection is a beautiful reminder that life has its ups and downs, and that’s what makes it special.

A letter, Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb

If you plan to visit the museum, remember that it gets busy. To avoid crowds, visiting before 11 am or after 7 pm is recommended. This way, you can focus on the exhibition and its stories without distractions.

The Museum of Broken Relationships is quirky and small, and it has a nice café with WiFi, a good selection of coffees and teas, and homemade cookies. So, you have no excuse to skip visiting this Zagreb museum.

Museum of Broken Relationships Key Information

2. Museum of Contemporary Art

If you are a fan of contemporary art, visit the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb.

The Museum of Contemporary Art is Croatia’s largest and most significant museum of modern and contemporary art. The museum’s permanent exhibition, spread over three floors, displays works by contemporary artists, mostly Croatian and some from around the world.

The museum shows an incredible variety of art, including paintings, sculptures, media art, films and videos, drawings, graphics, prints, and art installations. The museum also hosts temporary exhibitions, workshops, and educational programs, making it a must-visit for art enthusiasts.

We spent an hour exploring this museum, although we could have easily dedicated more time if we hadn’t been in a slight hurry.

Once you’ve finished viewing the exhibitions, end your visit to the museum in a fun way, sliding down in a huge slide from the upper level to the ground floor.

To get to the Museum of Contemporary Art, take tram no. 6 from Jelacic Square or the Central train station to the last stop, Sopot. From there, the museum is just a few minutes walk away, visible on your right side from the tram stop. A 30-minute ticket should be sufficient for the journey.

Visiting this Zagreb museum allows you to visit another neighborhood of Zagreb beyond the city center, as it’s situated on the other side of the Sava River. However, the museum is easily reachable by public transportation and worth the journey.

Museum of Contemporary Art Key Information
  • Location: Avenija Dubrovnik 17, Zagreb, Croatia
  • Working Hours: 11 am-7 pm (Tue-Fri), 9 am-6 pm (Sat, Sun), Monday closed
  • Tickets: €6 ($6.60, £5.10) for one exhibition, €8 ($8.80, £6.80) for two exhibitions, €10 ($10.10, £8.50) for full access

3. Ethnographic Museum Zagreb

The Ethnographic Museum in Zagreb is a must-visit spot for anyone interested in learning about Croatia’s rich cultural heritage. Housed in a beautiful 18th-century Art Nouveau palace just behind the Croatian National Theater, the museum showcases an extensive collection of everyday artifacts from different historical periods.

The museum has two floors and offers a diverse collection of over 80,000 items, including traditional folk costumes, tools, household objects, musical instruments, and toys. Additionally, there is a permanent collection of non-European items that explorers brought back from their travels to Africa, Oceania, and Latin America in the 19th century. The museum also hosts various temporary exhibits and events that help visitors gain a deeper insight into Croatian culture and traditions.

During our last visit, we particularly enjoyed the temporary exhibition on “Intimate Spaces of Everyday Life,” which provided a glimpse into people’s daily lives and homes. We also enjoyed the temporary exhibition showcasing the intangible cultural heritage of Croatia.

Immerse yourself in the customs and traditions of this beautiful country as you explore the fascinating stories behind each item at the Ethnographic Museum. The museum is in the city center and can easily be reached from the main square.

Ethnographic Museum Zagreb Key Information

4. Arts and Crafts Museum Zagreb

This museum is currently closed for renovation!

Founded in 1880, the Arts and Crafts Museum Zagreb is among the oldest museums in Croatia. Located on the Republic Croatia Square, which also features the Croatian National Theater, the Faculty of Law, and the Ethnographic Museum, the Arts and Crafts Museum is housed in a historicist palace dating back to 1888.

It showcases various decorative and applied arts from the 14th to the 21st century, including furniture, ceramics, textiles, sculptures, paintings, graphics, product design, metalwork, and more. The museum also has an extensive library with over 65,000 volumes of books and magazines, making it a unique attraction for book lovers.

The museum is in the city center and can easily be reached on foot from the main square. Alternatively, take tram no. 12, 14, or 17 from Jelacic Square and get out on the second stop.

Zagreb Arts and Crafts Museum Key Information

5. Museum of Illusions

If you want an unusual museum experience, consider visiting the Museum of Illusions in Zagreb. Situated on Ilica Street, this interactive museum offers more than 70 exhibits that will challenge your perception and make you question what is real and what is an illusion. You can explore optical illusions, holograms, puzzles, and mind-bending activities. Plus, you can take fun photos at various optical illusion installations.

The Museum of Illusions is rather small, but it’s a great place to visit with kids. You can get lost in the maze of mirrors, watch people around you shrink or grow, and have fun with many other optical illusions and brain teasers.

My family and I visited this museum twice in the last three years, and both times, we went with our nieces and nephews. We took tons of photos and absolutely loved the Ames Room, which makes you either a giant or a dwarf, depending on the corner you stand in, and the mind-boggling Anti-gravity Room, which challenges the very laws of physics, making you question the concept of gravity itself.

If you want to visit the Museum of Illusions, walk down Ilica Street from the main square, and you’ll find the museum at Ilica 72. Alternatively, take tram no. 1, 6, or 11 from the main square and get off at the first stop.

Avoid visiting this museum during peak hours as it gets quite crowded despite the limited number of visitors allowed per hour. This often results in long waiting times to take photos or enjoy the illusions. To have the best experience, planning your visit early in the morning or late afternoon is better.

Museum of Illusions in Zagreb: Key Information

6. 80s Museum Zagreb

The Zagreb’s 80s Museum is a fun and cool museum to visit! This unique Zagreb museum offers a nostalgic journey through the decade’s pop culture, fashion, music, and technology.

It’s located next to the Stone Gate and showcases a typical Yugoslavian family apartment from the 1980s. The six rooms are filled with furniture, kitchen equipment, and entertainment items, such as vinyl, cassettes, and magazines, both fashion and erotic. The museum is fully interactive, allowing you to touch everything, open cupboards and cabinets, touch the clothes, and sit on the couch. The last room is full of old computer games that you can play, including Commodore C64.

This museum serves as a perfect reminder of the old Socialist-era times. During her visit, Vera was transported back to her childhood in former Yugoslavia, as many of the items on display were a part of her home in the 1980s. As someone born and raised in Canada, the visit offered me an interesting glimpse into life in the former Yugoslavia.

Zagreb’s 80s Museum Key Information

7. Zagreb Rocket Attacks Memorial Centre

This memorial center pays tribute to the victims of the Zagreb rocket attacks during the Croatian War of Independence in 1991. It features a multimedia exhibition that tells the story of the two attacks and their aftermath, as well as a monument dedicated to those who lost their lives. The center also serves as a place for reflection and remembrance.

Visiting the Zagreb Rocket Attacks Memorial Center was a moving experience. We even shed a tear on a couple of occasions during the tour of the museum. The museum has interactive exhibits that make it interesting, especially for those interested in military history.

Despite its location in the very heart of Zagreb, between the Main and Flower Square, the museum is a bit tricky to find. It is located in an apartment on the second floor of a residential building on Frane Petrica Street. It feels like visiting someone’s house. The entrance fee is only €2, and payment is accepted only in cash.

Zagreb Rocket Attacks Memorial Center: Key Information

8. Museum of Hangovers

Check out the Museum of Hangovers in Zagreb for a lighter and more humorous museum experience. This quirky Zagreb museum takes visitors on a captivating journey from sobriety to the aftermath of a hangover, offering interactive exhibits and games along the way. Share your own hangover stories and immerse yourself in the intriguing tales showcased here.

To our surprise, the Hangover Museum exceeded our expectations and became one of our favorite museums in Zagreb. Despite its size, the museum offers fascinating and enjoyable stories to read, allowing you to spend a significant amount of time exploring its exhibits. While it showcases the fun aspects of hangovers, it also sheds light on the negative effects of alcohol, providing a balanced perspective.

As a delightful bonus, visitors are treated to a complimentary shot at the conclusion of their visit. Don’t miss out on this unforgettable experience!

The Hangover Museum is located in Vlaska Ulica, just a 5-minute walk from Zagreb’s main square.

Zagreb Hangover Museum Key Information

9. Museum of Chocolate

Indulge your sweet tooth at the Museum of Chocolate in Zagreb. This interactive museum takes visitors on a journey through the history and production of chocolate, with plenty of opportunities to taste different types and flavors along the way. It also offers workshops for making chocolates and hosts events like chocolate tastings and cocktail nights.

Located in Varsavska Street, in the heart of Zagreb’s Lower Town, the Chocolate Museum in Zagreb makes you experience the taste of different types of chocolate, learn how to make chocolate pralines, explore the world of chocolate, and discover the history of chocolate from the Aztecs to the chocolate factories of England and Belgium. Don’t miss the chance to indulge in the delightful flavors of chocolate.

Museum of Chocolate in Zagreb: Key Information
  • Location: Varsavska 5, Zagreb, Croatia
  • Working Hours: 2 pm-8 pm (Monday), 10 am-8 pm (Tue-Sat), 10 am-7 pm (Sunday)
  • Tickets: Adults €9 ($9.90, £7.70), Children €6.50 ($7.10, £5.50)

10. Museum of Naïve Art

Experience the unique and charming world of naïve art at the Museum of Naïve Art in Zagreb. This quirky museum showcases works by self-taught artists from Croatia and around the world. The colorful and whimsical paintings offer a refreshing break from traditional art styles.

It displays paintings of Croatian naive artists, including works of Ivan Generalic, Franjo Mraz, and Mirko Virius, founders of Croatian naive art. It would take you max. Half an hour to visit. The staff is very informative and eager to answer all your questions.

The quaint museum pleasantly surprised us! We entered the museum with little expectations and limited knowledge of naive art. It is a small establishment that can be explored in just 20 minutes. Aside from the permanent collection, the museum frequently showcases temporary exhibitions. During our most recent visit, we had the opportunity to experience the “Naiva in Yugoslavia” exhibition.

You’ll find the Croatian Museum of Naive Art in the Upper Town, across the street from the Museum of Broken Relationships. 

Croatian Museum of Naive Art Key Information

Best Museums in Zagreb To Visit With Kids

Zagreb offers a range of educational and entertaining museums for families traveling with children. Below are some top picks for kid-friendly museums in the city.

  • Zagreb Technical Museum Nikola Tesla is a hands-on museum where kids can learn about science and technology through interactive exhibits.
  • Multimedia Centre Be Proud is a must-visit for football (or soccer) fans of all ages. It showcases the history and achievements of Croatian football with interactive exhibits and virtual reality experiences.
  • Museum of Illusions offers a unique experience for families, where optical illusions and mind-bending exhibits will have everyone questioning what they see.
  • Backo Mini Express is a miniature railway museum that will delight kids and adults. The detailed landscapes and moving trains make for an immersive experience.
  • The Chocolate Museum in Zagreb is a sweet treat for families. Visitors can learn about the history of chocolate, see how it’s made, and even try some delicious samples.
  • Ferdinand Budicki Automobile Museum features a collection of vintage cars and motorcycles, perfect for young car enthusiasts.

No matter which museums you visit in Zagreb, Croatia, you and your kids will have a fun and educational experience. And with many museums offering discounted or free admission for children, it’s also an affordable way to spend the day. Don’t miss out on these top museum attractions during your family trip to Zagreb! So, add them to your itinerary and create unforgettable memories together as a family.

Other Museums and Galleries in Zagreb

Zagreb boasts several more noteworthy museums and art galleries worth visiting. However, it is disheartening to note that a few of them, such as the Modern Gallery and Art Pavilion, are currently closed due to damage sustained during the 2020 earthquake. Despite their closure, these museums remain highly intriguing and should not be missed once they reopen.

  • The Art Pavilion in Zagreb, located in a beautiful neoclassical building, is an iconic cultural venue hosting various notable temporary exhibitions emphasizing contemporary and experimental art. Closed for renovation!
  • The Modern Gallery in Zagreb is renowned for its impressive collection of 19th and 20th-century Croatian art, housed in a striking palace that’s a work of art in itself. Closed for renovation!
  • The Zagreb City Museum is a well-organized museum showcasing the history of Zagreb, with exhibits spanning different eras and featuring models and information boards.
  • The Mimara Museum in Zagreb houses an extensive collection of art and artifacts from various civilizations, including sculptures, paintings, glassware, carpets, and furniture, spanning over 3,500 years of history. Closed for renovation!
  • The Croatian History Museum, housed in the Baroque Vojković-Oršić-Rauch Palace since 1959, showcases the history of Croatia through a diverse range of artifacts and exhibits that span from the Middle Ages to the present day. Closed for renovation!
  • The Croatian Natural History Museum in Zagreb is Croatia’s oldest and largest natural history museum, housing over 2 million artifacts and serving as a hub for research, preservation, and collection of natural history. Closed for renovation!
  • The Croatian State Archives, a stunning example of Secessionist architecture, is a cherished cultural building that has preserved the country’s history and identity through its rich decoration and valuable archival materials.
  • Lauba Gallery in Zagreb is a vibrant contemporary art space that presents avant-garde works by established and emerging Croatian and international artists.
  • The Klovićevi Dvori Gallery in Zagreb is a distinguished cultural spot famous for its vast and varied exhibitions that prominently feature both local and international artists.
  • Lauba
  • The Atelier Meštrović in Zagreb is a former residence and working space of renowned Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović, now turned into a museum showcasing his life’s work and sculptures.
  • The Glyptotheque Zagreb is a unique art museum specializing in sculptures and reliefs, offering a window into Croatian artistic heritage through its extensive collection of stone monuments and plaster casts.

Things to do in Zagreb

Exploring Zagreb, the vibrant capital of Croatia, offers a wide range of enriching experiences for travelers. While visiting museums certainly stands out as a must-do activity, there are also numerous other captivating attractions waiting to be discovered.

From wandering through the charming streets of the historic Upper Town to indulging in delicious local cuisine at traditional restaurants, Zagreb promises a delightful blend of culture, history, and gastronomy.

So, if you’re planning a trip to Zagreb, don’t miss out on the top 22 things to do in Zagreb and make your journey truly unforgettable!

Where to stay in Zagreb

If you’re planning to spend multiple days in Zagreb, it is important to find appropriate accommodation. You don’t have to worry, as our blog has got you covered!

We have listed the top seven neighborhoods in Zagreb, along with guidance on where to stay in Zagreb, Croatia. With our tips, you will be able to choose the perfect accommodation that suits your needs.

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