Easily reached from several larger European cities, the Croatian capital of Zagreb is an excellent weekend getaway or a convenient stop on a European tour. While Zagreb is known for its lively café culture and historic Medieval center, it also boasts an impressive number of museums and galleries for a city of its size.
The city center is compact and perfect for sightseeing. Most cultural attractions are located within walking distance from one another, with several museums and galleries just a block or two apart.
Keep in mind that museums in Zagreb are generally closed on Mondays.
If you are planning on spending a few days in Zagreb, consider purchasing a Zagreb Card. The price for a 72-hour card is 90 HRK, while a 24-hour card costs 60 HRK. In addition to free public transportation, the card gives you discounted entry to most museums and galleries.
Museums with Permanent Collections
Mletacka 8, website
During his lifetime, Croatian sculptor Ivan Meštrović enjoyed international fame and recognition. After studying and living abroad for several years, Mestrovic purchased three adjoining 17th Century buildings in Zagreb’s scenic Upper Town and converted them into one large home and studio. After relocating to the United States, Meštrović donated his Zagreb residence to the state. It opened to the public in 1969 and today houses more than 300 works of art, along with furniture of his design. A quiet interior courtyard provides space for peaceful reflection, and the complex itself offers an intimate glimpse into the artist’s life.
Hours: Tuesday – Friday 10am – 6pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am – 2pm
Admission: Adults 20 HRK; Kids, Students and Seniors 10 HRK
Rooseveltov trg 5
Art collector Ante Topić Mimara donated his personal collection of 3,750 works of art to the City of Zagreb shortly before he died in 1987. Housed in an imposing gray Neo-Renaissance palace near the Croatian National Theater, the collection is notable for its chronological and material breadth. It features sculpture and applied art from antiquity to the 20th Century, as well as Asian art, glassworks, and a sizeable collection of paintings.
Most of the dominant European schools are represented, and Constable, Delacroix, Manet, and Renoir also make appearances. Some scholars have questioned the authenticity of several items in the collection. Consider reading up on Mimara, a fascinating character, before visiting.
Hours: Tuesday – Friday 10am – 7pm, Saturday 10am – 5pm, Sunday 10am – 2pm
Admission: Adults 40 HRK; Students and Seniors 30 HRK
The Croatian Museum of Naïve Art
Sv. Ćirila i Metoda 3, website
Naïve art, also known as primitive or outsider art, is created by self-taught artists. Many Croatian naïve artists were peasants, artisans, shopkeepers and clerks, who, over time, earned reputations as professional artists. Highlights include the dark, saturated landscapes of Ivan Generalić, the first naïve painter in Croatia to develop a notable personal style, and the vibrant linear cityscapes of Emerik Feješ. The collection contains more than 1,600 paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures. Though it focuses on Croatian artists, several works by international naive artists are also on display.
Hours: Tuesday – Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday – Sunday 10am-1pm
Admission: Adults 20 HRK; Kids and Students 10 HRK
Strossmayer Gallery of Old Masters
Zrinski trg 11, website
In addition to founding the Academy of Arts and Sciences, Bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer donated his private art collection to the Croatian people in 1868. He entrusted it to the Academy and had a Neo-Renaissance palace built facing beautiful Zrinjevac Park to house both. The collection was opened to the public in 1884 and is notable for paintings by European masters, including Beato Angelico, El Greco and Vittore Carpaccio. The gallery is also home to the Baška Tablet, the lengthiest surviving inscription written in Croatian Glagolitic, dating to 1100.
A large sculpture of Strossmayer created by Ivan Meštrović in 1926 presides over the park behind the Academy.
Hours: Tuesday 10am – 7pm, Wednesday – Friday 10am – 4pm, Saturday and Sunday 10am – 1pm
Admission: Adults 10 HRK; Students and Seniors 5 HRK
Museum of Contemporary Art (MSU)
Av. Dubrovnik 17, website
The Museum of Contemporary Art was established in 1954 as the Municipal Gallery of Contemporary Art. Since then, it has amassed a collection of some 12,000 works of art by Croatian and International artists. Most of the collection focuses on art produced after 1950, with several works on display belonging to the progressive New Tendencies movement, founded at the Gallery of Contemporary Art in 1961. Other highlights include the entire contents of the studio of celebrated sculptor Ivan Kožarić and a site-specific set of slides by Carsten Höller.
Once housed in a small baroque palace in Zagreb’s Upper Town, MSU moved to its new location in Novi Zagreb in 2009. The new building, designed by architect Igor Franić, provides ample space to exibit a large portion of the museum’s holdings.
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 6pm, Saturday 11am – 8pm
Admission: Adults 30 HRK; Students and Seniors 15 HRK; Free first Wednesday of the month
Museum of Arts and Crafts (MUO)
Trg maršala Tita 10, website
Located in a German Renaissance-style edifice designed by architect Herman Bolle and built in 1888, the Museum of Arts and Crafts is the first building in Croatia specifically constructed to house a museum collection.
The museum currently holds about 100,000 works of applied and fine art dating from the 14th to the 21st Centuries. The extensive collection includes furniture, glass, ceramics, sculpture, prints, clocks, photography, textiles and fashion, and musical instruments. The museum library contains more than 65,000 titles and is one of the oldest arts and crafts libraries in the region.
Summer hours: Tuesday – Friday 11am – 7pm, Saturday – Sunday 11am – 2pm
Admission: Adults 30 HRK; Students and Seniors 20 HRK; Family Ticket (for families with children younger than 15) 50 HRK
Andrije Hebranga 1, website
The Modern Gallery, located in the late 19th-century Vranyczany Palace, overlooks scenic Zrinjevac Park. With more than 9,800 artworks, the Modern Gallery holds the largest collection of modern art in Croatia. Some 750 pieces are displayed in a permanent exhibition entitled Two Hundred Years of Croatian Fine Arts (1800 – 2000). Highlights include paintings by 19th-century Croatian master Vlaho Bukovac and 20th Century modernist Edo Murtić. The sculpture collection features work by Ivan Meštrović and Ivan Kožarić. A portion of the collection focuses on work by contemporary artists.
The unique Tactile Gallery, a multi-sensory display created for the blind and visually impaired, is the first of its kind in the region.
Hours: Tuesday – Friday 11am – 7pm, Saturday and Sunday 11am – 2pm
Admission: Adults 40 HRK; Students and Seniors 20 HRK.
Baruna Filipovića 23a, website
Though Lauba has its own collection, the artworks on display are regularly rotated every month in accordance with its “non-permanent exhibition” concept. Lauba’s Filip Trade Collection consists of more than 500 contemporary works by Croatian artists from the 1950s to today, focusing on younger artists. Selections from the collection are displayed in the large, central space of an early 19th Century riding arena. Lauba is open late every night, and relaxing at the cafe is encouraged.
Hours: Monday – Friday and Sunday 3 – 11pm, Saturday 11am – 11pm
Admission: Adults 25 HRK; Seniors (65 and over with ID) 15 HRK; Students (full-time with current ID) 10 HRK; Youth (7-18) 10 HRK, Kids 6 and under Free
The first privately owned museum in Croatia, the Marton Museum was founded by collector Veljko Marton in 2003. The collection includes porcelain, silver, glass, furniture and paintings belonging to the Biedermier period.
Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 6pm
Admission: Adults 30 HRK; Students and Seniors 20 HRK; Kids under 14 Free