Planning a Football Trip to Zagreb

Planning a Football Trip to Zagreb? Free guide – where to stay, eat, drink and how to get tickets; to the stadium.

Croatia’s striking Austro-Hungarian capital, Zagreb is an ancient city with a modern edge. Dating back to the Roman Empire, modern day Zagreb promises architecture from throughout the ages mixed with youthful energy and a thriving cultural scene. While many flock to Croatia’s Adriatic coast, Zagreb is fast becoming a top destination in its own right.

Football Trip to Zagreb – How to get to Zagreb & How to get around

Football Trip to Zagreb – Fly to Zagreb

Direct London to Zagreb flights take just under two and a half hours. For flights departing from outside the capital, a connection is needed, so flight times will vary depending on airport and carrier. However, optimal travel times are:
• London to Zagreb – 2 hours 20 minutes
• Manchester to Zagreb – 3 hours 50 minutes (no direct flights)
• Birmingham to Zagreb – 3 hours 50 minutes (no direct flights)
• Glasgow to Zagreb – 5 hours (no direct flights)
• Newcastle to Zagreb – 4 hours 25 minutes (no direct flights)
• Edinburgh to Zagreb – 4 hours (no direct flights)

Start your holiday in style and enjoy the experience of VIP travel – book an airport lounge with Lounge Pass from as little as £13.50. With 200 airport VIP lounges worldwide, including 35 UK airports you can add an extra touch of luxury to your next trip and make the travel experience a whole lot better.

Directions from the Airport

Zagreb Airport, known locally as Franjo Tudman Airport, is Croatia’s largest and busiest. Located six miles from the city’s train station, the airport is very modern, having undergone major recent renovations in 2017.

Once you land, the best way to get into Zagreb is using the Croatia Airlines shuttle bus. With tickets at around €4, the bus runs every half an hour to the city’s main bus station. Journey time is 35-40 minutes. More details on this bus at www.plesoprijevoz.hr.

There is also public bus every 35 to 40 minutes from the airport to Kvaternick square. It takes an hour an 15 minutes as it stops 16 times but is a cheaper alternative to the shuttle.

Taxis from the Airport

There is a taxi rank at the airport and expect to negotiate a fare of between 150 and 300 Luna.

Football Trip to Zagreb – Travel By Train

The average journey time by train between London and Zagreb is 22 hours and 15 minutes, with around 5 trains per day.

No, there are no direct train services from London to Zagreb. Travelling from London to Zagreb by train will require a minimum of 2 changes.

  • The first train from London to Zagreb leaves at 11:31. The last train from London to Zagreb leaves at 20:01.
    Option 1, Morning Eurostar to Paris, Paris-Munich by TGV, Munich-Zagreb by sleeper: Take a mid-morning Eurostar to Paris, afternoon high-speed double-decker TGV Duplex to Munich, then the modern air-conditioned Croatian sleeper train Lisinski overnight to Zagreb arriving next morning.
  • Option 2, Morning Eurostar to Paris, TGV to Munich, overnight stop, EuroCity train to Zagreb: For all-daytime train travel with great scenery, take a mid-morning Eurostar to Paris and the afternoon high-speed double-decker TGV Duplex to Munich.

Football Trip to Zagreb – Travel By Ferry

It takes between 14 and 15 hours to drive to Zagreb from Calais. Book tickets via DFDS Seaways

Football Trip to Zagreb – Travel Around Zagreb

While the popular central tourist districts are small enough to explore on foot, there are also trams and buses available. Trams are undeniably the best way to get around Zagreb – a (reduced) service even runs at night. There are 15 routes in Zagreb, and many stop either at Trg bana Jelacica (the main square) or at the main train station. Full details of the tram system can be found at the Zagreb Tram website – here’s the tram map for daytime routes, as well as the map for nighttime services. There is also an extensive bus service in the city, with a few routes also operating at night.

Football Trip to Zagreb – How to Get to the Match

Football Trip to Zagreb – The Stadium

Stadion Maksimir (Maksimir Stadium) is home of Dinamo Zagreb, the top club of the country with 18 league titles. Is also the home venue of the Croatia national football team. First opened in 1912, it has undergone many facelifts, and its current layout dates from a 1997 rebuilding.

The stadium was first opened on 5 May 1912. On 26 May 1941, a representative of the Ustashe fascist government of the Independent State of Croatia addressed young Zagreb students at their meeting at the Maksimir Stadium, and at one point ordered the Serbian and Jewish students to be segregated, but the children disobeyed. Soon afterwards, in June 1941, rebel youths burned the stadium down. In 1977, a movie Operation Stadium was made to commemorate the segregation incident.

When the UEFA Euro 1976 final tournament was held in SFR Yugoslavia, Maksimir hosted the Netherlands v. Czechoslovakia semi-final match and the Netherlands v. Yugoslavia third place match.

In 1990, several events happened at Maksimir. On 13 May, the Dinamo Zagreb–Red Star Belgrade riot took place, an infamous riot involving Dinamo Zagreb and Red Star Belgrade supporters. The last match of the Yugoslavia national football team was hosted at Maksimir on 3 June. On 17 October of the same year, Croatia played the United States in what was Croatia’s first match in the modern era.
In 1998, plans were made for a massive renovation, and the first phase started the same year. The old northern stand was demolished and a new one built within a year. This renovation increased Maksimir’s seating capacity to 38,079.

A new stadium has long been promised and the latest announcement suggests it could be built in the next few years

Here’s some info on each stand:

  • North Tribune – Capable of housing 10,000 supporters over two tiers, the North Tribune is actually quite an impressive structure to look at. It’s set behind the Northern goal and has a floodlight either side of the stand.
  • East Tribune – Also capable of holding a significant number of people, the East Tribune runs along the side of the pitch and is a single-tier structure.
  • South Tribune – The South Tribune is a curved stand that is different in style from the other stands in the ground. Perhaps a nod to the days when there was an athletics track running around the playing surface, this is the smallest section of the stadium.
  • West Tribune – This is the main stand of the ground, capable of housing over 11,000 supporters over two tiers. The chief facilities such as the dressing rooms, dugout and players’ tunnel are also to be found here.

Zagreb charge different amounts of money depending on where in the ground you’d like to sit. They also alter the amount they ask for if the opposition is likely to be a popular one. There is a strong rivalry with Hajduk Split that is referred to as the Eternal Derby, so prices will be higher when they come to town. Likewise if you’re looking to attend a match in a different competition that merely the Prva HNL then that might cost more too. For the Champions League group stage matches in the 2016-2017 season tickets cost 200 KUNA for the North Tribune, 250 KRUNA for the East Tribune and 300 KUNA for the West Tribune. You can become an club member and get tickets for slightly cheaper if you’d like to.

Stadion u Kranjčevićevoj ulici (Kranjčević Street Stadium), known also as Stadion Concordije between 1921 and 1945, is located in the Trešnjevka neighbourhood. It is the home ground of Druga HNL side NK Zagreb, as well as the home ground for First Football League team NK Lokomotiva. First opened in 1921, it has undergone throughout many renovations and facelifts with its current layout dating back to 1987 Summer Universiade renovation. Croatian national football team played only once at Kranjčevićeva street in a 3-0 friendly game win against South Korea team on 13 March 1996. The stadium with its reduced capacity from 2008 can hold 8,850 people, which makes it the second biggest stadium in Zagreb, behind Stadion Maksimir.

Stadion ŠRC Velika Gorica, is the home stadium for the HNK Gorica football club. The stadium has a capacity of 5,000.

Football Trip to Zagreb – Getting to the Stadium

Stadion Maksimir – The Zagreb Electric Tram, or ZET, is an excellent service that departs every 5-10 minutes. The closest stop to the ground is Bukovačka and you can get trams numbered 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13 and 14.
Bus – If you’re not a fan of trams then you might want to get the bus instead. The 203, 226, 227 and 228 will all take you close to the ground.
Taxi – A taxi from the main train station to the ground will take just over ten minutes and will probably cost something like 40 KUNA.

Stadion u Kranjčevićevoj ulici – The following transit lines have routes that pass near Stadion Kranjčevićeva – Bus: 102, 105, 118, 281; Train: 8016, 8018, 991; Light Rail: 12, 14, 3, 9.

Stadion ŠRC Velika Gorica – The following transit lines have routes that pass near ŠRC Velika Gorica – Gradski stadion – Bus: 268, 330 – stops closest to your destination: Hrvatske Bratske Zajednice – Pleška; Pleška – Petra Zrinskog; Ul. Šandora Brešćenskog 43; Šetalište Franje Lucića 16; Kralja Zvonimira 9.

Football Trip to Zagreb – Getting Tickets

Dinamo – Tickets for Dinamo matches can be bought online, or at the ticket office at the stadium on the day of the match. https://www.gnkdinamo.hr/hr/Ulaznice

Tickets are also available on the gate from a few hours before kick-off. Dinamo never sell out a regular league match. Identification may be required in order to be able to buy a ticket.

Tickets for regular league matches typically range in price from HRK 5.00 for a seat behind the goal to HRK 15.00 for one at the main stand. Prices will be higher for more important matches (e.g. Champions League), though Dinamo also occasionally offer discounted prices as cheap as HRK 1.00.

NK lokomotiva Zagreb – Their games don’t sell out so you should be able to get one at the ground before the game

HNK Gorica -Tickets can be purchased on the website www.ulaznice.hr by typing in any words from the name HNK Gorica. Their games don’t sell out so you should be able to get one at the ground before the game.

Football Trip to Zagreb – Fixtures

When planning your football trip please note that the dates shown represent the weekend that the game is scheduled to take place and games are likely to change through the season and be moved for TV scheduling.

The schedule for kick-off times in Croatia can be found our Planning a Football Trip to Croatia page (COMING SOON)

Football Trip to Zagreb – Where to stay. What to See. Where to Eat. Where to Drink



Booking.com

Football Trip to Zagreb – Where to stay

ZAGREB NEIGHBORHOODS

  • Trešnjevka – quirky area with cafes, a little further from the city center
  • Jarun – more residential areas of Novi Zagreb
  • Novi Zagreb – post war district on the up, featuring the MCA
  • Lower Town (Donji Grad) – eat and drink your way around while visiting theatres and parks
  • Upper Town (Gornji Grad) – sights & landmarks, museums, churches, medieval architecture

Football Trip to Zagreb – What else to see & do

The Upper Town – Narrow cobblestone streets, captivating buildings, historical surroundings, the upper town charms you away. If you want to feel and see the old part of the city, this is the place to start. You can reach the upper town either by stairs or by a funicular – the choice is yours. Either way, the trip up the hill is worth your while. From street to street you can sightsee the best places of the upper town, including the St. Mark’s church, which beauty is seen from afar thanks to the distinctive roof configuration.

Zagreb Eye – Zagreb eye observation deck is a visual paradise for lofty view seekers. It has 360-degree visuals so you won’t miss a thing. Here you can see the whole city panorama and its breathtaking surroundings from the 16th floor of the building. And there is a lot to see, from old historic structures to modern skyscrapers, Zagreb is a picturesque city and this is the place for the charm of the city to unravel in front of your eyes.

Dolac Market – If you want to experience local life, this central open-air market in Zagreb it’s the place to visit. It’s a great spot not only to buy locally grown produce but also to feel like a local. Located just right behind the main square and visited by hundreds of people every day this market is an inseparable part of the city. Farmers from all around the Zagreb area come here to offer their best wares such as fruits, vegetables, and meat.

Zagreb Cathedral – This great landmark is formally known as the Cathedral of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This spot is not to be missed while you’re visiting Zagreb. This masterpiece is one of the most iconic monuments in Zagreb. The jaw-dropping beauty survived one earthquake and many reconstructions that transformed it into a neo-gothic monument.

Zagreb Cathedral – This great landmark is formally known as the Cathedral of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This spot is not to be missed while you’re visiting Zagreb. This masterpiece is one of the most iconic monuments in Zagreb. The jaw-dropping beauty survived one earthquake and many reconstructions that transformed it into a neo-gothic monument.

Mali Medo is the place for you. Located in the busy Tkalčićeva street full of tourists and locals, it has something to offer for everyone. It has not only locally produced beer like Mrki Medved, Dva Klasa, Crna Kraljica, but also specializes in Croatian homemade dishes. Tourist friendly staff, reasonably priced and locally produced beer, makes this place stand out from the others in the area. (Tkalčićeva 36)

St. Mark’s Square, where the Croatian Parliament and Constitutional Court are found. St. Mark’s Church gave the square its name and retains plenty of its original romanesque architecture, blended with later gothic additions in the 1300s. At the top of Radićeva Street is Gradec’s last remaining town gate, which became a shrine to the Virgin Mary after an 18th-century fire destroyed the entire structure save for a painting of the Virgin.

Built during World War II as a bomb shelter, the Gric (Gradec) Tunnel runs through the hill beneath the Upper Town. With a length of 1,150 feet, the tunnel has six exits. Shortly after the tunnel was completed, it fell into disuse – until 1993 when it hosted Croatia’s first rave, but further plans for the tunnel were stalled. In 2015, renovation of the Gric Tunnel finally commenced and reopened to the public in 2016 as a Zagreb tourist attraction. The tunnel is open every day for pedestrians to travel from one side of Gradec to the other without having to hike over the hill.

Take a 2-hour free walking tour with a local guide and visit all the must see places with Wayoudo Free Walking Tour Zagreb.

Football Trip to Zagreb – Where to Drink

By day Tkalčićeva is a charming street of low-rise painted houses with balconies and awnings that you can appreciate on a romantic amble. And when the sun goes down you’ll have your pick of Zagreb’s best cafes, restaurants and nightspots.

Opatovina Street – nicknamed Zagreb’s Craft Beer Lane – where you will find Craft Room, Ro&Do (now in a new location) and Tolkien’s House among others. In the Upper Town, pop into Pub na Kraju Svijeta. Outside of the Zagreb Old Town, try Hop In (near the bus station), Harat’s or Svijet Piva.

If you want to have a beer – 22000 milja beer bar in Frankopanska street serves half L draft beer for 10 HRK (1,3 €). Try gemišt (a very popular combination of white wine and carbonated water) in one of the oldest Zagreb pubs – yes, we know, wine and water sound crazy, but stop frowning until you’ve tried it (unless you’re French – then a frown is your normal facial expression). Pod Starim Krovovima in Basaričekova street serves 1 L of white wine and 1 L of carbonated water for 80 HRK (10,5 €).

Sherry’s Wine Bar & Bites serves quality tipples from across Croatia, including craft beers. The bites are by Italian chef Gregorio Mannucci, formerly of the upscale Apetit restaurant, and range from burgers to plates of sausage or cheese. Evenings are vibrant here: some sit on a fairy-lit terrace, while others groove to jazz bands inside.  Wine from £15 a bottle,Ilica 73

Wine Bar Bornstein, located inside a 200-year-old vaulted cellar. You can also browse the shelves for bottles to bring home. Open daily, except Sundays.

Pločnik is packed with couches on the first floor and a menu of coffee, tea, wine and more than 60 craft beers. Later at night, it transforms into a casual club with live music.

Punks – there’s a nice selection of craft beer on draught here. And it’s relatively cheap too. Nova Runda’s strong C4 IPA is 26 kuna a half litre and the house beer, a Red Irish Ale made by Zmajsko, is just 18 kuna for the same.

Craft Room – There are 12 beers on tap – around half of these are local, with one or two from the UK and Germany. If these don’t take your fancy, there are over 150 bottled options

Football Trip to Zagreb – Where to Eat

Nokturno in Skalinska street with mostly Italian and Croatian food is one of them. Opposite Nokturno you can taste the Croatian specialty – štrukli (made of dough and filled with cottage cheese, served in various sweet and salty ways) at La Štruk. This is the first place in Zagreb to dedicate its cuisine exclusively to a traditional dish coming from the Zagorje region.

Boban (Gajeva 9) Just south of Trg ban Jelacic, this restaurant is owned by Croatian football legend Zvonimir Boban. (The clue is in the title.) Serving Mediterranean/Croatian cuisines, there is plenty to choose – as well as meat and fish dishes, there are some very tasty pasta options. (The homemade gnocchi in particular is great!)

Kerempuh (Kaptol 3) Overlooking Zagreb’s main market, Dolac, this is a good choice for lunch or dinner after a day’s exploring. Tasty choice of Croatian dishes, and friendly service too. Take one of the tables outside to people watch.

Lanterna na Dolcu (Opatovina 31) In a cosy cellar, this is a great choice for anyone craving steak – go for one of their signature dishes such as the Madusevac steak with gnocchi. Strukli for dessert is a must!

Purger, just honest, traditional veal- or lamb-based dishes served in large portions at friendly prices. This is also the place to try grah, a filling bean stew with a smoked-meat flavour.

Noel (Ulica popa Dukljanina 1) Michelin-starred as of 2019, head chef and owner Goran Kocis offers up traditional dishes with a contemporary twist. There are 4- or 7-course menus that utilise seasonal, local and organic ingredients, with wine pairing options also available. Noel is an excellent fine dining option in Zagreb, and the gorgeous interiors also make for a wonderful experience overall.
Kod Mike keeps its promise of delivering “dishes the way our grandmothers cooked.” Its traditional façade blends in with the fairy-tale atmosphere of Tkalčićeva, and the daily specials run at less than 30 kuna—that’s a full cooked meal for the price of a simple sandwich elsewhere

Gostionica Tip-top is one of those places that makes Zagreb what it is. To lose it would be like getting rid of the main square or the trams. The haunt of the city’s literary set in the 1940s and 1950s–the behatted gent in the restaurant logo is writer Tin Ujević–the Tip-top continues to attract bohemians and thinkers. The regulars here schedule their week around the daily specials, such as Slavonian čobanac stew on Tuesdays and octopus goulash on Thursdays. No set dish breaks the 50-kuna barrier, and the service and atmosphere still belong to 1955.

Football trip to Zagreb – Useful links

The Top 10 Things To Do And See In Zagreb

https://www.visit-croatia.co.uk/croatia-destinations/zagreb

https://balkanist.net/the-maksimir-myth-25-years-since-the-symbolic-dissolution-of-socialist-yugoslavia/

https://www.wsc.co.uk/the-archive/923-Europe/1243-war-memorials

https://triphappy.com/zagreb/where-to-stay/114607

https://www.frankaboutcroatia.com/top-things-to-do-in-zagreb/

https://jetsettingfools.com/things-to-do-in-zagreb-croatia/

https://www.europeanbestdestinations.com/croatia-travel-guide/best-things-to-do-in-zagreb/

https://www.croatiaweek.com/doing-zagreb-on-a-tight-budget/

https://theculturetrip.com/europe/croatia/articles/10-best-cheap-places-to-eat-in-zagreb-croatia/

https://www.frankaboutcroatia.com/croatian-food/

https://almostlanding.com/where-to-eat-in-zagreb/

http://www.starifijaker.hr/

http://www.restoran-korcula.hr/




Planning a Football Trip to Croatia – 19/20 Fixtures Announced

The following ten clubs will contest the 2019–20 Croatian First Football League season, the 29th season since the league’s establishment.

Half of the clubs currently competing in the Croatian top level also had spells in the Yugoslav First League before Croatian clubs abandoned it in 1991 – as of the 2019–20 season five out of nine Croatian clubs which had appeared in the Yugoslav top division at some point between 1945 and 1991 compete in the Croatian top level – the remaining four Cibalia, RNK Split, NK Zagreb and Trešnjevka competing in the lower levels.

As of 2019, four of the 12 founding members of the league have never been relegated: Dinamo Zagreb, Hajduk Split, Osijek and Rijeka.

Stadia and locations

Team City Stadium Capacity Ref.
Dinamo Zagreb Zagreb Maksimir 35,423
Gorica Velika Gorica Gradski stadion Velika Gorica 5,000
Hajduk Split Split Poljud 34,198
Inter Zaprešić Zaprešić Stadion ŠRC Zaprešić 5,228
Istra 1961 Pula Stadion Aldo Drosina 9,800
Lokomotiva Zagreb Kranjčevićeva1 8,850
Osijek Osijek Gradski vrt 17,061
Rijeka Rijeka Rujevica 8,279
Slaven Belupo Koprivnica Stadion Ivan Kušek-Apaš 3,205
Varaždin Varaždin Stadion Anđelko Herjavec 8,850

Lokomotiva host their home matches at Stadion Kranjčevićeva as their own ground failed to get license for top level football. The stadium is originally the home ground of third-level side NK Zagreb.

Key Matches

Weekend of 19/20th July – Dynamo Zagreb v Lokomotiva Zagreb

Weekend of 30/31 August – Hadjuk Split v Dynamo Zagreb

Weekend of the 27th/28th September  – Lokomotiva Zagreb v Dynamo Zagreb

Weekend of 22/23rd November – Dynamo Zagreb v Hadjuk Split

Weekend of 13/14th December – Last weekend of fixtures before Winter Break + Dynamo Zagreb v Lokomotiva Zagreb

Weekend of 31st Jan/1st Feb – First weekend after Winter Break

Weekend of 03/04th March – Hadjuk Split v Dynamo Zagreb

Weekend of 20/21st March  – Lokomotiva Zagreb v Dynamo Zagreb

Weekend of 1/2nd May 2019 – Dynamo Zagreb v Hadjuk Split