Zagreb is fast making a name for itself as the urban centre of the Balkans thanks to dozens of local artistic initiatives. Our Zagreb local Iva has put together a tempting list of galleries, museums, sights and spaces to give you an idea of the various creative projects happening throughout the city.
1. Check out Zagreb’s amazing Graffiti Wall
This is the #1 thing to see if you’re even slightly interested in street art. The project dates back to 1987 when a group of young artists were invited to paint a 450-metre-long wall for the World University Games. The artworks are renewed by professionals every few years, though many wannabe artists also like to leave their marks.
Photo credit: Oko O.
2. Admire Croatian masterpieces at Meštrović Pavilion
This is considered to be one of the most notable art spaces in Zagreb. Designed by the well-known Croatian architect and sculptor Ivan Meštrović, it has always been a gathering place for works by Croatia’s most progressive artists. It features three galleries full of exquisite art, plus the entrance fee is just 20 Kn (less than €3).
Photo credit: Iva Silla
3. Shop for local handicrafts at Kloto
Kloto is a unique store offering alternative handcrafted products at reasonable prices. Step inside to discover creative and unusual pieces by local designers. It’s a great place for finding gothic, Lolita and steampunk-inspired souvenirs.
Photo credit: Udruga Kloto
4. Discover up-and-coming artists at PMS Gallery
Don’t let the name put you off – in this case PMS stands for “Prostor Manufakturne Slobode” (Space of Manufactured Freedom). It’s a lively little gallery filled with pieces by local creators, and everything on display is for sale. It’s a place for young up-and-coming artists to exhibit their work and make a name for themselves.
Photo credit: PMS Gallery
5. Stop by Greta Art Space for an exhibition opening
Although this place only opened in 2013, it has already become a local favourite. Surprisingly, it’s one of the few “typical” contemporary art galleries in Zagreb. It offers several new exhibitions each month, with a new exhibition opening every Monday evening.
Photo credit: Marija Marković
6. Get yourself an extra special souvenir at Gandalf Tattoo
If you’re someone who enjoys taking home eternal and truly unique souvenirs, Gandalf Tattoo might just be the place for you. It’s one of the oldest and most reputable tattoo parlours in Zagreb, plus its staff are renowned for their attention to hygiene and safety. Be sure to book well ahead as it’s really popular.
Photo credit: Gandalf Tattoo
7. See some impressive modern art at Lauba
Set in a century-old military riding arena, Lauba is an architectural monument in its own right, not to mention all the cool modern installations within. It also houses a delightful little restaurant that serves great food. The entrance fee is 25 Kn (around €3.50).
Photo credit: Lauba
8. Shed a tear and have a laugh at the Museum of Broken Relationships
This museum exhibits mementos of broken relationships, each with a short and emotional description. It received the Kenneth Hudson Award for the most innovative museum in Europe at the European Museum Awards in 2011. While the idea alone is incredibly simple, it’s a particularly moving place. It’s open daily from 9 am to 9 pm. Admission is 25 Kn for adults (around €3.50).
Photo credit: Museum of Broken Relationships
9. Learn about naïve art at The Croatian Museum of Naïve Art
This curious museum is home to a collection of interesting and occasionally disturbing childlike paintings by Croatian naïve artists. Since it’s difficult to accurately explain what naïve art actually is, it’s probably best that you come here and see for yourself. Give them a call to arrange a guided tour in English.
Photo credit: Iva Silla
10. See Zagreb through the lens of a local photo artist at Photo Gallery raZGlednice
Kristijan Tabet, a well-known professional photographer and owner of this lovely little photo gallery, aims to capture all that is beautiful about Zagreb in his photographs. As he runs this place himself, you’ll probably get to meet him in person. His artworks are also for sale.
Photo credit: Kristijan Tabet