What are some interesting/fun things to do in the area? Can you recommend any “hidden gems"?
The museums in Zagreb are cool, to include the ones like the Museum of Broken Relationships, Torture Museum and Museum of Illusions.
The only Michelin Star restaurant in Croatia is also a wonderful place to splurge. It is in Rovinj, which in of itself is worth a trip. - Jul 2018
Maksimir park, Sljeme mountain hiking trails, visiting the coast in the summer...so many guidebooks available for all the new tourist hotspots popping up in Croatia. Just keep in mind when reading the guidebooks that Zagreb is 2 hours inland from the coast, and the scenery and feel in Zagreb is quite different than what you find in Dalmatia. - Apr 2016
The Adriatic Coast is spectacular and offers hundreds of miles of small towns to explore and places to swim. The well-known places such as Dubrovnik and Split are definitely worth multiple visits, but travelers should also try to get off the beaten path and explore some of the lesser known places. I highly recommend a visit to the islands of Vis and Cres. They are a little more complicated to get to, but were two of my favorite spots in Croatia. In addition, don't neglect the rest of Croatia - the mountains are full of wonderful little towns. - Aug 2014
The coast is a jewel and after 2 years we are still exploring little ancient cities all over Croatia. Rovinj is a family favorite and Opatija, although touristy, is really nice and only 2 hours away from Zagreb. Any island you go to is quiet, peaceful and relaxing with lots of sun and warm water. Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg and Venice are all about a 4 hour drive away, just awesome! - Jun 2014
We really enjoyed going to Jarun (the Croatia olympic training park). They have a lake there and several cafes and bars. It also has some of the best nightlife in Zagreb. There are clubs that rim the lake that can get really hopping in the spring and fall. During the summer most people are on the coast, so it tends to thin out. - Feb 2014
As mentioned, the coast is brilliant and it's easy to travel throughout the region. Most things a person would want to do are available in Zagreb, but there's not as much in the way of cultural or social activities compared to larger cities. There are nice, affordable movie theaters that show films in English with Croatian subtitles, a bowling alley and a few decent museums. The Istria region, about a 2.5 hour drive northwest from Zagreb, is beautiful (it looks like Tuscany) and features great Italian food and truffles. - Jan 2012
Only the Coast. Zagreb is not a fantastic place per say. But since it is well located, it's great to just travel around Europe. - Dec 2011
I would definitely recommend hiking Medvjedgrad, skiing in Sljeme, going to the zoo in Maksimir, rollerblading in Maksimir park, ice skating in Salata or swimming at the pool in NoviGrad. - Oct 2010
Maksimir, Bundek, and Jarun are nice large parks for biking, swimming in mand-made lakes (if you're into that), walking. There is a small zoo in Maksimir and several playgrounds in the parks. Other than that, Zagreb is a rather small city with not many things going on. The travel opportunities here are great, though. We are so close to Italy, Hungary, Austria, Slovenia. Even Germany is a feasible drive. Flights are affordable to Paris or London. - Mar 2009
You can ski about 30 minutes away from the main square, you can do all sorts of water sports at the Jarun lake. There are two ice skating rinks, very well maintained. Zagreb has many parks, including the huge Maximir which, in its Northern side is a veritable forest. There are a lot of small villages that are very interesting to visit, and a water park only a short drive away. There are some interesting festivals throughout the year, and a very active music program with big name international artists. - Mar 2009