This 21km running tour is ideal for runners who would like to combine the urban part of the city center with a few trail paths.
On this tour runners will experience Zagreb’s main railway station that was on the route of the famous Orient Express, as well as the gardens that were laid in the 19th century to protect the city from the noise coming from the increasing number of trains, including the Botanical Garden where our running tour can become a walking tour for a few minutes if runners would like to get a more detailed look.
As the running tour continues through the urban part of the route, we will pass numerous public and residential buildings dating back to the early 19th century, including a few museums, the Croatian National Theater – a masterpiece built by the Hungarian government back in 1895 and also the Music Academy building. On this route we pass through the former Trg Maršala Tita or Marshal Tito square – one of the most controversial locations in Zagreb, known for frequent quarrels over the square’s name. Another square on this run is Britanski trg – known for its flower shops and a weekend market for those interested in antiques and works of art.
Moving to the north of Ilica Street, runners will enter the green oasis at Rokovo or Rokov perivoj with St. Rok chapel built in 17th century and Forest park Tuškanac – an area of parks, trails, villas and viewpoints that represents a synthesis of the natural, cultural and historical beauty of Zagreb and is ideal for all lovers of cultural and historical values, as well as for those who like to enjoy natural beauty. As the running tour continues, runners experience Cmrok – a popular Zagreb excursion site and a promenade where first skiing courses in Zagreb were held back in the 19th century.
Instead of heading towards the mountain Medvednica, the tour will go towards Mirogoj Cemetery – considered to be among the more noteworthy landmarks in the City of Zagreb, and one of the most beautiful cemeteries in Europe. It was built in 1876 and is now a place of peace for the deceased prominent persons such as one of the best European basketball players in history – Dražen Petrović.
Running back towards the main square, runners experience the narrowest part of the center including Zagreb Cathedral – one of the most famous city sights, completed by Austrian architect Herman Bolle, who “built half of the city” – Mirogoj Cemetery just to mention one. The running tour then heads towards Dolac Market – a charming place with fresh fruits and vegetables, and the City’s main square – Ban Josip Jelačić Square that is dominated by a sculpture of a man on a horse holding a saber. Ban Jelačić was very significant in Croatian history of the nineteenth century and quite controversial to the point that his sculpture had to be removed from the square on the order of the Communist Party in Yugoslavia, but you will hear more details on the tour.
As the running tour comes to an end, runners will run through some of the most beautiful parks in the city that are part of the so-called Green Horseshoe, a sequence of seven squares created in the second half of the nineteenth century, during the most significant urban planning in the history of Croatian architecture. Every year during December the parks host Advent or Zagreb Christmas Market, voted the “Best Christmas Market” in Europe by European Best Destinations’ online poll. One of the favourite Zagreb parks is Zrinjevac Park, known as one of the most romantic places in Zagreb with a music pavilion in its centre, which regularly hosts promenade of concerts and various events such as Summer on Zrinjevac or Cest is the d’Best festivals.
Finally, the tour will give you a glance view of Vukovarska street whose construction began after World War II with the idea to become the backbone of the new post-war socialist city with numerous buildings representing the best example of post-war planning. The name Vukovarska Street hails from the town of Vukovar, which is most noted for its tragic fate during the Homeland war in the early 1990’s and is often called “The Hero Town”. It is the only town in Europe since World War II that was completely devastated.
On this route there are many popular restaurants and bars, as well as a few gastronomic hidden gems, i.e. highly recommended places to eat and drink, so you will have plenty of recommendations on how and where to reload with energy.