You can run in Zagreb absolutely anywhere, and in this blog post I will exhibit some of the most desirable places to go running in Zagreb – according to us – local runners.
Why do I like running in Zagreb? I actually love running everywhere. When running, I satisfy my daily need for physical activity, but more importantly, as I run, I observe and admire everything surrounding me and thus charge my batteries – in the city where I was born, the city I know by heart, time and time again. Check out our guide to running in Zagreb below;
- Sightrunning Tours
- Running Races
- Running Shoes
- Running Clubs
- Running Stores
- Running Climate
Sightrunning Tours in Zagreb
Since Zagreb is a central European city of medium size, a single running tour you can run by most of the significant sights in the most attractive part of the city – the Upper Town, but this does not mean that the rest of the city, especially Medvednica Mountain,
My job includes frequent travelling, and in order to enjoy when not in Zagreb, I try not to neglect the duties and activities that I would partake in at home, and that includes running of course.
My running shoes are the first thing I pack, so that running is a possibility everywhere I travel. In most cases I am happy with the length or pace (thank you to Garmin). However, when I get to know the city a little bit, I realize that I have been running in the least interesting parts of the city, and that the city is actually more beautiful than I saw when running, and that it was not just the endless warehouses I was running by, but also historical centre that I should have reached if I hadn’t gotten my receptionist’s instructions wrong. It took me some time to realize that running with local guides who lead me to the most interesting parts of the city, while telling me the authentic stories, is just how I want to run and how I want to guide people running in Zagreb. Your private running guide meets you in the lobby of your hotel or the apartment and you are off exploring Zagreb in a safe, local and personal running experience that gives you both the history and sights of Zagreb while you clock your desired mileage.
If you are interested in the centre of the city, the historic locations, and the viewpoints from which almost the whole city can be seen, then the ideal tours for you are; Heart of Zagreb or Zagreb City Center. If you’re interested in architecture then your choice is likely to be the 10km Zagreb Architecture tour, or in the case that you are in shape for a half marathon, there is the magnificent Zagreb Architecture tour 21km. For those who prefer running in nature, on a soft base with a small incline and lots of shade I suggest 12 km Maksimir Park tour, and if that is too easy, we made two trail run tours on Medvednica, a mountain over 1,000 meters high, with an incredible panoramic view of the city; 13km Sljeme trail and our most demanding tour – a 24km Sljeme mountain trail.
Zagreb Running Races
There is such a large number of races in Zagreb that listing them required additional blog post – Zagreb Running Races 2019.
However, if I had to decide for the most attractive races, then I would point out:
Zagreb Running Routes
Beautiful, easy-to get and easy-to navigate routes are just a short distance away from the pedestrian zone of the city centre. If I had to pick my favorite routes, then they would certainly be:
- The embankment along the river Sava that stretches across the entire width of the city. You can easily find it only if you head south from the city centre, it is accessible by public transport (half an hour from the main city square) and by car (less than 10 minutes from the city centre). There are several bridges on the route which are easy to cross over, with the distance between them being 2km, helping us know how much we ran, in the period before GPS watches were introduced.
- The Lake Jarun, like the embankment, ideal for those who want to run on a flat surface, is located next to the river Sava and is accessible by city transport as well as by car, the largest circuit is 6.5km, and you combine asphalt and off road when running. Within this recreational complex you can also skate, ride a bike, play table tennis, practice in the outdoor gym and wrap it up with a barbecue or just a drink.
- Medvednica Mountain – a hill that, as an added value, makes Zagreb one of the most beautiful continental cities in the world, with the footstep just a 10-minute drive from the city centre, and is accessible by public transport as well. If you choose to go for a walk, we recommend buying a map, and if you do not want to run just uphill and downhill, you can take the public transportation to the very top (the cable car is under construction), run through the beautiful ridge of Medvednica and enjoy the view of the city as well as of Zagorje and the Alps.
Zagreb Running Clubs
- Zagreb Treking School – A running and trekking club that runs on natural terrain, instead of roads. The training takes place on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 6.30 in Maksimir Park Forest, and on Saturdays at 9am on Medvednica Mountain.
For more information you can visit their Facebook page.
- The Sljeme Athletic Club – the pioneer of mountain racing in Croatia. The club that organizes trainings and races, and is suitable for those who prefer cross-country running on the road. The training sessions are held in the Sava embankment from Monday to Thursday from 6 pm and on Saturdays, and sometimes on Sunday around 10 am..
For more information you can visit their site.
Zagreb Running Stores
As Croatia is sports nation producing world famous athletes like Davor Suker, Luka Modric, Marin Cilic and others, there are many places where we buy sports equipment. In addition to the usual stores such as Nike, Adidas there are a few specialized stores such as Running Gate and Easy Going Store.
Zagreb Running Climate
In Zagreb you can run at any time of the year, but since it is a moderate climate, change of seasons is obvious, so it is suggested you adopt the clothes to the season and the current weather conditions. Eternal advice, especially for the colder season of the year: always dress yourself so that you are slightly cold when you start running because it will be comfortable for you in a few minutes. Also, get dressed in layers so you can always get something off when it’s hot and get back while you’re stretching.