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Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of Croatia. It is located in the northwest of the country, along the Sava river, at the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain. Zagreb lies at an elevation of approximately 122 m (400 ft) above sea level. The estimated population of the city in 2018 was 820,678. The population of the Zagreb urban agglomeration is 1,086,528, approximately a quarter of the total population of Croatia. Zagreb is a city with a rich history dating from the Roman times to the present day. The oldest settlement located in the vicinity of the city was the Roman Andautonia, in today's Ščitarjevo. The name "Zagreb" is recorded in 1134, in reference to the foundation of the settlement at Kaptol in 1094. Zagreb became a free royal town in 1242. In 1851 Zagreb had its first mayor, Janko Kamauf.

If you find the history and culture of Zagreb intriguing, you might also want to learn Croatian to deepen your connection with the city and its people. Exploring language courses or language exchange opportunities can be rewarding steps towards a more immersive experience.

Zagreb has special status as a Croatian administrative division and is a consolidated city-county (but separated from Zagreb County), and is administratively subdivided into 17 city districts. Most of them are at a low elevation along the river Sava valley, whereas northern and northeastern city districts, such as Podsljeme and Sesvete districts are situated in the foothills of the Medvednica mountain, making the city's geographical image rather diverse. The city extends over 30 kilometres (19 miles) east-west and around 20 kilometres (12 miles) north-south.The transport connections, concentration of industry, scientific, and research institutions and industrial tradition underlie its leading economic position in Croatia. Zagreb is the seat of the central government, administrative bodies, and almost all government ministries.Almost all of the largest Croatian companies, media, and scientific institutions have their headquarters in the city. Zagreb is the most important transport hub in Croatia where Central Europe, the Mediterranean and Southeast Europe meet, making the Zagreb area the centre of the road, rail and air networks of Croatia. It is a city known for its diverse economy, high quality of living, museums, sporting, and entertainment events. Its main branches of economy are high-tech industries and the service sector.

Data and Facts

  • It has a population of 792.000 people and its metropolitan area (Zagreb County, Krapina-Zagorje County and Sisak-Moslavina County) has a population of 1.2 million (2005)
  • The city lies at an elevation of approximately 122 meters (400 feet) above sea level
  • Zagreb covers a total area of 641 square kilometers (247 square miles)
  • Zagreb was made the capital of Croatia in 1845 and elected its first mayor, Janko Kamauf, in 1851
  • Maksimir Park is the oldest public park in Zagreb, Croatia. Founded in 1787, Maksimir Park was the first large public park in South-Eastern Europe, and predates the majority of Europe’s public park foundings
  • Zagreb has four separate seasons. The highest recorded temperature at the Maksimir weather station was 40.4 °C (104.7 °F) in July 1950, and lowest was −27.3 °C (−17.1 °F) in February 1956


The current mayor of Zagreb is Milan Bandić . He was confirmed as mayor on 4 June 2017 . Two deputy mayors are Jelena Pavičić-Vukičević and Olivera Jurković-Majić. The Zagreb Assembly is composed of 51 representatives. Last elections were held on 21 May 2017 .

ccording to the Constitution, the city of Zagreb, as the capital of Croatia, has a special status. It is also the seat of the Zagreb County which encircles Zagreb. The city administration bodies are the Zagreb City Assembly as the representative body and the mayor of Zagreb who is the executive head of the city. The City Assembly is the representative body of the citizens of the City of Zagreb elected for a four-year term on the basis of universal suffrage in direct elections by secret ballot using proportional system with d'Hondt method in a manner specified by law. There are 51 representatives in the City Assembly, among them president and vice-presidents of the assembly are elected by the representatives.

Prior to 2009, the mayor was elected by the City Assembly. The term of office of the mayor is four years. The mayor may be recalled by a referendum according to law .

In the City of Zagreb the mayor is also responsible for the state administration . City administration offices, institutions and services have been founded for performing activities within the self-administrative sphere and activities entrusted by the state administration. The city administrative bodies are managed by the principals . The City Assembly Professional Service is managed by the secretary of the City Assembly .


Croatia’s economy is mostly dependent on Zagreb, with metal, electrical, textile, chemical, pharmaceuticals, printing, food, drink and wood processing and leather industries concentrated in the city. Zagreb is considered as the junction of trade between Central and East Europe and a very important business centre. If we compare the average income of a Croatian national, then he is much richer than most other East European nationals, but comparatively poorer to the West. In July 2008, the average salary of a Croatian national in Zagreb was 6,228 kuna (about $1,356), much more than the Croatian average of 5,234 kuna (about $1,140). In 2006 the average unemployment rate in Zagreb was 8.6% which was half of the national average. Zagreb is the richest city in Croatia with the highest GDP per capita of $ 19,132 compared to the Croatian average of $ 10,431. Most of the industrial and service sector is clustered in Zagreb as 34% companies have their headquarters in the city. 38.4% of the Croatian working class works in Zagreb which includes banks, transport companies, tour and travel companies etc. Zagreb's contribution to Croatian is immense as it accounts for its 52% of its total turnover, 60% of total profit and 37% of Croatian exports.

Important branches of industry are: production of electrical machines and devices, chemical, pharmaceutical, textile, food and drink processing. Zagreb is an international trade and business centre, as well as an essential transport hub placed at the crossroads of Central Europe, the Mediterranean and Southeast Europe. Almost all of the largest Croatian as well as Central European companies and conglomerates such as Agrokor, INA, Hrvatski Telekom have their headquarters in the city. The only Croatian stock exchange is the Zagreb Stock Exchange (Croatian: Zagrebačka burza), which is located in Eurotower, one of the tallest Croatian skyscrapers.

According to 2008 data, the city of Zagreb has the highest PPP and nominal gross domestic product per capita in Croatia at $32,185 and $27,271 respectively, compared to the Croatian averages of $18,686 and $15,758.

As of May 2015, the average monthly net salary in Zagreb was 6,669 kuna, about €870 (Croatian average is 5,679 kuna, about €740).At the end of 2012, the average unemployment rate in Zagreb was around 9.5%. 34% of companies in Croatia have headquarters in Zagreb, and 38.4% of the Croatian workforce works in Zagreb, including almost all banks, utility and public transport companies.Companies in Zagreb create 52% of total turnover and 60% of total profit of Croatia in 2006 as well as 35% of Croatian export and 57% of Croatian import.

Business Environment

or years now Zagreb has grabbed the attention from a lot of startup people worldwide. It’s located in the heart of Europe, yet living here is cheaper than in other major startup cities like London or Berlin. The startup ecosystem is young and thriving, new players rehubnstantly disrupt the community. At the same time there is little access to capital. That is why a lot of great startups and winners of many global startup competitions have to go an extra mile to find investment. It’s the most important hub in Croatia regarding transportation – it connects roads, rail and air traffic. The city is known for its diverse economy, high quality of living, museums, sporting and entertainment offers. Its main sectors of economy are high-tech industries and the service sector. With a tradition of almost one thousand years Zagreb celebrated its 900th birthday in 1994. The city’s University was founded in the 17th century, and is one of the oldest in Europe. Nine hundred year old Zagreb has a rich cultural life, with more than 20 theatres, three concert halls and around 60 museums and art galleries.


  • Low living expenses compared to major European startup cities like London, Berlin, Paris or Amsterdam.
  • Welcoming startup ecosystem – the community is supportive, there are plenty of startup events
  • Lots of well educated specialists in almost any field. Possibility to start a one-person company.
  • There is an option to start a simplified form of a LLC faster, and a lot cheaper: it’s called JDOO (160$ – about 5 days to register).


  • Very high VAT (25%)
  • High taxes on employee wages.
  • Not easy or cheap to start a company. The procedure of founding an LLC is quite complicated.


Transport in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, relies on a combination of city-managed mass transit and individual transportation. Mass transit is composed of 19 inner-city tram lines and 120 bus routes, both managed entirely by Zagrebački električni tramvaj. Croatian Railways manages the parallel Zagreb Commuter Rail system. The city is served by the Franjo Tuđman Airport, which carries more than 3,300,000 passengers per year. Zagreb drivers typically use a wide network of avenues and other arterial streets. Due to the shape of the city, most of the trips done in the city are on the east–west relation, causing high traffic on roads like Vukovar Avenue, Dubrovnik Avenue and Zagrebačka Avenue. The 18-kilometer Slavonska Avenue is the longest and one of the most congested roads in Zagreb, connecting the inner city to the A3 highway in the east.

Zagreb is a regional highway hub with eight highways and expressways radially leading into the city through the Zagreb bypass. Major highways and expressways include A1/A6, leading to Gorski Kotar, the Littoral and Dalmatia; A3 leading west to Rakitje, Samobor, Žumberak and Slovenia and east to Rugvica, Ivanić-Grad, Slavonia and Serbia; A2 leading northwest to Zaprešić, Zabok, Krapina and Central Europe; A4 leading northeast to Varaždin, Čakovec, Hungary and on to Eastern Europe; A11 leading southeast to Velika Gorica, Sisak and Petrinja and D10 leading east to Vrbovec and Križevci. Similar to other European cities, Zagreb does not feature a regular grid plan. Donji Grad, the Zagreb downtown, mostly built in the 19th century, features a quasi-rectangular street plan, but the rest of the city depends on the form of wide straight avenues intersecting densely built neighborhoods composed of mostly chaotical street systems.

The first taxicab ever in Zagreb started operating on June 11, 1901. It was driven by Tadija Bartolović, a skilled fiaker driver. However, a bus network supplements the tram and services a large part of the Zagreb metropolitan area even outside the borders of the city proper. Other transport amenities are also available, such as the Sljeme gondola lift or the Zagreb Funicular. The first tram line was opened on September 5, 1891, setting off a vital part of the Zagreb mass transit system. Zagreb today features an extensive tram network with 15 day and 4 night lines running over 117 km of tracks through 255 stations and transporting almost 500,000 passengers per day . The network covers much of the inner city, but some lines extend to the suburbs, such as line 15 or lines 7 and 11 . Although the trams are capable of achieving speeds in excess of 70 km/h , the unique fact that the network operates mostly at the curb limits their speed to the speed of surrounding vehicles, causing the trams to travel at speeds of 25–50 km/h in the inner city, with considerable slowdowns during the rush hours.

The rolling stock is made up by various trams, including around 10 TMK 201 and around 50 ČKD-Tatra T4 remaining from 1970's , 51 Tatra KT4, 16 TMK 2100 and 142 new, 100% low-floor TMK 2200 cars, of those 140 are 32 m standard verson and only 2 shorter 21 m, with a further purchase planned. TMK 2200 is produced by the Crotram consortium, composed of Končar elektroindustrija and TŽV Gredelj, both from Zagreb. With 21 trains, the Zagreb suburban railway mainly covers the eastern and western parts of Zagreb. It mostly operates on the same standard-gauge lines used for Croatian Railways' long-distance trains. Forecasts predict that by 2020 the maximum load of passengers will be 7,000. It is worth noting, however, that the current tram network is used by around 200 million passengers every year, which would put the number of daily passengers at 50,000, a number which merits a high capacity rapid transit system. The light metro's capacity would be 24,000, but due to the significantly cheaper cost, it was the preferred choice in January 2007, when the City Authorities announced plans for a new Metro System consisting of 4-5 metro lines. Phase 1 of the new metro was going to be 22.7 km long, of which 10 km would be underground. The Metro system will be based on the light rail PTN system currently in use in Vancouver, San Francisco or Singapore, but a full metro system is also a possibility.

There would be three lines running west–east, and two running north–south, converging on the city center. All lines were planned to go underground in the city center. Once the Zagreb metro system would be fully completed it would have 25 km of underground and 55 km overground lines. The cost of this entire system is thought to be about 5.5 billion Euro over 20 years. The initial cost would be between 600 million and 1,14 billion Euro. A definitive public transport concept has yet to be decided upon, mostly due to funding issues caused by budgetary constraints. Premetro concept, Light rail concept on existing heavy rail corridors which need updating and some newly built, or full scale subway.


Many popular tech companies have their headquarters in cities including Vodnjan and Zagreb. Drilling down a little deeper, you might even be surprised to see that the country has numerous startups ranging from Infobip, a messaging company to Rimac Automobili, which makes the fastest electric cars in the world. Also, there are companies such as Gideon Brothers that make autonomous robots. Rimac Automobili manufactures electric hypercars and provides technology solutions to the automotive makers across the world. This company makes the world’s fastest electric cars. The flagship model is Concept_One, which was entirely designed, developed and manufactured by the company. It operates with the ambition to become a full electrification partner for other OEMs in the industry. Ever since its launch, Photomath is an edu-tech startup. It has topped the App Store and Google Play Store education charts and is trusted by millions of users. Photomath is a proud winner of the 4YFN competition held in Barcelona, which is the world’s largest startup competition focusing on mobile technologies and business models. Also, the company has received the Netexplo Forum Award for its work in educational technology.

Claro is a global platform offering unique workforce insights. It helps organisations identify and recruit talent faster. Also, Claro improves employee engagement and minimise voluntary attrition. The team at this startup helps companies leverage talent as the competitive advantage to gain an upper hand over their challengers.Bulb Technologies helps enterprises deliver a superior customer experience and reduce cost related to customer support. Eventually, companies can generate increased revenue. Since its debut, Bulb Technologies is one of the biggest operators across Europe and its clientele includes United Groups, Deutsche Telekom and Telekom Austria.Gideon Brothers is robotic startup involved in the development of autonomous robots for industrial purposes. The company is developing a robot autonomy that positions deep learning on top of a camera-based perception to come up with a new type of robot vision, which is reliable and rich in data. It is a combination of hardware and software and has the capacity to convert a variety of machines and vehicles into AI-powered robots. Smart street furniture startup Include is based in Zagreb. It sells Steora smart benches and Monna smart cycling points in 43 markets across 260 cities. It has installed over 1000 products and works with large global corporations including Red Bull, Nokia, Kia, British Petroleum, Coca Cola and Deutsche Telekom. Include’s founder was listed as one of the “30 under 30 entrepreneurs’ by Forbes Magazine.Amphinicy belongs to the satellite world with its highly fitted and exceptional software solutions. It is a part of the satellite industry evolution. The company aims to be a leading company providing software solutions in the satellite industry in the next few years. The team at Amphinicy comprises highly competent and carefully picked people.The Agrivi is a leading global agritech company operating with the vision to change the way food is produced. The company is involved in building knowledge-based farm management solutions addressing various requirements of farmers of all sizes, food sourcing industry, agricultural cooperatives, NGOs, financial industry, governments and more. It aims to achieve sustainability and resource-efficient agricultural production.At Degordian, they believe in coming up with unique ideas and turning them into innovative digital work. It is a full-service digital agency working with a passion for performance marketing and solutions inspiring curiosity. It has worked on projects including Mediatoolkit, which is a media monitoring tool, Socialnumbers.com and Socialpuzzle.com.As boat owners and boat rental companies have very limited options to monitor and control their boats, Sentinel has developed a boat maintenance and logistics platform that will provide features such as fleet tracking, battery life monitoring and usage information. Sentinel was awarded the Best IoT Startup by CESA as it intends to transform the marine industry.

Social Wellness and Human Resources

Zagreb is the largest city in Croatia and the only one whose metropolitan area exceeds one million people. The official population of the city of Zagreb is 790,017 according to the 2011 census. According to the same census, there are 1,088,841 people in the Zagreb metropolitan area including the towns of Samobor, Velika Gorica and Zaprešić.According to the local police register department, which bases its information on the number of the applicants who wish to register to vote in Zagreb, in 2005 the city had a population of 973,667.Most people live in the city proper. The official 2011 census counted 790,017 residents,Zagreb metropolitan area population is slightly above 1.2 million inhabitants, as it includes the Zagreb County. In 1997, the City of Zagreb itself was given special County status, separating it from Zagreb County, although it remains the administrative center of both.

The majority of its citizens are Croats making up 92% of the city's population (2001 census). The same census records 60,066 residents belonging to ethnic minorities. Such ethnic minorities comprise: 18,811 Serbs (2.41%), 8,030 Muslims by nationality (1.02%), 6,389 Albanians (0.83%), 6,204 Bosniaks (0.80%), 3,946 Romani (0.55%), 3,225 Slovenes (0.41%), 2,315 Macedonians (0.27%), 2,131 Montenegrins (0.27%), together with other smaller minor ethnic communities, especially the historically present Germans. The majority of its citizens are Croats making up 93% of the city's population (2011 census). The same census records around 55,000 residents belonging to ethnic minorities: 17,526 Serbs (2.22%), 8,119 Bosniaks (1.03%), 4,292 Albanians (0.54%), 2,755 Romani (0.35%), 2,132 Slovenes (0.27%), 1,194 Macedonians (0.15%), 1,191 Montenegrins (0.15%), and a number of other smaller communities.City districts are subdivided in 218 local committees as primary units of local self-government.The city itself is not the only standalone settlement in the City of Zagreb administrative area – there are a number of larger urban settlements like Sesvete and Lučko and a number of smaller villages attached to it whose population is tracked separately.

The Archdiocese of Zagreb is a metropolitan see of the Catholic Church in Croatia, serving as its religious centre. The current Archbishop is Josip Cardinal Bozanić. The Catholic Church is the largest religious organisation in Zagreb, Catholicism being the predominant religion of Croatia, with over 1.1 million adherents. Zagreb is also the Episcopal see of the Metropolitanate of Zagreb and Ljubljana of the Serbian Orthodox Church. Islamic religious organisation of Croatia has the see in Zagreb. Current president is Mufti Aziz Hasanović. There used to be a mosque in the Meštrović Pavilion during World War II at the Žrtava Fašizma Square, but it was relocated to the neighbourhood of Borovje in Peščenica. Mainstream Protestant churches have also been present in Zagreb – Evangelical (Lutheran) Church and Reformed Christian (Calvinist) Church. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) is also present in the Zagreb neighbourhood of Jarun whereas Jehovah's Witnesses have their headquarters in Central Zagreb. In total there are around 40 non-Catholic religious organisations and denominations in Zagreb with their headquarters and places of worship across the city making it a large and diverse multicultural community.









Vision / R&D
Finance / Economy
Talent / People / Culture
Innovation / Livability
Smart policies / Tax incentives
Social impact
17 city districts
218 local committees
(70 settlements)
 • Type
641 km2 (247 sq mi)
 • Urban
202.4 km2 (78.1 sq mi)
 • Metro
3,719 km2 (1,436 sq mi)
158 m (518 ft)
Highest elevation
1,035 m (3,396 ft)
Lowest elevation
122 m (400 ft)
 (2011 census)[3][4]
 • Estimate 
 • Density
4,055/km2 (10,500/sq mi)
 • Metro
 • Metro density
330/km2 (860/sq mi)
Zagrepčanin (hr)
Zagreber (en)
Purger (informal, jargon)
 • Summer (DST)
Postal code
HR-10 000, HR-10 010, HR-10 020, HR-10 040, HR-10 090
+385 1
 - Total
$25 billion / €22.7 billion
 - Per capita
$32,404 / €28,237
HDI (2017)
0.890[6]very high
Sourced by wikipedia