- Bicycling and Roller-skating
- Health and Fitness Clubs
- Pilates
- Hiking
- Tennis

There ar so many options in Zagreb for the sports and recreation enthusiast that it is impossible to list them all. But hopefully this chapter will provide enough information to get you started and maybe offer something new which is of your interest.

Bicycling and Roller-skating

City cycling is not great but improving every day, although there are now more and more designated bike lanes, but people are often walking on them. It is possible to go cycling in some of the larger parks, such as Maksimir, Jarun and Bundek. Jarun is especially great place for Roller-skating because of great asphalt.

Health and Fitness Clubs

There are many health clubs in Zagreb, offering a variety of programs from aerobics and weightlifting to tennis courts and swimming. Look around your neighborhood for 'Fitness centar' signs, then go in and have a look. There seem to be more clubs opening every day and most offer at least one free trial visit. There is usually no joining free and most offer monthly memberships (some will even let you pay by the visit, so ask about this, if it suits for your life-style better). This makes it easy to try different clubs, without a huge commitment. There are also some international brands that have full fitness and spa centers.


Pilates is an exercise program designed to tone your body and strengthen your muscles. This system was designed and developed by Joseph Pilates (1880-1967) who was born in Germany, but moved to the US in the twenties, where he opened his studio in New York. Dancers for years have been using the exercises to recover from and prevent injuries.

Pilates is almost a one-to-one exercise program so, when you choose a studio, avoid anywhere teaching more than 5 or 6 in a group. The instructor will not be ale to give enough individual attention, particularly to the breathing technique, which is so important. Always check if the instructor is trained and certified.


Around Zagreb, the local hiking is mainly Medvednica Mountain (the peak is Sljeme), Žumberak and the hills around Samobor even in the Maksimir park.

Walking on Sljeme is always under the cover of trees, but when you get to the top (3 hours) there are some good views of Zagreb and its surroundings. The hiking in Žumberak and around Samobor is often more exposed and there are superb views.  The routes are well marked, with red or white dots on trees or posts, often with a number beside them. These numbers are shown on the hiking maps (planinarska karta), which you can buy in bookshops or from the Croatian Mountaineering Association (Hrvatskog planinarskog društva).

There are many mountain cafes and restaurants, both on Sljeme and in Samobor, so if you plan your walk correctly you can either have a meal halfway through your walk or at the end. Further out on the trails you will find 'palninarska kuća' or 'planinarski dom', which are smaller mountain huts offering basic food and drink. They are marked on the hiking maps and are quite lively and fun, but are often only fully operational at weekends in the summer.


Tennis is popular in Croatia and there are many places to play all year around. Almost all the courts are clay, and in winter, they are covered for indoor play. You must book your court in advance. In winter, evenings and weekends tend to be very crowded and it is best to book a time for the entire season and pay in advance. In summer, prices are halved and finding available courts is much easier.

For many more sports and contacts of clubs please check our BUSINESS DIRECTORY - SPORT AND LEISURE.

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