Pet-Friendly Zagreb: Maksimir Park and our Apartment

Abby at Maksimir Park

Abby at Maksimir Park

Zagreb surprisingly feels more American than any other European city. It has the big box stores, large parks, red-roofed houses, and big highways of most major U.S. cities.  And, like the Istrian peninsula , everyone in Zagreb has dogs.  This is a dog-friendly haven.  So, here are our best bets to make the most of your dogs' time in Zagreb:

Maksimir Park

Maksimir Park

Abby at Maksimir Park Us at Maksimir Park
Chewy at Maksimir Park Chewy at Maksimir Park

Chewy and Abby at Maksimir Park

Maksimir Park is Zagreb's oldest park, founded in 1787, and a huge expanse of meadows, lakes, and woods.  Dogs are allowed everywhere in the park and most dogs are off-leash and on voice control.  It's a stunning place to spend an afternoon and Chewy and Abby loved meandering through the woods and fields.


Abby in our Zagreb apartment

Zagreb apartment Zagreb apartment

Zagreb apartment

We stayed in a lovely apartment about 15 minutes outside of the Zagreb city center.  Our apartment had a large living area with attached well-equipped kitchen, a double bedroom with king-sized bed, and a newly remodeled bathroom. The bathroom had excellent hot water (a luxury in Europe) though it does not have a washing machine.  The apartment is below the family house and next to a beautiful garden area with a huge grill.  The family has a very friendly golden retriever named Arras who we and our dogs absolutely loved getting to know. We miss Arras!

Best of all, Dijana and her family were exceptional hosts. From the moment we stepped foot into their apartment, they made us feel as if we were guests rather than paying customers. They were so kind to Chewy and Abby and us and gave us plenty of help and advice whenever we needed it.  We highly recommend this apartment if you are in Zagreb (with or without dogs).

Store - Pet Centar

I don't normally talk about European pet stores on this blog because, frankly, there isn't all that much to talk about.  European pet stores tend to be about as large as an American walk-in closet and stocked with the same sort of things that you can find at any grocery store (namely Pedigree dog food and a few sad looking rawhide bones.)  This is why we buy most of their food and treats online at .

BUT, the Croatian Pet Centar is an exception to this rule.  This chain of stores has locations in Zagreb, Rijeka, Pula, and Osijek.  The Zagreb store is about as large as an American Pet Supermarket and had an excellent selection of toys, treats, and dog food (including many natural and organic brands.)  Best of all, the prices were equivalent to or even a bit less than U.S. prices, which is a nice relief after traveling through Western Europe where a pack of dog bones might cost $8 USD.  We even found a really cute new collar for Chewy because his old one was gunky and muddy.  If you're traveling through Europe, this is a great place to stock up on reasonably priced pet items.

Pet-Friendly Istria: Parks and Apartment
Abby at the Adriatic Sea

Abby at the Adriatic Sea

I had this idea that Croatia wouldn't be very pet-friendly but, in fact, it turned out to be one of the most dog-friendly countries we've visited in Europe.  Nearly every household has one or two dogs, dogs are allowed most places (even in some malls), and there are tons of great pet-friendly parks around Croatia.  Here's a quick primer to the dog-friendly Istrian peninsula:

Dogs/Pets Entering Croatia

Croatia is not part of the EU but Croatia follows the European Union/UK Pet Passport scheme.  If you have an EU pet passport, you won't have any trouble entering Croatia.  The Croatian immigration folks didn't even look at their pet passports when we crossed over!

Plitvice National Park

Chewy and Abby at Plitvice National Park

Plitvice National Park Abby at Plitvice National Park
Chewy with the great waterfall at Plitvice Plitvice National Park

Chewy and Abby at Plitvice National Park

The beautiful waterfalls and lakes of Plitvice National Park , Croatia's biggest attraction, is also dog-friendly!  Dogs are allowed on leash throughout the amazing and expansive park though please note that many of the trails are quite narrow so keep a close eye on the dogs, especially during high tourist season when the park will be packed with people.

Pula Amphitheatre

Abby at the Pula Amphitheatre

Chewy at Pula Amphitheatre
Pula Amphitheatre Pula Amphitheatre

Abby and Chewy at Pula Amphitheatre

Istria's most famous attraction, the huge and well-preserved Roman amphitheatre at Pula, is also dog-friendly!  Dogs are allowed inside the amphitheatre and outside and it's a great place to get pictures of your dog at a Roman ruin.  Dogs are not allowed inside the museum area below the amphitheatre.


Park near Adriatic Sea, Pula

Chewy in Pula

Abby in Pula Abby and Chewy in Pula

Park near Adriatic Sea, Pula

Right near the Adriatic Sea in Pula, there is a five mile long wooded park with beautiful views onto the ocean.  It's a great place to walk dogs and we often saw joggers enjoying themselves, as well.  In the summer, it would be a wonderful place to let the dogs enjoy the beach.

Akila writes. Patrick takes photos. Chewy eats. Abby runs. We live, love, and travel in this world.
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