Zareb is the capital of Croatia, yet a quite chilled city. To do all the touristy stuff you need about one day. To see nice old buildings go to the upper town (aka the medieval core). The other nice area to check out are all the parks in the center, where people often drink if the weather is nice. Croatian people love to complain about everything, but with a happy face, as well as drink and joke a lot. Croats also tend not to be extremely tardy so don't be angry at your Croatian friend if they are a bit late for your meeting. There is also this Balkan mentality of nothing working out, as in - if you have ambition to do something different, the society will tell you not to even try 'cos there's no way you can do it. But the people also don't take life too seriously, the alcohol is strong and the food is damn good.
The public transit consists of an electric tramway infrastructure, as well as multiple bus lines.
Black-riding is possible and most of people in Zagreb who don't have monthly or yearly tickets do this in trams and in buses there is almost no control. Controllers are sometimes all over the town but mostly there is nobody for months. There are in groups of 2-3 wearing blue uniform just like the driver so if you see them just get out and wait another tram. Playing the "dumb tourist" will work because they don't have authority to ask you passport or your id and if you give them your passport they can't send you a bill to your home because you are not citizen of Croatia. Also they will not call police because there are city owned company and controllers have fixed paychecks so they don't give a damn too much.
One ticket (Feb 2019) bought in kiosk costs 4HRK (0.55€) valid for 30 min, and 7HRK (0.95€) valid for 90 min. If ticket is bought at bus/tram driver it costs 6HRK (0.8€) and 10HRK (1.36€).
It is very easy to black ride in the trams, as you can freely enter the waiting areas, as well as the vehicles without needing to validate a ticket. You only get checked if you're lucky enough to find yourself in the same tram wagon as a controller. Rarely they are in disguise, and mostly they are dressed the same as the drivers (blue-white pinstriped shirts, dark blue pants and dark blue jackets with the company logo ZET).
If you're staying for a while and wanna play it safer, you might consider buying one ticket to have on you at all times. The thing is, there are orange ticket machines at every door (all of them can validate plastic card passes) but you can validate a paper ticket only at the first and the last door, so even if you get caught, just make sure you're standing next to one of the machines in the middle and show your unvalidated ticket, playing a dumb tourist, gesturing there is no way to validate it on that silly thing. They will most likely not bother you, and just show you how to validate it on the first or the last door machines.
The control is usually scarce, but somewhat more frequent at weekends and nights, as well as on the beginning of the month.
With buses it's a tad harder, as they nowadays expect you to enter only at the front door, where the driver sees if you have a ticket or not. You can still try entering on other doors, merge in the crowd or play silly. Sometimes you can also just walk in the front and just be cool and walk to the end of the bus.
FROM/TO THE AIRPORT: there is a bus going every 30min, between the main bus station and the airport (most probably not black-rideable). You could just try hitchhiking to the city.
Accommodation & Wild Camping
There is a former squat called Medica. They have guest rooms and hosted us when we came without knowing anybody. There is a another one called Klaonica. If you are planning to visit it, look exactly for directions and instructions getting in before you reach location. The way in is described on their homepage, however it is said that you can jump over the fence from Radnička cesta, but it's not possible as fence is covered with thorns and has barbed wire on it. However at the end of Radnička cesta near Heinzelova street seems to be a nice spot for jumping over the fence as there is about two meters of fence without barbed wire but it is not nice spot at all because the ground on the other side is full of thorns. BEK is a squat in Zagreb.
There are lots of hostels in Zagreb now, and if you intend to stay for a longer period, try asking them if you could volunteer for accommodation.
Wild-camping in Croatia is illegal, yet it is not impossible. When it comes to Zagreb, there is a big park called Maksimir (just google map it). You could definitely find a hidden spot somewhere, and it's not far from the center.
For decent camping, take tram #6 from the central train station to Crnomerec, continue walking down Ilica a hundred metres or so, turn Right on Kustosijanca, and walk up this street for two hundred meters past an old train trestle. There is easy access to trails in the woods and decent places to camp without being disturbed.
To be deeper in nature but still quite close to the town, take tram #14 to Mihaljevac, and then #15 to the last stop. Continue further through the tunel, and then you'll find yourself in a huge forest with contless spots for camping. Update: In June 2015, my girlfriend used this advice (trams 14 and 15). It is indeed a large wooded area. We found a somewhat decent spot to spend the night about 800m past the tunnel. I say decent as we were only partially out of sight from passing cars or pedestrians (that are few at night time anyway).
I pitched my tent in Bundek park once. There are free toilets, a lake, and a shower.
There isn't much to find in the dumpsters of this city. If you're up for a gigantic bag of a day-old bakery produce (buns, pastries, pizza slices, sandwiches and so on), you can get one for around 2E at the big bakery/factory PANPEK in Planinska 2c. They pick up all the unsold produce from the many small PANPEK bakeries around town, bag it in 50kg flour bags and sell primarily to farmers, but also to Gypsies and squatters. Mind you, the bag is really heavy.
There is a weekly food not bombs, organized at the former squat which is now a culture center, Medika. The food is collected on Saturdays at farmers markets and prepared on Sundays, and distributed at the main train station around 2pm. The place also has an anarchist info shop and a free shop.
You can also try your luck at one of the farmers markets at closing hour. More on that on trashwiki 
Another way to score a whole cheap meal would be to hang out with students. Zagreb is full of students who have iksica (electronic card with which they can eat whole lunch witch soup, meat and juice for less than a euro). What you have to add is a quarter of the price in cash, which comes out around 1E for the daily menu (including everything, soup, main meal, side dish, salad and desert). The card is called X-ica, any student would know.
If you want you can go to studentski centar (savska 25) by taking trams 2, 4 or 9 from main train station (Glavni kolodvor) to Vodnikova cross the street and go right for 5-6 minutes until you reach big open space with cafe bar and lots of people moving around. Just ask somebody on the entrance to lend you their iksica and most of people will do it. Also if you are cold and you want to you can stay in Studentski centar until 21:00 and on the first floor are some couches where you can take a nap. homeless people sometimes sleep there. You can get there from main square (Jelacic platz) taking trams 17, 14 to Studentski centar station or 12 to Technical museum station (Technical museum and Studentski centar stations are practically the same stations) and just across the street is Studentski centar.
There are restaurants on several faculties (the university of Zagreb is spread out all over the city), as well as at the student dorms, and the student center (Savska cesta 25).
On a few locations there are even student patisseries where you can get cakes and coffee for less than a euro.
Often there are some free movie screenings, either in big parks or in the old upper town. This is one of them, though only in the summer: (SCREEN)
BEST BUREK: burek is the food that everyone in the Balkan claims to be theirs, yet it came with the Turks. Anyhow, this is totally biased by the author of this text, yet a very delicious burek can be found on the Dolac farmers market (next to the main square). In the indoors milk and dairy section there is a small bakery open from around 7am until perhaps 1pm. All the other ones make good burek as well. The farmers market itself is a great place to check out, since it's quite big and in the very center of the city.
24/7 RESTAURANT and SUPERMARKET: If you need food in the middle of the night in the center, you can go on the main square, go up the stairs north of the clock on the square (to the already mentioned farmers market called Dolac), and you will see a big banner saying 24/7. It indeed is open all the time and strange enough you can get okay food (fast food and some pastries) for a very reasonable price (generally low prices, and definitely cheap for that location and working hours). Everybody ends up there, being hangover, drinking coffee and munching on some pastry. If you want to go to a store; many gas-stations are open during the night, but much more expensive. The biggest supermarket in the center would be at the main train station in the underground passage called "Importane". There is a Konzum store open all the time.
CHEAP COFFEE: if you wanna spend a few hours in a very relaxed place, you can try out this student's club that serves okay coffee for 3HRK (0.39E). It has a nice open wifi and lots of plugs. During the week it operates as a bar from 9am to 4pm. In the evenings and on weekends it's a club offering all sorts of concerts and sometimes workshops. (KSET)
Bike kitchen: There is a pretty nice bike kitchen (on Thursdays, 4-8pm), run by volunteers and on donations. It's in the very center and this is their website: (biciklopopravljaona)
Shower & swiming
Showers (in the summer months): there are two artificial lakes where people go swim, "Jarun" and "Bundek". During the swimming season, there are free showers on the beaches
Universities mostly have internet but protected. Many bars have internet, just try searching for an open one or putting the name of the bar as the password
Club Mama, net.culture.club is an open space with a cool library of technical, cultural, and revolutionary books, wifi, and frequent talks and skillshares. Ulica Petra Preradovićeva 18, at the back of a square between buildings. http://www.mi2.hr
Optima Telekom centar, Savska 5 has free Internet access for advertising purposes so you can just come in say hello to people who work there and go on the Internet. They are mostly friendly and you can surf as long as you want. You can get to that location by taking tram 2, 4, or 9 from Main train station (glavni kolodvor) and make sure to get out on Vodnikova and walk few metres until you are on Savska ulica. Then go left and after 1-2 minutes you will see Optima Telekom center on your right side.
There are many libraries, but it seems that for now only one has wifi. It's this one: Knjižnica Augusta Cesarca, Šubićeva 40/2
The National Library of Croatia is approximately one km south of the train station. Open until 20:00 on weekdays, 15:00 on Saturday, it provides power outlets, wifi, and access to public computers.
The police is not very strict and you can sometimes see travelers playing instruments or doing some circus stuff in the center. Yet for a capital there seem to be very few street performers, which must be a good thing. A really good place is the fountain in front of the cathedral.
FREE SHOP: there are two free shops, in the already mentioned squat (Klaonica) and a former squat which is now a culture center (Medika).
BOARD GAMES: there is a club that meets every Friday, Sunday and Tuesday. On Fri and Sun it's located in Bogovićeva 1. On Tue it's in a games store in Frankopanska ulica called Carta Magica. There is a mountain of board games, the people speak English and are always happy to welcome a new board game lover. The entrance is totally FREE, though it is recommended to leave a small donation (even as small as 3kn or 0.39E as the money goes for the rent and buying new games. But not to stop you if you are moneyless, you're still more than welcome). It might be easiest to contact someone via the site (PROSTOR) or the FB page (the organization or the event).
ALTERNATIVE CINEMA: in the center, there is a pretty nice and old cinema showing all sorts of old, weird, cult or foreign movies for the price of 10HRK (1.30E). Usually there are two screening a day, one at 7pm and the other at 9pm. It's worth checking out because they are sometimes in English and sometimes the subtitles are in English. (Tuškanac)
FREE SUMMER FESTIVALS: Until a few years ago, Zagreb used to be completely dead during the summer, and not much happened at other times either. It is full of students, so it's normal that clubs go silent in the summer, but nowadays it's getting much better. Things are happening, and often free festivals are being organized. One of them is in "Štrosmajerovo šetalište" from May until September. It's not big, but every day something is going on, and everyone just brings their own booze and sits on the ground. The concerts can get fun too. This is their website: (Stros)