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Zagreb on a budget

Being thrifty and a travel junky is sometimes challenging. I am always reading blogs and articles titled „Travel on a budget“, „How to save money while traveling“, and „Cheap travel options“. One of the latest I read was – „You don ́t need money to travel – you need courage“. Well, turns out, hotels and airlines don ́t accept courage.
So, until courage, will, wish or determination become a valid currency I am pretty much stuck with – „So what, like I HAVE to eat every day“

Now, I am not an expert on other counties but I can help you with Croatia, especially Zagreb, being my hometown. So no matter if you are a tourist, digital nomad, expat, or local – I hope these budget tips will help you


1. Cosmetics & Hygiene
Every week a store called BIPA has this awesome thing called „HAPPY WEEKEND“ when from Thursday – Sunday there is a 30% discount on all of the products from one category no matter the brand. For example this weekend it s all shower gels and soaps, and next week all makeup. All you need to do is go and get a free Bipa Card at any store.

2. Clothes
Not sure how this works in other counties but here – a popular H&M store gives you a voucher for a 10% discount if you bring old textiles to recycle. Win-win situation.

The second option are more and more popular second-hand stores – maybe the best known in Zagreb is Textile House ( about 10 of them all around the city ) and the best thing about is that the higher the day in the month – the lower the prices, which means around the 25th each month you shop for 1€ – 2€ a piece.

3. Groceries
Except watching out for regular discounts in all stores, there is one that is always cheap – Žabac. The „trick“ is that all the products there have shorter expiration dates ( 1 – 6 months ) – but I think that s not a problem when you can buy literally anything for 20% – 80% off the regular price.


Except for walking around and exploring my beautiful city, there are other free things to do in Zagreb.

  1. Free walking tour – Free Spirit walking tours are guided by amazing guides and you can join every day at 11am. Of course, the custom is to leave a tip if you liked the tour.
  2. Except during the „Museum Night“ happening every year in January, each month, some of the museums have an „open door day“ when you can check them out for free. You need to do your homework and research because it s not the same day for each of them but it s easy and definitely worth it.
  3. Zagreb Observatory at the Upper town is believe it or not – free. You just need to let them know you are coming and of course, pick a day when the sky is clear.
  4. A rich buffet of outdoor events happening throughout the year in Zagreb such as – The Festival of lights, Pop Up by the lake, FloreArt, Zagreb Advent, Cést is the best, Place 2 Go, Courtyards, Artupunktura and many others…


An absolute saving tip in Croatia is – tap water. It s fresh and good and you can always refill your bottle not buying plastic.

While in Zagreb, buy your ticket for the public tram/bus on any newsstand – it is cheaper than buying it from the driver.

Good old flee markets – there are 2 in Zagreb worth visiting. The first one is Hrelić Market ( Wednesday – Sunday ) where you can find literally anything from a nail to a car. The second one is in British Square ( Sunday ) where you can find all kinds of antiques – furniture, clothes, decorative things, jewelry, books and so many other kinds of treasures

Buy a lottery ticket – one of those scratch off-s. They cost between 0,65€ – 2,00€ but you just might be lucky to win something…. and then this blog will not be of any use.

Photo credits: Julien Duval