The closeness of the mountain from the city centre is rather unique in Zagreb. If you take tram no. 14 or no. 8 from the center of Zagreb in some 15 minutes you’ll be in its last stop – tram terminal at Mihaljevac.
It’s the best to wait for trams at the eastern tram stop at Draskoviceva street. Trams ride from 04.45 till 23.00 every 5-7 minutes. The usual tickets of Zagreb trams are valid.
Note that the line no. 8 doesn’t operate on Sundays and holidays.
Alternatively, take the bus #102 from Britanski trg to Mihaljevac.
If you decide to take the route via Medvedgrad, then take this bus from either Mihaljevac or Britanski trg and get off at Sestine (you’ll notice the coloured roof of the church in Sestine).
Buses run every 30 minutes. Usual tickets of the Zagreb bus and tram network are valid.
The highest point of the tram network of Zagreb ends up at Dolje, which means “valley” but also means “down” in Croatian.
Only 4 stops – tram line no. 15 runs from the terminal at Mihaljevac up to Dolje, and is rather unique in Zagreb since it runs on its route that is separated from the rest of the road network and it feels almost like a railway. The line runs through housing neighbourhoods and cuts the pedestrian tracks that have unique signs “Watch out for the tram!”. Being very steep it is the only line in Zagreb that is operated by single cars, without carriages.
Trams leave every 10 minutes and the ride up to Dolje takes some 8-10 minutes. Use the usual ZET tickets, or if you have validated one in either bus or tram then it’s valid for the next 90 minutes and will be enough for this short ride as well.
OK, if you managed to reach Mihaljevac and then took the tram #15 to Dolje then it’s just a short walk to the Lower Station of the cable car. Take the path that leads from the tram station through the tunnel and then continues as the paved mountain path some 500 metres.
The Cable car (Zicara) was built in 1963 and operates small cars (for 4 persons) that wave on the cables at the height of 50-100 metres from the ground. It will take you to the Sljeme (top of Medvednica) in 23 minutes. It is 4017 metres long and the distance between the lowest and the highest point is 669 metres.
If the day is sunny than you’ll be able to get a nice views of Zagreb, but usually Zagreb is deep down in fog while you can enjoy the sunny weather.
One-way ticket costs 11 kn, and you’ll need 17 kn for the return ticket. Buy them at either station of the Cable car. It operates from 8 till 21, and cars run in half-minute intervals.
Note that in case of the strong wind the Cable car does not operate (see my Warnings and dangers).
OK, enough of the motorised options. Because the main reason why you decided to go to Medvednica is to walk in the fresh air, right?
From Dolje (last stop of #15 tram line) you can take the path that leads from the Tunnel up to the Sljeme peak. If you pass the tunnel and reach the Lower station of the Cable car then you’ll notice the popular track that leads to either Puntijarka or Hunjka mountain hut.
Depending of your speed, you’ll need between 1,5 and 2,5 hours untill you reach the top from Dolje. The paths are well marked by “mountain spots” – red circles coloured on trees.
There are several natural water wells along the way and the water is potable, but usually very cold so it’s better to take a bottle with you.
Medvednica is quite easily accessible & it's a great one-day escape from the city. Getting there might be a bit tougher, but it's definitely worth it!
Take the tram no. 14 from the Main Square (trg bana J. Jelacica) to the last stop Mihaljevac, then no. 15 to Dolje & walk a bit through the tunnel which leads you to the cable car. It's gonna take almost to the top of the mountain [the actual highest point is just a short walk away], so enjoy the view of the city during the ride.
The cable car has been running since 1963 & it's a kind of a trademark in Zagreb. Unfortunately, the site is in Croatian only, but you can at least check out some of it. :) It drives every day from 08.00 till 20.30, the drive lasts 23 minutes & the cabins take 4 persons. A one-way ticket costs 11 HRK & a return ticket costs 17 HRK.
I've read in the newspapers that they're planning to build a whole new system, with bigger glass cable cars! Since there are more & more people going up there, there is definitely a need for better solutions!
It's a bit harder to get to Medvedgrad, an old fortificational complex the governmental people like to call 'The altar of the Homeland'. It's located in the far west corner of Medvednica [you can see something like a smaller city glowing up there during the night], so the best & the easiest way to get there would be a car, but if you're up for a longer walk, go ahead - you'll get an even better view from there! Oh, and try to get a hand of some binoculars while you're at it... ;)