The World’s Shortest Cable Car Ride

The world's shortest cable car is in the heart of old Zagreb! The cable car has been a symbol of the city and an attraction among tourists for years. Take a [surprisingly comfy] seat and indulge in the charms of exploring Croatia's capital.

Funicular to the Kaptol hill in Zagreb, Croatia on September 16, 2021.
Zagreb's funicular to the Kaptol Hill. Photo: Beata Zawrzel / NurPhoto via Getty Images

It is a well-known fact that Zagreb’s Old Town is the most beautiful part of the capital. There are a lot of great monuments, interesting attractions, and unique places here. Due to its hilly terrain, it is divided into two parts: the Lower City and the Upper City, which are connected not only by stairs and steep streets but also by a unique city cable car.

Uspinjača – the funicular’s name in Croatian – is one of the most recognizable symbols of Zagreb. It is nearly a rite of passage for any visitor to take a ride on it at least once. Even though the ride does not last long, it would be a great loss to be in Zagreb and not ride the legendary blue carriages.

The origins of the cable car

The cable car was first put into service on October 8, 1890. Osijek resident D.W. Klein devised the idea for it while counting passersby ascending and descending the 165 steps connecting the Lower City with the Upper City. He concluded that a cable car would be an ideal solution and convenience for residents. Residents instantly fell in love with it. The most important thing was that it provided a fast connection between the two parts of the city since, at that time, the Upper City was the center of administrative, spiritual, and political life.

In 1969, the cable car underwent a sizable renovation without disturbing its original form. A new opening was created at the upper station, which gave the engineer a better view of the track. The cable car’s undercarriage was repaired, and a new one was installed. This made the funicular more pleasant to use, free of vibrations and sudden speed changes. Since the cable car has completely preserved its original exterior, construction, and most of the technical characteristics given by its builders, it is a legally protected cultural monument in Zagreb.

As you will see for yourself, the distinctive feature of the cable car is its blue color, which attracts the attention of passersby from afar. The cable car consists of two carriages operating as a shuttle. When one of them moves passengers up, the other carries them down. The entire route of the cable car is only 66 meters, making it the shortest cable car in the world for public transportation. The ride takes about 64 seconds, and the carriage can take a maximum of 28 passengers, with 16 sitting and 12 standing.

How to ride the cable car

You can find the cable car on Josip Eugen Tomić – Tomićev Street. It runs throughout the week from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., so you don’t have to plan your time in advance to take a ride in it. The cable car departs every 10 minutes, and the cost of such pleasure is EUR 0.66. You can buy a ticket at any city kiosk or at the Zagreb Information Center, which is located on the Plaza Bana Josip Jelačić.

If you plan to stay in Zagreb for a whole weekend or longer, I recommend that you buy the Zagreb Card, the price of which will give you a free ride on the cable car. In addition, the card entitles you to visit many interesting museums and places on the Zagreb map. There is nothing else like going to the Croatian capital and enjoying its charms.

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