Maksimir – GNK Dinamo Zagreb
I’ve visited about 80% of European countries and with that also most of the stadiums that I’m writing now. Every single one of them has its own story and is unique on its own way. But for every fan there’s only one special stadium, one that we call “home”. Well, Maksimir is my home, it’s not Brady Bunch home, it’s dis-functional and ugly, but it’s mine.
Maksimir is located in east part of the capital city of Zagreb and is the largest stadium in Croatia with a capacity of 35.123 seats. Its owner is City of Zagreb. Besides being a home of the most successful Croatian football club GNK Dinamo Zagreb, it is also home of the National Football team. Maksimir underwent numerous renovations since opening on 5th of May in 1912, with the 1997/1998 expansion arguably being the most significant when all the standing places were replaced by seats and a completely new north stand was built.
In its first decades Maksimir was the home HAŠK Građanski, but got quickly expanded and turned into Zagreb’s prime sports stadium and in 1948 it became home of NK Dinamo Zagreb. In the post-war years Maksimir was a rather bare bowl-shaped stadium that consisted mainly of terraces with its capacity of about 45.000 seats.
As mentioned earlier, biggest reconstructions took place in 1997, but in 2011 GNK Dinamo Zagreb invested club’s money in order to renovate Maksimir once again. All the seats were replaced, heating was installed under the soil, new media stand and rooms for the press representatives were built and in 2013 there was a complete reconstruction of the South stand with new dressing rooms for home and away team, referees and all other officials and under the South stand was built a chapel and hotel for home team players.
Directions to stadium
Maksimir stadium is located toward the east part of the city. It is about 4km from the city’s main railway station and about a 20 minute walk via Maksimirska street from the town center. The stadium is bordered on its northern side by Park Maksimir and Maksimir ZOO.
The stadium lies close to two of Zagreb’s avenues, Maksimirska and Zvonimirova. Both of them connect the stadium with the center and the city’s ring road in the east. There are various options to reach the stadium by tram. From main city square Ban Jelacic Square you can either take tram 11 direction towards Dubec or 12 direction towards Dubrava. Both trams pass the stadium north over Maksimirska street. Tram station is right in front of corner of north and west stand of the stadium. Alternatively you can take tram 1 or 17 direction towards Borongaj, which pass over Zvonimirova street. Tram station is at the south stand of stadium.
From the main railway station you can take tram 4, direction towards Dubec which passes over Maksimirska street, or tram 9 direction towards Borongaj which passes over Zvonimirova street. From the main bus station you can take tram 7 direction towards Dubrava or tram 5 direction towards Maksimir. All trams go at least once every 15 minutes. Journey time ranges between 10 and 20 minutes depending on where you get on.
Tickets for GNK Dinamo Zagreb matches can be bought online or at the ticket office at the stadium on the day of the match. Tickets are also available up to 45 minutes after a kick-off. GNK Dinamo Zagreb unfortunately (or luckily for you) Dinamo never sell out tickets for a regular league match or European matches so no worry about that but keep in mind that identification is required in order to be able to buy a ticket.
Pricing for regular matches is usually around 10.00 kn (around 1.5€) for north stand behind the goal, 20.00 kn (less than 3€) for east stand and 30.00 kn (4€) for main, west stand. For more important matches like derby against HNK Rijeka or HNK Hajduk Split, Croatian cup semi finals and finals, price is a little bit higher and it goes around 30.00 kn (4€) for north stand behind the goal, 50.00 kn (7€) for east stand and 70.00 kn (less than 10€) for main, west stand. Tickets for group stage of Europa or Champions league ranges from 30.00€ to 80.00€.
GNK Dinamo Zagreb also offers guided (English and Croatian language) stadium tours, however you have to apply for a tour in advance through an email firstname.lastname@example.org. The tour is very interesting and last about an hour. It guides you around Maksimir stadium, club’s trophy rooms, player’s tunnel and dressing room, the St. Joseph chapel and club’s press room. Price for a stadium tour is around 2.50€ per person or in case of organized group of 15+ people, price is a little bit less than 2€.
Where to eat, drink and sleep?
Maksimir stadium is located in a predominantly residential neighborhood. On its northern side is bordered by Maksimir Park and Maksimir ZOO, which is a pleasant place to spend some of your time. Since stadium is only 20 min walk from city center you can easily book a hotel there. If you decide to be really close to the stadium then you can choose Hotel Maksimir.
As you might expect from a capital city with a population of just over one million people, Zagreb is a typical Central European city in terms of architecture and feel and enjoys a reputation for a riotous nightlife.
there are small local restaurants serving hefty daily menus (called a gablec) for around 5 euros, bars from the very new to the very old, craft beer, and a vibrant club sceneA good place to start a night out is Tkalciceva street, few minutes walk from Ban Jelacic main square. There’s a city’s highest concentration of bars. Zagreb has also plenty to offer in terms of nightclubs and during the summer part of nightlife is moved to Lake Jarun which is about 20 min tram ride from city center.
If you want a budget eat, there are a lot of small local restaurants serving hefty daily menus (this is called gablec) for around 5 euros. Zagreb has really a lot to offer in terms of sport, fun and culture so enjoy your stay here and make most of it.