Zadar, Croatia travel guide

Zadar is a magnificent city located in the northern part of Dalmatia on the Adriatic coast of Croatia. It is one of the oldest cities in the country, with a history dating back over 3000 years. This historic city is renowned for its architectural beauty, rich history and spectacular scenery. The historic center of Zadar is an architectural gem, with stone walls, medieval churches, Renaissance palaces and cobbled streets. One of the most remarkable sights in the city is the city's defensive wall, one of the best preserved in Europe. The city is also known for the two famous Adriatic Sea Organs, which are located on the seafront. Sea organs create a unique and relaxing music through water and waves, a mesmerizing spectacle. Zadar is also strategically located, being the gateway to Paklenica National Park, a spectacular mountain area, and Kornati National Park, a stunning archipelago of rocky islands. The city also has a vibrant and lively atmosphere, with numerous cafes, restaurants, bars and clubs offering top-notch dining and entertainment experiences. A beautiful and picturesque city with a rich history and a lot of tourist attractions, which are worth visiting. In the following you will find a complete guide that includes accommodation recommendations, places with delicious food, tourist attractions and unique activities for an unforgettable vacation.

Useful information

Accommodation – Where are you staying in Zadar?

  • Kolovare Hotel this modern and stylish hotel is located just a few steps from Kolovare Beach in Zadar. Rooms are bright and spacious with wooden floors and minimalist furniture. The hotel also has an outdoor pool, a sauna and a fitness room. Prices for one night's accommodation start from 114 euros for a double room.
  • Hotel Sky this hotel is located in a quiet area of Zadar and offers a panoramic view of the sea. This is ideal accommodation for both couples, families or large groups, with the space offered being generous. the hotel also has a private pool, a large terrace and a beautiful garden. Prices for one night's accommodation start from 90 euros for a double room.
  • Boutique Hostel Forum this hostel is located right in the old center of Zadar and is a great choice for budget travelers. The rooms are tastefully decorated and equipped with air conditioning and free Wi-Fi. Hostel guests can benefit from a rooftop terrace with city and sea views. Prices for one night's accommodation start from 94 euros for a double room with breakfast included.

Tourist spots Zadar - What to visit in Zadar

Crkva sv. donated 

If you come to Zadar, a tourist attraction that you should not miss is Crkva sv. Donata a magnificent church from the 9th century, located on a small peninsula in the middle of the old town. You will be impressed by its circular architecture and amazing acoustics. The dome-shaped roof of the church rests on 24 Roman columns and is decorated with beautiful Byzantine mosaic pieces. It is a unique experience to walk around the interior of the church and admire these impressive architectural details. An interesting detail about Crkva sv. The Donata is that it has survived wars, earthquakes and other natural disasters over the centuries due to its solid and ingenious construction. In addition, the church is located right next to the ruins of an ancient Roman forum, which makes it an even more interesting tourist attraction. The price of a ticket for adults is 5 euros, and you can find more details here.

Romanian Forum

If you are in Zadar, one of the must-see sights is the Roman Forum, an important archaeological site and a popular tourist attraction in the city. This archaeological site is a remarkable complex of Roman buildings, squares and temples that were built many centuries ago. It is amazing to walk among the old ruins and think about the fascinating history of these buildings. The ruins of the Roman Forum are well preserved and give you a clear picture of how people in the past lived and built in this area. Among the most important buildings on the site are the Basilica of Saint Donatus, which dates from the 9th century and is an impressive circular structure, and the Temple of Augustus, another important monument of the city. The Roman Forum is located in the heart of the old city, so you can combine a visit to the archaeological site with a walk through the beautiful streets of the city and a visit to other tourist attractions in the area. This amazing archaeological site will take you back in time and give you a fascinating picture of life in this region in the past.

Sea Organ 

One of the most unique and beautiful sights that you must see is the Sea Organ. Sea Organs are a special artistic and sonic creation that transforms the natural sounds of the sea into a unique and beautiful melody. Built in 2005, they have become a popular tourist attraction and are considered one of the most original art projects in the world. As you stroll along the seafront promenade, you'll hear the sounds of organs resonating in the air and mingling with the sounds of waves lapping against the shore. These organs are composed of a series of underground tubes and stone platforms that produce musical sounds when waves enter and exit the tubes. Each tube is different in size, which creates a wide range of sounds and tones. The quiet atmosphere of the promenade combined with the natural sounds of the sea creates an unforgettable experience.

Cathedral of St. Anastasia 

If you visit the city of Zadar, you should not miss a visit to the Cathedral of Saint Anastasia, one of the most important tourist attractions and historical monuments of the city. Saint Anastasia Cathedral is a gem of Romanesque and Gothic architecture, built in the 12th century. The massive and imposing building is located in the center of the city and is dedicated to Saint Anastasia, one of the most famous and beloved saints in the history of Christianity. The centuries-old frescoes and wall paintings are well preserved and will give you a clear picture of the history and culture of this region . The impressive architecture and elaborate details of the windows and portals will also catch your eye. One of the most interesting features of the cathedral is its bell tower, which was built in the Romanesque style in the 13th century and is 57 meters high. You can climb the 180 steps of the bell tower to admire a spectacular view of the city and the Adriatic Sea.

The Greeting to the Sun 

If you want to live a unique experience in Zadar, you must visit Greeting to the Sun, an impressive tourist attraction that combines art, technology and nature. Greeting to the Sun is a public installation that was designed to celebrate the power and beauty of the sun. This installation consists of a huge glass circle, which is placed on a stone platform and is made up of 300 glass solar panels, each 1 meter in diameter. These solar panels are illuminated by LED lights, which begin to pulsate in vibrant colors as the sun sets and create an impressive light and color show. In the evening as the sunset approaches, you will be captivated by the vivid and vibrant colors that litter the entire platform. This is when the installation reveals its full beauty and turns into one of the most beautiful attractions in Zadar.

Kolovare Beach 

If you want to relax and enjoy the sun and crystal clear waters of the Adriatic Sea, you must visit Kolovare Beach. This beautiful and popular beach is located just a few steps from the city center, making it easily accessible. Kolovare Beach has a wide beach with fine sand and crystal clear sea water, which makes it ideal for swimming, diving and other water activities. In addition, the beach offers a lot of facilities for tourists, such as sunbeds and umbrellas, as well as showers and toilets. In addition to the beach, Kolovare Beach also has a wide promenade with a variety of bars and restaurants offering a wide range of cuisine, from traditional Croatian dishes to international cuisines. The beach is located at the foot of steep cliffs and is surrounded by pine trees and other Mediterranean plants, which creates a relaxing and pleasant atmosphere.

People's Square 

If you are looking for a picturesque place in Zadar, you should visit the People's Square, which is located in the old town center and is an important tourist attraction. This is an impressive medieval square that dates back to the 16th century and is surrounded by historic buildings. In the center of the square is the fountain of Petar Zoranić, who was a Croatian writer from the 16th century, and on the edge of the square are some of the most important historical buildings of the city, such as the Saint Anastasia Cathedral and the Bishop's Palace. The People's Square is a lively place full of cafes, terraces and restaurants offering delicious cuisine and refreshing drinks. Here you will be able to relax and enjoy the pleasant and authentic atmosphere of Zadar, while enjoying a cup of coffee or a Croatian snack. In addition, the People's Square is a popular place for cultural and artistic events, such as the Zadar Classical Music Festival or the Electronic Music Festival. 

Museum of Ancient Glass 

If you are passionate about history and art, you should not miss the Museum of Glass in Zadar. This unique museum in South-Eastern Europe houses an impressive collection of Roman, Byzantine and medieval glass as well as contemporary glass. The museum is located in a historic building in the old city center and is very well laid out, with exhibitions showing the evolution of glass processing techniques and the history of this fascinating art. Impressive exhibits include colored glass drinking vessels, oil lamps, perfume bottles, medical vessels and more. In addition, the museum houses glass workshops, where visitors can watch glass craftsmen at work and participate in workshops to create their own glass objects.

The Five Wells Square 

Located near the old town, the square was built in the 16th century as a drinking water system for the town's residents. Cinci Fântâni Square is named after the five artesian stone fountains that are located in the center. They have a beautiful and unique shape and are surrounded by a small garden with flowers and trees. In the past, the wells served as a source of drinking water for the city's residents and were restored in the 1960s. Today, the square is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike, who come to relax and admire the beauty of the place. The square is framed by historic buildings and the atmosphere is full of charm. In addition to the five fountains, nearby are the ruins of an old Venetian castle and a number of benches and café terraces, where you can stop for a refreshing drink and a great view of the square.

Archaeological Museum 

The Archaeological Museum of Zadar is a popular tourist attraction and a must-see for those interested in the city's history and culture. Housed in a renovated Venetian palace, the museum houses an impressive collection of artifacts and archaeological objects from different historical periods. Within the museum, visitors can admire a wide range of exhibits, including objects from the Stone Age, ceramics and glass from the Roman era, as well as elements of traditional crafts from past centuries. The museum also has a section dedicated to medieval art, where a number of frescoes and religious objects are found. In addition to permanent exhibitions, the museum also organizes temporary exhibitions and cultural events such as music and dance performances, conferences and film screenings. The museum also offers audio guides in different languages, so you can explore the exhibitions and better understand the history and culture of Zadar.

The Land Gate 

The Land Gate is an architectural gem dating back to the 16th century. This historic gate is one of three surviving medieval entrances and was built in the Venetian style. You will notice a number of interesting architectural elements, such as two circular defense towers and a beautiful fresco above the gate. The fresco depicts a Venetian lion, a symbol of power and sovereignty, holding the city's coat of arms in its paws. Once you pass through the gate, you will arrive in the historic center of the city, where you will find a lot of tourist attractions, restaurants and shops. This historic tourist attraction is a must-see for anyone visiting Zadar, offering an impressive view of the city and a time travel to the medieval period of the city's history.

National Museum Zadar 

The National Museum in Zadar is one of the most important cultural sights of the city. This museum houses an impressive collection of historical and cultural artifacts that illustrate the rich history of the city and the surrounding region. The museum is located in an 18th-century baroque palace known as the Benja Palace, which in itself is an impressive tourist attraction. Inside the museum, you'll find plenty of interesting exhibits, including artifacts from prehistoric times, Roman and medieval antiquity, as well as exhibits on Croatian history and culture. One of the most fascinating exhibits in the museum is the collection of Roman artefacts, including marble, mosaics and inscriptions, which provide a unique insight into daily life in the Roman city of Iader (modern Zadar). The museum also houses an impressive collection of jewelery and gold and silver objects dating back to the medieval period. In addition, the museum also has a section dedicated to natural history, which presents the fauna and flora of the surrounding region, as well as an exhibition dedicated to the ethnography and cultural traditions of the local population. You can explore the museum through guided tours or on your own by reading the information displayed in each room. During the summer, the museum also hosts a number of cultural events, such as temporary exhibitions, concerts and film screenings.

Maestrala Beach 

Maestrala Beach is one of the most popular and beautiful beaches in Zadar and is a favorite destination for tourists visiting the city. This impressive beach is located just a few kilometers from the city center and is easily accessible by both car and public transport. Maestrala Beach stretches over 600 meters and is known for its fine sand and crystal clear waters. With plenty of beach facilities, including sunbeds and umbrellas, Maestrala beach is an ideal place for relaxation and fun in the sun. Offering a spectacular panorama of the Adriatic Sea, Maestrala beach is ideal for activities such as swimming, diving or surfing. 

Punta Bajlo Beach 

Punta Bajlo beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Zadar and is only a few kilometers from the city center. This impressive beach is considered one of the cleanest and most beautiful beaches in the Zadar area. With fine sand, crystal clear waters and an impressive natural landscape, Punta Bajlo beach is an ideal place to relax and enjoy the sun. In addition, the beach offers a number of beach facilities, including sunbeds and umbrellas, showers and toilets. Punta Bajlo beach is also popular for water sports such as boating, diving or surfing. The beach also has a number of volleyball courts and other sports activities for those who want to keep fit while on vacation. Outside of beach activities, Punta Bajlo beach is just a few steps away from a number of restaurants and bars, serving delicious local cuisine. 

Plage de Podbrig 

Podbrig Beach is a gorgeous beach located near the city of Zadar in northern Croatia. This beach is known for its fine sand and clear waters. Podbrig Beach is approximately 800 meters long and offers numerous beach facilities such as sunbeds and umbrellas, toilets, showers and even a beach bar where you can enjoy a refreshing drink while admiring the impressive view of the sea Podbrig Beach is also popular for water sports, as well as beach volleyball courts. In addition to the beach, the Podbrig area offers a number of interesting tourist attractions. Close to the beach, you can find the ruins of the ancient Roman citadel, a popular destination for tourists keen to learn more about the region's rich history.

Queen Jelena Madijevka Park 

Queen Jelena Madijevka Park is a wonderful place, offering an oasis of tranquility and greenery in the middle of the urban bustle. The park is named after Queen Jelena Madijevka, the wife of Croatian King Petar Krešimir IV, who ruled in the 11th century. The park is located in the center of Zadar and is known for its natural beauty and impressive landscape. Here you will find a variety of exotic plants and flowers, as well as a series of beautifully landscaped paths and benches, on which to relax and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.

Gastronomy & Restaurants

Croatian gastronomy in Zadar is a combination of traditional ingredients and Mediterranean influences, resulting in a menu full of unique flavors and aromas. Zadar is located near the Adriatic coast, which makes seafood an important part of the local cuisine. In addition, the traditional Croatian pie known as burek is very popular in Zadar. One of Zadar's most famous dishes is pašticada, a beef stew cooked for several hours in a sauce of red wine and spices, served with gnocchi or noodles. Another traditional Zadar dish is maneštra od bobića, a thick soup of white beans, corn, cabbage, potatoes and other vegetables. Seafood and fish are also in high demand in Zadar, with dishes such as brudet, a fish stew in tomato sauce, and pašticada od hobotnice, octopus stew cooked in red wine sauce. In addition, there are many options for desserts, including frituli, fluffy Croatian donuts served with powdered sugar or fruit jam, and kroštule, soft, crunchy cookies, usually in the shape of spirals. To accompany these dishes, we recommend the local wines, which are produced in the Zadar region and have a special taste.

  • Kornat this elegant restaurant, located in the historic center of the city, offers fresh fish and seafood dishes, as well as traditional Croatian specialties such as pašticada. The interior is decorated with a combination of wood and stone, providing a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere.
  • Pet Bunara this restaurant, located near the port of Zadar, offers a variety of seafood dishes, including brudet and pašticada od octopus. The restaurant is also known for its beef and pork dishes, cooked with local ingredients. The decor is simple but elegant, with an outside terrace overlooking the harbour.
  • Bruschetta this beachfront restaurant offers a variety of dishes with Mediterranean influences, including pasta, pizza and antipasti, prepared with fresh, high-quality ingredients. The interior is modern and comfortable, with a terrace overlooking the sea, offering a relaxing and pleasant atmosphere. The restaurant also offers an impressive selection of local and international wines.

Zadar este un oraș minunat, cu o istorie bogată și o gamă largă de atracții turistice și culturale. În plus, gastronomia sa bogată și diversificată oferă o experiență culinară unică, combinând ingrediente locale și influențe mediteraneene pentru a crea preparate savuroase și gustoase. De la preparatele tradiționale croate, precum “pašticada” și “burek”, până la preparatele de pește și fructe de mare proaspete și deserturile delicioase, Zadar are multe opțiuni pentru a satisface toate gusturile.În plus, orașul oferă o varietate de restaurante și cafenele, oferind ocazii de a experimenta gastronomia locală într-o atmosferă plăcută și relaxantă. Indiferent dacă sunteți în căutarea unui restaurant elegant sau a unei terase la malul mării, Zadar are ceva pentru toți iubitorii de mâncare. Zadar este un oraș frumos și vibrant, care oferă o experiență culinară deosebită, îmbinând tradițiile locale cu influențele mediteraneene, pentru a crea un meniu variat și gustos, care merită să fie explorat și savurat.

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