How to get to Zadar
First of all, Zadar airport is connected with all major Europe’s cities throughout the whole year and especially during summer. Almost every low budget airliner has regular weekly flights, during shoulder months and summer to Zadar. Secondly, if you are planning on arriving to Zadar via car you will find that it is situated directly on Croatian highway A1 (European highway E65). Excellent traffic connections make it easy to get to Zadar.
Sightseeing in Zadar
Zadar peninsula is quite easy reachable because on its north side there is a large public parking and also it is connected with modern part of town via pedestrian bridge. Let us take you on a short walk-through and show you what you should not miss while in Zadar.
With its 2000-year-old history Zadar is full of monuments that tells the story of the city and its inhabitants. You will find people in Zadar very easy going and relaxed. Mediterranean way of life can be experienced here to the fullest. Best way to experience this is taking a stroll down Zadar`s most iconic street, Kalelarga.
Splitting Zadar peninsula in two modern day Kalelarga follows the old Roman Decumanus Maximus street. Literally meaning wide street, this vibrant street is the center of social life since the foundation of town some 2000 years ago. First café was opened on Kalelarga 300 hundred years ago on People`s Square and nowadays you still can find some of the coolest cafés or bars on or near Kalelarga.
Best part of the day to start exploring Zadar is early morning. It is still not to crowded and hot, if you arrive during summer, so you have Zadar all to yourself.
Roman Forum, Zadar, from Pixabay.com
Starting point for a stroll down Kalelarga should be the Roman Forum.
Measuring 90 x 45 meters it is an impressive landmark of Zadar. Construction began in 1st century BC and during Roman times this area served as a central market and public area. Much of the material used in building surrounding buildings were taken from the Roman Forum. We suggest visiting after nightfall when entire Roman Forum is lit up.
St. Mary`s Church and monastery, Zadar, from Pixabay.com
Around the Forum some of the Zadar top sites can be found. First of them is St. Mary Church. Romanesque church situated on the eastern side of old Roman Forum. In 1066. beside the church Benedictine monastery was founded. Part of the monastery is being used as a museum that houses Zadar’s finest ecclesiastical artefacts known as Gold and Silver of Zadar.
Next to the St. Mary`s Church and monastery you will find Zadar Archeological Museum. This museum is divided in seven separate rooms and each room represent different period of Zadar long and rich history.
Church of St. Donatus, Zadar, from Pixabay.com
Looking west from St. Mary`s Church you will find Church of St. Donatus. Originally named Church of St Trinity this is the largest pre-Romanesque church in Croatia. Building of the church started in 9th century by a Zadar bishop and diplomat Donatus of Zadar from which the church in 15th century got its name.
Apart serving as a church, during its long history it also served as a warehouse, museum for a short period and today Musical Evenings in St. Donatus, festival of medieval renaissance music, is being held there because of the building excellent acoustics.
Cathedral of St. Anastasia, Zadar, from Pixabay.com
Next to Church of St. Donatus lies Cathedral of St. Anastasia. Construction of cathedral began in the 9th century and today this UNESCO's Tentative List of World Heritage Site represent a number of historic architectural periods. It is also the seat of the Archdiocese of Zadar, and the largest church in region Dalmatia. Adjacent to cathedral with is iconic Bell tower of St Anastasia’s Cathedral. We strongly recommend climbing its 183 steps and enjoying spectacular view of Zadar and its archipelago.
Bell tower of St Anastasia’s Cathedral, Zadar, from commons.wikimedia.org, author Pudelek (Marcin Szala)
After the climb be sure to proceed east worth towards the center of Zadar social life, People`s Square, a place where some 300 hundred years ago first café was opened and since than this square is an unavoidable place for having your first morning coffee and for hearing what is happening in town. Today, People`s Square, is one of the top tourist attractions in Zadar that with its beauty leave no one indifferent. Surrounded with 16th century City Guard clock tower and City Loggia, seat of political power in Zadar, People`s Square, is still the beating heart of the town.
People`s Square, Zadar, from commons.wikimedia.org, author Böhringer Friedrich
Still moving east worth you will stumble upon Petar Zoranic and adjacent to it, Five Wells Square. These two town squares joined together form a phenomenal location for all sorts of entertaining events, such as concerts, all year round.
Five wells square, Zadar, from commons.wikimedia.org, author Böhringer Friedrich
Petar Zoranic Square is named after Croatian renaissance writer born in Zadar and you will recognize it by glass covered Roman ruins and a large Roman pilar.
Five Wells Square, as name suggest, is named after five wells existing still today on the square. Wells were dig during 16th century in order to store sufficient amount of water in case the town is besieged by the Turks. After the Turkish threat ended beautiful park was built on top of the nearby bastion.
After a morning of sightseeing the best thing you could do is to head out to beach and seek refreshment in the sea.
Zadar has several lovely beaches and all of them are full of different amenities and are excellently maintained.
Photo of the Zadar beach Kolovare from the Zadar Tourist Board
Kolovare beach is the most popular beach in Zadar. Beach is comprised of sand and gravel and it is excellent for spending relaxing day on the beach. There are lots of bars near the beach and you can even rent deck chairs. Get a cool drink, park yourself in a sun chair and enjoy the sun and the view. Or just dive into refreshing sea and let the waves melt your worries away.
Also, big advantage is that beach has an excellent parking so there is no problem finding parking lot even in high season.
Borik beach is occupied mostly by nearby hotel guests but it is opened for public. Beach is mix of sand and gravel. On the beach you will find aquapark and possibility to enjoy in water sports and rent pedal boats, surf boards etc.
Puntamika beach is lovely pebble beach which is ideal for families with smaller kids. On the beach you will find children playground and there is a possibility to rent parasols. Also, for a complete relaxation there is a beach bar where you can order cool drink and enjoy the great view of Zadar.
Restaurants in Zadar
After a day at the beach, it is time for a nice dinner. You will find out that Zadar has an abundance of excellent restaurants for you to choose from.
We can warmly recommend these restaurants for you to check out.
Photo of the restaurant Kastel fromwww.facebook.com/pg/HotelBastionZd
Restaurant Kastel takes pride in bringing the culture traditions of Zadar region to life with their selected dishes.
Pet Bunara dine & wine restaurant serves traditional dishes common to Zadar region but with a modern twist and paired with excellent domestic wines.
For a homier atmosphere we recommend Al Pachero restaurant. It is an easy-going restaurant that serves excellent seafood.
These are just recommendation for restaurants in Zadar. You will surely find many others that are excellent as well.
Greeting to the Sun and Sea Organ
To end the perfect day in Zadar we recommend visiting installations Greeting to the Sun and Sea Organ.
These installations are best visited while sun is slowly setting into the sea. The sound from Sea Organ and the light provided from Greeting to the Sun installation produce unique blend of visual and acoustic experience.
Sea Organ, Zadar, from commons.wikimedia.org, author Böhringer Friedrich
Sea Organ is made of 35 polyethylene pipes of different size that are placed under perforated stone steps stretching 70 meters along the stone-paved waterfront. Pipes are placed so that when waves come crushing to the coast pushes air into pipes that then produce sound. Due to the different size of the pipes Sea Organs can produce seven chords.
Greeting to the Sun, Zadar, from commons.wikimedia.org, author Hajotthu
Greeting to the Sun consists of 300 glass plates placed in the shape of a circle. Beside the main installation there are similar smaller installations representing other planets of the solar system. The size of the Sun and planets are proportional. Beneath the glass are solar modules with lighting elements which turn on at night, and produce a wonderful light show that attracts tourist and local alike.
Greeting to the Sun at night, Zadar
It is not by chance that Greeting to the Sun installation is in Zadar. In Zadar you can observe one of the best sunsets in the world. Even Alfred Hitchcock, famous film director, who visited Zadar in May 1964. said: “Zadar has the most beautiful sunset in the world, more beautiful than the one in Key West, in Florida, applauded at every evening.”
Sunset, Zadar, from Pixabay.com
We hope this blog convinced you to visit Zadar and see for yourself why tourists flock every year here. Just do not forget to write us back and share your experience.