Explore Zadar


Calmer than its southern neighbors, but as inviting and full of history, Zadar has proved to be an exceptional destination for travelers less inclined to conventional and crowded options like Split or Dubrovnik.

Its historic peninsula nestled by the glistening Adriatic, ancient ruins surrounding the modern city’s flow make it Dalmatia’s standout, yet better-kept secret. With three days to explore its history, culture and natural beauty, you’re just about set for a stay full of unique experiences. Below you’ll find a practical guide of highlights to enjoy in Zadar, so you get the most of your visit.



You’ll likely spend the first day getting to know the city’s layout, so a trip to the peninsula that holds the Old Town is the best possible starting point, especially considering that everything within it is walking distance.



As you enter the Old City, you’ll most surely pass through the ancient Land Gate, a vast stone gate attached to the old city walls and historically used as the main entrance to the city. Extending into it is the famous Kalelarga, Zadar’s lifeblood that will either lead you straight to the waterfront, or wind into lively cobblestone alleys circling the city.


A historic promenade will definitely take you past the Bell Tower and we highly recommend making the climb for stunning panoramas of surrounding islands, red rooftops and the endless horizon. You're very likely to pass through People's Square, alive with locals, music, coffee shops, ice-cream and sunshine. Grab a bite and relax.


Right next to it, you'll see the world famous Roman Catholic cathedral known for an elaborate façade and rich interiors, the Cathedral of St. Anastasia. Set to become a UNESCO World Heritage site, the largest cathedral in Dalmatia boasts an impressive history and rich architectural style.


Engulfed by the ancient ruins coming your way, you'll have to end up at the Roman forum. The foundations of the city are the forefront of its aesthetic and the vast and impressive history speaks volumes of Zadar's treasures. A complex of ancient ruins that serve as the heart of Zadar to this day, you'll see altars, colonnades, relief sculptures, a pillar of shame, along with the centerpiece: The Church of St. Donatus.


As the day comes to an end, there’s no better place to unwind than Zadar’s picturesque waterfront. At the brink of the peninsula, you’ll find two contemporary art installations. The Sea Organ is a sound-art piece that produces enchanting melodies based on the movement of the sea. Just a few meters back, you can see the sunset off memorably, courtesy of The Sun Salutation, a 22-meter solar powered circle that collects sunpower and then at night uses it for a stunning light display for tourists and locals alike.



End the day with an intimate dinner in a laid-back setting that showcases all the best regional flavors have to offer. A dining option where tradition meets culinary excellence is an elegant way to finish a day brimming with new experiences.



There’s plenty to do near Zadar, and Plitvice Lakes National park (a UNESCO World Heritage site) is guaranteed to enrich your Croatian experience. It’s fairly close to Zadar, but is a renowned natural beauty far different from the usual Dalmatian paysage. Sixteen interconnected lakes await your visit, as do rich forests and mesmerizing waterfalls. Several tour options are available, so be sure to check them out and find one that suits your needs; guided tours, boat rides, walking tours or a solo venture, Plitivice will provide fresh air, stunning surroundings and camera-friendly locations for enduring memories.



Relax in the city and uncover its vibrant nightlife. Charming bars and cafes are scattered throughout the Old Town, featuring cozy atmospheres, outdoor seating and a wide selection of local drinks and meals. The promenade comes alive at night with bustling activity, so be sure to keep an eye out for local event listings or livelier nightlife experiences like clubs and nightclubs.



You’ve seen most of the sights and experienced the essence of Zadar’s everyday throng. The only thing left is to head back to the city for some casual museum prowling. But first, breakfast!



Start your day in style with an assortment of light, fresh and appetizing dishes that showcase the best local cuisine has to offer.



A vast collection of works showcasing the development and evolution of glass, selected units from Roman and Dalmatian glassworks (jars, jewelry, cuttlery…) are all set within the Comacendi palace, a 19th century edifice on the Moro bastion. This one-of-a-kind museum also offers glassblowing demonstrations, guided tours, specialized exhibitions and more.



Right nearby, for a brief, yet enriching experience delving into Zadar’s ancient past, the Archaeological Museum offers a convenient and insightful stop. Despite its compact size, the museum offers a comprehensive collection of artifacts spanning various periods, and is suitable for all ages.

Spend the rest of your day exploring what the city hasn’t yet offered you – go for a casual swim by the promenade or head to one of many beaches, take a breather with coffee or ice-cream at the People’s Square, soak in the atmosphere of the city at Queen Jelena Madijevka Park or look around for local gift-shops and souvenirs. Wherever you go, Zadar will gladly welcome you.