Zadar is one of most attractive tourist destinations on whole Adriatic coast. It is placed between three totally different geographical types: the highest Croatian mountain Velebit, the flat region Ravni Kotari and of course the Adriatic coast with the many bays and islands. The nature will leave you breathless, the same will happen inside old part of town; cultural heredity is huge and visible on each step. At peak of the old town peninsula there is a world wide unique Sea organ, which is conducted by the waves of the sea.
Zadar is also centre of Zadarska County. It is connected with Zagreb and further with Europe, by recently finished highway Zagreb – Split. There is also very interesting panoramic road, leading from Zadar toward Rijeka, also in opposite direction, toward Split and Dubrovnik, with beautiful views. There is also railway line to Knin and further to Zagreb. From ferry port Zadar ships are sailing to nearby islands. There is also international line to Ancona, Italy.
Zadar’s Airport is in Zemunik, is 14km from the city centre.
While talking with people in Zadar be ready for basketball stories, as from Zadar are famous Dražen Petrović and many other great basketball players.
History of Zadar:
In 4th Ct. bf. Cr. was first time mentioned name Jadera, forerunner of today’s name Zadar, by tribe Liburni. At that time Zadar was just a settlement, in 2nd ct. bf. Cr. Romans gave him real town shape: they made town walls, streets and most of the buildings in old part of town.
After them, because of huge people transmigration, Barbarians attacking and large earthquake the town prosperity stagnated until 7th century. This was time of Byzantine rule, when Zadar was centre of Byzantine province Dalmatia.
Byzantine rule in positive way affected town development, which had large autonomy, and started to develop trading and maritime. Thanks to that and its great strategic position, Zadar become patron from Kvarner to Kastela bay.
While Zadar was increasing, in his hinterland Croatian country was formatted, Zadar became part of it in 11th ct. Number of Croatian inhabitants grew very fast. The town from then on share the Croatian destiny, and was in 1105 together with rest of Croatia under Hungarian ruler ship.
Later Venetia started to attack Zadar, In 1409 the city was sold to Venetia which limited the towns autonomy. However, Zadar continued to develop, driven by people like Juraj Dalmatinac, one of the best Croatian sculptors of all times, famous by building Sibenik’s cathedral. In 16th and 17th ct. Turks were attacking and conquering Zadar’s hinterland, so it was necessary to additionally fortify town walls.
After Venetia went down, in 18th ct. Zadar, together with Dalmatia, came under Napoleon’s ruler ship, but already in 1813. Austria sieges Zadar until 1918. Two years later town becomes part of Italy, the period of Italian ruler ship lasted till II World war. Old part of town suffered severe bombing. After the WW II Zadar became part of Yugoslavia. After that railway was connected with Knin and University was built too. Zadar was again destroyed in last war in Croatia, already in 1991. It was cut from other parts of country; in 1993. Croatian army liberated him. Today he is free town, growing and developing mostly in tourism.
Like many towns on Adriatic coast, Zadar is also very rich in cultural heritage. While approaching old part of town, first you’ll see are impressive town walls, reminder of turbulent history. Through them, there are 2 Town gates from 16th ct., leading to labyrinth of streets. On almost each corner it is possible to see some of the monuments: most known is church of St. Donat, from9th c. named by the bishop who had built it. In front of her is the Forum, Municipal Square from the Roman era. Represents a very developed example of the forum complex, and is one of the most important among the Adriatic ancient cities.
Beside them, very important and beautiful monuments are: church and monastery of Saint Mary, re build church of saint Chrysogonus from 12th c., saint Anastasia’s cathedral from 13th c., beautiful People’s Square, Five Wells Square and many other palaces, villas and other monument heritages.
Some museums and galleries to visit in Zadar
- Gallery of the Zadar National Museum Works of Art
- Archaeological Museum
- National Museum Zadar
What to see in Zadar:
Old part of town, surrounded by city walls, can also be reached by “barkarijoli”, small wooden boats that are transferring people from mainland to old town in 1,5 min
Sea organ – unique in the world, on outside part of peninsula, instrument played by the sea
Greeting to the sun – new attraction at the end of peninsula – impressive light show in rhythm of waves and Sea organ’s music
Visit to the national parks: Kornati, Paklenica, Krka waterfalls,
Vransko lake – near Biograd – largest natural lake in Croatia
Ancient towns in Zadar area: Nin and Benkovac
Island Pag – try its world known cheese
Beaches in Zadar:
In Zadar and its near surrounding beaches are mostly pebbles. Most of them are adapted for families with small children. Concrete beaches are mostly in front of hotels offering total comfort, here you can rent beach umbrellas and deck chairs. A bit further there are hidden bays, known by peace and clean sea.
About 2,5km away from Nin there is a town called Sabunike, placed on a sandy field. It is well known by beautiful sandy beaches. It can be reached from Zadar in Nin direction, and than further to Privlaka.
Accommodation in Zadar:
The main part of accommodation in Zadar can be found in the city parts Borik and Diklo, which is a few km from the town centre, Borik has several hotels ranging from All inclusive to 4 star luxury hotels with wellness. In Borik there is also the town largest hotel. In Diklo main part of the private accommodation in Zadar can be found, but of course the old town also have accommodation to offer. One example is the hotel Bastion which is situated in the heart of the old town. As Zadar is relatively close to the Airport it is quite easy for house owners to arrange a pick, so remember to ask for this, in our database you can browse the house owners who offer airport pick of as part of their service.
Restaurants in Zadar:
Zadar’s gastronomy is same as in whole Dalmatia; it is full of fish recipes, followed by fresh or cooked vegetables. Enjoy great food, excellent service and Mediterranean ambient. Among offered there is also freshwater fish, meat dishes; don’t forget barbecued lamb. Also, don’t forget to try cheese from island Pag and prosciutto and olives from Zadar’s hinterland.
Here are some of the best restaurants in this area:
Restaurant Kornat – one of the best, restaurants won many prices for its quality. Restaurant is situated in old town near city harbour. Only top-quality dishes are on its menu. It is decorated in gallery stile.
Restaurant Niko – this restaurant has 40 years old tradition, it is known in Zadar by friendly hosts and extremely tasting food. It is placed in city suburb. The view is great – town and marina. Always fresh offer of sea specialities, fast personnel and old souvenirs exhibited inside restaurant will make everyone happy.
Restaurant Žvelti Brabor – placed in part of town called Bokanjac. Here you can eat the best meat under the bell: lamb, veal, and Baked octopus with potatoes. However, because of high popularity of this restaurant, it is necessary to make reservation in advance to be sure there will be free tables.
Entertainment and nightlife:
Best time to visit Zadar is in summer months, each day you’ll have feeling of new festivity. Here you can relax and have fun.
Centre of nightlife is the Main Street in the old part of town, called Kalelarga. Many coffee bars are offering good music, selected drinks, cocktails, cosy places for good time until morning hours.
If you like dancing and loud music, visit town discotheques: Forum, club Gotham and Arsenal, known by enjoying.
Shopping in Zadar:
Grocery Market: Green Mrket is placed on peninsula, in old part of town. Offer is remarkable, daily provided with fresh products from rich Zadar’s hinterland and islands near town. That is also one of the biggest markets in Croatia. It is known by its ambient, many people are coming here also to enjoy crowd.
Fish market: It is also placed in old town, just beside Green market. Here is offer also extremely rich. The town waterfront is near, so the fish on the market is as fresh as possible. You can observe and make photos of Fishermans and their boats.
Shopping malls: Many smaller markets are placed in town centre, but to find large mall you have to go to town suburb, only exception is the new mall which is build opposite to the old town. Next to the church of St. Donat; the is a small market where you can buy souvenirs and stuff for swimming.
Usefull phone number for a holiday in Zadar
|Doctor (023) 239 800
||Dentist (023) 331 004
|Police (023) 345 111
||Post (023) 222 300
Taxi (023) 251 400
|Bus station (063) 224 503
|Jadrolinija (023) 254 800
||Tourist board (023) 212 222
How to get to Zadar:
By Car: take the A1 motorway from Zagreb direction Split, exit the highway at the Zadar I or Zadar II from both exits there is about 15 km to town centre.
By Plane: Nearest airport is the Zadar Airport, which is about 12 km outside of Zadar, from the Airport you have the following transfer options to get to Zadar (All prices below are rough ESTIMATES, prices depend on several factors, like time of year, day of travelling etc.)
Airport Bus – leaves several times a day from Airport to city centre, price per person 30 kn.
Taxi – price for a taxi around 120 kn, remember to agree on a fixed price before leaving the airport.