Zadar

Zadar

Izvor: ©xbrchx from Getty Images via Canva.com

Welcome to Zadar

We'll take you on a virtual tour through one of the most visited cities in Dalmatia. On our page, you will find answers to all tourist questions - from how to get to the city to suggestions for the best night out. We have researched what attractions and activities await you in Zadar, how much they will cost you, and how to find them. Our page also prepares an overview of the most visited events and festivals, guides you to the best entertainment for children, and gives suggestions on where to try the best local specialties. We haven't forgotten about the more tedious part of traveling either, as information about parking, emergency service numbers, and a short guide to public transportation await you. We'll end it all with interesting facts from Zadar's history, tradition, and culture, and you're ready for your trip!

Zadar Attractions

When to visit Zadar?

Due to its exceptional climate and pleasant atmosphere, Zadar is an ideal choice for both summer and winter parties. 
  • During summer - Zadar is undoubtedly one of Croatia's most popular coastal cities. The famous city beach teems with tourists in the summer, while the blue, transparent color of the sea delights the city's locals. In addition to several city beaches, in Zadar, there are several bays and archipelagos whose ambiance you can enjoy indefinitely.
  • During winter - Although it is a summer destination, winter in Zadar can be an excellent choice for all those who like a mild climate and a good time. Therefore, you can spend New Year's holidays in the square enjoying the music of some of the region's most popular bands, walking along the waterfront, and discovering the entire city's history.

How to get to Zadar?

Zadar is located on the eastern coast of the Adriatic and is one of the most important transit cities in Croatia. The distance between Zadar and other larger regional cities is as follows: Zagreb 285 km, Split 159 km, Dubrovnik 355 km, Pula 395 km, Belgrade 677 km, Ljubljana 344 km, Rome 1,030 km. Here are some of the ways to get to Zadar:
  • By ferry and ships - In addition to the fact that Zadar is connected to all its islands in the archipelago by ship lines, certain ferries and ships have successfully connected Zadar with other Adriatic cities. Thus, Jadrolinija, a company for liner shipping, provides passenger transportation from Ancona, Italy to Zadar.
  • By car - Zadar is extremely practical regarding the various international roads that lead to it. If you start from the direction of Slovenia, the E71 highway will bring you to the city. Also, this road is suitable if you are moving from the direction of north and south. If you are coming from Serbia, the best option is to take the E70 highway to Zagreb and then the E71 highway.
  • By bus - Zadar is well connected with all cities in Croatia, as well as major international cities. It takes about three and a half hours by bus from Zagreb, while the ticket price will be around 16 euros. If your starting point is Belgrade, the trip will take about 13 hours, while the ticket will cost 50 euros. The trip from Ljubljana will cost you 35 euros.
  • By plane - The airport in Zadar is only 7 km from the city center and has a parking lot for 425 cars, while public city transport also runs from there. Zadar can be reached by plane from Dublin, Zagreb, Pula, Belgrade, Ljubljana, and many other cities.

Activities for tourists in Zadar

When visiting Zadar, you will have at your disposal numerous activities that will help you to get to know this gorgeous city.
  • Excursions - Zadar is a perfect place to start your day trips from. Zadar can offer you a tour of several National Parks, such as Paklenica or Plitvice Lakes, a visit to the perfect river Krka and its waterfalls, or an exploration of monasteries and historical monuments.
  • Islands of the Zadar archipelago - If you are a fan of island exploration, the right choice for you will be the islands of the Zadar archipelago. Small islands like Ugljan, Pašman, Veli Iž, or Dugi Otok will delight you and confirm why Zadar is one of the most popular coastal cities.
  • Active tourism - In addition to all the tourist advantages related to the summer season, Zadar has become a favorite location for all those who enjoy cycling, hiking, trekking, and climbing. The canyon of the Zrmanja river and the Krupa river are excellent choices for rafting and kayaking. At the same time, the ideal location for hiking is the Premužić trail within the Northern Velebit National Park.

Events and festivals in Zadar

Thanks to the vibrant tourist offer and the ever-increasing response of tourists, Zadar has a handful of events and festivals under its auspices. Therefore, if you find yourself in Zadar, we recommend that you check out: 
  • Millennium Jump - The famous Millennium Jump event has been held for several years, representing a jump from the Zadar waterfront. Although it is fun, the Millennium Jump event has a humanitarian role - the money collected for the registration fee goes to charities for causes such as education and healthcare.
  • Wings for Life World Run Zadar - World Run Zadar is a big marathon every year in May. This event gathers thousands of people from all over the world and is justifiably the biggest race in the country. Everyone can participate, and the goal is to collect funds for health purposes.
  • Rafting on the Zrmanja River - Rafting on the Zrmanja River is one of the unforgettable experiences for every visitor to Zadar. Lovers of adrenaline and good energy will enjoy the magnificent landscapes of this river, the rich flora and fauna, and the beautiful surroundings. The rafting trail is 14.5 kilometers long and can be completed in approximately 3 hours.
  • Night of the Full Moon - The Night of the Full Moon is a traditional event held on Zadar's waterfront. It is a three-day festival of food, drinks, tradition, culture, history, and customs of the citizens of Zadar. During this festival, all anchored ships are transformed into stands with a rich gastronomic offer while the lights along the waterfront are on and bright. This event takes place every year when the moon is full, at the end of July or the beginning of August.
  • Zadar Craft Beer Festival - Beer Festival in Zadar takes place every year at the end of summer. This three-day festival is located on the Zadar waterfront and offers tastings of over a hundred types of beer.
  • Virsko ljeto - Thanks to numerous concerts of various Croatian performers, Virsko ljeto is the most popular musical event in Croatia. It is held on St. George Square, in the very center of the island of Vir.
  • Zadar Koka - This event is intended for all lovers of nautical tourism, and it was named after the medieval ship Chocha, which sailed into Zadar as far back as 1398. It is a regatta that can be followed from land,  with a big party and prize ceremony. 

Activities for kids in Zadar

Zadar is an ideal family destination, as it offers many activities and attractions for children. 
  • Adventure Park - Adventure Park represents real fun for the youngest, and the enjoyment of paintball and riding a quad bike will delight all little adrenaline lovers. The park is located in Kožin, near Zadar.
  • Twister playhouse - Twister playhouses represent a chain of playhouses throughout Croatia. It is intended for children from up to 12 years of age, and the best birthday parties, celebrations, and get-togethers can be organized here.
  • Puppet Theater Zadar - Puppet Theater has existed for more than 60 years, and puppet projects and artists dedicated to children will create unforgettable moments for the little ones.
  • Children's park in ŠC Višnjik - Brand new props for climbing, swings, slides, and other devices will unite all the little ones and lead them to great fun.
  • Libertas Equestrian Center - This equestrian center is highly recommended to all lovers of recreational riding, which organizes field riding tours, and a riding school.

What to see in Zadar?

Zadar has many attractions and locations to offer its visitors thanks to its rich history and stunning nature. Therefore, a visit to Zadar must include the following locations:
  • Monuments - The Sphinx stands out, a replica of the famous Egyptian sculpture. The legend says there is buried treasure under the sphinx and is still passed down from generation to generation. Zadar's Arsenal, Caesar's Forum, and numerous Palaces are just some other monuments worth visiting.
  • Parks - Large green areas, benches for resting, and numerous footpaths dominate Zadar, which is why it is a city with many parks. Some of them are Perivoj Vladimira Nazor, Perivoj Vrulje with water springs, Perivoj Gospa od zdravlja, and many others.
  • Zadar waterfront - Synonym Zadar is the famous waterfront, which today represents a place for meetings, socializing, numerous events, and perfect walks along the coast. The view of the islands of Ugljan and Pašman, many cafes and restaurants, and the roar of tourists will confirm why Zadar's waterfront is today the central part of this city.
  • Squares - Did you know that Zadar is called the city of squares? The famous People's Square has been the center of all events for about 500 years, while the oldest gathering place for all the people of Zadar was once the Roman Forum. In addition to the above, Petr Zoranić Square and Five Wells Square with the Captain's Tower are also great tourist spots. 

Accommodation in Zadar

Zadar offers all its guests exceptional accommodation. From hotels to unique spots, here's a little overview of what to expect: 
  • Hotels - Hotels in Zadar are characterized by absolute equipment, high-level service, and memorable luxury. The best-rated hotels in Zadar are Falkensteiner Family Hotel Diadora, Art Hotel Kalelarga, Bastion Heritage Hotel & Chateaux, Teatro Verdi Boutique Hotel, Hotel Kolovare, Hotel Petrčane, and many others. The average price for one night is around 150 euros.
  • Apartments - Apartments are one of the most sought-after accommodation units in Zadar, and the quality of accommodation itself is far above all other Mediterranean cities. Some of the best-rated apartments are The Little Prince, Apartments Nada, Budanko, Buljan, Mara-Petrčane, and many others. If you decide on an apartment, the average price of one night is around 100 euros.
  • Tourist camps - Zadar has a long and cherished tradition of famous tourist camps where tourists can truly experience the spirit of a Mediterranean city. The most famous camps are Autocamp Pineta and Falkensteiner Premium Camping Zadar.
  • Nautical marinas - Since Zadar is known as a coastal city, it represents a peaceful harbor for all boat travelers and sailors. The most popular nautical marinas are Marina Veli Iž, D-Marin Borik, and Marina Dalmacija.

Phone numbers of important services

If you find yourself needing any type of assistance during your stay in Zadar, these services may be of help: 
  • Emergency medical assistance, assistance from firefighters, assistance from the police, assistance from the mountain rescue service 112
  • The international dialing code for Croatia is +385
  • Ambulance 194
  • Police 192
  • Fire department 193
  • Roadside assistance 1987 (if calling from abroad, dial +385 1 1987)
  • On-call pharmacy +385 23 211 742
  • Zadar Tours & Excursions +385 (0) 23 337 294

Where to eat in Zadar?

The rich gastronomic offer of Zadar resulted in a large number of great restaurants which offer original Mediterranean recipes. In Zadar, you can enjoy the following facilities:
  • Restaurants - The best-rated restaurants in Zadar are Restaurant Roko, Oh La La, Restaurant Delfin, Restaurant Foša, Restaurant Fortuna, Restaurant Giardin, and many others.
  • Pizzerias - If you are a fan of Italian cuisine, these spots will awaken all your senses: Pizzeria Frangola, Gušti, Pizzara, Tri Bunara, Pizzeria Šime.
  • Taverns - Traditional flavors and a homey atmosphere will be best experienced in the following taverns: Tavern Berekin, Tavern Rafaelo, Tavern Stomorica, and Tavern Bonaca.

Where to go out in Zadar?

Nightlife in Zadar is vivid and mostly starts and ends in Varoš, the area between Foša and Riva. This part of the city is home to some of the most popular and frequented cafes and coffee bars. 
  • Bars - Night bars are synonymous with an unforgettable time on the coast. Some famous are Poodrom Night Club, Dispet Wine Bar, Hype Bar, Rio Bar, IQ bar, and Zlatni Kutić Caffe Bar.
  • Beach bars - Beach bars are mainly aimed at young people having a good time, although people of all ages have fun here. The most popular bars on the beach are Beach House Fratelli, Caffe Bar Gonzo, Forty Bar, Caffe Bar Lucina, Caffe Bar Ulbo, and Hideout Bar.

Transportation and taxi in Zadar

If you didn't come to Zadar with your transport, taxis, rent a car, and public city transport are at your disposal.
  • Public transport - City transport in Zadar has 11 lines, and 16 buses are currently in daily operation. These lines are active daily from 5:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
  • Rent a car - There are several popular rent-a-car agencies such as AVIA, A&R, Air rent a car, Avis, Fleet, and Hak rent a car.
  • Taxi service - Zadar has several taxi services that drive all over the city and to many places in Croatia. Taxi services are located next to the bus stop on the Liburna coast, at the Bus Station, and at the bridge that connects the Zadar Peninsula with the Branimir coast. Some of the top-rated taxi services are: 023 Taxi: +385 91 331 3315, Adriatic Transfers: +385 95 876 0077, Cammeo: +385 (0)23 414 414

Parking in Zadar

Toll booths for parking in Zadar are divided into two zones - blue and white, that is, the first and second zones, and they differ in terms of retention and price. There is a winter and summer parking fee regime. Parking is free on Sundays and holidays.
  • Zone 1 - send an SMS message with registration to the number 708231, and the price of one hour is 6 KN. The all-day ticket is 84 KN.
  • Zone 2 - send an SMS message with registration to the number 708232, and the price of one hour is 4 KN. An all-day ticket will cost 56 KN.
  • Zone 3 - send an SMS message with registration to the number 708233, and the price of one hour is 2 KN. The all-day ticket is 28 KN.

Surroundings of Zadar

Zadar is full of irresistible beauties that leave a positive impression on every visitor. The multitude of National Parks, significant surrounding places, and natural beauty are extremely visited in this coastal city. We'll list just a few of them as an idea of ​​what else you might want to visit:
  • Petrčane - Petrčane is a place with the most beautiful beaches in the area of Zadar. At the same time, it represents the most popular tourist area dotted with olive trees, the blue color of the sea, pine trees, and irresistible sunsets. This town is located between Zadar and the city of Nin, and in addition to tourism, olive growing and viticulture are also successfully developed here. It is a frequent choice for families with children, but it is excellent for all those who want a complete vacation among olives and pines.
  • Kožino - The urban settlement of Kožino is a true example of lush Mediterranean vegetation. It has many modern villas and apartments, while the gentle beaches are ideal for families with small children. Today, 800 inhabitants live in Kožin, and the place is dominated by the Church of St. Michael, built in the 16th century. Also, in the summer, numerous events, parties, and festivals are frequent in Kožin.
  • Plitvice Lakes - If you head north, in just an hour's drive, you will find yourself in Croatia's oldest national park, the famous Plitvice Lakes. It is a complex of lakes that were formed naturally by the deposition of sedimentary rocks and are located in the very heart of Lika. With its beauty and attractiveness, the Plitvice Lakes National Park attracts tourists from all over the world.
  • Island of Rava - Rava belongs to a group of small Croatian islands. It consists of the settlements of Velika and Mala Rava, and the inhabitants here are diligently engaged in olive growing, viticulture, blueberries, oranges, and blackberries. The island's coast is highly developed, with as many as 13 coves.

History of Zadar

The history of Zadar goes back 3 thousand years when it was mentioned as a settlement. Zadar has been an urbanized environment for 2 thousand years, while today, it is a trendy and populated city.
  • Name - Material remains that prove the permanence of man and culture in this area have existed since the Stone Age, so it is on Dugi Otok that the oldest Dalmatian named Šime was found. Zadar was still an important port 2,700 years ago, called Liburna.
  • Middle Ages - Frequent volcanic eruptions destroyed almost every link of Zadar with the ancient past, so the city is slowly turning into a free Dalmatian commune. At the end of the 14th century, the Dominicans founded the first university in Croatia.
  • Napoleon and the Austrian Empire - in 1806, Zadar came under the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte, and then the French tried to leave their culture, tradition, and development as much as possible. Therefore, Napoleon's period also represents a significant development of medicine, pharmacy, law, construction, and other sciences. After the fall of Napoleon, the Austrian government entered Zadar and stayed there until the end of the First World War.
  • Recent history - Only at the end of the Second World War did Zadar again become part of Croatia, that is, Yugoslavia. Since 1991, it has been part of the Republic of Croatia and has become Zadar County's center.

Geography and climate of Zadar

  • Geographical characteristics - Today, Zadar is the center of the wider northern Dalmatia and is the fifth largest city in Croatia. It is located on the eastern coast of the Adriatic Sea and is separated from Lika and the continental part of Croatia by the Velebit mountain massif.
  • Climate - Thanks to its ideal location, Zadar has a mild Mediterranean climate, which ensures warm and dry summers and mild and rainy winters. The average air temperature is 25 degrees in summer, while the average is 7 degrees in winter. The average summer sea temperature is 23 degrees.

Demographics of Zadar

  • According to the results of the 2011 census, 75,082 thousand inhabitants live in the city, and 70,674 thousand live in the settlement itself.
  • The largest share of the population in Zadar comprises Croats, 92.8% of whom are Croats. Serbs comprise 3.3% of the people, while Albanians, Bosniaks, and Italians are also the minority.

Tradition and culture of Zadar

  • Gastronomic flavors of Zadar - The location of Zadar and its vibrant history made it the center of the best gastronomic flavors. First of all, Mediterranean cuisine, whose significant Italian influence is felt at every meal, leaves a strong impression on all lovers of this cuisine. On the other hand, the continental flavors that visit the Balkan specialties delight real and true gourmets and lovers of good food.
  • Open-air museum - Due to the constant bustle of citizens and tourists and the multitude of different buildings and monuments, Zadar was nicknamed the Open-Air Museum. You will never find the famous Zadarska Riva empty; cafe owners are always by the sea with their favorite cup of coffee, while young people on the square make plans for the evening.
  • Culture - In the city itself, many cultural sights have a tremendous historical role, some of which are: the University of Zadar, the Ethnographic Department of the National Museum, the Science Library, the History Museum, and many others. In line with tradition and culture, various churches can be found throughout Zadar, such as the Church of St. Sime, Church, and Monastery of St. Mary, Church, and Monastery of St. Mihovil, Stomorica Church.

Frequently asked questions about Zadar

Why visit Zadar?

When is the best time to visit Zadar?

What are the most famous festivals and events in Zadar?

How to find accommodation in Zadar?

What is the average price of accommodation in Zadar?

What is the most famous tourist attraction in Zadar?

How long do tourists stay in Zadar on average?