Croatia’s Coastal Gem
Nestled along the Dalmatian coast of Croatia, the picturesque city of Zadar awaits. With its stunning beaches, charming old town, and natural beauty, Zadar has become a top tourist destination in Croatia. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, immerse yourself in history, or experience outdoor adventures, Zadar has something for everyone.
Things to Do in Zadar
Explore the Old Town
At the heart of Zadar lies its magnificent Old Town, filled with Roman ruins, medieval churches, and cobblestone streets. Surrounded by ancient stone walls, the Old Town is a perfect place to wander on a sunny day.
See the Sea Organ and Sun Salutation
Along Zadar’s waterfront promenade, you’ll find two unique attractions designed by architect Nikola Bašić. The Sea Organ plays music through tubes underneath marble steps using the ebb and flow of the waves. Nearby, the Sun Salutation features a 22-meter circle in the pavement that absorbs and reflects the golden sunlight, creating a dazzling display of colors.
Relax on the Beaches
With its picturesque coastline and clear blue waters, Zadar’s beaches are ideal for sunbathing, swimming, and enjoying the sea breeze. Some of the most popular beaches include Kolovare Beach, Diklo Beach, and Petrčane Beach, which offer amenities like beach bars, volleyball courts, and watersports rentals.
Take a Boat Tour
The waters around Zadar contain hidden gems waiting to be discovered, like secluded beaches, tiny islands, and the Kornati National Park. Boat tours from Zadar can take you to scenic spots inaccessible by land. You may spot dolphins in their natural habitat and anchor at private beaches for swimming and snorkeling.
Where to Stay in Zadar
Zadar offers a variety of lodging options to suit any budget, from luxury beachfront resorts to budget-friendly apartments in the Old Town.
Luxury: Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa Iadera
Overlooking the beach in Petrčane, the 5-star Falkensteiner Hotel features an award-winning spa, stylish rooms with balconies, and three restaurants serving gourmet cuisine. With a kids’ club and entertainment program, it’s perfect for families.
Mid-Range: Hotel Bastion
Located within Zadar’s Old Town, Hotel Bastion combines modern amenities with historic stone architecture. Contemporary rooms offer views of the sea or Old Town, and the onsite restaurant serves traditional Croatian fare. It’s an ideal base to explore Zadar’s attractions.
Budget: Apartments Mia
For budget travelers, Apartments Mia offers simple yet comfortable apartments and rooms in a quiet area outside the Old Town. Featuring kitchenettes, balconies, and free parking, these affordable rentals provide a cozy place to rest your head after a day of exploring.
Getting to Zadar
The closest major airport to Zadar is Zadar Airport, located about 6 miles southeast of the city center. Zadar Airport receives seasonal flights from major European cities like London, Paris, and Berlin. Croatia Airlines also offers year-round service to Zagreb, where you can connect to international flights.
You can easily travel to Zadar from other parts of Croatia, including:
- Split to Zadar: About 2 to 2.5 hours by bus or car. Buses depart hourly from Split's main bus station.
- Zagreb to Zadar: Around 3 to 3.5 hours by bus or car. Private bus companies like Flixbus offer direct service between Zagreb and Zadar several times per day.
- Plitvice Lakes to Zadar: Roughly 2 to 2.5 hours by bus. There are a few daily bus connections between Plitvice Lakes National Park and Zadar.
- Rijeka to Zadar: Around 3 to 3.5 hours by bus. Direct buses run between Rijeka and Zadar twice daily.
Why Zadar Should Be on Your Bucket List
With its stunning coastline, rich history, and natural beauty, Zadar deserves a spot on your bucket list. From exploring the charming Old Town to witnessing unforgettable sunsets, Zadar offers a perfect combination of culture, relaxation, and outdoor adventure. Whether you’re looking for a quick getaway or an extended holiday, Zadar’s laid-back Mediterranean vibe and wealth of attractions will leave you longing to return again and again.