Zadar is the biggest city, cultural, economic and transit center of northern Dalmatia and the oldest continuously inhabited city in Croatia. Zadar is today one of the most popular Croatian tourist destinations, named "entertainment center of the Adriatic" by The Times and "Croatia's new capital of cool" by The Guardian in 2017.
Its Venetian city walls are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Tourist information edit
Get in edit
By plane edit
- 1 Zračna luka Zadar (Zadar Airport ZAD IATA) (12 km east of the centre). The airport shares its airfield with military. It used to be a civic road crossing its taxi lanes, so the traffic was regulated by lifting gates, but it doesn't seem the case anymore. Nevertheless it's an international airport with flights by Croatia Airlines, Eurowings, Ryanair, and few others; various charters in season. It is rapidly growing as they passed 1,000,000 passengers and 70 destinations, likely to become one of the Ryanair hubs for the region through the year also.
Ground transportation edit
- Airport shuttle. The bus runs to the city's bus station and then continues up to the bus hub at the old town. €4.65.
Buses run to the Central bus station and Old town from Zadar airport terminal. These buses are clean, comfortable and efficient. Buses run in conjunction with arriving flights. Therefore they will run more frequently during weekdays than at weekends, as more flights are arriving at the airport. However, at weekends it is still possible to catch a bus. The airport bus costs €4.65.
You can also rent a car at Zadar airport. There are multiple car rental companies.
For taxi or pre-booked transfers are also available.
By bus edit
- 2 Autobusni kolodvor Zadar (Bus station), ☏ . 05:30-22:00. Frequent buses run to and from Zagreb (3hr 30 min), Rijeka (change for Trieste in Italy), Pula, Sibenik, Split and on to Dubrovnik, some services to destination in Germany. In the season daily buses to Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Left luggage. Storage is available at the station. €0.54 per hour.
About half the buses for Zagreb pass through the stunning Plitvice National Park.
By train edit
- 3 Kolodvor Zadar (Railway station), Ante Starčevića 3. M-F 07:10-14:40. A few slow trains a day run to Knin and connects with trains for Zagreb (5.5 hours or 8.5 with overnight trains) and Split (3.5 hr).
Very few people use train to get to these cities. The train to Knin is just of one carriage with no A/C and can be quite uncomfortable, however the scenery is beautiful and will leave you in wonder at the numerous stations which appear to be in the middle of nowhere.
By boat edit
- 4 Long distance ferries, Istarska obala. Jadrolinja runs large ferries every few days up and down the coast between Dubrovnik and Rijeka, stopping off at ports including Zadar and islands on the way. They also run almost daily ferries in summer to and from Ancona, Italy.
- 5 Local ferries, Liburnska obala. Zadar is a hub for local boats and hydrofoils in Northern Dalmatia. Services run to and from Olib, Mali Losinj, Ugljan, Dugi Otok, Premuda and others. Timetables and prices are available online from Jadrolinija.
Get around edit
On foot edit
The centre is easy enough to get around on foot. To reach the bus and train stations or Youth Hostel you will probably need to catch one of the frequent local buses, which are the only form of public transportation.
By bus edit
- Liburnija. Provides local bus services in the city. Buses are relatively new and well maintained. Single ride ticket €1.59 (valid 50 min); double ride: €2.65.
Virtually all the routes have a stop at the Autobusni kolodvor (Bus station). In the newer part of the city there is another popular bus stop: 1 Mala Pošta stop – at the a post office at the crossroads of Ul. Josipa Jurja Strossmayera and Ul. Stjepana Radića.
Single tickets[dead link] can be bought either at the driver or at Liburnija kiosk at a bus stop. Double ride tickets, sold individually or bound into a carnet of 10 (so for 20 rides) are available at newsstand (Tisak) kiosks.
Buses are usually scheduled from early morning (05:30 - 06:30) and finishing just before the midnight, so plan your trips accordingly.
You can check the map here.
By bicycle edit
The cycling infrastructure improved during the 2010s. But still, foreign traffic participants pay more attention to cyclists than locals.
Bicycle service edit
- 2 Bike Station Ullmann (Ullmann d.o.o.), Blaža Jurišića 1 (approx. 470 m from the Magistrale - within Smiljevac.), ☏ . They work primarily with quality products you hardly find elsewhere in Croatia. When it comes to Rohloff, SON/Schmidt and mobile power supplies, Bike Station Ullmann are the specialists in Croatia. First address for bicycle tourists and mountain bikers.
By taxi edit
The main taxi ranks in Zadar are at the following locations:
- Autobusni kolodvor (Bus station)
- Ferry quay at the Liburnska obala in the old town (near the bus stop), tel. +385 (0)23 251 400
- Obala kneza Branimira at the opposite end of the bridge across the Jazine bay
By boat edit
- 3 Zadarski barkajoli (Rowing boat ferry) (Liburnska obala 5 - Lukobran aka Điga (Breakwater)), ☏ . 06:30-23:00. A small rowing boat makes regular trips between the old town and the breakwater at the other side of the harbour. The boat is 10.5 meters long, 1.76 m wide, capacity: 10 passengers. These days it's mostly a tourist attraction. €1.
Walk around the atmospheric streets of the old town, located on the peninsula. There are 34 old churches on the peninsula, and all of them with a very rich history. The oldest is St. Simeon (Sv. Šime).
- 1 Crkva svetog Donata (Church of Saint Donatus). The church is one of the best preserved pre-Romanesque buildings in the world. It is pretty difficult to miss, as it has become the most recognizable symbol of Zadar. The church is no longer in use for religious ceremonies, and today is a museum. It also holds a series of classical music concerts every summer. €2.70/adult (cash only).
- 2 Katedrala sv. Stošije (Zadar Cathedral or Cathedral of St. Anastasia). In the cathedral there is an impressive organ that was nearly destroyed in the last war. Climb up the bell tower for a nice view over the city. The bell tower's entrance is separate from the rest of the cathedral. €2/adult.
- 3 St. Mary & St. Simeon, Trg Šime Budinica. St. Mary also houses a museum of antique religious relics and artifacts.
- 4 Sveučilište u Zadru (University of Zadar). The university in its current modern form was refounded in 2002, but it was founded 1396, which makes it the oldest university in Croatia, and one of the oldest universities in Europe.
- 5 Forum Romana (Roman Forum). Remains of the Roman forum - One of the best preserves Roman forums in existence. This is a common place for locals to stroll, sit down among the ruins and enjoy a nice summer day. free.
- 6 Kopnena Vrata (Land Gate). Historic entrance gate to the city, built to a design by the Venetian architect Michele Sanmicheli in 1543. Free.
- 7 Morske orgulje (Sea Organ). This man-made organ works with the motion of the waves and 35 pipes to create a musical soundscape. A favorite for locals and tourists alike, and accompanied by a light display that creates visualisations of the sounds being produced by the organ. free.
- 8 Pozdrav Suncu (Greeting to the Sun). This monument of a 22-meter diameter circle made of 300 multi-layered glass plates. It represents the sun. There are 8 similar proportionate (in size and distance) circles representing the 8 planets. The circles are illuminated at night. free.
- 9 Arheološki Muzej (Archeological Museum), Trg Opatice Čike, 23000, ☏ . Open at 09:00, closing time varies by day and season. Houses artifacts that testify to Zadar's long and rich history. The third floor covers prehistory up until Roman times. The second floor covers Roman times and the first floor covers post-Roman periods. €4/adult (cash only).
- 10 Muzej antičkog stakla (Museum of Ancient Glass), Poljana Zemaljskog Odbora 1, ☏ . Covers the history of glass, from early glass jewelry and decorative items, to Roman era amphorae and bottles, up to contemporary glass art. Live glass blowing demonstrations are also given before 16:00. €1.40-3.
- 11 Muzej Iluzija (Museum of Illusions), Poljana Zemaljskog Odbora 2, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. A collection of interactive installations and optical illusions. €5.30-8.
- 12 Crkva Svetog Krševana (Church of Saint Chrysogonus).
- 13 Sveta Marija, Madijevaca ul. 10.
- 14 Samostan Sv. Frane, Trg Sv. Frane 1, ☏ .
- Chill in one of the cafes and enjoy the city, the sun, and the people.
- Walk: take a stroll along the paved seafront on a summer evening for one of the best sunsets in Europe and listen to the relaxing sounds of the rather original 'sea organ' set into the harbour wall.
- Sail: if you wish to spend your holidays on a yacht charter, Zadar has a lot to offer.The best season for sailing is early summer with good S/SE winds in May and June, while the winds during July and August are generally calmer. Summer temperatures are 26-30°C in average and the sea temperature is about 25°C.
- Swim: take a dip in the beautiful clear waters. It's quite common to see people sunbathing and swimming along virtually the entire coast of Zadar. The most popular beaches are:
- Kolovare, close to the city centre, a favorite for locals.
- Borik, a massive hotel complex hosting numerous activities such as parasailing, water slides and other activities.
- Vitrenjak, close to Zadar's sailing club, Uskok. A beach frequented by mostly families. In the nearby sailing club you can find a lovely open terrace cafe offering refreshments and food.
Contemporary art and culture edit
Zadar has been advancing its offerings in Contemporary art and culture in 2010s. With few festivals and strong dance scene it also has alternative cultural centers like Nigdjezemska and Knjigozemska (for indy and grassroot culture), as well as most recent institutional offerings in so called II Palaces (for modern-history and contemporary culture).
Zadar has 2 major shopping areas: the old town with its numerous shops, and the Voštarnica commercial district.
- 1 Petar Zoranić, Knezova Šubića Bribirskih 10. General purpose book store, a good place to find tourist guides.
- 2 University Book Store, Ul. Ruđera Boškovića 5, ☏ . Book store of the university, offering a decent selection of Croatian, English and international literature. Tourist guides for Croatia available for €13.50.
- Market Kalelarga, Knezova Subica Bribirskih 11. The only supermarket in the old town.
- 1 Crazy Pizza, Stomorica ul. 1. Daily, 24h. The pizza is fresh and tasty, the people who serve are very nice. If you seek an quick, easy treat then get to this place. A giant pizza can feed a family of 4.
- 2 Konoba Tovar, Ul. Matice Dalmatinske 1. Small tavern. Real local food. You can eat very well here. Chef and staff ensure good food and a good atmosphere.
- 3 Barbakan, Ul. Ruđera Boškovića 5. Tables outside - nice atmosphere. Frequented especially in the evening by young people and adults. Good food.
- 4 Gušti, Ul. Zrinsko Frankopanska 20. Very good pizza, quality ingredients, the dough is very soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. Great and fast service, employees speak English. Great atmosphere and kindness.
- 5 2Ribara (Dva Ribara), Ul. Blaža Jurjeva 1, ☏ . 11:00-23:00. Small restaurant in the historic center of Zadar, 5-min walk from the Roman Forum. Decent food for a fair price.
- 6 Restaurant Karoca Gre, Sutomiska 3, ☏ , email@example.com. 10:00-01:00. Specialized in grilled meat and fish. Large portions, fast service, competitive prices. Suitable for large groups and lunch or dinner with kids. Outside the old town, reachable by public transport (bus 8 Diklo - Kolodvor).
- 7 Mijo, Ul. Tina Ujevića 28, ☏ . Italian restaurant specialized in sea food, pizzas and pasta. Outside the old town, but close to a Borik. A romantic restaurant offering dining inside and outside, great for couples but not for families with kids. Large portions for fair prices.
- 8 Papica, Veslačka ul. 2, ☏ . Specializes in quality burgers served with fries, but with a Mediterranean flavor. Quick service, no-nonsense. Suitable for families with kids. Easily reachable by public transport (bus 8 direction Diklo).
- 9 Kornat, Liburnska Obala 6, ☏ . Upscale Croatian Mediterranean cuisine, high prices. Making a reservation is necessary. Next to a busy road, so not recommendable if you're looking to dine outside.
- 10 Foša, Ul. kralja Dmitra Zvonimira 2. Great food and presentation. A dream atmosphere, waiters very nice and friendly. Fresh sea food from Adriatic sea. Great location. Beautiful view.
- 1 Cocktail Bar Mango, Krešimirova Obala 12, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Lounge bar with a view over the bay. Large selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Comes to life in the early evening, only during the busy summer months.
- 2 The Garden, Liburnska obala 6, ☏ , email@example.com. 10:00-01:30. A fancy open bar with a lovely view over the harbour, opened by UB40 drummer Jimmy Brown. The Garden also hosts an annual electronic music festival.
- 3 The Arsenal, Trg tri bunara 1, ☏ , toll-free: , firstname.lastname@example.org. A 17th-century Venetian naval warehouse, now a cool restaurant, bar and club.
- 1 Sunset hostel. Located at the edge of town near the harbor, this small hostel offers private rooms and dorms on 2 floors. Communal kitchen, Wifi. Small courtyard, balconies. Dorm bed €10.
- 2 Hotel Kolovare, Bože Peričića 14, ☏ , toll-free: , email@example.com. The only hotel close to the city center.
- 3 Youth Hostel, The Obala kneza Trpimira 78 (5 km from the city centre by the marina in Borik. Take buses 5 or 8), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 13:00, check-out: 11:00. Not the most romantic place, but one of the cheapest.
- 4 Villa Nico, Krešimirova Obala 138, ☏ , email@example.com. A small family-run hotel and restaurant at the sea side, halfway between Borik and Diklo. Bus stop of line 8 is 50 m away from the hotel. Fair prices, friendly service.
- 5 Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa, Punta Skala, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. A five-star hotel north of Zadar in Punta Skala peninsula.
- 6 Hotel Niko, Obala kneza Domagoja 98, ☏ , email@example.com. Hotel Niko is 3.5 km from Zadar city centre. It offers a panoramic view of the old town of Zadar. It has 15 stylish and comfortable rooms.
- 7 Hotel Bastion, Bedemi zadarskih pobuna 13, ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. Hotel Bastion is a boutique hotel, built on the remains of a medieval fortress. Hotel Bastion has 28 rooms, including 5 suites.
As of Sept 2021, Zadar and the coastal highway have full 4G and sporadic 5G coverage from T-Mobile/Hrvatski Telekom, A1 and Tele2. Wifi is widely available in public places and in most cafés.
Go next edit
- Dugi Otok – for its beautiful landscape, salt lake and donkeys at the Telašćica Nature Park
- Šibenik for the UNESCO World Heritage lists its prominent Cathedral of St. Jacob
- Krka National Park where you can explore the breathtaking scenery and swim close to the waterfalls
- Kornati National Park – a national park of more than 80 islands where you can find peace and quiet
- Hike and climb in the Paklenica National Park
- Visit the stunning waterfalls and lakes of the Plitvice National Park