Zadar is blessed with a striking coastline and fascinating patchwork of Roman, Byzantine and Venetian architecture. The mix of old and new gives it a very cosmopolitan feel, with an array of bustling cafes and ice cream parlours to fuel you after a day of sightseeing.
Things to do in Zadar
There are numerous historical sites in Zadar, which has been occupied by the Greeks, Romans, Ottomans and Venetians. Stroll along the Heritage-listed city walls, then climb the bell tower of the Cathedral of St Anastasia for gorgeous views over Zadar and the coast. Hop in a boat and cross the harbour with the Barkajoli, Zadar’s version of Venetian gondoliers, and see the city from a different perspective.
Zadar’s modern architecture is as compelling as its historical monuments. On the waterfront, you will find the Sea Organ, a set of steps that chime as the waves hit them, and the Greeting to the Sun solar-powered plates that are laid into the pavement and produce a light show at night. Grab an expertly-mixed cocktail at the Mango Club and admire the sunset that Hitchcock called “the most beautiful in the world”.
Just off the coast is an archipelago of more than 300 islets, where you can join a boat tour or go snorkelling in the clear waters of the Adriatic Sea. Kornati National Park on Kornati island has lovely hiking trails where you can see over 60 different species of butterflies that live in the area.
Getting around Zadar
Zadar Airport has direct flights from many European cities and buses that transfer you into the centre of town. Many of the streets in the old town are pedestrian-only, so you will find it easiest to walk or rent a bicycle from one of the bike stations.