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Zadar is Dalmatia’s cultural and political beating heart, and has been for centuries. The historic city is home to the oldest university foundations in the country, and many important archaeological sites, monuments and ruins that date back to Roman and Venetian times. Located in the northwest area of the Ravni Kotari region, on a small peninsula, Zadar is an intriguing and vibrant city of colour, culture and contrasts. The enticing city also boasts a cool vibe and fewer crowds than Dubrovnik.

The Old Town of Zadar is a treasure trove of ancient and medieval churches, landmark structures and fine architecture. On a stroll along the cobblestone streets of the Old Town you will discover many interesting historic and cultural sights. Seek out the Venetian gates in the city walls, and visit the grand 12th century Cathedral of St Anastasia, and the famous 9th century pre-Romanesque St Donatus’ Church. There are cosmopolitan cafes, bars and restaurants where you can enjoy refreshments whilst watching the world go by. Zadar also flaunts a beautiful seaside promenade where people gather to listen to, and admire, the stunning art installations and to observe spectacular sunsets. It’s believed that the world famous movie director, and master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock once proclaimed that: “Zadar has the most beautiful sunset in the world”.

Visit the ancient relics that are dotted along Zadar’s stunning coastline and explore its equally beautiful green and hilly hinterland. As one of Croatia’s primary transport hubs, you can easily access neighbouring archipelago islands via the city’s ferry links. If you appreciate art, you won’t have far to venture to discover two unique attractions. Situated on the scenic promenade are the mesmerising sound and light shows of the Sea Organ and the Sun Salutation (or Monument to the Sun), both artistic creations designed by architect Nikola Bašić.

Zadar At A Glance

How to get there: Fly to Zadar airport, or take the catamaran or ferry – all available to book through our travel experts

Population of Dubrovnik:

What to See in Zadar: 
The Sea Organ & Greeting to the Sun art installations, St Donat’s Chruch, Museum of Illusions

Towns or islands to visit near Zadar:  Pula, Krka National Park, Plitvice Lakes National Park, Sibenik, Bosnia

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Cruises to Zadar

  • 7 Night Signature Dubrovnik to Opatija Cruise

    Explore the full length of the magnificent Croatian coast from Dubrovnik to Opatija. Enjoy a highly...
    • 7 nights
    • Price From: £1,495
    • Board: Breakfast & Lunch
  • 7 Night Signature Opatija to Dubrovnik Cruise

    Explore the full length of the stunning Croatian coast on this Signature one-way cruise from Opatija...
    • 7 nights
    • Price From: £1,795
    • Board: Breakfast & Lunch
  • 7 Night Signature Opatija Return Cruise

    Explore the best of undiscovered Croatian from elegant Opatija, discovering the spectacular Plitvice...
    • 7 nights
    • Price From: £1,495
    • Board: Breakfast & Lunch
  • 7 Night Signature Opatija Return Cruise

    Explore the best of undiscovered Croatian from elegant Opatija, discovering the spectacular Plitvice...
    • 7 nights
    • Price From: £1,495
    • Board: Breakfast & Lunch

Things to do in Zadar

  • Zadar, Croatia, Unforgettable Croatia

    Let The Sea Entertain You

    As a contrast to Zadar’s bounty of historic landmark attractions, the modern art installation, the Sea Organ, offers an alternative form of entertainment. The creative experimental musical instrument is located on the seafront, and is the work of famed Croatian architect Nikola Bašić. The innovative design features 35 organ pipes that lie beneath the marble steps situated on the promenade. The energy of the sea creates atmospheric music in an endless cacophony of mesmerising sounds.

  • Zadar, Croatia, Unforgettable Croatia

    Explore The Enchanting Historic Old Town

    Zadar’s Old Town is centuries old and boasts a wealth of well-preserved Roman ruins and stunning architecture to prove it. There is a museum or gallery on just about every street corner, and interesting monuments dotted all over the city. Stroll along the marble streets and visit the Church of St Donatus, and the Convent of St Mary. You’ll also find many chic cafes, bars, and restaurants where you can watch the world go by.

  • Zadar, Croatia, Unforgettable Croatia

    Enjoy A Spectacular Sunset Show

    End a fabulous day in Zadar in a magical way, on the waterfront. Designed by local architect Nikola Bašić, the Sun Salutation installation displays 300 multi-layered glass plates that are set into the pavement. During the day, the plates collect solar energy, and at sunset the power is converted into colourful illumination. Arrive early, and take your seat along the promenade, so that you can enjoy the full effects of the power of the sun.

  • Plitvice Lakes National Park, Croatia, Unforgettable Croatia

    Visit A Natural Beauty Spot

    Temporarily escape the noise and crowds of the city by visiting one of the popular natural beauty spots. One of Southeast Europe’s oldest national parks, Plitvice Lakes is among Croatia’s top tourist attractions. The sprawling nature reserve features terraced lakes and waterfalls, and also wildlife. The beautiful islands of Krka and Kornati offer stunning water features and breathtaking landscapes. Alternatively, you can hike your way around Paklenica National Park whilst admiring the magnificent Velebit Mountains.

Restaurants in Zadar

  • Fosa Restaurant, Zadar, Croatia, Unforgettable Croatia


    An impressive terrace enclosed by exposed stone walls and glass, perched in a private harbour. Try octopus, sea bass or scampi whilst you overlook the sea and Zadar’s old city walls.

  • Proto Food & More Restaurant, Zadar, Croatia, Unforgettable Croatia

    Proto Food & More

    Try the homemade pasta with truffles, or the fish soup – a traditional Croatian dish. Proto serves a range of meals made from the freshest ingredients, using their grandmothers’ recipes.

Hotels in Zadar