Zadar, Croatia has an incredible amount to offer its visitors in such a tiny area! Don’t let this little underdog of a city fool you – It’s well worth a visit! We left wanting more, intrigued by its glories, treasures and gelato filled streets!
If you’re looking for things to do in Croatia, checking out Zadar has to be near the top. We had a limited amount of time here, and crammed it to the brim with adventure and history lessons!
Follow me on a journey of things to do in Zadar.
Old Town Zadar
Here is where you’ll find all the main attractions. Crammed inside 13th-century Venetian walls, you can easily tick them all off within one day. Everything is within walking distance.
St. Donatus Church
This huge church beams out amongst the modern buildings. Surrounded by Roman ruins, it is architecturally unique.
Right next to it you will find the remnants of an old torture pillar. Here people would be tied up and humiliated as a punishment and also used as entertainment for the public. You can still see scratch marks in the stone and the metal rings they would be dangled from.
The Cathedral of St. Anastasia
Sitting right behind St Donatus, the cathedral is stunning inside and out! Check out the bell tower! Can you see the angel? She actually moves with the direction of the wind!
All throughout the city, roman ruin sites are maintained and highlighted among the modern-day cafes and parks. Be respectful though, they are not a playground.
I found these even more impressive than some I saw in Rome, simply for the fact that they are beautifully maintained. Many in Rome are left to their ‘natural’ ways, though this means instead of the natural forces, tourists feet take over.
Five Wells Square
This is a great checkpoint on your walk around the city. Surrounded by cute Gelaterias and souvenir shops, check out the main attraction – The 5 Wells. Built during the 16th Century they have been a major centre point for the city ever since.
Step outside the Venetian walls and stroll along the stunning water. Take a break from the walking and take a ride on one of the many ferries and boats to a nearby island – where it gets even more beautiful!
Pag and Kornati Islands are a couple of destinations you can easily do as a day trip from Zadar Ferry Port. Or how about checking out the Plitvice Lakes National Park. This day trip will blow you away! In my opinion, it’s the best place to visit in Croatia.
This was the coolest thing to see in Zadar! I could’ve chilled out all day just listening to the singing waves. There’s a series of pipes under the boardwalk and as the waves naturally wash passed, air is forced up the pipes.
Being different sizes, you get an ‘organ’ effect, literally hearing the songs of the ocean. Grab your partner or a group of friends, get a gelato picnic and chill out for an afternoon.
Along the same pier as the Sea Organ you’ll find yourself walking on some strange round solar panels. Follow it along until you find the sun!
These solar panels are a scale replica of our solar system! The panels collect electricity for the city and light up at night! A great modern attraction to mix in with all the history that this city holds.
Where To Stay
We found Airbnb to be the cheapest option when looking for accommodation in Zadar. Quaint apartments, single rooms or whole properties!
Plus you have 2 added benefits: you’re staying in a unique location giving you cultural insights and awesome homely details you just can’t find anywhere else. Also, having a kitchen/laundry attached saves heaps of cash.
Getting In and Around Zadar
Regular buses are available from Dubrovnik to Zadar, though unfortunately, no trains are available. For the best times and rates checkout Bus Croatia
Vehicles are not allowed inside the walls of Old Town Zadar, therefore walking or bicycles are the best form of transport.
It really adds a beautiful sense of charm to this city, having no traffic, chaos, horns or screeching interrupting the sunshine, wafting smells of the bakeries and tweeting of the birds.
I was truly left in awe of this cute little city! The immense amount of beauty and history from its tumultuous upbringing has shaped it into a must-see destination in Croatia.
Have you visited an underrated city that has blown you away? Let us know in the comments below…