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Zadar
Situated in the heart of the Adriatic, Zadar is the urban center of northern Dalmatia with a rich cultural heritage set in a gorgeous landscape. The car-free old town is one big monument, surrounded by historical ramparts, a treasury of archaeology, and riches from ancient, medieval, and Renaissance times.

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Old Town
Sea Organ
Roman Forum
St. Anastasia Cathedral
Greeting to the Sun

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Lost Keys in Zadar

Situated in the heart of the Adriatic, Zadar is the urban center of northern Dalmatia with a rich cultural heritage set in a gorgeous landscape. The city is one big monument, surrounded by historical ramparts, a treasury of archaeology, and riches from ancient, medieval, and Renaissance times. 

I was making my way down the Croatian coast with a few friends on a two week long road trip that started in Frankfurt. We decided to stop in Zadar for the day on our way to Split as it seemed like it was worth a stop. And that was a good call…except for the missing keys. Zadar is one of those destinations that epitomizes an entire country or region. Just about everything Croatia is known for you’ll find here – ancient history, stunning architecture, beautiful coastline, natural beauty, tasty food, and a rich cultural heritage.

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Jack Baumann

Jack Baumann

Hi, my name is Jack Baumann, and I have a passion for helping independent travelers unlock the wonders of Europe. I founded Guidester - we build personal mobile guidebooks sourced from local experts - so travelers could cut through the noise and dive deeper into the wonders of Europe. I hope you enjoy my stories and tips!

Jack Baumann

Jack Baumann

Hi, my name is Jack Baumann, and I have a passion for helping independent travelers unlock the wonders of Europe. I founded Guidester - we build personal mobile guidebooks sourced from local experts - so travelers could cut through the noise and dive deeper into the wonders of Europe. I hope you enjoy my stories and tips!

Play Around

Explore Zadar with interactive maps.

Explore the Old Town and Roman Forum

Discover Plitvice Lakes National Park

Play around on the sea organ

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Local Tips

One of the best places to see the urban architecture of Zadar in all its glory is from the Bell tower of St Anastasia Cathedral. Once you’ve climbed up the 200 stairs, you are rewarded with views of both the modern and historical city.

Although many of Croatia’s beaches are quite rocky, there are a couple within easy reach of Zadar worth the sunbathers time. The best beaches within walking distance of the Old Town are Karma Beach and Kolovare Beach.

There are many places to see as an easy day trip from Zadar including the famous Plitvice Lakes National Park, Pag Island, and Sibenik.

If you’re looking for a unique way to see the area you can rent a moped for the day. This will only cost you about $45 for the day and it’s a wonderful way to get out of the city center and explore the coastline.

Where To Stay

The Old Town is the best place to stay if you’re only in Zadar for a short time. There are also some cheaper spots outside the Old Town if you can’t find an affordable place inside the city walls. Old Town Zadar is ancient and a great place to hang your hat as you wander Roman ruins, eat gelato, and enjoy the city’s quaint ambiance. The only real downside of staying in this area is that it can get crowded.

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Local Eats

The cuisine
Locals here have the benefit of fresh fish surrounding them, and the city is also flanked by a large land area named Ravni kotari or “the flat counties”. Here rich soil and a clean environment provides great conditions for growing fruit and vegetables. Around the country’s many open-air markets, plenty of stallholders put forth a sign that reads “Produce of Zadar” in order to attract buyers looking for good food.
You can't miss...
You can’t miss fish grilled over charcoal or cooked in a tomatoey brudet sauce. Then there’s risottos, of which crni rižot with black squid ink may qualify as the most interesting. And seafood prepared na buzaru with white wine, garlic and parsley.
If you love fish...
The fish market is wonderful, which is built right into the city ramparts at the spot where the fishing trawlers dock with their catch of the day.

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