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Situated in the heart of the Adriatic, Zadar is 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.

Things to Do

Museum of Ancient Glass

Stop in the one of the last remnants of ancient glass blowing in Croatia at the Museum of Ancient Glass, brimming with artifacts from an earlier chapter of Roman times. On the second floor, you can watch artisans work in front of a furnace primed to more than 1,300°C molding hot glass into all sorts of vases, jugs, and souvenirs. You can even have a go at blowing the glass for yourself if you’re brave enough.


Archaeological Museum

Set along on the Roman Forum, this museum displays the impressive Prehistoric, Illyrian Roman, Byzantine, and medieval artefacts recovered in and around Zadar. For many visitors the most exciting part is devoted to Roman times, when there was a great deal of activity in the area. There’s a model here showing what Zadar’s Forum looked like at the height of Roman power.


Sea Organ

Simple and elegant steps, carved in white stone, were built on the quayside where there lies 35 musically tuned tubes with whistle openings on the sidewalk. The movement of the sea pushes air through, and depending on the size and velocity of the wave musical chords are played. The waves create random harmonic sounds which you can hear while enjoying the surrounding natural beauty and one of Zadar’s famed sunsets.


St. Donatus Church

The pre-Romanesque church of St Donatus was founded in the 9th century and serves as the very image of Zadar and the spirit of Dalmatia. The circular shape is typical of the early Byzantine age in Croatia, and when it was built was called the Church of the Holy Trinity.


Plitvice Lakes National Park

Although the Plitvice Lakes are about 90 minutes north of Zadar it’s well worth the trip. The park is easily one of Europe’s most beloved natural attractions, boasting fourteen lakes, each connected to the next by waterfalls and natural pools as waters make their way down the mountainside.

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.

Where to Eat

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.


Virtual Tours

10 Reasons to Visit Zadar

Zadar, Croatia


10 Reasons to Visit Zadar

Concert at St. Donatus Church

Croatia’s Amazing Plitvice

Jack’s Favorite Moment

Lost Keys of 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.


Jack Bauman

Founder of Guidester


Interactive Maps

Explore the Old Town and Roman Forum

Discover Plitvice Lakes National Park

Play Around the Sea Organ


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