Following our 3 days in Pula (link to blog here) we moved on to Zadar. A beautiful city 4 hours down the coastline, Zadar is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Croatia.
The Old Town is situated on its own peninsula with a bridge from the New Town and features some of the best known tourist spots in Croatia. This is where I feel our true Croatia adventure started, it’s a very beautiful city and has a lot to offer. A mixture of old and new, Zadar was clean, bright and beautiful with stunning views, fantastic eateries and a Roman feel.
The main sights in Zadar are all relatively close to each other, meaning you can do them in one day, leaving time to relax and see some sights outside of Zadar such as the spectacular Plitvice Lakes.
Things to do in Zadar
The City Walls
Like all the cities and towns we visited in Croatia, Zadar was divided between an Old Town and New Town. All the sights are based in the Old Town with the New Town being mainly filled with housing. Bridges take you over to the peninsula which is surrounded by the City Walls and features several impressive arches including the Sea Gate. Many of the ruins are Roman in nature and the Sea Gate is one of them.
The Church of St. Donatus and Roman Forum
Many of the ruins, Churches and forums are located in one area and are stunning. The beautiful white stone reflects the sun and seems to make Zadar even brighter. This is a tourist hub but worry not, there is plenty of space as this is a large area.
The Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun
On Istarska obala, at the very end of the Zadar peninsula, resides arguably the top attractions in Zadar. The Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun were both designed by archietect Nikola Bašić and whilst they can be visited throughout the day, become extremely popular at night. The Greeting of the Sun is a display of lights that appear once the sun goes down.
Solar power is gathered throughout the day and turned into a beautiful display at night. The Sea Organ is a series of steps that lead right into the water. The lapping of water creates a sound like (you guessed it) an organ. Usually pretty tuneless, it is very relaxing and the steps are a welcome stopping point whilst walking around Zadar.
If you’re in the mood, bring a towel and swimsuit, locals use this area and the pier to spend the day swimming and lounging around. In the evening we spotted several locals also
enjoying a few drinkings they’d brought with them to watch the sunset.
The Most Beautiful sunset in the World?
During his visit to Zadar in 1964 Alfred Hitchcock famously labelled Zadar as the most beautiful sunset in the world.
“Zadar has the most beautiful sunset in the world, more beautiful than the one in Key West, in Florida, applauded at every evening.”
We took to the pier late one evening after dinner and watched it for ourselves. He wasn’t wrong.
Places to eat in Zadar
We never struggled to find somewhere nice to eat during our travels through Croatia. We particularly enjoyed Proto which has received rave reviews on TripAdvisor. In fact we enjoyed it so much we went for both breakfast and dinner and drinks. Well priced, excellent food, excellent service and a great atmosphere – I thoroughly recommend it.
We also enjoyed a meal and some drinks at the Harbour Cookhouse & Club including this delicious charcuiterie board.
Pizzeria Tri Bunara is also excellent for pizza followed by some drinks overlooking the sea in The Garden Lounge.
One of the highlights of our entire trip to Croatia was Plitvice Lakes. This is an absolute must when visiting the country and one of the most beautiful places in the world that I’ve ever visited.
I’d recommend getting there early, wearing layers (we found it much colder than the rest of Croatia), bring water and a good camera and comfy comfy shoes. The visitor office will provide you with route options but to be honest there isn’t a lot of information and the routes you can do depend on which entrance you use so have a think before you go. We followed route F.
I’d personally recommend the boat ride and seeing the largest waterfall, other than that it’s dependent on your walking ability. There aren’t many uphills but the walks can be lengthy, though enjoyable.
Definitely get there as early as possible as the tourists are the only thing that can ruin your day! The best tips we got were from Frank About Croatia .