Top 15 Things To Do in Zadar, Old Town
The port city of Zadar in Croatia is the second largest city in Dalmatia with 75,000 inhabitants and its beautiful old town is one of the most popular attractions in the country. It is a cultural hotspot and was even voted “The best European Destination” in 2016. The famous sea organ, the Roman forum or the beautiful promenade Riva, are only a few of the sights that you can discover in the old town of Zadar. Fantastic are also the many great beaches and bays in the vicinity, which make a beach vacation on the Adriatic perfect.
In this travel guide we show the best things to do in Zadar. In addition, there is a lot of information and tips that will help you to plan your vacation.
Things to do in Zadar, Old Town
Exploring lovely squares, marbled streets, roman ruins and beautiful churches – There are so many wonderful things to do in Zadar. However the old town is really charming but not as touristy as Split or Dubrovnik and the prices are still moderate. You are going to find plenty of tasty restaurants and also the nightlife is fantastic. Basically this town is a great place for a day visit or even longer! Here are some of the nicest thing to do in the old town of Zadar which are all within walking distance:
People`s Square (Narodni trg)
The People’s Square is located in the center of the old town and has been the center of public life in Zadar from the Renaissance until today. Worth seeing is on the north side the building of the town guard with its pink bell tower and on the south side the town loggia. At the end of the square there is also delicious ice cream palor, which is a must try!
Cathedral of Saint Anastasia
Cathedral of St. Anastasia is the largest church in Dalmatia and certainly one of the most beautiful and best attractions of the old town of Zadar. It dates back to the 13th century and from the 56 meter high bell tower of the cathedral church you can enjoy a magnificent view of Zadar. In the surroundings you will find many shopping opportunities, nice cafes and ice cream parlors.
Church of St Donat & Roman Forum
One of the best things to see in Zadar ist the St. Donat`s Church next to the Roman Forum. It is considered to be one of the most important landmarks of the city. This two-story round church dates back to the 9th century and can also be visited from inside. Directly in front of the church you will find the Forum, the former city market place from Roman times.
Saint Mary Church
Petar Zoranić Square
St. Simeon`s Church
The St.Simeons`s Church and the area around is just lovely. The historic townscape is really interesting in that area and a wonderful place to do some photography. The relaxing cafés invite for a break and let you enjoy the ancient ambience.
5 Wells Square
The name is the program, five wells are lined up in a row. From the Queen Jelena Madije Park nearby you are going to have a lovely view. Fun fact, this park was actually the first public park in Croatia.
Fosa Land Gate
Before, the Fosa was the main entrance to the city center. Today tourists admire the beautiful Renaissance style of the gate
Riva is the sea-promenade and a lovely place for wandering around. From there you are going to have a lovely view of the islands Ugljan and Pasman. Some tourists visit Zadar for the outstanding beautiful sunset view. Walking up to the western end of the Riva you are going to find the famous Sea Organ.
The Sea Organ
The Sea Organ is probably the best known tourist attraction in Zadar. It’s located in the western end of Zadar’s old town. Just sit down on the stairs leading down to the water and enjoy this orchestra of nature that plays music made of the oceans waves. Each sound is completely unique – a great place to relax after a long city walk.
The Greeting to the Sun
On the end of the Zadar Riva, just next to the Sea Organ, you are going to find the „Greeting to the sun“ The sight should be visited in the evening, when the photo-voltage solar modules are alight.
Church & Monastery of Saint Francis
The Monastery of Saint Francis is the dated back to 1283 and is thus the oldest church in Dalmatia. It’s built in gothic style and the inner yard of the monastery is really beautiful.
Things to do around Zadar
Zadar Region offers so many interesting things to do. Here are the best excursions from Zadar:
Krka National Park
The Krka National Park is truly beautiful and one of the best places to visit in Dalmatia.
Dugi Otok and the Telascica National Park
The island Dudi Otok offers quiet and amazing beaches. Some of them belong to the most beautiful ones in Croatia. The Telascica Nature Park with its breath-taking 161 m cliffs and the lovely salt lake called Mir is really worth a visit!
Kornati Islands National Park
With 89 uninhabited islands, islets and reefs the National Park is the most widely-spreaded archipelago on the Mediterranean.
Amongst others, the Kornati Islands can be visited by day-excursions from Zadar or with a private skipper.
Where to stay in Zadar
Inside the old town you are going to find a handful of nice hotels. It is more common to rent an apartment. Peak season is July/August, so you should book in advance. We have put together our top recommendations here:
- Adriatic Hostel Zadar: A nice Budget hostel near the old town of Zadar, with clean rooms and a very cozy atmosphere.
- Rooms Tisa Old Town: The rooms at Tisa Old Town are spacious, modern and furnished with a great attention to detail. The location of the apartments is fantastic – just a few minutes walk to the center yet quiet.
- Vera Apartment with Seaview: Beautiful apartment with stunning views of the sea. Right on the water and super clean.
- Almayer Art & Heritage Hotel and Dependance: This amazing boutique Hotel has a top location in the old town, very close to the sea. Very beautiful artistic and modern ambience.
Find the best places to stay in Zadar
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