Zadar travel guide

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Introduction to Zadar

Home to more than 70.8 thousand people and the magnificent Sea Organ, Church of St. Donatus, and Market Zadar, Zadar is an adventure awaiting you. With a unique historical background and an incredible variety of natural and architectural beauty, Zadar is a highlight in Croatia. This city and settlement in Zadar County, Croatia is a travel destination with plenty to offer curious travelers.

Traveling to Zadar is especially rewarding for anyone eager to connect with locals and learn more about their unique culture and traditions.

Easily accessible from Zadar, Zadar is the perfect base for a memorable and unique vacation in Croatia any time of the year. Explore this culturally-rich city and easily plan your trip to Croatia. For an enriched understanding of the city’s cultural tapestry and local events, you might want to consult the official website of Zadar.

History of Zadar

Zadar, a city with a past steeped in history, is located on the Adriatic Sea in Croatia.

The city's rich history dates back to the Stone Age, but it was the Romans who left a significant imprint with their forum, which is the largest on the eastern side of the Adriatic.

Throughout the centuries, Zadar faced various invasions and rulers, including Byzantine, Venetian, and Hungarian dominations. It was a prominent city under Venetian rule during the Middle Ages.

Zadar's tumultuous journey continued well into the 20th century, enduring heavy bombing during World War II and changing hands from Italy to Yugoslavia.

Today, Zadar stands as a symbol of resilience, beautifully blending its historical legacy with modernity. It is a city where Roman ruins stand alongside contemporary architectural wonders like the Sea Organ and the Sun Salutation, making it an irresistible destination for history buffs and travelers alike.

Top services in Zadar

On this page, you'll find all the top travel services in Zadar, Croatia. Enjoy the convenience of planning and booking every detail of your trip to Zadar, including flights, accommodations, activities, and more, in one place.

Discover the cheapest and most popular flights offered by a variety of airlines that fly to Croatia. Check out the best things to do in Zadar by browsing over 290 top-rated tours available to you in the city. Compare the rates and services of the stays and 9 car rental companies offering CDW insurance coverage.

Experience the best of Zadar with an expertly curated and fully customizable itinerary. Get answers to questions about the routes and services offered in Zadar from our free 24/7 customer support. We make it easy for you to find and book every detail of your trip to Zadar with this travel guide.

Continue reading this Zadar travel guide to learn how you can enjoy a stress-free and memorable vacation in the city of Zadar!

Best time to visit Zadar

The best time to explore Zadar, Croatia is during the late spring and early autumn, specifically from May to June and September to October. During these periods, the weather is pleasantly warm, averaging between 20°C to 28°C, and the Adriatic Sea is just right for a delightful swim. These months also witness lesser tourist inflow, allowing for a more relaxed exploration of the historic city, its Roman ruins, and picturesque beaches. The annual 'Zadar Summer Theatre Festival' in July and the 'Musical Evenings in St. Donatus' in July and August can add a cultural dimension to your visit. However, they also bring in more crowds. For those interested in outdoors and adventure sports, early autumn is great for sailing and windsurfing. So, if you want to enjoy Zadar’s charm without the hustle and bustle, plan your visit outside the peak summer months.

Local tip for visiting Zadar

When in Zadar, make sure to visit the local markets for a genuine taste of the city's vibrant culture. Locals suggest the Green Market and the Fish Market, where you can find fresh produce, seafood, and artisanal goods. But here's an insider tip: don't rush to make your purchases first thing in the morning. Instead, visit these markets in the late morning hours, around 11 AM. Why? This is when locals say you can score the best deals. As the morning progresses, vendors are keen to sell their remaining goods before the midday heat and are often willing to lower their prices. So, not only will you get a glimpse of local life, but you'll also get to enjoy some great bargains!

Learn more about Croatia

With destinations such as Zadar, a trip to Croatia needs no further explanation. Spanning over 56,594 square kilometers, Croatia is an expansive playground of discovery, offering a wealth of diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and captivating experiences awaiting exploration. From bustling metropolises to historic towns and modern urban hubs, Croatia has something to enchant every traveler.

In Zadar alone, travelers are spoiled for choice with an array of experiences and world-famous attractions such as Sea Organ, Church of St. Donatus, and Market Zadar. Thus, a trip to Croatia becomes essential. Whether you're drawn to historical sites, natural wonders, or vibrant cultural experiences, Croatia offers an abundance of treasures waiting to be discovered.

There's so much to explore and uncover in Croatia. Click or tap the link below to discover more about Croatia and its offers.

What to see in Zadar

Photo of Zadar archipelago. Kali on Ugljan island turquoise sea and walkway view.

Expect an exhilarating journey through Zadar, a haven brimming with attractions to suit every traveler’s taste. From historical landmarks to natural wonders, and delectable cuisine, Zadar offers an abundance of experiences waiting to be discovered. Dive into this ultimate Zadar travel guide to uncover must-visit spots and get the scoop on what makes the city so special.

Top attractions in Zadar

With its blend of traditional and modern culture, Zadar is more than just a wonderful city in Croatia. It's a hub for diverse experiences, boasting top attractions that range from historical landmarks to modern marvels, offering a glimpse into Croatia's rich heritage and innovative spirit.

One popular place to visit in Zadar is the unforgettable Sea Organ. Considered one of the most well-known attractions in the city, a visit to this spectacular travel destination is something you shouldn't miss on your trip to Zadar.

For more information about what you can expect during a vacation in Zadar, check out our list of top attractions below. Discover the best places to visit in Zadar, including the fascinating Sea Organ, Church of St. Donatus, Market Zadar, Narodni trg, and Kolovare Beach.

Map of attractions

Take a closer look at the city map below for the exact locations of all the top attractions in Zadar.

Things to do in Zadar

Photo of Zadar. Historic Fosa harbor bay in Zadar boats and architecture colorful view.

You've explored Zadar's top attractions and marked them on your map. So now, it's time to delve deeper and discover the top things to do in Zadar. These activities not only offer excitement and adventure but also provide unique insights into the city's culture and heritage. Take your experience to the next level by checking out the best sights with a knowledgeable guide, embarking on fun adventures unique to Zadar, or learning more about the city's rich history and traditions.

Discover the most popular tours and experiences in the city below.

Most popular experiences in Zadar

A visit to Zadar gets more exciting with memorable experiences. And the city is just perfect for that, with plenty of fun activities. Guided Day Trips, Water Tours, Full-day Tours, and more are just some of the options you could explore to fully immerse yourself and make the most of your time.

In this travel guide, we've included some of the best things to do in Zadar, adding a special touch to your journey in this vibrant city. Explore bustling markets, embark on scenic hikes, sample local delicacies, or immerse yourself in the rich history and heritage of Zadar. Browse this diverse array of unforgettable experiences Zadar offers and let your adventures begin!

Top tours & tickets starting in Zadar

In Zadar, travelers are spoiled for choice with a dazzling array of 20 categories of top-rated tours and tickets. But among this sea of options, one category reigns supreme: Trips & Excursions.

Trips & Excursions offer an unparalleled opportunity to immerse yourself in the heart and soul of Zadar. For example, the fantastic Private Speedboat tour "Hidden Gems of Dugi otok".

Zadar also offers plenty of budget-friendly tours and activities that promise travelers a unique experience. This experience costs around 3 EUR.

Elevate your upcoming Zadar adventure with unforgettable experiences by booking top-rated tours in the city. Uncover the finest tours, activities, and tickets awaiting you in Zadar right below.

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Search for things to do in Zadar

Discover the best things to do in Zadar. Choose from 290 fantastic tours and activities available in the city.

Select your dates and number of travelers in the search bar below to receive the best recommendations for your vacation in Zadar. Click the green button to view your options and discover a variety of exciting things to do in Zadar.

What to eat in Zadar

Zadar, Croatia is a gastronomic haven offering a cornucopia of culinary delights, from street food to high-end dining. The best places to eat in Zadar span across the city's renowned dining districts such as the Old Town and the vibrant Peninsula. Street food lovers should not miss out on tasting the local 'burek', a flaky filled pastry, from small bakeries known as 'pekara'. Seafood aficionados can indulge in Zadar's traditional dishes like grilled fish or 'brudet', a fish stew, in many restaurants lining the city's charming waterfront. For a fine dining experience, head to 'Pet Bunara', famed for its fusion of traditional Dalmatian and contemporary cuisine. When it comes to dessert, 'kroštule', a sweet, fried dough, is a must-try delicacy. Pair it with a glass of Maraschino, a cherry liqueur native to Zadar. Don't forget to explore local markets such as the Green Market to buy fresh produce and sample traditional cheese like 'paški sir'. Remember, eating in Zadar is not just about the food, but an immersive experience of culture and tradition.

Best Shopping in Zadar

Zadar, a gem in the heart of the Adriatic, offers a unique shopping experience filled with Croatian charms. The best place to go shopping in Zadar is the Kalelarga, the main and oldest street in the city. Here you'll find boutiques showcasing local fashion, artisanal jewelry, and a myriad of unique souvenirs. Don't miss the Narodni trg Market for a vibrant array of local produce, handmade crafts, and antiques. For a more modern shopping experience, visit the Supernova Zadar mall, where international and Croatian brands coexist. If you're a fan of local craftsmanship, explore the smaller streets off the main thoroughfare, where local artisans sell handmade ceramics, exquisite lace, and olive wood carvings. Remember, shopping in Zadar is not just about purchasing; it's about immersing yourself in the Croatian lifestyle and culture. Whether bargaining at the local market or discovering a one-of-a-kind piece in a boutique, shopping in Zadar provides a unique glimpse into the city's rich heritage.

Best Free Things to Do in Zadar

Experience the magic of Zadar, Croatia without breaking the bank. Among the best free things to do in Zadar is a visit to the Sea Organ, a unique musical instrument powered by the sea waves, offering a soothing soundtrack to your seaside stroll. Close by, the Greeting to the Sun, an interactive light installation, is a must-visit, especially at sunset. For a dose of history, the ancient Roman Forum, dating back to the 3rd century BC, is open to the public free of charge. Wander through Zadar's Old Town, filled with cobblestone streets, centuries-old churches, and charming squares. Head to the city's vibrant markets, from the bustling fish market to the lively green market, and immerse yourself in local culture. For nature lovers, a trek up the hill to the Puntamika Lighthouse offers stunning panoramic views of the city and the Adriatic Sea. Finally, end your day by lounging on one of Zadar's picturesque pebble beaches, a perfect spot to unwind and soak in the beauty of the Dalmatian coast.

How to get to Zadar

International travelers can fly to Zadar by booking flights with Croatia Airlines, easyJet, Transavia, Luxair, and Norwegian International, offering flights to Zadar. From the arrival airport, travelers can choose from various public and private transfer options to Zadar.

For those seeking the best flight ticket deals to Zadar, knowing the cheapest travel times and which airlines offer the most affordable flights is helpful. Luckily, we provide this information to help you discover the cheapest and most popular flights to Zadar. Go to this page to compare all flights to Zadar.

Find cheap flights to Zadar

Photo of Town of Zadar historic peninsula panoramic aerial view.

Booking budget-friendly flights to Zadar is a crucial part of planning your trip to the city. This section will guide you through the process, helping you find the best deals for your journey.

Booking in advance is a smart move when traveling to Zadar. Airlines release their best deals months ahead of departure, so early birds catch the lower fares. Consider flexible travel dates while planning your visit to the city. Mid-week and off-peak seasons often offer more wallet-friendly options.

To help you find cheap flights to Zadar, you can use the powerful booking widget below. Enter your departure city, choose between round trip or one-way, pick your fare class, select travel dates, and specify the number of travelers. Click "Search" and the widget will do the rest. You'll see a list of flights matching your criteria, making your trip to Zadar even more convenient.

Fine-tune your search with filters to sort by price, airline, layovers, and more. Once you've found your ideal flight, click "Book" and you'll be redirected to the booking page to complete your reservation. Enter your payment details and receive a confirmation – it's that simple!

Remember to book ahead, stay flexible, and utilize the widget's features to make your journey to Zadar both affordable and unforgettable.

Popular flights to Zadar

Travelers visiting Zadar can easily access the city via Zadar, offering direct connection to 426 destinations worldwide. To streamline your travel planning process, explore the most popular flights to Zadar below. Discover direct routes from major international hubs and convenient connections tailored to suit your travel preferences. Click to delve into the diverse array of flights available to Zadar and embark on an unforgettable journey.

Car rentals in Zadar

Photo of Two girls walking on top of Sun Salutation installation near the sea shore against the background of a hill range and cloudy morning sky. Zadar

To navigate Zadar effortlessly, renting a car is an excellent choice. With your own wheels, you can explore every nook and cranny of the destination without relying on public transportation and even venture off the beaten path. On our website, you'll discover a selection of over 9 car rental companies in Zadar, ready to provide you with the perfect vehicle for your travels.

Automatic cars for rent in Zadar start at 35 EUR per day or 244 EUR per week. The cheapest automatic rental car is a Vw Polo Aut. If you prefer driving a manual car, you'll find multiple options for rent in Zadar, starting at 16 EUR per day or 111 EUR per week. The cheapest manual rental car is an Opel Corsa.

Learn more about the different types of cars you can rent in Zadar, Croatia below.

Popular types of cars for rent in Zadar

Renting a car in Zadar is a popular choice among travelers who want to explore the city at their own pace. A wide variety of popular car rentals are available to choose from in Zadar, ensuring you find the best car for your travel plans.

Check out all the options available and book your car rental in Zadar for your upcoming adventures in Croatia below. All car rentals come with CDW insurance for added protection throughout your trip.

Search for car rentals in Zadar

Get ready to hit the road and explore the beautiful city of Zadar. Find the best deals on a variety of popular car rentals in Zadar, Croatia, or any other destination in Europe by using the search tool below.

Enter your pick-up and drop-off location, driver's age, and dates. Click the green button to view your options.

Popular destinations to visit after Zadar

Photo of famous Fosa harbor in Zadar aerial view.

The city of Zadar is just one of the many unique and scenic destinations you can visit in Croatia. So if you're itching for another cultural adventure, a relaxing road trip, an action-filled city break, or a memorable weekend getaway, know that Croatia has it all.

Each destination in Croatia offers something unique to experience! Take the opportunity to visit other captivating places in Croatia that are as magical as the city of Zadar. The most popular travel destinations in Croatia are listed below. Click on the name of the place you want to explore next to learn more about it.

All the best destinations in Croatia

When unsure about where to go next, use the map below. This map shows the locations of all the best destinations in Croatia. Use the map to plan your trip and find the best routes.

Domestic flights from Zadar

Photo of turquoise beach view through pine tree in Zadar.

Experience the authentic charm of Croatia by expanding your travels beyond the boundaries of Zadar. Explore other destinations around Croatia with a domestic flight. A domestic flight is typically a short-haul flight, with the longest duration not exceeding two hours. To find the best flights from Zadar to other amazing locations in Croatia, add the required details below and select 'Search' to view the best domestic flights in Croatia for your chosen dates. You can also jump to the last section of this travel guide to find the most popular domestic flights from Zadar.

Popular domestic flights from Zadar

Travelers in Croatia can catch flights to domestic airports in Zagreb, Split, Rijeka, Pula, and Dubrovnik. Domestic flights in Croatia are operated by 4 airlines, including Croatia Airlines, easyJet, Eurowings, and Norwegian. There are around 10 scheduled flight routes operating to Zadar on a weekly basis.

From Zadar, travelers can book scheduled flights to 7 domestic destinations. The most popular flights from Zadar depart to many top-rated destinations in Croatia and are offered by Croatia Airlines, easyJet, and Eurowings.

Search domestic flights from Zadar

Traveling to another city or region in Croatia? Use the flight search tool below to quickly find the cheapest one-way or round-trip flights from Zadar to different local destinations.

Enter all the necessary information and click or tap on the Search button to see a list of the available domestic flights in Croatia on the selected dates.

Transportation in Zadar

Getting around Zadar, Croatia is fairly easy with a variety of transportation options available. The city's public bus system, run by Liburnija Zadar, is an efficient way to travel within the city. The buses are frequent, reliable, and connect all major points of interest. Regular tickets can be purchased from the driver, at kiosks, or at the main bus station.

Taxis are also readily available and make for a convenient but slightly more expensive mode of transport. Uber also operates in Zadar, providing another option for hassle-free travel.

For those wanting more flexibility, rental car services are provided by numerous companies. This allows the freedom to explore not only the city but also the beautiful surrounding areas at your own pace.

A unique local travel experience is taking a passenger ferry to the nearby islands. It's a scenic way to travel and offers a different perspective on the area. The Sea Organ and the Greeting to the Sun, two of Zadar's most famous attractions, can be reached by a short ferry ride from the Old Town.

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