Zadar is the most irresistible city on the north Dalmatian coast, the second-largest city after Split. A group of islands northwest of the city creates a small Zadar archipelago. The islands are Silba, Olib, Premuda, Ist, Molat, Skarda, Iz, Rava, and Dugi Otok.
The best description of Zadar comes from the late film director Alfred Hitchcock. When he visited the city, he said that Zadar had the most beautiful sunset, even better than the one in Key West! He would applaud it every evening when trying to catch its colors with his camera.
What are some popular places in Zadar?
- The Riva runs along the shore of the old city. It is a lovely city promenade overlooking the Zadar channel and neighboring islands.
- Narodni Trg is the epicenter of public life from the Renaissance until today.
- Kalelarga is the main street of the city, extending in the east-west direction. It follows the path of the main longitudinal Roman street (Decumanus and Maximus). This street means much to the people of Zadar. Kalelarga is wide and vivacious, with many shops, cafes, and restaurants.
- The one-of-a-kind Sea Organs. The Sea Organs look like a series of broad steps leading down to the sea and stretching along the Riva for about 70 meters. These unique sound-art objects were created by the famous Croatian architect Nikola Basic. Sea waves splashing the pipes produce unusual and unique tones.
- The Greeting to the Sun is a model of the solar system connected to the Sea Organs that is transposed into a show of light. Performances begin on the Zadar waterfront after sunset.
Things to see in Zadar
- The Five Wells Square. Five decorative wells with drinking water. The wells are positioned between the medieval City Walls and the Renaissance Grimani Bastion. They were constructed in 1574 as a defense against Turkish sieges.
- Episcopal Complex of Zadar (churches). The complex includes many sacred places like the Church of St. Donatus, the Roman Forum, the Cathedral of St. Anastasia, the Archbishop’s Palace, the Zmajevic Seminary, the Orthodox Church of St. Elias, and the Benedictine Nunnery.
- The Silver and Gold of Zadar. This exhibition is in the Benedictine convent of St Mary’s, where nuns have guarded it since the end of the Second World War. It forms the Permanent Exhibition of Religious Art, one of Croatia’s most important cultural repositories. This exhibition includes manuscripts, sculptures, embroideries, tapestries, and reliefs.
- The Museum of Ancient Glass is one of the city´s newest attractions. The museum contains one of the finest collections of Roman glassware found outside Italy. On the second floor of the museum, there is a glass-blowing atelier and a school of glassblowing. There you can blow some of your pieces to bring home.
- Zadar City Market. This market has been here since the Middle Ages. Proud locals claim it´s the best fish market on the Dalmatian coast.
Things to do while in the City
- Have coffee on the city piazza or Riva, then in the afternoon, have another one.
- Enjoy local Konobas and restaurants.
- Explore the city.
- Stroll along Kalelarga and browse in trendy shops with an Italian fashion influence.
- Listen to the Sea Organs playing unique meditative sounds.
- Blow your piece of glass jewelry in the city museum.
- Watch the most beautiful sunset in the city of Riva.
- Have fun and explore the nightlife of the Zadar club scene.