Top things to do and must visits in & around Zadar - Croatia
Updated: Jun 14
As you could have read in my previous blog about our girl road trip through Croatia and our visit to the National Parks in autumn I just can’t seem to get enough of this country!
Last May I was here for the first time to explore Split and Dubrovnik through a 5 day road trip past the Makarska Riviera, which was amazing, but I couldn’t bear the fact that we didn’t have enough time to visit Zadar and some of the surrounding islands.
Therefore this time we booked a villa in Zadar for 1 full week so we would have enough time to see all the beauty the northern region of Croatia has to offer. We arrived at Split airport and drove to Zadar in less than 1,5 hours with our rental car.
Our house was spacious with 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and offered more than enough room for the 4 of us. Ideal for a workcation, as the house with spacious kitchen including all amenities, a huge couch, flat screen TV in each room, spacious outdoor terrace and private pool, provided everything we needed and felt like a home away from home. But it was also the perfect base to explore Croatia from with our rental car, which is truly a must, as this area is too diverse to only visit for a city trip.
Our house was situated in a quiet residential area just outside the city center and just a 5 minutes’ drive away from the old town of Zadar. Of course we visited the city several times and I can honestly say that Zadar is one of the nicest cities I have visited in a while and liked it even better than Split.
The old city center is surrounded by city walls, filled with historic buildings, heritage and is very compact, easy to explore by foot, yet very diverse. Zadar has many squares with a multitude of restaurants and terraces which makes it very atmospheric and cozy.
Our wonderful guide Vlatka from the Zadar tourist info centre showed us many beautiful spots of her hometown and guided us to all the hidden gems and most photogenic places which I will share with you in this blog through many of my own pics of Zadar, as well as some of my favourite areas and towns outside the city in the Zadar region.
Zadar city must visits and hotspots
I hope my pictures speak for themselves but do click on the smaller pics to see the bigger version and description!
St. Donatus’ church
A Medieval Byzantine architectural marvel built on the ancient Forum in the center of the city, that should definitely be visited from the inside as well!
Greeting to the sun and see organ
This beautiful sight located on the edge of the city at the beginning of Zadar’s beautiful Riva is a true work of art and a great viewpoint to visit both at day and night.
Enjoy the sounds of the sea being turned into music by the organ integrated in the boulevard steps and admire the colorful lights the ‘’Greeting to the sun’’ displays at night, after being fueled by sunlight during the day.
Especially magical at the end of the afternoon, as you can see here, the sunsets of Zadar have even been proclaimed the most beautiful in the world by Alfred Hitchcock himself!
Seven wells square and boulevard
A historic square surrounded by quaint restaurants and local pubs, the perfect place for people who like great food combined with drinks and music. Walk around here in the VaroŠ district to mingle with the locals or stroll along to the boulevard for the best sunsets and dinners with a view.
Pet Bunara & Proto - Food and more
2 of my favourite restaurants opposite to this beautiful square. Lunch or dinner here is certainly recommended, see for yourself why in this little gallery, click to the right to see all pics:
Ledana Lounge Bar & Club
After that have drinks or go clubbing at this nearby club situated in the Perivoj Kraljice park with grand views over the square and famous DJ’s spinning tracks in the weekend.
And just wander around Zadar to admire the ancient buildings, gorgeous facades, to find the best terraces, eat lots of ice-cream and explore the beautiful hidden gems of the city in the many side streets, as you can see in this gallery:
But don't forget to venture outside the city as well, by car to explore the surrounding towns or by boat to one of the many islands and nearby Kornati National Park.
Kornati NP & surrounding islands
Limestone cliffs of Kornati
And of course a visit to the National Parks and waterfalls in this region of Croatia is a must if you love nature! Krka is only 1,5 hours driving from Zadar and Plitvice Lakes only a 2 hours and 15 minutes drive, so certainly do-able. You can read all about this in my previous blog.
Krka – Šibenik region
If you go to Krka National Park I can highly recommend to visit these 2 unique spots nearby as well, that should not be missed. I would advise you to stay overnight in that area to combine a 1 or 2 day visit to the National Park with these must do’s:
Have lunch or stay for the night at Agroturizam Kalpić
Visit the ancient town Šibenik & the Fortresses
One of the prettiest towns I have visited in Croatia so far, also used as a décor for several Game of Thrones episodes.
Especially the 2 Fortresses towering over the city took my breath away. We went up St.Michael’s Fortress just before closing time to watch the sunset spread its golden light over the surrounding islands and enjoy the wide city views basking in its glow.
But there is so much more to do in this region and it was hard to choose! For more information and to help you further with this you can check the site of the tourist board to read all about the Zadar Region.
Are you excited to visit Croatia already, especially the Zadar region & surrounding islands, and did you know it was this beautiful?
Always happy to hear from you in the comments below or find me on social media, through the direct links at the bottom😊