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The Top 10 Things To Do in Zadar, Croatia

There are plenty of things to do in Zadar, making it a popular tourist destination throughout the year. Whether you’re looking to uncover historical sites, relax on sandy beaches, indulge in great cuisine or simply wander around the pretty streets, there is something for everyone in this beautiful Croatian city. 

Zadar city is situated in the Dalmatia region in southwestern Croatia. The Velebit Mountains have defined the shape of the metropolis, providing a dramatic backdrop for those visiting the area. You will also discover history and heritage in abundance, plenty of island hopping opportunities, stunning architecture and much more in Zadar. 

The old town of Zadar also draws plenty of tourists to the city. Here you can encounter one of Croatia’s outstanding UNESCO World Heritage Sites, alongside stunning views across the peninsula and the ancient city walls. With so much to see and do here, we’ve put together a list of the top places to visit in Zadar below. This way you can visit this lovely part of Croatia without missing a thing!

Where is Zadar, Croatia?

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This pretty historical town is known for being the former capital of the Dalmatia region. Its location on the peninsula allows visitors to soak up stunning coastal views and mighty mountains that tower in the backdrop. Not only does the city provide beautiful scenery and lots of history, but it is also a convenient location for those looking to explore more of Croatia’s beloved areas.

From Zadar, visitors can reach popular places such as Rijeka, Split, Sibenik, Plitvice National Park, Dugi Otok, Vir and many more. This provides an ideal spot for those looking to see more of Croatia’s islands, cities and other prevalent sightseeing areas.

1. Check Out the Sea Organ

To get started on our list of the best things to do in Zadar, a trip to the Sea Organ is a must. This popular attraction continues to draw visitors from all over the world to marvel over its impressive waterfront. The Sea Organ was created in 2005 by Nikola Basic and allows visitors to experience some intriguing architecture, alongside unique sounds that come from the structure. 

With organ pipes sitting beneath the water and holes drilled into the marble, a trip here allows for a unique experience full of interesting sounds and beautiful coastal vistas. Spend some time sitting on the steps of the Sea Organ, all whilst taking in the impressive views and unusual noises.

2. Relax in the Garden

Zadar waterfront

Looking for the top things to do in Zadar, Croatia in utter relaxation? Luckily enough, a trip to the Garden is the place to be. Situated in the heart of the town, this lovely spot provides the perfect place to spend some time by the water. 

The Garden offers excellent music, a tranquil atmosphere and some tasty snacks and cocktails. Owned by two British musicians, their musical background influences the bar throughout, creating a serene aura for all to enjoy. Be sure to spend some time here admiring the sunset as the views over the city walls provide an unmissable experience.

3. Experience Greeting to the Sun

Much like the renowned Sea Organ, Greeting to the Sun was also created by Nikola Basic. This beautiful structure absorbs the sun’s energy throughout the day, creating a beautiful graphical display once the sun goes down. Perched along the peninsula, with stunning views out to sea, this provides a magical place to spend your evening in Zadar. 

Not only is a trip to the Greeting to the Sun one of the best things to do in Zadar, Croatia, but it also provides a beautiful spot for those looking to spend their evening together in the city. The circle also has the names of the saints carved into its perimeter. This allows visitors to not only soak up one of the most impressive structures in the city but also learn more about the important history and heritage here.

4. Visit Roman Zadar

Many visitors are also looking to learn more about what to do in Zadar for a day, as tourists often spend some time exploring the various cities and islands around the country. With this in mind, we highly recommend checking out Roman Zadar during your trip to the metropolis. 

The city dates back to the Romans and you can find plenty of places that still resemble their time in Zadar. Be sure to check out the impressive city walls and gates, a place to learn more about the defence that was once used to protect the city. You will also find opportunities to explore the Archaeological Museum that sits within Zadar’s main square. Here you can see the transformation of the architecture and city over time, all whilst uncovering more of Zadar’s fascinating history and heritage. 

A trip to Roman Zadar is one not to miss when exploring the city. The impressive architecture, fascinating museums and intriguing ruins all tell the story of how the city has become the favoured destination that it is today.

5. Escape the City to Paklenica National Park

Pakleni Islands Croatia
Pakleni Islands

The stunning Paklenica National Park can be reached from Zadar in just 50 minutes by car. This provides visitors with an easy location and somewhere to escape the hustle and bustle of the city with ease. It’s also one of the best things to do for kids in Zadar, as it allows the little ones to explore more of Croatia’s natural wildlife and stunning surroundings. 

A trip to Paklenica National Park is great for those looking to uncover fascinating rock formations, alongside towering peaks and rugged cliffs. The whole area is encompassed by dramatic landscapes and plenty of hiking trails to explore. Adventure through Paklenica to see more of Croatia’s wilderness, alongside the opportunity to immerse yourself in more of the country’s natural beauty.

6. Uncover History at the Museum of Ancient Glass

When looking for what to do in Zadar, a trip back in time provides the best way to learn more about the city’s past. Due to the rich Roman heritage here, you can find many of the glass remains situated in the Museum of Ancient Glass in Zadar. This provides an excellent opportunity to explore more of the history here, alongside some fascinating artefacts. 

As you wander around the Museum of Ancient Glass you will encounter a variety of items, many of which were used and date back to Roman times. With glassmaking demonstrations and shops to take home any souvenirs, a trip here is a great option for families in pursuit of what to see in Croatia.

7. Take in the Architecture at the Church St Donatus

One of the best things to see in Croatia is undoubtedly the Church of St Donatus. This iconic structure dates back to the 9th century providing guests with intriguing architecture, plenty of history and a breathtaking interior. Situated close to the church is also Zadar’s cathedral bell tower, allowing visitors to experience two impressive sights in one trip. 

For those seeking plenty of photo opportunities, alongside the chance to take in beautiful ancient structures and jaw-dropping coastal vistas, a trip to the Church of St Donatus won’t disappoint!

8. Adventure to the Nearby Islands

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Kornati National Park, Croatia

An excellent way to see more of Croatia is by partaking in an island-hopping adventure. There are plenty of isles worth exploring, great for those looking for the best places to stay in Zadar, Croatia. Whether you’re planning to dwell in the heart of the city or would prefer to relax on one of the nearby islands, a trip here is ideal for anyone interested in adventure and exploration. 

Some of the favoured islands to visit from Zadar include Ugljan, Pag, the Kornati Islands, Osljak, Skoljic, plus many more. This allows tourists to experience all that the bustling city has to offer, alongside opportunities to escape the crowds and encounter Croatia’s natural beauty and wildlife. You will find plenty of boat tours and ferries departing from Zadar to other favoured destinations around the country. What’s more, a trip here simply isn’t complete without witnessing all that the beautiful islands display.

9. Soak up Nature at Plitvice Lakes National Park

Plitvice Waterfalls
Plitvice Lakes

When in pursuit of some of Croatia’s best activities, a trip to Plitvice Lakes National Park should certainly be on your list. The impressive network of waterfalls, lush greenery, hiking trails and more provide the ideal destination for all types of outdoor lovers. With so much nature to explore, you will find yourself captivated by all of the beauty that lies here. 

You can get to Plitvice in just 1.5 hours by car, allowing for a convenient location for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Not only will you find yourself in a magical setting whilst exploring the national park, but it is also one of the best places to visit in the country, so one not to miss! 

Plitvice Lakes National Park is great for a range of travellers. Whether you’re visiting here with family, friends or your partner there is something here for differing holiday itineraries. Simply sit back and relax whilst taking in the outstanding scenery, or adventure through the park on one of the many hiking trails. No matter how you choose to spend your time here, you’re sure to be impressed by all that Plitvice has to offer. 

10. Enjoy a Trip to People’s Square

Hoping to spend some time relaxing in some of the best restaurants in Zadar? Well, look no further, because People’s Square is the place to be. This iconic part of the city dates back to the middle ages and has provided a hub for locals and tourists alike ever since. It is a beautiful spot consisting of the city hall, the city sentinel and lots of great eateries and shops. A trip here provides guests with the opportunity to soak up more of the city’s history, alongside one of the best places to relax and unwind in Zadar. 

People’s Square is an excellent place to visit, no matter the time of year. However, it is important to note that the area gets particularly crowded during the summer months, so it’s best to go here in the shoulder seasons for those hoping to avoid the crowds. Sit back under the warm sun and watch as people go about their day. Alternatively, indulge in some excellent cuisine in the many restaurants around the square, or pick up some souvenirs to take home. 

Be sure to take your camera or smartphone with you, as you will also discover plenty of picture-perfect shots around People’s Square. After all, there’s no better way to experience the magnificent city of Zadar than by visiting the heart of the metropolis!


Bisevo Island
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Zadar is a picturesque city that continues to attract tourists throughout the year. Plus, with the number of things to do and see here, it comes as no surprise why. Whether you’re visiting with family, friends or planning a romantic getaway, there is something for everyone when exploring this beautiful part of Croatia. The list above covers some of the top places to visit for those planning a trip to Zadar, however, you’re sure to find many more hidden gems as you wander the streets of this outstanding historical metropolis. 

For those booking a trip to Croatia, there’s no better way to see all that the country has to offer than by boat. Cruise Croatia has a fantastic selection of ships, with a range of sizes and itineraries available. Whether you’re looking to explore the Croatian Islands or would prefer to stroll through the bustling cities, you can see it all when cruising in this gorgeous country.

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