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Zadar

Zadar is a city of romance and love, as well as a place of passion and spirit! This is a town that does not mind exploring new art forms and ideas to enrich its extraordinary setting and complement its grand physique. Zadar is both a peaceful community and a dynamic modern centre that greets everyone with open arms and leaves a lasting mark on every enamoured visitor!

DON'T MISS

Sip some coffee or a cocktail with the locals at the many cafés, lounge bars or restaurants

Listen to the sound of the waves and marvel at "the most beautiful sunset in the world" (A. Hitchcock)

Take a ferry or a catamaran to one of the nearby islands and take a dip in the bluest sea

Landmarks

St. Donatus

Explore 3000 Years of History

Get to know the symbol of Zadar – the Church of St. Donatus and travel through time. The Church of St. Donatus is an amazing church from the 9th century, a sightseeing must and the largest pre-Romanesque structure in Croatia! It's 27 m high and 22 m wide, has a specific cylindrical shape, a double interior and it stands out with its originality. Today, it mostly serves as a remarkable venue for medieval renaissance music. The whole structure is an architectural example of the Carolingian period and it is considered the most significant of its kind in Europe. Most of its ornaments largely originate from the ruins of the nearby Roman Forum. Built between the 1st century BC and the 3rd century AD and commissioned by the first Roman Emperor Augustus, the forum complex features an elaborate design of temples and colonnades with one proud column standing intact to this day. Take spectacular photos on the site!

UNESCO Fortifications

Feel like a knight!

See if you like the City Walls as much as UNESCO does. Zadar was once the largest city-fortress in the Republic of Venice and its City Walls were an important part of an elaborate defence system.The City Walls of Zadar, together with the other five components of the Venetian Works of Defence of the 16th and 17th century, located in today’s Croatia, Italy and Montenegro, joined UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2017 as an outstanding monument of the modern maritime fortification scheme.The most impressive part of the Walls is the Land Gate, the main historical entrance to the city built in 1543 by Michele Sanmicheli, a famous Venetian architect. As an integral part of the Walls, it is considered one of the finest Renaissance monuments in whole Dalmatia, boasting its triumphal arch, central passage and two smaller side arches for pedestrians. Study history in a new way!

Restaurants and Bars

Step by step hedonism

Learn about the local food and rituals every step of your walk-through Zadar – from colourful markets, fresh Mediterranean ingredients, local dishes and coffee get-togethers that last for hours. Zadar nucleus' lively feel, with its restaurants, bars, coffee shops and bakeries makes spending time here one of the most enjoyable things to do. This vibrant quarter with a great atmosphere is in the oldest part of the Town of Zadar where the present meets the past. Wander around many narrow streets and stone-paved alleyways or splendid, picturesque squares. When you feel the need to take a break, stop at a traditional “konoba“- a trattoria style restaurant featuring local delicacies. Afterwards, act like the local people: find your favourite spot and experience the feeling of coffee drinking being less of a habit and more of a sacred ritual. They enjoy drinking it for hours. Try some delicious, fresh Mediterranean local foods, taste some of the excellent regional wines, or find the best ice-cream in town. Regardless of what you do, just soak up that cheery atmosphere. 

Greeting to the Sun and the Sea Organ

All senses awakened

First you have to meet THE SEA ORGAN – a sound art object and experimental musical instrument that creates lovely chimed tunes using only the rolling power of sea waves. The installation looks like a series of broad steps leading down into the sea hiding clever engineering beneath their surface. Nikola Bašić, a renowned architect, has devised an ingenious system of resonant chambers that produces syncopated ever-changing tunes which soothe and excite the minds of countless amazed visitors "chilling" on Riva.
Right next to it is THE GREETING TO THE SUN - another installation of the brilliant architect symbolizing the communication between man and nature. This stirring monument consists of 300 multi-layered glass plates that absorb solar energy during the day and create a spectacular waterfront light show just after sunset. These installations are a holiday for all your senses. 

Discover More

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See (but don't touch) the Museum of Ancient Glass

Museum of Ancient Glass

History & Culture

It's baffling that a medium as delicate as glass could survive the earthquakes and wars that have plagued this region over the millennia, but this impressive museum has thousands of objects on display!

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Make the Rector's Palace your palace

Rector's Palace

One of the city’s prized buildings, the 13 th century Rector’s Palace, has experienced many changes over the years. Today, it unites a museum space, its temporary exhibition halls, a video gallery, concert and multimedia halls - all in different styles reflecting the rich history it holds.

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Set sails from Zadar

Set Sails from Zadar

Marina Dalmacija, the largest marina in Croatia, is located on the outskirts of Zadar, amidst the villages of Bibinje and Sukošan. The position is magnificent - in the centre of this most beautiful and interesting coastline, only a stone’s throw away from the fabulous islands which make up the Dalmatian coast, this natural gateway opens opportunities to explore one of the best cruising areas in the world.

Stories

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St. Simeon

The legendary saint

Holy moly, what a story! Find out about Saint Simeon and his story about Zadar!

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The Most Beautiful Sunset

A sunset more beautiful than any movie

If you don’t take our word for it, take Alfred Hitchcok’s. One of the most famous directors in the world said that the sunset in Zadar was the most beautiful one in the world. See it for yourself.

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The Boatsmen of Zadar

The most romantic way to see Zadar

You don’t have to go to Venice to enjoy a gondola ride, as the city’s barkajoli will transport you to the other end of the old town, as well as back in time.

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SICU & Benedictine Nuns

History treasure more valuable than silver and gold

The Gold and Silver permanent exhibition in Zadar is definitely a must. But, while there, look for another type of treasure – the history behind the story.

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Coffee-Loving People

But first, coffee!

Whether you have just arrived, got up or need a break –everything starts with a coffee in Croatia. Coffee lovers, you have found your paradise!

Stories

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St. Simeon

The legendary saint

Holy moly, what a story! Find out about Saint Simeon and his story about Zadar!

The legend says that, in 1203, a merchant who was carrying the body of St. Simeon from the Holy Land to Venice sought shelter in Zadar because of a storm. He didn’t reveal the identity of the body he was carrying, but when he became ill and before he died, he gave the nurses a hint. That is why they dug up the grave with the local priests. Simultaneously, three city rectors had the same dream the night before the body of Saint Simeon was to be excavated. St. Simeon has been revered in Zadar ever since. The Chest of Saint Simeon, a masterpiece of medieval art, is a rectangular cedar wood sarcophagus in the shape of a chasse, overlaid with silver and silver-gilt plaques, said to hold the relics of St. Simon the God-receiver. On Oct. 8th, the Patron’s Day, the chest is opened and the mummy of the saint is displayed for a week. But you can visit the Church of Saint Simeon any day of the year!

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The Most Beautiful Sunset

A sunset more beautiful than any movie

If you don’t take our word for it, take Alfred Hitchcok’s. One of the most famous directors in the world said that the sunset in Zadar was the most beautiful one in the world. See it for yourself.

After a long day of sightseeing the city, you will be rewarded with the best sight yet – the Zadar sunset. The best place to watch it is definitely by the sea, walking along the promenade. You can take photos or even better – try remembering it in your head, because no pictures and no words can describe it. Afterwards, you can move along to a modern light installation called “Greeting to the Sun” that is charged by the sun during the day and emits a light show during the night. It's in Zadar that one realizes why the sun is in the centre (of attention).

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The Boatsmen of Zadar

The most romantic way to see Zadar

You don’t have to go to Venice to enjoy a gondola ride, as the city’s barkajoli will transport you to the other end of the old town, as well as back in time.

One of the most notable symbols of Zadar are barkajoli (lat. barcatores), an 800-year-long father-to-son lineage of traditional boat rowers! The beloved barkajoli have survived the challenges of modern times and even today they transport their faithful customers for one and a half minutes, crossing just 71 m between the two ports of the city. Although there are only a couple of barkajoli left, they are very proud of their profession passed from generation to generation all the way from the 14th century. Many use it to save time, but riding in a barka can offer so much more. You haven’t really been in Zadar until you have ridden in a barka. See, or better said, sea Zadar from another perspective!

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SICU & Benedictine Nuns

History treasure more valuable than silver and gold

The Gold and Silver permanent exhibition in Zadar is definitely a must. But, while there, look for another type of treasure – the history behind the story.

The treasure was not kept by kings and emperors – but by nuns! The treasure of Zadar history is inseparable from the Benedictine convent of St. Mary and its nuns guardians. Their shared history goes back to the time of the Byzantine Empire. In newer history, the Benedictines once again proved essential when they hid the treasure in a deep hole under the church bell tower during the bombings of the Allies in 1943. Many items that have been preserved with love, knowledge and pride have great value. But for the people of Zadar, the most valuable item is the so-called Čika’s cross. Although small in size and without gems, it has held a special meaning for the people here since the 8th century. Find your favourite item while you find out more about the history of this treasure.

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Coffee-Loving People

But first, coffee!

Whether you have just arrived, got up or need a break –everything starts with a coffee in Croatia. Coffee lovers, you have found your paradise!

Zadar is a city of the people, by the people and for the people. This is the home of tightly-connected communities that appreciate culture and tradition and show a profound interest in social interaction on every occasion. These friendly outgoing people gladly spend free afternoons with their friends sipping coffee on the dazzling Riva, relishing in the warm embrace of the hot sun, gazing at the beauties of the open sea and discussing some common topics of their daily lives. They also spin a gripping yarn or two for all absorbed visitors who pass the famous Kalelarga in their quest to experience the pulse of the town in the most beloved of all of Zadar’s streets. They reveal a gleam of joy in their eyes while dining in superb local restaurants and show a unique zest for life in attending great cultural venues or the vibrant club scene. Zadrani (people of Zadar) know how to appreciate the finer things in life and display a true flair of their treasured vibrant town, so come and join them and enjoy them!