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Fancy a day at the beach? No problem. There is a selection of excellent beaches conveniently located near the city, so you can have fun on the coast overlooking the blue waters. Work on your tan or go for a swim at the many spots along the coastline.
If you like keeping active, explore the four national parks via the hiking trails or simply go for a short walk in the beautiful countryside. Rock climbing is available for the adrenaline junkies and for those who like to relax, there are some lovely boat excursions around the coast to try.
See some of the archeological sites including the Church of St Donatus, one of the best examples the Pre-Romanesque architecture the world has to offer. The Archaological Museum is perfect if you love ancient history and you can also see Roman ruins at the site of the old Roman Forum.
When the sun goes down, the city comes alive with many bars and some fantastic clubs open for everyone to enjoy. There are also numerous shops and some major shopping centres offering all kinds of good and for those who book a self catering holiday, you will love the large supermarkets.
Check out each of the tabs to find out more about what you can get up to during your time in Zadar.
An excellent example of Pre-Romanesque architecture, this unusual church is a must see for anyone who truly appreciates rare ancient structures, as it is also one of the best preserved buildings from the Pre-Romanesque period. It is no longer used as a church but is now a popular museum, whether the exhibits or the structure itself is of more interest will be for you to decide.
This will give you a lesson on the vast history of the land the city was built on, as it contains exhibits focusing on the prehistoric, all the way up to the middle ages. This is the perfect place for visitors of all ages, as there is much to learn and discover about this incredibly fascinating area.
As well as Pre-Romanesque architecture there is also ruins of Roman architecture in the form of the ancient Roman Forum. These ruins can be found close to the city and make the ideal place for a day out under the shining sun. It’s impressively large, so there will be much to discover during your time here.
Monastery of St Francis
This stunning monastery and adjoining church is the oldest in the region with a gothic style. It has a vast history of religious activity and now contains a fascinating picture gallery and the interior has to be seen in person to be fully appreciated.
Within easy reach from the centre of the city are four stunning national parks, which are well worth setting a day or two aside for. These aren’t within walking distance, so you will need transportation but it will be worth the effort, as you will fall in love with the natural beauty of Krka Waterfalls, Plitvice Lakes, Paklenica and Northern Velebit.
There are many excellent swimming opportunities in Zadar thanks to the nearby beaches, where you can access the sea easily and safely. The water is crystal clear and although comfortably warm during the warmer months of the year, it will still do a grand job at cooling you down.
There are some lovely sites to see from the sea and plenty of places to visit including some of the smaller islands a short distance from the shore. You can see it all by trying out one of the boat excursions in Zadar. Oh and fishing trips are also available if you’re a keen fisherman.
If you fancy taking the excitement to the extreme, try rock climbing, which will give you the chance to try and defeat one of the local cliffs in a climbing challenge. It’s great for beginners and pros so why not give it a go!
The beautiful countryside and nearby national parks gives you plenty of natural space to explore on foot whether you’re a keen hiker or just fancy a scenic stroll every now and then.
You can be sure that Kolovare beach will satisfy any beach goer thanks to its Blue Flag status. The beach consists of pebbles and convenient concrete slabs, which are ideal if you dislike getting sand everywhere! If you find yourself needing a break from the sun, take a break in the shade under the pine trees at the rear of the beach. It’s also well facilitated with showers, sun chairs and beach umbrellas, changing rooms, a bar and a restaurant. Water sports are also available here for you to try.
Towards the north of Zadar you will come across Borik beach, a mixture of sand and fine pebbles, which is great for those days soaking up the sun. The water here is perfect for swimming and if you want to try some of the water sports equipment, there is some available to hire.
A short distance from Zadar is Vitrenjak Marina where you will find a small beach perfect for everyone especially families. It’s located next to the larger marina, so if you like passing time by watching boats coming and going this is the perfect place to visit after some time on the beach.
If you find yourself on the islands of Levrnaka then you will at some point come to Lojena beach, where you will find sandy space and rocky shores where you can throw your towel down and chill under the sizzling sunshine. It’s perfect for swimming and great for diving, so why not jump in and enjoy the waters for as long as you want.
If you want to experience the true taste of Croatia, visit one of the restaurants focusing on the authentic tastes such as the Pet Bunara restaurant. Restaurant Groppo is another great choice for this or if you simply fancy a home cooked pizza, head straight to the Canzona Pizzeria. Lungo Mare is a great place if you fancy a steak and there is fresh seafood here too!
Atrij is another restaurant that’s well worth visiting, with a selection of light dishes with the option to sit outside in a lovely dining area. Fosa is the perfect place for fish, as is focuses specifically on fish of the very fresh variety.
You won’t have to look far to find a lively bar when the sun goes down. Explore the back streets on foot and keep an ear out for the lively music and simply follow the sound. Check out Corso, head to Zodiac, socialise in Kult and check out the music in Lotus. The tunes may vary but the one thing they have in common is the superb atmosphere, which is warm, friendly and welcoming. The nightclubs in Zadar include The Garden, Gotham and Arsenal, each of which has something special to offer. The Garden can be found on top of the city walls and plays a selection of different music. Gotham is where you can enjoy everything from awesome DJ sets, dancers and even a cinema and Arsenal is the ultimate multi purpose venue!
If you don’t mind travelling away from Zadar, take the 16-kilometre journey to the huge nightclub Saturnus, which offers some amazing DJ sets and also fashion shows on certain days.
If you want a modern shopping experience then maybe the Supernova shopping centre is for you. Here you will find 82 stores throughout the complex featuring some of the world’s biggest brands. Whether you want clothing, jewelry, electronics or simply want to grab a bite to eat, you won’t be disappointed. There are also numerous other malls and shopping centres in Zadar including the Jankomir centre and the Relja.
The city is also filled with smaller, independent shops where you can buy some very unique items. Ceramics, woven textiles and Croatian sheepskin are among some of the more interesting items for sale in the city, which are also ideal as souvenirs, as you will always remember where they came from. Also, don’t forget to check out the Museum of Ancient glass, as you will also be able to purchase some beautiful glass ornaments from here to take home with you.
The best way to find out about the current shops is to literally explore the streets on foot and see what’s new in the area.