In 2016 Zadar won a contest for the European Best Destination.
- 2 Zračna luka Zadar (Zadar Airport IATA: ZAD) (12 Km east of the centre). The airport shares its airfield with military. It used to be a civic road crossing its taxi lanes, so the traffic was regulated by lifting gates, but it doesn't seem the case anymore. Nevertheless it's an international airport with flights by Croatia Airlines, Eurowings, Ryanair, and few others; various charters in season.
- Airport shuttle. The bus runs to the city's bus station and then continues up to the bus hub at the old town. 25 Kn.
Buses run to the Central bus station and Old town from Zadar airport terminal. These buses are clean, comfortable and efficient. Buses run in conjunction with arriving flights. Therefore they will run more frequently during weekdays than at weekends, as more flights are arriving at the airport. However, at weekends it is still possible to catch a bus. The airport bus costs 25 kuna.
You can also rent a car at Zadar airport. There are multiple car rental companies.
For taxi or pre-booked transfers are also available.
- 3 Autobusni kolodvor Zadar (Bus station), ☎ . 05:30-22:00. Frequent buses run to and from Zagreb (3h 30 min), Rijeka (change for Trieste in Italy), Pula, Sibenik, Split and on to Dubrovnik, some services to destination in Germany. In the season daily buses to Banja Luka in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Left luggage. Storage is available at the station. HRK 3.00 per hour.
About half the buses for Zagreb pass through the stunning Plitvice National Park.
- 4 Kolodvor Zadar (Railway station), Ante Starčevića 3. Mo-Fr 07:10-14:40. A few slow trains a day run to Knin and connects with trains for Zagreb (5,5 hours or 8,5 with overnight trains) and Split (3.5 hr).
Said that, virtually nobody uses this train to get to these cities. Train to Knin is just of one carriage with no A/C and can be quite uncomfortable, however the scenery is beautiful and will leave you in wonder at the numerous stations which appear to be in the middle of nowhere.
- 5 Long distance ferries, Istarska obala. Jadrolinja runs large ferries every few days up and down the coast between Dubrovnik and Rijeka, stopping off at ports including Zadar and islands on the way. They also run almost daily ferries in summer to and from Ancona, Italy.
- 6 Local ferries, Liburnska obala. Zadar is a hub for local boats and hydrofoils in Northern Dalmatia. Services run to and from Olib, Mali Losinj, Ugljan, Dugi Otok, Premuda and others. Timetables and prices are available online from Jadrolinija.
The centre is easy enough to get around on foot. To reach the bus and train stations or Youth Hostel you will probably need to catch one of the frequent local buses, which are the only form of public transportation.
- Liburnija. Provides local bus services in the city. Buses are relatively new and well maintained. Single ride ticket 10 Kn (valid 50 min.); Double ride: 16 Kn.
Virtually all the routes have a stop at the Autobusni kolodvor (Bus station). In the newer part of the city there is another popular bus stop: 7 Mala Pošta stop – at the a post office at the crossroads of Ul. Josipa Jurja Strossmayera and Ul. Stjepana Radića.
Single tickets can be bought either at the driver or at Liburnija kiosk at a bus stop. Double ride tickets, sold individually or bound into a carnet of 10 (so for 20 rides) are available at newsstand (Tisak) kiosks.
NB: Buses are usually scheduled from early morning (05:30 - 06:30) and finishing just before the midnight, so plan your trips accordingly.
The main taxi ranks in Zadar are located at the following locations:
- Autobusni kolodvor (Bus station)
- Ferry quay at the Liburnska obala in the old town (near the bus stop), tel. +385 (0)23 251 400
- Obala kneza Branimira at the opposite end of the bridge across the Jazine bay
- 8 Zadarski barkajoli (Rowing boat ferry) (Liburnska obala 5 - Lukobran aka Điga (Breakwater)), ☎ . 06:30-23:00. A small rowing boat makes regular trips between the old town and the breakwater at the other side of the harbour. The boat is 10.5 meters long, 1.76 m wide, capacity: 10 passengers. These days it's mostly a tourist attraction. 5 Kn.
Walk around the atmospheric streets of the old town, located on the peninsula. There are 34 old churches situated on the peninsula, and all of them with a very rich history. The oldest is St. Simeon (Sv. Šime).
- 1 Crkva svetog Donata (Church of Saint Donatus). The church is one of the best preserved pre-Romanesque buildings in the world. It is pretty difficult to miss, as it has become the most recognizable symbol of Zadar. The church is no longer in use for religious ceremonies, and today is a museum. It also holds a series of classical music concerts every summer.
- 2 Katedrala sv. Stošije (Zadar Cathedral or Cathedral of St. Anastasia). In the cathedral there is an impressive organ that was nearly destroyed in the last war. Climb up the bell tower for a nice view over the city.
- 3 St. Mary & St. Simeon. St. Mary also houses a museum of antique religious relics and artifacts.
- 4 Sveučilište u Zadru (University of Zadar). The university in its current modern form was founded in 2002, but originally it was founded 1396, which makes it the oldest university in Croatia, and one of the oldest universities in Europe.
- 5 Forum Romana (Roman Forum). Remains of The Roman Forum - One of the best preserves Roman Forums in existence. This is a common place for locals to stroll, sit down among the ruins and enjoy a nice summer day. free.
- 6 Kopnena Vrata (Land Gate). The Land Gate – built to a design by the Venetian architect Michele Sanmicheli in 1543 free.
- 7 Morske orgulje (Sea Organ). This man-made organ works with the motion of the waves and 35 pipes to create a musical soundscape. A favorite for locals and tourists alike, and accompanied by a light display that creates visualisations of the sounds being produced by the organ. free.
- 8 Pozdrav Suncu (Greeting to the Sun). This monument of a 22 meter diameter circle made of 300 multi layered glass plate. It represents the sun. There are 8 similar proportionate (in size and distance) representing the 8 planets. The circles are illuminated during the night. free.
- 9 Arheološki Muzej (Archaeological Museum), Trg Opatice Čike, 23000, ☎ . Houses artifacts that testify to Zadar's long and rich history.
- 10 Muzej antičkog stakla (Museum of Ancient Glass), Poljana Zemaljskog Odbora 1, ☎ . Covers the history of glass, from early glass jewelry and decorative items, to Roman era amphorae and bottles, up to contemporary glass art. Live glass blowing demonstrations are also given before 16:00. 10-30 kn.
- 11 Muzej Iluzija (Museum of Illusions), Poljana Zemaljskog Odbora 2, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A collection of interactive installations and optical illusions. 40-60 kn.
- Relax in one of the cafes and enjoy the city, the sun, and the people.
- Swim, Take a dip in the beautiful clear waters. It's quite common to see people sunbathing and swimming along virtually the entire coast of Zadar. The most popular beaches are:
- Kolovare, Situated close to the city centre, a favorite for locals.
- Borik, A massive hotel complex hosting numerous activities such as parasailing, water slides and other activities.
- Vitrenjak, Located close to Zadar's sailing club, Uskok. A beach frequented by mostly families. In the nearby sailing club you can find a lovely open terrace cafe offering refreshments and food.
- Walk, Take a stroll along the paved seafront on a summer evening for one of the best sunsets in Europe and listen to the relaxing sounds of the rather original 'sea organ' set into the harbour wall.
- Sail, If you wish to spend your holidays on a yacht charter, Zadar has a lot to offer.The best season for sailing is early summer with good S/SE winds in May and June, while the winds during July and August are generally calmer. Summer temperatures are between 26 to 30°C in average and the sea temperature is about 25°C.
Zadar has 2 major shopping areas: the old town with its numerous shops, and the Voštarnica commercial district.
- 1 Petar Zoranic, Knezova Šubića Bribirskih 10. General purpose book store, a good place to find tourist guides.
- 2 University Book Store, Ul. Ruđera Boškovića 5, ☎ . Book store of the university, offering a decent selection of Croatian, English and international literature. Tourist guides for Croatia available for 100 kn.
- 1 2Ribara (Dva Ribara), Ul. Blaža Jurjeva 1, ☎ . 11:00-23:00. Small restaurant in the historic center of Zadar, 5 min. walk from the Roman Forum. Decent food for a fair price.
- 2 Hungry Eyes (Gladne Oči), Sutomiska 3, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. 10:00-01:00. Specialized in grilled meat and fish. Large portions, fast service, competitive prices. Suitable for large groups and lunch or dinner with kids. Outside the old town, reachable by public transport (bus 8 Diklo - Kolodvor).
- 3 Mijo, Ul. Tina Ujevića 28, ☎ . Italian restaurant specialized in sea food, pizzas and pasta. Outside the old town, but close to a Borik. A romantic restaurant offering dining inside and outside, great for couples but not for families with kids. Large portions for fair prices.
- 4 Papica, Veslačka ul. 2, ☎ . Specializes in quality burgers served with fries, but with a Mediterranean flavor. Quick service, no-nonsense. Suitable for families with kids. Easily reachable by public transport (bus 8 direction Diklo).
- 5 Kornat, Liburnska Obala 6, ☎ . Upscale Croatian Mediterranean cuisine, high prices. Making a reservation is necessary. Next to a busy road, so not recommendable if you're looking to dine outside.
- 1 Cocktail Bar Mango, Krešimirova Obala 12, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Lounge bar with a view over the bay. Large selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. Comes to life in the early evening, only during the busy summer months.
- The Garden, ☎ . Bedemi zadarskih pobuna, ]. A fancy open bar with a lovely view over the harbour, opened by UB40 drummer James Brown. The Garden also hosts an annual electronic music festival.
- The Arsenal, ☎ . Trg tri Bunara. A 17th century. Venetian Naval Warehouse, now a cool Restaurant-Bar-Club.
- Hotel Kolovare. The only hotel close to the city center.
- Youth Hostel, The Obala kneza Trpimira 78 (5 km from the city centre by the marina in Borik. Take buses 5 or 8), ☎ . Friendly.
- Hotel Adriatic (On the beach Biograd 30 km south of Zadar), ☎ . 3 star designer hotel, great pool.
- Hostel Ljepotica, Obala kneza Branimira 10A (right across the foot bridge, close to the city center), ☎ . friendly
- 1 Villa Nico, Krešimirova Obala 138, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. A small family run hotel and restaurant at the sea side, halfway between Borik and Diklo. Bus stop of line 8 is 50 m away from the hotel. Fair prices, friendly service.
- 2 Falkensteiner Hotel & Spa, Falkensteiner Hotels & Residences Punta Skala, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Falkensteiner Hotel &Spa is a five star hotel, located north of Zadar in Punta Salka peninsula.
- 3 Hotel Niko, Obala kneza Domagoja 98, HR-23000 Zadar, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Hotel Niko is located 3.5 km from Zadar city centre. It offers a panoramic view of the old town of Zadar. It has 15 stylish and comfortable rooms.
- 4 Hotel Bastion, Bedemi zadarskih pobuna 13, HR-23000 Zadar, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Hotel Bastion is a boutique hotel, built on the remains of a medieval fortress. Hotel Bastion has 28 rooms, including 5 suites.
- Free Wifi. Is deployed at the centre of the city. SSID: Grad_Zadar_Free
- Kornati Islands – a national park, numbering more than 80 islands where you can find peace and quiet.
- Not 1hr away by car is Krka National Park where you can explore the breathtaking scenery and swim close to the waterfalls.
- Hike and climb in the Paklenica National Park.
- Visit the stunning waterfalls and lakes of the Plitvice National Park.