Zadar Travel Guide: Top 10 Things to Do

Zadar travel guide helps you squeeze the juices of this city to the maximum: stroll 2000 years old streets, have a row boat ride, listen to the music composed by the sea, catch the unusual photo perspectives and much much more...

Zadar is a vibrant, energetic city with unbelievably layered history, awe-inspiring tourist attractions, hidden neighborhoods, colorful local characters, charming harbors and romantic settings. This Zadar travel guide will help you discover many of them...

Zadar Travel Guide: What Are The Top 10 Things To Do On Our Short Cruisers' Day?

1)      Stroll down the Riva – Zadar's Riva, or the sea promenade, is definitely one of its symbols and a place important for its public life. This is where people come to socialize, strolling from the University building on one end to the famous Sea Organ on the other end, sitting on the benches under the palm trees, inhaling the salty air and listening to the sea gulls. Zadar travel guide insider's tip: Riva is the best spot in town to enjoy the famous sunset of Zadar which Hitchcock so loved.

2)     Have an Ice-Cream on Kalelarga – Kalelarga, or officially Široka Ulica (Wide Street) is the beating heart of this city. It starts at St Simon's church, goes across the People's square, past the Forum and the Cathedral, all the way down to the church of the Lady of Health and so follows the layout of the city set in the Roman times. The building you can see flanking Kalelarga today are very different from those you could see before the II WW when bombs flattened all it's elegant cafes, theaters and shops. Still, the spirit of the place remains and makes Kalelarga a 2000 years old witness to it's citizens ups and downs, growing-up, first loves, special moments but also sorrows. No wonder people of Zadar sing about it in songs and mention its name with great pride and respect.

3)      Have a boat ride with Barkajol – what's traghetto for Venice, that is barkajols and their little boats for Zadar. If you exit the city walls through the gate by St Crysogonos church, at the waterfront you will see a little row-boat crossing the canal. It's purpose is to connect two sides of the city harbor, the peninsula, where the old town is and the mainland where many people work or live. This 1.5 min ride saves them a lot of time actually. Since the 14th century barkajols have been passing their skills from father to son, it's a tradition. Zadar travel guide insider's tip: If you want a great photo opportunity and take some photos of Zadar from the sea, go for a ride and back, it will be a unique souvenir of your day in Zadar.

brkajol zadarBarkajol, Zadar

4)      Walk the Walls of Zadar – if you go from the People's square towards the bridge that spans the city harbor, on your right you will see the stairs climbing up above the archway that opens the town out to the sea. This is the easiest way to climb the city walls, and enjoy the views on both sides. Zadar travel Here, on the part of town called Muraj, there is also the Museum of Antique Glass nearby, a great place to visit!

5)      Walk around the harbour of Foša – it is a lovely little port just outside the monumental Venetian Land Gate on the east side of the town. There's a really good seafood restaurant overlooking it where you can enjoy fresh fish straight from the Adriatic sea. Walk all around the port to catch photos of the colorful fisherman's boats. Zadar travel guide insider's tip: walk all the way to the exit of the harbor, to the yellow University building, and carry on with your walk down the Sea Promenade

6)      Taste Maraska liqueur – if you wish to take home an authentic Croatian souvenir, make it a bottle of Maraskino sour cherry liqueur. This bitter-sweet and aromatic liqueur was first made by the 16th ct. Dominican monastery pharmacists. With the rise of its industrial production in the 18th ct, the seafarers spread the word of Maraskino in ports around the world. Soon enough all the important courts in Europe were placing large orders for it. Napoleon, Nikolai I, George IV, Casanova, Baudelaire and Hitchcock were just some of the famous people who enjoyed sipping on it.

7)      Have a coffee on Narodni Trg (People's square)- a lovely square at the crossroads of the busiest streets in the old town today. It is flanked with terracota and ochre colored residential buildings as well as the white-stone ones that have been housing municipal institutions since the Renaissance times, making this square the center of public life. Find a spot on one of the cafe terraces to soak up the sun, listen to the chatter of the locals and live music  and savor the taste of coffee. Zadar travel guide insider's tip: don't miss walking through the interior of Sv Lovre cafe to see the 11th century church remains in its back!

8)      Explore Varoš – what was once part of the town with bad reputation, frequented by dockworkers, prostitutes and barkeepers, is now where you will find most entertainment at night. Feel the soul of the city in the dark, cobblestone alleyways, between the tall and narrow, ghetto-like buildings. On the terraces of cafes, bars and little konobas (local type of restaurant) you will find some good atmosphere and stories of how life here used to be.

9)      Listen to the Sea Organ – Zadar does not only sleep on its laurels, it is a city that keeps adding new items to the list of attractions and the risk of it payed out. The Sea Organ is an architectural art object which allows the waves passing through it to create random but soothing sound. Located at the end of the Promenade (where smaller cruise ships dock), this is where you will find crowds sitting on the elegant stone steps any time of day.

10)   Salute to the Sun is another interesting installation that put Zadar on the map for many travelers from all around the world. Located at the most western tip of the Peninsula (next to the Sea Organ), this 22 m wide circle set in pavement is made of 300 glass plates that collect the Sun energy during the day and make the most magical light show display at night. An absolute must see!

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