Things to see and do in Zadar

Today I am writing about things to see and do in Zadar. Most of my summer holidays have been spent in Zadar, so I have seen everything this place has to offer and how it has changed throughout the years. I wanted to write up a guide as to what you can do in Zadar and in the Zadar County. Everything that I recommend will not be future than a 45-minute drive. At the end of the article, I will recommend a few things to check out that are a bit of a further drive so if you have the time and will it’s something that you should check out too.

Top things to see and do in Zadar

The TOP things to see and do in Zadar, no matter how long you are going to stay. I am going to try to make a list in a must see order so if you are in Zadar for a shorter period of time you will know what you should see and what you can see when you come back next year. I will not be writing a cost breakdown since everyone’s budget is different and I don’t see the point to it. Keep in mind that some of these attractions will require payment and that you should check out in the tourist info center downtown in Zadar on the main square if they have any kind of 3-day pass card that will allow you to see most of these attractions for free or with a discount.

top 10 things to see and do in Zadar

The TOP 10 things to see and do in Zadar, no matter how long you are going to stay. I want you to keep in mind that all of these things are worth seeing, so if you have the time, I highly recommend you go and check them out. Downtown Zadar is a very small town and everything is walking distance.

TOP 10 things to see and do in Zadar 2017

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1. Sea Organs and the sunset

The Sea organs are best to be seen when it’s a windy day. They make melodies like no one’s business. Every day you can visit this place and you will be able to hear something, a unique melody that will never be played again. Don’t forget to come back when the sun is about to set, if you want to see on of the most beautiful sunset in the world (1964, Alfred Hitchcock). A lot of people gather around in the evening for this attraction.

2. Greeting to the Sun

Right after you watch the sunset, make sure to walk over to see the greeting to the sun. The Greeting to the Sun consists of 300 multi-layer glass panels that form a large circle. During the day, the panels collect the sunlight so that in the evening the solar energy is used to put on an amazing light show.

3. St. Donat

St. Donat church is not a church anymore but rather a historic symbol of Zadar. It is the largest Byzantine building in Croatia, but it hasn’t been a place of worship for a very long time. Now a day, St. Donat is used for medieval music festivals that start in July. If you like classical music, make sure to stop by to check out what is on the program.

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4. The Cathedral of St Anastasia

The Cathedral of St Anastasia (aka Sv Stošije / stɒʃija:) is set right behind St Donat’s. It is the largest cathedral in the whole of Dalmatia, built in late Romanesque style. Croatia is known for its cathedrals. If you are an architecture freak or just love some history, make sure to check this out.

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5. Bell Tower

The bell tower is right next to St. Donat and The Cathedral of St Anastasia. It’s an easy climb and you will get to see a beautiful view over the Old Town and the seaside.

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6. The City Walls and Gates of Zadar

Zadar walls protected them from invaders and through out history they had many entrances, but today only portions of the walls and eight gates remain. The most impressive of these is the Land Gate, one the main entrance into the city, located in the little Foša harbor, built in 1543. Similar to Dubrovnik, Zadar has walls almost all around the city. You can walk on the wall and even drive on it, unlike in Dubrovnik. Make sure to drive or walk on the city walls also known as Gradski Bedemi. To learn a bit more about Zadar and its gate please read this amazing article

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7. Museum of Ancient Glass

The museum is one of the city´s newest attractions. It contains one of the greatest collections of ancient glass items in this part of Europe. It is filled with rich history and you can not only buy handmade replicas of Roman glassware and glass jewelry but also see how they were made by one of their artists. The museum is located on the city walls

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8. Museum of Illusions

This is a modern museum ideal for some good family fun. It’s a perfect place to take the kids or anyone looking for fun with illusions and games that will get your mind working. The museum is located right beside the Museum of Ancient Glass and is on the outskirts of the old town center.

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9. People’s Square

Since the Renaissance, the People’s Square has been the center of public life in Zadar. It is a great place to sit, grab a drink and people watch. The square is rich with architectural history.

10. Rector’s Palace Zadar

Former Rector’s Palace, dated back to the 13th century, (aka Knezeva Palaca Zadar) is completely reconstructed and changed to contemporary exhibition place.

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11. Pillar of Shame (BONUS ATTRACTION)

On the western side of the Forum is the Pillar of Shame. This is a Roman column that was used as a pillory in medieval times to chain up people (and possibly whip them) who had committed some misdemeanor or crimes.

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12. Boat Ride Men Of Zadar

Besides crossing the bridge by foot or enter the town via car, you can take a short boat trip to enter the town. This is a tradition that has been around for 850 years. It is known as Zadarski Barkajoli, the men take passengers on the 80m boat trip to enter the town. It will take a few minutes, the fee is symbolic (it’s not even a lot of money for the locals), but it’s a fantastic experience, almost medieval times like being rowed into the town by a small boat. It’s an experience I would recommend not skipping.

13. Fun Park Mirnovec

This is the ideal place to take the kids or if you are an adrenaline junkie. I personally have gone to the park and love it. I am not too crazy about parks such as Disneyland or Great America, but this park was heaps of fun. We lost around 4 hours before we covered the majority of rides and then sat down for lunch. The prices are more than OK. They have a family discount for 4+ people. The best rides are Big Blue and Alien. The scariest (and for the bravest) is 3,2,1 GO! They have rides for little kids and for adults. It’s a mix that the entire family will love. It’s about a 30 – 40 minute ride towards biograd from Zadar.