Things to do in Zadar
Zadar is the urban center of northern Dalmatia as an administrative, economic, cultural and political center of the region with 75,000 inhabitants.
The archipelago of Zadar counts 24 bigger and about 300 smaller islets and rocks, 3 nature parks – Telascica, Velebit and Vransko Jezero and 5 national parks – Paklenica, Plitvice lakes, Kornati Islands, Krka and North Velebit classifying Zadar and its surroundings at the very top of the Croatian tourist offer.
Zadar is a true treasury of archaeological and ancient monuments, medieval and Renaissance periods, and many contemporary architectural achievements such as the first Sea organs in the world, so you’ll have a lot of things to do in Zadar.
Zadar is an easily reached destination by land, sea, and air. It has a good traffic infrastructure through which it is directly connected to other bigger cities of the Republic of Croatia: Zagreb, Rijeka, Split, and Dubrovnik, with extraordinary accommodation and contemporary service of many marinas.
What to see in Zadar
Greetings to Sun
Greetings to Sun is located in the port of Zadar, on the western point of the Zadar peninsula, next to the Sea Organ. This is the place overlooking the city harbor, islands, and famous Zadar sunset.
The Greetings to Sun uses solar power to create a light show that displays at night. After sunset, the lighting elements are activated installed in the circuit and following a particularly programmed scenario.
Sea Organ is situated near the new cruiser port, as a part of Zadar´s Riva, and can be observed as a differently shaped part of the coast which consists of several stairs that descend into the sea.
The stairs extend for about 70 meters along the coast, under them, at the lowest sea-tide level are 35 pipes. This site is a blend of human ideas and skills and the energy of the sea, waves, tide and flood, a place for relaxation, contemplation, and conversation while listening to an endless concert of mystic harmonies of the “Orchestra of Nature”.
In 2006 Croatian architect Nikola Basic received the European Prize for Urban Public Space in Barcelona for his Zadar Sea Organ project, as the best among 207 candidate projects from across Europe.
Forum is located in front of the church of Saint Donat and the Archbishop’s Palace.
It is a municipal square from the Roman era, built from the 1st century BC to the 3rd century AD, 45 by 90 meters in size.
It represents a very developed example of the forum complex and is one of the most important among the Adriatic ancient cities. The inscription with the name of Augustus’ proconsul for Illyricum, Tamfil Vaale, carved on the well of the Forum, testifies that the complex construction was started as early as the second decade of the 1st century BC.
Church of St Donat
Church of St Donat is the most valuable monument of pre-Romanesque architecture of the early medieval period (9th century).
For a long time, religious services are no longer held here, but the stark interior has excellent acoustics and is used as the concert venue for the annual International Festival of Medieval Renaissance Music, also known as Musical Evenings in St Donat.
St Simeon’s Church
St Simeon´s Church was an old Christian three-nave basilica. On the main altar is a silver chest of Saint Simeon from the year of 1380. The chest, considered a masterpiece of medieval art and a unique monument of the goldsmith’s craft of the age, is one of the most interesting works in gold in Europe now under the protection of UNESCO.
Narodni trg (People´s Square) is the center of public life in Zadar. On the northern side of the Square is the City Guard (Gradska straza) from 1562. The large central clock tower was raised at the beginning of the 19th century with a surrounding stone barrier and railing with holes for cannons. Next to it is the small, well preserved pre-Romanesque church of St Lawrence (Sveti Lovre) with an atrium. It is the oldest preserved building dating from the 11th century; small and simple, but architecturally rich. On the southern side of the People’s Square is the City Loggia (Gradska loza), first mentioned in the 13th century.
Five Wells Square
Five Wells Square is located on a site between the medieval City Walls with a cornice and the Renaissance bastion Grimani, where the oldest park in Croatia is located that’s named after Queen Jelena Madije. The Square features exactly what its name suggests – five wells lined up in a row. In the Middle Ages was a defensive ditch below the old city walls. During the 16th century, the Venetians helped the city withstand Turkish sieges by building a large water cistern with five ornamental wellheads, giving the square its name.
While the wells are no longer in use, the Square has become a popular place for concerts and events, but it is also one of the best places to start long romantic walks in Zadar.
Gold and Silver
In building a church of St Mary and her convent, whose facilities during World War II were heavily damaged, 1972 was formed representative exhibition – Permanent Exhibition of Religious Art, and one of the most valuable exhibitions in Croatia, popularly called “Gold and Silver of Zadar”.
Land Gate or Fosa
Land gate or Fosa are raised 1543 and have the form of a triumphal arch with three entrances. At that time there was also the main entrance to the city. Medium harbor land gate features a carved image of St. Chrysogonus on horseback, above it is a monumental lion St. Marco.
This entrance in Zadar is under the protection of UNESCO.
For Kalelarga people say it is even older than the city itself, spreading in the direction west-east from People´s Square (Narodni trg) to the city’s famous Forum which features a number of Roman items. It is the place of socialization, entertainment and recreation, processions and folk ceremonies.
To Zadar locals, Kalelarga is more than the name of the city’s main street. It is a cult place and one of the symbols of the city.
Things to do in Zadar
Go on rafting through the picturesque canyon of Zrmanja, through waterfalls and rapids where you can come only by unique downhill.
The underwater world of the Zadar region is a paradise for divers because the underwater world is large and varied thanks to accessible shores and hundreds of islands.
Driving along the promenade of many coastal areas are a delight to many amateurs and children and the most active cyclists.
The choice is great, trails are marked, take a map of Paklenica National Park and the Island of Ugljan, Pasman, Pag and Long Island and set off on a leisure exploration of these lovely regions.
Sailing among hundreds of islands, islets, and rocks in one of the most developed European waters is a trademark of the area.
Here will find shelter in the beauty and freshness of the Zrmanja as the pearl which with the Velebit Mountain slopes down to the sea creating impressive canyon whose beauty you will remember.
Jeep safari tour by cliffs and slopes of Velebit which rises from the sea to 1800 meters height through the stone sculptures, canyons, and peaks with overlooking on the infinity indented coastline under him and the ancient forests of the northern slopes you will not forget.