The Ultimate Zadar Travel Guide

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Exploring Zadar Where to Stay Where to Eat How to get around

Is Zadar one of Croatia’s most underrated cities?

Often overlooked in favour for its well-known neighbour Split, Zadar is a perfect base to visit Plitvice Lakes and Krka Waterfalls from!

One of the best things about Zadar is that it isn’t packed with other tourists, and in general is a bit cheaper than Split.

Zadar is somewhere you can really observe and embrace Croatian culture. It’s a place where you don’t feel like you have to be busy all of the time.

A perfect way to spend your time is to simply find a cafe or bar, and take in your surroundings.

The majority of this Dalmatian city’s charm comes from its laidback lifestyle, fresh gastronomy scene and narrow marble streets.

Boasting a fascinating combination of modern and rich history, Zadar often holds a special place in everyone’s hearts after they leave!

How long should you spend in Zadar?

With not as much to do as some of the other Croatian cities, you don’t need that much time in Zadar.

We recommend spending 1-2 days here. Most of the city can be seen within one day. It really depends on whether you want to do day trips to the nearby islands, national parks etc.

You can use our list of the Top 13 Things to Do in Zadar to decide how long you’ll need.

Also read: Top 13 Things to Do in Zadar

Where to stay in Zadar

Zadar is the 5th largest city in Croatia, but it still doesn’t feel that big.

The city is made up of different neighbourhoods, but we think that there is really only one place to stay in Zadar.

In the Old Town

Old town of Zadar
Ariel view of Zadar Old Town

When staying in the Old Town, you’re experiencing the heart of Zadar. This is where you’ll witness the hustle and bustle of the streets, the locals going about their day and listen to the laughter that flows through the streets.

Being able to wake up and be only steps from a fresh patisserie or coffee shop is very close to perfection.

Here everything you need will be at your fingertips. Plus this is where you’ll find some incredible accommodations.

Accommodation in Zadar Old Town

There are plenty of places to stay within the Old Town. You can pick from a selection of boutique hotels, Airbnbs, apartments and hostels.

A lot of them boast a cute and traditional Dalmatian style. Private rooms start from around €30 per night.

Where to eat in Zadar

St. Simeon church in Zadar
Restaurant outside St. Simeon Church

Zadar has a flourishing culinary scene that will leave you spoilt for choice. You can find some of the freshest and highest quality seafood in the cosy Dalmatian restaurants.

There are some spots that you shouldn’t leave Zadar without trying.

These are our top 3 unmissable places to eat in Zadar:

Restoran Bruschetta – exciting blends of different cuisines

If you ask for a recommendation of where to eat in Zadar, most people will give you Restoran Bruschetta. Their ambition is to take you on a culinary journey, whilst getting to experience the aromas and tastes of Mediterranean, Dalmation and Croatian cuisine.

This may be one of your favourite culinary experiences during your time in Croatia. Everything about this place is faultless and will leave your mouth buzzing with joy.

Svabos Soul Food – feel-good food

The owner of Svabos Burger and Soul Food will welcome you into his cosy restaurant with open arms. It’s like you’ve been friends for years.

It’s the perfect place to enjoy some hearty and delicious food. They definitely want you to leave full and satisfied with their generous portions.

Enjoy a plate of tasty loaded fries, or indulge in one of their juicy and overflowing burgers. Vegetarians or vegans don’t have to miss out on the excitement either.

Proto Food&More – fresh and tasty seafood

Zadar is by the sea, so there’s no better place to enjoy some deliciously fresh seafood. Everything about Proto Food&More is top quality – the food, the service, the atmosphere and decor.

The presentation of the food looks almost too good to eat. Don’t worry, you won’t be able to resist for long. The famous black risotto or tuna steak are irresistible.

How to get around in Zadar

Travellers in Zadar
One of many pedestrianised streets in Zadar

You’ll likely spend most of your time within Zadar’s Old Town. This is mainly a pedestrianised area, so you won’t have much need for transportation. If you do want to venture a bit further, here’s how to get around in Zadar:

By Foot

Like we said above, your own two feet will get you pretty far in Zadar.

The streets are narrow and like a fascinating labyrinth. Getting lost in them is one of the best things to do in Zadar.

By Bus

The bus is Zadar’s only form of public transportation. That’s not a problem, as you probably won’t have to use it anyway.

However, if you’re arriving at the main bus terminal, then you can use the bus to get to the Old Town. The city bus is run by Liburnija and tickets cost 10 KN (€1.30) per journey or a return for 16 KN (€2.10).

You can buy your bus ticket at one of the offices or onboard the bus.

By Taxi

It’s difficult to go more than a minute without seeing a yellow taxi driving around. Taxis are the most convenient and fastest way of getting around.

Agree on the price before getting into the taxi. Most journey’s around Zadar should cost between 20 KN (€2.60)40 KN (€5). Keep this in mind when agreeing on a price.

By Car

If you’re planning on just staying within Zadar, then you don’t really need a car.

Renting a car for the day can be a good idea, though. It can be used to get to further away locations such as Plitvice Lakes and Krka Waterfalls.

There are a number of car rental agencies in Zadar. Alternatively you can rent one in advance online. Car rental isn’t exactly cheap in Zadar, though.

You can rent a car for around €50 per day.

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