Zadar view of port
Zadar is one of most popular tourist destinations in Croatia.
It’s official now, Zadar is just been elected for European best destination in 2016!
is situated in the centre of the Croatian coast. Zadar is first time mentioned in the 4th century. Town had turbulent history, filled with different conflicts and combats.
Zadar was first time mentioned, as Jader, in 4th century as Illyrian settlement, afterwards it was called Idassa, Jadera, Diadora, Zara and finally Zadar.
Zadar was ruled by Romans,Venetians, Austrians, French, was the seat of Dalmatian Kingdom, Yugoslavia and finally is the city in independent Croatia.
Nowadays Zadar preserved monuments from different historical periods and cultures.
TRANSPORT AND HOW TO GET TO ZADAR
Zadar is located in the middle of Croatian Adriatic. You can get to Zadar by car ( modern highway), airplane, boat or train.
You can get to Zadar by modern highway A1. Zadar is 250 km away from Zagreb capital, 230 km away from Rijeka and 160 km away from Split.
Zadar is connected with major airports in Europe. City has small but modern airport distance from the city centre is cca 15 km, reachable by city bus or taxi.
Zadar is also a major port. Thousands of Italian toursts arive in Zadar primarily by ferry.
This port is also important if you want to get to the islands in the Zadar region: Ugljan, Losinj, Bozava, Olib etc.
Daily trips from Zagreb, Rijeka and Split. Good connection with smaller villages around Zadar such as Petrčane, Sukošan,Zaton etc.
WHAT TO SEE IN ZADAR
The Church of St. Donat (originally called St. Trinity) – Zadar’s trademark, most precious pre-Romanesque monument from the 9th century, constructed by the bishop St.Donat. Church itself is important because of its round shape, one of a kind in Europe and it is built on the remains of the Roman ruins (without foundations). Because of its excellent acoustic properties church is home to musical performances of the famous International Festival of Medieval Renaissance Music, Music Evenings in St. Donat. If you are in Zadar during this festival, make sure to visit. It is one of a kind experience.
Saint Anastasia /Sv.Stošija – the Cathedral of Zadar and the patron of the town, her holiday is celebrated on January 15th, till than Zadar citizens hold their Christmas tree at home. The cathedral is a Romanesque building and the largest church in Dalmatia, built between 9th and 11th century. The bell tower of St. Anastasia was built on two occasions between 1452 and 1890.1894. Due to damage on bell tower, iron holders of bells were replaced by wooden ones.
Saint Krševan church – the protector of the town, whose image is placed on the Coat of Arms.
Basilica is also representing Romanesque art, formerly the church was part of Benedictine abbey from the early Middle Ages.
Exhibition “Gold and Silver of Zadar” – located in the monastery of St.Mary, on the 1200 m2 in the 8 halls. Exhibitions present Croatian cultural heritage, art pieces of shiny gold and silver preserved by Benedictine nuns throughout the centuries such as sculptures, reliefs, tapestry, and embroidery as evidence of Zadar rich past. In the museum tiny church of St.Sunday from 11th century is reconstructed. Interesting fact about the museum is that exhibition is initiated by the famous Croatian writer Miroslav Krleža in 1951. The museum is priceless treasure, definitely worth of visiting.
“Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun”
Besides the legacy of the past, Zadar appearance is changing during last 10 years. Specifically, on Zadar seafront (for which the famous director Alfred Hitchcock said that has the most beautiful sunset in the world), two architectural and art installations were built. The first Sea organ are stone steps extend to seventy meters along the coast, at the lowest sea section, below which, the tide level, spit built 35 pipes of different length, diameter and tilts were obliquely rising to coast and end in a canal and create a unique melody. The sound of the waves and the sea has become a meeting place of locals and tourists, and it is important to note that the project has received several international acknowledgments.
Right behind the organ is unusual installation the Greeting to the Sun , made by the same architect Nikola Bašić.
Greeting to the Sun consists of three hundred multi-layered glass plates placed on the quay level, in the form of a circle 22 meters in diameter. This unique urban installation absorbs sunlight during the day and sunset after which the lighting elements installed in a circle, and produce a very impressive show of light. Feel the magic of this modern installation and visit it during the evening.
Location: Istarska obala, end of Zadar pennisula
WHERE TO STAY IN ZADAR
It’s official now, Zadar is just been elected for European best destibation in 2016!
Here you can choose from expensive to cheap accomodation, from hostels to hotels, near city centre, near beachs, villages near Zadar and etc.
If you are just passing through Zadar , 2-3 days stay, Zadar city centre is the best option to stay. The truth is that whole pennisula is now rental space, you can rent a room at every corner, apartments or just stay in the recently constructed hostel.
http://www.hostelforumzadar.com – located on the main street,Kalelarga just opposite to ancient Roman square Forum, great place with the view in every room, reasonable prices.
For more luxorios accomodation check boutique hotels in city centre:
http://www.hotel-bastion.hr, hotel Bastion is located on cultural heritage, within city walls. Hotel Bastion is close to Sea organ and Greeting to the Sun. 4 star hotel with 28 rooms, excellent restaurant.
http://www.arthotel-kalelarga.com , small charming hotel with only 10 rooms, my favourite bar is in this hotel, excellent cakes, coffee, tea.
/http://www.hotel-kolovare.com – 4 star hotel located in part of town called Kolovare, near main bus station and hospital. Very popular walking area, Kolovare beach is in front of the hotel. 4 star hotel has it all,bar, reastaurant,congress hall, hairdresser, indoor and outdoor swimming pool. Hotel is recommended for longer stay, 7 or more days, if you want to combine city and beach, 20 minutes walking distance to old town.
http://www.falkensteiner.com – 4 star hotel complex consist of 4 hotels in part of town called Borik. Borik is outside city centre so hotels are more suitable for guests staying longer. Hotel village has its own beach, swimming pools with animation for kids, tennis courts, mini golf, restaurants, caffe bars, wellness, souvenir shops etc. There is a bus stop in front of hotel entrance with buses driving to old town, taxis upon request.
RESTAURANTS IN ZADAR
Pet Bunara – for me this is the best restaurant in Zadar city centre,this restaurant nourishes local cuisine as well as meals available everywhere like pizza. Nevertheless ingredients are fresh and local, you can always count on a good quality in this restaurant.
Foša – notable restaurant named after Venetian ancient doors in Zadar, this is expensive high class restaurant offering mostly fresh fish meals.
Bruschetta – located near the remains of early Christian church Stomorica, Bruschetta is popular in the last few years, has a lovely terrace with a sea view. Prices are reasonable and the menu is wide. Restaurant offers fish, meat, pasta etc,
Pašta i svašta – this is new restaurant in Zadar, located near Church of Saint Šime, offering hand made fresh pasta with various sauces.
Kornat – excellent restaurant offers typical Dalmatian cuisine, all kind of fresh fish, meat from the local area as lamb, seasobal desserts, wine from the region and home made olive oil. Interior is classy, and the terrace overlook on the sea. So if you want to dress up and impress someone this is the place for you. Prices are above average.,
Konoba Rafaello – outside city centre, resaturant is located in Puntamika area, near the marine, restaurant is known for rather large portions of barbecue meat and reasonable prices.
Konoba Skoblar – a restaurant with a long family tradition, popular among the citizens for so-called brunch, prices are responsible. Good place to grab a portion small fried fish and a glass of wine. Atmosphere is relaxing and very often guests spontaneously star to sing with the owner.
Restaurant Bastion – a hotel restaurant located near “Greeting to the Sun”. As the hotel is a five star the restaurant follows the same reputation. Terrace is wonderfully peaceful as it is located outside tourist crowd. Of course meals are mostly fish the the prices are high.
Restaurant Dva ribara – located in the heart of city centre, this restaurant is good but it doesn’t offer anything new within the last 10 years. If you are in a hurry, it’s a good choice to grab a pizza, pasta or a barbecue.