Zadar (Italian: Zara) is a city located in northern Dalmatia, Croatia.
There is a bus/train station within walking distance from the Old Town, and an airport outside of the city.
Zadar Airport IATA: ZAD, ICAO: LDZD operates as a commercial airport and air force training base. In 2012, they served around 370 000 passengers on nearly 4000 flights.
There is an evening flight from Zagreb. During the summer seasons there are also various tourist flights from several European cities.
- Croatia Airlines
- Danube Wings
- Ryanair operates low cost flights from Baden-Baden, Billund, Brussels (Charleroi), Dublin, Dusseldorf (Weeze), East Midlands, Frankfurt (Hahn), Gothenburg (City), Haugesund, Liverpool, London (Stansted), Marseille, Oslo (Rygge and Torp), Paris (Beauvais), Stockholm (Skavsta). The flight destinations may differ by season.
Airport buses run to the central bus station/train station and the Old Town, from Zadar airport terminal. They depart in conjunction with arriving flights, see airport bus schedule for details, and therefore they will run more frequently during weekdays than weekends, as more flights are arriving at the airport. The buses are clean, comfortable and efficient, costs 25 kuna, and there are no baggage fees. The journey takes 20-25 minutes.
Taxis are always available at airport.Cost to old town is approximately 150 kuna. See taxi prices
The Zadar bus terminal is located at the intersection of Ulica Ante Starčevića and Ulica kralja Tvrtka (lat/long 44.106185,15.241016), right next to the train station.
Frequent buses run to and from Zagreb (3h 30 min), Rijeka (change for Trieste in Italy), Pula, Sibenik, Split and on to Dubrovnik. About half the buses for Zagreb pass through the stunning Plitvice National Park. There is an online timetable for the bus station (☎ +385 23 211555, ☎ +385 23 315 940). If you can't find a suitable bus there, search the online timetable maintained by the bus station in Zagreb (pay per minute numbers ☎ 060 313 333, ☎ +385 1 6112 789), as not all companies have been represented on both sites.
Reservations by phone are possible with some operators.
- Contus: (link down 2013-06-06) ☎ +385 23 314 477, ☎ +385 23 317 062
- Croatia Bus: Several buses daily, stopping in Zadar on the way between Zagreb, Split and Dubrovnik.
To get from the inter-city bus station (and train station) into the center of Zadar, or the old town, a local bus stop is located on the main road just outside the station. Bus (costs 10 Kuna) number 2 or 4 will take you directly there, the journey is only five minutes. Taxis (costs 20-40 Kuna, ask first) will also be waiting, however, be advised they have a reputation for ripping off tourists, charging much more than the officially posted rate (as much as five times higher). Do the world a favor and catch public transport or walk - walking will take you about 10-20 minutes dependent upon your location in the Old Town.
The train station is located at the intersection of Ulica Ante Starčevića and Ulica Ante Starčevića (lat/long 44.106647,15.241961), right next to the inter-city bus station.
A few slow trains a day run to Knin and connect into trains for Zagreb (5,5 hours or 8,5 with overnight trains) and Split (3.5 hr). Virtually nobody uses this train to get to these cities. Train to Knin is one carriage long with no A/C and can be quite uncomfortable, however the scenery is beautiful and will leave you in wonder at the numerous stations which appear to be in the middle of nowhere. Check the online timetable at HŽ Putnički prijevoz (2013-06-09, searching for routes only works in the Croatian language version of the site, not the English).
- Jadrolinja , Large ferries run every few days up and down the coast between Dubrovnik and Rijeka, stopping off at ports (including Zadar) and islands on the way. They also run almost daily ferries in summer to and from Ancona in Italy.
Note that many boats now arrive and depart from the "new" ferry terminal, around 5kms from the old town. A public bus is available, inquire at the Jadrolinja office in the old town. Taxi fare was quoted at 80 Kuna (tourist prices).
By Cruise Ship
Zadar is a stop on lots of Adriatic and Med cruises. The ships normally dock at the "new" ferry port south of the town center, and not particularly walking distance to the center. A shuttle will normally be offered to the Old Town by your cruise line, often for a fee, and will take around 15mins.
Another option is to take a public bus. Take bus #9 from a stop near the cruise terminal, and transfer to bus #2 or bus #4 to get to Old Town. In May 2016, the cost was 10 kunas.
Zadar, the church of St. Mary near the Roman Forum
The Old Town is easy enough to get around on foot. To reach the bus/train stations you can walk or catch one of the frequent local buses (bus 2 or 4 will take you there from the Old Town).
Buses in Zadar are relatively new and well maintained, and you will be able to catch a bus to any part of the city from the main hub in the city called Mala Pošta (Little Post Office); ask any local where this is and they can direct you to it. A bus ticket in one direction costs 10 Kuna (cca. US$1.75) while a two way ticket costs 16 Kuna (cca. US$2.80). However, two way tickets are only available for purchase at newspaper stands, although they are easy to find. One way tickets are available for purchase upon entering any bus. Buses are run by Liburnija; an online timetable is available.
Be advised that bus services cease just after midnight during the summer, so if you plan to get back to a hotel that isn't close to the city center after that time, you might have to walk or catch a taxi. Do not attempt to board a bus without a ticket, without purchasing a ticket or avoiding stamping a bus ticket. Bus drivers in Zadar are notoriously militant about enforcing payment, and you could get into trouble.
Taxis - a trip of up to 5 kilometers (enough to get almost anywhere within the city) may cost up to 80 Kunas, as the taxi drivers have a habit of overcharging tourists. Inquire first, as it will be almost impossible to find a taxi for the advertised price of 20-40 Kunas (circa US$3.5-7). Ask before you get in the cab - there should be a printed price list, although many drivers will not obey this list. There are taxis waiting on both sides of the bridge in the Old Town, and around the bus/train stations.
- Walk around the atmospheric streets of the old town, located on the peninsula. There are 34 old churches situated on the peninsula, and all of them with a very rich history. The oldest is St. Simeon (Sv. Šime).
- St. Donat's church. One of the best preserved pre-Romanesque buildings in the world. It is pretty difficult to miss, as it has become the most recognizable symbol of Zadar. The church is no longer in use for religious ceremonies, and today is a museum. It also holds a series of classical music concerts every summer. edit
- Roman Forum. Well preserved remains of a Roman Forum. This is a common place for locals to stroll, sit down amongst the ruins and enjoy a nice summer day. edit
- The cathedral of St. Anastasia (Zadar Cathedral). The city's cathedral with an impressive organ that was nearly destroyed in the last war. edit
- St. Mary's church. Houses a museum of antique religious relics and artifacts. edit
- St. Simeon's church (Sv. Šime). Houses the silver reliquary of the saint, one of Zadar's main sights. edit
- University of Zadar. Originally founded by Dominican monks in 1396, it is the oldest university in Croatia, and one of the oldest universities in Europe. edit
- Archaeological Museum (Arheološki muzej), . Covering the period from prehistoric times to Middle ages, the collections of this museum testify to Zadar's long and rich history. Romanesque stone carvings are of particular interest. (44.11555,15.225) edit
- Sea Organ (Morske orgulje). This man-made organ on Zadar's Riva works with the motion of the waves and 35 pipes to create a musical soundscape. A favorite for locals and tourists alike, and accompanied by a light display that creates visualizations of the sounds being produced by the organ. The Sea Organ, which was officially opened in 2005, was designed by a local architect, Nikola Bašić, and was a winner of the European Prize for Urban Public Space in 2006. edit
- Sit, Just lounge around in one of the cafes and enjoy the city, the sun, and the people. There are very few Internet cafes. For more information visit the tourist office 
- Swim, Take a dip in the beautiful clear waters. It's quite common to see people sunbathing and swimming along virtually the entire coast of Zadar. The most popular beaches are:
- Kolovare, Situated close to the city centre, a favorite for locals.
- Borik, A massive hotel complex hosting numerous activities such as parasailing, water slides and other activities.
- Vitrenjak, Located close to Zadar's sailing club, Uskok. A beach frequented by mostly families. In the nearby sailing club you can find a lovely open terrace cafe offering refreshments and food.
- Walk, Take a stroll along the paved seafront on a summer evening for one of the best sunsets in Europe and listen to the relaxing sounds of the rather original 'sea organ' set into the harbour wall.
If you are looking for a good printed tourist guide try the Petar Zoranic bookstore, Knezova Subica Bribirskih 10
There are many excellent pizzarias throughout the old town -- offering massive slices of pizas for around 10.00kn.
Otherwise enjoy a burek or other pastries from one of the local bakeries.
- Restaurant Kornat, near the harbour, excellent Croatian Mediterranean cuisine.
- Restaurant Nika, beside the harbour in the Puntamika district, fantastic food and service in a beautiful setting.
There are plenty of small bars close to each other in the narrow streets of the Old Town, for example along Kovačka ulica.
As drinking in public is legal, it's also common to buy something in the store and go to the sea side, for example to the sea organ.
- The Garden, Bedemi zadarskih pobuna, http://www.watchthegardengrow.eu/] ☎ +385 23 254509. A fancy open bar with a lovely view over the harbour, opened by UB40 drummer James Brown. The Garden also hosts an annual electronic music festival.
- The Arsenal, Trg tri Bunara, ☎ +385 23 253 820, . A 17th century. Venetian Naval Warehouse, now a cool Restaurant-Bar-Club.
- Hitch Bar, Kolovare Beach, . A bar and club with dance music and concerts, located right on the sea. (44.106208,15.232952) edit
- Maraschino Bar, ☎ 091 321 2323, . A large bar and club just outside the Old Town. It has a relaxed bar, a packed dance floor and, in the summer time, a large outdoor bar area. edit
- Lounge & Bar Ledana, Perivoj Kraljice Jelene Madijevke, 23000 Zadar, Croatia, ☎ +385 95 3963 996, . An outdoor bar located in the nice park Perivoj Kraljice Jelene Madijevke, close to Pet Burana in the south end of the Old Town. Relaxed lounge atmosphere, with music playing and good seats for sunny days. edit
- The Lazy Monkey Hostel, Uvala Bregdetti 14a, 23000, Zadar, ☎ +385 23 302 351, . checkin: 08:30-22:30; checkout: 11:00. Brand new hostel (opened 2015) with a relaxed atmosphere. In the quaint, village-like neighborhood Arbanasi. Close to the sea (200-1000 meters). A walk to the Old Town (2000 meters). On the same street as the bus station (650 meters). Nearest supermarket is across the street (100 meters). English speaking staff, and is a sister hostel to the Drunken Monkey which is a 5 min walk away. Guests are able to use facilities at either hostel. Evenings are often spent drinking on the front porch. Bar available, outside alcohol permitted. 110-400 Kn/night. (44.101447,15.246737) edit
- The Drunken Monkey Hostel, Ulica Jure Kastriotića Skenderbega 21, 23000, Zadar, Croatia, ☎ +385 23 314 406, . checkin: 09:00-22:00. Hostel with a party atmosphere. Splash pool and barbecue in the back, bar in the basement. Located in the quaint, village-like neighborhood Arbanasi, close to the church. Close to the sea (200-800 meters). A walk to the Old Town (2000 meters). Close to the bus station (650 meters). (44.101574,15.242886) edit
- Old Town Hostel Zadar, Mihovila Klaica 5, 23000, Zadar, Croatia, ☎ +385 99 809 3280, . Located in the the Old Town in Zadar, right next to the People's Square. Owned by locals, with English speaking staff. Quiet atmosphere. edit
- The Youth Hostel Obala kneza Trpimira 78, ☎ +385 23 331145. Friendly, (5 km from the city centre by the marina in Borik. Take buses 5 or 8).
- ˝Hostel Ljepotica¨, right across the foot bridge, close to the city center, friendly, +385 23/224-840 Obala kneza Branimira 10A
- Hostel Kolovare, Bože Peričića 10, 23000, Zadar, ☎ +385913445484, . checkin: 8:00-22:00; checkout: by 11 am. Located on the beautiful Kolovare beach, 500m from the main bus station. 1.2km from the old city, 2 coffee shops in the radius of 20m, the groccery store is 100m away. English speaking staff 100-200 kn/night. (44°06'23.3N,15°14'01.4E) edit
- Tequila Hostel. 127 kune / 17 EUR per person, openend on august 28th 2014, brandnew!!! small, 6 bed dorm, chillout area and kitchen, friendly staff edit
The old town lacks hotels, but has many apartments. These can be very good. The bars can stay open until early in the morning and the noise can carry in the small streets, so it is worth trying to identify where the largest collection of bars is.
Outside of Town
- Ilirija Hotels, beach Hotels, Biograd 25 km south of Zadar,Tina Ujevica 7,Biograd, ☎ +385 23 383556, . 4 star hotels
- Hotel Adriatic, on the beach Biograd 25 km south of Zadar,Tina Ujevica 7,Biograd, ☎ +385 23 383556, . 3+ star hotel
- Hotel Ilirija, on the beach Biograd 25 km south of Zadar,Tina Ujevica 7,Biograd, ☎ +385 23 383556, . 4 star hotel
- Hotel Kornati, on the beach Biograd 25 km south of Zadar,Tina Ujevica 7,Biograd, ☎ +385 23 383556, . 4 star hotel
- Hotel Kolovare, . The only hotel close to the city center.
- Croatica.eu, on the Corner of Obala Kralja Tomislava and Ul. Jurja Barakovića , 23000, Zadar, ☎ +385 91 579 1683"  Association of local private apartment owners and small tourist providers, Croatica.eu booth is unofficial concierge of Zadar. It provides tourist information and helps at finding and creating personalized accommodation options, tours and private boat rides.
- Rent a boat and explore surrounding islands, especially Kornati Islands National Park with its 150 islands, high cliffs and salt water lake. Sharun Beach, elected one of 50 most beautiful beaches in the world - it is located on far north end of island called Dugi Otok].
- Party on the beach Zrće, close to Novalja, which has several big night clubs. It is known as The Croatian Ibiza.
- Travel north along the scenic coast, towards Rijeka (about 3 hours drive) and Trieste (Italy, about 4 hours drive).
- Travel south along the scenic coast, towards Šibenik (about 1 hours drive) and Split (about 2.5 hours drive).
- Travel north inland, towards Karlovac (about 2 hours drive) and Zagreb (about 3 hours drive).
- Travel south to villages of Šibenik and Bibinje.
- Travel north along the cost to villages of Nin and Zaton to find most beautiful sandy beaches, but be conscious, they tend to be crowded in high season.
- For a half-day outing from Zadar, consider taking a boat across the water to the opposite island of Ugljan. Turn right at the ferry port for the town of Preko; turn left for the village of Kali (20 minutes of gentle walking), and beyond for the fishing village of Kukljica (another ten minutes). Locals suggest the best beaches are on the neighbouring island of Pašman, which is linked by a bridge. Buses to Pašman and elsewhere meet the ferry at Preko's ferry port.
- Take a yellow submarine off the shore of the city for a few minutes (around 40-50, for 80 kuna). Don't expect to see many colourful fish, but it is an enjoyable, short experience.