To reach Zadar we have traveled through Trieste, the valleys of Slovenia and the entire coast of Croatia. Time it took: 6 and a half hours (with lunch and coffee break).
On average from Trieste to Zara you travel entirely on the highway, and without stopping for lunch, it takes about 4 and a half hours (traffic permitting).
I remind you that to pass through the stretch of Slovenian motorway, you have to have a vignette.
Zadar is definitely one of the most famous Croatian cities for its historical heritage.
The city is surrounded by old medieval walls, which reflect Venetian architecture.
There are several doors from which you can access and on which are present the typical Venetian lions.
Inside, however, there are more ancient artifacts dating back to the Roman period.
1. The marine organ.
Let's start with the most special thing you can see, or better hear: the Marine Organ.
The organ located near the old town, on the quay to the northwest, is a sea bleacher in which there are 35 holes at water level and below.
The holes are organ rods created with different inclinations to reproduce different sounds. When the waves of the sea enter the holes, they produce beautiful melodies.
When you stand on the bleachers, you will feel the floor moving below.
The artifact is obviously open to the public and was created by the architect Nikola Bašic.
2. The memory of Venice.
Those who have been to Venice or the great Venetian cities will be able to find in Zara the classic Venetian architecture scattered among the alleys of the citadel.
There are several museums in this city including:
- Archäologisches Museum Zadar: Archaeological museum with prehistoric artifacts.
- Museum of Ancient Glass: Modern glass museum, with ancient artifacts to discover the processing of blown glass.
- Duke's palace: Museum with contemporary exhibitions held in the renovated 16th-century palace.
- Monument to the Sun or The Greeting to the Sun: Monument that lights up in the evening. This work is created by solar panels placed on the ground (near the marine organ).
- Roman archaeological finds.
- St. Donato Church: Pre-Roman Catholic Church.
- St. Anastasia's Cathedral: Impressive Roman cathedral richly decorated inside.
There are several beaches, mostly rocky and with boat marinas.
The most interesting are: Kolovare Beach, Beach Borik, Kolovare Ulica and tip Bajlo Beach.
How to get to Zara:
In addition to reaching Zadar by car, you can also travel by plane or train.
From Trieste, the aerial option is not the best, and the train does not pass close to the long sea, but only in the inland cities.
There are plenty of Flixbus and rental cars.
Nightlife and conclusions:
I visited Zadar at the end of July 2019, mostly in the evening.
The initial idea was to stay overnight in this city, but in the end, I opted to stay outside.
You'll find plenty of apartment or hotel offers in the historic Zara, but I honestly don't recommend it.
Surely it is very tempting to sleep in one of those ancient Venetian-style palaces, but Zadar in the evening is very chaotic!
Keep in mind that during August the number of tourists is even higher than in July (and I felt suffocated in those narrow streets full of people at the end of July).
Check out the best deals and sites as Airbnb prices here were more expensive than apartments with Booking.
The first night we visited this city was Saturday. We basically found ourselves stuck by the people in the streets; with the heat and the tables of the restaurants placed there in the middle.
After 10 p.m., the locals turn up the music to allow people to dance in the street while sipping cocktails.
There are also shows, placed stalls with the sale of souvenirs and typical products (liquors, honey, and various magnets) especially in the direction of the Marine Organ.
On the second evening (that is, Tuesday) the situation was calmer, but the presence of many people and the sultry heat continued to be felt.
Know that in any restaurant (or almost) reservations are welcome at least two days before, otherwise, you will not find a place.
Prices are quite normal, perhaps slightly higher than other Croatian resorts I have visited in the past, while souvenirs are much more expensive.
For parking, don't worry. There is a multi-story car park covered in 112 Brigade Zng. for 10 Kune per hour (in July 2019).
Next stop of the tour: Vir Island. List with all stages: link