Zadar is the biggest metropolis in the northern Dalmatia and you will be surprised that it is skipped by the tourists. The city is filled with a wide range of activities that you can try out for all kinds of tourists. You are going to find lots of historical landmarks and iconic architectures to explore for history lovers and there are unique installations that make it an art destination. The city is also surrounded by lovely beaches that feature clear and warm waters that are perfect for the summer. Some of the top places that you can visit in Zadar are listed below.
Top things to do in Zadar
Go sightseeing at St. Donatus’ Church
This is an early-Byzantine church that dates back to year 800 and it is still standing tall. The church has tall and round features which makes it one of the most popular attractions in the city. You should make sure you do not miss this church if you are history and architecture enthusiasts. The highlight of the church is that it hosts renaissance music performances that you will love. The church was also constructed on the Roman Forum and you will see the building material used for its construction while exploring.
Wander around the City Wall
Zadar has a formidable defense system that was constructed by the Venetians in the 1500s and it has never fallen under the Ottomans rule. You are still going to see the city wall which features white limestone with two original gates known as the land and sea gate. The Land Gate has a striking look and it looks like a Roman Triumphal Arch. You are going to find the Lion of St. Mark, a Venetian symbol above the entranceway. The Sea Gate is not far from the ferry port and it was constructed in 1573 for celebrating the Holy League’s naval victory against the Ottoman Empire two years earlier.
Visit the Museum of Ancient Glass
Croatia is surrounded by Roman heritage and you can head to the Cosmacendi Palace which dates to 1800 to see glass items that were recovered after excavations. You are going to see cup for mass, drinking vessels, jars, and intricate little vials used for anything from medicine to skin creams in the modern displays. In this museum, you will get an insight into the history of glassmaking in Croatia and you can also learn how these items were created by joining the glass-blowing demonstrations. Before you finish the tour, you can also buy some glassware as souvenirs.
Go sightseeing at National Museum Zadar
This is a regional museum where you will get to learn more about the ethnology, natural history, and artistic heritage of the city. The museum was established in the 1960s but it has ties with local historians and scientists that dates back to the 1800s. In the natural history wing, you are going to find collections of numerous local botanists and biologists like Domenico Pappafava that collected over 6000 plant species in the area. The highlight is the Zadar City Museum where you will see diverse artifacts from the renaissance and baroque period which was when the city was under the threat of the Ottomans and Mongols.
Enjoy soothing tunes from the Sea Organ
You are going to find this imaginative and fascinating art installation at the top of the old town’s peninsula. The installation was devised by architect Nikola Basic in 2005 mainly for breathing new life into the waterfront of the city. The organ looks like a series of large marble steps that lead to water and the tube under each platform generates a musical note due to the power of waves that break underneath. You are going to enjoy soothing tune here while you enjoy the mesmerizing sceneries.
Explore the Paklenica National Park
This park helps to protect the varieties of karst formations that surround the coast and it is a great place to go for outdoor lovers. The park attracts climbers and hikers as it houses famous walls in the country and also 200 km trails that you can explore. The highlight of the park is the Velika and Mala gorges which soars to over 700m. You are going to discover the source of a spring in the canyon at a section of Velica which is not more than 50m wide. The majestic spring feeds the small streams that lead to the Adriatic Sea during the wetter months from spring to autumn.