Have you ever visited a place with little to no expectations but you end up falling in love with it? That’s exactly how we feel about Zadar. Zadar wasn’t in our original plan; we only stopped there because we didn’t want to drive all the way from Plitvice Lakes National Parks to Split without a night’s rest in between. We’re so glad we did! Here are some reasons why you should visit Zadar too.
This quaint little town along the Adriatic coast was once occupied by the Venetians for several years. No wonder it reminded us of Venice- its architecture has a distinct Roman flair. Unlike Split and Dubrovnik, Zadar is quite underrated and not bombarded by tourists (not yet, at least!). We absolutely LOVED this place; here’s why:
1. Visit Zadar for its vibe
Like Venice, the vibe here is super laid-back and chill. If you think Venice is always a good idea, you’ll want to visit Zadar too. The town itself is fairly small with tons of shops and eateries; it’s the perfect setting to get lost in. We took our time walking up and down the streets, sipping on grapefruit Ozujsko (Croatian lager) and munching on pastries, ice cream, and pizzas as we went. There were very few people during the day- it was almost as if we had the entire town to ourselves!
2. The Sun Salutation
One of the main attractions and why some people visit Zadar is the Sun Salutation. These colourful solar-powered panels flicker according to the rhythm of the waves! We had so much fun jumping and stomping on the ground-level light show. It made us feel like kids again.
3. Visit Zadar for its sunset
People say that Santorini has one of the world’s most beautiful sunsets. I gotta say, the sunset in Zadar isn’t shabby either! In fact, I prefer the one in Zadar over Oia because it’s not packed with people. You don’t have to camp for a good spot hours in advance and there’s enough space for you to enjoy the scenery in peace and privacy.
4. The Sea Organ
The soothing sound of the Sea Organ also adds a nice touch to the gorgeous sunset. The same architecture who created the Sun Salutation installed underwater tubes that play music as the waves roll in. Listening to the peaceful hums as the sky slowly changed colours was extremely mesmerizing. We could’ve sat there for hours if we didn’t have to pee!
5. Easy washroom access
It’s damn near impossible to find a free public washroom in an European city. Unless we’re dining at a restaurant, we always have the hardest time locating one. ALWAYS. We really had to go after downing so much wine and Ozujsko, but of course there were no washrooms in sight.
Just outside of the Catherral of St. Anastasia, I stumbled upon this cafe or bar lookalike with an open layout that sells beverages on the first floor and what appears to be a seating area on the second floor. There was no one manning the store front and my spidey senses were telling me that there were toilets inside. AS was afraid that we were trespassing but I had to go so badly that I didn’t care. I pretended to be looking for a friend and snuck upstairs. To my pleasant surprise, the washroom was right around the corner on the second floor! We kept going back throughout the day; it was such an awesome find.
Even though it’s under the radar and easily overlooked, Zadar’s one of those places that you’ll fall in love with in a heartbeat. It’s also on the way from Zagreb or Plitvice to Split, so make sure you stop by for a night or two when you’re driving down Croatia!