5 Things I love about Zadar

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.

Kollecting Koordinates - visit Zadar

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:

read more: visiting Plitvice Lakes National Park

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.

Kollecting Koordinates - visit Zadar

read more: Top 9 things to do in Dubrovnik

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.

Kollecting Koordinates - visit Zadar - Sea Organ

read more: why Split wasn’t for me

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!

Kollecting Koordinates - visit Zadar

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!

read more: other Croatian destinations

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Kollecting Koordinates - visit Zadar

24 Comments

  1. March 9, 2016 / 7:12 pm

    Ooh your sunsoaked photos have convinced me! I’ll be in Croatia this summer and now Zadar is on the list!

    • Ivy
      March 10, 2016 / 6:18 pm

      You’re gonna have a blast! 1 week wasn’t enough for us, I hope you have more time there!

      • Dan
        June 26, 2017 / 12:47 pm

        I’ve been a number of times from Australia and you need at least three weeks to experience this gem of a country. My hidden treasures are Murter island and the Kornati archipelago, Motovun, Rovinj, Island of Losinj, Rastoke the town built on waterfalls, Varazdin, the gorgeous Sibenik and the Krka falls, Pucisca on the island of Brac and Vis island. Google them and you will be back

        • June 30, 2017 / 7:39 pm

          Oh yes! We’ll definitely be back for the islands!!

  2. March 9, 2016 / 10:14 pm

    Wow, I love your photos!! The solar-powered panels look like so much fun to jump on!! 🙂

    • Ivy
      March 10, 2016 / 6:19 pm

      We thought the colors change by stomping on the panels. It wasn’t until we got back to our room that we did our research… We must’ve looked so dumb 😛

  3. March 10, 2016 / 1:47 am

    Awesome sunset shot! Croatia just moved up the list. Looks like you had a blast.

    • Ivy
      March 10, 2016 / 6:20 pm

      Yes! You won’t regret it 🙂 It’s surprisingly cheap to visit too (relative to other European countries)

  4. March 10, 2016 / 4:22 pm

    I was in Zadar in 2008 at the end of an Eastern European tour. This was literally our last stop in 2 months and we didn’t actually check the city out. What a shame! Nice post!

    • Ivy
      March 10, 2016 / 6:24 pm

      A 2-month Eastern European tour must’ve been sweet! I’m biased but I just find Eastern Europe so much more beautiful, architecture and scenery-wise. I’d love to spend months there one day like you.

  5. February 17, 2017 / 11:03 am

    The sea organ sounds amazing! I’ll have to Google it to see what it sounds like 🙂 We didn’t make it to Zadar last summer but it’s definitely on my list of places to see in Croatia next!

    • March 8, 2017 / 5:45 pm

      It’s a low-pitched hum- perfect for a yoga practice! 😉

  6. February 17, 2017 / 11:17 am

    I’d seen the sun salutation in friends’ photos before but I never clocked the fact it’s in Croatia. It only gives even more of a reason to visit! Now…as far as this underwater organ goes..that’s absurdly awesome. I recommend that guy installs those all over every pretty beach in the world!

  7. February 17, 2017 / 3:05 pm

    HAHAHAHA i was convinced with your first few reasons, but that last one completely floored me. Anywhere with a free restroom and I am all up for it! I love finding the smaller, less known cities to visit to, completely by chance! Whenever I travel with my boyfriend, we end up taking the slow way and always find something that completely surprises us.

    • March 8, 2017 / 5:46 pm

      Haha finding a washroom is always a struggle! Especially when the wines start flowing 😛

  8. February 18, 2017 / 1:24 am

    OMG I need to get here! The Sun Salutation looks pretty cool! Croatia is definitely on my list of places to go so I’ll def have to add this city to it!

  9. February 18, 2017 / 5:54 am

    Loved this post Ivy. I could imagine listening to the wave organ and playing on the solar lights. Funny you should mention washrooms. I went to Queen’s Day in Amsterdam. As you already said, washrooms in Europe are hard to come by. When you pack millions of people into old Amsterdam it’s damn near impossible. The Dutch solution… The put a quad pack of urinals in the middle of the road. Yup, four open air stall, all pointing inward. Kind of like a four leaf pee clover. For your modesty, you just need to make sure you zip up before turning back into the crowd.

    Sorry for the random aside… I could just imagine walking through Zadar. Finding the perfect pastry and maybe a little brandy. Sitting down on the beach and then having Jenn tell me she had to pee.

    • March 8, 2017 / 5:47 pm

      I saw those in Amsterdam and I thought I was seeing things wrong! There’s an opening at the bottom so you could see the person’s feet… and pee. it was rather fascinating lol

  10. February 19, 2017 / 5:58 am

    The sunset at The Sea Organ is spectacular! It is such a romantic place to end the day. Isn’t it funny how the place we had least expectations on sometimes surprised us the most? 🙂

  11. February 22, 2017 / 6:18 am

    They really invested on unique attractions near the ocean! When I read about the Sun Salutation I thought ‘ wow’! But then you mentioned the Sea Organ and I think that even goes beyond wow! I’m impressed!

  12. Nancy
    March 8, 2017 / 9:20 pm

    We have a summer home in Zadar and I agree with everything you’ve said. Tourist season is in full swing approximately the first 2 weeks of August. So avoid that time frame if you want a more relaxed experience.

    • March 8, 2017 / 11:08 pm

      Oh we would LOVE to have a summer home there… what a dream! Thanks for dropping by Nancy 🙂

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