Zadar travel guide
Charming alleyways bustling with shops, cafes and restaurants. Vibrant nightlife and famous for its 9th century cathedral of St Donat
Roman ruins and modern innovations in Zadar. Zadar is the principal city in the region and a busy and lively Mediterranean coastal town with charming narrow streets and alleyways bustling with shops, cafes and restaurants. Located on a peninsula surrounded by the gleaming Adriatic, it was once a Roman colony. Its main square, the Forum is an outdoor museum of Roman ruins. Historic sites include the city gates and fortress and in particular, the Byzanthium-influenced Cathedral of St Donat originating from the 9th Century is the finest example of Croatian architecture of the old Croatian period. The city has 30 churches all rich in architecture and art and worth visiting.
Had it not been for the 72 bombing raids during WWII, the city would have historic architecture to rival Dubrovnik. Still, we're lucky it survives at all as post-war planners wanted to knock it all down. Sense prevailed and instead a brave new 'utopian' city was born incorporating 3000 years of Roman, Venetian and Slavic history.Aside from historic architecture, the city features two contemporary art installations by local architect Nikola Bašić – the singing sea organ, a series of 35 underwater pipes that whistle as the waves wash through them, and the Sun Salutation, a solar-powered lighting installation.
Zadar has a very lively night life with many restaurants, clubs and bars. It is the centre for music parties, and world famous DJs are frequent guests throughout the year. For lovers of classical music there are many concerts too. Famous music festivals take place in Petrcane Village just outside Zadar, "the New Ibiza", epicentre of cutting edge music. For those who enjoy classical music, Musical Evenings at St Donat Cathedral provide classical concerts in magical surroundings (Ticket office, telephone: +385 (0)23 314 552 or +385 (0)23 314 552).
Zadar has its own airport
with direct flights from the UK and many European cities and is less than three hours' drive from Zagreb's international airport
. Zadar has a regular ferry service connecting it to Ancona in Italy and local ferries link it to the islands of the Zadar Archipelago