Perched on the coast of the Adriatic Sea, the Croatian city of Zadar is something of a hidden gem. The historic centre of the Dalmatia region, its origins can be traced back to the days of the Roman Empire, before slowly coming to prominence as a major gateway to the Balkans. During the inter-war period of the 20th century, Zadar was actually part of Italy. Today, the range of architectural styles dotted throughout the city make Zadar one of the more interesting places in Croatia to visit. The weather makes it an alluring place to be too – the climate here makes for some pleasant weather during the summer, not to mention the springs. The countryside surrounding Zadar is worth a look too.
Away from the Old Town, the roads are something of a mixed bag in Zadar. To be on the safe side, a small car will get you around the minor routes without too many problems.
Driving in Zadar
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
Being a small city, Zadar can be explored by foot, but if using a car, you should probably avoid driving in the Old Town.
The 8 Highway can be a little clogged during summer. Be sure to plan ahead if you’re worried about being stuck in a jam.
Access to and from Zadar Airport is possible via public transport, but you must have the right amount to pay any fares needed.
Highlights & Hotspots
The first place to visit in Zadar is St Donat’s Church, one of the best Romanesque places of worship in Europe. A well-preserved building, the church is arguably Zadar’s most dominant landmark, although it acts as a museum these days.
The Archaeological Museum is another place where you can learn more about Zadar through the ages. Here, artefacts dating back from prehistoric times all the way through to the Middle Ages will show you how much the city has changed.
If you want to be somewhere calm, then the place to be is the Roman Forum. This former open air theatre, which has managed to stand the test of time, is a popular spot for people to sit down and relax, especially in the summer.
One of the highlights of Zadar is its famous ‘Sea Organ’ on the waterfront. This organ uses the energy of the waves to create sounds using 35 pipes, creating some wonderful backing sounds for visitors who choose to visit.
Roughly five miles east of Zadar, Zadar Airport is one of the biggest in Croatia. It serves destinations across the Balkans as well as the UK, Germany, France and Scandinavia and, after recent renovations, has one main passenger terminal.
To get to the airport, you must get on the 424 highway, which takes you towards the southernmost point of Zadar in a westerly direction.