Zadar and its top attractions
Alfred Hitchcock once said that the sunset over Zadar is the most beautiful in the world, more beautiful even than the one in Florida. This fifth-largest city in Croatia impresses with both beautiful views and fascinating history. There are monumental mountains on one side and a magnificent coastline on the other. In the city, on the other hand, we can admire monuments from different periods when Zadar was under the influence of Rome, Venice and finally Austria. If you are planning to visit Zadar, check out our article for the main attractions and book a tour with a local guide!
Zadar – what is worth seeing?
Zadar’s history dates back to the 4th century BC, so it’s no wonder that the city impresses with historical sites built over the centuries. We suggest starting the tour of the city with the Roman forum and the ruins of Roman buildings. It was in Zadar that the largest Roman forum in the eastern Adriatic was located, which was built by order of Emperor Octavian Augustus. Ruins dating back to Roman times are located next to the 9th-century Church of St Donatus, one of the main symbols of the city. Other noteworthy religious buildings include the Romanesque Cathedral of St Anastasia, dating back to the turn of the 12th and 13th centuries. It houses the sarcophagus with the saint’s remains. Also worth visiting is the Romanesque Church of St. Chrysogonus, Zadar’s patron saint. Inside the building, visitors can admire frescoes from the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries and a Baroque altarpiece depicting figures of the city’s patron saints. The city also has the oldest bell tower in Dalmatia (dating back to 1105!), which is located next to the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, where you will also find the Museum of Sacred Art.
Zadar is also home to two famous squares: the Five Wells Square and Peter’s Square. The former was created in 1574 when, during the Turkish siege, the inhabitants built a cistern with five wells – this was to protect the city from a lack of drinking water. A 26-metre-high defence tower is also located here. Next to the Five Wells Square is Peter’s Square with a Roman column, enchanting buildings with colourful facades, numerous restaurants and cafés.
One of the biggest attractions in Zadar are the Sea Organs, built into the waterfront and designed by Nikolai Bašić. Waves passing through an underwater pipe installation create unique sounds in five tones. If you want to hear the beautiful music of the Adriatic, we suggest coming here early in the morning, when there are not yet crowds of tourists. Also located on the promenade is the installation “Greeting to the Sun”, imitating the solar system. This piece on the other hand is worth admiring in the evening.
Free walking tour – visit Zadar with a local guide!
Looking for a guide to show you the most beautiful places in Zadar? Come with us on a free walking tour and discover Zadar with a local guide! During the two-hour tour you will learn the secrets of the city that are not described in guidebooks and see its greatest attractions. This is a perfect option for individual tourists and small groups of friends. How much does such a tour cost? It’s all up to you – it’s you who prices the guide’s work and commitment, you just need to book a place on the Walkative! website and turn up at the meeting point. Zadar is one of the many Croatian cities you can visit with Walkative! You can also find us in Zagreb, Split or Dubrovnik.