Zadar is the center of Dalmatia, the city where the oldest university in the country was founded, and the first newspapers in the Croatian language were printed. With plenty of monuments, archaeological sites, idyllic seaside promenades, and abundance of islands scattered across Zadars’ archipelago, it’s perfect for exploring. You can listen to the Organ played by the sea, enjoy the multicolored lights of Greeting to the Sun or follow in the steps of Alfred Hitchcock, who once said that Zadar has the most beautiful sunset in the world.
Zadar is Dalmatia’s cultural and political beating heart and has been for centuries. The historic city is home to the oldest university foundations in the country, and many important archaeological sites, monuments and ruins that date back to Roman and Venetian times. Located in the northwest area of the Ravni Kotari region, on a small peninsula, Zadar is a charming and vibrant city of color, culture, and contrast. The enticing city also boasts a relaxed vibe and fewer crowds than Dubrovnik.
The Old Town of Zadar is a treasure trove of ancient and medieval churches, landmark structures, and beautiful architecture. On a stroll along the cobblestone streets of the Old Town, you will discover many interesting historical and cultural sights. Seek out the Venetian gates in the city walls, and visit the grand 12th-century Cathedral of St Anastasia, and the famous 9th century pre-Romanesque St Donatus’ Church. There are cosmopolitan cafes, bars, and restaurants where you can enjoy refreshments while observing the city lifestyle. Zadar also flaunts a beautiful seaside promenade where people gather to listen to and admire the stunning art installations and to see spectacular sunsets. It’s believed that the world-famous movie director and master of suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, once said: “Zadar has the most beautiful sunset in the world.”
Visit the ancient relics that are dotted along Zadar’s stunning coastline and explore its equally beautiful green and hilly hinterland. As one of Croatia’s primary transport hubs, you can easily access neighboring archipelago islands via the city’s ferry links. If you appreciate art, you won’t have far to venture to discover two unique attractions. Situated on the scenic promenade are the mesmerizing sound and light shows of the Sea Organ and the Sun Salutation (or Monument to the Sun), both artistic creations designed by architect Nikola Bašić.