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Zadar has been the centre of Dalmatia, both culturally and politically, for centuries. It’s a city where the oldest university foundations in the land were laid and where the first newspapers in the Croatian language were printed. With an abundance of archaeological sites, monuments, beautiful seaside promenades and numerous islands scattered in front of Zadar, it’s perfect for exploring. Listen to the Sea Organ, enjoy the lights of the 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 At A Glance
How to get there: Fly to Zadar airport, or take the catamaran or ferry – all available to book through our travel experts
Population of Dubrovnik: 75,082
What to See in Zadar: The Sea Organ & Greeting to the Sun art installations, St Donat’s Chruch, Museum of Illusions
Towns or islands to visit near Zadar: Pula, Krka National Park, Plitvice Lakes National Park, Sibenik, Bosnia
Things to do in Zadar
Relax on the shore by listening to Sea Organs
In 2006 the famed Croatian architect Nikola Bašić received the European Prize for Urban Public Space in Barcelona for his Zadar Sea Organ project, as the best among 207 candidate projects from across Europe. This site is a blend of human ideas and skills and the energy of the sea, waves, tide and flood, a place for relaxation, contemplation and conversation while listening to an endless concert of mystic harmonies of the “Orchestra of Nature”. Because the sea is always shifting and changing, the sea organ never sounds exactly the same twice. Each sound you hear is completely unique.
Discover the charming Old Town of Zadar
Boasting a historic old town of Roman ruins, medieval churches, cosmopolitan cafes and quality museums set on a small peninsula, Zadar is an intriguing, ancient city, full of historical and cultural monuments. It is three thousand years old, a city of old, tumultuous and dynamic history, often destructed, looted, devastated, every time emerging from the ruins stronger, richer and more beautiful. The mix of ancient relics, Habsburg elegance and coastal setting provide the backdrop of a living, vibrant city, enjoyed by residents and visitors alike.
Enjoy the picq Sunset/ Sun dial
Another wacky and wonderful creation by Nikola Bašić (the local architect who designed the nearby Sea Organ) this 22 meter-wide circle set into the pavement is filled with 300 multi-layered glass plates that collect the sun’s energy during the day. Together with the wave energy that makes the Sea Organ’s sound, it produces a dazzling light show from sunset to sunrise that’s meant to simulate the solar system. It also collects enough energy to power the entire harbor-front lighting system.
Visit breathtaking National Parks
Some of Croatia’s iconic national parks are situated nearby, perfect for daytrips. Set against the Velebit Mountains, the Paklenica is perfect for those with a passion for adventure. The Plitvice National Park was established some 70 years ago and has the distinction of being one of Southeast Europe’s oldest national nature parks. The Krka and Kornati Islands should also be on your itinerary, renowned for beautiful cascading waterfalls and placid lakes. A visit to any of these picturesque parks will satisfy the nature lover within. It will also satisfy the resident rock climber, hiker, nature lover, or photographer in you.
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