Discover 11 fun-filled things to do in Zadar, explore numerous fascinating places, visit countless extraordinary spots and enjoy wonderful moments.
Since Zadar is located in an exceptional location, it is an ideal base for your next Croatian vacation, and it will offer you more time to live in the moment and explore, experience and feel Zadar with all of your senses.
Make the most out of your holiday and create unique memories that will last a lifetime with our list of 11 things to do in Zadar.
Enjoy a traditional ride with rowing boatmen in Zadar
Venice might have Gondolas but Zadar has its traditional wooden boats called “barka”. They are probably the most affordable and easiest way to reach the city centre if you are located just outside of the peninsula. Do not miss out, this is one of the must things to do in Zadar region.
Rowing boatmen connect Marina Zadar with old town Zadar, and you will be able to recognize them by their signature orange boats and usually striped sailor looking shirts.
These boatmen are known as “barkajoli” and they have been transporting passengers over the Zadar channel in small wooden boats in all weather conditions since the 14th century.
FUN FACT: The tradition of “barkajoli” is passed down generational, from father to son.
Explore Old Town Zadar
Sightseeing is one of the best things to do in Zadar old town. Once you arrive in the city, a must-see place is the city centre located on the charming peninsula, where you can easily arrive by car, on foot via the footbridge, public transportation or rowing boatsmen.
In the city centre or “Old Town” you will discover strikingly beautifully architecture, long heritage and vivid atmosphere. Apart from that, Old town is the heart of Zadar, filled with unique sights and wonderful surprises for all age groups.
If you are a history buff you will be pleased to know that the Zadar has a 3000-year-old heritage and it is filled with majestic buildings. Enjoy one of the most popular things to do in Zadar, a wonderful stroll around the marble streets of Old Town and walk on the same path, where mighty Roman legions once walked.
Moreover, the city centre is filled with exciting things to do in Zadar, lovely bars and delightful local restaurants with exceptional vistas and exquisite food. If you prefer a home-cooked meal, visit Zadar green market where you can find fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables, or a fisherman market with freshly-caught seafood.
You might wanna witness the spectacular sunsets from the Zadar promenade, and find out why are they so praised around the world. After the sun comes down, you can enjoy an impressive light show made by solar installation known as “Greeting to the Sun” complemented with the sound of a one-of-a-kind “Sea Organ”.
Enjoy a shopping spree in Zadar
Discover numerous lovely boutiques around the Old Town Zadar and shop while you are sightseeing around the city centre. Here you will find unique handmade clothes, high fashion brands, local Croatian brands, souvenirs, local products and many more.
Another well-known place on our list of things to do in Zadar, Supernova Zadar mall and end find all you need in one place, which is ideal for a rainy day. Treat yourself with a new swimsuit and get ready to hit the beaches in the Zadar region.
Jump in the sea on the famous Kolovare beach
Next, activity on our list of things to do in Zadar is one of the favourite things for the locals and you can simply opt-in by visiting one of the most famous beaches in Zadar and home to various watersports such as swimming, water polo, sea jumping and enjoy an active afternoon.
You can enjoy watching the Zadar swim team on their practice or enjoy with recreational swimmers. Apart from that, you will notice a famous jumping platform with 3 different levels of height and a lot of people jumping from it and doing stunts. Feel free to try it out.
Moreover, on Kolovare beach you can discover a wide range of fun things to do in Zadar such as beach volleyball in the shade or lounge in local bars before you take a refreshing dip in the sea.
Visit Green Market in Zadar Old Town
When in old town make sure to visit the traditional Greenmarket and discover locally grown fruits and vegetables. Taste the local products and enjoy in a unique atmosphere, where you can bargain with the sellers. This is one of the most unique things to do in Zadar
Apart from that nearby, you will find a Fisherman market where freshly caught seafood is being delivered every morning. Locals here only eat seafood straight from the sea to the plate, so you can be sure you will get the freshest and high-quality seafood on the market.
Moreover, on this marketplace, you will discover a wide range of local olive oils, cheese, prosciutto, liquor, clothes and numerous other products.
Enjoy on the beaches around the Zadar region
The most famous things to do in Zadar are definitely beach activities. Zadar has wonderful beaches around its region, which are a must-visit if you are on holiday in Zadar.
If you are a fan of the sandy beaches you will easily find them 15-20 minutes of a car ride from Zadar in Nin, Sabunike, Zaton and Privlaka. We suggest you visit “Queen’s beach” in the town of Nin and enjoy n the long sandy beach with a spectacular view of the Velebit channel and mountains.
For fans of pebbled beaches, visit Sukošan, Biograd and Pakoštane. Except for lovely pine beaches these places are filled with exciting water activities such as aquaparks, jet skis, SUP rides, kayaks, kitesurfing and parasailing.
For people who want privacy and the queen jewels of beaches around Zadar – visit the islands of Zadar archipelago with a speedboat and enjoy the crystal-clear sea, unspoiled nature and spectacular vistas.
Explore Zadar archipelago on a speedboat tour
The moment you arrive at Zadar you will be drawn to the vast sea and lush islands on the horizon, and your guts are right. Listen to your inner self and opt-in for the most exciting things to do in Zadar – boat trips around magnificent islands near Zadar.
You can visit lush island Ugljan in under half-hour with a half-day boat tour and enjoy countless pristine bays and vast olive groove fields. Apart from Ugljan, you can discover the island of diversity Dugi Otok where you can snorkel with shipwrecks, explore majestic sea caves, swim in turquoise beaches with Caribbean flair and enjoy n unspoiled nature.
If you wish to escape brimming summer crowds – take a boat tour to the remote island of captains Silba where you will enjoy the serenity of this unique island with no cars, and swim around stunning bays of Adriatic king of sandy beaches – Island Olib.
Visit nearby national parks from Zadar
Besides all the fun things to do in Zadar, you can easily explore unspoiled nature in the proximity of the city. Zadar has an ideal geographical location and great connections to 3 National Parks and 2 Nature parks you can easily visit in under an hour of the ride. Make Zadar your base and discover majestic mountains, tranquil lakes, unspoiled island bays and spectacular archipelago on your next holiday in the Zadar region.
National Park Plitvice – Visit one of the most praised parts of Croatia, and discover the timeless beauty of mother nature, complimented with 17 magnificent cascade waterfalls. It is very easy and convenient to visit Plitvice If you are staying in Zadar, you can reach Plitvice quite easily after a 1.30hr drive by bus, car or you can join one of the numerous day-trip tours from Zadar.
National Park Krka – Yet another wonderous artwork of nature, only 45minutes away from Zadar is National Park Krka. Famous for its magnificent cascade waterfalls this stunning place is attracting more and more visitors every year. Apart from that, unlike in Plitvice lakes, you can take a refreshing swim in the waterfalls of the Krka river.
National Park Paklenica – If you are into rock climbing, you will be pleased to hear you can enjoy n your favourite activity in National park Paklenica. Besides, only 45 minutes of a scenic ride away from Zadar, in Paklenica, you can cool off in the shade of the mountain Velebit, visit an underground museum or hike through numerous mountain trails.
Nature park Velebit – Apart from Paklenica, majestic mount Velebit is filled with wonders and unspoiled nature. Only 1hr car ride away, you can get to the entrance to the park and explore it by cycling, hiking or with a photo safari tour. Moreover, you can visit majestic cave systems and see endemic species growing only on Velebit.
Nature park Vransko jezero – Visit the jewel of nature ideal for peaceful walks, cycling and birdwatching, only 40 minutes of car ride from Zadar. This wonderful lake is often on cyclist routes who love to ride from Zadar to the lake itself.
Besides in the vicinity is lovely Maškovića Han, which you can easily visit with a tourist train from Vrana Lake and enjoy in a museum and the last Ottoman bed and breakfast in central Dalmatia.
National park Kornati – Take a full-day boat tour and discover one of the most beautiful places in Croatia, and the most praised national parks – the Kornati islands. Here you will discover countless mostly private bays, enjoy a thrilling boat ride, witness spectacular vistas and hike to exceptional viewpoints in this nautical paradise.
Your local crew from the Zadar archipelago will show you one of the best things to do in Zadar and take you to the spectacular beach escape in the national park Kornati and take you to awe-inspiring spots that will not leave you feeling indifferent.
Nature Park Telaščica – Discover one of the most spectacular bays in the Croatian Adriatic sea on your next boat trip. Swim in emerald waters and enjoy pristine nature in breathtaking Nature Park Telaščica.
Hike up and discover impressive white cliffs, stunning vistas and impressive Salt lake Mir on top of the island and relax in its waters with healing properties. You will instantly feel rejuvenated in untouched nature and enjoy the serenity of this one-of-a-kind place, reachable only by boat.
Try out local gastronomy in Zadar Old Town
When in Zadar make sure you do not miss out on the most delicious things to do in Zadar – tasting local food and wines, made from locally grown fruits and vegetables, and freshly caught seafood.
In Old Town Zadar you will discover numerous charming restaurants with exquisite food and extraordinary view. Treat your tastebuds with delicious meals and enjoy a mouth-watering symphony of traditional freshly prepared food complimented with hight quality wines of Zadar hinterlands.
Here you can find our list of top 7 restaurants for a unique gastronomical experience in Zadar.
Visit the best clubs in Zadar
What are better things to do in Zadar during the hot summer nights at the seaside than dancing in the open-air clubs and enjoying cocktails? Well, that is right on the waterfront with great music, positive vibes and delicious cocktails and a spectacular atmosphere!
In Zadar, you can enjoy countless local bars for warmup and relax in a vivid atmosphere before you hit the dancefloor in Svarog Bar located on the historical square of Five Wells or Ledana lounge bar in the lush park just a few steps away from the previously mentioned square.
Apart from that you can visit the Hype bar and enjoy an open-air terrace with a view of the footbridge and city walls during your night out. Find out more about Nightlife in Zadar in our Complete Guide to nightlife in Zadar.
Witness spectacular sunsets from the Zadar promenade
One of the most praised things to do in Zadar is observing sunsets. Take a stroll to the Zadar promenade and discover the famous sunsets that burst in colour over the city every day, complemented by man-made attractions Greeting to the Sun and Sea Organ.
For an upgraded experience you can take a private boat tour and enjoy in Magical champagne sunset cruise in the middle of the Zadar channel and enjoy one-of-a-kind sunset moments with your loved ones.
Enrich your holiday in Zadar with unique experiences around the Zadar Archipelago and let our team show you the best spots and most memorable experiences.
We will make sure your boat tour is one of your favourite vacation memories you will want to repeat over and over, discovering more and more spectacular places around the islands.