Destinations Food & Drinks

Ultimate Travel guide to Zadar, Croatia


My boyfriend and I had wanted to visit Croatia for a long time. We decided we would vacation in Zadar, Croatia. Located in the northern stretch of Dalmatia, you’ll find less of a tourist crowd, quiet cobbled streets so worn it looks like marble, and a region rich in history. In other words, everything you need for a picturesque getaway.

 

 

WHEN TO VISIT 

When I visited- Mid May

 

FLYING AND ARRIVING IN ZADAR, CROATIA

I arrived by train at Manchester airport, and took the 7-minute walk to Terminal 3, I had already checked in online, but had a bag to drop off; this was done very quickly through Ryan Air’s self-drop off system. Security took awhile as two of the scanning machines broke down, but luckily the delay did not cause us any difficulties.

Note: 

Just in case you haven’t flown to Europe before, I suggest you pack all your cream and liquids under 30 ML in a sandwich bag. It’s okay if you don’t have a baggie, the airport provides them, but you are only allowed one liquid bag.

TIP:  Take of all lids/caps off of liquid items, for instance, foundation, deodorant, travel hair spray. You’ll be able to squeeze in those extra products.

 

 

Check with your bank

Using your checking debit/credit card while abroad, could be difficult. Be sure to notify your bank prior to traveling to Europe. Also, check with your local bank to see if they charge a fee for transactions.

 

Arriving

Zadar airport was super easy, American tourist do not require a visa and so it was a simple case of showing my passport and getting a stamp, the whole process from landing to collecting my bags took less than 30 minutes.

Flight time from Manchester – Croatia nonstop 2hr 15

 

Flight review

Ryan Air is a budget airline so you get what you pay for if you want baggage or in-flight refreshments it’s going to cost you. If you’re looking for a cheap way to get out of the U.K., then it’s perfect!

 

TRANSPORTATION

Stepping out of Zadar’s airport you are likely to find a row of taxi’s waiting to transport visitors to Zadar’s city town center. Instead, we decided our best bet was to call for an Uber to take us 20 minutes to our apartment.

  • UBER CODE: brandye20ue (for a free ride when you sign up)

 

ACCOMMODATION

Note: I have not stayed in these, but I did my research and they are ranked the highest on booking.com

 

Budget

Apartments Zadar Superior 

  • 1.9 miles from Greeting To The Sun
  • Includes a hot tub
  • Bike rental available on the property
  • 8 miles from Zadar Airport
  • From $43 and up (Prices vary depending on the season)
  • Use my link to get $19 on BOOKING.COM

(Photos are taken from booking.com)

 

Mid-budget

Hotel Niko

  • 1-minute walk to the beach
  • Bus station is 3.1 miles and Zadar Aiport is 9.3 miles away
  • 10 min drive to Zadar’s center
  • Offers traditional Mediterranean restaurant
  • Balcony sea view
  • Breakfast included
  • From $140 and up (Prices vary depending on the season)
  • Use my link to get $19 on BOOKING.COM

(Photos are taken from booking.com)

 

Luxury

Bastion Heritage Hotel- Relais & Chateaux

  • 16-minute walk to the beach
  • 4-star hotel
  • Castello Spa and wellness center
  • Krystal aperitif bar
  • Rich buffet served daily
  • Includes breakfast
  • From $200 and up (Prices vary during the seasons)
  • Use my link to get $19 on BOOKING.COM

(Photos are taken from booking.com)

 

WHERE I STAYED

 

Apartment D2 4U

  • Position of apartment offers many diverse facilities
  • Located in city center
  • Free wifi, kitchen included
  • Spacious room
  • Affordable
  • From $65 and up (Prices vary depending on the season
  • Use my link to get $19 on BOOKING.COM

(Photos are taken from booking.com)

 

I found my apartment on booking.com. I fell in love with the location, and the price, so I had to take it. Upon arrival, we met the host and she had informed us that there was construction going on in the building above us, and she would gladly discount our stay.

 

PLACES TO EAT

 

Padrino

We went to take a stroll along the water, to look for a place to eat. Padrino is set back from the sea, but the restaurant still offers amazing views of the channel and the islands on the other side. If you haven’t been to Croatia before, it’s customary to seat yourself at a table you prefer. Our waiter had approached us within minutes and wrote down our order, I had the salmon tagliatelle which was rich in flavor, and my boyfriend had the seafood spaghetti and couldn’t get enough of it. Both meals were very generous in size; he ended up finishing the rest of my salmon. Shortly after watching the sunset, we decided to leave and indulge in some delicious desserts, which were on every corner- ICE CREAM!

 

Slad / any ice cream shop (a place we went to very frequently)

Walking in the city center all I could see were these amazing decorated mountains of ice cream infused with products such as Nutella, Snickers, and fruits. I was stunned! I’ve never seen ice cream look that intense before. I had to get a scoop or two, well maybe three… alright just give the whole damn batch. It was impossible to walk by all those choices without picking one. We couldn’t get enough of the delightfully light ice cream; we had to have it every day…. Don’t judge me I’m in vacation mode! –_–

 

 

Try out the bakeries

After getting a sweet tooth fix we went to the bakery next door for further indulgence. I noticed these spiral filled pastries made of thin flaky dough called Burek. The woman had three types, cherry, spinach or cheese. I went with the Spinach Burek also known as “Burek Spinat” I took one bite and all I could taste was the savoring spinach stuffing. These are a must try, just be aware that bakeries make it better than others, ask your host where to find the best homemade Bureks in town.

 

 

Cocktails at La Bodega

After a few hours at the beach, my boyfriend wanted to find a place to work and drink cocktails, and so we went to a bar called La Bodega, which is situated in the heart of Zadar’s old town. We ordered a few different cocktails from the menu, all of them were right on the money and the service was great our waiter helped to teach us some local phrases.

 

 

Grab a slice of Crazy Pizza

Man! I’m already getting hungry just by thinking about this place. A small restaurant located in the intertwined streets of the center. I originally heard about Crazy Pizza on Trip Advisor, I had to see what all the fuss was about and why it had such great ratings. It’s a simple system of waiting in a line, ordering a HUGE thin mouth-watering slice of pizza that’s given to you within seconds. I could have lived off eating pizza the whole trip, the prices are more than affordable (10 Kuna which is about $1.51) you can’t go wrong with affordable authentic pizza!

 

 

La Famiglia

La Famiglia is a small restaurant with an outdoor seating area nestled away in a tiny street of old town Zadar. All the food we had in Croatia was fantastic, but this place was so impressive that my boyfriend made us go there twice. He was absolutely blown away by their “Big Boy Burger”,  which he described as the best burger he’s ever had in his life. For a guy who likes burger on at least a weekly basis, that’s saying a lot! I had the seafood risotto, which was packed full of meat and flavor. Our waiter was funny and made us feel right at home, or should I say part of “La Famiglia”.

 

 

The Harbor Cookhouse & Club

Across the Harbor from the City center, this restaurant offers great views looking out towards the sea. We left full from tasty meat, cheese, and sweet cocktails.

 

(photos are taken from harbor cookhouse & club website)

 

THINGS TO DO

 

Eat ice cream on the steps of the Sea Organ

The Sea Organ is Zadar’s tourist trap. Around most of the area you can walk in almost total privacy having the sea to yourself, but at the Sea Organ, hundreds of tourist congregate. They have come to hear the sounds that the sea makes as the water moves in and out of series of pipes.

 

Greeting To The Sun

Next to the sea organ, another tourist trap is the Greeting To The Sun disc located at the end of the main promenade. This solar panel installation goes hand and hand with the sea organ. I recommend going at night to watch Croatia’s infamous sunsets while getting a glimpse of the led light show.

 

 

Take a swim

Note: The water is freezing, well it was for me.

There may be some deep sandy beaches in Croatia, but I didn’t find any in Zadar. If you are planning on getting in the water, I recommend bringing some kind of footwear with you; there are a lot of rocks! –ouch!!  With that being said the coastline it’s self is beautiful and lying out beside the clear blue water is a lovely way to spend the day.

 

 

Walk around the ancient Roman Forum

Zadar is an ancient city and was colonized by the Romans over 2,000 years ago. You can see the remains of Roman Forum in Zadar’s old town. Set next to this piece of antiquities is Zadar’s archeological museum.

 

 

Historic Museum Arheoloski Muzej

The museum is a three story treasure chest of items dating from prehistoric to medieval times. I would thoroughly recommend it to anyone interested in history.

 

 

GETTING AROUND

 

If you are staying in the center, I would suggest walking everywhere. The streets are narrow and most of the time it’s pedestrianized.

 

THIS MIGHT HELP!

 

  • The currency in Croatia is KUNA
  • Buy a dry bag for the beach in case they don’t have lockers to store your items
  • Bring water shoes for the beach
  • Croatia power sockets are 230V, 50H
  • Standard European (round- pronged)
  • It’s customary to seat yourself

 

 

 

I will be back to finish my journey exploring Croatia, but with a little time spent in the country, I already love the place!

Until next time!

BAEECATION! 🙂


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