Hi! Welcome to Complete City Guides!
My name is Patrick, I'm originally from Sydney (Australia) - and I love exploring cities (and writing about it!)
I work online in marketing, which gives me the opportunity to travel around the world full time.
So while I am away, I keep this blog updated with full travel info. I tend to stay in a city for a few months at a time, to really get to know it - then I write guides on it.
Zadar is one Croatia's highlights. It is a fantastic, small city that is definitely worth visiting if you are travelling up or down the coast line of Croatia. It isn't a huge city, especially the touristy 'old town' area. However there still plenty of things that you can see and do in Zadar.
People's Square (Narodni Trg in Croatian) is in the middle of the Zadar old town city area. Each side of the square has history, ranging from the City Guard and its large clock tower. This clock tower was built in 1562.
The City Loggia can be found on the southern side of the square. It dates back to at least the 13th century, but was rebuilt in the mid 1560's. It holds events and exhibitions.
On another side of the square you can find the St. Lawrence church, which dates back to the 11th century.
You can find plenty of restaurants and cafes in this area. If you are staying in a hotel there is quite a big chance that you'll be near this area.
If you like ancient ruins then the Forum in Zadar is perfect for you! While it might not be as impressive as the Forum in Rome, you can still be amazed by the history here.
The Roman Forum was first founded by Emperor Augustus I. Areas of the City Forum were used as a temple to Minerva, Jupiter and Juna. Before the 1930s it had been forgotten about, but was rediscovered in the 1930s after Allied bombs revealed some of the ancient remains. It was restored in the mid 1960s.
Nowadays you can walk around and even on it (not that I did, or recommend that you do, but I've definitely seen people do this). It is a fascinating area, with a nearby museum with more details about the Roman history.
If you want the best view of the Roman Forum in Zadar, then you should go to the nearby church and look down at it from the church's tower.
The Sea Organ (known as the Morske Orgulje in Croatian) can be found on a corner of the old town area of Zadar. It is a large musical instrument - but not one that you can use yourself. It plays 'music' from the wind and sea waves and tubes that are under the large steps.
The sounds it makes aren't exactly music, but they're quite pleasing, natural sounds.
It seems a bit more like an art project, however this is a staple part of Zadar now (since 2005). You can go for a nice walk around the area (you can hear it from some distance away), and end up on the steps above the organ. I recommend that you try and go for sunset, get the beautiful views and also nice sounds.
If you just want to relax it is the perfect place.
This early Byzantine church dates back to 800, and is still in fantastic condition. This is a very famous landmark, and the locals are proud of St. Donatus.
Below the church you can find the Roman Forum.
To go and look inside you must pay, with prices ranging from 12-20 kuna. See pricing here.
It is in the middle of the main old town area of Zadar, and if you go exploring you will certainly find it.
Zadar's main city gate might be one of the first things you see when entering the old town area of Zadar. It is a very impressive entrance into the city (right next to the Foša harbour).
It was built in 1543 (by Michele Sanmicheli), and has held up well despite its old age.
There isn't much to do here - it is just a gate. However it looks really impressive, and as soon as you enter it you can start exploring the back streets of Zadar's old town. If you are staying within the old town area you might miss this enterance - make sure to spend a little time walking to the city gates and checking them out.
(It is also known as "Land Gate".)
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