Zadar is a city on Croatia’s Adriatic coast. The ideal location in northern Dalmatia near the Istria peninsula makes it a great base from which to explore all parts of the country. More importantly, visitors will find a breathtaking collection of Roman era ruins in Zadar. The city also has unique tourist attractions such as the sea organ and a stunning collection of 34 churches built in different styles throughout the ages. Get a car for hire in Zadar so that you can explore all these at your own leisure.
The most important landmark in Zadar is the Roman Forum, in front of the Church of Saint Donat. The Forum dates back to between the 1st to 3rd centuries BC. However, the most popular attraction in town is the sea organ near the cruise terminal. It looks like any other set of steps heading down from the Riva (promenade) to the water, but has pipes which make amazing melodies produced by the ebb and flow of the waves. Get a car for rent in Zadar to continue the tour to Narodni Trg (People’s Square), Five Wells Square, and the Museum of Ancient Glass. If you have time, check out the 15th century Grisogono-Vovo's Palace and the early 13th century Rector's Palace.
The star of the show is undoubtedly the 9th century Church of Saint Donat. The round, pre-Romanesque style of the building is unique, and makes the church stand out as a classic landmark not to be missed. Another must-visit attraction is the St. Anastasia Cathedral, which is just as old and lovely. You can also add the Church of St. Simeon, the Church and Monastery of St. Mary, and the St. Francis Church and Franciscan Monastery to your list. If you have time, throw in the Church of Saint Chrysogonus, and the remains of the Church of Stomorica.
The main public beach nearest the city center is Kolovare. It is a pebble beach with plenty of facilities and waterfront cafes. Family travelers may prefer to spend the day out on the beach at Borik, which has a shallow bay ideal for children. It also has an aqua park with water sports and just about everything else you might need as a tourist. Zaton is another family-friendly beach with plenty of options for water sports and games. You could also drive out to the crystal clear waters of Petrcane a few miles north of Zadar. The beach at Nin might be interesting because of the mud bath spas. There are a huge number of islands such as Ist, Molat, Iž, Rava, Olib, and Premuda that you can visit for swimming and beach fun.
Zadar is the ideal destination from which to set off an exploration of Croatia. You can drive inland to the capital city of Zagreb, or follow the Adriatic coast to Split and Dubrovnik in central and south Dalmatia. However, your best bet is to follow the coast past Rijeka to the famed cities of the Istria peninsula. Book your car rental in Zadar right and plan this drive, with stops at Rovinj, Purec, and Umag.
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