Zadar, Croatia: All You Need To Know

As you will hopefully know thanks to my recent #SplashedByGeorge post, I spent last weekend in the beautiful Zadar in Croatia. It’s such an up and coming country and I fell in love with the stunning scenery, fantastic food and friendly people. I wanted to share some tips to get the most out of trip, as it’s somewhere which I spent some time researching before we travelled there.

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How to Get There
Ryanair is one of the few airlines to fly to this more unusual part of Croatia, as most people fly to Split or Dubronovik. The benefit of choosing somewhere more unusual is the price – we paid just £32 for return flights from Manchester. We caught a taxi to and from the airport, which costs between 150 and 180 Kuna and takes about 20 minutes. The Croatian currency is the Kuna, and £1 is equivalent to about 10 Kuna. This means that everything is fantastic value – we drank Kir Royales for 25 Kuna and large bottles of still water were about 3 Kuna in the local supermarket.

Where To Stay
We knew that we wanted to stay in the old town, where we were amongst the shops and restaurants and could easily explore our surroundings. We found Apartments Donat on Hotels.com and it was just £60 each for three nights. The owner was so friendly, even heading over to find us and show us where the apartment was when we got lost! She was always on hand to offer advice and recommendations for the area and made our stay so much more comfortable. The air con and small kitchenette were both massive bonuses, allowing us a clean and comfortable base for exploring the town.
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What to Eat
Food in Zadar is cheap and good quality. A three course meal with a bottle of wine for two cost about £20 each. One restaurant I would particularly recommend is Trattoria. We shared a bottle Spanish cava for 120 Kuna and I started with some fantastic marinated and salt anchovies, accompanied by freshly made pitta bread, for 35 Kuna. My main was orecchiette al forno, a oven baked pasta with homemade salsa, tomatoes and cheese which cost 50 Kuna. I was far too full for dessert and my meal cost me 145 kuna is total – just less than £15, which is amazing for a two course meal including alcohol. I’d also recommend for going for a drink at Ledana, a bar near Fosa. The drinks were so cheap and the setting was amazing. Think of a trendy garden party, with hidden areas, paths to explore and great music, all set in the historic old town of Zadar.
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Where to Go
The Sea Organ and the Greeting to the Sun are the two main attractions in Zadar. The Greeting to the Sun is a nighttime attraction; a light-up floor powered by solar energy collected in the daytime. If you sit on the nearby steps, you can hear the Sea Organ. This series of pipes plays music dependent on the sea’s waves. It’s fascinating and ever-changing – I could have sat there for hours. I would recommend this in the daytime, as you can listen to the sounds of the Sea Organ as you sunbathe, paddle, people-watch or swim.
In the rest of Zadar, I would recommend simply walking and exploring. To walk from one side of the old town to the other takes about 15 minutes, if you are walking slowly, so it is easy to explore. The streets are simple to navigate and outside of the old town there is also a marina and the ‘new’ town if you want to explore further afield.
If you want to explore further than Zadar, I would recommend the bus. We consulted Bus Croatia for all our bus times and prices, but bought our tickets on the day at the Zadar Bus Terminal. A trip to Plitvice Lakes cost just 165 Kuna for a two hour journey to the beautiful national park and was well worth the money. Entry to the Lakes was 110 Kuna (or 80 Kuna if you are a student) and I couldn’t recommend it more. Read a more detailed post on what I got up to at the Plitvice Lakes!
 
Have you visited Zadar or elsewhere in Croatia? Do you have any other tips?