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If you’re traveling in Croatia, you may find yourself asking the same question we did: “Is Zadar worth visiting?”

It’s the 5th biggest city in the country and is located along the coast between Zagreb and Split.

For travelers in the capital city that want to visit the beach, it’s easier and cheaper to visit than the more popular towns of Split and Dubrovnik (of Game of Thrones fame).

Daniel and I had a three day weekend to fill and knew we had to see the famous Croatian coast during our five week stay in the country. We went to Zadar, Croatia and discovered some good and some bad aspects to this beach-side getaway.

The good: The old town was beautiful and the nearby islands are nice.

The bad: The beaches in Zadar are nothing special and food and accommodation in Zadar is kinda pricey.

All in all, though, I recommend a trip to Zadar for anyone who wants to stick close to Zagreb (personally, I hate long bus rides) and backpackers or digital nomads who are on a budget as well.

Our three day weekend definitely drained the wallet so I can’t even imagine what our bank account would look like if we went to Split or Dubrovnik instead.

So, is Zadar worth visiting?

Everyones’ travel style is different so that’s a question only you can answer. Check out these 10 photos of Zadar beaches, the Old Town, nearby islands, and more to help you decide!


Zadar marina

Zadar Marina in the Old Town


Zadar old town in Croatia

Cobblestone Streets in Zadar Old Town


view of Zadar old town from the tower

The View from the Zadar Church Tower


night time in the old town of Zadar

Zadar Old Town at Night


view form the ferry ride to Ugljan Island

View of Preko on the Zadar Ferry Ride to Ugljan Island


swimming in Ugljan, Croatia

Swimming on Ugljan Island near Zadar


swimming in Ugljan, Croatia

Swimming on Ugljan Island near Zadar


islands in Zadar

Taking the Ferry Back to Zadar at Dusk


swimming in Zadar, Croatia

Watching Swimmers Jump From the Zadar Diving Platforms near Zadar Beach


Zadar old town bridge at night

Nighttime in Old Zadar


So, what do you think? Is Zadar worth visiting?

This city may not be as popular as Split or Dubrovnik, but it’s also less expensive and less crowded.

Plus, there are some amazing day trips to nearby Zrce beach, the Kornati Islands, Krka National Park, Ugljan Island and more for adventurers on a budget.

Hopefully, this Zadar photo diary helps you make a decision on whether or not Zadar, Croatia is the right beach town for you, and I hope you enjoy your trip!


Ready to go?

Explore unique stays on Airbnb – like this colorful apartment in the heart of the city – and the top hotels on to plan your trip to Zadar.

Then, check out more food, cultural, and outdoors experiences in the city to round out your itinerary (or, book a multi-day Croatia tour to finish your travel planning in one click!).


This article is part of the Zadar Series. Read the rest below:

How to Get from Zagreb to Zadar

3 Best Cheap Restaurants in Zadar

How to Take a Day Trip from Zadar to Ugljan Island

Then, explore the complete Croatia series for more to see, do, eat, drink, and discover in the country.


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Is Zadar, Croatia worth visiting? Pinterest pin


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  1. Hi, I agree with you regarding the beach in Zadar old town. I would never swim there. What you should have done was caught the number 8 bus for a 10 minute ride out of town and visited Diklo or even Borik. Then you would not have complained about the beaches in Zadar.

    • I didn’t know about them! But if we ever go back I’ll check them out 🙂 Thanks for the tip!


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