Without a doubt, Croatia is one of the more underrated countries when it comes to natural beauty. Most of us would probably think of Greek & Spanish islands, Thailand or even Bali first. Even if Croatia does come up on the list, most would consider the more popular Dubrovnik or Split. Of course, those are beautiful destinations but let’s park that aside. Today, we’re exploring Zadar – the fifth largest Croatian city situated nicely along the coast of the Adriatic sea. More specifically, Zadar’s old historical town.
After more than 3,000 years of history and reconstruction through its many battles, modern day Zadar is a city packed with a rich mix of diverse cultures.
Zadar’s old town still retains most of its roman ruins, architectures and medieval-style churches due to the city’s long historical ties to Roman history. Currently, the city is still relatively unpopulated by mass tourism, so walking through the streets is lovely, uncrowded and pretty clean.
While you don’t get a ton of worldly gastronomical cuisines or shopping right around in Zadar’s old town, I think the most enjoyable way to spend the day around here is simply to take some time walking through its old, romanesque town, stopping a couple of times for delicious gelato that are much more affordable than what you get in Italy and finally making it to the riviera for one of the most spectacular sunsets while overlooking the Adriatic sea.
While at the riviera, you’ll probably hear the “sea organ”, which is an experimental musical instrument that plays music from the sea waves hitting through the tubes placed underneath a set of marble steps. While it’s not exactly theatrical or rock concert music, the combination of actual sea waves sound paired with the sea organs almost make the whole sound poetic (if not hypnotic).
Another one of Zadar’s famed attraction is the “Monument to the Sun” installation. It is a huge, 22-meter diameter circle solar panel display built under three hundred multi-layered glass panels. What it does is simply absorbing the sunlight during the day and come nightfall, presents a beautiful LED light show powered by the sunlight.
There you have it – Sea breeze, sea waves and music, sunset, and an illuminated light display as an after show. The ingredients for a perfect day.