Home to a historic old town of Roman ruins, medieval churches, cosmopolitan cafes and quality museums set on a small peninsula, Zadar in Croatia is the perfect destination for an off-the-beaten-path adventure. With quieter streets and cheaper prices than nearby popular Dubrovnik, these are some of our tips and favourite places to go to if you want to experience Zadar, Croatia like a local.
Food – What do the locals eat?
One of the most famous dishes of the Dalmatian Coast is Dalmatian Prosciutto, or smoked ham. It’s usually eaten as an appetizer and served with olives and cheese.
Located in the Dalmatian Coast, the food of Zadar is very Mediterranean in style and consists of a lot of freshly-caught seafood. One local favourite is Fish Soup; easy to prepare, all you need is a fresh fish, olive oil, garlic, celery, parsley and rice.
Another popular traditional seafood dish is the mouth-watering brudet. A seafood stew, this dish is made with several different varieties of fish and shellfish and is served alongside polenta.
This famous dish is all about cuttlefish and squid. The black colour of the risotto (which also has a distinctive taste) is from the squids’ ink.
Usually served on special occasions, like a wedding ceremony, pasticada is a meat-based dish, where the meat (usually beef) is marinated for hours with red wine and herbs before being cooked.
Sites – Discover the Undiscovered
Watch a sunset
On a trip to the city in 1964, famous film director Alfred Hitchcock described Zadar as the home to “the most beautiful sunset in the world”. So, it goes without saying that relaxing with a drink in hand, and a nice view as the sun sets is a must here!
Watch and Listen to the Sea Organ
Known as the ‘Morske Orgulje’ in Croatian, the Sea Organ is one of Zadar’s most magical sites. Formed by steps that have been cleverly cut into a section of the concrete waterfront, they have underwater pipes in them that sound musical notes when filled with water. The higher the waves are, the louder the music is!
Greeting to the Sun
After you’ve watched the sunset and listened to the relaxing sounds of the Sea Organ, wander over to the “Monument to the Sun”. A 22-metre disc that represents the sun, during the day it soaks up the sun’s rays so that by nightfall it dazzles people with coloured lights and patterns.
Explore the Zadar Pijaca
Having been operating since the Middle Ages, a visit to the Zadar Pijaca (market) is a must for experiencing local culture. Make sure you pick up some pag cheese (paski sir), gligora cheese and head over to the Peskarija (fish market) for the freshest seafood.
Visit the Sphinx
Located in the garden of Villa Attilia in the bay of Maestral, the Sphinx of Zadar was not, actually, built by the Ancient Egyptians. Rather, it was made by local artist Giovani Smirich in 1918, after the death of his wife. It does differ from Egyptian Sphinx statues in that it is made of concrete and has fingers instead of paws.
Are you ready to visit off-the-beaten-path locations and discover cultural charm like no other? You can when you travel with Undiscovered by Globus – new Mediterranean Undiscovered tours are out now!