Families exploring Croatia might be surprised at the wealth of kid-friendly activities found in Zadar, a history-filled hidden gem that, although a little more under-the-radar than cities like Zagreb and Dubrovnik, holds a wealth of history, architecture and family-friendly recreation that make this 3,000-year-old city worth getting to know.
Here is our family guide to Zadar, one of Croatia’s most intriguing coastal enclaves:
An impressive relic of Augustus, the first Roman emperor, and the largest preserved ruin site on the Eastern side of the Adriatic, Zadar’s Roman forum has stood since the first century BC – a tangible reminder of everyday life two millennia ago. Walking amidst the strikingly in-tact stone structures, you’ll see ruins of ancient temples, colonnades, and just outside the forum, partially preserved aqueducts.
The Churches of Zadar
Even kids who might get bleary-eyed at the thought of regular church will be mesmerized by Zadar’s ancient cathedrals and centuries-old houses of worship. With architecture ranging from the distinctive rounded silhouette of St. Donatus church, built in the 9th century, to the Gothic-style of the 14th century St. Francis’ church, families could spend an entire afternoon admiring these structures alone.
Sea Organ & Sun Salutation
A definite “can’t miss” of Zadar, the Sea Organ and nearby Sun Salutation display will enthrall and delight children. The Sea Organ, a collection of pipes through which the ocean waves and breeze produce various harmonic sounds, won the European Prize for Urban Public Space. Sit on the steps leading to the sea and splash in the waves as they serenade you. Nearby, you’ll find the Sun Salutation, an LED light display that collects solar light to produce a spectacular light show from sunset to sunrise. The location of these famous attractions is also one of the best-known spots to catch dazzling sunsets – reason alone to visit Zadar.
Festivals & Events
Zadar is full of family-friendly festival and events, many of which take place during the summer. Come during the Full Moon Festival (taking place this year on August 29 when the full moon rises), you’ll see Zadar’s docks come alive with vendors selling local delicacies, while boats line up with fresh fish. During the Sali Festival, held in the three days leading up to Assumption Day, you can join the traditional celebration filled with dancing, music and a highly anticipated donkey race that concludes with a procession of candlelit boats around the Sali harbor. Ask us about other events or activities during the dates you’d like to visit, and we’d love to share some of our favorites, both in Zadar and surrounding regions.
Journeys Featuring Zadar:
As with all our tours, we love customizing each experience to your interests. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 800.908.7108 or e-mail email@example.com for more suggestions, activities and events, both in Zadar and across the Adriatic Coast.