I caught a bus from Zagreb to Zadar along with Marty, Blake and Dre. We packed snacks for the ride and slept through most of it. After about three hours we arrived in Zadar. It was pouring rain, and the streets were flooded when we arrived.
I was wearing these two-year old, beat up flip flops and carrying about 13 kilograms of luggage. I mention this only because the streets in Zadar happen to be made of marble. Years ago, when the city was designed, they were originally limestone, but over the course of the years, the limestone turned to marble. Or at least that is what I was told.
Anyway, upon arrival, the old flip-flops, limestone-marble streets and rain were a deadly combination. I gave up walking like a regular human being and opted instead to skate.
After walking through the rain, wet streets and about five flights of stairs, we finally opened the door to our hostel: Hostel Home Zadar. It was a quiet hostel with a good-sized kitchen, but no common space. I got a message from Ina, saying she arrived, and in spite of the rain, we decided to go explore the city at night.
I’m so glad we did! Zadar is beautiful, and the streets were empty. The rain let up, and eventually dissipate. We had an entire city to explore, and there were no crowds wreaking havoc on our plans.
The juxtaposition of the white limestone and marble against the dark sky was an incredible backdrop. Although we arrived on a Monday, someone told us about an outdoor club that’s located next to an old castle wall and medieval wells. We don’t have anything comparable to this in the USA.
As if the beauty of the city wasn’t enough it is also inexpensive (compared to Dubrovnik) and rich in both activities and history. There’s a clean and beautiful beach close by, towers to climb, and the city’s streets are incredibly fun to get lost in.
Things to do In Zadar
The Singing Stairs and Outdoor Lights
The singing stairs are a set of stairs that leads into the water. As you go toward the stairs, you begin to hear whistles and differing tones. The tides somehow reverberate against the stairs and create whistling.
Climbing the Bell Tower
There’s a Bell Tower in Zadar that you can climb up. It has narrow, winding stone staircases that make you glad you aren’t wearing a suit of armor! From the top you can see 360 degree views of the entire city. It is absolutely gorgeous, and it is a must-do. This costs about 15 kuna (roughly $1.50).
Wander the Streets
Zadar is truly a city where you can get lost in the streets and admire the ancient buildings. There’s a section of the city where you can see ruins and it’s absolutely incredible.
Go to the Beach
There’s a small, clean beach with great facilities where you can easily relax with friends. It wasn’t crowded when we went, and the water was gorgeous.