3 Days in Zadar Itinerary: A Perfect Zadar Trip For The Summer

I married a man from Zadar, and from the moment I stepped into the Zadar marina, I was hooked. 

I married a man from Zadar, and from the moment I stepped into the Zadar marina, I was hooked. This city is a mix of history and modern life, striking a perfect balance that’s both inviting and intriguing. 

I’m usually in Zadar from June to September, and over time, I’ve developed a three-day itinerary that I initially created for myself when I had guests, so I needed a plan. I’d love to say that this Zadar itinerary is perfect for everyone, but the truth is, you can’t please all of the people all of the time. 

With over 10 years of spending every year in Zadar, I’m almost like a local girl. I’m confident that I know things to do in Zadar more than most other people. Trust me, the last thing I want is for you to feel disappointed.

So, let me guide you through this itinerary, tailor-made to ensure that your time in Zadar is as enriching and enjoyable as possible!

Day 1: Discovering Zadar’s Historic Charm


Start the day with a walk through the ancient streets of the Old Town. The best starting point is the main entrance into the old town – the big gate across the marina, which continues to Zadar’s bridge. 

Head towards Kalelarga, the main street. You can’t miss it. After entering the old town on foot, you’ll pass two smaller streets and then find yourself on Kalelarga. It’s the widest street in the old city, filled with shops and cafes. The street takes you all the way to the waterfront, where the famous Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun installations are located. 

Don’t worry, we’re not done with the Old Town yet. We’ll come back to explore more, including the St. Donatus Church, the Roman Forum, and other significant landmarks. 

There’s no need to rush, just enjoy the walk, and take in the sights for now. Rushing through can tire you out and might take away from the overall experience. You might want to see everything at once, but it’s better to go at a pace that’s comfortable for you. This way, you won’t wear yourself out too early and can fully enjoy what the Old Town has to offer.

Take a break, as a long walking tour is ahead of us. About 500 meters down the shore to the left, you’ll find a few restaurants where you can sit, eat, drink, and enjoy the view of Ugljan Island straight ahead (the one on the left is Pasman Island). If you’re looking for a recommendation, I prefer Restoran Bruschetta. 

I money is not an issue, you can continue walking for another five minutes to reach Fosa, the most exclusive restaurant in Zadar.


We’re going back into the Old Town now. You could use a map or even hire a guide, but honestly, there’s no need to. You’ll stumble onto everything just by wandering through the streets on your own. As you meander, there are several key sights you won’t want to miss in Zadar’s Old Town.

First, make your way to the Roman Forum. This public square dates back to the 1st century BC and is one of the largest on this side of the Adriatic. It’s a great place to start because it gives you a real sense of the city’s ancient roots. 

Here, you will see St. Donatus Church as well. Dating back to the 9th century, this church is significantly older than many other Christian churches in the area. Its distinctive round shape and grand size make it a standout landmark in the city.

Next, visit the Cathedral of St. Anastasia. It’s the largest church in Dalmatia and its impressive structure is a blend of Romanesque and Gothic styles. Don’t forget to take a look inside; the interior is just as fascinating as the exterior.

A short walk from the cathedral is the Five Wells Square. This area is named after the five well-preserved wells that once supplied water to the city. 

IMO, Zadar is a city best experienced at your own pace. These landmarks are close to each other, so you can easily wander from one to the next, absorbing the rich history and culture along the way.


Witness a breathtaking sunset from the famous Zadar waterfront. Whether viewed from the waterfront, next to the sound of the Sea Organ, or from a cozy spot in a café a sunset in Zadar is a moment of pure magic, often described as one of the best in the world.

The way the sun dips into the Adriatic Sea, painting the sky in spectacular shades of orange, pink, and purple, creates a mesmerizing scene that fascinates everyone who sees it.

The uniqueness of Zadar’s sunset isn’t just a local opinion; it even impressed the famous filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock. During his visit to Zadar in 1964, Hitchcock stayed at Room 204 of the former Hotel Zagreb. The view of the sunset from this spot left a lasting impression on him. 

He is famously quoted as saying, “The sunset of Zadar is the world’s most beautiful and incomparably better than in Key West, Florida.” Coming from someone who has seen many places around the world, this statement speaks volumes about the extraordinary nature of sunsets in Zadar.

Zadar Itinerary for 3 days: Day 2

Morning: Visiting the Island of Ugljan

This is one of the most popular Zadar day trips. You can explore the island on foot, but considering its size, I recommend going through an agency where you can also get a bicycle, priced at 55 euros. 

Your journey starts with a bike ride to the ferry port, then a half-hour ferry ride to Ugljan. Once you arrive on the island, in the town of Preko, your biking adventure begins. The path takes you through olive groves and dense forests to the highest point of the island, offering a unique panorama of the entire island, the Zadar archipelago, and the Kornati National Park. 

After enjoying the view, continue riding through olive groves to the main road, leading to the end of the island. After reaching the bridge connecting the two islands, take a short break before heading back. On your return, ride along coastal paths, passing beaches, through dense pine forests, and through small villages that seem frozen in time. 

You will ride through Kukljica, known for having some of the best beaches on the island. Continue along the forest path by the sea towards Kali. Kali is a small fishing village historically focused solely on fishing in Croatia. The island’s residents are among the world’s most renowned seafarers. 

On most of the world’s fishing vessels, there’s at least one crew member from this town. Many of them are ship commanders, a testament to their global recognition as top experts. Continue through the pine forest, pass numerous secluded bays, and finally arrive at Kukljica, famous for its beautiful sandy beaches. Here, you can take a break in the shade of the pine trees or swim at one of the most beautiful sandy beaches.

At the end of the day, you’ll return to Preko to board the ferry back to Zadar.

Afternoon: The Museum of Illusions

The Museum of Illusions is an interactive museum where visitors can easily navigate and engage with each exhibit. Alongside every display, there are explanations to enhance your understanding.

A typical visit lasts about 45 minutes, during which the museum staff is readily available to offer help and assistance of any kind. Visitors have the option to explore the exhibits on their own or with the help of our knowledgeable guide.

Throughout the Museum of Illusions, there are several environmentally-friendly wooden puzzles, brainteasers, and educational games. We highly recommend that visitors try their hand at solving these intriguing challenges. A visit usually lasts around 45 minutes.

Evening: Try Local Cuisine

You might think I’ll recommend some seafood, but I’m not going to. Instead, we’re going to try a different local specialty, “meso ispod peke.”

Several restaurants in Zadar prepare this dish, but I usually go to Konoba Rafaelo. During the season, make sure to call them a day in advance to reserve a spot, as they’re often fully booked. 

The portions are huge, and I believe you won’t be able to finish everything, but ask them to pack up the leftovers, and you’ll have breakfast for the next day. This place isn’t overly expensive, and considering the size of the portions, it’s where you’ll get the most value for your money.

Day 3: Zadar’s Natural Wonders

Morning: Kornati

You won’t truly understand the uniqueness of this landscape until you see it with your own eyes. And then, when personal experience replaces stories, you’ll fall in love at first sight and yearn to stay in close contact with the magnificent nature of Kornati National Park for as long as possible. 

There are countless reasons to visit the Kornati, but perhaps the best one is the dreamlike sailing experience. Whether you’re a beginner who knows nothing about sailing or an experienced sea wolf, the best way to experience the Kornati is from the water.

Swimming and diving in this area turn into an authentic experience, and if you’re inclined to explore the land, which makes up only a quarter of the National Park, be sure to bring a hat as there isn’t much shade on the island. 

The Kornati islands are known for their numerous caves, which are relatively unexplored and add to the mystique and imagination of the visitors and the entire destination. 

The only way to get to the Kornati is by boat, which departs from Murter.

Afternoon: Zadar Beaches

In Zadar, you’ll find beaches to suit all tastes. I prefer Borik because it’s far from the marina and shipyard, and it has a slide for kids, although there is an entrance fee for this beach. If Borik is too far for you, you can go to Kolovare City Beach. This is a true city beach with plenty of cafes and a volleyball court. 

Right next to it is Karma, a wild beach. This one is popular among locals and older generations. If you have a car, it’s best to go outside of Zadar because it is a city with many ships, and we know what ships bring with them.

Depending on where you are staying in Zadar, I recommend the wild beach Kozino, which is northwest of the city, or Sukosan, which is on the other side, southeast of the city.

Evening: Sports Centre Visnjik

Zadar is a city with a heart for sports. The basketball club Zadar is quite successful and any Zadar resident worth their salt will be at the games supporting their team. 

This city has been graced with a range of basketball legends – from Krešo Ćosić and Pino Giergia, to Michael Jordan and Dražen Petrović. Be sure to check the schedule; no matter what’s happening in the arena, it’s sure to draw a crowd from all over Zadar. 

This gives you a perfect opportunity to mingle with the locals, whether it’s a concert, water polo match, tennis game, or another event.