Zadar Croatia – Do’s and Dont’s

Hey guys I’m back with another travel post for you lovely, beautiful people.

It has been 2 weeks since I came back from Zadar. For those of you who don’t know Zadar is a city on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast. Zadar was not the first city on my list to visit in Croatia, but as it happens it was the cheapest therefore with no real thought put into it I booked myself, and my family a ticket to go. Surprisingly I really enjoyed the city, I say surprisingly because after doing some research and being told by a lot of people that I shouldn’t visit Zadar, I really did enjoy it! The beautiful beaches, the cheap wine, the awesome weather, it was perfect for a little summer getaway.

So for those of you who also don’t like listening to your friends, and want a cheap sunny holiday read this post before you go to Zadar to ensure you are getting the best out of your holiday.

Lets start positive and start with the Do’

1. Do visit the museum of illusion

Okay, so this was one of the most, lets just say, interactive things we found to do in Zadar. I now get why so many people were saying “don’t go”. The city is small. The city is VERY small. And there is not a lot to do, so finding the museum of illusion was like hidden treasure to us. It gave us something fun, interactive and exciting to do other than sitting on a beach and spit roasting ourselves in the sun. I really enjoyed this place, and I would 100% do it again. To do the whole thing takes no longer than an hour, but totally worth it. It is also located right in the middle of old town, so its not like you are going out of your way to visit it. The Museum features optical illusions, holograms, rotated rooms, mirrored rooms, and with the cost price of £7-£8 (60 kona) per person, its no wonder this place has a 4.5./5 star rating on Trip Advisor. Go for it, girl!

2. Do go to Mamma Mia (restaurant).

Next, I want to talk about this AMAMMAZING restaurant we visited on our last night in Zadar. Located just 10 minute walk from Borik beach, and 10 minute walk from our apartment (the other direction), this place was in prime location for us. We ate out in a few restaurants, which I will get onto later, and this place was BY FAR!!! the nicest, most enjoyable, affordable place we found.

3. Do pay in to Borik beach

Borik beach is a 15 minute drive from old town. It’s the only beach in Zadar  with sand instead of pebbles. It has a private bar, a restaurant, activities such as jet skiing, a floating water park etc. It was literally the best find. However it does come at a price. Entry was around £2 – £3 (15 kuna) which is not bad at all, and if you bring your own towel to lay on you wont have to pay for a bed #Winning otherwise you end up paying for a bed, and it could get quite pricey if you are visiting every day.

4. Do visit the monument to the sun/old town at night

You should visit this place during a beautiful sunset. You can watch the sunset from the edge of the peer and it is such a stunning view specially when you are with your loved ones. After watching the sunset you’ll need to wait around an hour until the city is in full darkness for the lights from the solar panel floor to turn on. And it is a game changer. And its all for free, so no need to spend your hard earned pounds. After you have seen, played, taken photos of the lights head toward old town, there is a market the full way leading you straight into the town with lots of touristy things to buy such as sunglasses, jewelry etc. I actually bought a really cute head scarf from there, cost me around £5 which is SUPER cheap.

5. Do take a boat trip/Speed boat

I definitely recommend doing this especially if you want to visit another island that is close by. Unfortunately we were promised a speed boat, but got a normal boat instead which I will talk to you about later on in this post. Boat trips can very between companies, because I don’t have a company to recommend, you should do a quick google search before you go, and see which suit you best. There are also a lot of ticket offices in old town, it might be worth going there as well.

6. Go and visit the national park (I regretted it)

Okay, I regret not going so so much! It looks beautiful from the pictures, but it is abit pricey to get to. It is around £80 per person for a full day visit. When reading up about it online people were saying it is worth staying around the area to get the full experience over two days instead of cramping everything into one. Doing some further research I found that during summer it is very packed, so photo opportunities are limited. It was also very hot during the time we went, and walking around in the heat just didn’t seem like a good idea. I would deffo recommend going because it looks beautiful, but maybe in spring and not the in the blazing heat of summer.

Okay now that we have covered what to DO in Zadar. Let continue with the DON’TS.

1. Do not go to Sakarun beach

Looking at photos the beach looks beautiful, and I bet it is, just not the time of year we went. Even though the water was gorgeous, crystal clear, and the sand was basically white as snow there was a lot of things that was wrong with it too. For example it was completely packed, we had nowhere to sit and had to make do with the space we did have. Secondly, because the time of the year, the was a lot of dried up leaves all over the beach, like so much you couldn’t see the sand. The tide was very high as well which I think took away from the sand we were promised. Overall I’m glad I went because I got some awesome photos, the water was lovely, and we got to enjoy another day in the sun. However, I will not recommend going or will I ever go again! especially not for £60 per person.

2. Do not visit the first restaurant you see

Literally that. We wanted some nice authentic Croatian food which I gathered is seafood. We found a cute little looking restaurant right by the beach, and after a lot of should we or shouldn’t we, we did, but definitely shouldn’t of. The food was tasteless, they didn’t have many options, the waiter was nice, but not nice enough to justify paying almost £100 for four meals in Croatia, the wine was okay and the general atmosphere was… a bit dull. I would 100% would not recommend this place. Do a bit of research into some restaurants, definitely visit Mamma Mia, and don’t be fooled into eating at the first restaurant you see. The restaurant was called Punta, and has a 4.5 star rating, but I don’t understand why!


3. Do not take uber everywhere

Im not a taxi type of person when I am on holiday. I like to walk and explore, that’s how you find the best place in my opinion. However, I was on holiday with my mum and two younger sisters, so apparently walking was not an option. We used Uber, and it was actually so cheap getting from place to place, each ride would cost around £5. It is a good way of getting around, but totally would not recommend doing so. You miss out on all the little hidden places.

4. Do not fall for the person walking around offering excursion tours

I have so much to say about this, but I want to keep this nice and short. It was our first day in Zadar. We sat on a beach close to Borik, but didn’t know about Borik beach at the time which is why we sat there instead. A lady, really smiley, talkative, nice lady approached us and told us all about this beautiful sandy none pebble beach. The beach was off an island close to Zadar, and told us we would get there by speed boat. I repeat, she said speed boat. She told us the trip will take around 1 and a half hours and showed us some pictures of the sandy beach. We paid £60 each (there was four of us) and she told us she would pick us up from our apartment in the morning 8am sharp.

8am the next day the lady arrives, she takes us to where the “speed boat” is meant to be, drops us off and tells us to wait there. The boat arrives with but with no speed. We get on and end up spending not an hour and a half, but 3 hours on this boat in the sun feeling like we about to die of sunstroke. Let me just point out that the reason we took this excursion tour was because we thought we would be getting on a speed boat. We finally get to the island. We end up walking up a hill through the town for a good 20 minutes, let me just remind you it was in like 45 degrees heat. We finally come to a stop, and a car pulls over. We get in and drive another for another 20 minutes. We finally get to the beach to find it is absolutely packed with people, there was nowhere to sit and hardly any sand! Also it was super filthy. I got to give her the benefit of the doubt as it is probably not a good time of year to go to that beach, it is summer after all. That was just a joke. After only spending 2 hours at the beach it was time to go.

Overall I was really disappointed. We felt as if the lady lied to us about what to expect just to make her self some cash. It took away a full day in Zadar from us, and not to mention a lot of money! Don’t fall for it guys! There are lots of ticket offices based in old town or you can buy tickets online, you’ll know what you are getting into.

So I lied too. I don’t have 5 do’s and don’ts. I have 6 do’s and 4 don’ts which just goes to show that the positive is weighing down the negative, and if you do want a quick, cheap summer getaway definitely give Zadar a go.

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