Ahhh finally… the homeland. My Dad’s side of the family is Croatian and I’ve been dreaming of visiting the Dalmatian Coast for a very, very long time.
The best part about visiting Croatia, especially if you’re backpacking around Europe, is that Croatia (along with Switzerland and some other Eastern European countries) doesn’t count towards your time in the Schengen Zone. (If you aren’t familiar with the Schengen Countries and their Visa limits, check that out here.) So, we decided to make the most of our “Schengen-free” time and take our time exploring Croatia!
The first stop on our Croatian tour was the small, Coastal town of Zadar. Why Zadar you ask? Well, as it turned out there were really cheap flights from Berlin, so we said “why the hell not”.
The Old Town of Zadar is tiny; I think we actually walked the entire thing in 30 minutes. However, what it lacks in size, it makes up for in culture. Zadar’s cobblestone streets are packed with cute little restaurants and bars, and just a couple blocks from the main square is the Adriatic Sea.
Where to Stay: Zadar is much bigger than just the Old Town, but if you want to be where the “action” is (there’s not a ton of action, but there’s some!) then you definitely want to stay in the Old Town. The apartment we stayed in was in the heart of it and was perfect for a short stay. Airbnb in Zadar.
Where to eat: Like I said, there are a ton of really good restaurants in Zadar. We were looking for traditional Dalmatian food for lunch one day and were directed to Konoba Stormorica. It was a really tasty lunch and we would recommend it if you’re in the area!
What to do: Two things that Zadar is well known for: Sunsets & Sea Organs. I’m familiar with sunsets, but what the heck is a Sea Organ?
Turns out, some ingenious architects who designed the sea wall in Zadar, actually made an organ out of the steps! Recently, it has kind of put Zadar on the tourism map. Most people haven’t heard of the small town, but they’ve heard of the sea organs.
Zadar is also known for its breathtaking sunsets. We were fortunate to have a clear (albeit chilly) night in Zadar, where we sat on the steps of the sea organ and watched the sunset. It was pretty magical. (scroll down for a video!)