Zadar is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Croatia. Its rich history has left the city with Roman ruins and medieval churches. Zadar’s historical old town has more than 30 churches. Here, you can wander the marble streets and appreciate the lovely old town. It’s a wonderful place to sit down in a café to relax with a cup of coffee and enjoy your holiday. Car hire in Zadar is a very convenient way of getting around as its location is a great starting point to discover other parts of Croatia, its coast and amazing islands. With a car hire reservation at Zadar Airport, you can easily drive to three national parks that are crammed between the coast and the Velebit mountains, where you can hike and go swimming or rock climbing.
Basic info and car hire in Zadar
- Location of Zadar: Zadar is located in the centre of the northern Dalmatia region, eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea in Croatia, Europe
- Population of Zadar: 75,082 (2011)
- Official languages in Zadar: Croatian
- Currency used in Croatia (and Zadar): Kuna (HRK)
- Airport: Zadar Airport (ZAD) with several flights to European cities during the summer season.
- Weather in Zadar: The hottest month is July with an average temperature of 77°F (25°C), while January has an average of around 44°F (7°C) and it is usually the coldest month. Summers are hot and usually dry, winters are mild and wet.
- Sunshine hours in Zadar: More than 2,500 hours of sunshine annually.
- Best time to visit Zadar: The warmest and the driest, but also the most crowded month is August. A good choice to visit Zadar is anytime between May and September.
- The best time to swim in Zadar: The average sea temperature in August is around 77°F (25°C).
- Car hire in Zadar: The most common place for hiring a vehicle in Zadar is the Zadar Airport. To ensure you have the lowest car hire price, book your car 3 to 8 weeks prior to your vehicle collection. Alternatively, it's possible to get a great last minute car hire deal as well.
Driving in Zadar
The best way to get around Zadar city centre is on foot. But if you want to visit a bit more and explore the hidden beaches, a car hire in Zadar is your best option. Roads are well maintained but can get crowded in the summer. During summer months, it can also be difficult to find a parking space in Zadar’s town centre.
- Suitable for tourists: Good motorway system and safe roads.
- Problematic areas in Zadar: In the summer, streets are quite crowded and it is hard to find a parking space.
- Age limits: 18
- International Driving Permit: No
- Additional papers: Insurance and passport for ID
- Additional requirements for driving in Zadar: It is obligatory to have a headlamp beam, warning triangle, reflective jacket and first aid kit in the car.
- Children in the car: Children younger than 12 year must use a suitable child or booster seat and be placed on the rear seat.
- Drink & drive around Zadar: maximum BAC = 0.05 % (0.00 % for young drivers)
- Driving side of the road: right
- Lights on Zadar roads: Have to be on in pure visibility and in the winter time.
- General speed limits in Zadar, Croatia: 80 mph (130 km/h) on motorways, 55 mph (90 km/h) on non-residential areas and 30 mph (50 km/h) in residential areas.
What to see in Zadar
Zadar has a lot to offer, it has been chosen as one of the best places to visit in the World. It’s urban structure dates back to Roman times. You can still see the remains of a Roman aqueduct and a forum. In Roman times, the city of Zadar had a fortified wall, a basilica and an amphitheater. During the Middle Ages, Zadar was under the Venetian government which built new fortified defensive walls. Most of the buildings from the Middle Ages are built in the Renaissance style. Today, you can enjoy Zadar’s rich history while walking around the old town and experience the historical sites.
Our favourite spots
The Forum in Zadar
Zadar’s forum is one of the best preserved Roman Forums in existence. It was built from the first century BC to the third century AD.
You can park your hired car nearby on Liburnska Obala just a minutes' walk from the Zadar Forum.
Sea Organ in Zadar
(Morske orgulje) Designed by architect Nokola Bašić, Zadar’s Sea Organ consist of 35 pipes of different lengths which play seven chords of five tones.
You can park your hired car nearby on Ulica Lančana vrata just 5 minutes’ walk from Sea Organ.
St. Donatus Church in Zadar
Zadar’s symbol and most famous monument. Build in the early Middle Ages (9th century)
You can park your hired car nearby on Trg tri bunara 5 just 3 minutes’ walk from Church in Zadar.
Sun Salutation in Zadar
You cannot miss two amazing installations of Croatian artist Nikola Bašić: Sun Salutation is a huge circle in the pavement that collects the sun energy and offers a spectacular sight every night together with the Sea Organ’s sound that plays the music of sea waves. (More on Youtube.)
You can park your hired car nearby on Trg tri bunara 5, Zadar.
Hotels in Zadar
Located around 2.7 miles north of Zadar’s old town near the Borik Marina. All the rooms have a balcony that overlook the Adriatic sea and the old town.
Art Hotel Kalelarga
Art hotel situated in Zadar city centre on legendary Kalelarga, Zadar’s main street. It offers 10 thematically designed guest rooms.
Villa located in Zadar, offers a private outdoor swimming pool. They also offer free parking, where you can park your hired car.
This condo-style complex is situated between Zadar’s old town and Borik Marina. It features a beautiful view of Zadar’s Old Town.
Drive your rental car around Zadar
Zadar is situated right in the middle of the Croatian coastline, not too far away from the northern or southern border, so it is very convenient for many different road trips around Dalmatia and other regions. There are also various Croatian islands very close by, all accessible by ferry. Zadar has great Mediterranean gastronomy and wine, the locals are known for their friendliness and hospitality, and for the travellers seeking more than just beautiful beaches and pristine nature, there is a rich history and diverse culture.
If you visit Zadar, give yourself the time and freedom to explore not only the city itself, but also its surroundings with a car hire in Zadar! You can drive to Krka National Park and explore the spectacular scenery and swim near to the breath-taking waterfalls. Drive your hired car from Zadar to Zrće beach, close to Novalja. There you can party the night away in numerous clubs. No wonder it is known as the Croatian Ibiza. If you enjoy driving along scenic coasts, you can visit nearby Dalmatian villages such as Nin. You can also swim in the clear Adriatic Sea and explore the surrounding islands: Ugljan, Pašman, Dugi otok, Kornati and many more.
With a car hire in Zadar, don’t miss the opportunity to drive to Plitvice Lakes National Park (http://www.np-plitvicka-jezera.hr/en/), stunning blue and green lakes between the mountains and waterfalls are surely worth an afternoon trip. It is a national park and protected UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Where to eat, drink and party in Zadar
The soothing Mediterranean climate mixes well together with rich history and great cafes that can be found in every corner of Zadar. In the summer, Zadar’s nightlife becomes active. Clubs where locals and tourists can party the night away are open into late hours. Plenty of restaurants with Mediterranean cuisine won’t leave you hungry.
Craving some Italian food while in Zadar? Then visit Mamma Mia, where they serve Italian dishes made from fresh ingredients and enjoy their lovely ambiance.
Restaurant Groppo is located in the city centre and it serves seafood and fish entrees made from locally produced ingredients.
This restaurant is known for creating a homey feeling for its customers alongside with tasty dishes, which range from homemade pasta to fresh marinated octopus, Complete your dinner with a good glass of wine.
Have a sweet tooth? Look no further, as Donat has got you covered. The shop is specialized in creamy ice cream made from fresh and local ingredients.
Major events and festivals in Zadar
Fair held for three days in July in Zadar’s town square where local farmers present their produce. You can enjoy colourful fruit, vegetables and fragrant herbs.
Wonderful musical festival featuring brilliant Croatian and international ensembles playing classical music. If you appreciate culture be sure not to miss it while you are in Zadar.
If you are into films, don’t miss Zadar’s international festival. Typically held during the last week of August, it offers co-productions and also gathers the cinema audience with the professionals participating.
You can see a variety of street performers at Kalelargart Street Art in the Old Town Zadar. Enjoy the artistic presentations of theatre performances, blues and jazz concerts and much more.