Nestled in the Northern Dalmatia, Zadar is one of these hidden jewel cities that need to be explored with the family during your holiday in Croatia. But what are the things to do in Zadar with the kids?
This ancient Roman city has been rebuilt over different centuries and is now one the greatest metropolis in Croatia. With a prime location on the North side of the Adriatic sea, the city of Zadar is also a port where you can on-board ferries and reach numerous islands such as Ugljan, Mot or Silva.
Obviously, the region and Zadar can be quite busy during the peak summer months of July and August but still less crowded than Dubrovnik though. If you have pre-school children, maybe opt to stay and visit Zadar in June or September.
In this guide, I have tried to find the best things you could do in Zadar with your kids, including a theme park and great gardens. Of course, we can’t recommend enough to take a few days exploring the different islands as well.
So without further do, let’s dive into the best activities Zadar suitable for families. Idemo!
1. Adventure Park Zadar
I thought I should mention straight away this Adventure Park that is so popular with families willing to take the kids out of town. If you are familiar with zip lines courses, you and your children will certainly enjoy this activity.
There are different courses suggested by the organiser from 1 to 10 meters height depending how challenging you want the experience to be.
Typically, these zip lines can be used for children aged 9+ and there is a minimum height of 1.2m or 3.9ft to be able to access the courses. If you are new to climbing trees with ziplines, not to worry they have English speaking instructors too!
2. Kolovare Beach
Next, you could spend a few hours at the beautiful Kolovare beach ideally situated not too far from Old Town.
This pebbled beach is very busy with locals and tourists over the months of July and August. So make sure to arrive early in the morning to find enough space for your beach towels.
Also, as mentioned in other destinations in Croatia, it is best to pack your bag with swimming shoes so your kids can enjoy going to the sea without any discomfort. Most of public beaches have rocks and pebbles so not bare feet friendly.
Finally, if you need a place to eat for lunch, you will find plenty of options nearby the beach or you can even bring back some sandwiches and drinks at your beach spot for the day.
3. Archaeological Museum
If you need to hide away from the scorching sun or rain (yes you could experience a few drops in the summer too), you can visit the Archaeological Museum and learn about Dalmatia historical facts.
The museum exhibits lots of artefacts like pottery, coins and Roman statues. Also you will be able to trace back the history of Croatia from prehistoric to medieval times. Expect to spend 1 hour at the museum with the kids as they could be bored after a while.
4. Boat Tour to Ugljan island
It is sunny and you feel like exploring one of the islands close to Zadar with the kids. You can’t go wrong by picking a boat tour to explore Ugljan island with a local skipper on board.
One of the benefits to go with a small boat is to reach the island from difficult access areas where you can spot great beaches. Your boat tour organiser will provide you with life vests and also snorkelling equipment.
The complete tour takes around 4 hours and is definitely worth to book with the family if you are in a rush to visit a few islands during your holiday in Zadar.
5. Museum of Illusions
Not essential but still a fun activity to do in Zadar with the kids is the Museum of Illusions. Your kids will be amused about the settings of some rooms where the logic of reflections is totally upside down.
The museum is more a place to have fun with children for 30 minutes up to 1-hour max before heading to the next excursion or activity in Zadar. So if you need a quick activity before breaking for lunch, Museum of Illusions is probably a good bet. Kids under 5 go free at the Museum of Illusions so make sure to select the right age for your booking.
Don’t forget to bring back your camera or your smart phone to capture funny moments at the venue.
6. Vladimir Nazor Park & Queen Jelena Madijevka Park
Queen Jelena Madijevka Park is one of the oldest parks in Zadar that is perched on the fortifications of the old town. The green area is part of the small peninsula and can be visited at the same time of Church St Donatus or after a morning at the beach.
The park has lots of little walking paths surrounded by flowers and trees that make a perfect place to wander around with kids.
Afterwards, you can head to Vladimir Nazor Park, which is a very shady park to keep away from the sun in the summer. There is also a nice harbour view from the park with plenty of photos opportunities.
7. Church of St Donatus
Since you are on the Old Town part of Zadar, you can’t miss the Church of St Donatus being one of the most visited buildings in the area.
Church of St Donatus is recognisable among other churches due to its unique circular shape with red roof. The religious edifice was built in the early 9th century and is a good testimonial of the Byzantine architecture in Northern Dalmatia.
In the summer, you can listen to live music in the evening inside the church during the Donat Festival.
8. Sunset and Sea Organ
The Sea Organ is probably the most exciting experience you will have in Zadar. With over tens of thousands positive reviews from visitors, the Sea Organ is basically a clever piece of architecture that produces sounds with the help of sea waves and tubes underneath the ground.
Usually, people come and sit down on the steps and wait for the sunset to arrive. You will feel a sense of relaxation and calm and hopefully your kids too! Nearby the sea organ, you can spot glass plates with sensors that become illuminated in the evening.
This place is so famous that you can expect lots of people in the night so make sure to visit it as soon as you have finished your early dinner with the children.
9. Fun Park Biograd
The park is currently closed and reopens on 28th April 2023
Here is another idea for a fun day out with the kids near Zadar: the Fun Park Biograd is located in the South of Zadar and requires a 40 minutes drive.
Fun Park Biograd is a top theme park with lots of rides and entertainment for the whole family. You can also find lots of things to do for the younger audience such as a carousel, a pirate ship and so much more.
The theme park is partly inspired by the Far West but also by the Jurassic era. Fun Park Biograd is a good opportunity to surprise your kids whilst on holiday in Zadar.
I would recommend taking a full day to properly enjoy this activity before returning back to Zadar in the evening.
10. Walk to the D-Marin Dalmacija Marina
Last on our list of the best things to do in Zadar with children is the optional walk to the D-Marin Dalmacija where you can spot lots of yachts and boats.
The marina is very contemporary and melts very well with the seafront. You can spot beautiful views over the Old Town at sunset or sunrise if you are an early jogger.
If you need a place to eat nearby, Portus Restaurant is a beautiful and classy beachfront restaurant that serves meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Otherwise, you can sip your favourite drink at the Baia Beach bar or the Café Ferata. To top it all, the marina also has a playground to make kids happy!
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That’s a wrap! I hope you have found this guide on the best things to do in Zadar useful to plan properly your holiday in Croatia or find last minute activities for your children.
There are plenty of regions and sightseeing to do around Zadar. So probably a good idea to hire a car for a day or two and visit places like Paklenica National Park or the famous Krka National park with incredible idyllic waterfalls and lakes.
Enjoy your family friendly holiday in Zadar!
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