Discover the world through travel & beyond!

Zadar, Croatia with Kids

Travel Mamas sometimes receives compensation and/or hosted travel and sample products related to blog posts. This story may include affiliate links for which we receive a small commission at no extra cost to consumers. As an Amazon Associate I earn money from qualifying purchases. Be sure to check with businesses and locations regarding travel restrictions and safety precautions before visiting.

You may not think of Croatia as a family destination, but after our visit I can attest it is one of the best places to plan a family vacation with children. On the western coast of Croatia lies the extraordinary city of Zadar. This Mediterranean city has been through a lot in its nearly 3,000 years of existence and as a result offers more than just sea and gelato. There is world-renowned, nature-inspired art and layers of history woven into the buildings and ruins that remain standing after several wars. Within an hour driving distance of Zadar you'll find national parks, waterfalls, and opportunities for river rafting. Here’s what to see, what to eat, where to stay, and more things to do in Zadar, Croatia with kids.

Greetings of the Sun in Zadar, Croatia

“Greetings to the Sun” light show in Zadar, Croatia

Church of St. Donat

My family was in awe of the beautiful architecture influenced from Renaissance, Baroque and Medieval times in Zadar's Old Town. One of the most impressive buildings is the Church of St. Donat from the 9th Century.

Sea Organ

There is no better way to end the day than by sitting by the Sea Organ watching one of the world’s most beautiful sunsets. Created by Croatian architect Nikola Bašić, the Sea Organ is a set of concrete steps with organ pipes embedded underneath. When waves crash into the steps they fill the pipes and create a beautiful harmonic sound.

Greetings to the Sun

Located behind the Sea Organ is the Greetings to the Sun, another nature-meets-art installation engineered by Bašić. The 77-foot diameter circle is set in the ground and made up of several solar panels. At night the energy absorbed from the panels is used to create a phenomenal light show. Kids of all ages love chasing the bouncing lights.

Preko on the Island of Uglian

Visiting Preko on the island of Ugljan was one of my family's favorite experiences during our Croatian travels. Many of the shops and restaurants were closed because we visited Preko during off-season. Still we enjoyed the laidback vibe of this island town.

Near the sea was a playground and small pebbly beach perfect for kiddos to play and for parents to sit and enjoy the Mediterranean atmosphere. Preko is just a 20-minute ferry ride from Zadar; kids ride for free while the cost for adults is minimal.

Dalmatian Cuisine in Croatia

Traditional Dalmatian Cuisine of octopus and tuna

Mediterranean and Dalmatian Cuisine

Food is one of the main things that defines a culture, so we make it a point to always sample the local cuisine no matter how exotic it may seem compared to our usual fare.

Our cab driver had recommend Nico's as the best restaurant in Zadar, so we took his advice and splurged for lunch one day. We sampled sardines, octopus, tuna tartar, and salmon risotto. To our surprise our daughter actually loved the octopus!

Luckily we didn’t have to be too adventurous with every meal since there are also plenty of pizza and pasta eateries in Croatia. Our favorite restaurant ended up being an Italian joint right by the sea called Bruschetta. The shrimp fettuccine pasta in a garlic cream sauce was simply to die for! 

Greetings of the Sun in Zadar, Croatia

Church of St. Donat in Zadar's Old Town

Where to Stay in Zadar

I like to use when searching for places to stay in Europe. The site offers plenty of reviews of various types of accommodations (hotels, apartments or bed & breakfasts), many which cater to families with small children. Be sure to check the proximity to Old Town by foot or bus before booking. The bus is very easy to use and super cheap too. Most hotels can help you with the schedule.

I also cross-reference places to stay on TripAdvisor to read reviews from a variety of travelers, many of whom post photos so you really know what you’re paying for. We stayed at Villa Triana and I would highly recommend this vacation apartment rental to any family.

Zadar Croatia Boardwalk

The boardwalk outside of Zadar’s Old Town

Getting to Zadar

Located on the western coast of Croatia — Zadar is easily accessible by airplane. Train and car are also suitable transportation options, depending on your situation and travel schedule. I’ve read several travelers suggest renting a car from Dubrovnik or Split and heading up the coast to Zadar. No matter how you get there, I bet you will love the beauty and wealth of activities in this Croatian beach city.

Do you have any suggestions for fun things to do in Zadar, Croatia with kids? Tell us in the comments below!

Rebecca Wright is an avid traveller, foodie, and lover of all things crafty. She currently lives in western Germany with her husband and two children.

About Rebecca Wright, Travel Mamas Guest Blogger
  1. Mama Munchkin says

    This looks like a splendid addition as we are thinking of visiting Croatia soon with our kids. I have been researching Dubrovnik and Split but hadn’t heard of Zadar.

  2. A fun thing to do in Zadar is to take the little rowboat ferry across from the Old Town, where the rowing is done standing up. There are plenty of boat trips to the islands in the Zadar Archipelago which are priced at around $50 including lunch. The threeislands closest to Zadar are Osljak, Pasman and Ugljan.

  3. Tonka Mestrovic says

    Zadar is city that you should not definitely miss. Zadar, which is 3000 years old, is a real treasure trove of archaeological treasures and monuments from ancient, medieval and Renaissance times.

  4. Riad Novak says

    Traveling to zadar is an amazing experience especially with family and children. i have Visited Zadar several of times but my last trip was full of joys and entertainment!

  5. Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says

    Rebecca – I’ve heard wonderful things about Croatia & I’m glad to know there’s so much for kids to do there. The Greetings to the Sun looks awesome! Thank you for writing a guest post for Travel Mamas!

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.