ZADAR FAQ'S

How do I get from the airport to my hotel?

Visitors arriving in the region via air will land at Zadar Airport (IATA code ZAD), located in Zemunik Donji, about eight miles east of Zadar. With over 600,000 tourists served in 2018, it is the fifth-busiest airport in Croatia. Croatia Airlines offers year-round service to Pula and Zagreb, and seasonal service from London, Dublin, and many other European capitals.

There are taxis which idle outside the arrivals hall. Look for Taxi Lulic; they are a popular taxi company that offers some of the better rates on offer in Zadar. Expect to pay around 150 kunas to get to the Old Town, and close to 200 to Puntamika and Borik. There is also an airport shuttle, operated by Liburnija, which offers at least 12 buses daily from the airport to the bus station and to the Old Town peninsula. The airport shuttle costs 25 kunas each way and tickets can be bought on-board from the driver.

How do I get from the bus and train stations to my hotel?

Zadar`s bus station is located just north of Karma Beach, next to the train station along Ulica Ante Starcevica. There are taxi ranks at the bus and train stations; you can also catch the city buses at the bus station to the Old Town and Kolovare (routes 2, 4 and 9) as well as the marinas and Puntamika and Borik (line 8).

How do I get around Zadar using public transport?

Bus service in Zadar is operated by Liburnija (www.liburnija-zadar.hr/index.php?lang=en). Ten different bus routes service Zadar and environs. There are also bus routes which traverse the important villages on the islands of Pašman, Ugljan, Iž, and Dugi.

Bus routes 2 (green), 4 (magenta), and 9 (brown) make a circular loop of the pedestrian streets of Zadar`s Old Town. There are five stops: two along Obala kralja Tomislava (one in front of the Jazine Basketball Hall and the other near the City Bridge), one along Istarska obala (near the Sea Organ), and two along Ulica Zadarskog Mira 1358 (in front of Green Square and People`s Square). All three routes stop at Green Square and People`s Square. Routes 2 and 4 stop at Jazine, while 9 stops at City Bridge. All three of these routes also stop at Kolovare and Karma Beaches before traveling to the city bus station. Route 8 (red) connects the beaches and the marinas; you can pick up a bus from the beach which will take you to the marinas and Puntamika/Borik (by way of the city bus station). To see the current Zadar bus map, visit www.liburnija-zadar.hr/karta/index.php.

Tickets cost 10 kunas each way and can be bought on-board from the driver. If you need to connect to the beginning of another route (such as taking the bus from Kolovare to the bus station and then to Borik), the bus journey will cost 16 kunas. There is an airport shuttle which takes travelers to and from the airport, stopping at the city bus station off the peninsula and at the Old Town bus station on Liburnska obala. The buses to and from the airport travel on average at least a dozen times daily, with each leg priced at 25 kunas (no extra fees for baggage). For more information on the airport shuttle and its timetable, visit www.zadar-airport.hr/javni-prijevoz (website in Croatian).

How do I call/hail a taxi?

Taxis are usually called for in advance, or hired at taxi ranks. There are taxi ranks at the airport, the city bus and train stations, the travel port of Zadar, the Jadrolinija port, and on the mainland side of the foot bridge that connects to the Old Town and Liburnska obala.

As a rule in Zadar, it is important to either check that the taximeter is turned on, or you agree on a price before departing. The average price for a taxi from Zadar Airport to the Old Town is approximately 150-200 kunas. Some travelers have been overcharged by unscrupulous taxi drivers who work for smaller companies, or for themselves, so it is important to know that if even with a group of people with baggage, it is not common to have a fare as expensive as 500 kunas from the airport. If you book ahead of time with certain taxi companies, they will be able to tell you the price in advance. The largest and most-utilized taxi company in Zadar is Taxi Lulic (www.lulic.hr/taxi/en, +385 (0)23 494 494). Taxi Lulic vehicles are white in color with yellow and black TAXI lights on the roofs. Other recommended taxi companies include Taxi Cammeo (+385 (0) 23 414 414) and Taxi Denis (www.taxi-zadar.com.hr, +385 (0)98 424 071).

To take a taxi from the Old Town, you can call for a taxi using the number +385 (0)23 251 400; from there, you meet your taxi near the Jadrolinija pier on the eastern side of the Old Town, along Liburnska obala, one of the few roads on the peninsula accessible to cars. Taxis from the Old Town to Borik and Puntamika should cost in the neighborhood of 50 kunas. You will pay slightly less to go to Kolovare and Karma Beaches.

Is Zadar a dangerous area? Are there any places I should avoid?

Zadar is one of the safest major cities in Croatia. While it should be noted that crime rates have risen in the past ten years, it is still much safer than cities such as Split or Zagreb. Nearly all portions of the Old Town can be seen day or night, and you will most likely be safe no matter the time of day at the marinas and at Puntamika and Borik.

With that in mind, you should note that the summer high season does come with a spike in crimes, because the pickpockets and petty thieves know there are more chances to get away with ill-gotten loot. Here are some safety tips to avoid being the victim of a crime: 1) Carry small amounts of cash with you. Do not pull out all the money you will be spending on your trip. 2) Even though you are carrying small amounts, break up the amounts and store them in different areas on your person. 3) Keep your documents in a separate place on your person. Don`t take your passport out sightseeing with you, unless you absolutely need it. 4) Use common sense, like you would in the U.S., when visiting an ATM. `Skimmers` are also an issue in Croatia, so study the ATM before using it, and if you feel like it looks suspect, find another ATM to use. Be mindful of your surroundings while withdrawing money. 5) Be mindful of your surroundings when drinking at bars or nightclubs, as possible petty thieves will wait until your inhibitions are diminished to steal from you. Just practice the same safety routines you would in your city.

Can I pay/tip in U.S. dollars?

The currency of Croatia is the kuna (divided into 100 lipa) and U.S. dollars are not an acceptable form of payment. Croatia is part of the European Union, but as of 2019 it is not part of the Eurozone, meaning that Euros (legal tender in neighboring Slovenia and Italy) are not universally accepted in Croatia. You will find a few shops that will accept Euros, but the exchange rate will be determined by the shop owner and it most likely will not be in your favor. You will be better off paying in Croatian kuna.

Credit and debit cards are widely used in Croatia and you will find most businesses accept them. Bank and currency bureau hours are usually 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, with an hour break for lunch typically taken at noon or 1 p.m. ATMs are widely available in Croatia; many of them do not charge fees themselves, but note that your home banking institution may charge a fee for withdrawing money abroad.

I don't speak Croatian. Will many people speak English?

Croatians are some of the most multilingual people in Europe. It is estimated that 81% of adults can speak English at least conversationally, by far the most popular foreign language. Zadar is a popular tourist destination, so you should be able to get by with English in the Old Town at the very least. If you cannot communicate with someone, show them this sentence and they will most likely happily assist you: Da li itko ovdje govori Engelski? (Does anyone here speak English?)

Are there any basic Croatian customs or etiquette tips I should be aware of before arriving?

If you are going into an area that isn`t primarily geared toward tourists, try not to dress too skimpy or revealing. Croatians will consider this inappropriate. Casual dress is fine, but not too casual. If you pass someone on the street, nod, smile, or say a quick hello. Croatians respond very favorably to greetings, even from strangers. Croatians love coffee (kava), so if you make friends here, you will most likely be called to someone`s house or a cafe for a coffee date. Please be on time, though; Croatians value promptness!

If visiting a home, bring a bottle of wine or spirits, or possibly a bouquet of flowers. (Note: A bouquet with an even number of flowers is considered taboo, as even-numbered flower bouquets are reserved for presenting to the dead at the cemetery. Make sure the bouquet has an odd number of flowers.) Even if you are not feeling hungry or thirsty, happily accept any refreshments offered by the host; it is rude not to. Croatians will fill plates and glasses once they are emptied, so if you are full, tell your host `nema vise`. It means `no more`.

With Croatia being a very Catholic country, you will find that many people say grace before beginning a meal. As a foreigner, you aren`t expected to know how to say prayers in Croatian, but a nice bow of the head is respectful, even if you are not personally Catholic or Christian yourself. Finally, keep your hands on the dinner table; it is considered indecent to keep them folded in your lap. (This rule is not as stringent when seated around a coffee table.)

Note: Do not refer to the Croatian language as `Serbo-Croatian`, don`t refer to Croatians as `Yugoslavians`, and don`t call Croatia `Yugoslavia`. Many reminders of the former Yugoslavia are evident all over Croatia, which is not surprising considering Marshal Josip Broz Tito was a Croat. However, the Croatian culture and identity have undergone their latest resurgences in the years since independence in 1991, and reminders about `the time before` could sit quite awkwardly with people to whom you have just become acquainted (especially older people). Unlike in Slovenia, where their war of independence lasted a handful of days, Croatia`s was protracted and lasted four-and-a-half years. If a newly-acquainted person brings the topic of Yugoslavia first, be respectful, listen, and ask questions but not rude or prying questions. Some people miss the life in Yugoslavia, some do not, and many are now not even old enough to remember it. It is a sensitive topic.

What is nightlife like in Zadar?

Zadar`s nightlife is a bit limited compared to other cities. Most clubs are only open during the summer, but when they are open, they offer great drinks, ample opportunities to socialize, and live music. The highest concentration of bars and nightclubs are in the Old Town, with most of them clustered north of the University of Zadar and around Foša. There are also cool bars and lounges clustered on the northeastern quadrant of the peninsula. If you don`t want to leave the beaches and marinas, there are nightlife options there as well, but fewer of them.

Note: Smoking is forbidden in restaurants in Croatia, but in bars and cafes, smoking is permitted as long as the establishment has met ventilation guidelines with regard to cigarette and cigar smoke. In Zadar, like the rest of Croatia, cafe windows will have a green sign if you can smoke inside; red signs mean that smoking is not allowed.

Where are the best areas for shopping?

Zadar`s souvenir shopping opportunities are largely confined to the Old Town. If you are looking for unique Dalmatian food and wine souvenirs to take home, visit Natura Zara (Ul. Brne Karnarutica 5-7). Zadar is well-known for being the home of the Maraschino cherry, and you can buy Maraschino wines and chocolates (alcoholic and non-alcoholic versions) at the Maraska store, located at Ul. Nadbiskupa Mate Karamana 3.

How can I explore the Adriatic islands offshore if I choose to spend more time in Zadar?

Ferries are the best way to reach the Adriatic islands off the coast. There are two ferry ports. First and foremost is the main travel port, which is located off the peninsula and is the port where cruise ships dock. If you are traveling further afield, to Ancona in Italy for example, you will be leaving from this port. There is a smaller Jadrolinija port on the Old Town peninsula, and from there you can catch ferries to Pašman, Ugljan, Iž, and Dugi, among other destinations. To find a direct ferry from Zadar, you can search online and buy tickets at www.jadrolinija.hr/en/about-us/ships/ferries. The choice "Zadar (Gaženica)" is the travel port, while "Zadar" is the Old Town port.