Where to Stay in Zadar, Croatia? Best Areas + Hotels

Zadar, Croatia, is a historic city located on the Dalmatian coast, known for its rich blend of Roman and Venetian ruins, stunning coastal scenery, and contemporary attractions like the Sea Organ and the Greeting to the Sun.

If you are planning a trip to the enchanting coastal city of Zadar, Croatia, but feeling overwhelmed with many accommodations and neighborhoods to choose from, don’t worry.

We’ve got you covered with this comprehensive guide to selecting the best area to stay that matches your travel preferences.

Discover the charm of Croatia through Zadar unique neighborhoods and find the perfect home away from home during your stay in Zadar.

Here’s where to stay in Zadar, Croatia, to make the most of your visit, no matter your wanderlust.

Get to know Zadar, Croatia

Zadar is a charming coastal town in Croatia, between the beautiful region of Dalmatia in the south and the scenic hinterland of Lika in the north.

The town provides a stunning view of the islands and the Adriatic Sea to the front while the majestic Velebit mountain looms in the background.

Where to stay in Zadar, Croatia, Illustration

Before you plan your trip to Zadar, it’s essential to understand the city’s layout. Zadar’s geography is defined by a picturesque peninsula that houses the Old Town, surrounded by the Adriatic Sea on three sides, making it a prime destination for visitors.

The city is divided into two main areas: the Old Town on the peninsula, renowned for its ancient Roman and medieval ruins, and the newer, more modern part of the city that extends into the mainland.

The Old Town is home to most of Zadar’s historic landmarks, including the Forum, St. Donatus Church, and the Sea Organ, along with charming cafes and shops in the narrow, cobblestone streets.

The Church of St. Donatus, Zadar, Croatia

The mainland part of Zadar, connected to the Old Town by a footbridge, offers a variety of accommodations, ranging from budget-friendly apartments to upscale hotels, catering to different travel styles and budgets.

When deciding where to stay in Zadar, stay within the Old Town for a more historical ambiance or opt for the mainland for more modern accommodations and easy access to the city’s beaches and other nearby attractions.

In this guide, we’ll help you find the perfect area to stay in Zadar, considering your travel preferences, budget, and desired atmosphere, among other factors.

Quick Accommodation Guide To Zadar, Croatia

Where to Stay in Zadar with a Car? Borik, Diklo | Where to Stay in Zadar without a Car? Old Town of Zadar, Arbanasi

Where to Stay in Zadar for the first-time? Zadar Old Town | Where to stay in Zadar For Families With Children? Borik | Where to stay in Zadar, Croatia for Budget Travelers? Diklo | Where to stay in Zadar for Couples? Arbanasi

Where to Stay in Old Town? Luxury: Almayer Art & Heritage Hotel | Midrange: Art Hotel Kalelarga | Budget-friendly: Accommodation Gina | Apartment Rental: Green Room

Where to Stay in Borik? Luxury: Hotel Niko | Midrange: Seabreeze Apartment | Budget: Villa Triana | Family-friendly: Falkensteiner Club Funimation Borik

Where to Stay in Diklo? Luxury: Adria Concept Suites | Midrange: Hotel Delfin | Budget-friendly: House of Milka | Family-Friendy: Villa Gravic

Where to Stay in Arbanasi? Luxury: Miramare Hotel | Midrange: MTV Apartments | Budget: Rose Apartment | Family-friendly: Holiday Home Apartments Bellamare

The Four Best Areas to Stay in Zadar + A Bonus Place

If you plan to travel to Zadar without a car, we recommend staying in the historic Old Town or nearby neighborhoods like Arbanasi. However, it is best to avoid staying in the center on weekends if you are sensitive to noise from music.

For those traveling with a car, it is more convenient to book accommodation with on-site parking outside the UNESCO-protected Old Town.

Footbridge and harbor, Zadar, Croatia
This small footbridge connects Zadar old town with newer neighborhoods on the mainland

Zadar has two coastal neighborhoods, Borik and Diklo, located side by side. Though these areas are not very large, they could be considered part of the “greater” Zadar area because of the city’s compact nature.

If you’re traveling with kids or looking for a peaceful escape, then Borik is the perfect spot for you. It offers beautiful beaches and a wide range of family-friendly accommodations, making it the ideal place for relaxation and fun.

For those seeking a touch of luxury amidst stunning natural beauty, Diklo is the ideal destination. Imagine starting your day with incredible sea views, enjoying the finest comforts, and having quick access to Zadar’s gems. Well, Diklo offers all of that!

Lastly, there is Arbanasi, a charming seaside village with the serene feeling of being on an island on the opposite side of the city from Borik and Diklo. This ancient village is known for its traditional architecture and historical sites, offering a unique stay experience amidst its rich cultural heritage.

Also, we have an exclusive recommendation for another Zadar neighborhood, a real gem, but you’ll have to wait until the end of the article to unveil it.

Best areas to stay in Zadar, Croatia
  1. Old Town – Best Place To Stay In Zadar
  2. Borik – Best Area To Stay In Zadar For Families With Kids
  3. Diklo – Best Zadar Neighborhood For Budget Stays
  4. Arbanasi – Best Area To Stay In Zadar For Couples

1. Old Town of Zadar – best Place To Stay In Zadar

The Old Town of Zadar is the heart of the city and a major attraction. This historic part of Zadar is surrounded by majestic walls, evidence of its long and storied past. The Old Town is the best place to stay in Zadar for first-time visitors!

There’s an undeniable allure to residing within the city’s walls, where a maze of cobblestone streets and squares hosts a rich tapestry of historical edifices.

The pedestrianized streets are alive with many bars, ice cream shops, some boutiques, and more than a few exceptional restaurants. 

People's Square (Narodni trg), Zadar, Croatia

Among these culinary gems stands Bruschetta (location) and 4 Kantuna (location), local favorites renowned for their fusion of traditional Dalmatian flavors with a modern twist. These eateries use fresh, locally sourced seafood and ingredients and have a charming ambiance that captures the true spirit of Zadar.

If you prefer vegan options, Hedonist (location) is an excellent choice with outdoor seating that allows you to dine under a canopy of stars while enjoying the city’s gentle buzz and the Adriatic’s soothing whispers.

For those seeking a tranquil setting and are sensitive to noise, it is wise to avoid staying here on Friday and Saturday nights. Even regular bars like Wine Bar Dišpet (location) and Caffe Bar Kult (location) become quite loud on weekends.

If you’re in the mood for some drinks and dancing, Svarog Bar (location) is a great place to go, with DJs spinning tunes daily. Clubs like Opera Club Zadar (location) and Hype Club (location) offer an all-night party experience with live DJs, vibrant dance floors, and an endless cocktails.

While the Old Town is not a car-free zone, most accommodations do not offer on-site parking. However, some properties provide parking within a short distance from the accommodation, often for an additional fee. It’s rare to find bellhop service here, so be prepared to transport your luggage to your lodging. We suggest inquiring about parking options with your chosen accommodation provider before arrival.

It’s rare to find bellhop service here, so be prepared to transport your luggage to your lodging. We suggest inquiring about parking options with your chosen accommodation provider before your arrival.

When staying in the Old Town, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the remnants of the Roman Forum, visit the unique Sea Organ, and enjoy the mesmerizing light display of the Greeting to the Sun (location).

The sunset over Zadar is a sight to behold and is famously described by Alfred Hitchcock, during his visit to Zadar in 1964, as the most beautiful sunset in the world, even more splendid than the one in Key West, Florida.

Old Town of Zadar Hotels and Accommodations 

Luxury | Almayer Art & Heritage Hotel is a chic boutique hotel in a renovated 19th-century building boasting a garden café and wine bar. Here, you can enjoy a leisurely breakfast in the serene garden, including local delicacies and freshly baked Croatian pastries. Additionally, there’s a restaurant that, in my view, stands unrivaled as the city’s finest.

Luxury | Hotel Bastion is a luxury establishment nestled in a historic Venetian fortress, offering rooms that blend contemporary comfort with historic elements. The hotel features a wellness center and a renowned restaurant that extends to a charming terrace.

Mid-range | Art Hotel Kalelarga features beautiful apartments in the heart of Zadar’s Old Town, offering modern amenities and traditional charm.

Midrange | The Bridge Luxury Apartments provides modern, immaculate apartments equipped with kitchenettes. Opt for an apartment with a balcony if available.

Budget | Accommodation Gina is a budget-friendly option located in the heart of Old Town, within walking distance of all major attractions. The rooms are cozy, comfortable, and clean, and guests can enjoy a complimentary breakfast each morning.

Budget | Rooms Goga is another budget-friendly option, offering simple, clean, and comfortable rooms in the bustling city center, friendly and helpful staff, and extremely good value for money. Rooms Goga are among the cheapest accommodation in Zadar!

2. Borik – best Area To Stay In Zadar for families with kids

Surrounded by pine trees that provide refreshing shade in the scorching summer heat, Borik sits approximately 4 kilometers from the heart of Zadar’s Old Town.

It’s a bustling tourist hub, especially in the peak of summer, where escaping the crowds for some tranquility is quite challenging.

However, if you’re unfazed by the hustle and bustle and are planning a family getaway, Borik is a fantastic choice!

Zadar’s Borik neighborhood beach offers a range of activities for visitors of all ages. From water parks and pedal boat rides for the little ones to sailing, parasailing, banana boats, and tube rides for older guests, this pebbly beach with a sandy cove has something for everyone.

Borik area, Zadar, Croatia, Aerial View

Moreover, the accommodation options in Borik are also family-friendly and budget-friendly. You can find family hotels, cozy apartments, spacious houses, or even campsites at reasonable prices that offer excellent value for money. Plus, being away from the city center means quieter nights and a more relaxed atmosphere, perfect for parents who need a break from the city’s hustle and bustle.

Right by the beach, there’s the Falkensteiner Premium Mobile Homes and Camping, a resort offering the Acquapura spa center with a sauna and a jacuzzi, an outdoor swimming pool with a sunbathing terrace, and a bar. On-site, you’d have access to private parking and complimentary WiFi.

Borik also features an excellent Beach Bar Bamboo (location) with a view of Ugljan Island and the Famous Beach Bar & Grill (location), perfect for those seeking refreshment after a well-spent day by the sea. 

If you want to rent a boat or explore the nearby islands, visit the D-Marin Borik (location), a premium boutique marina on the west coast of Zadar, which serves as an ideal starting point for discovering the natural wonders of the Adriatic Sea.

Sound good? Right?

Oh, and we’ve almost forgotten to mention that Borik Beach has been awarded the Blue Flag for its high water quality and cleanliness.

Few things are certain these days, but a stay in Borik promises an unforgettable experience that will make you want to return as soon as possible.

Borik Hotels and Accommodations

Luxury | Hotel Niko is a boutique hotel within the Borik complex. It offers guests a sophisticated stay with beautifully decorated rooms, a renowned seafood restaurant (it’s really good!), and direct beach access. Enjoy breakfast with a view of the sparkling sea each morning.

Midrange | Seabreeze Apartment presents a cozy getaway with two welcoming bedrooms, beautiful sea views, and a private terrace, providing a comfortable and homely experience right by the sea.

Budget | Villa Triana is a beachfront villa offering an intimate and refined experience for an affordable price. Each room and suite is uniquely designed, providing quality and comfort, steps away from the beach. The villa also features a private pool and direct access to the sea.

Budget | Villa Julian features comfortable and spacious apartments with stunning sea views, providing a home-away-from-home experience with the added luxury of a swimming pool and sunbathing deck.

Family-Friendly | Falkensteiner Club Funimation Borik is renowned for its engaging atmosphere and extensive amenities that cater to families, offering entertainment and activities for all ages. I’d also highlight its spa services, including massages and treatments, ideal for unwinding after a day in the sun.

3. Diklo – best Zadar Neighborhood for budget stays

Located on the northwestern outskirts of Zadar, just beside the Borik neighborghood, Diklo boasts a captivating Adriatic shoreline with crystal-clear blue waters and an abundance of apartment rentals.

Despite this, we love Diklo because it offers a unique sense of calm and belonging. The peaceful streets and the sound of the waves create a soothing atmosphere. People are friendly, and every walk along the shore during the summer fills us with energy and inspiration.

Diklo area, Zadar, Croatia, Aerial View

Diklo’s beaches mostly consist of stone and concrete sections that enhance sunbathing comfort while preserving localities in their natural splendor. You can access them by car, but parking along the main road is inconvenient.

If you’re looking for a fun-filled holiday, you can glide on water tubes and banana boats or rent a jet ski. For refreshments or comforting meals, nearby eateries such as Fast Food Index (location) and Obala (location) are ready to serve you.

If you’re in the mood for a more serious meal, we can vouch for two restaurants: Marinero (location) and Taverna (location). Sipping on a glass of local wine while you dig into the freshest seafood dishes sounds like heaven.

And if you’re a wine enthusiast, detour to Vina Poljak (location) on your way back to your apartment or hotel. You can grab a bottle or two of their exquisite local wines to enjoy them later. It’s the perfect way to cap off your evening.

Apart from eateries and wineries, a selection of cafes and bars near the beach, like Guam (location) and Castle Sunce (location), provide an array of beverages.

Diklo Hotels and Accommodations 

Luxury | Adria Concept Suites offers a luxurious stay near Diklovac and Borik beaches, with complimentary WiFi and private parking. Each apartment boasts a garden view, balcony, cozy seating corner, flat-screen TV, and a fully equipped kitchen, ensuring a comfortable home away from home.

Midrange | Hotel Delfin combines Mediterranean charm with modern amenities, just 10 meters from the sea. Enjoy rooms with sea views, free internet, and air conditioning, along with a restaurant terrace offering stunning sea and island vistas. With easy city center access via public transport, it’s an ideal spot for a relaxing and convenient seaside escape.

Budget | House of Milka is a delightful hideaway, just a short walk from Diklo Beach, offering air-conditioned accommodation with a private patio and free WiFi. With a cozy bedroom, a fully equipped kitchen, and a terrace perfect for relaxation, it’s an inviting option for a peaceful beachside stay.

Family-Friendly | Villa Gravic offers a premium lodging experience in Diklo, with tastefully decorated apartments offering sweeping views of the sea, contemporary comforts, and a peaceful garden for the pinnacle of relaxation.

4. Arbanasi – best Place To Stay In Zadar for couples

Arbanasi is a charming neighborhood in the heart of Zadar, where history and tradition are deeply rooted in everyday life. It provides a peaceful escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, with its ancient buildings and rich cultural heritage that mesmerizes anyone who wanders through its narrow streets.

Arbanasi is well-known for its beautifully preserved sacral buildings, including its unique churches that reflect the neighborgood’s diverse historical influences. Walking through Arbanasi feels like stepping back in time, where every corner and cobblestone pathway whispers tales of the past.

Although Arbanasi doesn’t have sandy beaches like other Zadar neighborhoods, it offers natural beauty with lush gardens and a serene backdrop of the Adriatic Sea visible from its higher points in the Karma (location) hiking area. It’s a perfect place to find inner peace away from the tourist crowds, offering a more contemplative and enriching experience.

At the edge of Arbanasi, you’ll find Punta Bajlo Beach (location), a rugged beauty with cliffs that dare you to dive deep into the azure below. There, you can relax and enjoy the picturesque view of the sea while sipping on a zesty cocktail at Tequila Sunrise Caffe (location), a bar that celebrates every glorious sunrise watched with a drink in hand.

Along the seaside, there are several quaint cafes, including Caffe Bar Popeye (location), not far from Kolovare Beach (location) and Porthos (location), that offer the perfect spots to soak in the serene atmosphere, sip on a freshly brewed coffee, and watch the world go by or gaze at Ugljan Island across the sea.

For food lovers, Karma Restaurant & Bar (location) and Kuzina Grill & Pizza (location) offer authentic dining experiences, serving traditional Dalmatian dishes prepared with love and care. The flavors are genuine, and the hospitality is warm, allowing visitors to taste the true essence of the region.

Arbanasi is a neighborhood that invites you to slow down, reflect, and immerse yourself in the beauty of simplicity and the depth of history. It’s a gateway to understanding the rich tapestry of Zadar’s culture and traditions, making it a must-visit destination for cultural exploration.

Arbanasi Hotels and Accommodations 

Luxury | Miramare Hotel, just a short walk from Kolovare Beach, combines elegance with convenience, featuring a restaurant, bar, and free parking. Guests enjoy modern, air-conditioned rooms with premium amenities, ensuring a stylish and comfortable visit.

Luxury | La Vista Suites in Zadar perfectly blends luxury and convenience, boasting unobstructed sea views from a rooftop pool and rooms. With modern, spacious suites and apartments, large balconies, and free parking, this seafront property is ideally situated near the beach and the old town.

Midrange | MTV Apartments offer clean, spacious, and modern accommodations, managed by a fantastic owner. These bright, well-equipped apartments are in a quiet neighborhood, just a short walk away from a small beach and the old town, with free parking included.

Budget | Rose Apartment provides a garden, with BBQ, and terrace. This air-conditioned spot is near Kolovare Beach, offering privacy, free WiFi, and all the comforts of home in a picturesque setting.

Family-friendly | Holiday Home Apartments Bellamare offers a refreshing stay with an outdoor pool, free WiFi, and serene garden views. Each air-conditioned apartment is equipped with a kitchen and private patio, and it’s close to Zadar’s historic center and the sea, perfect for a relaxing getaway.

Bonus Area: Preko, Ugljan Island

If you’re looking for a place to stay in Zadar, consider the unique charm of Preko Island.

Preko is located directly across from Zadar on the island of Ugljan and is easily accessible via a frequent ferry or boat ride that takes only 20 minutes.

This makes it the perfect spot for visitors who want to enjoy both the peaceful, laid-back atmosphere of a Dalmatian island and the bustling, historic streets of Zadar.

Preko, Ugljan Island, Zadar, Croatia, Panorama

In Preko, kick off your day by diving into the jewel-toned embrace of the Adriatic at the acclaimed Blue Flag Beach Jaz—because nothing says ‘good morning’ like a dip in crystal-clear waters. 

In Preko, you can start your day with a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters of Blue Flag Beach Jaz (location). After that, rent a kayak, bicycle, SUP, or pedal boat from Rentman Preko and explore the island’s stunning landscapes. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also play beach volleyball (location).

When ready for a break, head to Balloon Beach Bar (location) to enjoy coffee on the sand while feeling the salty breeze.

But don’t stop here! Preko is full of scenic walking and bike trails waiting to be explored.

When hunger strikes, feast on the day’s catch at Taverna Joso (location), where the seafood is always fresh.

Alternatively, you can enjoy local delicacies while gazing across the sea at Zadar from Restaurant Barbara (location).

Preko Hotels and Accommodations 

Luxury | Dunatovi Dvori Heritage Hotel, located just a few steps away from Preko Beach, combines luxury with history. Offering free bikes, a seasonal outdoor pool, and a garden, this hotel includes rooms with sea views, a restaurant, and a bar. For a truly distinguished stay, enjoy a continental breakfast, the sauna, and cycling around Preko.

Midrange | Studios Kranjec offers a serene stay in Preko, just 500 meters from Jaz Beach. These air-conditioned studios feature balconies boasting sea views and providing lots of privacy. It’s an intimate retreat for those seeking peace near the shore, with free parking, a lovely garden, and kind hosts.

Budget | Rooms Mediterranean Garden epitomizes excellent value with its clean, bright rooms that are spacious, comfortable, and equipped with modern conveniences like a fridge and air conditioning. Guests can enjoy serene garden vibes with lush fruit trees, a lovely shared terrace with nice views, old-fashioned yet impeccably clean interiors, and the warm hospitality of friendly hosts, all situated in a convenient location.

Family-Friendly | Vile Dalmacija, near a sandy beach and just 5 km from Zadar, offers a seasonal outdoor pool and stunning sea views. Accommodations include satellite TV, some with dining areas and kitchenettes. Guests can enjoy the children’s playground, a beach bar, an on-site restaurant, and free WiFi, ensuring a memorable family vacation.

Should You Visit Zadar, Croatia?

Sun Salutation, Zadar, Croatia
Sun Salutation is among unique attractions of Zadar, Croatia

Zadar, Croatia, is a must-visit destination due to its natural beauty, unique attractions, historical and cultural diversity, and easy access to national parks and islands. It is also affordable and easily accessible by plane, ferry, or bus.

Rich History & Culture | Dating back to the 9th century BC, Zadar’s heritage reflects Roman, Byzantine, Venetian, Italian, and Austrian influences. Explore ancient ruins, churches, and traditional Croatian architecture.

Natural Beauty | Zadar’s prime location offers sun, sea, and outdoor fun. Nearby national parks like Kornati Islands and Krka Waterfalls, beautiful islands, clear waters, and Zrmanja River Canyon make it a must-visit destination in Croatia.

Unique Attractions | Zadar boasts exclusive attractions like the Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun. Mesmerizing sunsets by the coastline are also unique and unforgettable.

Affordability | Despite its appeal, Zadar remains budget-friendly compared to Dubrovnik and Split.

Easy Access | Zadar is well-linked to Croatia and Europe. Zadar Airport serves major airlines and offers direct flights from many European cities. Ferry and bus options from neighboring countries make reaching Zadar easy.

Plan Your Trip To Zadar, Croatia

Seafront promenade in Zadar, Croatia
Seafront promenade in Zadar, Croatia

With so much to offer, planning your trip to Zadar, Croatia, can be overwhelming.

Prioritize your interests, whether they’re soaking up the historical atmosphere, exploring the natural landscapes, or indulging in the local cuisine. Researching and booking accommodations ahead of time is advisable, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Also, consider local transportation options for exploring the city and surrounding areas with ease. Preparing a flexible itinerary that includes both must-see attractions and downtime for spontaneous adventures ensures a balanced and enjoyable visit to Zadar, Croatia.

How To Get To Zadar, Croatia?

Zadar is easily accessible by plane, ferry, bus, or car.

By Air | The most convenient way to reach Zadar is by air. Zadar Airport (ZAD) is just a few kilometers from the city center and serves major airlines such as Ryanair, EasyJet, and Lufthansa. Direct flights from major European cities like London, Berlin, Rome, and Paris are available. You can take a taxi or bus from the airport to your accommodation.

By Ferry | If you prefer to travel by sea, you can take a ferry from Ancona, Italy, to Zadar, Croatia. Ferries run from late June to early September, twice weekly (last week of July and first two weeks of August) or weekly otherwise, and travel time is 7-9 hours.

By Bus | Bus connections from other Croatian cities like Dubrovnik, Split, and Zagreb are also available. International buses from neighboring countries like Slovenia and Bosnia and Herzegovina also operate to Zadar. Consult the timetable and purchase tickets online on the Bookaway website.

By car | If you plan to explore more of Croatia, renting a car and driving to Zadar is worth renting. The A1 highway connects Zagreb and Split to Zadar, making it an easy drive from major cities.

When To Visit Zadar?

Zadar enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate, making it an attractive destination throughout the year. However, the peak tourist season is from June to September, when the weather is warm and sunny.

If you prefer fewer crowds and slightly cooler temperatures, consider visiting during the shoulder months of April-May or October-November.

How Many Days Do You Need in Zadar?

Ideally, you should spend at least 2-3 days in Zadar to fully experience the city’s charm and attractions. This will give you enough time to visit the top landmarks such as the iconic Sea Organ and Sun Salutation, explore the Old Town with its Roman ruins and charming streets, and take a day trip to one of the nearby islands.

If you have extra time or access to a car, consider spending 5-6 days using it as a home base to discover other renowned tourist destinations in Croatia, such as Plitvice Lakes, Krka Waterfalls, or Split.

What To Do In Zadar?

Zadar is a charming blend of historical sites and modern attractions. Some must-visit places include the Roman Forum, St. Donatus Church, and the Sea Organ.

You can also stroll along the picturesque Riva Promenade or enjoy a day at one of the many beaches in Zadar.

For adventure lovers, plenty of activities like hiking, climbing, scuba diving, and sea kayaking are available. Don’t forget to try some delicious local dishes and sample the famous Maraschino liqueur during your visit.

Best Day Trips From Zadar, Croatia

Zadar is an excellent base for exploring nearby islands and stunning coastlines. Some of the best day trips from Zadar are Kornati National Park, Pag Island, Krka National Park, Plitvice Lakes National Park, Zrmanja River Canyon, and Split.


Frankaboutcroatia.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. This post might also contain affiliate links to other sites, like accommodation or activities. And if you purchase anything using these links, we earn a little commission with no extra costs for you. Thank you for supporting our blog! Read full disclaimer here.

Leave a Comment