Rooftops in Zadar’s old town. The city has a long history, but has been overlooked by tourists until recently. Dalibor Brlek / Alamy Stock Photo
Rooftops in Zadar’s old town. The city has a long history, but has been overlooked by tourists until recently. Dalibor Brlek / Alamy Stock Photo

My Kind of Place: Zadar, Croatia



Why Zadar?

On the northern half of Croatia’s sunny Adriatic Coast, Zadar’s old town centre is crammed with rich, multilayered history – Roman, Romanesque, medieval, Venetian – enhanced by art installations and a vibrant cafe scene.

For many years, Zadar remained off the main Croatian tourist trail, in favour of Dubrovnik and Split, which is a shame because it’s as beautiful as either of these and its historical credentials are just as impressive. These days Zadar is most definitely in – however the good news is that it remains pleasantly less overcrowded than Split or Dubrovnik.

Zadar also makes a great springboard for exploring the nearby Paklenica National Park, historic Nin and the island Pag.

A comfortable bed

Hotel Bastion is a fabulous little boutique hotel built into a section of the old town's medieval fortifications. Rooms come with exposed stone and polished wooden floors, and there's a beautiful spa. Double rooms cost from €124 (Dh498), including breakfast.

Zadar City Apartments has a selection of stylish apartments in the old town centre as well as in the suburbs. Most sleep between two and five people and come with fully fitted kitchens. An apartment for two in the old town costs from €62 (Dh249).

As its name implies, Boutique Hostel Forum (www.hostelforumzadar.com) offers a lot more than a humble hostel. Go for the Lux or Lux2 rooms on the top floor – stylish en suite doubles with stunning views across the cathedral to the islands. Double rooms cost from €72 (Dh289), including breakfast.

Find your feet

The place to begin exploring the historic centre is the Sea Gate, which leads you from Jazine Marina into the pedestrianised old town. Walk along Kalelarga to the 13th-century Cathedral of St Anastasia, the largest Romanesque cathedral on the Dalmatian Coast. The three-tiered facade has echoes of the cathedral in Pisa. Inside, there’s a large 14th-century ciborium – taller than the one in St Mark’s in Venice. Climb the bell tower for fantastic views over the old town.

Around the corner, the Roman forum was the heart of the old town some two millennia ago – there’s not much left there now. More impressive is the ninth-century church of St Donatus, one of the most striking buildings on the Croatian coast. Keep an eye out for bits of pillaged Roman stonework embedded in the walls.

Opposite St Donatus, the Archeological Museum (www.amzd.hr) is worth seeing for its fine medieval stonework – or head around the corner to the Museum of Church Art to see some opulent gold and silver reliquaries.

At one end of the waterfront, overlooking the islands of Ugljan and Dugi Otok beyond, the Sea Organ plays soft watery notes powered by the lapping of the waves. Next to this, the Greeting to the Sun is the place to see stunning sunsets – and they really are impressive, dipping below the horizon as coloured LEDs flicker beneath awestricken onlookers’ feet.

Meet the locals

The heart of the old town is its main pedestrian artery, Široka ulica (which everyone just calls Kalelarga). Grab a table at one of the many cafes spilling out onto adjacent squares and order a coffee. Now you’re in Zadar.

Book a table

Zadar’s most upmarket tables are at Foša (www.fosa.hr), with a waterside terrace just outside the old town walls – one of only a handful of restaurants in Croatia to carry a Jeunes Restaurateurs listing. A four-course seafood menu costs 245 Croatian kunas (Dh132), while à la carte dishes peak with fresh Adriatic lobster at 1,000 kunas (Dh539) per kilo.

One of the better places within the old city walls is 2Ribara the name means two fishermen, but they serve grilled meat, pasta and other dishes, as well as seafood. Dalmatian standards such as black risotto with cuttlefish cost from about 85 kunas (Dh46).

You can’t leave Zadar without trying some of its sladoled (ice cream) – just wander along Kalelarga, where you will find a succession of ice-cream shops fronted with a mouth-watering range of flavours.

Shopper’s paradise

The lower end of Kalelarga is lined with people selling handmade lace and local crafts. If your visit coincides with Noc Punog Miseca (a festival on full moon in July), you will find the waterfront between the forum and the Sea Organ crammed with stalls selling local goodies and delicacies.

What to avoid

If you’re considering taking a boat trip out to the Kornati Islands, check exactly what’s included – many excursions only go to Telašcica Bay, adjacent to the Kornati Islands on the island of Dugi Otok – a lovely destination in itself, but it may not be what you were paying for.

Don’t miss

Zadar's Museum of Ancient Glass is quite simply one of the finest museums anywhere in Croatia. The astonishing collection of Roman glassware comes from archaeological sites all over Dalmatia and is one of the most impressive outside Italy, all beautifully presented and well-labelled and housed in a renovated 19th-century palace.

Getting there

From next month, Emirates will fly direct from Dubai to Zagreb from Dh3,750 return, including taxes. From there, Croatia Airlines flies to Zadar from 768 kunas (Dh414), including taxes.

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Infobox

Western Region Asia Cup Qualifier, Al Amerat, Oman

The two finalists advance to the next stage of qualifying, in Malaysia in August

Results

UAE beat Iran by 10 wickets

Kuwait beat Saudi Arabia by eight wickets

Oman beat Bahrain by nine wickets

Qatar beat Maldives by 106 runs

Monday fixtures

UAE v Kuwait, Iran v Saudi Arabia, Oman v Qatar, Maldives v Bahrain

SPECS

Engine: 1.5-litre turbo

Power: 181hp

Torque: 230Nm

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Starting price: Dh79,000

On sale: Now

UAE rugby season

FIXTURES

West Asia Premiership

Dubai Hurricanes v Dubai Knights Eagles

Dubai Tigers v Bahrain

Jebel Ali Dragons v Abu Dhabi Harlequins

UAE Division 1

Dubai Sharks v Dubai Hurricanes II

Al Ain Amblers v Dubai Knights Eagles II

Dubai Tigers II v Abu Dhabi Saracens

Jebel Ali Dragons II v Abu Dhabi Harlequins II

Sharjah Wanderers v Dubai Exiles II

 

LAST SEASON

West Asia Premiership

Winners – Bahrain

Runners-up – Dubai Exiles

UAE Premiership

Winners – Abu Dhabi Harlequins

Runners-up – Jebel Ali Dragons

Dubai Rugby Sevens

Winners – Dubai Hurricanes

Runners-up – Abu Dhabi Harlequins

UAE Conference

Winners – Dubai Tigers

Runners-up – Al Ain Amblers

SPEC SHEET: APPLE IPHONE 15 PRO MAX

Display: 6.7" Super Retina XDR OLED, 2796 x 1290, 460ppi, 120Hz, 2000 nits max, HDR, True Tone, P3, always-on

Processor: A17 Pro, 6-core CPU, 6-core GPU, 16-core Neural Engine

Memory: 8GB

Capacity: 256/512GB / 1TB

Platform: iOS 17

Main camera: Triple: 48MP main (f/1.78) + 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.2) + 12MP 5x telephoto (f/2.8); 5x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out; 10x optical zoom range, digital zoom up to 25x; Photonic Engine, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 4, Portrait Lighting

Main camera video: 4K @ 24/25/30/60fps, full-HD @ 25/30/60fps, HD @ 30fps, slo-mo @ 120/240fps, ProRes (4K) @ 60fps; night, time lapse, cinematic, action modes; Dolby Vision, 4K HDR

Front camera: 12MP TrueDepth (f/1.9), Photonic Engine, Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 4, Portrait Lighting; Animoji, Memoji

Front camera video: 4K @ 24/25/30/60fps, full-HD @ 25/30/60fps, slo-mo @ 120/240fps, ProRes (4K) @ 30fps; night, time lapse, cinematic, action modes; Dolby Vision, 4K HDR

Battery: 4441mAh, up to 29h video, 25h streaming video, 95h audio; fast charge to 50% in 30min (with at least 20W adaptor); MagSafe, Qi wireless charging

Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC (Apple Pay), second-generation Ultra Wideband chip

Biometrics: Face ID

I/O: USB-C

Durability: IP68, water-resistant up to 6m up to 30min; dust/splash-resistant

Cards: Dual eSIM / eSIM + eSIM (US models use eSIMs only)

Colours: Black titanium, blue titanium, natural titanium, white titanium

In the box: iPhone 15 Pro Max, USB-C-to-USB-C woven cable, one Apple sticker

Price: Dh5,099 / Dh5,949 / Dh6,799

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League semi-final:

First leg: Liverpool 5 Roma 2

Second leg: Wednesday, May 2, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

TV: BeIN Sports, 10.45pm (UAE)

Herc's Adventures

Developer: Big Ape Productions
Publisher: LucasArts
Console: PlayStation 1 & 5, Sega Saturn
Rating: 4/5

How to wear a kandura

Dos

  • Wear the right fabric for the right season and occasion 
  • Always ask for the dress code if you don’t know
  • Wear a white kandura, white ghutra / shemagh (headwear) and black shoes for work 
  • Wear 100 per cent cotton under the kandura as most fabrics are polyester

Don’ts 

  • Wear hamdania for work, always wear a ghutra and agal 
  • Buy a kandura only based on how it feels; ask questions about the fabric and understand what you are buying
Company Profile

Company name: myZoi
Started: 2021
Founders: Syed Ali, Christian Buchholz, Shanawaz Rouf, Arsalan Siddiqui, Nabid Hassan
Based: UAE
Number of staff: 37
Investment: Initial undisclosed funding from SC Ventures; second round of funding totalling $14 million from a consortium of SBI, a Japanese VC firm, and SC Venture

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.