Getting to Zadar
With its rich history, cultural vibrancy, and stunning landscapes, Zadar is situated along the central Adriatic coast, nestled at the foot of the Velebit mountains. A city with roots dating back to the 9th century BC, it stands as the urban hub of northern Dalmatia.
Zadar is located in the vicinity of five national parks that are declared UNESCO World Heritage: Plitvice National Park, Krka National Park, Paklenica National Park, Kornati National Park and Northern Velebit National Park, and three nature parks: Telašćica, Vrana Lake and Velebit.
Zadar is well connected by air, land and sea, but we recommend arriving in Zadar by plane and/or by bus.
The easiest and most convenient way to reach Zadar is by air. Flights from Zagreb to Zadar offer the quickest access, taking around 40 minutes. Zadar Airport is serviced by several airlines, including Croatia Airlines, Lufthansa, RyanAir, Transavia Holland, and more, connecting the city to major European destinations such as Zagreb, Frankfurt, Milan, Berlin, Warsaw, Prague and many others.
Upon arrival, the airport provides efficient ground transportation options, including buses, taxis, and car rentals, enabling smooth and hassle-free transfers to the city centre. A bus line to the city centre is operated by Liburnija Bus (5€). Alternatively, taxis are readily available at the airport, with fares typically not exceeding 20-25€.
In case flights to Zadar are not available from your location, we recommend considering flights to the well-connected cities of Zagreb or Split instead. If you are arriving at Zagreb Airport, the easiest way to get to Zadar is by bus (which operates every hour). Close to Zadar is the Split Airport, but there is no bus connecting Split Airport and Zadar, so you need to take a bus to the Split bus station. You can take the bus from Split to Zadar (approximately 2.5 hours).
A more comfortable and quicker journey from Split Airport to Zadar (1.5 hours) can be ensured by private transfer or taxi (150-190€ for 3 to 8 persons).
|Airports near Zadar||Travelling time to Zadar||Distance to Zadar||Map details|
|Zadar Airport (ZAD)||19 min by car||12.1 km||View map|
|Split Airport (SPU)||2h 15m by bus, 1h 37m by car||129 km||View map|
|Zagreb Airport (ZAG)||3h 30m by bus, 2h 30m by car||295 km||View map|
Buses operate regularly from Zagreb and other cities for a cost-effective and reasonably comfortable option. With approximately 30 daily services from Zagreb to Zadar, the journey takes around 3.5 hours, including a short break. For information on international and domestic bus lines, visit AKZ, Arriva or Flixbus.
Zadar is well connected with domestic and international ferry and catamaran lines from Pula, Lošinj, Rijeka, Split, Dubrovnik and Ancona. For timetables, consult the largest passenger ship carrier in Croatia, Jadrolinija or SNAV for routes from Italy. The ferry from Ancona operates from June to September.
The ferry will dock at the Port Zadar Gaženica, which is located 3km southeast of the Zadar’s Old Town. Check the Liburnija Bus for the local bus timetable. The old port of Zadar is now dedicated to catamarans and domestic lines.
For those driving from Zagreb, the A1 highway offers the swiftest route to Zadar, taking approximately 2 to 3 hours.
As an alternative, you can choose a toll-free motorway to Zadar. It will take more time, but you will drive through spectacular scenery. Also, you can stop by Watermill village of Rastoke and Plitvice lakes.
Numerous low-cost car hire options are available for a more personalized experience.
While there is a train connection from Zagreb to Zadar, it’s not the most recommended option due to the relatively slow and less comfortable train services in Croatia. Additionally, the railway station is not close to the city centre, requiring an additional bus journey.