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Discover Zadar, Croatia, with Martina from Boutique Hostel Forum

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Martina from Boutique Hostel Forum in Zadar, Croatia

Zadar in 3 words?

Old, beautiful, hip

What are you most proud of about it?

The locals’ passion towards Zadar basketball team; you must witness the game’s atmosphere when Zadar plays! Also, all this nature you can find in one place (mountains, sea, islands, lakes, fields…)

Best local blogs to check out before visiting?

Google does the job for this one, but I have to mention our own blog. We started to write articles based on the questions of our travelers so I believe it could be a good literature before visiting Zadar.

Best district to get lost?

Just walk all the small streets of the center, you’ll get lost but it’ll be pretty!

Best district to look like a local?

Anywhere except in the city center.

The colorful fronts of the center
The colorful fronts of the center
Best place to get coffee near your hostel?

We have our coffee bar in front of the hostel so my answer is pretty predictable: Caffe bar Forum! By the way, they didn’t pay me to say this, they really are good and the nearest!

Best thing to do after checking-in?

Certainly not to ask the WIFI password! Go for a swim.

First place you take visitors?

Caffe bar Marex, just outside the city center. From there, you have the best view, you drink by the sea and you just do nothing but existing.

Describe a perfect day in Zadar?

Start by drinking a coffee outside of the city center and take in the view. Then, get a ferry and go on one of the many islands around Zadar, make a barbecue on a beach, swim a bit, go back to the town center and treat yourself with a Velebitsko beer.

Best viewpoint to see the whole city?

From the Belltower of church of St. Anastasia you can see everything, it’s so nice.

The view of Zadar and all its glory from the Belltower of the Cathedral of St Anastasia
The view of Zadar and all its glory from the Belltower of the Cathedral of St Anastasia
Dirtiest bar you like to hang out on weekdays?

There is one tiny bar called Zodiac. It is pretty interesting because each time you go there planning to drink just one beer, you end up drinking 10. You’ve been warned.

Local drink to try?

Try these 3. Medica, a sort of honey brandy, Maraschino, a local liquor made from distilled Marasca cherries, and Rakija, a fruity brandy very popular in the whole country.

Best hangover breakfast place?

Fast food Stari Grad will take care of you after a night out!

Cheapest meal around Boutique Hostel Forum?

If we could call it a meal then pizza, pizza, pizza.

Any must-try dessert?

Any cake made in a place called “Danica“. They’ve been around for years and they are famous for the quality of their cakes, definitely must-try.

Setting up the hostel for a busy night
Setting up the hostel for a busy night
Suggestions if someone only has 24 hours in Zadar?

Visit the sea organ because if you do not, it would be like being in Paris without seeing the Eiffel tower! Take a long walk through the city center (it’s not really that long), learn how to say “hi” and “bye” in Croatian, meet some locals in local bars and visit Ugljian, the island in front of Zadar, with a rented bike. But please plan at least 2 days if you’re going to stay in Zadar and more days if you’re planning of visiting the nature around Zadar.

About 24 hours in Zadar with just 5 euros?

Buy some food and drink, sit by the sea and exist.

Any advice about public transportation?

If you do not pay the ticket and somebody somehow catches you, tell them you are a lost tourist, it always works.

Any cool bus or train route?

There is a little train that drives around, usually in the peak season (July and August). It takes you around the city and ends up in the city center. The only people that don’t like it are the car drivers; the little train goes very slow…

Best park to read a book?

The park above the square of 5 wells, it’s called Park Kraljice Jelene.

Walking around Zadar
Walking around Zadar
Quirkiest place to visit?

Benkovacki sajam is a trade fair in a village near Zadar (Benkovac). It takes place on the 10th of each month and you can find pretty much everything.

Weirdest museum in Zadar?

There is a place that’s not really weird, but it’s not ordinary either; it’s the Museum of Ancient glass.

Cheesiest attraction you can’t help but love?

The Sea organ… it make a sound while the waves are kicking the coast. Not a Mozart kind of sound but it works if you want to relax or take a profile photo for Facebook. And obviously, the view is perfect.

The sea organ in Zadar... Just playing music while you're chilling
The sea organ in Zadar… Just playing music while you’re chilling
Best day-trip from Zadar?

Take a trip to one of the islands in front of Zadar. You can even rent your own small boat to do so.

Any advice concerning the weather?

Go with the flow. Sun, sun, bit of rain, wind, sun, sun… It can be a big mix.

Fun fact about it that no one would have guessed?

In 1964, Alfred Hitchcock said: “The sunset of Zadar is the world’s most beautiful and incomparably better than in Key West, Florida.”

The beautiful sunset of Zadar
The beautiful sunset of Zadar
The weirdest questions you’ve been asked about your city?

“Show me the underground life of Zadar”.

What’s useful sentence people should know in Croatian?

Pivu, molim. (Beer please.)

Why do you work in a hostel?

The second best thing to do in life is to meet travelers. The first one is obviously to be a traveler.

Zadar Hostel
The symmetrical and colorful patterns of Boutique Hostel Forum. The middle photo is from a private room, with pretty much the best view ever (it made it onto our post about hostels with the best views).
How do you stay sane?

Again, you go with the flow!

Who was the most inspirational traveler you’ve met?

By now, I’ve been inspired by lots of people, but as he is a my friend, I’d say Tomislav Perko. He traveled the world with almost no money.

Coolest feature of Boutique Hostel Forum ?

Probably the black rooms on the third floor of the hostel. They are surrounded by black mirrors because the architects believed that the view was so beautiful that even if you turn your back to it, you must still be able to see it, from everywhere around.

Black Mirror Room Forum Hostel

The weirdest things left behind in your lost and found?

Teeth. (Editor’s note: “Hmm, what?! Need to hear that story!)

Thanks Martina for this great info! And to know more about Boutique Hostel Forum in Zadar, Croatia, check out their website. And what’s up again with the lost teeth?!

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The Hostel Worker

I once asked a fellow hostel worker if he was still sane after working in hostels for so many years. His response: "Well, sane is another word for boring." Here's to many more hostel years!

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