Top Things To Do In Nin, Zadar

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Post author SJ

Written by our local expert SJ

Sarah-Jane has lived in Croatia for 10+ years. SJ, as she is known, has been traveling the Balkans & beyond since 2000. She now shares her passion for traveling with her husband & kids.

Living just 10 minutes away from Nin and having explored its charms for over 24 years, I’ve got a special connection to this place. It’s more than just a destination; it’s where the Croatian state was born and where seven kings were crowned, making every visit feel like a walk through history.

Drawing from years of personal experiences, I’ve compiled a list of must-do activities that capture the essence of Nin. From its historic sites and cultural treasures to its stunning beaches and vibrant local life, these suggestions aim to showcase why Nin holds such a significant place in both Croatian heritage and my heart. 

Croatia Travel Blog_Things To Do In Nin

The town of Nin in Dalmatia is just a 15-kilometer hop from Zadar, making it an easy pick for an awesome day trip. You’ll find Nin Old Town smack in the middle of a shallow lagoon connected to the mainland by two ancient stone bridges that you walk over.

Dating back to the 9th century BC, thanks to the Liburnians, Nin has been around the block a few times. Walking through Nin is like stepping back in time with its old cobblestone streets, ancient buildings, and ruins that tell tales of centuries past. Plus, it’s got these salt pans that have been cranking out salt since Roman times and are still going strong.

For such a tiny place, Nin packs a punch with loads to see and do. It’s not just about the history; Nin boasts some beautiful beaches that are a dream for anyone looking to soak up the sun or take a dip in the clear waters. It’s a special place that holds the title of the oldest Croatian royal town, a badge of honor that reflects its significance to the Croats and its enduring legacy in Dalmacija.

If you’re plotting a visit and wondering what’s on the must-do list, I’ve jotted down some of my top picks for activities and sights in Nin. From its rich history to its vibrant tourism scene, Nin is a destination that offers a unique blend of cultural heritage and natural beauty, making it a must-visit spot on your Dalmatian itinerary. 

1. Explore The Nin Salt Pans And Salt Museum

Vibrant jars of colorful bath salts elegantly displayed on a shelf.

Dating back 1,500 years, Nin Salt Works is one of Croatia’s most remarkable attractions. Here, salt is not produced by people or machines but by nature itself. Through the sea, sun, and wind, salt forms and is deposited naturally. People do, however, process and influence it to create various types of salt.

The salt pans of Nin are one of the top attractions in Nin, a place you cannot skip while visiting. The “Flower of Salt,” as it’s called locally, Nin salt is used for various purposes, from culinary to health-related. They’re said to have therapeutic properties, while the salt is also simply delicious and great for cooking.

You can visit the Nin Museum and House of Salt, which is part of the greater Nin Saline area. It consists of a historic Roman gate, home to medicinal mud, hundreds of bird species, and ancient stones. The museum houses black-and-white photos, wagons that were once used for the transportation of salt, old working tools, and so on. A documentary film shows the history of the area, while a model of the nature reserve offers some perspective.

Consider some salt products in Nin, which are some of the greatest souvenirs you can buy in Croatia. Those products range from salt itself to cosmetics, wooden and ceramic salt boxes, and foodstuffs like honey, cheese, and chocolate containing Nin salt.

Salt Museum Workshops

Nikola Tesla Electric Vehicle Rally - Nin Solana

The Salt Museum isn’t just a place to learn about Nin’s salt production history; it’s also where you can roll up your sleeves and participate in a workshop. These sessions offer a hands-on approach to understanding the traditional methods of salt harvesting. It’s an educational and fun experience, suitable for curious minds of all ages. Whether you’re traveling with family or seeking to enrich your solo trip with learning opportunities, the workshops at the Salt Museum provide a memorable take-home skill.

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2. Visit The Museum Of Nin Antiquities

When I first visited this little museum, I was utterly taken aback by some of the antiquities they had on display. Seriously, who knew women in pre-historic times were also obsessed with their appearance? The exhibit displays items like tweezers, brushes, and clips, along with many other artifacts.

This place has some very cool exhibits, indeed, including two 11th-century Croatian boats called Condura Croatica. All the items housed in the museum were discovered in Nin over the years, giving you an excellent insight into everyday life in the area hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago.

Read more about the museum here.

3. Head To The Lagoon And Queens Beach (A Sandy Beach)

A breathtaking aerial view of a beach with glistening sand and crystal-clear water, showcasing the serenity and beauty of things to do in Nin.
Queen’s beach in Nin sandbar aerial view, Velebit mountain background, Dalmatia region of Croatia

Nin has over eight kilometers of long sandy beaches, but the jewel in its coastal crown is the 3-kilometer-long famous beach known as Queens Beach. As most of you are aware, long stretches of sandy beach in Croatia are rare, so the beaches in Nin are perfect for families with small children and those who prefer sand.

The beach is part of the Nin Lagoon, which consists of sand and mud that shift with tides, weather, and prevailing currents. Because the sea is very shallow in this particular bay, it’s a perfect spot for families, making it easy for your kids to play safely.

4. Visit The Churches Of Nin

OK, this may sound a little boring, but trust me, it’s really not. 

Coronation Church of St Nicholas

Coronation Church of St Nicholas Nin near a wooden walkway is one of the thrilling things to do in Nin.

The first is the church of St Nicholas, and it’s the cool little church you see perched on a mound in the Prahulje field on the left-hand side as you drive into Nin from Zadar.

This church has, in some ways, become a symbol of Nin and makes for a fantastic photo. Historically, it was paramount because seven Kings were crowned in Nin (which is what can also be known as the Coronation Church). Every crowned ruler rode on horseback to the church of Saint Nicholas, where he would then be presented to the people.

Holy Cross – Smallest Cathedral In The World

Family Photo Shot - Nin Croatia

The second is the Holy Cross Church, unofficially known as the smallest cathedral in the world.

One of Croatia’s most famous remaining religious and architectural monuments, it was constructed in such a way that light fills the chapel on the exact date of the equinox and solstice. We took our family pictures there one year (pictured), and though it’s small, it is worth a visit. 

5. Visit The Remains Of A Roman Temple

Historic town of Nin landmarks aerial view, Dalmatia region of Croatia 

In the heart of Nin, you’ll find the remains of a Roman temple, which is the biggest on the east coast of the Adriatic Sea.

The temple dates from the late 1st century AD and the reign of the Roman Emperor Vespasian (69-79 AD). Interestingly, there are all types of remains from the Romans around Nin. If you look hard enough, they are easy to find.

6. Make A Wish By Rubbing Gregory Of Nin’s Toe

View at Grgur Ninski toe Nin Gregory

Grgur Ninski (Gregory of Nin) is a legend in Croatia. He was a 10th-century bishop who opposed the Pope and introduced Slavic language in the churches.

There is a big statue of Gregory of Nin in the Old Town. Sculpted in bronze by Croatia’s most famous sculptor, Ivan Meštrović. It’s actually quite impressive, and if you’re not familiar with Ivan Mestrovic’s work, make sure to take a closer look.

You’ll also find Grgur Ninski in Split and Varaždin. It is said that rubbing his big toe will bring you luck. You will see for yourselves that Gregory’s big toe is very well polished.

7. Healing Mud Bath In Nin And Its Surroundings

A person's arm is covered in black mud while exploring things to do in Nin.

For those who don’t mind getting a bit messy for the sake of health and fun, Nin’s healing mud baths are a must-try. Located near the famous Queen’s Beach, these natural mud baths are known for their therapeutic properties, particularly beneficial for skin conditions and rheumatic diseases.

You can slather yourself in the mineral-rich mud and let the sun dry it on your skin before washing it off in the shallow lagoon. It’s a unique, natural spa experience that’s also a great laugh and a fantastic photo op. Best suited for wellness enthusiasts and families looking for a fun, health-oriented activity.

You can also find more healing mud in Privlaka, a 10-minute drive from Nin. 

8. Visit Nin To Windsurf & Kitesurf

A group of people enjoying kitesurfing in the water, one of the thrilling activities to do in Nin.

Adrenaline junkies and water sports enthusiasts, rejoice! Nin’s shallow lagoon, especially around Ždrijac Beach, provides ideal conditions for windsurfing and kitesurfing.

Thanks to the consistent winds and safe, shallow waters, it’s a spot where beginners can learn the ropes and advanced surfers can challenge themselves. Many local schools offer lessons and equipment rental, making it easy to dive into the action.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or looking to try something new, Nin’s windsurfing and kitesurfing scene won’t disappoint.

9. Cycling Around Nin

Exploring Nin on two wheels is an experience tailor-made for active travelers and families. The area’s scenic cycling trails wind through salt pans, along the lagoon, and past historical sites, offering a serene and eco-friendly way to see the sights.

Bike rentals are readily available, and the flat terrain makes for easy riding. It’s an ideal activity for those who love to combine sightseeing with a bit of exercise, offering a closer look at Nin’s natural beauty and quaint spots that might be missed by car.

10. Bird Watching

Nature lovers and bird watchers will find Nin’s lagoons and salt pans to be a paradise. The diverse habitats attract a wide variety of bird species, including some rare and protected ones.

Bring your binoculars and enjoy a peaceful day of bird watching surrounded by stunning natural landscapes. It’s a relaxing activity that allows you to appreciate the area’s biodiversity. Whether you’re a serious ornithologist or enjoy the tranquility of nature, Nin’s bird-watching spots are worth the visit.

11. Kayak & Paddle On The Adriatic Coast


For a peaceful yet active exploration of Nin’s lagoon, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding are unbeatable. These activities offer a unique vantage point to see the town and its natural surroundings.

They’re great for families, couples, and solo adventurers, providing a mix of leisure and exercise. The calm waters of the lagoon make it safe for beginners, and the rental shops nearby offer all the gear and tips you’ll need to get started.

Contact: Sea Adventure Privlaka +385 99 375 0322

12. Eat Šokol

If you’re hitting up Nin, Croatia, and looking to dive into some local cuisine, you’ve gotta try “šokol.” This isn’t your run-of-the-mill dish; it’s a unique Dalmatian delicacy that deserves a spot on your culinary bucket list.

Sokol is essentially a type of cured meat, similar to prosciutto but with its own distinct flavor and preparation method. What sets sokol apart is how it’s seasoned with a mix of natural herbs and spices, then air-dried to perfection.

This process gives it a robust, savory taste that’s hard to find anywhere else.

Accommodation In Nin

Zaton Holiday Resort Apartments: A top choice for travelers, featuring a marina and nine outdoor pools. It’s known for its family-friendly atmosphere and proximity to the village of Nin.

Seaview Holiday Apartments, Ventura Nin: This apartment offers exceptional views and a comfortable, well-equipped apartment close to both the beaches and the center. 

Comments (9)

  1. I traveled to Nin in Sept. ’21 what a beautiful, unique little town….so much history! Salt Mine is a must see.

  2. HI CAN TTOU HELP? WE AARE 3 MIDDLE AGED WOMEN LOOMKING FOR A WEEKS BREAK FLYING inot Zadar Zdar. where would you advise us to stay? zadar? nin/ an island? we want a nice beach…a few things to do…access to a boat trip or 2…etc. many thanks!!

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