Zadar is a big city with port in Northern Dalmatia. The old town is located on a sheltered peninsula with a suitable natural harbour, had good opportunities for establishing of traffic connections with the hinterland. Zadar had the most favourable combination of heavy sea routes from Ravenna, Venice or Trieste with the Eastern Adriatic system of channel traffic. More difficult navigation conditions for sailing ships at the open sea in regards to channel navigation have rendered Zadar a port of rest, where ships can be repaired and get their supply. Together with the development of steamships and motor ships, the port of Zadar became too narrow and too shallow for large vessels. Also, along with the concentration of traffic in the ports of northern Adriatic and with the development of Split and Sibenik, Zadar began to lose the advantage of its relatively easy connection with the hinterland. The development of traffic connections (the Adriatic Highway, 1959: the railroad Knin - Zadar, 1966, the port of Gazenica, 1968, and the airport, 1969), under new circumstances, has pointed out the advantages of the geographical position of Zadar. Zadar Airport is located in Zemunik Donji. Ferry lines exist to Preko, Zaglav, Mali Losinj, Rijeka, Split, Dubrovnik, and Ancona. Zadar is located on the main road 8/306/E65 and is reachable from the two highway exists “Zadar 1” and “Zadar 2”.
The location of Zadar on the low littoral greatly contributes to its climate. An average air temperature in July is 25 °C (77 °F) and 6,5 °C (43,7 °F) in January; with 200 sunny days a year. Due to climatic conditions, the Mediterranean vegetation prevails (in town parks grow exotic subtropical plants). The oldest part of the town had developed in the north-western part of the peninsula (4 km long and 500 m wide on average), closing the Old Port and the Jazine bay. New suburbs, Vostarnica and Brodarica, are located mainly along the north-eastern coast of the Old Port, outside the peninsula. In the north-western part of the town is the tourist zone with hotels and restaurants (Borik). In the south-east, around the port of Gazenica, a new port-industrial zone is developing.