Sibenik is a very charming Croatian city full of architectural pearls. Of course, there are plenty of examples of what to see and do in the town, so keep reading!
This town lies on the Dalmatian coast between two other big cities – Split and Zadar. If you are interested in learning more about Split, head over to our previous blog. Also, Sibenik is conveniently located at only 50 km from Split airport and 75 km away from Zadar airport.
The history of this town goes back to 1066, and it is the first coastal town founded by the Croatians. However, some research suggests that settlers have arrived even earlier. Besides, getting lost in the streets of this ancient city might be one of the best ways to get an authentic experience of Croatia!
Here are some the tips on what to see and do in Sibenik:
Cathedral of St James
This monument is one of the must-see things in Sibenik. UNESCO has listed it as one of their World Heritage Sites. Notably, Gothic and Renaissance styles in this architectural masterpiece from the 15th and 16th centuries perfectly complement each other. Juraj Dalmatinac along with local and Venetian builders built the cathedral from stone (without the use of mortar) brought from the islands of Brac, Rab, and Korcula. Take a good look at the 71 human faces coupled with 3 lions’ heads that stare at you from the apse frieze. These portraits of contemporaries of Juraj Dalmatinac are the best example of the sculptor’s originality and ingenuity.
Old town streets
Many consider the old city center of Sibenik to be the oldest one on the Dalmatian coast. One of the best ways to explore this city is to wander around the tiny side streets that are less crowded with tourists. It is so easy to get lost in the narrow medieval streets. Make sure to stop by the unique boutiques or enjoy a cup of coffee with some dessert in a trendy café.
The Town Hall
The historic building of the Town Hall is on the central town square, just opposite the Cathedral. It was built between the years 1533 and 1546 and represents a fine example of Renaissance architecture. Nowadays, the building is used mainly for holding events or conferences.
Fortresses of Sibenik
St. Michaels Fortress
St Michaels Fortress is located right on the top of the hill in the historic city center. Moreover, this fortress from the 12th century bears the name of the church that was standing in between its walls in the 8th century and it was the oldest church you could have found in the city. Nowadays, the town restored and renovated it so you can enjoy breathtaking views of the city. Apart from the views, the fortress holds open-air festivals, shows, and concerts with some of the worldwide known artists’ performances. No wonder this place became a must-see and display of the cultural life of Sibenik.
This unique monument played an important role in history, specifically in the defense during the Cretan war. Many consider the Barone Fortress from the 17th century to be an early modern fortress. Since it was built on the hill Vidakusa above the city, the visitors can see the city from another perspective while educating themselves through AR+ experience.
St. Johns Fortress
Another sight worth visiting when stopping by Sibenik is St. John’s Fortress. Not only is it a place for Game of Thrones fans since it is one of the places where the series was filmed but also for everyone interested in history or architecture. Similarly as Barone Fortress, St Johns Fortress was built during the Cretan war, and it is situated north of the historic center of Sibenik.
St. Nicholas Fortress
A little bit further away, but still, one of the must-see places of Sibenik, the St. Nicholas Fortress. Natives built it in the 16th century to protect themselves from a potential maritime attack from the Ottoman empire. Nowadays it is a protected heritage site by UNESCO and as a part of the defensive system of the Venetian Republic of the 16th and 17th centuries across Italy, Croatia, and Monte Negro.
Sibenik City Museum
To absorb the culture and history of the Sibenik area it is definitely a good idea to visit the city museum located next to the Cathedral. In fact, it brings a detailed view of the city’s chronology with plenty of multimedia content.
Certainly. aquapark Dalmatia is the must-visit in Sibenik for families, or friends traveling together. You can find it near Sibenik, right next to Solaris resort. Furthermore, the resort also has a marina so your boat is safely docked, while you enjoy the first themed water park in the country. Indeed, this place offers various water activities, slides, waterfalls, sprinklers, nozzles, pools with special water effects, or a kid zone with a new fairy-tale cave.
Krka National Park
This national park is a magical place with stunning views of waterfalls and gorges on an area of 109 square kilometers. Really, the marina in Skradin is one of the most beautiful on the Adriatic, so your boat will be safely anchored while you explore the impressive waterfalls and the exceptionally rich fauna and flora.
Must-see beaches close to Šibenik
After a long day of exploring the city’s hidden gems, it is time to cool down and relax on the beach. Banj beach is located right next to the old city center and in fact is fully equipped with showers, toilets, WiFi, and ATMs.
The island is known for the crystal clear sea and over 2 700 hours of sun throughout the year. Without doubt, one of the must-see beaches on the island is Zlarin beach. It is important to note that this beach is only accessible by the sea. Rich marine life makes it ideal for snorkeling.
This unhabitat island is an oasis for a peaceful and quiet holiday getaway. To point out, on Tijat, you can find Tijascica bay, the biggest bay on the island. Surrounded by nature, Tijascica bay offers its visitors a nice dip in azure deep water or a good lunch in a closeby restaurant. Simply a place where it is worth anchoring your boat!
Are you planning to visit Sibenik?
To access the islands and to experience a proper city getaway trip we highly recommend using a yacht charter from close by Rogoznica. This way you get to explore the beauties of Sibenik and its surroundings with ease.