Sibenik Cityguide

Sibenik Cityguide

Sibenik is a stunning historical city located on the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. This ancient city is among the most beautiful spots in the country. Yet, it remains relatively undiscovered, which adds to its unique charm. While many cities in Croatia were founded by the Romans or Greeks, Sibenik was not. This city was founded in the 9th century AD by the Croats themselves. They take immense pride in this part of Croatia. And rightfully so, as with its charming old town, numerous hotspots, and stunning location, Sibenik also became a favorite for us.

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Sibenik
Sibenik city guide
Sibenik

What to do in Sibenik

What you absolutely must do in Sibenik is leisurely wander through the charming old town, stopping now and then at a nice cafe or restaurant for a drink and a bite. The city itself is like a large open-air museum, and the food is fantastic. This city has all the ingredients for a fantastic city trip. Want to see more? We’ve gathered the most interesting sights of Sibenik for you:

Sibenik Attractions in a Nutshell:

  • Admire the Sibenik Cathedral
  • Visit the old town hall opposite the cathedral
  • Enjoy breathtaking views over the city at St. John’s Fortress
  • Make a stop at the small church of St. Barbara
  • Learn more about the city at the City Museum
  • Don’t forget to visit St. Nicholas Fortress
  • Marvel at the stunning nature in the nearby KRK National Park
  • Sunbathe at Banj Beach
  • Stroll along the Sibenik Promenade and treat yourself to an ice cream
  • Visit the Dalmatian Ethno Village and get a glimpse into the life of the local population over the centuries.
  • Aquapark Solaris: fun for water enthusiasts
  • Visit the town of Drnis, once famous for its 15th-century fort built as a defense against invasion
  • Visit the church of St. Francis (Sv. Frane) which has been rebuilt and changed many times over the centuries

Admire the St. James Cathedral of Sibenik (Katedrala Sv Jakova)

The Sibenik Cathedral is impossible to miss. It’s the absolute star of the city and for good reason. The cathedral was built between 1431 and 1535 and is now the most important Renaissance monument in all of Croatia. The cathedral’s dome stands out everywhere and can be admired from afar, but up close, the cathedral is even more beautiful. The construction of the cathedral encompasses different styles, with a Gothic ground floor and a Renaissance upper floor.

Oh, and also not entirely unimportant, it was one of the places where Game of Thrones was filmed. As a Game of Thrones fan, I had to have my moment at the cathedral.

Sibenik

The Old Town Hall

Opposite the cathedral, you’ll find your second must-see, namely the beautiful Old Sibenik Town Hall. The town hall is known for its gigantic columns, arches, and balustrade. Built in the 16th century by the renowned architect Michele Sanmicheli, a large part of the building was destroyed during World War II but was completely rebuilt after the war. Nowadays, you’ll find numerous terraces around the cathedral and town hall. A cup of coffee here might cost a bit more, but it’s a beautiful place to take a short break.

St. John’s Fortress

St. John’s Fortress is the highest fort in the city, situated on a hill about 115 meters above the city center. It’s a considerable climb to the top, but definitely worth it. Built in the 16th century, the fortress made Sibenik one of the best-protected cities in Europe. The view from the top is one you won’t forget easily.

Church of St. Barbara

Although the gigantic cathedral of Sibenik captures many hearts and is absolutely a must-see, my heart beats a little faster for hidden charming small churches like the Church of St. Barbara (Sv. Barbara). Not only a gem from the outside, but it also houses a small yet remarkable collection of sculptures and paintings from the 14th to the 18th century.

Sibenik City Museum

The Šibenik City Museum was established in 1925 and is located in the former princely palace. The museum comprises archaeological, cultural-historical, and ethnographic collections.

St. Nicholas Fortress

St. Nicholas Fortress was built in the 16th century to protect the city from Turkish attacks from the sea. The fort was built on the site of a former monastery on a small island and is over 500 years old.

Krka National Park

Krka National Park (Nacionalni Park Krka) is the ideal place to escape the crowds and enjoy nature. Established in 1985, the park protects the area around the middle and lower parts of the Krka River. In the park, you’ll find numerous waterfalls, lakes, and landscapes. Birdwatchers also love this place, as there are approximately 200 different bird species. You can also visit the Orthodox Krka Monastery (Arandjelovac) from the 15th century and Samostan Visovac, the island monastery on Lake Visova, in the park.

Otok Krapanj Island

Our campsite happened to be opposite Otok Krapanj Island. We decided to take the ferry in the evening and have a bite to eat here. It’s one of the smallest inhabited islands in the Adriatic Sea, with an area of 0.36 km², and it’s really nice to visit. It’s wonderfully peaceful, and you can sit there comfortably. Tip! Have a meal at Konoba Dalmata.

Sibenik Otok Krapanj
Otok Krapanj

Also Fun Things to Do in Sibenik:

  • Sunbathe at Banj Beach
  • Stroll along the Sibenik Promenade and treat yourself to an ice cream
  • Visit the Dalmatian Ethno Village and get a glimpse into the life of the local population over the centuries.
  • Aquapark Solaris: fun for the water enthusiasts among us
  • Visit the town of Drnis, once famous for its 15th-century fort built as a defense against invasion
  • Visit the Church of St. Francis (Sv. Frane), which has been rebuilt and changed many times over the centuries

Hotspots & food in Sibinik

  • Coffee & Wine Bar NaMaLo: absolutely our favorite in Sibenik. A delightful spot for drinks. The platters and beers are superb.
  • She Bistro: the staff was terribly unfriendly, but for tasty vegetarian food, this is the place to be.
  • Bistro Luce & Brigitta: adjacent to She Bistro is the slightly less trendy Bistro Luce & Brigita, but here, you can have incredibly good food. The truffle pasta, in particular, was delightful.
  • Konoba Dalmata: not in the old town but on the island of Otok Krapanj, a cute eatery with incredibly affordable food.
  • Vintage bar: where you can order the best cocktails.
  • Recommended by followers:
    • Street Food HAMBY for a quick bite
    • Konoba Nostalgija: great location and good food
    • Pellegrini: a bit pricey for us, but this is said to be the best restaurant in Sibenik.
    • Konoba Gorica: this restaurant has a cozy and lovely terrace where you can relax.
    • Restoran Pjat: budget-friendly and good food
    • Gastro Italiano: for fantastic Italian food

Best time to travel to Sibenik

The best time to visit Croatia is from May to September. From September onwards, there’s a higher chance of rain. During the peak season, it can get quite crowded, and the prices of hotels and campsites are considerably higher. If you have the chance, we recommend visiting Sibenik in May, June, or September. By then, the peak crowds have passed, and you can still enjoy pleasant temperatures.

Sibenik Croatia
Sibenik

Transportation in Sibenik

Sibenik isn’t a big city, so you can easily explore most parts of it on foot. However, renting a car for a few days to explore the surroundings, such as Krk National Park, can be enjoyable. If you have your own transport, we recommend parking far outside the city as parking costs within the city are terribly high.

Sibenik cityguide
sibenik

Which budget do i need in Sibenik?

Okay, in Sibenik, we completely lost track of our daily budget of 60 euros. Initially, we were staying at an inexpensive campsite far from the city center. Unfortunately, the Tomos broke down, and we had to hire a taxi. Moreover, it was terribly hot, making it unbearable during both the day and evening at the campsite. Hence, we decided to book a night at a hotel. Below is the budget for Sibenik. However, this could have been much cheaper.

  • Camping: +/- 35 euros per day
  • Dinner: +/- 25 euros per day
  • Lunch: +/- 20 euros per day
  • Groceries: +/- 10 euros per day
  • Other expenses (fuel, parking, etc.): +/- 25 euros per day

Total daily budget for Sibenik: 115 euros per day

We ended up not saving much. Also, we spent a lot of money on the taxi and parking fees, which is something we wouldn’t typically do.

Sibenik cityguide
sibenik

Practical information about Sibenik

  • You pay in Croatia with the Kuna
  • Parking costs around the city are quite expensive. Additionally, for campers, they often charge higher rates.
  • Dogs are welcome almost everywhere, except in historic buildings, museums, etc.
  • If your dog accompanies you, a rabies vaccination is mandatory, and your dog must be microchipped.
  • For Croatia, a passport or valid ID with at least 6 months validity is required. A visa is only necessary if you plan to stay in Croatia for more than 90 days.
Sibenik cityguide
sibenik
sibenik streets

What are nice places to stay in Sibenik?

Auto Camp Sani

In Sibenik, we decided to book a spot at Auto Camp Sani for the first night. The campsite wasn’t entirely our style, but the people were super friendly, and the facilities were incredibly neat. The campsite is located right in a village, which feels a bit odd but is within walking distance of a small beach. Due to its location within the village, it can get incredibly hot. Also, it’s quite a drive to the old town. I think we paid around 15 euros per night.

Jerry & Oils Apartments

In the city center, we found a small apartment called “Jerry & Oils Apartments.” Super simple but in a fantastic location and for less than 40 euros per night.

How to get to Sibenik?

Because we were on a road trip through Croatia, we ended up in Sibenik from the small village of Gospic. From Sibenik, we drove to Trogir. The roads in Croatia are perfect. However, you have to pay tolls on all highways, and the costs can add up.

If you’re not traveling by your own vehicle, the best way is to fly to Split. The city is about 56 km from Sibenik. The airport in Zadar is also an option.

Once in Sibenik, you can take a bus to Trogir and from Trogir, a bus back to Sibenik. It’s also possible to rent a car on the spot. Just keep in mind that parking costs in the city are around 20 – 30 euros.

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Sibenik cityguide
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Our verdict

By : We Wander Why 9 / 10

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