Holding the title of the oldest native Croatian town on the Adriatic coast, Sibenik served as the seat of Croatian kings in the past, including King Petar Kresimir, after whom the city was named. So-called Kresimir’s city, located in the bay where the river Krka meets the Adriatic Sea, counts a population of around 34,000 people, therefore making it the third largest city in Dalmatia. Šibenik is the political, economical and cultural centre of Sibenik-Knin County and the 12th largest city in Croatia. The official language spoken in Sibenik is Croatian and the official currency is the Croatian Kuna (≈€ 0,13). The average annual temperature is 15 °C with the warmest month being July. Thanks to the pleasant Mediterranean climate, the summers are hot and dry, while the winters are mild and humid. With this type of weather, you can effortlessly plan your holiday to Sibenik, one of the most beautiful medieval cities in Croatia.
If you’re planning to pay a visit to Sibenik, our guide below will provide the necessary information for you to efficiently plan your trip.
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Getting to Sibenik
Due to being located in the central part of the Croatian Adriatic coast, Sibenik has good connections that enable quick and easy entry to the city.
Unfortunately, Sibenik does not have its own airport, but there are other alternative options. The closest airports are Split Airport with a distance of approximately 60 kilometres, and Zadar Airport, located around 80 kilometres away from the city.
Sibenik Bus Station is the main bus station in the city located on the coastline, near the Old Town and Sibenik Ferry Port. The main bus operator is Autotransport Sibenik which offers local and interstate transport. Internationally, Sibenik is connected to cities such as Belgrade, Milan, Solvesborg, Munich and Ljubljana, while locally Sibenik is connected to Dubrovnik, Zadar and Split.
Sibenik Railway Station is situated in the heart of the city, right in the vicinity of the main bus station and port passenger terminal. At the train station you can find a public toilet and a café Maron that is open everyday from 06:00-23:00, except Sundays. The tickets can be purchased at the ticket offices or online from the official Croatian Railways HZ site.
Sibenik Ferry Port offers routes to Vodice, Brodarica, Biograd na Moru and to local islands Krapanj, Zlarin, Prvic, Kaprije, Zirje, Vrgada, Pasman and Ugljan. Besides being connected to the islands of the Sibenik archipelago, Sibenik is also connected to the nearby cities in Italy, for instance Ancona, Trieste, Bari and Venice. Check available ferries here.
D-Marin Mandalina is the only premier superyacht destination and the only marina in Croatia to have been rewarded 5 Golden Anchors. The luxurious marina provides technical services, state-of-the-art equipment, 24-hour security service and yacht charters. Because of its close proximity to islands like Vis, Brac, Hvar and Solta, it is ideal for island hopping or snorkeling.
Croatian roads are connected to the nearby countries with good motorways and affordable tolls, making the journey to Croatia by car a simple one!
Locally known as Dalmatina, A1 is the longest and fastest motorway in Croatia. A1 runs through most major Croatian cities, national parks and world heritage sites, from the capital Zagreb to Dubrovnik. It includes Karlovac, Zadar, Sibenik, Split and Ploce. Road cost for a one-way trip is around 180 kn, which is payable in Croatian Kuna, Euro or by credit and debit cards.
Jadranska magistrala, or the Adriatic highway, is the main Croatian coastal road that runs from the Slovenian border, connecting Rijeka, Senj, Zadar, Sibenik, Split, Makarska, Ploce and Dubrovnik. The highway, also known as the D8 road, ends in south Montenegro. Stretching along the Croatian coastline, the highway offers mesmerising views of the coastline, making it a favourite among all who visit.
NOTE: In order to enter Croatia with your car, you need an ID card and/or passport, a valid driver’s licence, automobile registration documents and an international insurance card.
Getting around Šibenik
Since Sibenik is a small town, it is easy to explore the city both on foot and with other means of transportation.
The already mentioned Autotransport Sibenik operates buses from around 06:00-22:00. The single ticket price ranges from 10,00 kn-15,00 kn, depending on the route. Tickets can be purchased at the kiosk that is open on weekdays from 07:00-14:00 and Saturdays from 07:30-13:30. The timetable is available here.
To properly acquaint yourself with this thousand-year-old city, you can order a ride from companies such as Taxi Sibenik or Taxi-Transfer Sibenik. If you wish to explore the wonders of the Adriatic Sea, then you can rent a boat at Taxi Boat Sibenik or Speed Taxi Boat Obonjan.
Like the rest of Europe, Croatians drive on the right side of the road. Driving in urban areas during the summer can get somewhat crazy, especially in Dalmatia, where Croatians tend to be more impatient and drive faster. Therefore, it is very important to drive slowly and observe the road. Automatic cars are not common in Croatia, so if you don’t know how to drive a manual car, it is best to rent a car.
Parking in Šibenik
Since most of the free parking places are usually occupied, you can look for public parking lots located in the blue zones throughout the city. Depending on the zone, the price ranges from 3,00 kn/hour to 5,00 kn/hour, but you can also buy day tickets for 67,00 kn-165,00 kn, depending on the location. Check all available parking places in Sibenik here.
Even though Sibenik doesn’t have a well-developed infrastructure for cycling, you can still rent a bike to explore the rich historical monuments, fortresses, parks and the seaside promenade Riva that offers views of numerous cliffs, islands and islets. Bikes can be rented in the urban centre from companies like BlueGreen and Trail 9A.
The city of Sibenik is perfect to explore on foot! It’s small, exquisite and has a lot to offer around every corner. Dive into the perfectly structured labyrinth of narrow cobblestone streets and find out the mysterious story of Sibenik hidden inside its walls.
Sibenik is situated in Croatia, a land of more than 1000 islands, each one more beautiful than the last one. The city was founded by the Croats in the 9th century, and its popularity only grew ever since. Known as The City of Fortresses, Sibenik has four surviving fortresses that still stand proudly to this day. To make the most out of your stay, here are our top places to visit when sightseeing in Sibenik.
Sibenik Old Town
The old Town is filled with numerous attractions. Some are almost a millennium old, while most of them date back to the 15th century, during the Venetian rule of Sibenik. An example of the latter is The Cathedral of Saint James, or Katedrala Svetog Jakova, a UNESCO World Heritage Site made entirely out of stone. It rose to fame when it was featured in an episode of Game of Thrones, an American fantasy drama TV show
St Michael’s Fortress
Also located in the Old Town, the fortress is the oldest and most famous medieval fortress in Sibenik. Locally known as Tvrdava sv. Mihovila, the fortress regularly hosts open-air concerts of renowned Croatian and worldwide artists, such as Róisín Murphy, Nouvelle Vague and Morcheeba.
The Church of St Barbara
In the heart of the city lies a church-turned-museum which is home to a small, but noteworthy collection of many sculptures, stone statues and art that date back from 14th to 18th century. The Museum of Sacral Arts is one of the oldest sacral buildings in Šibenik, making it a place of great value to locals and tourists alike.
In the nearby vicinity from St Michael’s Fortress lies the a late Renaissance style residence built during the time of Venetian rule. Inside the palace is the city’s Civic Museum, or Muzej Grada Sibenika, where many archeological artefacts like weapons, armor and art are displayed. Sculptures, a coin collection and other items that date from Neolithic to Roman times are also exhibited.
The Dalmatian Ethno Village
This a living museum provides a chance to relive the rich history of the region. Taste the authentic food and drinks made the original way with the traditional tools that are the result of longtime passed down traditions. Check out the weaving workshops, craft fairs and the 100-year-old watermill while you sample the old Dalmatian cuisine.
St John’s Fort
Sibenik’s highest fortress is situated on top of a hill, overlooking the city. The fortress was built in the 17th century for the purpose of protecting Sibenik from Turkish attacks. Since the citizens were frightened, they decided to assist in the building of the fort, completing it entirely in only 6 weeks!
This the most famous pebble beach in Sibenik, which offers panoramic views of Sibenik’s Cathedral and all four preserved fortresses. The Blue Flag beach has the perfect landscapes for sports like volleyball, kayak, canoe, swimming, water polo and picigin, a traditional ball game that originates from Split. Nearby restaurant Petrus is ideal if you’re looking to grab a bite while relaxing under the Dalmatian sun. During the summer, parties are regularly hosted on the beach, so keep an eye out!
St Nicholas Fortress
If you wish to get away from the rabble of the city and dive into the picturesque landscapes, then the trail to St Nicholas Fortress, or Tvrdava sv. Nikole is ideal for you. The fortress is considered to be one of the most beautiful and important Croatian maritime monuments, which is also recognized by UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Constructed in the 17th century, Barone Fortress is an early modern fortress built to defend Sibenik from Ottoman attacks. In 2016, the fortress was awarded with the title of Croatia’s Best Cultural Attraction by Croatian National Tourist Board. Today, the renovated fortress hosts conferences, meetings and other events, along with a new outdoor venue that offers captivating views and authentic Mediterranean cuisine.
Although small in size, the city of Sibenik has a rich history, natural beauty and vibrant culture that will definitely captivate and inspire any visitor. With everything the city has to offer, it can sometimes be a little hard to choose which activities you wish to experience. To help you narrow it down, here is a list of the best things to do in Sibenik!
D-Resort Sibenik is a 4-star hotel located right next to D-Marin Mandalina, a glamourous superyacht marina. Inside the luxurious villas and suites, you can choose your own adventure. You can take a shuttle boat to explore the famous Kornati Islands, or perhaps step aboard one of the elite yachts and dive into the unknown yourself. If you would rather relax, the hotel provides spacious spa and fitness centres, perfect for unwinding.
Sibenik is proof that its beaches are one of the best hidden gems in Croatia. The crystal clear water of the Adriatic Sea invites you to unveil every unknown inch of it. Activities like sailing and renting a jet ski are popular, but the sea is especially appealing for diving. Swim by the breathtaking reefs and caves to get to know the colourful world beneath the surface.
Solaris Camping Beach Resort is an ideal choice for a family vacation. Close to the city center of Sibenik, the resort provides wellness and spa services along with many sports activities, such as tennis, volleyball, soccer, pedal boats, basketball, kayak and so much more. The Aquapark offers numerous water slides, sprinklers and playgrounds to make sure your fun never comes to an end. Discover the true aquatic adventure that awaits only for you!
If you have heard the stories of the famous idyllic landscapes of Krka and wish to see its splendours in person, then you’ll be thrilled to know that the best way to get from Sibenik to Krka National Park is by bus. The river is known as one of the most beautiful Croatian rivers, with its seven waterfalls that are declared as a natural and karst phenomenon. Krka has many beautiful and varied paths which are just made for cycling, and the river is perfect for kayaking, rafting and canoeing.
However, the route from Sibenik to Plitvice Lakes National Park is also one to be admired. Plitvice Lakes is the oldest and largest national park in Croatia which is also recognized by UNESCO World Heritage. Activities such as rock climbing and hiking prove that Plitvice Lakes National Park is full of adrenaline adventures for the bold and the daring.
For those who yearn to find their nautical paradise, it is best to hop onto a boat tour and explore some of the 249 awe-inspiring islands of the Sibenik archipelago, such as Kaprije, Obonjan and the Kornati Islands. The latter is recognized by UNESCO World Heritage for its bewitching beauty and vivid nature. Only six of 249 islands are inhabited, leaving the rest untouched by tourism.
Sibenik became known as The City of Festivals in Croatia, due to its unique events that set the city apart from others. Whether you’re into art, music or dance, Sibenik offers a large selection of the best summer festivals that will suit your wishes.
Sibenik Dance Festival is a seven-day programme where dance lovers share their passion with the audience. The dance illustrates real-life situations that collide with the imaginary world, allowing the viewers to create their own version of the story.
OFF Jazz & Blues Festival is a three-day event that is held every July in the centre of the Old Town. The best Croatian and world jazz and blues artists meet on the Sibenik stage to provide the best experience possible for their fans.
Dalmatian Chanson Evenings is a two-day music festival of authentic Dalmatian songs. It’s a way to promote new songs, while still giving tribute to the old ones who left a mark on today’s Croatian music scene. All performances are live, whether it’s an orchestra, a band or Klapa, you are guaranteed to have a good time
The Salsa Beach Splash Festival is the biggest open-air dance festival in Sibenik that unites dance lovers from all over the globe. This salsa festival promises six days and nights full of workshops, parties, boat trips and concerts that are sure to give you the most memorable salsa experience ever.
Shaped over many generations, traditional Dalmatian cuisine was created under many influences, mainly Italian. Fresh ingredients, simple preparation and a little bit of spice is just enough to leave you wanting more.
Black risotto is a delicacy all over the Dalmatian coast. Main ingredients are cooked, chopped onions and garlic with minced cuttlefish which are seasoned with salt and pepper. Afterwards, cuttlefish’s ink and rice are added to the mix, giving the dish a delicious taste of the sea.
Scampi buzara, otherwise known as Skampi na buzaru, is one of the most popular specialities in Dalmatia. The cooked shrimps are stirred in buzara sauce, a mixture between wine, garlic, olive oil and fresh herbs. The dish is traditionally served with polenta, pasta or a piece of fresh bread, ideal for dunking into the sauce.
Dalmatian prosciutto and Pag cheese is a dish typically served as an appetizer at Croatian parties. Pieces of dry-cured ham and cheese, along with a handful of olives, are aesthetically placed on the platter. Paired with homemade bread and a glass of Dalmatian wine, the dish is simply divine.
Pašticada is a stewed beef dish that is the most complex dish to prepare from Dalmatian cuisine. Often called The Queen of Dalmatian cuisine, this dish made from stewed, spiked and marinated meat is listed on the Croatian Gastronomic Heritage List. The dish is usually served with a portion of gnocchi on the side.
Fritule is a festive Croatian pastry that is traditionally made during Christmas time. The ingredients vary from region to region, but they usually include rakija, lemons, apples, rum or raisins. After the yeast dough is fried, it is topped with powdered sugar, giving it a unique aroma and taste that is hard to resist.
Octopus salad is a simple and delicious dish famed for being a starter at Dalmatian parties and dinners. The main ingredient is a finely chopped octopus cooked in olive oil, along with garlic, onions, olives and vinegar. The dish is served alongside potatoes and cherry tomatoes, with a little parsley on top.
Where to eat
Since Sibenik is filled with luscious food, it can be hard to decide where you want to grab a bite and relax a bit. In that case, here is a list of some of the best restaurants in Šibenik that promise delightful dining experiences!
Pelegrini is a one-star Michelin restaurant that is situated opposite the famous Cathedral of St James. The restaurant puts an emphasis on traditional Croatian food while still showing their originality and creativity when making the dish. Because of its first class experience, it is one of the three Michelin-starred restaurants in Croatia, making it a must-see when in Sibenik.
Konoba Nostalgija is a family restaurant that offers a diverse and affordable menu made with local, fresh ingredients paired with delicious wine. Inside you’ll find a lovely rustic interior filled with interestingly named dishes, such as Lord of The Rings, Love Heart, Shark Attack, I Am Not On a Diet and so on. Enjoy the comfortable Mediterranean ambient and find out the meaning behind those unique names!
SHE Bio Bistro & Rooftop Bar is the first and only ecological hub located in the centre of Šibenik. Each season offers a different menu with an admirable array of fusion cuisine, creating a paradise for all vegans and vegetarians. Along with a huge variety of cocktails in the rooftop bar, the bistro also has a recreational centre where joga and dance classes are held regularly.
Restoran More is a seafood restaurant situated on Riva, a promenade ideal for enjoying the Mediterranean gastronomic delicacies. On the terrace you can take a break and take in the awe-inspiring views of the nearby St Anthony’s Channel and the wonders of the city. The restaurant offers some of the best seafood specialities in the city, making it a place where all visitors will be sure to return.
Most tourists go to local restaurants when visiting, but why not see through the eyes of a local and experience food shopping at the nearby Sibenik’s supermarkets and pazars, prominent outdoor marketplaces. It’s the perfect way to feel the local spirit, while also saving a considerable sum of money! Various products are sure to satisfy all your needs and wishes during your stay.
Now you know how to experience the Dalmatian way of life under the sun, but what when night arises? Filled with bars and nightclubs, Sibenik is a lively place ideal for partying, especially during the summer. Here are some of the best hot spots to experience nightlife in Sibenik.
En Vogue is a beach theme club that enhances the already lavish Solaris Resort, now called Amadria Park. The club provides a lounge area, a contemporary restaurant and a VIP area with a personal hostess and amenities. Party alongside the coast of the Adriatic Sea with top DJ’s and other notable performances that will entertain you till early morning hours.
Azimut is said to be an urban café and nightclub, but it’s more of a small cultural and music center. The club is open to artists of all formats, such as live concerts, stand-up comedies, art exhibitions and theatrical performances. The unique interior matches the alternative music scene, playing genres like rock, punk, hip hop and reggae.
Vintage Bar is situated in the heart of the city, near the Croatian Performing Arts Theatre. The bar serves well-known classic drinks and original ones made from local Croatian products, like truffle oil, rosemary, fennel, sage or lavender. Live Klapa is regularly hosted at the bar, as well as barmens from all over Europe to bring their international touch to the drinks.
Coffee & Wine bar Na.Ma.Lo., short for Na Maloj Lozi, is a great place in the centre of Sibenik to sample Croatia’s indigenous spirits, like Sljivovica, Loza and Travarica. Enjoy the rich flavours of excellently made coffees and wines while attending educational lectures and wine tastings.
It’s not just about the shops, it’s about the experience. Capture a piece of Sibenik and bring it with you through a beautiful piece of clothing, a tasty treat or an authentic decoration to remind you of your thrilling trip. Here is a list of the best places in Sibenik to shop till you drop!
City Life is a mall located in the heart of the city that has been a trade symbol of Sibenik for decades. The mall follows the latest fashion trends by offering the newest exclusive foreign and local brands. It’s a place filled with cheerful gatherings and fun events, making it renowned for quality shopping and a good atmosphere in Sibenik. This small shopping oasis provides parking places that can be purchased for an affordable price. Take a stroll, observe and be amazed!
Dalmare Shopping Centre is known as a place that combines shopping, relaxation, recreation and fun. The centre has over 70 stores with both worldwide and Croatian brands, such as Mango, Adidas, Nike, S. Oliver, Mass and H&M. In case you wish to take a break, you can go watch a film at the 5 star CineStar or grab a bite at the McDonald’s or Galetina, a pancake shop. Children can have fun at the free playground called Happy Land, while you can find your happy place at the gym Gyms4you which is open 24/7. The centre is pet friendly and offers free parking.
The most popular way to go shopping in Sibenik, as well as the rest of Croatia, is at the outdoor markets called pazars. Along with fresh fruits and vegetables, you can also purchase food like cheese, honey, dried figs, olive oil and home-made wine. There are also multiple shops where clothes and jewelry can be bought at a cheap price. Full of vibrant colours and alluring aromas, it is almost impossible to resist a Mediterranean open air market.
In Sibenik, many travellers book hotels and resorts to enjoy their holidays. However, if you wish to get away from the hustle of the city, the best way to connect with nature is with glamping, a type of accommodation where nature meets luxury.
Country dialing code: +385
Šibenik Tourist Info Center: 022 214 411
Fire department: 193
Hospital: 022 641 641
Pharmacy: 022 213 539