Šibenik is a historic town located in the Croatian region of Dalmatia. Unlike other cities in Dalmatia, Šibenik was founded by the Croats on a strategic place where Krka river flows into the Adriatic sea. This small, but absolutely fascinating town will leave you great memories as it has so much to offer. Beautiful narrow streets and small squares, peaceful bay and hidden beaches, kind people and good food, nearby islands and national park will make your vacation unforgettable.
What to visit
Cathedral of St. James – The Cathedral is one of the most beautiful and impressive attractions in Šibenik. It was entirely built in limestone back in the 15th century. Decorative elements of the Cathedral represent the amazing amalgamation of Gothic and Renaissance details. The building of the Cathedral began in 1402 and it was completed in 1536. The concrete work was consigned to masters from Dalmatia, Northern Italy, and Tuscany in 1436, and they began to transform the older Romanesque Cathedral in the one we admire today. The Cathedral was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.
St. Nicholas Fortress – this fascinating fortress was built in the 16th century on the island Ljuljevac located at the entrance of Šibenik’s harbor. Before the fortress was built, the island was home to a Benedictine monastery of St. Nicholas from which it got its name. During the Turkish invasion, locals with the help of Venetians built the fort to prevent enemies from reaching the port and destroying the city. Other than this imposing fortress, during your stay in Šibenik, you can visit the St. John and St. Michael’s fortress. The second one is located at a height of 70m above the sea level. The fortress of St. Michael, also called the St. Anne’s fortress by the locals, offers a spectacular view of the city and the Šibenik channel. The fortress was mentioned for the first time back in 998 as castrum built to protect the entrance to the bay and Krka river. Over time, the fortress was expanded several times, destroyed, rebuilt and finally in the 16th century it got structured as we see it today.
City Museum – the museum was founded back in 1925, in occasion of celebrating the thousandth anniversary of the Croatian Kingdom. It is located in the former Duke’s Palace, near the Cathedral of St. James. Duke’s Palace was a part of the coastal defense system of the city, built in the 13th century. Today we can admire only two wings of what was once a much bigger structure. The museum consists of the archeological, cultural and historical division with rich collections of valuable items related to the history of the city from ancient times to this day.
Town Hall – situated just across the Cathedral of St. James, this beautiful town hall was built in the 16th century. Although severely destroyed during the WWII, it was completely rebuilt following the original plan of the famous Venetian architect Michele Sanmicheli.
Medieval Mediterranean Garden – part of a St. Lawrence monastery, this small and peaceful garden is a great place to just sit, relax and enjoy the beauty of nature. The garden was abandoned for many years, then it was renewed by the famous landscape architect Dragutin Kiš who received the Millennium Award for Flora in Japan in 2000.
There are also several beautiful churches in the town of Šibenik like the Church of St. Barbara where you can admire numerous paintings and sculptures dating back to 14th century and the Church of St. John the Baptist built in Gothic-Reinessnace style back in the 15th century.
Dalmatian Ethno Village – small stone village built in an old traditional style to give an insight into Dalmatian history and traditions.
Food & Drink
In Šibenik you can enjoy Dalmatian cuisine which is typically Mediterranean. Traditional Dalmatian dishes are made with herbs like sage, rosemary, thyme, basil and oregano. There is a large use of extra virgin olive oil and garlic. Some of the traditional dishes we recommend you to try are: Dalmatian smoked ham, Olives and nearby islands famous goat cheese as an appetizer, Black risotto, Dalmatian pasticada (stewed beef in wine with prunes and vegetables) and grilled fish with vegetables. Locals mostly eat in small, intimate traditionally Dalmatian restaurants called Konoba, that prepare fresh local food and usually have lower prices than upscale restaurants.
Krka National Park – a vast, mainly unchanged region of extraordinary natural value and includes many preserved or insignificantly altered ecosystems. Perfect place for a day trip while in Šibenik. See more about Krka National Park here.
Kornati Islands National Park – another spectacular National Park located near the city of Šibenik. Kornati archipelago consists of 140 islands and 89 of them were declared a national park back in 1980. It is a perfect place for numerous activities like sailing, snorkeling, diving, swimming, hiking, observing the plant and animal wildlife. See more about the Kornati Islands here.
Split – fascinating historic city, located just 90 km away from Šibenik, is really worth a visit. Split was founded more than 1700 years ago by the Roman Emperor Diocletian and his imperial palace occupies the most important part of the old town. With the beachfront and palm trees right in front of the palace, Split offers the perfect Mediterranean postcard. See more about the city of Split here.
Zadar – the city of Zadar is a monument on its own offering an amazing opportunity to its visitors to dive into the remains of ancient settlements, old churches, and ruins. Zadar won the title for The Best European Destination in 2016 and as it can be assumed it is a popular touristic spot. See more about Zadar here.