Šibenik is a city (pop. ~37,000) in Šibenik-Knin County, in northern Dalmatia, Croatia. It's most famous for Saint James Cathedral, which is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. A trademark of the city is the traditional šibenik hat, coloured orange and black, also the city's colours. The inventor of parachute and the first man to use it, Faust Vrancic, was born here and lived here throughout 16th and 17th century. Famous basketball player Dražen Petrović, and Maksim Mrvica, a piano player, were born here.
- By plane: To Split airport or Zadar airport , and then by bus to Sibenik (~1h)
- By bus: Sibenik is well connected by bus with Croatia, surrounding countries and Central Europe (Dortmund, Ljubljana...)
- By car: Take A1 highway Zagreb-Split and turn off at Šibenik junction.
- By train: Sibenik is connected by railway with Split and Zagreb.
- By boat: To Split and Zadar port (mostly from Ancona and Bari), and then by bus/car/train to Šibenik.
Everywhere in the city is within walking distance. From bus station to the old city centre it takes only five minutes to walk. You can get to all sights on foot, and the furthest are within half an hour walk. If you come by car, there's a large parking place on the very central square Poljana, as well as there is one with 700 spots when you enter the town northbound. If you want to go to the outskirts of the city (for instance to the Dalmare shopping centre), you can take a public bus. Bus transport in Šibenik is operated by one public and three private companies.
Šibenik was mentioned for the first time under its present name in 1066 in a Charter of the Croatian King Petar Krešimir IV. For a period of time, it was a seat of the Croatian King. For that reason, Šibenik is also called "Krešimirov grad" (Krešimir's city). It is the oldest native Croatian town on the eastern shores of the Adriatic sea. You can see the statue of King Petar Krešimir IV between the park and the beginning of the promenade along the sea. Šibenik was for almost 300 years under Venetian rule, and then in Austro-Hungary, Yugoslavia and finally, Croatia. It was a very important town in Venetian-Turkish wars and it was a frontier of the western civilization an Christianity. This period left Šibenik with four beautiful fortresses: St. Michael, St. John, Šubićaevac and St. Nicholas. Old part of the town, full of churches, old noblemen palaces and typical Dalmatian stone houses centuries old is very interesting. Town walls are also well preserved. One of the most interesting sights is medieval monastery garden.
- St James' cathedral, Trg Republike Hrvatske 1. The main attraction. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Construction started in 1431, and it was not finished until 1536 due to Turkish wars. Several successive architects built it completely in stone in the 15th and 16th centuries, both in Gothic and in Renaissance style. The interlocking stone slabs of the Cathedral's roof were damaged when the city was shelled by Serbian forces in 1991. The damage has since been repaired. It has a beautiful baptistery worth seeing it, and the curiosity is it has been built with stone only, without any kind of binder. Another one is 72 human heads carved in stone on the external part which belong to unknown individuals, passers-by, sailors, merchants and peasants who posed as the cathedral was being built. Statues of Adam and Eve are also curious; Adam is covering his breasts, and Eve is covering not her breasts, but her stomach. Entrance 10 kn.
- Bunari, Palih omladinaca 2 (down the steps from the Cathedral), ☎ +385 98 341 175. "Bunari" or, literally, "wells", is a complex of water reservoirs, built in the 15th century for city's water supply. They are now dry and decorated as a museum/gallery and a cafe. It has 7 sections: (Šibenik's treasure, food and drink, shipwrecks around Šibenik, persons from the past etc.). Concerts, stand-up comedy shows etc. often take place at the cafe. Very interesting spot. 10 kn.
- Medieval monastery St. Laurence's garden, Sv. Lovre (take the Don Krste Stošića street, then 6th turn right), ☎ +385 22 212 515, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. 8-23h. Extremely rare medieval monastery garden, restaurated in 2007 by Dragutin Kiš, who won a millenium Flora award in Japan in 2000. Won the first prize at school gardens contest in Croatia. It contains various plants, especially those used in pharmacy and as spices. It has a quiet cafe, where you can quietly enjoy the view to the Šibenik's old part and the sea, the atmosphere and the odor. 15 kn, guide included.
- Take a swim! Beaches around Šibenik (Solaris, Žaborić, Grebaštica, Brodarica, Jadrija, Srima...) are extremely clean and fun (although sea in Šibenik bay itself isn't very clean). You must try the beach game of picigin, an invention of nearby city of Split's youth. All you need is shallow, sandy or not so stony beach, small ball and company. The aim is to hold a ball as much as you can up in the air, and you're allowed to use all body parts.
- Visit Krka and Kornati islands national parks. Krka National Park is similar to the more famous Plitvice Lakes National Park. The park is full of breathtaking scenery of waterfalls, flora, fauna as well as historical and archaeological remains. Kornati National Park is famous for its numerous islands and its undersea.
- Have a cup of coffee or a drink in one of Šibenik's numerous cafes on the riva, or the beautiful and hidden St. Laurence's Medieval Monastery Garden.
- Walk through Kalelarga (officially King Tomislav's street) and visit its shops, squares and cafes.
- The annual Šibenik International Children's Festival (Međunarodni Dječji Festival), founded in 1958, takes place every summer in the theater or the stage between the Cathedral and City hall, as well as on the streets and squares. It's a great fun, tickets are bargain, and there are a lot of events for adults as well.
- In late summer traditional Dalmatian Chanson Evenings are held. It's worth the visit, but tickets are expensive and there are few of them.
- Take a trip to Vodice (Hacienda) or Primošten (Aurora) night clubs. It takes around 15 minutes to Vodice and half an hour to Primošten by car.
- Fortress of St. Michael. The Fortress of St. Michael is located at a height of 70m above the sea behind the old city agglomeration. Great view of city of Sibenik, Sibenik Bay and channel.
- Buy a CD with traditional Dalmatian klapa singing on it. Klapa is a choir which uses mostly just voice and a few instruments, and they are typical for Šibenik.
- Nearby islands Krapanj and Zlarin are famous for their sponge industry (Krapanj) and coral diving and coral cottage industry (Zlarin), which goes back to 17th century. Coral jewelery and sponge souvenirs are affordable and original.
- Traditional Šibenik's orange and black cap is town's most famous and most recognizable brand, but it can get expensive (more than 20 €), so just buy a mini replica.
- Olive oil and dry figs are also very qualitative and you can bring them home.
- There are also antiquities fairs around the town, so look for them. If you visit Šibenik in late September, you'll get inside Medieval festival, where you can buy almost everything linked to medieval.
- You can also visit the Dalmare shopping mall. It is located in the southern outskirts of Šibenik, along the road to Split. It includes many clothes shops of major European chains, a large Konzum supermarket and a 24-hour McDonalds restaurant.
Kike Pizzeria in the ancient part of the city is worth a visit.
Unfortunately, and surprisingly as well, private accommodation in Sibenik is not as popular as it is in the other cities of Croatia. Few are willing to open their houses to the travellers and no or only a few "sobe-room" signs can be seen at the doors. Eva's home however, which is located in the upper part of the old city, is an alternative with a clean room and good price. Zadarska 37, ask assistance to locate.
A hostel Indigo is in the old part of the city.