Sibenik is a small historic town on the Dalmatian coast in Croatia. It’s becoming increasingly popular with tourists, who come for the laid back vibe of the town, to see the UNESCO listed cathedral and to take a day trip to Krka National Park. There are many other things of interest in Sibenik, and here are my top 9 picks.
1. Cathedral Of St. James
The Cathedral of St. James has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2000 and is the most important architectural monument of the Renaissance in Croatia.
Most cathedrals are free to enter, but tourists are charged 15 kn ($2.20) to enter this one. I can’t remember any other cathedral that’s charged a fee to enter.
The dome of the cathedral was damaged by Serb forces when the city was shelled in 1991, but was quickly repaired.
Sibenik has four fortresses. St. Nicholas Fortress is located in the sea at the entrance to the port, with the other three (Subicevac, St. Michael Fortress, St. John Fortress) being on hills overlooking the town. My favorite is St. John Fortress, as this has the best views and is currently completely abandoned, so is much more fun to explore.
The are no signs showing the way to St. John Fortress, so first you need to follow the signs for Subicevac Fortress. This fortress was used for the Game of Thrones filming recently, but is currently being renovated. A restaurant is also being built within its walls. The builders let us enter the grounds to take some photos, one of which is shown above. You can see St. Michael Fortress in the photo.
Once you’re at Subicevac Fortress, just follow the path up to St. John Fortress. Be careful inside because there are a couple of places where it’s quite easy to fall down long distances if you’re not careful. The views are great from the top though, as you can also see many of the islands off Sibenik.
St. Michael Fortress is the closest to the old town and is the one that the tourists visit. It costs 35 kn ($5.20) to enter.
Above is the view of Sibenik from Subicevac Fortress.
3. St .Ana Cemetery
Just before the entrance to St. Michael Fortress is St. Ana Cemetery. This is an interesting place to visit, as the graves look out over the old town.
4. World War II Bunkers
If you’re interested in military history, you might want to visit some of the World War II bunkers that are scattered around the hillsides. We saw one of them on the walk between Subicevac Fortress and St. John Fortress. There are more recent bunkers that I think are from the war in 1991.
5. Banj Beach
Banj Beach is a pebble beach that’s about a 10-minute walk from the old town. One of the best things about this beach is the awesome view you get looking back towards the old town. In the image above you can see St. John Fortress towering over the town, and the UNESCO listed Cathedral of St. James to the right.
If you’re lucky you’ll see a few swans at the beach.
Sibenik has quite a few Swans and they are usually at the seafront right next to the old town.
7. Statue Of King Petar Kresimir IV
Near the old Hotel Krka you can find a statue of Croatia’s King Petar Kresimir IV.
8. Old Town
Sibenik old town is a pleasant place to spend a few hours exploring the many narrow streets and old buildings. Above is Sibenik Town Hall.
This statue was near the back the back of the Cathedral of St. James.
Much of Sibenik is built on hills, so you’ll have a good workout while exploring the town.
9. Krka National Park
I’m mentioning Krka National Park last simply because it’s not in Sibenik. It is usually on the must-see list of visitors to Sibenik though, as it’s only around 20 km away. See A Day Out At Krka National Park for more details.
Where To Stay In Sibenik
For our time in Sibenik we chose a 1-bed apartment, Apartment Luka. This was located in the old town area and just a short walk from the bus station. The apartment was newly renovated, and the owner also showed us around the town when we arrived. Excellent. It’s on the second floor of the building in the center of the above image. For other hotels and apartments in Sibenik, we recommend Agoda Sibenik.