A short guide of interesting things to do and see in Šibenik. Everything on the list is free, or on a budget, and reachable by foot/bike. Take your time, read our guide and, if you like it, then come to see this beautiful town on Dalmatian coast. But, please remember to take at least couple of days to enjoy it slowly and without hurry.
Wander the streets
Šibenik’s old city is like a labyrinth of small and narrow streets and stairs (in Sibenik’s dialect these are called “bute” and “skale”). Some of them are vaulted, some aren’t. Let yourself be taken by the atmosphere and just wander around. But, do it slowly. Listen to the voices from the houses, smell the home made food being prepared for lunch or see the children playing around. On a hot summer day, you will find a relief being in the shade of cold stone walls. Every now and than you will see a glimpse of the sea, so you won’t feel lost.
Take a swim
After a nice walk along the waterfront towards west, you will come to Banj, the only beach in Sibenik. Our advice is to take a walk in the late afternoon or, in summer, shortly before sunset. Upon arrival to the beach, take a swim to refresh yourself, than take a seat in the beach bar and sip your drink while admiring one of the nicest views of the city.
On the way to the beach, you’ll pass through Dolac, one of the most charming parts of Šibenik. There, situated precisely on the waterfront you’ll find Buffet Šešula for a simple, non pretentious meal on a budget.
Take a rest
Is there a better place to just sit and enjoy than one of the most beautiful squares in the world? Do it in the shade of the cathedral during the hot summer day admiring the Renaissance town-hall. Or, in the milder seasons, sit on the staircases next to the town-hall and admire the beauty of St James cathedral. Whichever side you choose, you won’t make a mistake. Soak in the beauty of the architecture in all its glory. The array of playful houses squeezed around the elegant arches of old chamber, the stone dome that surmounts the whole square… And please, do not miss the frieze of heads on the apses, every face is an interesting portrait.
Next to the staircase leading to the cathedral, there is a bar Azimut. It is famous among locals for rock music, good craft beer, in short – an alternative spot for all those feeling young. Plus, the location is unbeatable – on the waterfront under the shade of big trees.
Listen to the gurgle of water
The other perfect spot for leisure is the main city park, in dialect called “đardin”. Right next to the main city square, it is an oasis of lush greenery. Find a free spot on one of the benches, preferably in deep shade, and meditate, listen to the birds singing, water splashing from the fountains, people chattering…
If you get hungry, just across the street there is a Pizzeria Forum, one of the cheapest pizza places Sibenik.
Sunbathe on Poljana
This is the main city square and it used to be the center of social life back in the past. Today, after serving for couple of decades as a parking lot, it has retrieved its old function of being an important spot for socializing among locals. You can sip a coffee to go or just sit on one of the benches, soaking the sun and contemplating the people around you with some nice music from the local radio in the background.
Hike within city
Šibenik city was built mostly on the slopes of few small hills. Today on top of these hills still stand medieval fortresses. Some of them were rebuilt and are open for visitors – St Michaels Fortress and Barone fortress. The tickets are affordable, plus you can pay cheaper for combined visit. The view from up there is stunning, but please bear in mind that there is no shade! These fortresses used to be covered with pine trees and they were one of the favourite spots to hangout, especially for young people. Due to the restoration, cities authorities decided to cut down all trees.
Nowadays, the best time to visit these fortresses is early morning or even better, just before the sunset.
Buy some fresh fruit
Last but not least – “Pijaca”, the marketplace, an essential part of every Dalmatian city, a place to buy and to sell everything edible. You will find all kinds of food – fresh, dried, preserved – from tasteful local products to the fruits and vegetables from the supermarkets being reselled. So, open your eyes, do not be afraid to touch, smell and taste the food in order to find the freshest and most delicious groceries.
Small advice – buy seasonal food, and, before buying, take a walk around to compare the prices. The marketplace is open everyday from 6 am until 1 pm.
You can find out more about Sibenik and its county in our other stories: