Šibenik is one of the most beautiful cities in Croatia and not yet discovered by the crowds. What are the best things to do in Šibenik? Keep on reading!
Why should you visit Šibenik?
The city of Šibenik is located in the Croatian region of Dalmatia on the Adriatic Sea. It is less known than the surrounding cities of Zadar and Split, but certainly no less beautiful! Šibenik has a beautiful historic center full of narrow streets (only accessible to pedestrians, cars don’t fit), stairs, several fortresses, and many beautiful views.
In addition, Šibenik is also a good base to visit the beautiful Krka National Park, which is only 15 kilometers away.
If you are looking for a cozy, not too crowded city close to nature, Šibenik is definitely the place to visit.
The best things to do in Šibenik
What to do in Šibenik and what are the best sights? Here are some recommendations.
Visit the Šibenik Cathedral
The enormous Cathedral of St. James is one of the highlights of the city. This cathedral from 1535 is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is absolutely beautiful. On the outside, there are a lot of details to discover, such as the faces on the edge along the back. The inside is also very impressive with large pillars and various special works of art.
Does this cathedral look familiar to you? That is possible! This is one of the many places in Croatia where various scenes from the TV series Game of Thrones were filmed. Šibenik portrays the city of Braavos, where the Iron Bank is located.
Check out all the beautiful buildings on Trg Republike Hrvatske
The Cathedral of St. James is located on Trg Republike Hrvatske (Square of the Republic of Croatia) and the square is also a must-see. There is something beautiful to see on every corner. One of the most striking buildings is the town hall on the east side which has many pillars.
Make sure to explore Ul. kralja Tomislava as well. This is a small street at the back of the Cathedral. There is also a beautiful square here and it is usually very quiet.
Visit the fortresses
No fewer than four fortresses can be seen in and around Šibenik. You can visit some of them, including the St. Michael’s Fortress. From here you have a great view of the city.
Get lost in the narrow streets
Šibenik is an old town and is located on a hill. As a result, there are many narrow streets and stairs. It is very easy to get lost here and you will discover something new every time. There are many works of art hidden in the facades of the houses. Prefer not to get lost? If you walk up, you go to the fortress, if you walk down, you walk to the sea.
Fun fact: the street lights in Šibenik have been around since 1895. Then Nikola Tesla arranged for the first European hydroelectric power station to be built on the Krka River. The energy was mainly used for these street lights.
Discover the best restaurants
The food in Croatia is really delicious! Šibenik is also filled with great restaurants. What are the best places to eat in Šibenik? A few recommendations:
- KOKA Pizza: Just like in Italy you can eat pizza in many places in Croatia. At KOKA Pizza I ate the best pizza of my entire trip in Croatia. And it’s one of the cheapest places to eat in the historical city center!
- Restoran Galerija: A few steps away you will find Restoran Galerija in an alley. This is a bit fancier, but they serve really tasty food. Tip: try the gnocchi. It’s so good!
- Bistro Caffe Bar Sveti Lovre: This restaurant is tucked away between the stairs in a beautiful monastery garden. A great place for a cup of coffee and they also serve good food.
- Pelegrini: From what I’ve heard, this is one of the best restaurants in Croatia. I was not able to try it myself, because every time I passed it, all tables were reserved. It sits in a great spot overlooking the cathedral.
Explore the cemetery groblje svete Ane
Visiting a cemetery is not very common for most people during a city trip, but for groblje svete Ane I would certainly make an exception. It is located on a steep hill and the tombs contain many interesting details. You also have a beautiful view of the sea from the cemetery.
Visit the medieval monastery Mediterranean Garden of St. Lawrence
Bistro Caffe Bar Sveti Lovre is located in the medieval monastery Mediterranean Garden of St Lawrence and this too is one of the most beautiful sights in Šibenik. The garden is well kept and there are signs so you can see which herbs and plants there are growing.
To get there you have to cross the terrace of the restaurant. This is not a problem if you just want to take a look, but it is of course even more fun to enjoy this wonderfully quiet place with a book and a cup of coffee.
Stroll along the boulevard
Like many other Croatian towns on the Adriatic Sea, Šibenik also has a mile-long promenade. Here you can enjoy a nice walk (also works well if you’d like to go for a run), plop down on one of the benches and watch the boats.
Go to the beach for the best view
If you keep following the boulevard to the north, you will eventually reach Plaža Banj. A great place to take a break from your city trip and take a dip in the sea. Make sure you bring a thick towel if you want to lie down because the small pebbles can be quite painful.
Even if you don’t feel like chilling on a beach, visiting this place is one of the best things to do in Šibenik. From the beach (and the viewpoint next to it) you have a great view of the city.
Fun day trips from Šibenik
Šibenik is located near several beautiful sights in Croatia and is therefore also very suitable for a longer stay. What are the best day trips from Šibenik?
Krka National Park
Krka National Park is only a 20-minute drive from Šibenik and is full of natural beauty. Here you can see steep cliffs, waterfalls and beautiful lakes. The best part is that you are allowed to swim in some places (unlike the more famous Plitvice Lakes).
Do you have no transport yourself and do you have no patience for the local bus? You can also book an organized tour to Krka National Park from Šibenik.
Please note: I was not able to visit this park myself (I still regret it) because there is virtually no transport to the park in the low season. On weekends there are no buses, taxis and there are rarely any tours. So make sure to check this if you want to visit Krka National Park. Choose to visit the park during weekdays or rent a car if you plan to go on the weekend.
The city of Zadar is only an hour’s drive from Šibenik. This city also has a beautiful historic city center and the large city walls are even on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It’s a great place to stroll around and here you can enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets in Croatia.
The Kornati Islands (Nacionalni park Kornati) is a beautiful archipelago off the coast of Central Dalmatia. These (more than 80!) islands have impressive cliffs, are uninhabited and you can visit some of them with a boat tour from Šibenik.
Another great place that’s just an hour’s drive from Šibenik is the city of Trogir. The historic city center, which is located on an island, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site (yes, they have a lot of those in Croatia) and is incredibly beautiful. In Trogir, there is a beautiful cathedral where you can climb the tower for an incredible view.
Where to stay in Šibenik
For the best experience, it is a good idea to spend one or more nights in Šibenik. What are the best places to stay in Šibenik? Here are some tips:
- € Hostel Sv. Lovre: nice hostel right in the old town. From the roof terrace you have a great view of the cathedral and the sea.
- €€ B&B Stone Town: cozy and nicely furnished B&B right in the center.
- €€€ Bellevue Superior City Hotel: do you need some luxury? This beautiful 4* hotel is located right next to the old city center and from your room, you have a sea view.
Check Booking.com for more beautiful accommodations in Šibenik.
Tips for a great vacation in Croatia
Would you like to discover Croatia yourself? These websites are very useful if you want to book a trip to Croatia:
- You can find the cheapest airline tickets via Skyscanner.
- Do you prefer to take the train? That’s a great idea! That’s what I did. From The Netherlands, I traveled by train to Salzburg, and then on to Zagreb. Check the Rail Europe website for tickets and a timetable. In Croatia itself, it is best to continue your journey by bus.
- From my own experience, I know that Flixbus is good and cheap when you’re traveling in Croatia. With this bus company, you can reach almost all (tourist) places.
- Check Booking.com for the best hotels, hostels, and apartments. Are you looking for a place to stay away from the crowd? Then you can also find awesome accommodation on the Nature house website.
- Check Rental Cars or Discover Cars for the best deals on rental cars in Croatia.
- You can find great tours and tickets for attractions at Get Your Guide.
And these travel guides are full of tips for more beautiful places in Croatia:
Fodor’s Essential Croatia | with Montenegro & Slovenia
You can also read more about the most beautiful places in Croatia on this website. For example, also read these articles:
- 14 fun things to do in Zagreb
- Visit Plitvice Lakes National Park: Nature at its best!
- Ugljan: Croatia’s hidden gem
Many more articles about Croatia will be published on this website in the coming months. Would you like to stay updated? Subscribe to the newsletter.
Hi, and how nice of you to read this disclaimer! As you may understand, maintaining a website like this is not free. That is why some of the links in this article are affiliate links. If you use these links to book or buy anything, I’ll get a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you! Support this website.