Sibenik (Croatia) is a resort town on the Adriatic coast, which attracts tourists with clean beaches, original ancient architecture and attractions, the main of which is the Cathedral of St. James, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If you take a bird’s-eye view of the city of Sibenik (Croatia), the photo will show arrays of tiled roofs interspersed with green trees, located on the shores of the sea bay at the confluence of the Krka River.
Archaeological excavations indicate that settlements in this place have existed since ancient times, and about 10 centuries ago in the annals the current name of Sibenik was first mentioned. In different historical periods, the city was under the control of the Venetian Republic, Austria, France, Italy, Yugoslavia, until in 1991 Croatia gained independence.
Now Šibenik is a thriving tourist center of Croatia with a population of 37,000. Tourists from all over the world come to relax on its beaches and get acquainted with the sights.
Beaches in and around the city
Lovers of beach vacations, traveling to Croatia, often choose Sibenik, its beaches are recognized as the cleanest on the Adriatic coast. They extend far beyond the city and include the coastline of suburban villages.
Sibenik Banj city beach is one of the most beautiful in Croatia. It is unique already in that, being in the city limits, it surprises with its extraordinary purity. For the exemplary condition of the coastal part and the crystalline transparency of sea water, Banj beach is marked with the international Blue Flag.
Small pebbles and a gentle entrance to the sea make Banj beach suitable for families with small children. Here you can rent everything you need for a comfortable stay and popular water activities.
Located 8 km from the town of Sibenik (Croatia), Solaris beaches are some of the best sandy beaches in the country. Here on the shore of a small bay there is a hotel complex, which includes 4 hotels and 2 campsites with restaurants and all kinds of entertainments for different categories of vacationers – families with children, youth, people of mature age.
The clear sandy beaches of Solaris stretch for 4 km along the bay. There are lively places with cafes, bars and night discos, and quiet areas for those who like peace and privacy.
Solaris beach is ideal for families with children, it has children’s pools and playgrounds, the only water park in Sibenik.
Just 6 km from the center of Sibenik is Terraneo Beach, which is known for being located next to the venue of one of the best annual music festivals in Europe, which has the same name. Every July, musicians from all over Europe come to the Terranea festival, in the open air there is a real celebration of live music.
6 km from Sibenik is the small village of Brodarica, where there is another popular beach – Rezaliste. A shallow pebble beach is ideal for families with small children. It has a well-developed infrastructure, vacationers are offered many water activities and opportunities for outdoor activities.
Attractions and entertainment
Sibenik is famous not only for its clean beaches, the sights of this ancient city of Croatia deserve no less attention. Tourists who come here are waiting for a rich excursion program.
St. James Cathedral is rightfully considered the most famous landmark of Sibenik, because this unique architectural monument is listed by UNESCO. The construction of this Catholic cathedral began in 1431 and lasted more than a hundred years. The magnificent building of the cathedral became the work of the life of three great architects of the past, who alternately worked on the construction of this masterpiece of architecture.
The main feature of St. Jacob’s Cathedral is that it is completely built of stone blocks, without the use of bricks, wooden or metal ceilings. The appearance of this 32-meter building intertwined features of the architectural styles of Gothic and Renaissance. Many sculptures, stone ornaments and paintings depict its walls, immersing visitors in the mysterious atmosphere of the Middle Ages.
- Entrance to the cathedral is paid, the ticket price is about € 8.
- You can find this attraction on the seafront, it is visible from many points in Sibenik.
On the Cathedral Square opposite The Cathedral of St James, there is another attraction of Sibenik – an old building of the city hall. Built in the middle of the sixteenth century, the two-story building is made in the Renaissance style.
The facade of the town hall is a terrace with columns and arches – a characteristic detail of ancient architecture that protects the premises from the hot southern sun. Openwork fencing of the terrace of the second floor is decorated with lion heads and floral ornaments.
Two stone stairs leading to the second floor were added to the sides of the facade 200 years after the construction of the building. In 1943, this attraction of Sibenik was damaged by bombing and in the post-war period was restored to its original form.
Now the town hall has lost its purpose, government offices and the meeting room have been converted into a marriage registration room and restaurant.
On one of the streets of the historical center of Sibenik there is a tourist attraction that attracts many tourists – the church of St. Barbara. The building of this Catholic church was erected in the middle of the sixteenth century. Initially, the church was dedicated to Saints Benedict and Nicholas, but subsequently it was re-consecrated in honor of St. Barbara.
The modest stone facade of the church is decorated with unusual antique watches with a dial divided into 24 hour sectors, and a bas-relief depicting an old coat of arms. The pediment of the building is crowned with an open belfry with three bells. But not only the old architecture attracts this active church. The main thing that she is famous for is the museum of church art located within its walls.
The exhibits of the church art museum belong to the 14th-18th centuries, but there are also rarities dated to the 11th century. The museum’s exposition is striking in its richness and style diversity, it presents paintings, sculpture, jewelry, precious church utensils.
This attraction is located at: Kralja Tomislava 19, Sibenik, Croatia.
In the city of Sibenik (Croatia), there are a lot of attractions, which is not surprising, given its thousand-year history. But even if they were not there, a harbor with a port alone would be enough to leave unforgettable impressions of this city with its guests.
Channel-Harbor is a favorite place for walks of citizens and vacationers. It offers a magnificent view of the sea with numerous coastal islands, the old city towering above the harbor, the majestic Cathedral of St. James, the port water area with ships, yachts and boats. It is especially beautiful here at sunset, when the sun is hiding behind the sea horizon, illuminating Sibenik with sunset rays, the photos taken at these moments are especially beautiful.
Life is constantly boiling in the port, cruise liners and yachts approach, boats scurry about. Here you can rent a boat for a boat trip, go on a tour of the picturesque coastal islands. On the promenade there are many cafes, bars and restaurants with cozy interiors and various cuisines.
Not far from Sibenik is the village of Rakovo selo, which is widely known due to the winery there. The owners of this company organized a family tourism business – tours of the vineyards, the factory and the wine cellars with wine tasting and sale.
Thanks to the hospitality of the hosts, the excellent quality of wines and snacks, as well as affordable prices, the Vina Rak wine cellar quickly gained popularity among guests of Croatia. Now it is one of the main attractions of Sibenik, recommended for visiting.
It is advisable to allocate at least two hours to visit the Vina Rak winery. During this time, you can visit the vineyard, the garden with olive and fig trees, visit the wine bottling workshop and the wine cellars. A guided tour ends with a wine tasting, the varieties of which can be selected as desired.
Enthusiastic reviews from tourists relate not only to the quality of Rak wines, but also to the cuisine of the restaurant, which is part of this family business. The best dishes of national cuisine of Croatia, olives, local cheeses and ham in the best way complement the bouquet of Rak wines. At the end of the tasting, you can buy selected wines at competitive prices.
- Located Vinoteka Vina Rak at the address: Rakovo Selo 98, Sibenik, Croatia.
- Visiting hours are from 11.00-17.00.
Not far from Sibenik is the popular resort and cultural city of Zadar . To inspect it is also worth the time.
One of Sibenik’s unusual sights is a restaurant complex stylized as a Dalmatian village, reminiscent of an ethnographic open-air museum. Here, the atmosphere of a Dalmatian village is recreated with a working water mill, village houses, real gardens and a vineyard. In the houses there are restaurants of national cuisine with stylized interiors and staff in folk costumes.
To the sound of Croatian folk instruments in the restaurant-museum, you can taste local dishes with their own baked bread and order the best wines of Croatia. Prices are quite high, but the portions of dishes are not small, usually one serving is enough for two.
Dalmatian Ethno Village is located in the Solaris hotel complex near the beach, next to the Ivan Hotel. Address: Hoteli Solaris 86, Sibenik, Croatia,
The only water park in Sibenik is located in the Solaris hotel complex. It is small in size and will be interesting mainly to children under 10-12 years old.
In the water park there are several slides for children of different ages with a tipping barrel, pouring cubic meters of water onto the bathing people. There is also a maze for swimming in circles, several different Jacuzzis. While the kids are having fun, adults can relax on the playground with sunbeds and watch their children.
The ticket price for adults and children taller than 1.2 m is 110 kunas (about € 22). A child with a height of 0.9-1.2 m will have to pay 80 kunas, children below 0.9 m are free. Car parking will cost 30 kunas for the whole day.
The water park is located at: Solaris Beach Hotel Resort, Sibenik, Croatia.
See also: What to see and what to do in Split .
Accommodation and meals
In the resort of Sibenik there is a fairly large selection of housing, but there are even more people who want to relax. As elsewhere, the price depends on many factors – the area, room size and available amenities in the room, transport accessibility, etc.
Sibenik is a relatively inexpensive resort. Apartments near the sea for 4 people at the height of the beach season can be rented for € 50 / day. This is the most common type of housing in the town. The price for a double room in a three-star hotel in summer starts from € 105 / day. However, in the season to book rooms and apartments a few months before the planned trip.
- The price of lunch in an inexpensive cafe is about € 7 per person.
- In a mid-range restaurant – about twice as high, € 15-17 per person.
- In a fast food establishment – € 5.
- A glass of local beer 0.5 l – € 2-2.5.
- A cup of coffee – € 1,5.
Prices on the page are for April 2018.
How to get from Split
There is no airport in Sibenik (Croatia), the nearest is in Split.
The best way to get from Split to Sibenik is by bus. In the beach season, buses from the Split bus station, located at: Obala Kneza Domagoja br.12, leave for Sibenik every half hour every day from 5.00 to 23.00. On the Split-Sibenik highway, the distance is 87 km, the travel time is 1 hour, and the ticket price is from € 6.
Videography of Sibenik from the air – worth a look.