Holiday in Šibenik: Fantastic sights & our tips

Posted on

Alone the sight of Šibenik awakens holiday feelings at its best: the pastel-colored houses are crowded together against the hill, on the summit of which the fortress is enthroned. Directly in front: The azure sea. Šibenik is a Croatian coastal town straight out of a picture book.

When traveling around Dalmatia, a stopover in Šibenik should not be missed. We have already been guests in Šibenik several times and in this article we will tell you our best tips for your stay.

From the most important sights to the greatest excursion destinations to our very favorite culinary discoveries – you can find out all this and much more on our travel blog.

1. Šibenik in Croatia: An overview of things worth knowing & FAQs What can I expect from a holiday in Šibenik? Šibenik (pronounced “Schibenik”) is a city to fall in love with! In the historic center of the coastal town a labyrinth of winding, romantic alleys awaits you, in which one stone house is pushed close to the next. Sometimes the dark alleys seem to get narrower and narrower before you end up back on a spacious, imposing square.

The special feature of Šibenik: the town is built on a slope. You can look forward to spectacular views of the city, the sea and the offshore islands during your tour. By the way, Šibenik is the third largest city in Dalmatia. Nevertheless, the center is comparatively manageable and within a very short time you will have seen most corners at least twice.

Anyone who likes historical buildings will feel at home in Šibenik: Not only that here with the Cathedral of Saint James a UNESCO World Heritage Site awaits you, so there is something to marvel at practically every corner. And then, of course, there are the imposing fortifications high above the city – above all St. Michael’s Fortress. The climb is worth it for the magnificent view alone.

Also good to know: Šibenik is THE starting point for a visit to the world-famous Krka National Park. You can reach it from the center in about 20 minutes with the Automobile.

Is one day enough to see the main sights in Šibenik? Although we definitely wouldn’t recommend it, you can easily visit the main highlights in Šibenik in just a few hours . The historic center is really manageable. What (in our opinion) should not be missing: (We will tell you more about the individual sights below.)

A visit to the Cathedral on the beautiful main square The ascent to the St. Michael Fortress with a magnificent panorama over ŠibenikA walk (approx. 05 minutes) to the viewing terrace near the Banj beach for the ultimate postcard motifA drink on the promenade – ideally at sunset But as always: The more time, the better. Šibenik really has a lot of flair and there are also many great excursion destinations in the immediate vicinity – above all the world-famous Krka National Park, for d en you need at least half a day alone.

So if you prefer to take it easy, then plan at least two, better three or more nights for a stay in Šibenik. You definitely won’t regret it – I promise!

Is Šibenik suitable for a beach holiday in Croatia? Yes and no. Šibenik is surrounded by some pretty beaches – some of them are even in the city area. Nevertheless, Šibenik would probably not be our first choice when it comes to a pure beach holiday. There are simply other destinations in Dalmatia that are more suitable. We are thinking, for example, of the island of Brač, the island of Korčula or the Makarska Riviera on the mainland.

Šibenik is much more of a destination for those interested in culture and for all those who want to enjoy the flair of a small coastal town. So if you like to walk through historic streets, dine in the evening with a view of the sea and maybe go on one or the other excursion (also to the beach), you’ve come to the right place in Šibenik.

2. The most beautiful sights in Šibenik Cathedral of Saint James What a monumental building! The Cathedral of Saint James is the most important sight of the city and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. When staying in Šibenik, you definitely cannot avoid visiting the Cathedral.

The gigantic one, made of marble and limestone built sacred building literally glitters in the sun. The striking dome of the cathedral is also visible from many vantage points in Šibenik.

You can either admire the cathedral from the outside or of course you can also visit it from the inside (for an entrance fee of the equivalent of a few euros). Incidentally, it is right on the main square of Šibenik, the so-called Trg Republike Hrvatske, and you can hardly miss it.

Historical old town of Šibenik Starting from the cathedral, the old town of Šibenik can be wonderfully explored. It’s best if you just let yourself drift a bit. We promise: You won’t be able to stop being amazed. Cobbled alleyways, romantic courtyards, balconies decorated with flowers – the historic center of Šibenik is really magical.

If you want to head for specific places, then here are our tips for the most beautiful sights or our favorite places in the old City. Don’t worry – they are all only a stone’s throw away from each other. You can find a map with all the highlights at the end of this blog article.

Cathedral of St. James: The most important monument of the city. You can find information about this in the previous chapter. Main Square (Trg Republike Hrvatske): The cathedral is right on the (very impressive) main square, so you’ll pass by anyway. There are some buildings worth seeing on the main square, including the city loggia (today’s town hall) and the small loggia.Church of Saint Barbara: Just a stone’s throw from the main square you come to this very pretty church. It is now used as a museum, so the official name is also “Crkveni muzej”.Laurentiusgarten: An oasis of calm awaits you in the hidden garden of the Laurentiuskloster. Admission is free, but on site it seems as if people would like to see you consume something in the adjacent café. The garden is on the way to St. Michael’s Fortress (more on that shortly).Waterfront promenade: Here one café follows the next – perfect for a sundowner! Šibenik’s 4 fortifications In Šibenik there are four historic fortifications:

St. Michael: The most famous fortress that you should definitely visit.Baron: Situated a little higher and also well worth seeing.St. Johannes: Will be up to date (as of June ) renovated. St. Nicholas: Out in the sea on an island in the Sveti Ante channel. We will tell you more about this in the chapter on excursion destinations. St. Michael’s Fortress The most famous fortifications and also those in the old town on the The closest is St. Michael’s Fortress (called “Tvrđava svetog Mihovila” in Croatian). You can walk to the southern entrance (there is also a northern one) from the main square (Trg Republike Hrvatske) in a few minutes. The way there is well signposted and the fortress can hardly be missed.

Then there are a few steps and thus a few meters of altitude to overcome before you can enjoy the spectacular panoramic view over Šibenik. Concerts take place on the gigantic open-air stage again and again in summer – what a great setting!

Inside the fortress there is a quite nicely designed exhibition to find, but the highlight of the visit is definitely the view. You can walk the old defensive walls and look in all directions from there.

Our tip: It is particularly beautiful up here at sunset, when the setting sun bathes Šibenik in a beautiful light. However, keep an eye on the opening times.

You can find all information about admission & opening times on the official website: Fortress St. Michael

Fortress Baron You have a little more time and would like to visit a second fortification in Šibenik? Then we can warmly recommend the Baron Fortress (called “Tvrđava Barone” in Croatian).

It is also close to the old town, but a little higher and a little further away than St. Michael’s Fortress. Plan for the ascent to the fortress entrance about 20 walking distance. However, the effort is worth it: the panoramic view of Šibenik is fantastic.

Our tip: The renovated fortress also includes a café. With a cool drink and a great view, you can recover from the exertion of the ascent – wonderful!

You can find all information about entrance & opening hours. on the official website: Fortress Baron

Viewing terrace : That Postcard motif from Šibenik Only one 10-minute walk north from the city center takes you to the “home beach” of Šibenik, the Banj Beach. There is a viewing terrace that gives you the classic postcard view of Šibenik.

The viewpoint itself doesn’t offer much in terms of architecture, but the view from there back towards the old town is really fantastic. Depending on the time of day, the pretty coastal town presents itself completely differently – be it in the morning light, at sunset or at night. We recommend!

3. Excursion destinations from Šibenik: Our tips Canal Sveti Ante Even if it doesn’t always look like this on the photos: The historic old town of Šibenik is not on the open sea, but is through the channel Sveti Ante connected to it. We can warmly recommend a trip to this nature reserve on the two offshore peninsulas.

Not only a beautiful landscape with enchanting bays awaits you here, but above all an incredibly beautiful view of the sea and back towards the city center from Šibenik.

The most famous hiking trail leads along the coast on the southern peninsula. The trail is 4.4 kilometers long (one-way, not a circular route). The best place to get on is the parking lot near the Fortress of St. Nicholas. (We have marked the exact location for you on the map.)

We ourselves hiked to the two best-known viewpoints (walking time: approx. one hour from the parking lot). First you get to the “Lower Lookout”, something like 06 Minutes later to the “Upper Lookout”. The view from both is amazing! The way back follows the same route. The path is not demanding, but it gets relatively steep towards the end – but nothing that a reasonably fit person can’t manage, so don’t worry. It also does not require hiking shoes, trainers/sneakers are sufficient.

Our tip: From the parking lot, in the other direction, a path leads to the fortress of St. Nicholas. This detour is also highly recommended. However: If you want to visit the fortress yourself, this option is less recommended, since the fortress can currently officially only be reached by sea. (Theoretically you could walk the last part of the way to the fortress through the water).

Wooden walkway to the fortress of St. Nicholas View from the hiking trail along the coast National Park Krka Without a doubt, the National Park Krka is the most famous and most visited destination around Šibenik . The natural jewel is only about 20 by car from the center of Šibenik and is therefore ideal for a (half) day trip.

What can I see in Krka National Park? The Krka National Park is huge (it covers a stretch of the river approx 561 kilometers ). One day is never enough to really visit the whole national park. The classic program for an excursion is therefore limited to what is probably the most spectacular section of the park around the Skradinski Waterfall (“Skradinski Buk “).

Around the Skradinski Waterfall there is an approximately 2 km circular route. It usually leads you on boardwalks, often over steps through the natural jewel. You hear the water rushing, frogs croaking, birds singing – especially when there is little going on, the walk is really breathtakingly beautiful. Again and again you can look forward to spectacular views.

Once you have arrived at the waterfall, you can no longer (!) look forward to a dip in the cool water. Swimming has been since the beginning 2021 because of prohibited by species and nature conservation. Nevertheless (or rather because of it) the sight of the cascading waterfalls is incredibly impressive.

How do I get to the circular route in Krka National Park? There are two villages from which you can reach the circular route:

From Lozovac: From the parking lot leads you an approx. 06-minute walk downhill on a gravel path to the beginning of the circular route. Alternatively, you can also take the bus.From Skradin: Boats run regularly from the parking lot to the waterfall. If you want to move, you can also walk the approximately 4-kilometer path. Important to know: The National Park is one of the most visited sights in Croatia. We therefore recommend you – especially in the summer months! – get there as early as possible. Alternatively, late afternoon might be fine. Even if the photos of the waterfall suggest otherwise – you have to be prepared that there will be a lot going on.

Primošten The idyllic coastal town of Primošten is about half an hour’s drive south of Šibenik. It is beautifully situated on a peninsula, which is only connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway. Primošten is therefore particularly impressive from a bird’s eye view – of course we’ll tell you where the best view is in a moment.

What awaits you in Primošten ? In short: A magical fishing village, which, despite growing tourist interest, has managed to preserve a relaxed flair.

You should allow about two to three hours for a visit. The town is really small and explored quickly. If you need inspiration for your planning, you will now find the most important sights and our personal highlights in Primošten.

Sights & Tips for Primošten Walk to the Church of Sveti Juraj: The church of Sveti Juraj is enthroned at the highest point of the old town. A walk through the romantic alleys up to the church is a must on a trip to Primošten. Depending on your starting point, you can reach it in about 10 until 15 minutes.

Coffee/lunch break: In Primošten there are some very nice taverns and cafés that are ideal for a break. We recommend, for example, the idyllically situated Konoba Dvor or the Caffee Bar Vlaho.

The best view of Primošten: Probably the best panoramic view of the peninsula is from the vantage point by the statue of Our Lady of Loretto. It is enthroned on a hill high above Primošten. The disadvantage: the road there (gravel road!) is only recommended for experienced drivers. From the junction on the main road it is approximately 10 Minutes before you reach the viewpoint. You can find the exact location on the map at the end of the article.

4. Food & Drink: Culinary tips and recommendations We still remember our first stay well back in Šibenik over ten years ago when we really struggled to find anything other than Ćevapčići. Those times are long gone and Šibenik’s gastronomic scene has definitely become hipper.

Although Šibenik cannot compete with Split in terms of cuisine, there are really some highly recommended restaurants and cafes. Of course, we don’t want to withhold our favorites from you.

Tips for cafes & restaurants in Šibenik SHE Bio Bistro: Looking for the hippest café in all of Šibenik? Then there is no way around this jewel. Here you can not only have an excellent breakfast/brunch, but also have lunch and dinner. Fusion cuisine such as bowls, salads or sandwiches is served. A little insider tip and definitely recommended is the associated rooftop bar!

Peperoncino: This small restaurant is located on a hidden, tiny square. The big advantage: Everyone gets their money’s worth here, because the small (but fine) menu offers everything from meat and fish to vegetarian and vegan dishes.

Pelegrini: If you really want to treat yourself, the best thing to do is visit the only Michelin-star restaurant in Šibenik. The food here is excellent, although not cheap. Perfect for special occasions!

KaGrom Ice Cream: Here they sell supposedly the best ice cream in Šibenik. We can hardly confirm whether the superlative is correct, but the ice cream was really excellent. In our opinion, only the bag/waffle still needed improvement.

KaGrom Ice Cream Hot Pepper 5. Overnight stays in Šibenik: Our accommodation tip Of course, such a dreamlike city as Šibenik belongs also a dreamlike place to stay – and we actually found it. In the family-run Villa Pergola we felt in wonderful hands and can only recommend it to you with all our hearts.

You will spend the night here in a historic stone house that has been renovated incredibly carefully and with a lot of love for detail right in the old town of Šibenik. The ambience is really to fall in love with. The rooms radiate a pure feel-good atmosphere. We chose the “Deluxe Studio” category. If you want to treat yourself to something, then it’s best to choose the “Deluxe Apartment with Terrace” – simply wonderful!

The location of Villa Pergola couldn’t be better: You are only a stone’s throw away from all sights. The owner is also so accommodating and hospitable that we actually found it difficult to leave the place. All in all: Highly recommended!

You can book accommodation here: Villa Pergola

Reading corner in the lobbyOur room in Šibenik 6. Map: All sights & tips at a glance So that you can get to know the individual places better sights, you will find all our highlights marked on this map. A little tip: Just click on the rectangle at the top right to open the map on your smartphone in the Google Maps app.

Transparency: Affiliate Links This blog article contains our personal recommendations in the form of so-called affiliate links. If you book or buy something through the links, we will receive a small commission. For you, this does not change the price at all. A thousand thanks from both of us!

We are curious: Have you ever been to Šibenik? Did you like the coastal town as much as we do? Maybe you have more tips about sights or restaurants that you would like to add? We look forward to your comment!