Sibenik is often overshadowed by Croatia’s other coastal destinations, such as Dubrovnik and Split, but this historic town has plenty to offer tourists. Situated on the Adriatic Sea, Sibenik is the oldest native Croatian town, and its UNESCO-listed old town is full of Venetian-style architecture.
The town is also home to the magnificent 15th-century Cathedral of St James, one of Croatia’s and Sibenik’s most popular tourist attractions. So if you’re looking for the best things to do in Sibenik, here are the 15 best things to do in Sibenik, activities, and attractions.
Things to Do in Sibenik
1. Strolling Around Sibenik’s Old Town
Sibenik’s picturesque old town is the best place to start your exploration of the city. The old town is a maze of narrow streets and alleyways lined with beautiful Gothic and Renaissance palaces, churches, and mansions. The best way to see the old town is on foot, so you can really take in all the sights and sounds.
The best part about exploring this part of town is that it’s relatively small and compact, so you won’t get lost. In addition, most of Sibenik’s attractions are located in or around the Old Town, so you can easily visit them on foot. And as you amble through the streets of the Old Town, make sure to look up. Many of the buildings are ornately decorated with lunettes, reliefs, and sculpted details.
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2. Cathedral of St. James
The Cathedral of St. James is one of the famous attractions in Sibenik and also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Built in the 15th and 16th centuries, the cathedral is a masterpiece of Croatian Gothic and Renaissance architecture. It took over 100 years to build and is considered one of the most important monuments in the whole of Europe.
The highlight of the cathedral is its exquisite frieze located outside, which is adorned with 71 sculpted figures. Inside, the cathedral is equally as impressive, with beautiful paintings, baroque furnishings, and a beautifully decorated baptistery. In addition
Fun fact: The Cathedral of St. James was built entirely of stones. Not a single binding material was used in its construction. This makes it one of the few cathedrals in the world that are not held together by mortar.
All in all, the Cathedral of St. James is without a doubt one of the best things to see in Sibenik and a must-visit attraction.
3. Explore St. Nicholas’ Fortress
If you’re looking for the best things to do in Sibenik that involve a bit of history and culture, a visit to St. Nicholas’ Fortress is a must. This incredible fortress was built in the 16th century on a small island located just offshore of Sibenik. The fortress was constructed to protect Sibenik from enemies and invaders, and it did its job well. In fact, the fortress was never conquered or taken, despite being besieged on several occasions.
Today, St. Nicholas’ Fortress is one of the most popular places to visit in Sibenik. This is because it is incredibly well-preserved and offers stunning views of the nearby city and harbor. In addition, there is a concert and theatre venue located at the top of the fortress, so you can catch a show while you’re here.
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4. Take in the Views from St. John’s Fortress
Located on a hilltop that offers incredible panoramic views of Sibenik, St. John’s Fortress is one of the best places to go in Sibenik. The fortress was built in the 17th century to protect the city from the Ottoman Empire, and it was used as a military base until just after World War II.
Today, St. John’s Fortress is a popular tourist attraction, and visitors can explore the fortress’s many tunnels, staircases, and rooms. If you want to learn more about the history of the fortress, be sure to take a guided tour.
And, of course, the views from the top of St. John’s Fortress are simply incredible. You can see for miles in every direction, and on a clear day, you can even see the nearby islands.
5. Sunbathe on Banj Beach
Sibenik’s most popular beach is Banj Beach, located just a short walk from the Old Town. Banj Beach has a long, wide stretch of pebbly shoreline perfect for sunbathing and swimming. And it’s not just the beach that’s nice. Banj Beach is also home to a number of excellent restaurants and cafes, as well as a beach bar. This means you can easily find a place to enjoy a refreshing drink or bite to eat without leaving the beach.
If you’re looking for a little more excitement, Banj Beach is also the starting point for a number of water sports, such as jet-skiing, parasailing, and banana boating.
In addition to being a gorgeous beach, Banj Beach is also home to a number of historical and cultural attractions in Sibenik. For example, the Fortress of St. Nicholas is located near the beach and is definitely worth a visit.
Overall, Banj Beach is the perfect place to relax and unwind, and it’s no wonder that coming here is one of the most popular things to do in Sibenik.
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6. Tour the Count’s Palace (Sibenik City Museum)
The Count’s Palace is located in the old town of Sibenik, and it is one of the best-preserved palaces from the Renaissance period in Croatia. This beautiful building was constructed in the 16th century and served as the governor’s palace.
Today, the Count’s Palace is open to the public as the Sibenik City Museum. You can tour the museum’s permanent exhibition, which tells the story of the city of Sibenik and its rich history. The museum also has a number of temporary exhibitions throughout the year.
Although I would say that the museum’s exhibition is interesting, it is the building itself that is the real star attraction here. The palace is simply magnificent, with its ornate facade, grand staircase, and lavish interiors.
7. Have a Splash at Aquapark Solaris
Looking for the best things to do in Sibenik with kids? Aquapark Solaris is the perfect place to take them. This waterpark is Sibenik’s biggest and best, packed with slides, pools, and attractions for all ages.
There are six different slides to choose from, as well as a wave pool, a slow river, and several pools for children. The waterpark also has a sunbathing area where you can relax on a deckchair and work on your tan.
Aquapark Solaris is located just outside of town, so it’s the perfect place to escape the heat of the city and enjoy some time in the water. I didn’t have time to visit Aquapark Solaris on my trip, but it is definitely high on my list for next time!
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8. Admire the Church of Barbara
Another incredible religious structure in Sibenik is the Church of Barbara. This Gothic church was constructed in the mid-17th century and is best known for its stunning facade. The facade is truly a work of art and is covered in ornate relief carvings. The church’s interior is also quite beautiful, with many interesting paintings and sculptures dating back to the 14th century.
Take some time to explore the church’s exterior and interior, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. This is a truly wonderful church that should be high on your list of top attractions to visit in Sibenik. Plus, it’s right in the city center so you can easily combine it with other Sibenik attractions.
9. Chill Out in the Garden at St. Lawrence Monastery
The best way to relax and take in some history is to head over to the St. Lawrence Monastery and its lovely Medieval Mediterranean Gardens. After all, what could be more relaxing than strolling through beautifully manicured gardens while surrounded by the monastery walls?
The garden was opened in 2007 after it had been neglected for over a century. And today, it is one of the top Sibenik tourist attractions, with over 2,200 species of plants. In short, it is one of the most biodiverse gardens in all of Croatia.
There is also a cafe overlooking the garden, which is the perfect place to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea while surrounded by the tranquil atmosphere. The architecture of the monastery is also quite lovely. It was constructed in the early 18th century and features a large 17th-century bell tower.
I had the best time exploring the medieval gardens and admiring the beautiful monastery. So if you are looking for cool things to do in Sibenik, I would definitely recommend checking out the St. Lawrence Monastery Medieval Garden.
10. Enjoy Sibenik Nightlife
Sibenik knows how to party. This small city comes alive at night, with a wide range of bars and nightclubs to suit all tastes. One of the best places to start your night is in the old town, where you can enjoy a few drinks in one of the many atmospheric bars.
If you’re looking for a more lively night out, head to Azimut, one of the most popular nightclubs in Sibenik. This club regularly hosts top DJs and is the perfect place to dance the night away.
Other popular nightclubs in Sibenik include O. U. INSIDE CLUB, En Vogue Beach Club, and Cocktail bar REBUS. All these places are sure to give you an unforgettable night out.
11. Enjoy the water at Solaris Beach Resort
Sibenik is located on the Croatian coast, and as such, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the water. And one of the best places in Sibenik to do so is Solaris Beach Resort.
This beach resort is located on a peninsula and provides stunning views of the Adriatic Sea. It is the perfect place to relax and enjoy the sun and the water. There are plenty of beach activities to keep you busy, including swimming, sunbathing, windsurfing, and more. Or, if you want to take it easy, you can simply enjoy a meal or a drink at one of the resort’s restaurants or bars.
And since one of the best things to do in Sibenik is to pamper yourself, you will be happy to know that the resort also has a spa. The solarium and massage services are the perfect way to relax after a day of exploring the city.
12. Take a Day Trip to Primosten
Primosten is a gorgeous little town located just a short drive from Sibenik. As you approach the town, you’ll notice that it is built on a small hill, and this is because the town was once an island. The island was eventually connected to the mainland in the 18th century.
Today, Primosten is best known for its lovely sandy beaches and crystal clear waters. Visitors can enjoy plenty of beach time, swimming, sunbathing, and simply taking in the stunning sights of Sibenik.
There are also several restaurants located in Primosten, so it’s the perfect place to enjoy a meal with a view. For those interested in history, be sure to check out the Church of St. George, which dates back to the 15th century.
13. Explore the Dalmatian Ethno Village
The best way to learn about Croatian culture and tradition is to visit the Dalmatian Ethno Village. Located south of Sibenik, this open-air museum is dedicated to preserving the traditional way of life of the people of Dalmatia.
At the Dalmatian Ethno Village, you can see how the people of Dalmatia used to live. There are old stone houses, a watermill, and a blacksmith’s workshop. You can also see how the traditional foods of Dalmatia were prepared.
In addition to being a great place to learn about Croatian culture, the Dalmatian Ethno Village is also a great place to relax. There are benches and picnic tables where you can enjoy the peaceful surroundings. And when you get hungry, you can sample some of the delicious food and wine at the on-site restaurant.
My trip here was one of the best cultural experiences I’ve had in Croatia. I got to learn about the history and culture of the Dalmatian people and see how they used to live. And being one of the famous places to go in Sibenik, I’d highly recommend spending most of your time here!
14. Stroll Along Sibenik’s Promenade
One of the most pleasant things to do in Sibenik is to stroll along its lovely promenade. And surprisingly, this promenade is not as crowded as you would expect it to be for such a touristy city.
The best place to start your stroll is at the very end of the promenade. From there, you can stroll along the delightful promenade and enjoy the view of all the palaces, churches, and buildings that make Sibenik a cultural hub. In addition, the promenade is lined with plenty of cafes and restaurants, providing the perfect opportunity to take a break, relax, and enjoy the view.
15. Take a Day Trip to Krka National Park
Krka National Park is one of Croatia’s best-loved national parks, known for its gorgeous waterfalls, picturesque lakes and rivers, and dense forestry. The park is located just a short drive from Sibenik, making it the perfect day trip destination.
Walking and hiking trails wind their way through Krka National Park, taking visitors past gushing waterfalls, pretty lakes, and dense forests. One of the best ways to experience the park is by taking a boat tour which will take you to some of the most remote and beautiful areas of the park that can only be reached by water.
Krka National Park is also home to a number of historical and cultural sites, including the Krka Monastery and the Visovac Island.
These are only a few of the best things to do in Sibenik. This Croatian city is full of history, culture, and natural beauty, making it the perfect destination for your next vacation. Pick four or five (or all!) of these activities and attractions, and start planning your trip to Sibenik today.