12 Great Things to Do in Sibenik, Croatia
I’m sure you’ll be surprised how many things to do in Sibenik will be at your disposal once you visit this old town. When we talk about Croatian cities with a lot of things to do and see, the first choice always concerns Dubrovnik, Split or Zagreb.
I’ll show you that Sibenik does not miss anything what above cities are offering. It is true that Sibenik does not have the traces of Roman monuments, like Split’s Diocletian palace, Roman forums in Zadar or Pula with its amphitheater but anyhow Sibenik’s old town will take your breath away.
The beauty of Sibenik lies above all in its extraordinary position. It’s located at the bottom of Saint Anthony Channel (Sveti Ante), considered as one of the most beautiful parts of the Adriatic coast and one of the most amazing entrances to a city from the sea.
My Top Recommended Things To Do In Sibenik
For your information I remind you that Sibenik counts a total of 24 churches, 4 fortresses, 4 wells and 2851 stone steps in the old city center – the most of any town in Croatia.
If I add the picturesque Sibenik bay and its location, this town will fascinate you at first sight. I’m sure you’ll wish to come back to discover its beauty many times more.
St. Jacob’s Cathedral
Visiting St. Jacob’s Cathedral is one of the must things to do in Sibenik. Listed in 2000 as UNESCO’s World Heritage is the most important architectural achievement of the 15th century in Croatia. Its building took almost 100 years from mid 15th until mid 16th century.
At the beginning started in Gothic style, while the final part got all the features, including the dome, of renaissance style. During the construction of this great cathedral, even their constructors didn’t know that it will become an eternal and indestructible symbol of a town.
The fifth season of A Game of Thrones moved to Sibenik. The medieval town of Sibenik hit the small screen in the fifth season as Braavos, one of the Free Cities across the Narrow Sea.
One of the most interesting features of the cathedral is a series of more than 70 stone heads on the outside, that represent the citizens of Sibenik from the 15th century.
It is more than 2000 meters long and between 140 and 220 meters wide. It serves as the door of Sibenik to the open sea and as the entrance to the town.
Garden of the monastery of St. Lawrence
Only few minutes from Sibenik cathedral, this medieval Mediterranean Garden has become one of town’s most popular attractions since opening its gates in 2007.
It’s located in the courtyard of the monastery of St. Lawrence is a lush oasis where more than a hundred species of herbs and medicinal plants grow. This garden is open from 09 AM to 11 PM.
One of the things to do in Sibenik is ‘must-see’ this garden and If you have ambitious plans for a herb garden at home, this is the perfect place to come for horticultural inspiration.
Sibenik city museum
One of the most interesting things to do in Sibenik, like in any of coastal towns, is a visit to local museums. Sibenik city museum founded in 1925 is one of the richest that counts approximately 150,000 exhibits.
It’s situated in ex Prince’s palace near the cathedral. The history of Sibenik and Croatia is displayed with a lot of multimedia content, divided into archeological, cultural and historical section with a recent history department.
Ticket price is for adults, 30 Kuna, children under 12 years have a free entrance. Students have 10 Kuna discount. Opening hours are from 10 AM to 15 PM and from 17 PM to 20 PM.
Sibenik’s defense fortresses
It may seem too many for a single town! Exploring turbulent history of the city, you will understand why they built them so many. They were very important in the defense of the city against the Turks in the late Middle Ages.
There are three on the mainland and one on the sea, at the entrance to the Sibenik bay. Thanks to them, the Turks have never been able to conquer Sibenik.
St. Michael fortress
The first in a row and the oldest fortress is St. Michael’s fortress ( Sveti Mihovil) built in the 11th century.
In 2014 it has been restored and now it has an open air stage where the musical and theatrical spectacles are being held.
Built on a steep rocky hill above the channel, St. Michael’s Fortress has a dominant view over the islands and the medieval town which celebrates its 950th anniversary this year.
If you are still looking for things to do in Sibenik, take a walk to this fortress to enjoy an unforgettable sunset and a view of the Sibenik archipelago.
Fortress Barone, better known as Sibicevac Fort, also recently renovated is located at an altitude of 80 meters and, together with the fortress of St. John with whom it was connected, played an important role in defending Sibenik since the Turkish attacks in 1647.
The name Barone derives from Baron Degenfeld, Venetian military commander of German origin who had very important contribution to the defense of the city.
St. John Fortress
The fortress of St. John is located above the old town of Sibenik, 115 meters above sea level. This fortress was erected in only 45 days when Sibenik citizens joined the forces aware of the dangers that threatened the town.(Turkish invaders)
It is interesting that this fortress in 2014 served as an attractive scenery for recording some of the world’s most popular film series – Game of Thrones.
Among four fortresses, this the only fortress surrounded by the sea from all sides. The fortress of St. Nicholas of the triangular form were erected in the middle of the 16th century, at the entrance to the canal of St. Ante (St. Antony). The goal was to defend the city from sea attacks.
It has been excellently preserved and is very interesting to all who come to Sibenik by sea. It’s considered to be one of the most important naval monuments on the Adriatic coast.
If you’re looking for interesting things to do in Sibenik, there is a footpath that connects Sibenik with this fortress.
More Things to Do in Sibenik
Walking trail of St. Anthony Channel
St. Antony channel was for a long time a military restricted area (during the ex Yugoslav ruling period). In 2013 local authorities have decided to reopen this area to Sibenik citizens and tourists.
The channel is visible from all parts of Sibenik and although it is relatively close to the city and easily accessible, for historical reasons it has remained isolated and unknown. Today it’s accessible for everybody, offering numerous opportunities for recreation and entertainment.
Walking trail of St. Anthony Channel is 4.4 km long and connecting area from the bay Panikovac to the island Skoljic in front of St. Nicholas fortress. Among various things to do in Sibenik, it’s an ideal place for walking, jogging and cycling.
The most important things to do in Sibenik in the St. Anthony Channel are:
- St. Nicholas Fortress – one of the most important Venetian fortifications and one of the most beautiful fortresses on the Adriatic.
- St. Anthony Chapel Cave – within the channel’s rocks lies a cave which contains remains of a small church dedicated to St. Anthony.
- Marine tunnel – an attractive abandoned military facility that once served as a refuge for warships.
- Two lookout points – with a view of Sibenik town, the entire channel, the Sibenik archipelago and St Nicholas Fortress.
This is a well-kept and accessible little aquarium in the center of town. A cool and calm oasis right in the middle of the town , only 50 meters from Cathedral of St James. Very good value for money for a family ticket, and plenty of exhibits to see.
The price of a ticket for adults is 37 Kuna while children (4 to 13 years old) will pay 27 Kuna. During the tourist season, between June and September, the Sibenik Aquarium is open to visitors between 10 AM and 10 PM.
These 4 wells are located on the square near St. Jacob’s cathedral. Like in Zadar where you can see five wells, these Sibenik wells were the main source of drinking water in Sibenik town during the Middle Ages.
At first sight these wells may seem unimportant, but they were, like in Zadar and in Sibenik, the only source of water during the long siege of the city by the Turks invaders. Today they remain an interesting attraction you simply must-see.
Sibenik aquarium – Mediterranean lifestyle
If you are looking for different things to do in Sibenik, than this aquarium will be a full-water adventure only 10 Km from town center.
Aqua-park is the first themed water park in Croatia. It is located in the family part of the Solaris Beach Resort, next to Solaris Kids Hotel Andrija and Solaris Beach Hotel Jakov .
Immerse into the world of wild water adventures! Experience the best water attraction on the Adriatic.