In this article you’ll discover the best things to do in Sibenik, a small city on the Adriatic Sea and Croatia’s Dalmatian coast. I lived on nearby Zalrin Island last year and would frequently visit Sibenik for shopping, sightseeing and dining out.
The city is steeped in history and there lots of wonderful places to visit in Sibenik such as the charming medieval old town filled with narrow, cobbled streets, 15th-century churches, monasteries and a total of four large fortresses.
There are so many Sibenik things to do from exploring the churches and museums of the old town, to swimming at one of the Sibenik beaches, enjoying freshly caught seafood at one of the many restaurants, or taking a boat trip.
So, if you’re looking at what to do in Sibenik, keep reading to discover the very best this charming Croatian city has to offer.
Boring stuff: I have visited each of the places I recommend and give you my honest opinion, warts and all. All photos are my own unless otherwise stated and may not be reproduced without permission. Affiliate links may earn a commission at no extra cost to you.
Things to do in Sibenik
1. Take a Walking Tour of the Old Town
Taking a walking tour of the city is one of the best things to do in Sibenik to get a feel for the place and learn a little history along the way.
This excellent evening walking tour will have you discovering all the secrets of the city with a local guide. You’ll get to experience all the Sibenik must-see sights and iconic landmarks as well as hidden squares and secret alleyways.
The evening is one of the best times to experience the city as the sun sets over the ocean and beyond the islands. The bars and restaurants along the seafront come alive and you can enjoy a meal or glass of Croatian wine in beautiful surroundings. Click here to book your tour.
2. Take a Sibenik Riviera Cruise
This brilliant day-long cruise around the Sibenik Riviera and nearby islands is the perfect way to see this stunning part of Croatia. You’ll get to visit three unspoiled islands; Zlarin (where I used to live), Tijat and Prvić as well as the awesome St Nicholas Fortress.
You’ll have free time on each island to do as you please, whether that be relaxing on the beaches, swimming, snorkeling or walking in pristine nature away from the crowds. Lunch on Prvić is also included in the price. Click here to book now.
3. Visit Saint Michael’s Fortress
St Michael’s Fortress is a medieval hill fort that sits on the site of a much earlier fortification dating as far back as the Bronze Age. The current construction dates to the 16th Century and sits high above the centre of the old city.
The fortress houses a museum with lots of interesting exhibits charting the city’s history and offers sweeping views across the old town.
The fort is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday to Friday and 10:00 am to 6:00 pm Saturday and Sunday. Tickets cost 75 Kuna (€9.95) for adults and 50 Kuna (€6.65) for children.
Check the website to see what events are going on at St. Stephen’s during your visit.
Address: Zagrađe 21, 22000, Šibenik, Croatia. Click here for directions.
4. Visit Groblje Svete Ane Cemetary
Here’s a little insider’s tip. If you want some stunning views of the city and islands, then don’t pay for entry to Saint Michael’s Fortress next door, head instead to Saint Anne’s Cemetary (Croatian Groblje Svete Ane).
This beautiful cemetery sits high above the old town with incredible views, making it one of the best free things to do in Sibenik. Walk around the graves and monuments for a little slice of solitude set in beautiful surroundings.
This quiet graveyard with absolutely stunning views of the town and coastline is one of my favourite places to visit in Sibenik to escape the crowds and take some time out.
Address: Put Groblja 17, 22000, Šibenik, Croatia. Click here for directions.
5. See the Cathedral of Saint James (Svetog Jakov)
This large Gothic cathedral in one of the large squares is one of the top places to visit in Sibenik. The cathedral was designed by Italian architects and made entirely of stone in the gothic renaissance style.
There was much collaboration between Northern Italy, Tuscany and Croatia during the 15th and 16th Centuries and the architecture on display at St. James’s is a fine example of this.
The Square is worth spending some time checking out and there are lots of nice cafes to stop for a quick coffee. For the best views, walk up the steps directly opposite the cathedral.
Address: Trg Republike Hrvatske 1, 22000, Šibenik, Croatia. Click here for directions.
6. Walk Along the Seafront
The seafront area along Obala dr. Franj Tudman is lined by cafes, bars and restaurants overlooking the marina. There is a pleasant pathway that follows the waterfront with flowerbeds and it’s easy to get to enter the old town from here.
Exploring the seafront area is one of the best things to do Sibenik, especially in the evening when the bars and restaurants come alive with music.
7. Visit Banj Beach (One of the Best Places to Visit in Sibenik)
Banj is one of the only Sibenik beaches and is located at the northwestern end of the town overlooking the channel and outlying islands. Banj is the road holder of a Blue Flag meaning that it is clean with exceptional water quality.
The beach itself is a pebble beach like most you’ll find along the Adriatic in Croatia but is still a great place to relax and have a swim. Strand Banj is just a ten-minute walk from the old town and waterfront restaurants along the main coast road.
It’s always a good idea to have some flip-flops or similar shoes (reef shoes are even better) when visiting Croatia’s beaches. Not only are most quite stony, but there can be sea urchins in the waters (though Banj is safe).
Address: Prilaz tvornici 33, 22000, Šibenik, Croatia. Click here for directions.
8. Walk Up to Barone Fortress
Built in 1646, Barone is another of Sibenik’s four fortresses and is an easy ten to fifteen-minute walk from the old town. The views from up here are the best in the city with sweeping views across the rooftops of the old town to St Michael’s Fortress and the islands out to sea.
As with the other Sibenik fortresses, opening hours are from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday to Friday and 10:00 am to 6:00 pm Saturday and Sunday. Tickets cost 75 Kuna (€9.95) for adults and 50 Kuna (€6.65) for children.
From November 1st 2022 to March 1st 2023 entrance to Barone and St John’s Fortresses is free. It’s also worth walking up to the area even if you don’t want to go inside as the views are amazing.
Address: Put Vuka Mandušića, 22000, Šibenik, Croatia. Click here for directions.
9. Visit Saint John’s Fort
St John’s Fort was built around the same time as Barone during the Cretan War to repel the Ottoman Turks. It is located on a rocky hill a few hundred metres north of Barone Fortress so its easy to visit the two together.
St John’s is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday to Friday and 10:00 am to 6:00 pm Saturday and Sunday. Tickets cost 75 Kuna (€9.95) for adults and 50 Kuna (€6.65) for children.
From November 1st 2022 to March 1st 2023 entrance to Barone and St John’s Fortresses is free.
Address: Put Tanaje 29, 22000, Šibenik, Croatia. Croatia. Click here for directions.
10. Visit the Sibenik City Museum
For those visiting Sibenik, a trip to the City Museum is a great way to learn about the history of the area. Sibenik City Museum charts the history of the city from prehistoric time to the modern day through a series of interesting exhibits and displays.
The museum is housed in the former prince’s palace next to St. James Cathedral and focuses on the archaeological, cultural and ethnographic aspects of the region.
The museum is open from 8:00 am to 8:00 om Monday to Friday, 10: am to 8:00 pm Saturday and closed Sunday. Entrance costs 30 Kuna (€4.00).
Address: Ul. Gradska vrata 3, 22000, Šibenik, Croatia. Click here for directions.
11. Have a Tasting at Rak Winery
Croatia has a growing reputation as a country that produces some great wines. Take a trip to the Rak Winery near Sibenik where the Rak family has been producing wines since 1960. Take a tour of the vineyard and learn all about the wine-making process.
You’ll then get to sample some of the wines in the tasting room. Enjoying the local wine is definitely one of the top things to do in Sibenik, Croatia! See the website for more information on how to visit.
Address: Rakovo Selo 98, 22000, Šibenik, Croatia. Click here for directions.
12. Visit Saint Nicholas’s Fortress
Saint Nicholas’s Fortress is the final of the four Sibenik fortresses and one of the must-see attractions in the region. This fort is located in the Saint Anthony Channel between Sibenik and Zlarin and is only accessible by boat.
The limestone fort was completed in 1547 and is part of the UNESCO-listed Venetian works of defense. It is one of the best preserved such fortresses in Dalmatia and is one of the top Sibenik tourist attractions.
There are many boat tours leaving from the waterfront in the centre of Sibenik, or you can see the fortress on this tour of the Sibenik RIviera. Click here to book.
Address: Obala dr. Franje Tuđmana 4, 22000, Šibenik, Croatia. Click here for directions.
13. Take a Speedboat Tour to the Kornati Archipelago
This fun full-day tour from Sibenik will have you exploring the beaches and islands of the Kornati National Park. Swim in the perfectly clear waters of sandy beaches and discover parts of Croatia few people visit.
The tour lasts for 10.5 hours and includes transport by speedboat, all safety gear and entrance to the national park. This really is one of the best things to do near Sibenik for those looking to enjoy the ocean and escape the city. Click here to book your day trip.
14. Go to Zlarin Island
I lived on charming Zlarin for one month in 2022 and absolutely loved this tiny island. Aside from a small village by the harbour, the island is covered in forest and surrounded by small beaches and inlets with crystal-clear water.
There are lots of activities available on the island from hiring bikes to kayaks and paddle boards. The island has lots of hiking trails through the interior of the island and some interesting fortifications to explore.
You won’t go hungry as there are four or five good restaurants (I highly recommend Restaurant Ivana for the food, prices and service), a small supermarket, shop and kiosk.
The Sibenik to Zlarin ferry has four sailing per day (three on Sundays), takes 30 minutes and costs 25 Kuna (€3.00) each way. You can also visit Zlain on a full-day boat tour from Sibenik. Click here to book now.
Address: Zlarin Island, Šibenik, Croatia. Click here for directions.
15. Visit Krka National Park
Krka National Park is an area of outstanding natural beauty a few miles from Sibenik. Less well known than the more famous Plitvice Lakes, Krka is similar in that there are many waterfalls and a series of wooden platforms taking you around the park.
I visited Krka with friends we had an excellent day exploring the lakes, rivers and falls in the mountainous wilderness. It was busier than I was expecting for the time of year (late September), but not too overcrowded.
There are daily buses from Sibenik to the National Park entrance at Lozovac and the journey time is around 30 minutes. Entrance to the park cost 200 Kuna (€26.50) per person. Click here to book a tour of Krka National Park.
Address: Lozovac, Croatia. Click here for directions.
How to Get Around Sibenik
Although a city in name, Sibenik is only a small town and everywhere is easily reachable on foot. The bus station is next to the train station and ferry port, and these are all a few minute’s walk from the waterfront and old town.
There is a ferry service and water taxi connecting the city to the outlying islands.
Is Sibenik Safe
Sibenik is an incredibly safe city with little to worry about aside from opportunistic crime that can happen anywhere.
In summer ensure you cover up and apply plenty of sunscreen and keep an eye out for sea urchins in the water (they are usually not found too close to the swimming beaches).
Ensure you have travel insurance for your visit to Sibenik to ensure you are covered in case something unexpected happens. Our partners at SafetyWing provide comprehensive cover for adventurous travellers.
Where to Stay in Sibenik
There are plenty of accommodation options to suit all budgets. Below is a small selection of these.
Budget: Hostel Splendido
Mid-range: City Rooms Sibenik
Luxury: Bellevue Superior City Hotel
How to Get to Sibenik
Sibenik is located halfway between Zadar and Split, making it easy to reach. The nearest airport is Split (Resnik) International Airport. From there take the shuttle into Split and then one of the many daily Split to Sibenik buses.
Buses to Sibenik
Croatia has a comprehensive bus network, but delays are frequent and journey times are usually vastly underestimated. If you have onward connections allow at least two extra hours to ensure you can make it.
This full-day tour from Split includes Sibenik and Krka National Park. Click her to book now.
- Zagreb to Sibenik – 5 hours / €22.00
- Zadar to Sibenik – 1.5 hours / €9.99
- Split to Sibenik – 2 hours / €9.99
You can book these bus routes online in advance through Flixbus or buy at the bus station in Croatia.
Sibenik is definitely worth a visit This beautiful town clinging to a hill overlooking the Dalmatian coast has a charming old town packed with cafes, restaurants, museums and fortresses to explore.
You should spend at least one week in Sibenik to explore the charming old town and spend time exploring the nearby islands, and of course nearby Krka National Park.
Sibenik is famous for having four medieval fortresses in the city. Three are on hills overlooking the terracotta roofs, and St Nicholas Fortress is on an island a short boat trip from the town.
There is a small beach in Sibenik at Banj which is a few minutes walk from the old town. You can also take a boat the short ride to one of the nearby islands like Zlarin which also have many beaches.
Is Sibenik Worth Visiting?
Sibenik is definitely worth visiting for its beautiful medieval old town, its many fortresses and its excellent seafood restaurants on the waterfront. The city is the perfect gateway to exploring the nearby national parks, beaches and islands.
Now you know what to do in Sibenik, it’s time to book that trip to beautiful Croatia and avoid the crowds of Split and Dubrovnik.
About the author:
Steve Rohan is a writer from Essex, England. He has traveled to over 60 countries, lived in Armenia, China and Hong Kong, and is now living the digital nomad life on the road.
Steve prefers “slow travel” and has covered much of the world by train, bus and boat. He has been interviewed multiple times by the BBC and recently featured in the documentary Scariest Places in the World. See the About page for more info.
Where I am now: Yerevan, Armenia 🇦🇲