Don’t judge Šibenik by its suburbs: wait until you get to the city centre, a fistful of gleaming white contrasting with the blue colour of the sea.
With a pretty promenade along the waterfront, the quaint uphill streets of the old town, a stunning cathedral not to be missed and numerous tourist settlements along the coast, Šibenik is probably the most underrated of Dalmatia’s coastal towns.
An ideal base from which to explore two of Central Dalmatia’s most famous tourist attractions, the Kornati Islands and the Krka National Park, Šibenik is a place where you can easily stop for a couple of days, which will pass very quickly between beaches, city walks and excursions.
Fun fact: Šibenik is one of the few towns on the Dalmatian coast to have been founded by Croatian tribes rather than the Illyrians or Romans.
The main street in Šibenik is Kralje Zvonimira, while the most important shopping streets are Ante Starcevica and Ante Supuka. As in all Croatian towns along the coast, Šibenik has a lovely waterfront promenade lined with restaurants, bars and ice-cream parlours.
A beautiful building in the old town centre is the Town Hall, originally from the Renaissance period but rebuilt after the bombings of World War II.
Also take a look at the Municipal Museum, which hosts more or less interesting temporary exhibitions.
Šibenik deserves to be included on any Dalmatian tourist itinerary for the magnificent St Jacob’s Cathedral alone, an architectural masterpiece that is mainly due to the architect and sculptor Juraj Dalmatinac.
The most unique feature of the cathedral, which has become almost a city symbol, is the frieze adorning the outer walls of the apses, with 71 sculpted heads. Look up at the frieze to admire these faces, depicting citizens of Šibenik in the 15th century, with expressions as diverse as boredom, pride, tranquillity, joy..
In addition to the frieze, Dalmatinac is responsible for the stairs in the two side aisles, the baptistery, Bishop Šizigoric’s crypt and the Lion’s Gate on the north side.
Construction work on the cathedral began in 1431, but went on for a very long time; valuable white stone from the island of Brac was used as the material.
There are other interesting ones in the centre of Šibenik, but almost all of them are only open for liturgical celebrations. If you visit them during a mass, be sure to show respect:
From Šibenik, there are numerous day trips to the region’s famous natural attractions, namely the Krka National Park and the Kornati Islands, but you can also find interesting resorts and beautiful beaches along the coast without having to travel far.
The most important seaside resort in the vicinity of Šibenik is Vodice, a small village overlooking a harbour with numerous beaches and coves not far from the centre.
A little further on is Primosten, the most beautiful tourist resort in the area. This village squeezed into a peninsula is slightly reminiscent of the more famous Rovinj in terms of the romantic atmosphere of the old town and the beautiful pebble beaches surrounded by coniferous forests.
Three islands easily accessible by boat from Šibenik are:
Šibenik is well connected by trains and buses with Split; there are also buses and trains from Zagreb, but the journey is rather long (about 11 hours).
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Šibenik (Šibenik) is a historical city located in the centre of Croatia, along the Adriatic coast, about halfway between the two cities of Zadar and Split.