The royal city of Šibenik offers numerous attractions and activities, so it's not easy to list just 10 things to do in Šibenik, but we tried to keep it interesting and versatile. Third largest city in Dalmatia and the oldest of all the coastal ones, Šibenik is a pearl of cultural heritage that feels bit less touristy than more known neighbouring destinations but still equally as charming. The short distance from Rogoznica makes Šibenik an ideal destination for a full day excursion that you will remember for a long time. Step into the city of sun, sea and stone with us!
1. Visit the Cathedral of St.James
Every list of things to do in Šibenik has to start with city's number one attraction. Cathedral of St.James is the most significant architectural achievement of the Renaissance era in Croatia, included on UNESCO's World Heritage list. The cathedral was being built over the period of more than 100 years and it is entirely built of stone, namely fine white limestone and marble from Brač, while the construction methods and its structure make the cathedral unique among other European renaissance churches.
2. Enjoy epic views from St. Michael's Fortress
Overlooking Šibenik and the islands in the Adriatic, St. Michael's Fortress is probably the most popular of all four city's fortresses from the medieval times. It's definitely worth the hike up not just because of the views, but also to check out a concert of local or international musicians. Once you get up there, you'll see why is this 1000+ seat outdoor venue considered as one of the most scenic places to attend a concert in Croatia and why it has to be on your list of things to do in Šibenik.
3. Chill out in the St.Lawrence's Mediterranean Garden
There is a beautiful medieval garden hidden inside the labyrinth of old city streets, restored and opened in 2007 by an award winning landscape architect Dragutin Kiš. Once you set your foot in this marvellously soothing spot just above the belfry of St. Lawrence monastery, you may find it hard to believe it has been forgotten for a hundred years. Surrounded by stone walls and filled with medicinal and spicy Mediterranean herbs, fruit trees and roses, this tiny well-tended oasis is nowadays one of Šibenik's most popular attractions. Sit and relax on your way to Fortress of St. Michael, grab a cup of coffee or a small bite in the shades and enjoy the serenity.
4. Visit the Šibenik's guardian from the sea
Did you know Šibenik is the only town in Croatia and one of just few cities in the world with two ancient buildings included in UNESCO's World Heritage List? The first one is Cathedral of St.James, while the second is a prime example of defensive architecture and one of the most elegant military buildings in the Mediterranean. Built by Venice at the entrance to St. Anthony Channel in a arrow-like shape, St Nicholas Fortress mission was to protect the city from Ottoman Empire's navy. That was more than accomplished, since the impenetrable look and reputation alone were enough to deter invaders from tempting their fate. After the long-awaited restoration, this remarkably well preserved fortress finally opened its doors to the public in 2019, so be sure to include it in your list of things to do in Šibenik.
5. Wake up your inner child and celebrate children's creativity
A unique cultural event Šibenik is globally known for, International Children's Festival is a celebration of imagination and creativity, Established back in 1958 through the efforts of local young arts enthusiasts, the festival quickly turned into an important international event bringing together artists from all over the world featuring two week program full of arts and culture for children. City squares are filled with performances and interactive activities, musicals, puppetry, open air cinema, drama classes and painting. It's truly an inspirational way to bridge the city and its youth by letting children to take over the streets with their creations and encouraging them to get involved with different art forms. If you're coming with your own kids, you're in for a treat!
6. Learn about medieval falconry
Dubrava Falconry Center is the only center in Croatia where you can see different kinds of birds of prey. Located in the dense pine forest of Šibenik Dubrava, just 8 kilometres away from the city center, it is an inevitable place for those who want to taste the wilderness and adventure. There is a special programme during which visitors can enjoy the beauty of falcon's fly and be eye to eye with these incredible sky hunters. For many years now, the center has been cultivating a variety of species of birds of prey and here you can learn all about them.
7. Wander through historic city centre
Incredibly preserved Old Town is filled with beautiful seaside hangouts and historic sites ranging from ancient churches and palaces to mansions and atmospheric squares. All of these are connected by a maze of paved and cobbled streets, sometimes passing underneath an arch or through a tunnel. Everything is made of stone, just as one would expect from medieval city in Croatia. Once you've seen it all, which might take a while with 2851 stone steps in the Old Town, reward yourself with an ice cream and walk along the promenade for more gorgeous views of the islands just off the coast.
8. Explore one of the most amazing entrances to a city from the sea
St Anthony's Channel is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Šibenik, with cultural importance as well as natural beauty. Besides already mentioned St.Nicholas Fortress, attractions of the channel include ruins of the 16th century tower, St. Anthony Cave located in the middle of the channel and nearby undersea tunnel built for military purposes called "Hitler's Eyes". Apart from visiting those architectural structures, this place is perfect for variety of activities such as walking, running, cycling, swimming and sightseeing. You can also sail around its rocky shores. All of this makes St Anthony Channel unavoidable on your list of things to do and visit in Šibenik!
9. Dine in the living museum
Dalmatian Ethno Village gives you an idea how Dalmatian people lived for centuries. The garden-to-plate dining experience offers a taste of cooking traditions and an insight in local agriculture through delicious menus, handicraft showcase and traditional bands playing music in the gorgeous rural ambience.
10. Take a little sea sponge as a souvenir
The island of Krapanj might be the smallest inhabited island in the Adriatic, but it is still big enough to sustain the centuries-old tradition of harvesting and selling of sea sponges that makes it well known throughout Europe. Krapanj is not really on the tourist map, one of the reasons being is the fact they made deliberate decision not to connect to the mainland in order to preserve island's heritage. You are of course still welcome to come by boat, visit monastery museum, join local festivities and try homemade wine, olive oil and rakija! Last but not least, be sure to take some highly valued ecological sea sponge as a souvenir.