Travel tips

The 10 Best Things to Do in Šibenik

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A beautiful historic area in central Dalmatia, the stunning city of Šibenik is the perfect destination for a European getaway. With a fantastic array of top-notch museums, incredible medieval fortresses, angelic surrounding islands and winding Old Town streets, you cannot fall short of things to do in this wonderful setting.

As there is so much to get up to in this glorious metropolis, we have put together a list of the best things to do in Šibenik, Croatia to help you plan the most unforgettable holiday possible.

1. Visit Šibenik Cathedral, the Cathedral of St James

Paying a trip to the iconic Cathedral of St James is easily one of the top things to do in Šibenik. It’s no wonder that this towering gothic-renaissance masterpiece has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage site; its incredible marble stone appearance took over a century to construct and is one of the most beautiful places in Croatia.

As if its extraordinary appearance wasn’t enough to draw you in, Šibenik Cathedral is the only cathedral in the whole of Europe that is constructed solely from stone – no mortar or other alternatives. During your visit, take a close look at its exterior walls.

They are adorned with 71 head sculptures, not of famous kings or queens, but Šibenik residents at the time of construction. It is a magical sight to see the faces of everyday locals imprinted onto the most iconic symbol of the city.

2. Go See St Michael’s Fortress

There are four fortresses to be found in Šibenik, but visiting St Michael Fortress in particular is thought to be one of the best things to do in Šibenik. Built atop a hill, the enchanting fortification watches over the city and treats its visitors to incredible views.

Along with marvellous viewing points and an exhibition of historic tools and equipment, the UNESCO World Heritage site has plenty of handy amenities, such as a cafe where you can grab a quick bite to eat. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to catch a show at the fortifications’ very own open-air theatre which hosts concerts during the summer months.

3. Explore Šibenik’s Museums

One of the best things to do in Šibenik is explore its excellent museums. The city is home to a whole bunch of fascinating museums, each of which offers a fantastic and fascinating opportunity to delve deeper into the city’s unique past.

Here are a few of our favourites:

Formerly known as Rector’s Palace, Šibenik City Museum will quickly get you up to speed on the local history. Wander around the two-storey building, checking out artefacts and exhibitions spanning from prehistoric times to the present day.  

With exhibitions taking you right back to the city’s infancy in 4,000-4,500 BC, it is impossible not to get lost in the priceless artefacts on show and displays on what life was like in Šibenik in the 1200s and 1300s.

Set in the enchanting surroundings of a well-manicured courtyard, the Museum of Saint Francis adjoins the St Francis monastery and is one of the oldest Šibenik attractions. The incredible white building sits right by the entrance of the old town and shares incredible stories and exhibitions of the local monastic history.

Its library even boasts an extensive collection of ancient religious manuscripts, artefacts, paintings and books. The Museum of St Francis will quickly have you forgetting about the world outside in favour of the incredible priceless objects around you.

Examine religious art, artefacts and manuscripts at the Church of St Barbara’s Museum of Sacral Arts. The sister church of the Cathedral of St James, you wouldn’t believe this wonderful building dates back to the 15h century as it boasts an incredibly well-maintained facade.

The highlights of the church’s gothic exterior include a huge 24-hour clock, a fantastic statue of St Nicholas and a belfry. If you find yourself with a bit of free time and wondering what to do in Šibenik, don’t hesitate to check out St Barbara’s Museum of Sacral Arts.

4. Cruise to St. Nicholas Fortress Šibenik

A spectacular sea fort located towards the western side of St Anthony Canal, St Nicholas Fortress is another of the city’s famous fortifications. Just like St Michael’s Fortress, this iconic citadel is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a fantastic place to visit during holidays to Šibenik.

A little bit of backstory: St Nicholas Fortress is a fascinating piece of defensive architecture that was built in the 16th century after locals begged their Venetian rulers to construct something so imposing that Ottomans would be deterred from attacking. A success, no intruder ever dared try their luck at St Nicholas’ Fortress.

5. Wander along the Stone Streets of Šibenik Old Town

One of the best things to do in Šibenik is simply wandering along the ancient stone streets of the city’s Old Town. The historic architecture paired with urban buzz creates an enchanting atmosphere.

The Old Town is also home to a lot of the best restaurants in Šibenik. With an outstanding seafood scene, be sure to check out local favourites, including octopus and Adriatic lobster.

6. Go To Aquarium Šibenik

Set amongst the hustle and bustle of the Old Town is Aquarium Šibenik. Check out a highlight reel of the local marine creatures including fish and reptiles in what is the perfect activity for anyone wondering what to do in Croatia with kids – or nature-loving adults!

Some of the most popular residents of Šibenik Aquarium are the octopi, tropical fish, morays and last, but certainly not least, the small sharks. If you’re looking for a relaxing break from the buzz of the city, retreat to this aqua zoo for a fun yet educational experience.

7. Explore Šibenik Islands

When visiting Šibenik, you should make the most of the angelic turquoise waters foregrounding the city and how better than by exploring Šibenik’s islands? Several breathtaking landmasses lie just off the city’s coast and offer a wonderful taste of island paradise.

Easily accessed, you can jet off for an island adventure from the Šibenik marina. Kornati National Park is a prime destination to head for anyone looking to explore the islands. Cruise along the quiet waters around the 89 islands of the national park.

During your adventure, there will be plenty of opportunities for snorkelling, hiking, swimming and spotting incredible marine animals. Dolphins, in particular, are known to reside in the area and are a favourite amongst its visitors.

8. Take A Day Trip from Šibenik to Krka National Park

To catch a glimpse of nature at its finest, take a day trip to Krka National Park. As the most famous Šibenik national park, you will not be disappointed by the plethora of enchanting waterfalls cascading amongst the park’s wild verdant landscapes.

Swim in the gorgeous lagoons with the dulcet tones of the water flowing around you. If you don’t fancy exerting yourself, jump on a boat tour for an expert guide to lead you around the area or take leisurely dander along the boardwalks. Located in the town of Skradin, you can get to Krka National Park by a 13km drive or catch a bus from Šibenik bus station.

9. Visit Šibenik City Hall

The City Hall of Šibenik is a fantastic place to see during your holiday in the city. Set upon a gorgeous medieval square called the Square of the Republic of Croatia, the two-storey Venetian building is the most wonderful sight with its incredible 16th-century facade of columns, arches and balcony.

If you find yourself a bit peckish, there is a brilliant restaurant conveniently located on the City Hall’s ground floor. A prime people-watching location, you can sit down and relax while gazing over others going about their day-to-day lives. The square itself tends to be graced by local performers in the evening and makes a great place to head after dinner.

10. Šibenik Beaches

When you find yourself needing a break from exploring the city and wanting to chill out by the shoreline, head to one of Šibenik’s beaches. If you’re seeking proximity and ease, Banj Beach Šibenik is the nearest one to the city, lying a mere 10-minute drive north of the centre.

However, if you’re up for journeying further to find one of the city’s more sought-after shorelines, the nearby town of Vodice is home to some of the most beautiful beaches near Šibenik. With golden sand shores and dreamy turquoise water, this coastline is the perfect place to escape to for a brief hiatus from the buzz of Šibenik.


One of the most beautiful cities in Croatia, Šibenik is a wonderful holiday destination. Between breathtaking national parks and captivating hill-top fortresses, this European metropolis truly has it all.

For more information about planning a holiday to Šibenik, why not read our guides on the best time to visit and the besst places to visit in the town?

If you’re planning a visit to Šibenik and are looking for somewhere to stay in the area, Vida Villas has a fantastic selection of accommodation to choose from. Browse our range of villas here, or get in touch and talk to our team about what you’re looking for.