Sibenik’s is unique amongst the Croatia’s Adriatic towns and cities in that its history lies neither in Roman or Greek origins. Somewhat overlooked as a tourist destination and, although small (with a population of just over 50,000 people), the town still has some fantastic sights which exist from Venetian times.
The town’s top sight is The Cathedral of St James which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Getting to Sibenik
To get to Sibenik, you could actually fly to either Split Airport or Zadar Airport. The journey from either is roughly similar, time-wise, although Split is probably marginally closer. There are also more flights to Split from the UK and Europe, so you might find it easier to fly to there.
From Split Airport, take a bus from outside the terminal building to the main bus station in Split. Buses are scheduled to depart shortly after flight arrivals. Then, from Split Bus Station, take one of the numerous buses to Sibenik; journey time is about 1 hour 40 minutes.
For details of which airlines fly to Split from the UK and Europe, see our Getting to Split page.
From Zadar Airport, take a bus to the main bus station in Zadar; once again, bus departures coincide with flight arrivals. From Zadar bus station, take another bus to Sibenik – journey time is about 2 hours.
See our Getting to North Dalmatia page for information on flights to Zadar from the UK and Europe.
History of Sibenik
Sibenik is the oldest Slavic towns on the Croatian coast, possibly dating from the 11th century, although Croats had reached the surrounding area a few centuries earlier.
The town intermittently switched between Croatian and Venetian rule over the following few centuries, with the longest period being under the Venetians from 1412 to 1797. During this time, the town grew in importance and for a while during the 16th century, it became the largest town in Dalmatia.
After the fall of Venice, Sibenik briefly became French for eight years, before becoming part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until its break up after World War I. At this point, Sibenik became part of the newly-formed Yugoslavia.
During the war in Croatia in the early 1990s Sibenik was shelled and a number of buildings were damaged, including some historic ones. All were subsequently repaired.
Sightseeing in Sibenik
One of the most important sights in Sibenik is the Cathedral of St. James (Katedrala sv. Jakova), which is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. The cathedral was built between 1431 and 1536 from limestone and marble. The early stages of the cathedral were designed and built by Italian masters, but between 1444 and 1447 construction work was under the direction of the famous Croatian sculptor Juraj Dalmatinac.
In the same square as the cathedral is a Memorial to Juraj Dalmatinac, created by the greatest Croatian sculptor of the 20th century, Ivan Mestrovic.
Just to the north of the Cathedral is the Loggia, built in typical Italian style between 1533 and 1542. Part of it now houses a restaurant.
Several other churches are worth visiting, such as the Church of St Barbara (Crkva sv Barbare) and the Church of St Nicholas.
Accommodation in Sibenik
Please see our Accommodation in Sibenik page for details of hotels, apartments and private accommodation options in the town.
General info on Sibenik
The area code is 022.
The Tourist Office in Sibenik is at Fausta Vrancica 18, 22000 Šibenik, Tel: 022 212 075, Fax: 022 219 073, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org