Looking through the bus the outskirts of the city didn’t give a big promise for a great town. Rusty and old neighborhood gave an impression of a forgotten city between two big dalmatian centers. Split and Zadar are the places from which you can easily come to the Sibenik, there are a lot of flights to these towns and from there you can use a bus to your final destination. After arriving at a bus station everything looked much better. City has familiar Dalmatian design with a beautiful seaside hang-outs and quaint alleys and squares. In Croatian history is known as a city which is built and maintained by Croatians. Other cities like Split and Dubrovnik are founded by other cultures.
After arriving at Sibenik you will very fast realize that there’s only one way to explore Sibenik and that’s by foot. The streets are very narrow and often contain stairs, actually, a lot of stairs. The size of the old city center is only about 0,35km². But this tiny space has a lot to give to any visitor.
Bus station is located near the sea and 10 minutes of walking to the town center. In a few minutes, you will find out that sunglasses are must have in this city. Pleasant climate, a lot of sunny days and white stone will make your eyes pain during the day. It seems that in all Dalmatia sunglasses are an essential part of Every Day Carry items.
Sibenik is city of many attractions and the best way to experience most of them is to meet with some locals. Gladly, I have a friend which lives in a city for some time so I had a perfect tour guide.
First thing that I visited is City Hall, a building placed in the medieval Square in the heart of the city. Its facade is made up of columns and arches which are overhand by balconies. City Hall is fully destroyed by an air raid during WWII but it is rebuilt with all details of the original building. This is the perfect place to try local food because there is a restaurant on the ground floor of the building.
Cathedral of St. James
Although City Hall is magnificent building, the most famous attraction in Sibenik is in front of it. Magnificent Cathedral of St. James was built in the 15th and 16th centuries and is one of the most significant monumental cathedrals in Europe. During the visit, you will see a lot of stone buildings. Gates, streets, houses, restaurants, shops and fortresses are made of this material. It is not surprising to guess that cathedral is built entirely by stone.
The experience that I liked most was walking through the city streets. It felt like a stone labyrinth. Looking from the narrow street’s surrounding buildings looks much bigger than they really are. It is not very hard to make full circle through the streets and staircases without even knowing it.
Medieval Mediterranean Garden
That “aimless” walking bring me to Medieval Mediterranean Garden which is located on the way to St. Michaels fort. For sure it is not something super special but it is a place where you can sit, smell the herbs and listen to little water features. It is beautiful but tiny, takes about 2 minutes to see all that this place provides. Coffee place seemed like a perfect place to spend some mornings in quietness.
Beautiful small parks
On the other side of the city is a beautiful park in front of the St. Francis church. This is the perfect place to start exploration of the city. First thing that you will see if you come from the side of a bus station is a big statue of Petar Kresimir IV, the famous Croatian King. Little walk to the top of the park you can see beautiful old fountain which is a meeting point for locals.
The most surprising place that I visited was on the most unexpected part of the city. In front of the Church of Gospe van Grada you can find a small park with a lot of places to sit and enjoy nature. The main star of the park is natural looking fountain full of turtles. It is a wonderful touch and something which you can enjoy watching through a nice warm day.
As you can read I didn’t spend a lot of time visiting fortresses which are probably the main attraction of the city. Four of them will be unavoidable places when I visit the city next time.