Wednesday, 4 August 2021

48 Hours in Šibenik: Fortress, Museum, Krka National Park with Šibenik Card

August 4, 2021 – Allowing free entrance to the city's best sights, plus discounts on everything from restaurants, activities, accommodation and a National Park, you can unlock the UNESCO city for less with Šibenik Card.

No fewer than 200 of Croatia's islands lie off the coast of Šibenik city and the wider Šibenik-Knin County. These are some of the very best waters for sailing in Croatia. Also, less than half an hour away, one of the most famous music festival sites in Europe (not to mention one of the best open-air nightclubs in the world).

Thousands of visitors pass within striking distance of Šibenik. Everyone has heard of the famous city – its famous fortresses, its Michelin-starred restaurant (Pelegrini), its Old Town, its UNESCO cathedral and its well-known events. There are countless reasons why anyone on holiday nearby should definitely make a stop in Šibenik. And, now there's one more.

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Šibenik Card is a VIP passport to the city's best attractions. From the city's UNESCO Heritage Sites and Fortresses to Museums and boat trips, you'll get free entrance to many of the city's must-see destinations with Šibenik Card. Even greater is the discount offer that Šibenik Card also carries. Bargain price visits to Krka National Park, activities like canoeing, kayaking and cycling, restaurants even accommodation are included in the Šibenik Card discount scheme.

In fact, there are so many great things to see and do in Šibenik, you'd be well advised to set aside a long weekend or at least 48 hours if you want to truly discover this magical, reinvented city. Here's a suggested itinerary for two days in the city and how you can make the tour with the Šibenik card.

Šibenik Card: Day 1

8am: Cycling / Kayaking / Windsurfing in Šibenik

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There are several great activities you can do if you want to get to know the geography of Šibenik. Kayaking will let you see the shoreline from close up. Windsurfing gives a wider perspective on the channel, not that you'll have much time for idly spectating on this thrilling ride. Taking a cycling tour between the city and either of the peninsula's between the centre and the open Adriatic is seriously one of the very best things to do in Šibenik. Amazing!

If you're visiting in summer, plan such activities for early in the morning, or late in the afternoon. Certainly, you can do activities during the strongest hours of summer sunshine in Šibenik – just make sure to apply generous amounts of high factor sunblock (a hat is also a good idea!). Alternatively, why not visit Šibenik for a long weekend in May, September or October. These months hold perfect warm, sunny days in which you can enjoy the great outdoors all day.

You receive 20% discount on all these activities with your Šibenik Card.

10.30am: Circle Boat Line / St. Nicholas Fortress

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After getting your blood circulating first thing in the morning, you deserve to sit back, relax and let someone else do the work. There are few better ways to do this in Šibenik than on a boat. Why not take the Circle boat line? It's completely free with your Šibenik Card and it will allow you to cross all of the key points of the city's waterfront without ever going near a road. You can get on and off as many times as you like with your Šibenik card.

Alternatively, if you want to get acquainted with one of Šibenik's two UNESCO Heritage Sites, why not take the boat tour to St. Nicholas Fortress? You'll never have seen anything like it before. The photos are impressive enough, but they really don't depict the full offer. Not only are the fortress guides among the best in the city, but also there's a fascinating augmented reality aspect awaiting when you arrive.

You receive 20% discount on a guided tour of St. Nicholas Fortress with your Šibenik Card, including return boat trip from the city centre and down St. Anthony's channel.

1pm: Lunch

Some of Šibenik's best bars and restaurants offer generous discounts from your bill on the Šibenik Card, including;

-20%

Restoran Mendula, Ul. kralja Tomislava 15 A

SHE bio bistro, Zlarinski pro. 2

Bistro i kavana Pucalina, Ulica kralja Tomislava 9

-15%

Bistro Luce & Brigita, Obala dr. Franje Tuđmana 10A

-10%

Restoran Stari Grad, Obala dr. Franje Tuđmana 7

Restoran Pjat, Trg Pavla Šubića I 3

Pub & Wine bar Scala, Put Gimnazije 5

Restoran Peškarija, Obala palih omladinaca 10A

Restoran Stari Grad, Obala dr. Franje Tuđmana

2.30pm: Šibenik City Museum

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Perhaps one of the most understated parts of the city offer, Šibenik City Museum holds fascinating exhibits of pottery, tools and architecture. You can trace the history of the peoples, culture and even the cuisine of those who've lived in the Šibenik area for millennia.

Free admission with Šibenik Card.

3.15pm: Civitas Sacra Museum

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This cool and interactive museum tells the tale of the long and revolutionary construction of Šibenik's St. James Cathedral. Still very much a focal point of the city's Catholic worship, this museum is the best place to learn about the cathedral without intruding on solemn worship and attendance. It's the perfect place to visit in preparation for seeing the real thing up close.

Free admission with Šibenik Card.

4pm: St. James Cathedral

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A UNESCO World Heritage site, Cathedral of St. James is a Renaissance masterpiece that took a century to build. On its facade are 71 different sculpted faces, said to be former residents of the town or contributors to the building. Try to look at as many as you can. You might be very surprised to see how some of Šibenik's former residents looked! After you've taken in the brilliant white exterior, prepare your senses for the celebration of colour inside.

Free admission with Šibenik Card.

5.30pm: Šibenik Old Town

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One of the greatest pleasures of a visit to Šibenik is an unhurried walk around its Old Town. It is an incredibly atmospheric place, with countless unique winding alleys and stone stairways. Keep a look out for some fascinating architecture on your journey.

Unlike some ancient architecture in Croatia, the walls of Šibenik Old Town are completely free to walk around.

7pm: St Michael's Fortress

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The first of Šibenik's fortresses to be renovated, St Michael's Fortress is one of the most iconic buildings in the city. Few pieces of architecture represent Šibenik better than this. Inside the fortress, you'll walk through floor-to-ceiling displays and find out about the former life of the fortress and its residents. From the roof, you'll enjoy spectacular views of the entire city, the Old Town and St. Anthony's channel. In the height of summer, this view is best enjoyed in the morning - before it becomes too hot - or at sunset. Unforgettable, as is catching a music, dance or culture event in 1000-seat theatre that now sits atop St Michael's.

Free admission with Šibenik Card.

8.00pm: Šibenik events

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Throughout the whole year, Šibenik is alive with events. Depending on when you visit, you might find gastro festivals and cultural discussions in city parks, Children's processions through winding stone streets, dance festivals on public squares, incredible traditional and classical music performances and animation films projected on large screens in the heart of the city. Locals and visitors alike gather on the streets to enjoy. This is a city where some of the best culture takes place outside. And you're warmly invited to join in.

Šibenik's street events are all completely free.

9.00pm: Dinner

Dinner discounts are the same as those at lunch within restaurants accepting the Šibenik Card (see above).

11pm: A great night's sleep

You can get discounts at some of the city's very best accommodation offers with , including rooms to suit every budget or necessity. They include;

Amadria Park Resort 4* – 10% discount with Šibenik Card

Superior City Hotel Bellevue 4* – 15% discount with Šibenik Card

Heritage Hotel Life Palace 4* – 15% discount with Šibenik Card

D-Resort Šibenik 4* – 15% regular rooms, 20% accessible rooms

Hostel Scala – 10% discount with Šibenik Card

Šibenik Card: Day 2

8am: Krka National Park

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7 magical waterfalls, boat rides to island monasteries, Neolithic caves, Roman heritage, an eco-ethno village, freshwater swimming, traditional cuisine, wildlife, spectacular nature, hiking and cycling trails. You could spend a week exploring Krka National Park and not get tired of the landscape or its offer. Unmissable.

20% discount at each of the Krka National Park entrances, throughout the whole year, with Šibenik Card.

1.30pm: Lunch

Back to the city for lunch in one of the restaurants accepting Šibenik Card.

3pm: Aquarium and Terrarium

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Discover the world of Adriatic fish and plants as well as some tropical varieties. This is the perfect place to escape the heat of a midsummer afternoon.

Free with Šibenik Card

4pm: Šibenik Zip Line

Race across the spectacular scenery of the Cikola River Canyon, on the edge of Krka National Park, on Šibenik Zip Line. You'll run along a course of three separate lines, suspended hundreds of metres above the canyon floor. Thrillseekers will not be disappointed.

20% discount with Šibenik Card

5.30pm: Shopping in Šibenik

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Searching for souvenirs from your time in Croatia? Looking to take back home something unique, handcrafted or locally designed? Want to pick up some nice new sunglasses for the rest of your holiday? There's nowhere better than the big city for shopping. A wide range of city stores and services offer discount with Šibenik Card. They include

Optika Glavadanovic –20%

Deni Design –20%

Gallery Juraj Dalmatinac –20%

Souvenir Shop Skrinjica –20%

Lana Art Gallery –20%

8.00pm: Barone Fortress

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The most recently renovated of all Šibenik's fortresses (although, there's one more on the way!), Barone Fortress is unique in several ways. Firstly, it currently holds the most advanced augmented reality section of all the city fortresses. These vividly unlock the history of the building and the city. Secondly, this is the highest and furthest back of all the forts. As a result, the views you get from Barone are breathtaking, not least the sunset. Enjoy it with a glass of wine from the cool bar you'll find on the fortress top.

Free entrance with Šibenik Card

9.30pm: Dinner

Back to the city centre for dinner in one of the restaurants accepting Šibenik Card.

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11pm: Romantic walk by moonlight along Šibenik waterfront, the perfect end to 48 hours in Šibenik.

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You can buy Šibenik Card at:

Slaptours/Avalon Agency, Obala hrvatske mornarice 1, Šibenik.

Civitas Sacra, Interpretation Centre of the Cathedral of St. James, Kralja Tomislava 10, Šibenik.

Amadria Park Šibenik.

Souvenir shops in Amadria Park hotels.

Šibenik Tourist Board office, Tourist Information Center, Fausta Vrančića 18, or Obala palih omladinaca 3, Šibenik.

Vinoplod Winery Shop, Velimira Škorpika 2, Šibenik.

CoWorking space – Trokut Šibenik, Velimira Škorpika 7, Šibenik.

Or you can download a digital version to most phones here

Single card: 140 kn (approximately 19 €)

Family card - 2 adults, any number of children: 340 kn (approximately 45 €)

All photos © Šibenik Tourist Board or Marc Rowlands

Monday, 17 May 2021

UNESCO Couple Jana+Matt Visit Šibenik (PHOTOS)

May 17, 2021 - Jana+Matt are a travel couple on a challenge to become the 1st to visit all 1121 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The UNESCO couple tells TCN about visiting Šibenik.

Hi there, Matt and Jana here. You may have met us on here a month ago, and now, one month later, we are still in Croatia! If you’ve missed our intro, we’re on an epic expedition to become to first on the planet to visit all UNESCO World Heritage Sites!

Our Croatian part of the Expedition started on the 12th of April, and we have just celebrated our first monthiversary road-tripping this beautiful country. 

We arrived in Croatia by bus from Prague in the Czech Republic. A full-day trip passing through both Austria and Slovenia. It was pretty cool seeing 4 countries in one day. 

We’ve had a lot of people asking what it’s like to travel during a global pandemic - it was surprisingly easy. There were only about 10 passengers on the bus, the time flew by, and before sunset, we arrived at the bus station in Zagreb. We only needed to show our negative Covid-19 tests, and that was it. Croatia is welcoming tourists, and we have definitely felt welcome everywhere we’ve visited so far. 

There are 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Croatia, and we’re planning to visit all of them. Two of them are actually located in the same city - Šibenik, so let’s start there. We absolutely adored this charming Dalmatian town! You guys get comfy, and we’ll take you with us on this adventure, starting with our impressions from Šibenik. 

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We started our day there with a guided tour of the Cathedral of St. James, the first UNESCO site in Šibenik. You might be wondering what makes a cathedral so special that in the year 2000, it was added to the list of World Heritage sites? The cathedral was built between the 15th and 16th century, and the entire structure was built only using stone! Even the dome is built entirely from stone, which makes it a thoroughly unique construction technique. It is also a beautiful blend of Gothic and Renaissance styles. It’s a gorgeous building inside and out; we were especially blown away by the baptistery, which is just beautiful. 

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After the tour, we spent a good chunk of time just wandering around, getting lost in the charming streets and exploring hidden corners, one of our favourite activities in any city we visit. Our tour guide recommended a lovely local restaurant tucked away in one of those hidden corners, grandma-style cooking, which we love. 

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We also popped into Civitas Sacra - a playful, fun, and interactive museum explaining the story of the Cathedral. Upstairs they have a restaurant with stunning views of the city; you can stop for a coffee or a bite and relax there.

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In the evening, we hopped on a boat and headed to visit our second UNESCO site in Šibenik - St. Nicholas Fortress, one of the most important Venetian fortifications. Built in the 16th century to defend the port of Šibenik, which was at the time the most important port on the east coast of the Adriatic, from the Ottomans. The unique triangular fortress, accessible only by boat, makes for an exciting visit. We loved exploring the underground catacombs and prisons and imagining what life must have been like back then.

The boat took us through St. Anthony’s Channel, which was once a canyon of the Krka river, such a beautiful area full of biodiversity and the film location of Braavos in Game of Thrones!

Taking the boat back gave us a stunning panorama of the city, it’s really beautiful to see it from the sea. 

It was a bit crazy exploring the empty city, empty because of the pandemic, not because it’s not an exciting place, quite the opposite. We fell in love with Šibenik, its beautiful location on the coast, its historic centre, its 2 UNESCO sites, and its proximity to Krka National Park, where we spent another amazing day soaking up the beauty of nature and marvelling at waterfalls! 

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This city has a special energy, and we hope you could feel at least a glimpse of it through our eyes. Now it’s time for you to pack your bags and see it for yourselves! And in the meantime, follow us at @GuideVenturous for daily updates from our Croatian adventure!

To learn more about Sibenik, check out our Total Croatia page

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 14 May 2021

Human Bones Excavated in Šibenik At a Depth of Only 30 Centimetres!

May 15th, 2021 - The historic core around the monastery of St. Frane, directly in the center, seems to have become the film set of the American series ‘Bones’. Human bones have been excavated in Šibenik. 

As Šibenikski reports, after the discovery of medieval graves under the stone paving on the route of the Šibenik Agglomeration in January this year, when the sewerage works stopped for a while until under the supervision of archaeologists and conservators from the ancient cemetery near the monastery more than 600 skulls have been excavated, a similar thing happened these days, about twenty meters away from the January find.

Namely, the Šibenik utility company 'Zeleni grad' last Thursday ordered a small excavator to dig a shallow trench on the lawn near the monastery walls to install an automatic irrigation system, but human bones appeared under the bucket of the machine, only 30 centimeters deep.

The lawn on the land owned by the monastery is much higher than the sidewalk. Few would go for it if, unfortunately, so upside down, the bones did not stand for seven days while Fr. Ivan Penava, a pastor in Vidica and monk of the monastery of St. Frane, did not send an e-mail to the media on Thursday night with photos and information.

Suddenly, headlines on the portals screamed eerie descriptions of ‘dogs scattering human bones through the city,’ although Penava did not explicitly state this in his notice. However, Fr. Ivan also subtly touched on this possibility:

"We also met passers-by who take their dogs for a walk there, and when we asked them if they knew they were human bones on the lawn, they were surprised. When the 'Zeleni grad' return the cemetery to its original condition and bury the human bones of our old Šibenik citizens find out." - Fr. Ivan wrote in his press release.

It seems that this was necessary to move to the 'Zeleni grad,' since this morning, with the help of the 'Čempresa' workers, the bones scattered on the lawn were first collected and soon returned to the ground, in agreement with Fr. Ivan Bradarić, the guardian of the monastery of St. Frane.

Novica Ljubičić, director of Zeleni grad, said that the company had given up installing an irrigation system and that its workers would continue to maintain the green area by hand, precisely because of the bones that lay there.

According to Ljubičić, 'Zeleni grad' did not react after the media. Still, a few days before the media bombing on Friday, he was in contact with the guardian, the municipal department of the City of Šibenik, and Željko Krnčević, the director of the Šibenik City Museum. And as for the bombastic inscriptions, he replied that they were mere exaggerations.

"Nothing like that happened. We returned everything as it was. The bones that we did not know were lying there will be covered with grass again", said Ljubičič, and Fr. Ivan Bradarić confirmed his words. 

"Yes, quite a strange situation. They were confused, and we don't know where those bones came from and whether they had anything to do with the cemetery discovered recently near the church. In general, we have concluded that we will return everything to its original state", said Fr. Ivan Bradarić briefly.

There seems to be no need to archaeologically examine the bones as that location has already been explored back in 1971-1972., under the supervision of the late Šibenik archaeologist Zlatko Gunjača, adding what is known to most Šibenik: every day we walk through the graves of ancestors in the part of the Old Town around the monastery of St. Frane. In the Middle Ages, richer people from Šibenik and friars were buried within the monastery walls, in the church, and the yard and the last resting places of the common people were in the immediate vicinity until the 1820s and the founding of the cemetery of St. Ana under the fortress of St. Mihovila.

For more about news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Monday, 10 October 2016

A Modern New Museum Will be Dedicated to the Šibenik Cathedral

Earlier this summer, the city of Šibenik was granted EU funds for two major projects - the reconstruction of the fortress Sv. Ivana and the revitalization of Galbiani palace in the city center. The project of the Galbiani palace will include, in addition to a complete renovation of the facade and interesting additions to the interior, a museum dedicated to Šibenik's Cathedral of St. James.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Five UNESCO Sites Within Two Hours Trip From Split

Croatia is - considering its size - fairly proud on its share among UNESCO sites, and if there is any country's region which can be seen as the capital of national heritage, it's Central Dalmatia. Set your base in Split, and within two hour of drive or ferry travel there are no less than four sites listed as the Croatian part of world heritage. What other reason a culture-addict tourist needs for choosing Split? Not to mention that only two hours drive on new motorway from Split the one can find Mostar as one of two UNESCO sites in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Or, with some more driving - Dubrovnik and Plitvice Lakes National Park, both perfect for weekend trips from Split. In short, six UNESCO sites as possible day, or weekend trip. You must aslo have in mind there is a lot of Croatian intangible heritage related to Dalmatia, from Mediterranean diet, to Sinj Alka, to Easter procession on Hvar. Full list is here.
And here is the list of UNESCO sites within two hours drive from Split, sorted by distance.

1 Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian

Roman imperial palace which is in the same time a city itself. Of course, Split, no need to say more on a web site completely dedicated to it. Great base for start exploring Dalmatia, and booming tourist city.

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2 Historic City of Trogir

Only 25 kilometres from Split, Trogir is one of the oldest settlements on eastern Adriatic coast. Still, it's been listed on UNESCO list because of its incredible medieval age urban structure. It's hard to say what is more beautiful, narrow streets with centuries old houses, or monumental cathedral and surrounding square. You can drive there from Split, or take a local bus number 37 or take a bus from the main bus station. Lot of restaurant and bars are available in the summer season, but you can also enjoy it in wintertime, with empty city streets and squares.

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3 The Cathedral of St James in Šibenik

True pearl of the renaissance architecture, in one of the most beautiful cities on Croatian coast. Cathedral is a jewel, but don't miss take a stroll around Šibenik, with its Venitian fortresses, medieval streets, and unique city spirit. Get ready for some serious fitness challenges - Šibenik has more stairs than Dubrovnik. You can reach Šibenik by car, it takes less than hour on A1 motorway, or little bit longer if you take scenic seaside route. Good idea might be to drive shorter route to Šibenik, take a couple of hours walk, then drive back to Trogir by the sea, and return to Split by night. Three UNESCO sites in a day, how often you can see that? If you need to go by bus, check out schedule on main bus station in Split.

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4 Stari Grad Plain

This is the only UNESCO site in Croatia on one of nation's thousand islands. It's basically unchanged since Greek settlers made a land division about 2,500 years ago, and can be incredible cultural, recreational, gastronomy or wine experience. Check everything you need to know about it on our sister blog Total Hvar. How to reach it? Easy. There are daily ferries to Stari Grad from Split, and also catamarans to nearby Jelsa or city of Hvar. Check schedule on Jadrolinija web site. Of course, our favourite way to reach Hvar is European Coastal Airlines hydroplane, flying from its base near Split airport, to Jelsa.

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5 Old Bridge Area of the Old City of Mostar

How about a little day trip to another country? For example, Bosnia and Herzegovina? Mostar's historical center is one of the nicest examples of Ottoman Empire architecture, and its Old Bridge is a crown jewel of the era. Unfortunately, it's been destroyed by Bosnian Croats' forces during 1990s war, but than carefully restored under UNESCO's supervision, according to original plans found in Istanbul archives. There are also several mosques worth of seeing, or the biggest still active residential building remained from Ottoman times, Muslibegovic House, now first class hotel. Don't miss walk around city center to observe still visible war damages. Of course, food is a must. Cevapcici, different kind of pies, turkish coffee, etc. Hard to resist. Mostar is reachable by car, really easy and pleasant drive. Also, you can go there by bus, see info on Split bus station.

Mostar

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