Over the summer, I did the Tourist thing in one of Croatia’s resort towns. Sibenik seemed like a great destination for people who love architecture, the sea, and the beach. As a lover of old churches and forts I already knew what to look for when I visited. This weekend was part of my longer “grand tour” or Dalmatia, the coastal region of Croatia, and Slovenia. This is the best way in Eastern Europe to enjoy mountains and seaside relaxation in one trip. In the Town itself, you find lots of ancient architecture and more great restaurants than you might expect.
As you would expect in a tourist town, there are plenty of inns and hostels to stay at. I went online and found a nice, modern flat to rent out for the weekend, it was affordable as is most of the real estate in Sibenik. It was a pretty good deal and I was very happy with the choice. Be aware that most of the locals have limited English. Also, as you would expect for a summer tourist destination, Sibenik was a busy place. I liked the lively street scenes and walkway along the bay.
In addition to many tourists who visit, the city hosts lots of indoor and outdoor events each year. I looked them up before I left. All summer long, the town hosts outdoor art shows and concerts. I didn’t get to see those, but I did visit St. Michael Fortress, where lots of those events take place. Check it out if you have time. There was some kind of arts and crafts thing going on the first morning, but I was headed out on my architecture tour and didn’t visit.
I was near a wine bar called Vino and Ino so my most authentic Croatian experience was probably having a little Croatian wine and a cheese plate on my first night in town. I noticed a bunch of little restaurants, bars, and coffee shops as a I wandered around, but a place called Bounty was the only restaurant I had planned to visit ahead of time. The friendly staff and the great burger really lived up to the reviews. Would definitely recommend. I honestly don’t know exactly what Croatian food is, but I think I had some.
There are many other restaurants selling any kind of cuisine you might want. Aside from Bounty and Vino and Ino, there are pizza places and hole-in-the-wall. While I was out doing the obligatory tourist visit to seaside I did take a detour and grab some Croatian seafood dish at a place called Pivnica Liro. As a side note, I think the “real” beaches are south of town, but I may have missed out. If I had more time, I would have tried more of the seafood and pasta. There were some kiosks selling street food which was actually quite delicious but I would like to come back in the future and explore the food of the city even more.
The old churches and forts were great subjects for photos. Getting around on foot and by taxi was no problem. I paid a brief visit to the town’s central church, the Cathedral of St. James, and the St. Nicholas fortress. Those are both UNESCO World Heritage sites so I decided they were worth a visit. There are several other forts and Orthodox or Catholic churches dating from the Middle Ages, or before.
I had a beautiful time in this gorgeous city but since it is actually bigger than I thought it was I was unable to explore everything that I have set my mind to which means I will have to come back as soon as possible to make that happen. That seems like no problem since this is a city that I grew fond of in this short amount of time I spent here. It exceeded my expectations and I cannot wait to come back.