I didn’t know what to expect from Sibenik. It sounded like an interesting, not-very-touristy town with a lot of churches – and I’ve already seen plenty of of churches in Europe. I’ve become wary of investing too much time on places that might sound interesting in a travel book or to a traveler who has completely different interests from mine (how do you know?), so I hedged on Sibenik and decided to spend just a few hours there before heading on to Trogir to spend the night. I had the option to stay the night Sibenik anyway if, say, I found it amazing. (I had a place booked in Trogir that I could still cancel at the last minute.)
I drove the short distance from Skradin into Sibenik, and as I looked for a place to park and got my bearings, I wasn’t impressed – at first. The St. James Cathedral certainly catches your eye as you walk or drive along the waterfront area (where I parked – free on Sunday).
I walked up the curved steps at the base of the cathedral to Trg Republike Hrvatske and started looking around.
The more I walked, the more intrigued I became. Sibenik is kind of a maze of narrow pedestrian streets with lots of steps. In some ways, it reminded me of the maze-like feel of Lucca, Italy (but much smaller) or the steps connecting the streets in Dubrovnik. On this Sunday, few people were out and even fewer tourists. Sibenik feels like an authentic place, not always easy to find on a Dalmatian Coast full of tourist spots.
Having skipped lunch, I felt the need for another meal and decided on an early dinner (about 5PM). I happened upon an Italian restaurant called Pizzeria Kike in the center of town that looked empty but was in fact open. I sat outside and ordered a “four cheese lasgana” which took about a half hour – a long time for a solo diner who was hungry – but it was worth the wait. The lasagna was fantastic and huge. This was easily the best meal of my trip.
After dinner I started walking back to my car, wondering whether I ought to try to find a hotel here or push on for Trogir? As much as I was enjoying Sibenik, on a Sunday it was pretty quiet, and there weren’t many obvious hotel choices one could just walk up to. So I decided to head on to Trogir – at least I’d get to see one more place.
But Sibenik was a highlight of my trip. I’d go back in a heartbeat to spend more time, maybe use it as a base to explore more of the area. Zadar is very different so it may not be fair to compare it directly to Sibenik, but I much preferred the feel of Sibenik.
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