Sibenik, Croatia (Photo: xbrchx/Shutterstock)
3.5 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

Dori Saltzman
Cruise Critic Senior Editor

Port of Sibenik

Though it has a lovely medieval center, the small city of Sibenik (pronounced shibenik) is used primarily by cruise lines as a drop-off point for cruisers headed to Krka National Park or other small towns in Croatia. The port is typically found on Dalmatian Coast and Adriatic Sea itineraries. The oldest city in Croatia (actually built by the Croatians as opposed to Greeks or Romans), Sibenik was fortified over the centuries to protect its inhabitants from the Ottoman Empire and many of its medieval fortifications survive to this day, including towers and fortresses. One of the fortresses, the St. Nicholas Fortress, is a UNESCO World Heritage site (but not easily visited), as is the city's medieval cathedral.

But Sibenik also holds a place in modern history. Located not far from where Nikola Tesla was born, the first hydroelectric power plant designed on his theory of alternating current (AC) was located at the nearby waterfalls in Krka National Park, and the city was the first in the world to be lit by street lights powered by AC. (You can see the remains of the original hydroelectric plant during a visit to the national park.)

Sibenik was also marked by more recent history, as a target of the Serbians during the unrest of the 1990s (called the "Homeland War" by people in the region). Parts of the Cathedral of St. James were destroyed by bombings during this period, but it has since been restored; guides will talk about the war if you ask.

Shore Excursions

About Sibenik


Pro

Surrounded by two gorgeous national parks, the port provides beautiful natural scenery

Con

It's a small city for which you only need an hour or two to see

Bottom Line

Sibenik is a Croatian city that primarily serves as a jumping-off point for tours to elsewhere


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Currency & Best Way to Get Money

The currency in Croatia is the kuna. While some small souvenir spots might take euros, you should not count on it. Most cruise ship tours don't stop in the city of Sibenik itself, so it's better to get money in a previous port than try to find an ATM during your time in Sibenik.

Language

The official language in Sibenik, as in all of Croatia, is Serbo-Croatian.