A Travel Price Comparison for Croatia Zadar vs. Sibenik for Attractions, Food, Resorts, and Beaches

Should you visit Zadar or Sibenik?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Zadar or Sibenik? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Zadar

Zadar is a relaxed, coastal, and vibrant town. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. Other reasons to visit include beaches, shopping, and museums.

Sibenik

Sibenik is a undiscovered, charming, and authentic town. It's a very nice small town not to be missed. It's a beautiful place to visit, too. And you can't forget about the beaches, shopping, and museums.

Zadar and Sibenik: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Not as popular for scuba diving and snorkeling


Is there more to do in Zadar or Sibenik?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Sibenik. Although Zadar and Sibenik are popular destinations, Sibenik has more sights and attractions for tourists. Sibenik is very popular for its museums and small town charm, while Zadar attracts visitors for its resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, and impressive beauty. Sibenik is more touristy than Zadar and is popular for its photogenic beaches, charming old town, and surrounding natural beauty. It is also well known for Krka National Park. Zadar is famous for its historical sights and waterfront setting.

How is Zadar different from Sibenik?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Sibenik and Zadar. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Zadar or Sibenik?

Zadar
Sibenik

Sibenik is a well-known place for its sights and museums. Also, Zadar is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for its museums and history.

Sibenik offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. Despite being skipped by many international tourists, the town has a number of historical landmarks such as Sibenik Cathedral, St. Michael's Fortress, and the fascinating the Dalmatian Ethno Village.

If you're looking for an educational opportunity, there are a decent number of museums and historical sights around Zadar. The old town is like a living museum, with city walls and a historic gate. The Church of St. Donatus, Zadar Cathedral, and the Zadar Archaeological Museum are all fascinating places to visit in town, but if you're looking for the most unique sight, make sure you check out The Sea Organ and The Sun Salutation.


Is the Food Better in Zadar or Sibenik? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Zadar
Sibenik

Picking the best cuisine and restaurants between Zadar and Sibenik can be difficult as they are each superb in their own way.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Zadar. The town is filled with outdoor cafes that serve up a healthy and delicious selection of recipes. The ingredients are fresh and local with olive oil and seafood making frequent appearances on the menus. Prices are also reasonable.

Sibenik has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. The restaurants are local and delicious. The old town has cafes that spill into the squares, so dining is a truly delightful experience. This is a hidden gem on the Adriatic.

Is Zadar or Sibenik Better for Nightlife?

Zadar
Sibenik

Both Zadar and Sibenik are nice when it comes to partying.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Zadar. The town comes to life at night when the bars and restaurants fill with people chatting and socializing. This is an easy place to enjoy the evening as almost all of the nightlife venues are within a five minute walk of each other.

With a handful of venues, visitors can find a fairly lively vibe in Sibenik. During the summer months you'll find people filling the terraces and squares at night. There are also a number of festivals in and near town. If you're looking for nightlife, it's best to visit during one of these festivals.

Is Zadar or Sibenik Better for Resorts?

Zadar
Sibenik

Zadar is an excellent place to visit for its luxury resorts. Also, Sibenik is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its resorts.

There are plenty of resorts in Zadar to choose from. If you want a beachfront resort, there are a number of nice options outside of town.

With a selection of resorts, Sibenik makes a nice vacation spot. The town has gained popularity in recent years and its become a popular summer resort destination for Europeans.


Is Zadar or Sibenik Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Zadar
Sibenik

Zadar is a good destination for the nearby scuba diving and snorkeling. However, Sibenik is lacking in options for its diving and snorkeling.

Grab a mask and fins and explore the underwater scenery in Zadar. This is an easy place to snorkel because the water is so clear. There are also half and full day snorkeling trips that take you to some of the best spots.

Sibenik has a few snorkeling spots. There aren't as many snorkeling trips leaving from this town as other, more popular beach destinations in Croatia.

Is Zadar or Sibenik Better for Beaches?

Zadar
Sibenik

For a relaxing beach holiday, both Zadar and Sibenik are superb choices.

Zadar is considered a top beach destination. There are some nice beaches outside of town with one of the most famous being Sakarun Beach, which is part of the Zadar archipelago. There are a handful of beaches nearby that are pebbly and popular with the locals. These include Puntamika Beach and Beach Borik.

Sibenik is a very popular place to visit for its beaches. The beaches are less crowded than those in the more popular nearby cities, but they are gaining popularity. In town, Banj Beach is a pebbly beach that is easy to access. Nearby Jadrija Beach is considered to be one of the most photogenic in the area and St. Nicholas Beach is one of the more remote.

Is Zadar or Sibenik Better for its Old Town?

Zadar
Sibenik

It's fun to wander around the superb old towns in both Zadar and Sibenik.

Many visitors explore the old town while visiting Zadar. The small old town is filled with charm and character. It's a walled medieval town that can easily be explored in a few hours.

There is a nice variety of sights in the old town of Sibenik. The charming old town is car-free and filled with quaint streets and lovely cafes.


Is the Shopping Better in Zadar or Sibenik?

Zadar
Sibenik

Both Zadar and Sibenik are nice shopping destinations.

Zadar offers some nice shopping areas. There are small, boutique shops around the old town that sell designer merchandise. There are also shopping malls on the outskirts of town.

Sibenik has a variety of shopping areas worth visiting. You'll find some local shops selling interesting trinkets and souvenirs.

Is Zadar or Sibenik Better for Families?

Zadar
Sibenik

Sibenik is a well-known place for its family-friendly activities. Also, Zadar is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for its kid-friendly activities.

Sibenik is a very kid-friendly town. It has grown into a popular summer resort destination. There are many outdoor activities in the area including kayaking, swimming, and boating. You should also take a day trip to Krka National Park to see the waterfalls. There are also some good beaches where families can hang out.

Zadar is a family-friendly town. It's fun to explore the small medieval old town, but the kids will also appreciate getting out of town and enjoying the nearby activities. It's definitely worth visiting Pag Island or any of the other natural settings that are nearby. There are also several beaches near town. In town, make sure you hear the Sea Organ and dance at the Sun Salutation.

Is Zadar or Sibenik Better for Couples?

Zadar
Sibenik

With fun activities for couples, both Zadar and Sibenik make for a superb place to visit.

Zadar is a very popular place to visit for couples. This charming seaside town is fun to explore as a couple. There's a walled medieval town that is small and easy to wander around. There are also nearby beaches and great restaurants to explore. A highlight of a visit is watching the stunning sunsets by the water.

Sibenik makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. The town is charming and filled with historic sights. There are also beaches and adventure sports for those looking for an adrenaline-filled vacation.


Is Zadar or Sibenik Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Zadar
Sibenik

Both Zadar and Sibenik are superb destinations for backpackers.

Zadar is a great town to visit for backpackers. There's no shortage of hostels in town and you'll find backpackers, students, and budget travelers everywhere.

Plenty of budget travelers and backpackers visit Sibenik. The town has a large number of hostels to choose from, making this an easy and convenient stop off for backpackers and budget travelers.

Is Zadar or Sibenik Better for Students?

Zadar
Sibenik

Zadar is an excellent place to visit for its student-friendly activities. However, Sibenik is not popular with students.

Many students visit Zadar. The laid back lifestyle and low cost of living make this a great place to be a student. It's a relaxed environment with many nearby places to explore.

Sibenik is not popular with students.

Is Zadar or Sibenik Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Zadar
Sibenik

Both Zadar and Sibenik offer nice public transit options.

Zadar has a few public transit options. There are 11 bus lines that travel around town.

Sibenik has some public transit options. There is a public bus system that can help you get around the area.


Is Zadar or Sibenik a more walkable city?

Zadar
Sibenik

Sibenik is an amazing town to visit for its high level of walkability. Also, Zadar is not as famous, but is still a good town to visit for its ease of walking around.

It is easy to get around Sibenik on foot. The old town is car-free and easily explored on foot.

Zadar is a very walkable destination. The old town is particularly walkable and can easily be explored on foot in a few hours.

For even more information, also check out Is Zadar Worth Visiting? and Is Sibenik Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Sibenik or Zadar?

How long in Zadar or Sibenik?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Zadar and Sibenik. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Sibenik than in Zadar. Usually, 1-2 days is a good amount of time for Zadar, and 2-3 days is enough time in Sibenik.

Families should spend more time in Sibenik than Zadar. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Sibenik, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.


  • How many days in Zadar or Sibenik? Ideal Length of Stay
    Zadar 1-2 
    Sibenik 2-3

One day in Zadar or Sibenik?

In Zadar, you'll find shopping and museums. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. This town offers something for everyone. This would be the perfect place to spend one day, as it has just the right amount of activities.

In Sibenik, many people enjoy the shopping and museums that this authentic destination offers. It's also a great beach destination, too. This town offers a variety of activities to choose from. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it.

A weekend in Zadar or Sibenik?

In Zadar, you'll find museums and nightlife. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Visiting the old town is also a must. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Zadar has to offer.

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Sibenik. For many, it makes a great getaway for a weekend. Most visitors spend time around the old town while in the area. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision.


Five days in Zadar or Sibenik?

Zadar is a great place to explore. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

Sibenik is a fun place to experience. Travelers enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting the destination of Sibenik. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. Most people find that five days is more than enough time to see everything.

A week in Zadar or Sibenik?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Zadar. Many people enjoy the food and scuba diving and snorkeling when visiting Zadar. It's also a relaxing resort destination. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

You'll find food and shopping around the charming destination of Sibenik. Most people come for the beaches. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One week is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Tours for Seniors to Croatia, The Best G Adventures Tours to Croatia, The Best 3-Day Tours from Split, and The Best 3-Day Tours from Dubrovnik.


Which place is cheaper, Sibenik or Zadar?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Zadar is $95, while the average daily cost in Sibenik is $100. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Zadar and Sibenik in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Zadar $54
    Sibenik $58
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Zadar $108
    Sibenik $116
Compare Hotels in Zadar and Sibenik

Looking for a hotel in Zadar or Sibenik? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Zadar


Hotels in Sibenik


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Zadar Hotel Prices and Sibenik Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Zadar $10
    Sibenik $14

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Zadar

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Zadar:

  • private transfer from Trogir to Zadar airport/Zadar: $317
  • Private Transfer to/from Zadar Airport (ZAD): $72
  • Private Transfer to/from Zadar Airport: $47
  • Plitvice Lakes: Transfer Tour with pro photographer: $435
  • Zadar hotels to Split Airport (SPU) - Departure Private Transfer: $55
  • Zadar Airport: Private Transfer to/from Zaton Holiday Resort: $78
  • Zadar Airport: Private Transfer to/from The Garden, Tisno: $155
  • Zadar Airport: Private Transfer to/from Petrcane: $71
  • Zadar Airport: Private Transfer to or from Vir Island: $108
  • Zadar Airport to Zadar City Private Transfer: $41
  • Zadar Airport Private Transfer: Makarska/Tucepi/Baska Voda: $466
  • Transfer from Zadar airport to Vir: $64

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sibenik

Also for Sibenik, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private transfer from Sibenik to Split airport: $126
  • Airport transfer from Split to Šibenik or vice versa: $166
  • Private transfer from Sibenik to Split: $263

Is it cheaper to fly into Zadar or Sibenik?

Prices for flights to both Sibenik and Zadar change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Zadar $30
    Sibenik $31

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Zadar

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Zadar.

  • Small Group Cooking Class: $39
  • Private City Tour and Cooking Class: $98
  • Zadar Private City Tour and Cooking Class: $100

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Zadar $20
    Sibenik $13

Tours and Activities in Zadar

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Zadar are as follows:

  • Panorama guided Zadar Eco Tuk Tuk tour: $54
  • Private boat tour to the islands of Zadar with snorkeling equipment: $244
  • Zadar Boat Tour Half Day: $44
  • Šibenik and Zadar private tour from Split or Trogir: $168
  • 2 Hour Quad ATV Mountain Adventure in Starigrad: $132
  • 3 Islands Boat and Snorkeling tour with Fruits and Prosecco: $43
  • 3-Hour Zadar Food Tasting Tour: $99
  • Adriatic Breeze - Kornati Speedboat and Sailing Tour: $343
  • Day Tour from Zadar to Plitvice Lakes: $50
  • Daysailing & SUP experience: $100
  • Dream Experience: Luxury Tour through the NP Kornati: $815
  • Dugi Otok - half day kayak adventure: $83

Tours and Activities in Sibenik

For Sibenik, here are a few prices for actual activities, tours, and tickets provided by various companies:

  • Discover Šibenik - Evening walking tour : $38
  • Daily or night walking tour through Medieval Šibenik: $45
  • Private Sibenik Walking Historical Morning or Evening Tour: $49
  • Via Ferrata tour - Čikola Canyon: $75
  • Krka Waterfalls National Park Boat Tour from Vodice: $77
  • Kornati island National Park & Telascica Nature Park Boat Tour from Vodice: $77
  • Šibenik Riviera boat tour: Zlarin + Prvić + Tijat: $121
  • Kornati Experience small group (12 pax) boat tour: $137
  • Sibenik Private Combined Food & Drink and Historical Tour: $153
  • Full-Day Sailing Tour in Šibenik Archipelago: $165
  • The Best of Sibenik Private Walking Tour: $165
  • Private walking tour of Sibenik: $165

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Zadar $12
    Sibenik $17

Sample the Local Flavors in Zadar

Also in Zadar, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Krka Waterfalls, Food & Wine Tasting, & Old Town Tour: $53
  • Krka Waterfalls, Food & Wine Tasting, Boat Ride & Zadar Old Town: $54
  • Craft Gin and exclusive brandies in unique distillery: $61
  • Wine Tasting with Finger Food: $65

Sample the Local Flavors in Sibenik

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Sibenik:

  • Private Krka Waterfalls Tour with Wine Tasting from Sibenik: $214
  • From Split or Trogir: Krka National Park & Wine Tasting Tour: $1,087


When comparing the travel costs between Zadar and Sibenik, we can see that Sibenik is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Europe, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Zadar Expensive? and Is Sibenik Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Zadar or Sibenik?

Zadar has a larger population, and is about 92% larger than the population of Sibenik. When comparing the sizes of Zadar and Sibenik, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Zadar or Sibenik?

Both places have a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. As both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Zadar or Sibenik in the Summer?

Both Sibenik and Zadar during the summer are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Zadar for the beaches, snorkeling, and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Furthermore, the summer months attract visitors to Sibenik because of the beaches, snorkeling, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences.

In July, Zadar is generally around the same temperature as Sibenik. Daily temperatures in Zadar average around 26°C (80°F), and Sibenik fluctuates around 26°C (80°F).

In Sibenik, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Zadar. In the summer, Zadar often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Sibenik. Zadar gets 345 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Sibenik receives 345 hours of full sun.

Zadar usually gets around the same amount of rain in July as Sibenik. Zadar gets 28 mm (1.1 in) of rain, while Sibenik receives 28 mm (1.1 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Zadar 26°C (80°F) 
    Sibenik 26°C (80°F)

Should I visit Zadar or Sibenik in the Autumn?

The autumn attracts plenty of travelers to both Zadar and Sibenik. The autumn months attract visitors to Zadar because of the shopping scene and the natural beauty of the area. Furthermore, the shopping scene, the small town atmosphere, and the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Sibenik this time of year.

Zadar is around the same temperature as Sibenik in the autumn. The daily temperature in Zadar averages around 18°C (64°F) in October, and Sibenik fluctuates around 18°C (64°F).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Sibenik this time of the year. In Zadar, it's very sunny this time of the year. Zadar usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Sibenik during autumn. Zadar gets 200 hours of sunny skies, while Sibenik receives 200 hours of full sun in the autumn.

In October, Zadar usually receives around the same amount of rain as Sibenik. Zadar gets 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain, while Sibenik receives 79 mm (3.1 in) of rain each month for the autumn.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Zadar 18°C (64°F) 
    Sibenik 18°C (64°F)

Should I visit Zadar or Sibenik in the Winter?

The winter brings many poeple to Zadar as well as Sibenik. The museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine are the main draw to Zadar this time of year. Additionally, many travelers come to Sibenik for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine.

In the winter, Zadar is around the same temperature as Sibenik. Typically, the winter temperatures in Zadar in January average around 8°C (47°F), and Sibenik averages at about 8°C (47°F).

In the winter, Zadar often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Sibenik. Zadar gets 128 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Sibenik receives 128 hours of full sun.

Zadar usually gets around the same amount of rain in January as Sibenik. Zadar gets 83 mm (3.3 in) of rain, while Sibenik receives 83 mm (3.3 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Zadar 8°C (47°F) 
    Sibenik 8°C (47°F)

Should I visit Zadar or Sibenik in the Spring?

Both Sibenik and Zadar are popular destinations to visit in the spring with plenty of activities. Many travelers come to Zadar for the beaches and the natural beauty. Also, many visitors come to Sibenik in the spring for the beaches, the small town charm, and the natural beauty.

In April, Zadar is generally around the same temperature as Sibenik. Daily temperatures in Zadar average around 15°C (59°F), and Sibenik fluctuates around 15°C (59°F).

It's quite sunny in Sibenik. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Zadar. Zadar usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Sibenik during spring. Zadar gets 212 hours of sunny skies, while Sibenik receives 212 hours of full sun in the spring.

In April, Zadar usually receives around the same amount of rain as Sibenik. Zadar gets 66 mm (2.6 in) of rain, while Sibenik receives 66 mm (2.6 in) of rain each month for the spring.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Zadar 15°C (59°F) 
    Sibenik 15°C (59°F)

Typical Weather for Sibenik and Zadar

Zadar Sibenik
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 8°C (47°F) 83 mm (3.3 in) 8°C (47°F) 83 mm (3.3 in)
Feb 9°C (48°F) 68 mm (2.7 in) 9°C (48°F) 68 mm (2.7 in)
Mar 11°C (52°F) 75 mm (3 in) 11°C (52°F) 75 mm (3 in)
Apr 15°C (59°F) 66 mm (2.6 in) 15°C (59°F) 66 mm (2.6 in)
May 20°C (67°F) 56 mm (2.2 in) 20°C (67°F) 56 mm (2.2 in)
Jun 23°C (74°F) 51 mm (2 in) 23°C (74°F) 51 mm (2 in)
Jul 26°C (80°F) 28 mm (1.1 in) 26°C (80°F) 28 mm (1.1 in)
Aug 26°C (79°F) 50 mm (2 in) 26°C (79°F) 50 mm (2 in)
Sep 22°C (72°F) 61 mm (2.4 in) 22°C (72°F) 61 mm (2.4 in)
Oct 18°C (64°F) 79 mm (3.1 in) 18°C (64°F) 79 mm (3.1 in)
Nov 13°C (56°F) 108 mm (4.3 in) 13°C (56°F) 108 mm (4.3 in)
Dec 10°C (49°F) 100 mm (3.9 in) 10°C (49°F) 100 mm (3.9 in)