Why pay for a guide if you can have a good one for free? Many locals would love to take you around town as a free guide!
GET A UNIQUE PEEK INTO THE LOCAL LIFE. How to meet the locals in Šibenik region and Croatia generally?
In Dalmatia, people's lifestyle has been influenced by the Mediterranean climate and leads to lack of urgency, fuss and very much the café culture.
Everything can be done a little later and most likely over a cup of coffee or pivo (beer).
A perfect day in Šibenik starts with, you guessed it, a great cup of coffee. Drinking coffee is a ritual in this part of Croatia. It's the influence of italian and turkish culture. Croatians drink coffee with their friends, lovers, colleagues, business partners, alone...
You should never drink your coffee fast, take your time and enjoy it, no matter whether you are alone or in good company. If you want to have a good cup of coffee, just take a walk to Giro Espresso bar in the town centre, across the only orthodox church in the old town „Uspenje Bogomatere“ on Zagrebačka street.
If you want to have your coffee and enjoy the sun at the same time, take a walk to the coast and visit one of the many bars on the promenade.
During the rush hour (from 10a.m. to 1p.m.) it's a lottery to find a free table. Unlike other countries, it's not a custom to share a table with a stranger. It would be best to sit at the bar or wait for someone to finish their drinks or invite you by themselves. The waiters are always useful sources of information and most of them speak English.If you like sports, football for example, going to a bar before the match is a good way to meet people. The Croatian people are proud of their nation and heritage. So, if you want to appeal to people in Šibenik, ask them about Croatian football, Football Club Sibenik, Sibenik basketball, Drazen Petrovic and so on.
They care how you feel about their country and about them. They want you to appreciate the beauty, the history and culture, their gastronomy and their hospitality.
On the other side, the Croatians are very open and curious so don't be surprised if they ask you questions that are in some parts of the world considered as private. For example they might ask you about your family, marriage status, salary, religion, etc. We also like gatherings, like dinners and weekend events that usually take place at one's home.
It is not uncommon to have an unannounced visitors at your home, someone just dropping by to say „Hi“ or have a cup of coffee. We are not formal.
Other Mediterranean similarities can be seen in afternoon siestas during the summer months when shops usually close. A common sight also for all to enjoy are the evening walking parades where locals stroll together in their finest clothes on promenades whilst onlookers sip their drinks and enjoy the scenery. Tourists say that women in Šibenik are extremly beautiful, nicely dressed and that's true. They are quite style-conscious. In the cities and towns women seldom go out in public without putting on make up and nice clothes. They spend a lot of money on their clothes and they take care about their image in public.
If you are a guy and you meet a Croatian girl this summer, don't hesitate to invite her out for a drink, be romantic but never push too hard and don't overdo with too many sweet words. It's better to 'throw the hook', as Dalmatians like to joke about it, and then pull back, it will work for sure...