Wednesday, 24 May 2023

Hajduk Celebrates Back-to-Back Croatian Cup Trophy!

May 24, 2023 - Hajduk beat Sibenik 2-0 at Rujevica Stadium on Wednesday in the Croatian Cup final! It's the first time the Split club has celebrated the Croatian Cup trophy back to back. 

We're in the final week of the SuperSport HNL season week, and with that, we get to see who will celebrate the SuperSport Croatian Football Cup ahead of the 36th round played this weekend. Hajduk and Šibenik met in the final from 19:00 at Rujevica in Rijeka. Interestingly, the two teams also meet in the final round of the league on Sunday. Hajduk has already clinched second place, while Šibenik has been relegated from first league football.

Hajduk was the big favorite and has also been in great form. They haven't conceded a goal in six games, nor have they lost. The Cup final was also unique for Hajduk. It was the first time in eighteen years that Hajduk had the opportunity to win the trophy two seasons in a row. 

Hajduk had loud support from the stands. Most of the east stand was filled with fans from Split, while the north stand was reserved for Šibenik fans who bought only a few hundred tickets for the final. Rujevica was thus not sold out, and around 6,500 fans were in attendance. 

Regarding the lineups for each team, Hajduk was without Mikanović, Lovrencsics, and Kalik, while Šibenik could not count on Điro and Radonjić due to injuries.


Hajduk: Lučić - Sigur, Awaziem, Ferro, Melnjak - Pukštas, Krovinović - Sahiti, Benrahou, Mlakar - Livaja

Šibenik: Đaković - Kvržić, Perić, Kvesić, Mina - Đorić, Soldo - Arai, Hiroš, Dolček - Špeljak 

Match report

Hajduk found the back of the net in the 4th minute, but Mlakar's goal was disallowed after VAR. Hajduk completely dominated Sibenik so far at Rujevica.

Hajduk continued to dominate, but they didn't have any great opportunities in the next 20 minutes. On the other hand, Šibenik, now in the second division, held their own at Rujevica.

Hajduk had two great chances in the 39th minute. Mlakar was one on one with the keeper, who brilliantly saved before the ball went out for a corner. Livaja just missed the goal off the corner. 

A minute of stoppage time was played, and the first half ended 0-0. 

Hajduk put on the pressure in the first few minutes of the second half, but Melnjak missed an open goal. 

Hajduk had their 8th corner in the 56th minute, and Livaja headed to the right of the goal. Sibenik had 0 corners at this point. 

And then it happened. Benrahou shot into Šibenik's defense. After the rebound, the ball reached Melnjak, who scored for Hajduk and the 1-0 lead in the 63rd minute! 

Sibenik held their own to not concede another goal, but Hajduk's defense remained solid and tried to get their second.  

Four minutes of stoppage time were added. 

And Hajduk was awarded a penalty in the final minutes off a Pukstas foul in the box! Livaja scored for 2-0! 

The match ended 2-0 for Hajduk, winning the Croatian Cup trophy for the second consecutive time!  

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Wednesday, 24 May 2023

Croatian Food Across the Pond - Speeza Restaurant Opens in Kentucky

May the 24th, 2023 - Zambelli Brand Design, a leading design agency based in Rijeka, has announced a successful collaboration with the Speeza restaurant, a newly opened Mediterranean street food concept in Kentucky, across the pond in the USA. As part of this collaboration, a visual identity was created that reflects Mediterranean culture, while still appealing to the American market.

Speeza 2

Speeza 3

In a modern concept adapted to the American market, the new Speeza restaurant offers a unique culinary experience that incorporates traditional Croatian, Greek, and Lebanese dishes. Zambelli Brand Design worked closely with Speeza Restaurant to develop their brand strategy, verbal and visual identity. In addition, they developed a comprehensive brand manual for future brand development and franchises. Taking Mediterranean culture and local preferences into account, the collaboration aimed to realize the founder's vision.

The center of the visual identity is the brand name "Speeza". A slang term from Dalmatia (spiza) meaning delicious food or meals, the name was given a unique stamp by replacing the letter "i" with the double letter "ee", making it more memorable and recognizable. In the typographic logo, a hand symbolizes hospitality, a small fish represents a Mediterranean specialty, and an olive leaf represents freshness and natural ingredients.

Zambelli Brand Design developed a color palette inspired by the vibrant shades of the Mediterranean to reflect the brand's commitment to healthy and delicious food. As the primary color, olive green represents the brand's connection to nature and the Mediterranean lifestyle. Furthermore, Zambelli Brand Design created a number of additional graphic and aesthetic elements to accompany consistent brand communication. These elements are inspired by Mediterranean culture, including traditional tablecloth textures and illustrations of local fruits and vegetables.

Speeza 4

Also, Zambelli Brand Design played a significant role in designing brand packaging, bags and takeaway packaging, including cups, boxes and paper bags. Also, the agency helped design a unique and well-designed digital menu for the restaurant, as well as interior details that reflect the brand's Mediterranean identity and create a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere.

Speeza brings the essence of Mediterranean cuisine and culture to Kentucky through Mediterranean street food. Speeza is set to become a favorite destination for food lovers in Kentucky and beyond with its distinctive visual identity, healthy offerings, and welcoming ambience.

Speeza 5

Photos: Zambelli Brand Design


For more, make sure to check out our business section.

Wednesday, 24 May 2023

Croatian Beach Makes it Onto the List of 50 Best Beaches in the World

May 24, 2023 - A list of the 50 most beautiful beaches in the world has been published, and a Croatian beach has made it there. 

The World's 50 Best Beaches list was created taking into account natural beauty, space, popularity, beach activities, and the cleanliness and calmness of the sea, and was voted by more than 750 of the world's most recognized and experienced influential travel writers, journalists, and experts, writes Index.

Lucky Bay in Australia took the top spot thanks to its clean sand, turquoise water, and population of kangaroos.

"The friendly kangaroos are not the only thing making this the best in the world. Lucky Bay has some of the most pristine snow-white sand and incredible turquoise water you will ever see. Stretching over 5 km guarantees you'll find a spot less crowded to simply take in all the natural beauty," says the portal's explanation.

Anse Source D'Argent in Seychelles is in second place.

"And trust us, it is BREATHTAKING, with granite boulders by the water shore and pinkish sands as a perfect contrast to the crystal clear, turquoise water. This beach will genuinely make you feel like you just stepped into a paradise painting. Anse Source d’Argent is located in the southwest of La Digue island, and people travel to Seychelles just to go there! Also, it is not only a gorgeous spot to chill and take thousands of photos, the shallow clear water allows for fun activities like great swimming for families and spectacular snorkeling with a vibrant coral reef," they explained their choice.

Pasjača Beach in Konavle was ranked 39

The third place was taken by Hidden Beach in the Philippines, hidden behind high limestone cliffs, making it impossible to see it from outside. The small cove can only be reached by boat, followed by swimming through a small opening, and the crystal clear, shallow water surrounded by white sand and limestone walls with lush greenery and palm trees guarantees pleasure.

A Croatian beach also made it on this list. Pasjača Beach in Konavle took 39th place. This beach is located in a secluded, inaccessible area where the rocks drop steeply into the Adriatic Sea. You can reach this beautiful beach, surrounded by natural beauty, by taking the stairs in the rocks.

In 2020, this Croatian beach was declared the best European beach on the European Best Destinations portal.

You can find the complete list of the 50 most beautiful beaches in the world here.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 24 May 2023

The EHIC - How to Utilise Your Croatian Health Insurance Abroad

May the 24th, 2023 - I tackled navigating Croatian Health Insurance (HZZO) in another article, and while getting insured as a foreigner living in Croatia can sometimes be more of a task than it needs to be, there are numerous benefits to going through the process. One of them, aside from it being mandatory, is that you can utilise your Croatian Health Insurance abroad.

Having HZZO means that you're also insured across the European Union (EU). Should you become unwell, injured, or require medical treatment, having HZZO means you'll get access to it on the same basis as nationals/residents of whatever EU country you're temporarily located in also do. Here's how to make sure that you're covered should misfortune befall you when spending time in another EU member state.

The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

An EHIC is provided to all individuals who request one as long as they're insured by the state/public policy in their EU country of residence. This means that, as stated above, by having HZZO, you're entitled to an EHIC. An EHIC is issued by HZZO for free and is typically (but not always) issued for a period of one year at a time. The validity of the EHIC will be displayed on the card.

Do I need to be a Croatian citizen to have an EHIC issued to me by HZZO?

No. In fact, many Croatian citizens who live and work abroad have ended up in hot water for utilising their Croatian Health Insurance abroad despite no longer living or working in the country. You just need to be a legal resident of Croatia who has HZZO in order to be given an EHIC and as such utilise your Croatian Health Insurance abroad. You can find out more about who needs to be insured by HZZO and who doesn't by clicking here.

What does the EHIC cover?

An EHIC will allow you to utilice your Croatian health insurance abroad and access treatment at any public medical facility or hospital in another EU country either for free or at a reduced cost. It covers you if you require urgent medical attention/treatment which cannot be postponed until you leave whatever country you're in. It will also cover you for your pre-existing conditions or chronic health issues as long as the trip you're on isn't a ''medical/healthcare tourism'' trip.

So, if you've gone skiing in Italy and you happen to suffer from hypertension that is being treated already but you experience some issues, you'll be able to use your EHIC to be seen by a contracting doctor in a public healthcare facility. 

If you're visiting historic places somewhere in France and you're diabetic and need some sort of medical attention as a result - No problem.

On that same note, it's worth keeping firmly in mind that the EHIC doesn't cover everything, and it will typically only cover unplanned treatment you need until your return to your country of residence. It will also usually cover maternity care and any pregnancy complications as long as you've not clearly planned to give birth abroad.

What about cancer treatment and the like?

You can also utilise your Croatian Health Insurance abroad through an EHIC if you require chemotherapy, oxygen therapy, treatment for conditions such as asthma, and some other types of ongoing therapy, including dialysis. In such cases, however, you'll need to come to an agreement with the healthcare facility/hospital you'll be using before you travel to whatever EU country it is located in.

Is an EHIC the same as travel insurance?

In short - No. You should always take out a travel insurance policy as the EHIC doesn't act as an alternative to what comprehensive travel insurance will offer you. It isn't going to cover any private medical healthcare or associated costs. It won't cover your repatriation either. Some insurers who offer travel insurance policies to clients now insist that the applicant hold an EHIC and many will waive the excess if you do hold one.

I ended up having to pay for my medical treatment abroad despite having an EHIC, will HZZO refund me?

Usually, yes. If the healthcare you required abroad was urgent, then you can apply for a refund from HZZO when you return to Croatia.

How can apply for an EHIC?

In Croatian, the EHIC is referred to as the EKZO (Europska kartica zdravstvenog osiguranja), and can be applied for either at your local HZZO branch/office or online. It is usually made and available for you to pick up eight days after your application is made.

When applying online, you'll need to fill in your OIB/Personal identification number and your MBO/Insurance identification number, as well as the desired location of your local HZZO office, from which you'll want to pick up your EHIC when it's ready.

If you want to apply for yours online, click here.

For a list of HZZO offices you can either go to to apply for your EHIC in person or to pick up your EHIC from after applying online, click here and select your area/city/town.

What if I stop being covered by HZZO?

If your Croatian Health Insurance coverage ceases for whatever reason, you'll need to return your EHIC to your regional/local HZZO office.


For more on moving to, living in and travelling to and from Croatia, make sure to keep up with our dedicated lifestyle section. An article tackling anything from a specific administrative issue to tips on renting a car or bringing your pet into the country is published every Wednesday as part of our How to Croatia series.

Tuesday, 23 May 2023

New York City Mayor Proclaims 22nd May Croatia Heritage Day

May 23, 2023 - The Mayor of New York City proclaimed 22nd May Croatia Heritage Day at a ceremony which took place yesterday at Bowling Green, the oldest park in New York.

As Vecernji writes, New York City Mayor Eric Adams emphasized on Monday that the ties between New York and the Croatian community are the strongest they have ever been. The Democrat mayor of New York City even put on the jersey of the Croatian national football team, by which Croatia is recognized all over the world, to participate in the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Croatian consulate and the 31st anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. The USA recognized Croatia on April 7, 1992. 

"The largest Croatian population in America is right here. And I know how beautiful your country is because years ago, when I was in Croatia, and watching the beautiful waterfront, and watching how lovely the people are, watching how one can go there to just renew their energy and spirit", said Adams.

Consul General of Croatia, Nikica Kopačević, presented the mayor with the official jersey of the Croatian football team, and Eric Adams said that he would wear it proudly and exclaimed: "Consider me to be a member of team Croatia!" He then thanked the Croats, both as a community in the USA and those who attended the raising of the Croatian flag at Bowling Green in Manhattan.

"You believe in family, entrepreneurship and public safety", said Adams.

"When we raise the flag, we also raise and lift up this great country", added the mayor and said that this is a good opportunity to highlight the great heritage of the Croatian American community. He concluded his courtly remarks with a look into the future of New York City, in which the Croatian community will play a major role, and proclaimed Croatian Heritage Day.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Croatian Diaspora section.

Tuesday, 23 May 2023

The Oscans Graffiti Jam Huge Success, Leaving Osijek with New Urban Art

May 26, 2023 - The city of Osijek truly lives its urban vibes. Last weekend at Osijek's Ante Starcevic Square, Osječka Tvornica Ideja (the Osijek Idea Factory) gathered 20 artists from 7 countries, leaving visitors of the Oscans graffiti jam speechless and delighted.

What was it all about? As we wrote, Osijek hosted a festival of urban art and culture - the Oscans graffiti jam, organized by Osječka Tvornica Ideja and Sugar Factory. The event was conceived to popularize street art, and as the organizers themselves said, no one hid their satisfaction.

The whole thing started at 10 a.m. with workshops for the youngest and knowledge transfer sessions. The judges of the afternoon's main event held a graffiti school where they taught the little ones about the basics of graffiti, art and behaviour, and culture on the streets. The workshops were packed full, whether due to the opportunity to learn from the legendary artists Dalet, Atek, and Mr. Pain or the Ledo ice cream, which all participants were gifted. Parents and children expressed their great satisfaction with the opportunity to learn and the need for more such workshops on an annual level.


The main event started at 1:30 p.m., and just an hour before the competition, the artists received the official theme of the battle - 50 years later.

In this way, the organizers wanted to emphasize that graffiti and street art are an excellent medium for sending a message and for intervention in space and society. The task for the contestants was to show the world 50 years from today. Will it be happy and cheerful or dark and apocalyptic? What is their vision? What message do they want to send to the public?

For an hour, the graffiti artists sketched their visions on paper and figured out how they would stand out from the others and win valuable prizes. The local Osijek scene was represented by Rebus and Wasko and Moler and Heir, Croatia by Tramsky and Rancho, Hungary by Coke and Suzie, Slovenia by Azram and Boriz, Slovakia by Doke and Rems, Serbia by Wunste, Junk, Hope and Noks, Italy by Ypsilon and Dr8ste. There was a Greek-Croatian combination there as well, Snuz and Sec.


With the strike of the Osijek co-cathedral at 3 p.m., the Oscans graffiti battle began. The artists hastily took the spray cans and started sketching on the tram and two buses. As the hours and minutes passed, the vehicles received a new face, and several thousand visitors stood and enthusiastically observed what was happening and what all those patterns and lines would grow into.

At 19:00, the competition was officially over. The judges entered the scene, facing the huge challenge of choosing the best of the best. All the competitors came to their aid and participated in the evaluation by ranking their competition. The fact that only one or two points decided winners and places also speaks volumes about the level of the competition.

The team from Slovenia took first place, making the duo €800.00 richer, plus a LELO sponsorship package and a golden plaque from the School of Applied Art and Design. The second place went to the team from Serbia, Noks, and Wunste - €400.00, a rich sponsorship package, and a silver plaque. The third place went to the Greek-Croatian sensation, who received €200.00 and also got a rich sponsorship package and a bronze plaque.


In addition to the graffiti jam itself, visitors had the opportunity to enjoy the Artbeat exhibition, a breakdance competition, and the sounds of hip hop along with a relaxing chill zone and Beck's - the official beer of the festival. The festival was fully rounded to celebrate 50 years of hip-hop culture and put the city of Osijek on the map as the center of one of the main urban spots in Europe.

But what was the "sweetest" thing for all artists? The after-battle after-party, of course. The day after the competition, most artists gathered and decorated a wall, the "Dale Hall Of Fame," and another van. In a relaxed atmosphere, many artists left a lasting mark in Osijek. They expressed their desire to come again, which speaks of the sheer quality of the organization and Slavonian hospitality.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Travel section.

Tuesday, 23 May 2023

Zagreb Pizza Place Makes List of Top 50 Pizzas in Europe

May 23, 2023 - The round, delicious dough topped with all kinds of different ingredients that we call pizza is certainly one of the most popular dishes on the planet. The Croatian capital offers many, but it seems a certain Zagreb pizza places knows how to do it just right.

As Poslovni/punkufer write, great pizza can be found everywhere, but the chances are equally high that you will come across one that is not worth it. That's why it pays to listen to the experts from the site, who have been choosing the best pizzas of the old continent for years, and have just come out with their 2023 ranking.

However, before announcing the winner, it is important to note that when choosing the best pizza in Europe, pizzerias located in Italy are not included. Simply put, the list is designed so that it does not include Italian places that make the original margheritas, marinara, etc.

And the winner is Pizzeria Sartorii Panatieri in Barcelona's Gracia district. Their pizza with roasted cherry tomato sauce, mozzarella and basil won the gold medal.

Second place went to Copenhagen's Baest, where chef Christian Puglisi draws inspiration from Neapolitan pizzas and adds his signature sourdough base and organic toppings. The winner of the bronze medal is 50 Kalo, a pizzeria not far from Trafalgar Square in London where pizza master Ciro Salvo is in charge of the pizzas.

Only a few hours from Croatia you can get to the fourth-ranked pizzeria located in Vienna. That is the Via Toledo Enoppizzeria, where you will taste quality wine to accompany top-quality pizzas. The Zulu Pizzeria in Furth, Germany took the fourth place. The man behind the menu, Gaspare Squitieri, is considered one of Germany's greatest Neapolitan pizza experts.

We are, of course, especially pleased that a Croatian pizzeria made it onto this list. Zagreb's Franko's Pizza & Bar took spot 43, so head on over there for a top pizza experience.

Among Croatia's neighbours, Macedonian pizzeria Matto Napoletano, Belgrade's Majstor and Margarita and Pietra, and Ljubljana's Pop's Pizza made it on the list. You can find the full list here.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 23 May 2023

Zagreb 7th Place on Post Office Travel Money's Best Value City Breaks List

May the 23rd, 2023 - The City of Zagreb has evolved from the place where one lands in order to travel further to a coastal destination somewhere in Istria or Dalmatia to a tourist destination in its own right. The British Post Office Travel Money's list has put it in seventh place on its list of value for money city breaks.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, according to research by the very well read British portal Post Office Travel Money page, which conducts a price barometer every single year, comparing costs in cities across Europe for tourists from the United Kingdom, Zagreb took an impressive seventh place on the list of the most affordable European cities.

Namely, the total cost of a so-called city break is calculated based on twelve typical items one might need for such a trip. This included, among other things, the cost of drinks, dinner for two with a bottle of locally made wine, two weekend nights spent in three-star accommodation, city sightseeing and city transport.

On this occasion, Martina Bienenfeld, the director of the Tourist Board of the City of Zagreb, said the following: "First of all, we are happy that we were included in the aforementioned research, because only those cities that the British listed as their top choices for visiting were included in the selection.

Likewise, it's really interesting to see that Zagreb came in fifth overall in terms of the cost of eating a three-course meal with a bottle of wine, and second in terms of the most favourable prices for visiting the city's cultural and historical sights. We were happy when we saw this research and we believe that it will further popularise Zagreb on the British tourism market. In this regard, I'd like to point out that, since the beginning of the year, sixteen percent more guests from Great Britain have stayed in the city, who have achieved twelve percent more overnight stays, that is, we have recorded almost 10,000 arrivals and 26,500 overnight stays in total.''

It's worth noting that while many facilities such as banks and larger shops offer travel money in the United Kingdom, the Post Office is and always has remained a firm favourite among the majority of the British public, who use their service for the exchange of pound sterling into euros. As such, Zagreb's promotion by the Travel Money page will provide more of a spring in the step of the capital's tourism than one might initially expect.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated news section.

Tuesday, 23 May 2023

23 Percent More French Tourists in Croatia in First Four Months of 2023

May the 23rd, 2023 - There has been a 23 percent increase in the number of French tourists in Croatia so far when compared to this time last year, and with flights from France to Croatia frequent until the end of October, it's likely that we'll come close to pre-pandemic 2019's results.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, over the first four months of this year, there have been 23 percent more tourist arrivals and 12 percent more overnight stays realised by French tourists compared to the same period last year, as reported bythe director of the Croatian Tourist Board's Representation in France, Daniela Mihalic Djurica.

"We believe that this year we will come close to the record results we saw back in 2019, when we achieved 640,000 arrivals of French tourists,'' said Mihalic Djurica at the end of the Morbihan Bay Week festival in the city of Vannes, located in the Brittany region.

This is the result of more favourable global health conditions, but above all promotional campaigns of Croatia as a desirable tourist destination here on the French market, she says.

"We're developing more and more through different products, and Croatian maritime heritage is only one of them, and that's why festivals like this one in Brittany are extremely important to us," she added, thanking the Cronaves association from Split for their help, which has been popularising and representing Croatian maritime heritage throughout Europe for a decade now.

Speaking about the campaigns and activities of the Croatian National Tourist Board's Representative Office over in France, she pointed out that in recent months the emphasis has been primarily on the representation of Croatian regions such as Zagreb, Kvarner, Istria and Slavonia, as well as on the wealth of the country's natural heritage and sustainable development.

"Campaigns with our strategic partners, as well as numerous PR and marketing activities, are ongoing. We used this week in Brittany to present the tourist offer of Kvarner with an emphasis placed on the island of Krk, Vodice and Split,'' she said, noting that there is no major part of France that is not connected to Croatia by at least one direct flight from April to the end of October. She estimates that France is a very potent market with 65 million people.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated news section.

Tuesday, 23 May 2023

Following Closures and Issues, Sljeme Cable Car Profitability in Question

May the 23rd, 2023 - Following months of delays, issues, closures and the like, the Sljeme cable car finally got up and running, promising to be one of the capital's top attractions. The profitability of the cable car has now been called into question.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, last year, i.e. in the first year of it being in actual operation, the Sljeme cable car transported 356,417 passengers in total. When we realise and understand that one of the most expensive cable cars in all Europe was opened on February the 23rd of that year, and that it was closed for 52 days undergoing repairs or because of bad weather conditions, we arrive at a figure of 259 working days last year. This results in a figure of slightly more than 1376 passengers per day.

When these figures are put into context with the maximum hourly capacity of 1,500 passengers in 84 gondolas, it becomes clear why the Sljeme cable car, which carries a price of 537 million kuna without VAT, has long been labeled a megalomaniac project and a monument to the rule of the late mayor Milan Bandic and HDZ in Zagreb, writes tportal.

According to ZET data, the revenue of the Sljeme cable car in those 259 days stood at about one million euros, or 3,861 euros per day, while at the same time, the costs for the employees, without those for maintenance and energy, were all at the same level. Until the year 2034, the City of Zagreb will pay slightly less than six million euros for it from the budget. This amount refers to the capital cost of the Sljema cable car, and 50 percent of its operating costs will be allocated from the city budget itself.

It's worth recalling that in the first two months of the Sljeme cable car's operation, it wasn't possible for people to transport bicycles, but after this possibility was introduced, more than 7,500 one-time tickets for bicycles have been sold to date. Considering the many requests, especially from downhill biking fans who love to cycle down Sljeme, from May the 6th, ZET introduced daily and annual tickets for cyclists.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated news section.

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