Monday, 10 April 2023

Opatija Easter Tourism Booming With 35% More Visitors Than Easter 2022

April the 10th, 2023 - Opatija Easter tourism numbers are looking very encouraging indeed, with 35 percent more visitors recorded in this charming Kvarner town than this time last year.

Opatija charms visitors from across Europe, particularly from countries like Germany and Austria, from which it is relatively easy to drive, all year. It boasts gorgeous Austro-Hungarian architecture and stunning hotels, and that goes without even mentioning its title as ''the first lady of Croatian tourism''. It seems that Opatija Easter tourism for this year has outdone itself, with the promise of an excellent main tourist season this summer ahead of it.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes,  Ana Pus Kukuljan from the Opatija Tourist Board spoke for N1 Dnevnik about the opening of the tourist season this year, mentioning the numbers recorded over the Easter break.

"Over the weekend, between 4,500 and 5,000 tourists have arrived in Opatija. In April so far, we've already had 35 percent more overnight stays when compared to last year, as well as 12 percent more arrivals," said Pus Kukuljan, adding that 29 of the 32 hotels located in this coastal Kvarner town already have their doors open for guests.

She also revealed that the most guests come from Austria and Germany, which isn't a surprise at all given the fact that Opatija and Kvarner as a whole have been a favourite destination for both of these nationalities for many decades now.

"Although Easter has arrived earlier this year than it did last year, we have more guests now than we did this time in 2022. There are more and more events taking place in Opatija during the off-season, which is the key to success," said Pus Kukljan. Among the events that should be highlighted in Opatija over the coming days, she pointed out the exhibition of oldtimers, which will be held today, on Easter Monday.

For more, check out our dedicated news section.

Monday, 10 April 2023

Varazdin Bus Station Denies Flixbus Vehicle Access

April the 10th, 2023 - If you've spent any time on the road anywhere in Croatia, and especially on the motorway, you'll definitely have noticed the large green Flixbus vehicles heading up and down the country, and indeed across its borders. Varazdin bus station however, has not allowed the company access.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, this week, the incredibly popular Flixbus vehicles weren't permitted to enter and use Varazdin bus station, local portal Varazdinske vijesti/Varazdin news reports.  According to that portal, the Flixbus international bus vehicle fleet was greeted by a lowered ramp for the platforms of Varazdin bus station during late hours of the night.

Passengers also got off the bus yesterday in the area in front of Varazdin bus station and not actually inside it. Flixbus stated that the bus station had previously sent them a letter stating that they do not have the necessary approval to use the bus station or its services, and that from April the 6th, their buses will not be able to enter Varazdin bus station because there is no possibility of acceptance at that time.

According to Flixbus, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs Transport and Infrastructure, headed by Oleg Butkovic, has confirmed that the inspection had gone out to the field to try to work out what is going on with this particular situation, but it is not yet known what was clarified or otherwise.

It seems that until clarity on this situation can be reached, Flixbus passengers getting on or off these large green buses will have to do so outside of the property owned by Varazdin's proper bus station.

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

Monday, 10 April 2023

When Will Peljesac Bridge-Dubrovnik Road Finally Open?

April the 10th, 2023 - The Peljesac bridge story was over last summer after the huge structure of strategic importance finally opened after a long wait, but what about the Peljesac bridge-Dubrovnik road?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, from its very opening until today, slightly more than one million and 420 thousand vehicles have crossed the Peljesac bridge, bypassing the need to enter into and then back out of neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina when travelling to/from the extreme south of Dalmatia. There are currently many local guests spending time on the Peljesac peninsula who were brought closer to very south of Croatia by this historic bridge.

The Easter weekend also naturally brings bigger crowds, and on Friday alone about 50 percent more vehicles were registered. Ston, with its imposing walls and famous oysters, is an unavoidable stop for most tourists.

"Regardless of the fact that it isn't yet the tourist season, there are about 10 buses a day that come specifically to Ston for the sake of history, culture and gastronomy," said the head of the Ston Municipality to Dnevnik Nova TV.

For restaurateur Sveti Pejic, the Peljesac bridge opening increased his income: "In Ston, traffic in restaurants increased by 120 to 150 percent. When the Peljesac bridge-Dubrovnik road finally opens, traffic there will lessen, but Ston will continue to gain more and more importance."

At this moment, all traffic from the Peljesac bridge goes through Ston, which creates congestion and pressure during the summer, but that should be over soon. The opening of the Ston bypass was announced for before Easter, but that didn't happen. Nevertheless, HC hopes that everything will be ready for April the 20th this year.

"Works are currently underway to eliminate the observed irregularities, we expect that it should be finished during the next week. The testing out of the safety systems in the tunnels is also now underway. After that, we'll start the procedure for issuing a use permit,'' Ivica Tutman from Hrvatske ceste/Croatian roads told Nova TV.

The opening of the Ston bypass will also mean the end of the road connection project with southern Dalmatia, and the south of Croatia should be ready to welcome the tourist season with more people managing to arrive by other means than plane alone.

For more, check out our news section.

Sunday, 9 April 2023

Completed 3 Months Early, Luxury Scenic Eclipse II Sets Sail from Rijeka

PRESS RELEASE - Rijeka, April 9, 2023 - The upgraded version of the most luxurious expedition cruiser in the world is the second ship in Scenic's fleet built in Croatia, and good cooperation with the Rijeka shipyard paves the way for future projects.

After the launch in June of last year, and almost eight months of intensive work in Rijeka at the May 3 shipyard, the new explorer cruiser Scenic Eclipse II set sail from the Rijeka shipyard on its first voyage. The newest ship in the fleet of the world's leading company for luxury cruises, Scenic Group, which has been engaged in shipbuilding since 2007, was completely built in Croatia, and at May 3rd, it was the first new construction after a long four-year break. The management of the construction of this luxury cruiser was led by the domestic company MKM Yachts, which is part of the Scenic group. The ceremony on the occasion of the cruise ship's departure from the shipyard for its first voyage, held in the theater of the ship itself, was attended by Scenic's owner, Australian businessman Glen Moroney, Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia Andrej Plenković, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Davor Filipović, and other distinguished guests and business partners. 


"Today we celebrate not only the launch of a new luxury research cruiser, but also the persistence and collective effort that has brought us here today, where Eclipse II has been built from scratch. This project once again confirmed for us an important lesson that we have learned through the years of working in Croatia, namely that Croatia has a valuable, extremely high-quality engineering staff, as well as hardworking and skilled shipbuilders. When you combine that with the great project management by the MKM Yachts team, you get an outstanding result like this. I can proudly say that we have found great partners in Croatia, primarily in the 3. May shipyard, to whom I hereby thank for their excellent cooperation, and in the Government of the Republic of Croatia, which provided all the prerequisites for this project to come true, and whose support we count on in the future as well so that, as before, we would find quality and sustainable solutions for the realization of future projects", said Glen Moroney, owner of Scenic.


"Trust is the word that adorned the relationship between the Government and Scenic, as well as the Government and May 3, and opened the way for the effective and systematic implementation of the project three months ahead of schedule, and within the budget, which is a unique case. The entrepreneurial spirit and vision that Mr. Moroney brought first to the Uljanik shipyard in Pula, and now here on May 3, created another pearl of Croatian shipbuilding and made a huge contribution to Croatian industry, as well as to the numerous workers and subcontractors who contributed their knowledge. and his work in Eclipse II. I am here in Rijeka today with a sense of pride, convinced that our cooperation will continue, and that in the future, we will build new fascinating ships that will be a kind of heritage of Croatian shipbuilding", said the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia, Andrej Plenković, and congratulated everyone on a successful project.


Scenic Eclipse II was completed in less than three years since the cutting of the first sheets for the hull of the new construction began on May 3, 2020, and what sets this project apart is the fact that the ship was completed and ready to sail even three months ahead of schedule. Another specific feature of the project to build a highly sophisticated expedition ship is the model of contracted cooperation with the Rijeka shipyard, according to which MKM Yachts took part of the subconcession on May 3, and there, using the existing infrastructure and expertise of local shipbuilders in synergy with Scenic's team, built one of the technological of the most advanced research passenger ships in the world.


The 3rd of May workers and subcontractors participated in the construction of the hull and partial fitting out of the luxury ship, and MKM Yachts also cooperated with numerous Croatian companies for procurement purposes, which resulted in a total value of 170 million euros, with the share of domestic labor and materials amounting to as much as 45 percent of the ship's value, and that the new research cruiser can be called a top Croatian product.

Scenic Eclipse II is the second explorer cruiser in Scenic's fleet built in Croatia, and with the same length of 168 meters and width of 21.5 meters as its predecessor, declared the most luxurious polar cruiser in the world, its appearance resembles a luxury megayacht. 114 designer cabins can accommodate up to 228 passengers, with as many as 200 crew members at their disposal, and in addition to improved design and finesse in luxury equipment, it also differs from its predecessor in additional content, which includes an additional outdoor pool, nine restaurants, two custom-made built submarines that can dive up to 300 meters, and two helicopters. Eclipse II, like its predecessor, thanks to innovative technology, is strengthened for navigation in all seas, including those frozen around the North and South Poles.

Sunday, 9 April 2023

Dalmatia is Changing: Jadrolinija Enters the 21st Century!

April 9, 2023 - Dalmatia is changing slowly - a rather unexpected upgrade in technology on the Jadrolinija ferries.

April in Dalmatia, and Easter on Hvar are among the two greatest joys this wonderful country offers, especially with the weather as exceptional lifestyle. 

Having lived in Dalmatian exile in Varazdin and Zagreb for almost 7 years now, each visit to Dalmatia out of season evokes memories of an extremely happy, and VERY relaxed, way of life. 

But a little incident on the ferry from Split to Stari Grad this week made my wonder if the unthinkable is true - Dalmatia is changing. 

A little background for those not so familiar with the way of life here. The Dalmatian words of 'laganini', 'fjaka', and 'pomalo' epitomise the way of life here. Nothing is to be hurried, and things function without paying too much attention to official detail. 

This was especially true when it came to Jadrolinija ferries, especially if you were a local. Although I always bought a ticket at the correct price, there were occasions when I was literally running to the ferry or catamaran as the doors were closing - there had not been enough time to buy a ticket. It was never a problem. I simply gave the cash to the Jadrolinija staff member, along with something for a coffee for him. Whether or not the cash went into the till was uncertain, but I was happy to have made the ferry and to have paid my way. Unlike one Split builder I knew, who used to come on once a week with a truck full of materials, slip the man 20 kuna and get on virtually for free.

Such is the way of life in Dalmatia, and in other parts of the Mediterranean. 


But Dalmatia is changing. 

The annual Easter trip to Hvar was made a little more complicated due to the poor recent weather (hard to believe, looking out at the gorgeous Hvar skies right now). 

Easter on Hvar is a special time, especially for families from Jelsa, with the UNESCO Za Krizen procession, which takes place through the night of Maundy Thursday, starting at 10pm. With the uncertainty of the catamaran, the only sure bet to get to the island was the 14:30 ferry from Split to Stari Grad, which takes two hours. My daughter was a little nervous that we might miss the ferry, so asked if we could leave very early in case there was traffic, or the motorway was closed at Sveti Rok due to the bura wind.

I did as she asked, and we were on the road from Zagreb at 07:15, driving in glorious weather along an empty motorway, arriving at the ferry terminal at 11:15, more than 3 hours before departure. There were only 6 cars in front of us. When I last lived on the island, the car loading was strictly on a first-come, first-served basis. I was pleased with myself. My daughter was pleased, and we also had 3 hours to walk around Split where I could introduce the kids to the joys of Tri Volta, the Discover Croatia shop and my Romanian friends at Break Time. 

Did I mention that Dalmatia is changing? I went to buy the tickets and was shocked to be told that while the kids could get on as foot passengers, I would have to wait for the 20:30 crossing (too late for the procession) to get to the island - the ferry was completely sold out! 

Unbelievable. Apparently, a couple of years ago, the way of selling tickets changed. No longer first-come, first-served, but now you can book online and reserve your spot. I was told that if I explained I was on the 20:30, I could wait in front of the ferry. Usually, several people bought tickets but never showed up, or were delayed on the motorway and would take the later ferry. As I was 7th in the queue, I would almost certainly get on. But I would have to wait until the last minute to find out, meaning I could not plan the day's events. 

But this is Dalmatia, everything is chilled, I thought to myself. I knew that I would be first in the reserve queue, but this laganini lifestyle meant that I should have no problem getting onto the ferry. We returned to the ferry at 14:00 as instructed, and I showed the tickets to the guy checking and collecting, the 14:30 passenger tickets on top. And, as I inspected, a cursory check and we were waved on. We had done it, the kids were ecstatic, and so was I.

And then...

Something rather remarkable happened. As I was being guided close to the car in front on the ferry, it seemed there was a problem. The ferry guy had some kind of gadget in his hand. which told him that there was a problem with my vehicle being on the 14:30 crossing. He asked for my ticket and told me I had to get off this ferry as I was booked on the later one. Holding my hands up to the error, I immediately did as he said, waited second in the reserve line for a nerve-wracking 45 minutes (the ferry left late), before being allowed on - some 20 cars who had reserved tickets had not turned up. 

I felt pleased that such a level of control has come to the service, along with a twinge of sadness that a tiny slice of the old Dalmatian ways is disappearing. But I wonder how this is going to work in the season in the heat, when a tourist who gets on with a later ticket will try and argue his case to be allowed to remain. Loading the ferries in peak season is stressful enough. 

Any stressful thoughts soon disappeared on top deck, however, taking in the magical sea air on a perfect Dalmatian afternoon. 

Dalmatia in April, why aren't you here? 


You can subscribe to the Paul Bradbury Croatia Expert YouTube channel here.

What is it like to live in Croatia? An expat for 20 years, you can follow my series, 20 Ways Croatia Changed Me in 20 Years, starting at the beginning - Business and Dalmatia.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners is now available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.




Sunday, 9 April 2023

Stunning Split Video Through the Eyes of New Luxury Hotel Ambsador

April 9, 2023 - Where will you vacation this summer? Take a tour of the spectacular Dalmatian capital of Split, through the eyes of new luxuy Hotel Ambasador.

Having lived in Croatia for over 20 years, the majority in Dalmatia, I can honestly not remember Split looking as clean or as beautiful.

New measures from the current mayor, Ivica Puljak, have had a big effect already, and the area by the ferry terminal in particular is now unrecognisable.

But in addition to a much cleaner city, there have been many other improvements too, including the addition of the first luxury waterfront 5-star hotel in the Dalmatian capital. And the location of Hotel Ambasador, which opened last October, is truly 7-star - a short walk from both the marina and the historic Diocletian's Palace. Sleep with the curtains and watch the colours of the palace change through the night. Truly magical.

American digital nomad Steve Tsentserensky captured the magic of Split and Hotel Ambasador shortly after it opened. Check out a view of Split and the new hotel through his lens in this gorgeous video. You can learn more about the hotel on the official website -

Sunday, 9 April 2023

Looking for a Job in Croatia? This Week's Top 10 from (April 9, 2023)

April 9, 2023 - Looking for a job in Croatia? A new weekly feature on TCN, in partnership with leading job site agency,, who present a selection of weekly job listings.

How hard is it to find a job in Croatia, and what is on offer?

We spoke to Ines Bokan, director of leading jobs site, who kindly took the time for this excellent interview overview.  

This week's top 10 jobs from

E.G.O. Elektro-komponente d.o.o. is hiring a person in the position of Junior IT Developer (m/f). Place of work Zagreb. We offer on-the-job training with targeted training and mentor support. Send complete applications via link by April 15th.

Ziegler d.o.o., Kutina is hiring a person in the position of Program engineer - electrical engineer (m/f). Place of work Kutina and Zagreb. The possibility of constant improvement and advancement. Send complete applications via link by May 5th.

Manpower is hiring a Key Account Manager - IT (m/f). Place of work Zagreb. We offer attractive salaries and numerous benefits: company car, bonuses, Pet-Friendly office, flexible working hours, work from home, etc. Send complete applications via link by April 17th.

Austrian Business Agency GmbH / Work in Austria is hiring a person in the position IT employee (m/f). Place of work Austria. Send complete applications via link by April 25th.

Bridge Personal & Service d.o.o. is hiring a person in the position of Software development / Software developer (m/f). The place of work is the whole of Austria. Send complete applications via link by April 30th Limited is hiring a person in the position of Customer Service Agent (m/f). Place of work Dubrovnik. They offer a competitive salary as well as fully paid training and progression opportunities, along with one-to-ones and coaching. Send complete applications via link by April 12th.

Strabag BRVZ d.o.o. is hiring a person in the position of Senior Backend Developer (m/f/d) in Zagreb. If you are interested in a job, apply by April 12th via link.

AGV Group Malta is looking for a Nurse (m/f) and a Personal assistant (m/f) in Malta. Candidate must have good knowledge of the Italian language. Apply by April 21st via link.

CCPORTER Sp. z o.o. is hiring a person in the position of Sales Trainer with Croatian and English (m/f) for work from home. They offer attractive remuneration and an opportunity to develop coaching skills. If you are interested in a job, apply by April 21st via link.

For more career options and job listings, visit


These weekly job listings will appear in the weekly TCN newsletter - you can subscribe here.


What is it like to live in Croatia? An expat for 20 years, you can follow my series, 20 Ways Croatia Changed Me in 20 Years, starting at the beginning - Business and Dalmatia.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners is now available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.

Saturday, 8 April 2023

More Revised Croatian Fuel Prices Coming This Tuesday

April the 8th, 2023 - Yet more new Croatian fuel prices are set to come into force in petrol stations across the country this Tuesday. Here are the new costs for diesel, petrol and more.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, at a recently held government session, during which revised Croatian fuel prices were discussed, the Decree on determining the highest retail prices of oil derivatives was adopted, according to which the highest retail prices will be calculated according to the formula according to the basic price of fossil fuel in the previous fourteen-day period.

The regulation enters into force on April the 11th, 2023, and this regime will be valid for the next fourteen day period. Petrol will increase in price by 4 cents per litre from Tuesday onwards, and diesel will be cheaper by one cent.

The new Croatian fuel prices as of tuesday will be as follows:

· 1.43 EUR/l (10.77 HRK/l) for petrol (an increase of 0.04 EUR/l)
· 1.33 EUR/l (10.02 HRK/l) for diesel fuel (a reduction of 0.01 EUR/l)
· 0.83 EUR/l (6.25 HRK/l) for blue diesel (a reduction of 0.01 EUR/l)
· 1.30 EUR/kg (9.79 HRK/kg) LPG for tanks (an increase 0.01 EUR/kg)
· 1.86 EUR/kg (14.01 HRK/kg) LPG for bottles (an increase 0.01 EUR/kg).

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

Saturday, 8 April 2023

New Croatian Road Toll System to Function Differently, More Efficiently

April the 8th, 2023 - The new Croatian road toll system is set to function somewhat differently to what we're used to, and a tender for a contractor has now been announced.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, with the new Croatian road toll system, tolls will be charged depending on the distance a particular vehicle has travelled, and on the basis of specific groups of vehicles. At each location along the motorway where vehicles need to be recognised - at toll booths both on and off the motorway - there will be a portal with built-in DSRC readers, which will enable communication with the ENC devices installed in the vehicles.

The portals will also have cameras placed at the toll booths to detect the passage of vehicles, writes Vecernji list.

Croatian Motorways (HAC) announced a public tender very recently for the selection of a contractor for the country's new electronic toll collection system, with the estimated value of the procurement of the new system amounting to an enormous 100 million euros.

"The estimated value of the purchase of the new toll collection system on the motorways under the management of Hrvatske Autoceste/Croatian Motorways, Bina Istra and Autocesta/Motorway Zagreb-Macelj amounts to 100 million euros in total,'' it was pointed out in the announcement made by HAC.

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

Saturday, 8 April 2023

Bizarre Zagreb Crime as Person Steals Tram, Goes for Joyride

April the 8th, 2023 - Someone making the decision to steal a tram, take it for a joyride of sorts around town, abandon it at a certain area and then go home, isn't something you hear of on a daily basis. But who could be the one who has committed this rather strange Zagreb crime?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, ''the other night just before 23:00, an unknown perpetrator stole a low-floor ZET tram that was prepared to be used as normal and drove it east to Tratinska Street, where they then left the vehicle and went off in an unknown direction.

The ZET traffic control and management centre, in accordance with the provided protocol, sent traffic control out into the field immediately after learning about it, and the police were also called, who found the abandoned tram at Tratinska 65. There were no passengers on the tram during the incident, and no one was injured, nor was the vehicle damaged during the incident. The police investigation into this is currently ongoing, and the video surveillance footage from the vehicle has been seized in order to attempt to find the perpetrator,'' ZET confirmed for Index when asked about this odd (and rather amusing) Zagreb crime.

"ZET promptly launched an internal investigation to determine what happened and who is responsible for this failure, so that it does not happen again," they added.

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

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