Wednesday, 1 June 2022

Compare the Market: Dubrovnik 2nd as Coastal City Break Destination

June the 1st, 2022 - Compare the Market has ranked the gorgeous City of Dubrovnik as second in the world for those who are seeking a coastal city break with a combination of relaxing on the beach and exploring the sights.

As Morski writes, increasingly sought-after types of holiday are those that combine a beach holiday with swimming and sunshine with exploration of the city's sights and culture. One of the best places to combine a city holiday with a beach holiday is down in Croatia's southernmost city of Dubrovnik, arguably the country's tourist Mecca, known as the Pearl of the Adriatic. It ranks second according to a recent Compare the Market study, just one place behind the wildly popular Dubai.

Looking at other Croatian cities which made the list, Split, the country's second largest city, took twenty-first place, and Pula in Istria took twenty-fourth place.

When it comes to holiday planning, many of us are faced with a choice between a few relaxing days on the beach or a city break filled with sightseeing, culture, gastronomy and shopping. Why not have both? Some of the world's most popular "city break" destinations also boast world-class beaches on their shores, which means you can combine all the sights of the city with a relaxing holiday in the sun. Compare the Market has certainly been correct in identifying Croatia's southernmost city and former stand-alone republic as precisely that.

If you're struggling to choose a coastal city holiday for this summer, the Compare the Market study ranked 35 beach towns and cities from around the world, according to some important features such as the availability of things you can do or sights you can visit in the city, the amount and type of food you can eat, the beaches worth seeing, the overall safety of the city as such, as well as average temperatures. Exploring the City of Dubrovnik at the height of summer is usually not the best idea, although it doesn't seem to put the hoardes off. Temperatures soar to truly dizzying heights, and being baked inside the harsh stone walls of the Old Town increases it even more, making one feel a bit like they're in a pizza oven.

Still, there are plenty of beaches and rocky outcrops from which you can dive into the refreshing Adriatic Sea should you overheat. Here's what Compare the Market had to say about Dubrovnik:

Two cities are tied for second place, and the first is one of the smaller coastal cities: Dubrovnik, in Croatia.
The city is located on the Adriatic Sea and is a major tourist destination, and the city itself is on the UNESCO World Heritage List due to its outstanding medieval architecture and fortified old town.

Dubrovnik was a city of the highest rank not only in the number of things to see and do (with 2,674 activities per 100,000 inhabitants), but also in the availability of restaurants (1,487 per 100,000 people).


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

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

First ''Scientific Destination'' in Croatia Being Constructed in Zagorje

The Zagorje castle, with a welcome 126 million kuna in investment, is becoming a tourist attraction.

As Bernard Ivezic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 26th of March, 2019, in beautiful Zagorje, the very first scientific destination in Croatia is being built. Krapina-Zagorje County has launched a public tender for the architectural solution for the reconstruction of the castle and gardens of Stubički Golubovec.

This old Zagorje gem is otherwise one of the best preserved Croatian castles and the place in which this year's Seljačka buna will be held will be transformed into a "scientific centre". This is a new type of institution for Croatia, one that unites the functions of the museum, an entertainment park, and the innovation centre for the popularisation of science.

The county is planning to move the Science Educational and Entertainment Centre (ZEZ) to the castle's grounds. This is the same project that was supported by the City of Zagreb six years ago, it was ready to invest 200 million kuna into the project, transforming the castle into an Italian pavilion at the Zagreb Fair, but after much talk, nothing happened. A likely story.

Krapina-Zagorje County announced the plans for the creation of the centre last year, in addition, it has also announced the first tender for the beginning of its eventual realisation. The tender is a somewhat modest one, worth 1.5 million kuna, but is an introduction to an eventual investment which is currently estimated at a massive 126 million kuna.

A similar centre exists in Finland, Heureka near Helsinki, attracting an average of 280,000 visitors per year, it has become the most popular recreational destination in the country. In 2012, the AHHAA Science Centre in Estonia (with more than 500,000 visitors) was the strongest tourist attraction in that country, too. This new addition to Croatia could bring fruit, and a lot of it.

The are more and more similar institutions popping up in Europe. If this move in Croatia manages to see the numbers Finland saw, it would mean that ZEZ would exceed the number of visitors to Dubrovnik and its museums, which according to MDC's data on visits to Croatian museums in 2017, came in fourth place. With half a million visitors to the science centre in Estonia, ZEZ would become the most visited cultural destination in Croatia, overtaking the incredible Pula Arena (486,966 visitors), Diocletian's Cellars in Split (357,745) and Klović's Palace in Zagreb (314,767 visitors).

Željko Kolar, Krapina-Zagorje County's prefect, says that when taking into account examples from other countries and cities across Europe, the opening of the ZEZ Zagorje Centre represents a great development potential.

"Krapina-Zagorje County, Donja Stubica and the ZEZ cooperative, as partners in the project, realised that there's a need to popularise science and education in Croatia, and that the establishment of a scientific educational and entertainment centre would provide a good basis for that very popularisation of science and education, scientific institutions, and the economy, supporting entrepreneurship and directing young people towards science,'' stated Kolar.

He added that they are entering the modernisation project slowly because they want to preserve the rich cultural heritage of the castle and the gardens.

Davor Komerički, ZEZ's initiator, says he is now finally satisfied with the pace at which things are moving. He pointed out that the gross value of the project stands at 126 million kuna, and 85 percent can be funded from EU funds.

"We've been developing this project for a long time, and we started it in 2010, and when the EU evaluated projects that Croatia could apply for EU funds for before the accession of Croatia [to the EU], our project was one of the 20 best rated ones. We were in the eighth place out of all of the projects from Croatia,'' Komerički noted.

He also stated that their aim is to prepare the necessary documentation by September in order to retrieve the aforementioned funds. "If everything goes to plan, in two years Zagorje's ZEZ centre will be open in the castle," Komerički said.

According to the currently available data, Zagorje's ZEZ centre will occupy 5,000 square metres, of which 3,200 will be in the castle area itself. An additional space of 1,800 square metres will be built next to it. There will also be a science park with exhibits in an arboretum of 5,000 square metres. The centre itself will have as many as 30 different facilities.

"The goal is to be self-sustainable, both energetically and financially. In addition to being a great tourist bait for Zagorje, it's located just 200 metres from the section of road that connects Zagreb with Stubičke Toplice,'' Komerički said.

"Krapina-Zagorje County is the best continental destination of 2018, and with this project we'll further develop our tourism offer, of the county and of the entire region,'' Željko Kolar added, stating that he expects a major impact of the centre on both tourism and the economy in Krapina-Zagorje.

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Click here for the original article by Bernard Ivezic for Poslovni Dnevnik