Thursday, 19 May 2022

IBM iX Agency to Open Brand New Osijek Office by End of 2022

May the 19th, 2022 - The IBM iX agency has announced the opening of its Osijek office, which will be another positive economic move for this particular Eastern Croatian city in a part of the country known for migration and demographic issues.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the digital agency IBM iX Croatia recently announced the opening of an up and coming Osijek office, which will be the company's third office in the Republic of Croatia, after the ones located in Zagreb and Varazdin.

The company's CEO, Mario Horvat, said at a press conference that Osijek has grown into one of the largest IT hubs in Croatia over more recent years, with large capacities, quality faculties and highly educated young people, so he believes the company will find a suitable number of experts to work there.

He pointed out that IBM iX is a broad-based digital agency that uses agile software development methods, so it will need classic developers, integration engineers, business consultants and user interface designers, as well as various other professionals.

He expects the Osijek office to open by the end of this year and added that seven employees are currently working in the City of Osijek. He also believes that in the next two to three years, that number will reach 100 to 120, which is a growth that the company can handle. Here in Croatia, IBM iX currently has 202 employees.

The director of digital platforms of the company, Daniel Strmecki, stated that the main reason for heading further east and opening an Osijek office is the existence of established technical faculties, which is important for a company that is looking for highly educated IT staff.

Osijek Mayor Ivan Radic is more than pleased that the company has recognised Osijek as a centre of positive economic trends, adding that the city has had the highest employment and enjoyed record low unemployment in the last ten years.

He pointed out that more than a billion kuna is being invested in the city, 609 plots have been sold in Osijek's IT park, and a public procurement is underway for the construction of a central IT park building, mostly co-financed by European Union (EU) funds.

He believes that the project will soon be successfully completed, which will be an additional motive for companies to come to Osijek.

For more, check out our dedicated business section.

Sunday, 15 May 2022

HNL Round 35: Dinamo Clinches Croatian Championship with One Round To Go

May 15, 2022 - The 35th round of the Croatian First League was played from May 13 to 15, 2022. Hajduk kept their title hopes alive after winning at home against Istra on Saturday until Dinamo beat Sibenik on Sunday to claim the 2021/2022 Croatian Championship title. Here is our HNL round 35 recap. 

Dragovoljac v. Gorica (0:2)

Dragovoljac and Gorica opened the 35th round on Friday, May 13, 2022, in Zagreb. 

Fruk scored for 0:1 in the 5th minute and Golubickas in the 78th for the final 0:2. 

 

Dragovoljac is in last place with 19 points and will be relegated from the First League next season, while Gorica is in 6th place with 44 points.

Slaven Belupo v. Rijeka (2:2)

Belupo and Rijeka met on Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Koprivnica. 

The first goal of the match wasn't scored until the 49th minute when Obregon found the back of the net for the Rijeka lead. Krstanovic equalized from the penalty spot in the 56th minute and Bosec gave Belupo the lead for 2:1 in the 59th. Vukcevic equalized for Rijeka in the 79th minute for the final 2:2. 

 

Belupo is currently in 7th place with 36 points, while Rijeka is in 4th with 62. 

Hajduk v. Istra 1961 (3:1)

Hajduk and Istra met on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at Poljud Stadium. 

Mahmoud gave Istra the lead in the 15th minute for 0:1 before Livaja equalized from the penalty spot or 1:1 just before halftime. Mahmoud was shown his second yellow moments later forcing Istra to play with a man down for the entire second half. Livaja scored another penalty in the 51st minute for 2:1 and Krovinovic made it 3:1 three minutes later for the final score. 

 

Hajduk is currently in 2nd place with 72 points, while Istra is in 9th with 28. 

Osijek v. Lokomotiva (1:0)

Osijek and Lokomotiva met on Sunday, May 15, 2022, at City Garden Stadium. 

The only goal of the match came in the 26th minute when Zaper scored for 1:0 and the Osijek win. 

Osijek is in 3rd place with 68 points, while Lokomotiva is in 5th with 46. 

Sibenik v. Dinamo (0:2)

Sibenik and Dinamo closed out the 35th round on Sunday, May 15, 2022, in Sibenik. 

A draw or a loss for Dinamo would mean the Croatian champion would be decided next weekend at Maksimir Stadium between Dinamo and Hajduk. Dinamo, however, came to Sibenik knowing what was at stake and celebrated the title one round early.

Tolic scored in the 39th minute and Bockaj in the 53rd for the final 0:2. 

With this win, Dinamo has secured the Croatian championship title with 76 points, while Sibenik is in 8th place with 32 points. This is Dinamo's 23rd Croatian championship title. 

More soon...

You can see the full HNL standings HERE.

To read more about sports in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Best Beaches in Slavonia - Freshwater Paradise

May 12, 2022 - Summer is on the horizon, temperatures are higher and people are already planning how to cool down in the coming hot months. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford or reach the Adriatic coastline for much-deserved relaxation. However, Croatia has countless beautiful rivers and lakes used for swimming and recreation and Slavonia is full of those. A look into the best beaches in Slavonia.

As mentioned before, some people living outside of regions located near the Adriatic coast can’t afford or travel great distances for the ultimate Croatian summer. Because of those limitations, people needed to find ways to cool themselves and relax in their cities during unbearably hot months. Slavonia is definitely one of those regions. Older Slavonians will remember those summers decades ago when only a few families could afford to go to the Adriatic coast, after saving money all year, and others “less fortunate ones”, would go to rivers and lakes near their hometown. Those swimming places were made up on the go - “beaches” were mostly covered with untouched nature and unexplored terrains. Let’s just say they weren’t particularly safe but after a few accidents and realizations that structured swim places can be profitable and safe havens for families with kids, local authorities started investing in swimming and recreational infrastructure on those lakes and rivers. Water quality began to be reviewed for swimmers and after tests showed that the quality is excellent, the building could start. Without further ado, these are the best beaches in Slavonia.

“Copacabana” on Drava River in Osijek - “Kopika” 

The list of best beaches in Slavonia starts with non-other than “Kopika”. One of the most popular river beaches in Slavonia, this is one of the swimming places in Slavonia that you can’t miss. Beach that offers views of iconic places in Osijek like Tvrđa, co-cathedral of St Peter and St Paul, Hotel Osijek, and the Bridge of Youth? Amazing. Since 2020, the beach and recreation center went through a lot of renovations and “Kopika” will shine in its new guise this summer. Modern pools, showers, cabins, and many more, make this beach unmissable this summer.

 

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"Kopika" beach in Osijek (image credits: Mario Romulić)

Križnica Island on Drava River 

This island is located on the Drava River near the small town of Pitomača, the westernmost municipality in Virovitica - Podravina County. Once the border between the Kingdoms of Croatia and Slavonia, this ancient island was the last one in the historic Pannonian Sea and its sandy beach attracts swimmers and recreationalists all over the country. Its bike routes, local cuisine, and natural private retreat make this river beach one of the best in the country and it’s an unmissable place to visit for refreshments and relaxation.

 

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Križnica Island on Drava River (image credits: glaspodravine.hr)

Poloj Sports and Recreation Center 

Apart from the Drava, the Sava River and its Poloj beach takes the crown as one of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. During summer, this beach attracts plenty of swimmers in need of refreshments. The white sand beach that can compete with some on the Adriatic coast, offers a lot of content - sandy fields for volleyball, futsal, places for barbecue, bike and pedestrian routes, and many more. Slavonski Brod and its surroundings is an amazing place for Digital Nomads and other tourists because it offers everything for everyone. So, visit this amazing place during summer, you won’t regret it.

 

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Beach Poloj on Sava River, Slavonski Brod (image credits: Alen Vrlazić/tzbpz.hr)

Lakes Banja in Vinkovci 

Once upon a time, these two artificial lakes had different usage. More precisely, it was used for clay excavations for a brick factory back in the day and only brave men would go and swim there. However, in 1997, the realization of the potential these lakes have for sport, recreation and relaxation hit, and since then, Lakes Banja became a popular swimming place for residents of Vinkovci. The amazing quality of water and clean and tidy beaches are a perfect place for fishermen and people who want to have a proper swim. After that, barbecue, beer, and an amazing time.

 

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Lakes Banja in Vinkovci (image credits: Banja Vinkovci/Facebook)

Ada Island on the Danube River in Vukovar 

Ada is a beautiful Croatian river island on the Danube River covered in a sandy beach and it’s a favorite swimming place in the city of Vukovar. Only 10 minutes away from cities center by boat and ranked among the ten most beautiful and interesting beaches in Croatia located along rivers and lakes. All those interested in peaceful vacations or maybe active vacations and adventures will surely find something for themselves. Amazing tourist offer that includes boat tours, volleyball on sand, and a gazebo full of refreshing drinks under the shade of the forest, makes this one of the best beaches in Slavonia.

 

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Residents of Vukovar playing beach volleyball on Ada Island (image credits: Branimir Bradarić/lokalni.hr)

Lake Orahovica near village Duzluka  

Only 1500 meters away from the historic town of Orahovica, this artificial lake is probably the only proper place to swim in its radius. Last year, this famous lake celebrated its 60th birthday and it’s not stopping soon. This lake is a magnet for fun. From the most popular music festival in Slavonia Ferragosto Jam to the rich recreation offer, Lake Orahovica is an unavoidable place to visit and what’s also really important to mention, its water comes from the mountains! Besides its clear natural water, location is idyllic - just at the foot of Papuk Mountain and the historic fortified city Ružica City that, according to one legend, was a gathering place of fairies. It’s truly looking like a fairytale from Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić novels indeed.

 

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Lake Orahovica is surrounded by historic sightings and mountains (image credits: orahovica.hr)

 

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Ferragosto Jam brings the best of Croatian music every year to Lake Orahovica (image credits: screenshot/ferragostojam.com)

Honorable mentions are recently officially opened for swimmers Bajer Lake in Đakovo, Lake Borovik located west of Đakovo, natural Lake Đola in Darda near Osijek, beaches in Batina and Aljmaš where Drava River flows into Danube River, Lake Petnja, northwest of Slavonski Brod and so many more.

All of these places are rooted in Slavonians' lives. Great tourist offers and safe place for families, makes river and lake beach a must-visit during this summer. Yes, summers in Slavonia can be more insufferable than in, for example, Dalmatia (different climate), but for that, these freshwater beaches make every hot summer durable. Furthermore, it makes it the most anticipated season in Slavonia. Hopefully, this list of best beaches in Slavonia will encourage tourists to come - Slavonians will welcome you with open arms.

For more, check out our travel section.

Monday, 9 May 2022

HNL Round 34 Recap: Hajduk Beats Rijeka, Dinamo Tops Osijek in Derby Weekend

May 9, 2022 - The 34th round of the Croatian First League was played from May 6 to 8, 2022. This derby weekend featured Rijeka-Hajduk and Dinamo-Osijek, with both Hajduk and Dinamo winning 3:0, leaving Osijek out of the title race. Here is our HNL round 34 recap. 

Hr. Dragovoljac v. Slaven Belupo (1:1)

Dragovoljac and Belupo opened the 34th round on Friday, May 6, 2022, in Zagreb. 

Frigan gave Dragovoljac the early lead for 1:0 in the 3rd minute Krstanovic was unable to equalize for Belupo until the 50th minute for 1:1. Karrica received his second yellow in the 81st minute, forcing Dragovoljac to pay with a man down for the remainder of the match. 

 

Dragovoljac remains in the last place with 19 points and will be relegated from the First League, while Belupo is in 7th with 35. 

Gorica v. Lokomotiva (3:3)

Gorica and Lokomotiva met on Saturday, May 7, 2022, in Velika Gorica. 

Atiemwen made it 1:0 for Gorica in the 24th minute while Kalik scored for 2:0 in the 39th. Pivaric came back for 2:1 Lokomotiva three minutes later. Pivaric received his second yellow in the 67th minute, leaving Lokomotiva with a player less. However, Keita was also sent off just 5 minutes later, leveling the playing field. Kulenovic scored for 2:3 in the 85th minute and Kalik scored a penalty for 3:3 in the 90th minute which was the final score. 

 

Gorica is currently in 6th place with 41 points, while Lokomotiva is in 5th with 46. 

Istra 1961 v. Sibenik (1:2)

Istra and Sibenik met on Saturday, May 7, 2022, in Pula. 

Delic put Sibenik ahead in the 26th minute for 0:1. Curic made it 0:2 just before the half. Caseres came back with a goal for 1:2 in the 73rd minute, which was the final score. 

 

Istra is currently in 9th place with 28 points, while Sibenik is in 8th with 32. 

Rijeka v. Hajduk (0:3)

Rijeka and Hajduk kicked off the first big derby on Sunday, May 8, 2022, at Rujevica. 

Two Livaja goals in the 13th and 37th minutes put Hajduk ahead by 0:2. Mikanovic scored for 0:3 just before the half. Drmic was shown a red card in the 56th minute, forcing Rijeka to play with a man down for the remainder of the match. 

 

Rijeka is currently in 4th place with 61 points, while Hajduk is in 2nd with 69. 

Dinamo v. Osijek (3:0)

Dinamo and Osijek closed out the 34th round on Sunday, May 8, at Maksimir Stadium. 

Orsic put Dinamo in the 1:0 lead in the 34th minute. Osijek's Cheberko was shown his second yellow just 10 minutes later, forcing them to play with a man down for the rest of the match. Spikic made it 2:0 for Dinamo in the 60th minute before Menalo secured Dinamo's win in the 80th for the final 3:0. 

 

Dinamo is currently in 1st place with 73 points, while Osijek is in 3rd with 65 and is no longer in the title race. 

With just two rounds to go, Dinamo and Sibenik meet next Sunday in Sibenik, while Hajduk and Istra meet on Saturday at Poljud. If Dinamo draws or loses to Sibenik, the Croatian champion will be determined in the final round at Maksimir Stadium between Dinamo and Hajduk. 

You can see the HNL standings HERE

To read more about sports in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Thursday, 5 May 2022

New NK Osijek Stadium to Open in December 2022, Capacity Expanded

May 5, 2022 - All works on the new NK Osijek stadium will be completed by December this year, confirmed the chief supervising engineer Hrvoje Sučić.

Thus, Osijek will be home to the most modern stadium in Croatia and a camp with six football fields where students from the Osijek Football School will train, reports Sportske Novosti.

"Work is underway on all segments, from the external roads and parking lots with 890 places to the final layer on the auxiliary terrains, followed by the grass installation. As for high-rise construction, 95 percent of the reinforced concrete construction work has been completed. The last four rows of the southwest grandstand are expected to be completed in two or three weeks, which will complete the rough work of the entire stadium construction. Flat roof layers are also being installed, business premises are being built at the foot of the south, east, and north stands and installation work is being done on all four floors of the western building, which is probably the largest building currently being built in Osijek," said Sučić.

The stadium construction site is busy with full-time workers, or over 200 under the main contractor, Strabag. Still, there is also a rush of work in factories that produce all the accompanying equipment. Seats are being made in parallel; two video walls with a 9 x 5 m area will be placed on the southeast and northwest stand, roof lining, lighting, and speakers.

In a month, the facade installation towards the terrain will start, while the roof construction will be nearing completion. As for the pitch, installing heating and irrigation systems will begin soon. Sučić also explained that the stadium would withstand a stronger earthquake.

Recall, there were changes in the project itself. Facilities such as a jacuzzi and a sauna for VIP guests were removed from the west stand, making it possible to introduce accommodation facilities for football players. Finally, the capacity of the stadium has been increased to 13,005 seats.

Valentina Koprivnjak, a member of the NK Osijek Management Board, said that everyone in the club and the city "eagerly await the completion of this magnificent building."

"I must also say that we would not have had all this if it were not for the man who saved the club in 2015/2016 when we were in a situation where we could not even pay the pre-bankruptcy settlement installment. Lorinc Mészáros saved the club then, and everything you see is the absolute merit of this man, who provides us with strong financial and moral support for everything we do," said Koprivnjak.

To read more about sports in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Monday, 2 May 2022

Year-Round Croatia Airlines Munich-Osijek Line Takes Off!

May 2, 2022 - The latest flight news to Croatia as the year-round Croatia Airlines Munich-Osijek flight officially launched on Monday.

Today's Croatia Airlines flight on the international route OU4431 Munich - Osijek marked the beginning of the year-round air connection between eastern Croatia and the world. As of today, the Croatian national airline's Munich - Osijek flights are available to passengers throughout the year, twice a week - on Mondays and Fridays. The Dash 8-Q400 aircraft with a capacity of 76 seats will operate on the route, reports Croatian Aviation.

Croatia Airlines established this line in the winter of 2021, for the first time in the company's history, at the initiative of Osijek-Baranja County, the City of Osijek, Osijek-Baranja County Tourist Board, Osijek Tourist Board, and Osijek Airport. The flights were operated from November 15, 2021, to January 14 this year, and thanks to the excellent cooperation of all participants in this project, the achieved results and the quality market demand for flights opened the space for improving the line and it was agreed that the line would work year-round.

This joint project has created a new and quality service, which provides direct air connections between eastern Croatia and abroad, and passengers on this route can catch connecting flights from Munich to destinations around the world.

The introduction of the year-round Osijek-Munich route is an integral part of this year's Croatia Airlines flight schedule, in which the company plans to directly connect Croatia and 21 international destinations, with a total of 41 international flights.

This summer, Croatia Airlines plans to connect Croatia with 21 international destinations, 22 European airports, and fly on 41 international routes. In total, over 16,000 flights and approximately 1,766,000 seats are planned.

Split
Croatia's busiest airport in 2021 has 18 European destinations with Croatian Airlines, which means six new destinations compared to the 2021 summer flight schedule. In addition, five new seasonal lines will be introduced in the first half of June:

Split - Amsterdam (Tuesday)

Split - Bucharest (Wednesdays and Fridays)

Split - Dublin (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays)

Split - Milan (Thursdays and Sundays)

Split - Stockholm (Fridays and Sundays)

In addition to these five lines, travelers will be able to fly from Split to the following European destinations:

Athens

Vienna

Berlin

Düsseldorf

Frankfurt

Copenhagen

London (Heathrow and Gatwick)

Lyon

Munich

Paris

Prague

Rome

Zurich

Zagreb

In the 2022 summer flight schedule, regular international flights from Zagreb to 15 European destinations are planned, which is one additional European destination compared to last year. Namely, passengers will be able to fly to:

Amsterdam

Athens

Barcelona - renewed seasonal line (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays)

Vienna

Brussels

Dublin

Frankfurt

Copenhagen

London

Munich

Paris

Rome (via Split)

Sarajevo

Skopje

Zurich

Dubrovnik
Croatia Airlines plans to directly connect Croatia's southernmost airport with direct international flights from six European destinations:

Athens

Frankfurt

Munich

Paris

Rome

Zurich.

This season, the national airline is also reintroducing Rijeka - Munich flights. In addition to flights to European airports, Croatia Airlines also plans flights between 7 Croatian airports (Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik, Osijek, Zadar, Pula, and Brac). 

For more on flights to Croatia and other travel announcements, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Monday, 2 May 2022

HNL Round 33 Recap: Osijek Drops to 3rd, Hajduk Only 4 Points Behind Dinamo

May 2, 2022 - The 33rd round of the Croatian First League was played from April 29 to May 1, 2022. This round saw Osijek and Istra draw 2:2, which put Hajduk into 2nd just four points behind Dinamo in first place. Here is our HNL round 33 recap. 

Hajduk v. Hr. Dragovoljac (2:1)

Hajduk and Dragovoljac opened the 33rd round on Friday, April 29, 2022, at Poljud Stadium in Split in front of 9,775 fans. 

Nikola Kalinic gave Hajduk the early lead with a goal in the 6th minute for 1:0. Frigan equalized early in the second half for 1:1 in the 51st minute. Marko Livaja secured Hajduk's win in the 87th minute, which ultimately sealed Dragovoljac's fate outside of the Croatian First League next season. 

 

Hajduk is now in 2nd place with 66 points, while Dragovoljac is in the last place with 18. 

Slaven Belupo v. Gorica (2:1)

Belupo and Gorica met on Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Koprivnica in front of 505 fans. 

Babec put Gorica in the lead in the 19th minute for 0:1 at the half. Krstanovic equalized for 1:1 in the 72nd minute and Bozic gave Belupo the victory with a goal in the 81st minute for the final 2:1. 

 

Belupo is currently in 7th place with 34 points, while Gorica is in 6th with 40. 

Sibenik v. Rijeka (3:5)

Sibenik and Rijeka met on Saturday, April 30, 2022, in Sibenik in front of 778 fans. 

Drmic put Rijeka in the lead in the 12th minute while Mesa equalized for 1:1 in the 27th minute. Grezda scored for 2:1 Sibenik less than 10 minutes later and Pavicic scored one minute after that for 2:2 at the half. Kresic put Rijeka back in the lead in the 49th minute for 2:3, and Drmic scored for 2:4 and 2:5 in the 69th and 72nd minutes. Bilic scored for the final 3:5 with 10 minutes to go. 

 

Sibenik is currently in 8th place with 29 points, while Rijeka is in 4th with 61. 

Osijek v. Istra 1961 (2:2)

Osijek and Rijeka met on Sunday, May 1, 2022, at City Garden Stadium in front of 2,668 fans. 

Osijek was up 2:0 in the 12th minute thanks to goals by Lovric and Caktas. Perkovic and Galilea equalized in the 18th and 39th minutes for 2:2 at the half Neither team was able to score in the second half. 

 

Osijek has dropped to 3rd place with 65 points, while Istra is in 9th with 28. 

Lokomotiva v. Dinamo (1:1)

Lokomotiva and Dinamo closed out the 33rd round on Sunday, May 1, 2022, in Zagreb. 

Kulenovic put Lokomotiva in the lead with 1:0 in the 30th minute. Soldo scored an own goal for 1:1, which was the final score. 

 

Lokomotiva is in 5th place with 45 points, while Dinamo is in first with 70. 

You can see the HNL standings HERE

To read more about sports in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Friday, 29 April 2022

48 Hours in Osijek: Slavonian Pot of Content

30th of April 2022 - Green City, Lega City, Bike City, a City on Drava River... Osijek has earned a lot of names through the years and today is one of the most contemporary places in Croatia. A look into how you can spend 48 hours in Osijek.

In recent years, TCN wrote on multiple occasions about how the city of Osijek has every characteristic of a modern European town - culture, history, recreation, developed IT sector, student city with a lot of youth, enormous potential, and so on. Furthermore, the tourist offer became so diverse in the last few years that Osijek became a city for everyone.

For this list, we decided to split time frames into two sections: day one, which would be reserved for relaxing exploration of the city, and day two, for more recreational and exciting options. Now, without further ado, let’s start our 48 hours in Osijek guide!

9.00 a.m - 10.30 a.m 

Every good day needs to start with a good breakfast and what is better than Restaurant Waldinger’s cuisine? Very few. Cozy ambient, calm atmosphere, great food, and the beautiful Osijek Co-cathedral of St Peter and St Paul just down the street with breakfast that stems from Slavonian and traditional to modern and worldly. For day one, we definitely suggest Waldinger.

 

Day two can start with something stronger - food on a stick. Fast food and street food restaurant Hokus Pokus is located just down the street from the previous selection and serves everything from breakfast to dinner. Meaty products aren’t the only food available - veggie options are also proudly displayed in this urban restaurant. Tortillas, kebabs, ćevapčići, and tasty salads are truly a good start for an active day in Osijek.

 

 

11.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m.

Day one can be spent in various ways - just stroll through the city on foot and visit numerous green parks like King Petar Krešimir the Fourth Park that’s surrounded on all four sides by beautiful maple trees and King Tomislav Park which connects European Avenue and Tvrđa with its beautiful row of poplars. Since you’re already there, why not use that opportunity and visit, already mentioned, the old town of Osijek, Tvrđa. It’s the best-preserved ensemble of Baroque buildings in Croatia and has a Habsburg star fort built on the right bank of River Drava. Tvrđa also has a culturally rich Museum of Slavonia, that consists of art and heritage stemming from baroque to recent creations. 

 

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Tvrđa (photo credit: Mario Romulić)

 

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King Petar Krešimir The Fourth Park (photo credit: Mario Romulić)

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 King Tomislav Park (photo credit: Mario Romulić)

 

After Tvrđa, use that time to sit down and have a cup of coffee - an obligation that’s never skipped in Croatia with the view of the Museum of Slavonia, faculties, schools, and old Churches of Saint Michael and Holy Cross.

The recreationally active day two can be used for biking through the city - Osijek has one of the most developed bike tracks in Croatia so if you’re even a little bit interested in being active while on holiday, biking through Osijek is a must.

 

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 City bike routes (screenshot: www.osijek360.com)

While you're biking, cross River Drava over the popular "Bridge of youth", now symbols of Osijek, or take "kompa" and go to Osijek ZOO. "Kompa" is one of the symbols of Osijek as well - a means of transport powered only by Drava River currents transporting residents of Osijek since 1916. There's another option: take both! You can transport your bikes on "kompa" as well.

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 Popular "kompa", faithful "carrier" of Osijek residents since 1916 (photo credit: www.tzosijek.hr)

Osijek ZOO has been founded in 1955 and thanks to the location away from the city noise, it’s the perfect place for the peaceful stay of 80 species of animals. Next to the ZOO, there’s a hotel and catering facility with a children’s playground and a view of River Drava. All of that is near the beautiful Podravina forest. 

 

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Osijek ZOO (photo credit: www.tzosijek.hr)

2.00 p.m. - 4.00 p.m. 

After some sightseeing, day one should surely feature a really good lunch. If you’re near Tvrđa, definitely check out El Paso for traditional Slavonian food and strange location - on a boat on Drava River! Restaurant and pizzeria Strossmayer no.2 is located near Drava River and has already mentioned traditional dishes, however, they have multiple options like dishes from all over Europe, great pizzas and many more, with amazing Slavonian wines like pinot, chardonnay, merlot and graševina.

 

 

Options outside Tvrđa are located near the center of Osijek and its Downtown like restaurants Zeleni Val and Makedonka which are battling for the title of best čevapćići in Osijek. It’s for you to decide, Slavonians are still discussing. All of that soaked with the famous black Radler from Osječko? Name us a better combination.

  

More active day two requires a healthy amount of heavy food (which is a blatant oxymoron) so why not visit pubs which are definitely not lacking in Osijek. Rich beer culture always comes with pub food that can only be found in Croatia. So why not try local beer brews like American Pale Ale, Irish Dry Stout, and Czech Pilsner from Beckers Craft Brewery with homemade hamburgers that make you salivate? Few options are available: Merlon Pub located in the heart of Tvrđa, there is American Bar Dollar in the center of Osijek, and many more.

 

5.00 p.m. - 7.00 p.m. 

After stuffing yourselves with Osijek cuisine, your 48 hours in Osijek can't pass without more sightseeing and why not use that time to visit famous European Avenue. At the beginning of the century, Osijek was the “stage” for European trends in architecture and the biggest trace left Art Nouveau. Walking on the Avenue, you’ll witness magnificent urban villas from that time with the Main Post Office and Urania Cinema, which is one of the oldest working cinemas in Croatia. On the way, visit Sakuntala Park - a specific park that has a sphinx at the entrance. Strange, isn’t it?

 

 

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Museum of Fine Arts Osijek located on European Avenue (screenshot: www.mlu.hr)

 

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Art Nouveau villa at European Avenue in Osijek (photo credit: Mario Romulić)

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Cinema Urania (photo credit: wikiwand.com/Arhitektura_secesije_u_Osijeku)

On the way, you have already mentioned the beautiful Osijek Co-cathedral of St Peter and St Paul which is an ultimate symbol of Osijek. One of the most important people in Croatian culture, Osijek native and icon, Josip Juraj Strossmayer, gave the initiative to build this magnificent neo-gothic building in the 19th century that still stands tall even today. Besides Zagreb Cathedral, Osijek Co-cathedral is the tallest one in Croatia - its grandiose appearance and ethereal atmosphere bring you back to past forgotten times.

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Osijek Co-cathedral of St Peter and St Paul (photo credit: Mario Romulić)

The active second day can be continued with biking near the Drava River, Podravina forests that astonish with its greenery, and used for refreshment on the famous Osijek beach on Drava River Copacabana or how locals call it, “Kopika”. This famous beach went through multiple renovations in recent years and today offers various options for relaxation and hanging out with your friends. If you’re up to it, get rid of your bikes and put on your swimsuits because this feature in our 48 hours in Osijek guide, is most certainly a must.

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Famous Kopika (photo credit: Mario Romulić)

8.00 p.m. - onwards 

After refreshments, it’s time to explore the nightlife in Osijek. This section is for both days in one since options are plentiful and, in most cases, you won’t make a mistake. However, these are the most famous ones that can make any list in Croatia. Definitely visit Radić Street which is teeming with pubs of all kinds and some of them are named after famous European cities - Barcelona and Amsterdam. In the recent past, there were New York and London but unfortunately, they haven’t survived. Even with those two gone, Barcelona and Amsterdam are still the ultimate picks if you want to see where the urban youth of Osijek and other parts of Slavonia love to go. Also, pub quizzes are amazing.

For drink/cocktail connoisseurs we recommend The Craft Room. The Craft Room bar is located right in the center of the town of Osijek. This concept bar is unique in this region because they offer a wide range of Gin and Whiskey from all over the world. Creative cocktails with innovative ingredients and award-winning bartender Miroslav Kljajić make this bar an unavoidable place to visit.

 

 

Beer lovers, do not fret! Gajba, a pub and tasting room, has every beer you want. From pale ales, lagers and so many other homegrown and worldly types of beers, this place is heaven for people who want to explore beer culture, not just of Osijek, but any European brew. If you want to visit soon, come just in time for the Craft Beer Festival that’s organized by, you guessed it, Gajba Pub.  

 

If you think that’s all, it isn’t. Real nightlife is located in Tvrđa, where multiple nightclubs like Memories, Q Club, and more attract youth from Osijek and beyond. Foreign and domestic music “strikes” in all directions but one is an odd one out. If you want to hear Croatian live music tamburitza, go to Fort Pub - the Slavonian atmosphere and excited people make this place even better.

The end of the 48 hours of Osijek is almost done but not before leaving you visit Gold by Waldinger and Slatka Tvornica for some Slavonian sweetness - krempita, cakes, traditional Slavonian sweets, and a cup of coffee with travarica on the side? You can't go wrong.

We will end it here. This is our 48 hours in Osijek and hopefully, this guide will encourage you to come to visit Osijek, the heart of Slavonia. We deliberately left out nature park Kopački rit and the Baranja region because we wanted to emphasize how the city itself has so many things to offer. Still, that doesn't mean you shouldn't visit Baranja and the nature park because, at the end of the day, everything's connected. When talking about Osijek or Slavonia, people always say that the city or the region is underrated. I truly think it's not. What makes this area so beautiful and attractive to visitors is that people are not burdened by unrealistic expectations: we will never have tourist offers like Dubrovnik, Dalmatia, and Istria or the beautiful Adriatic Sea. We know our worth and that's why most of the time tourist goes home with a smile on their face. Charm, humility, and accepting people with open arms are our best tools. That's why Osijek is not underrated - it's properly rated.

Interested in bike tours of Slavonia? Check this article.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

Monday, 25 April 2022

HNL Round 32 Recap: Osijek and Hajduk Fail to Catch Dinamo

April 25, 2022 - The 32nd round of the Croatian First League was held from April 22 to 24, 2022. Rijeka surprised Osijek on Saturday, while Hajduk collected only one point against Belupo, leaving Dinamo comfortably at the top of the table. Here is our HNL round 32 recap. 

Hr. Dragovoljac v. Sibenik (3:1)

Dragovoljac and Sibenik opened the 32nd round on Friday, April 22, 2022, in Zagreb,

Majstorovic scored Dragovoljac's first goal for 1:0 in the 40th minute before Karrica increased the lead to 2:0 two minutes later. Majstorovic scored a penalty to make it 3:0 for Dragovoljac 10 minutes into the second half, while a penalty was also awarded to Sibenik five minutes later. The match ended 3:1. 

 

Dragovoljac is currently in the last place with 18 points, while Sibenik is in 8th with 29. 

Istra 1961 v. Lokomotiva (2:2)

Istra and Lokomotiva met on Saturday, April 23, 2022, in Pula. 

Beljo scored for 1:0 Istra in the 16th minute before Maric equalized 10 minutes later for 1:1 at the half. Caseres put Istra back in the lead in the 68th minute for 2:1, though a final whistle goal by Lokomotiva ended the match in a 2:2 draw. 

 

Istra is currently in 9th place with 27 points, while Lokomotiva is in 5th with 44. 

Rijeka v. Osijek (3:1)

Rijeka and Osijek met on Saturday, April 23, 2022, at Rujevica Stadium. 

Muric scored a penalty for Rijeka in the 19th minute before Drmic made it 2:0 with 10 minutes to go in the first half. Rijeka's third goal was scored in the 43rd minute but annulled by VAR. Drmic made it 3:0 just 3 minutes into the second half. Mance scored one for Osijek in the 65th minute, though they could not do more than that. Another Rijeka goal was called back thanks to VAR in the 76th minute. 

 

Rijeka is currently in 4th place with 58 points, while Osijek is in 2nd with 64. 

Slaven Belupo v. Hajduk (0:0)

Belupo and Hajduk met on Sunday, April 24, 2022, in Koprivnica. 

It was Hajduk's chance to jump ahead of Osijek, knowing they lost to Rijeka the day before. Still, without Livaja, Kalinic, Sahiti, and Vukovic, who suffered cards and injuries from the Dinamo match earlier in the week, they could not do much at all. The game ended 0:0. 

 

Belupo is currently in 7th place with 31 points, while Hajduk is in 3rd with 63. 

Gorica v. Dinamo (0:1)

Gorica and Dinamo closed out the 32nd round on Sunday, April 24, 2022, in Velika Gorica. 

Dinamo was featuring a new coach - former Croatia national team leader Ante Čačić - and knew a win would have them comfortably sitting at the top of the table. However, it took Dinamo 86 minutes before they could score, with Ademi securing their 1:0 victory. 

 

Gorica is currently in 6th place with 40 points, while Dinamo is in 1st with 69. 

You can see the full HNL table HERE.

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

Sunday, 24 April 2022

From Požega to Ilok: Best Bike Tours in Slavonia

24th of April 2022 - A few days ago, the world commemorated Earth Day, so it’s only convenient to present one of the most ecological and recreational ways of transportation - bikes, or in this case, bike tours. A look into the best bike tours in Slavonia.

Spring is in full swing which means a yearly reminder of recreational tourist offers Croatia, or in this case, what Slavonia has to offer. Bicycles are a huge part of Croatian lives. Bike clubs, amateur cyclists, and regular people who want to be part of these events became more and more frequent and stayed part of these movements and events. Of course, with every recreation or hobby, there’s always a potential for tourist opportunities. For example, Dalmatia with its already diverse tourist offers incorporated bike tours, which suit really well with the geographical location of the region. Hilly and somewhat mountainous terrain with the scent of sea salt and a view of the Adriatic Sea, attracts every tourist who wants to experience the beauties of the Dalmatian region recreationally. Even islands like Brač, Hvar, and Korčula where you can transport your bikes with catamarans, have various offers of bike tours. Istria does an amazing job as well and northern Croatia with Međimurje, Zagorje, and Zagreb regions attracts more and more bike lovers every year!

However, the full circle couldn’t be rounded without the region of Slavonia which is doing an amazing job in promoting its land and presents new and creative tourist offers every single year. From Požega and its Golden Valley to the wine roads of Srijem and Baranja, bike tours in Slavonia could easily have one of the best tourist offers in Croatia. So, without further ado, let’s start with the best bike tours in Slavonia.

Vinkovci, Vukovar - Srijem county 

If you want to explore Vinkovci and surrounding places a bit more adventurously, definitely consider these available trails which stretch through the whole Vukovar-Srijem county. There are a few different types of surfaces available - macadam, earth, gravel, grass, and asphalt, which are intended for riding mountain or other types of quality bikes. The trails are marked in blue, red and yellow and they all have one thing in common - the bridge on river Bosut in the center of Vinkovci which is the start of every bike trail. The blue trail is 19 kilometers long and leads from Vinkovci to the village of Borinci to a rural home called “Antin Stan” in Ivankovo and back to Vinkovci. The red one is 15 kilometers long, moving the new dam on Bazjaš canal to the Kunjevci forest and back to the center of Vinkovci. Last official trail is marked with yellow color and is the longest, around 21 kilometers, stretching from bridge on Bosut towards rural house and picnic area Sopot in direction of Rokovci. After that, the trail continues to Kunjevci forest and back to Vinkovci. If you’re ever interested in trying these bike tours, contact the Vinkovci Tourist Board for maps of these routes here.

 

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Apart from these official bike trails, there are a few routes that go further in Vukovar-Srijem county:

  • Danube cycling route (EuroVelo 6) - This one passes along the Danube River and its length is 138 kilometers in Croatia. Probably one of the most popular bike routes in Europe cuts through Vukovar-Srijem county, connects with cycling route Srijem and continues toward the Black Sea. The route can be checked here.
  • Srijem route - Connects the southern area of Vukovar-Srijem county with the northeastern part. Its starting point is the center of Vinkovci near the popular Lamp and goes through Rokovci, Andrijaševci, Cerna, and Gradište towards Cvelferija (9 villages of Županja’s area) then through Gunja, Vrbanja, and Drenovci to the city of Otok.
  • Route Otok - This bike route offers two possibilities: the first one is a ride across Privlaka to the city of Vinkovci and the road from Nuštar and Bogdanovci to Vukovar while the other route is going through the village of Komletinci to Nijemci, towards Tovarnik and Ilok.

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Route Otok and Srijem with other bike tours in Slavonia around Županja area, (Screenshot: tz-zupanja.hr)

Even though the area of Vukovar-Srijem County seems small, it has a lot to offer. Golden fields of wheat and sunflowers that have been just planted, sun in the sky, multiple options for eating and drinking, and most importantly, the people. If you need quick transport, buses and trains are available - most of the time.

Osijek, Osijek - Baranja County 

Besides already mentioned EuroVelo 6 Danube River route that goes through Osijek and its county as well, there is the Greenway Cycling route that connects Croatia and Hungary with the goal of cross border relations, building up tourism and eco-tourism in the area along the Danube-Drava Rivers. There is already a great piece on our dedicated to cycling Total Croatia Cycling site, about the Greenway route and the whole project that took place in 2016. You can read it here.

Another European bike route goes through Slavonia - EuroVelo 13 or “Iron Curtain Trail”. The name stems from the fact that the border was part of the infamous “Iron Curtain”. Beautiful landscape, pristine forests, Drava River in all its glory, and of course gorgeous cities along the way - Beli Manastir, Belišče, Valpovo, Donji Miholjac, Koprivnica, and many more. Of course, great food and drinks for relaxation. For more information about this route, check here.

When it comes to cycle tourism, Osijek and Baranja regions are top-notch. It’s not a surprise that Osijek has the most cycle paths in Croatia which spread through the whole city. If you own a good bike and love cycling moreover public transport, Osijek is a great city for you. Here are a few suggested bike tours exploring Osijek and its surroundings:

  • OSIJEK - UŠĆE KARAŠICE - OSIJEK: This route starts from the city of Osijek and goes to Višnjevac. After that, there is a wooden bridge towards the west that continues through beautiful forests and natural landscapes near the Drava River. The route stretches all the way to fishing house located on mouth of Karašica and Drava rivers. The length of the route is around 20 kilometers and it’s not particularly complicated. Suited for mountain and track bicycles. You can check the details of the route here.
  • OSIJEK - KOPAČEVO - BILJE - OSIJEK: This time, the best city exit is the one towards Podravlje where the ride goes to Kopačevo and the reception center of Kopački rit. Beautiful landscape and the only traffic participants are cyclists, pedestrians, and animals. From there, the route goes through Kopačevo, Bilje in Baranja all the way to Osijek. This bike route is around 32 kilometers long and suitable bicycles are mountain and tracking ones. Visual details can be found here.

A few others are:

  • KOPAČEVO - ZLATNA GREDA - TIKVEŠ - KOPAČEVO, route details
  • BIZOVAC – ČOKADINCI – KOŠKA – LADIMIREVCI – BIZOVAC, route details
  • KNEŽEVI VINOGRADI – KOTLINA – KAMENAC – KARANAC – KNEŽEVI VINOGRADI, route details.

On the other hand, Baranja used its tourist offer of great food, wines, and other products and, most importantly, beautiful wine yards that unfurl through the whole region to the maximum.

Wine roads are the most popular routes in Osijek - Baranja County, so it’s not surprising that out of a total of twelve tourist and wine roads in the county, just in Baranja are eight. During these bike tours, tourists can visit multiple wine cellars along the way and explore beautiful landscapes. For all details about wine bike tours in Baranja, check here. Beautiful nature park Kopački rit also included bike tours recently for an easier and more exciting experience of Slavonian nature and enriched tourist offer even more. Check the website here.

Požega, Požega - Slavonia County 

When we talk about cycling or any other type of recreation, we have to mention the center of Slavonia. The Hilly mountain terrain of old Slavonian mountains Papuk, Psunj, and Krntija, make this region even more exciting for bike lovers. Thirty marked bike trails make Požega - Slavonia County a place for one of the best bike tours in Slavonia. Besides the already mentioned EuroVelo route and other state bike trails, Požega and its surroundings offer an amazing variety of bike trails for everyone. If you thought Slavonia is flat, you’ve been grossly deceived. The landscape around nature park Papuk is a great reason anybody trying these routes needs to have high-level body fitness.

  • The so-called “Green route” that passes through the Požega Wine region - beautiful wine yards (almost similar to Ilok’s or Baranja’s wine roads), hills, and exquisite views of old mountains. Route details.
  • Požega vistas trail is another one that stands out in that region - This trail has all sorts of terrains - from asphalt ones in the old town of Požega to forest trails and open landscapes with dirt roads, all the way to Požeška gora and trails and obstacles that pumps up the adrenaline, passing by old wells and trails of old, ancient life and back to Požega. Route details.
  • The trail through fields and meadows - goes through traditional Slavonian villages and hilly places rich with agriculture. Exciting long upward and downward roads between villages and eventually back to Požega. Route details.

For more details about the most exciting bike tours in Slavonia, definitely check here.

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Papuk (photo credit: Mario Romulić)

To conclude this list, we need to shoutout few honorable mentions that definitely deserve their own article: off-road routes of Virovitica - Podravina County, muddy, exciting forest roads around rivers, sunny fields of Podravina, and glimpses of Western Slavonia, which has probably one of the best bike trails in Croatia. Pannonian bike roads pass through the calm landscapes, across the hills, through the woods and fields, along rivers, streams, and lakes. With the wind on your face, definitely discover the beauty of Pannonian cycling trails. For more details, check here.

Slavonski Brod and Brod-Posavina County with a must-visit to the monumental Brod Fortress, the largest of continental Croatia with its unique Tambura Museum. Posavina villages of Klakar, Donja, and Gornja Bebrina offer even more pleasures and forests that express the greenest places in Slavonia. Lipik, Pakrac and their Lipizzaner and Kuna Trail... What are you waiting for? For more details, check counties official website.

After an exhaustive analysis that can reach five more such articles, it’s only left of us to invite you and visit these beautiful places. From Požega to Ilok, these truly are one of the best bike tours in Slavonia, but not just that - in Croatia as well. For more cycling articles, visit our dedicated website.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

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