Wednesday, 4 August 2021

48 Hours in Šibenik: Fortress, Museum, Krka National Park with Šibenik Card

August 4, 2021 – Allowing free entrance to the city's best sights, plus discounts on everything from restaurants, activities, accommodation and a National Park, you can unlock the UNESCO city for less with Šibenik Card.

No fewer than 200 of Croatia's islands lie off the coast of Šibenik city and the wider Šibenik-Knin County. These are some of the very best waters for sailing in Croatia. Also, less than half an hour away, one of the most famous music festival sites in Europe (not to mention one of the best open-air nightclubs in the world).

Thousands of visitors pass within striking distance of Šibenik. Everyone has heard of the famous city – its famous fortresses, its Michelin-starred restaurant (Pelegrini), its Old Town, its UNESCO cathedral and its well-known events. There are countless reasons why anyone on holiday nearby should definitely make a stop in Šibenik. And, now there's one more.

Tvravasv._Mihovila.jpg

Šibenik Card is a VIP passport to the city's best attractions. From the city's UNESCO Heritage Sites and Fortresses to Museums and boat trips, you'll get free entrance to many of the city's must-see destinations with Šibenik Card. Even greater is the discount offer that Šibenik Card also carries. Bargain price visits to Krka National Park, activities like canoeing, kayaking and cycling, restaurants even accommodation are included in the Šibenik Card discount scheme.

In fact, there are so many great things to see and do in Šibenik, you'd be well advised to set aside a long weekend or at least 48 hours if you want to truly discover this magical, reinvented city. Here's a suggested itinerary for two days in the city and how you can make the tour with the Šibenik card.

Šibenik Card: Day 1

8am: Cycling / Kayaking / Windsurfing in Šibenik

_MG_9430rygujtkr45.JPG

There are several great activities you can do if you want to get to know the geography of Šibenik. Kayaking will let you see the shoreline from close up. Windsurfing gives a wider perspective on the channel, not that you'll have much time for idly spectating on this thrilling ride. Taking a cycling tour between the city and either of the peninsula's between the centre and the open Adriatic is seriously one of the very best things to do in Šibenik. Amazing!

If you're visiting in summer, plan such activities for early in the morning, or late in the afternoon. Certainly, you can do activities during the strongest hours of summer sunshine in Šibenik – just make sure to apply generous amounts of high factor sunblock (a hat is also a good idea!). Alternatively, why not visit Šibenik for a long weekend in May, September or October. These months hold perfect warm, sunny days in which you can enjoy the great outdoors all day.

You receive 20% discount on all these activities with your Šibenik Card.

10.30am: Circle Boat Line / St. Nicholas Fortress

Sibenik_Aerial_100.jpg

After getting your blood circulating first thing in the morning, you deserve to sit back, relax and let someone else do the work. There are few better ways to do this in Šibenik than on a boat. Why not take the Circle boat line? It's completely free with your Šibenik Card and it will allow you to cross all of the key points of the city's waterfront without ever going near a road. You can get on and off as many times as you like with your Šibenik card.

Alternatively, if you want to get acquainted with one of Šibenik's two UNESCO Heritage Sites, why not take the boat tour to St. Nicholas Fortress? You'll never have seen anything like it before. The photos are impressive enough, but they really don't depict the full offer. Not only are the fortress guides among the best in the city, but also there's a fascinating augmented reality aspect awaiting when you arrive.

You receive 20% discount on a guided tour of St. Nicholas Fortress with your Šibenik Card, including return boat trip from the city centre and down St. Anthony's channel.

1pm: Lunch

Some of Šibenik's best bars and restaurants offer generous discounts from your bill on the Šibenik Card, including;

-20%

Restoran Mendula, Ul. kralja Tomislava 15 A

SHE bio bistro, Zlarinski pro. 2

Bistro i kavana Pucalina, Ulica kralja Tomislava 9

-15%

Bistro Luce & Brigita, Obala dr. Franje Tuđmana 10A

-10%

Restoran Stari Grad, Obala dr. Franje Tuđmana 7

Restoran Pjat, Trg Pavla Šubića I 3

Pub & Wine bar Scala, Put Gimnazije 5

Restoran Peškarija, Obala palih omladinaca 10A

Restoran Stari Grad, Obala dr. Franje Tuđmana

2.30pm: Šibenik City Museum

66953.jpg

Perhaps one of the most understated parts of the city offer, Šibenik City Museum holds fascinating exhibits of pottery, tools and architecture. You can trace the history of the peoples, culture and even the cuisine of those who've lived in the Šibenik area for millennia.

Free admission with Šibenik Card.

3.15pm: Civitas Sacra Museum

Civitas-Sacra-3.jpg

This cool and interactive museum tells the tale of the long and revolutionary construction of Šibenik's St. James Cathedral. Still very much a focal point of the city's Catholic worship, this museum is the best place to learn about the cathedral without intruding on solemn worship and attendance. It's the perfect place to visit in preparation for seeing the real thing up close.

Free admission with Šibenik Card.

4pm: St. James Cathedral

Cathedral_of_St._James_1.JPG

A UNESCO World Heritage site, Cathedral of St. James is a Renaissance masterpiece that took a century to build. On its facade are 71 different sculpted faces, said to be former residents of the town or contributors to the building. Try to look at as many as you can. You might be very surprised to see how some of Šibenik's former residents looked! After you've taken in the brilliant white exterior, prepare your senses for the celebration of colour inside.

Free admission with Šibenik Card.

5.30pm: Šibenik Old Town

_MG_9596rtgyik.JPG

One of the greatest pleasures of a visit to Šibenik is an unhurried walk around its Old Town. It is an incredibly atmospheric place, with countless unique winding alleys and stone stairways. Keep a look out for some fascinating architecture on your journey.

Unlike some ancient architecture in Croatia, the walls of Šibenik Old Town are completely free to walk around.

7pm: St Michael's Fortress

IMG_92685t46372wuidjhfyru.JPG

The first of Šibenik's fortresses to be renovated, St Michael's Fortress is one of the most iconic buildings in the city. Few pieces of architecture represent Šibenik better than this. Inside the fortress, you'll walk through floor-to-ceiling displays and find out about the former life of the fortress and its residents. From the roof, you'll enjoy spectacular views of the entire city, the Old Town and St. Anthony's channel. In the height of summer, this view is best enjoyed in the morning - before it becomes too hot - or at sunset. Unforgettable, as is catching a music, dance or culture event in 1000-seat theatre that now sits atop St Michael's.

Free admission with Šibenik Card.

8.00pm: Šibenik events

220568115_4177946075619580_7146650542970197098_n3edijcmhgjfdkl.jpg

Throughout the whole year, Šibenik is alive with events. Depending on when you visit, you might find gastro festivals and cultural discussions in city parks, Children's processions through winding stone streets, dance festivals on public squares, incredible traditional and classical music performances and animation films projected on large screens in the heart of the city. Locals and visitors alike gather on the streets to enjoy. This is a city where some of the best culture takes place outside. And you're warmly invited to join in.

Šibenik's street events are all completely free.

9.00pm: Dinner

Dinner discounts are the same as those at lunch within restaurants accepting the Šibenik Card (see above).

11pm: A great night's sleep

You can get discounts at some of the city's very best accommodation offers with , including rooms to suit every budget or necessity. They include;

Amadria Park Resort 4* – 10% discount with Šibenik Card

Superior City Hotel Bellevue 4* – 15% discount with Šibenik Card

Heritage Hotel Life Palace 4* – 15% discount with Šibenik Card

D-Resort Šibenik 4* – 15% regular rooms, 20% accessible rooms

Hostel Scala – 10% discount with Šibenik Card

Šibenik Card: Day 2

8am: Krka National Park

217968333_4155018567912331_8628726293723656276_n.jpg

7 magical waterfalls, boat rides to island monasteries, Neolithic caves, Roman heritage, an eco-ethno village, freshwater swimming, traditional cuisine, wildlife, spectacular nature, hiking and cycling trails. You could spend a week exploring Krka National Park and not get tired of the landscape or its offer. Unmissable.

20% discount at each of the Krka National Park entrances, throughout the whole year, with Šibenik Card.

1.30pm: Lunch

Back to the city for lunch in one of the restaurants accepting Šibenik Card.

3pm: Aquarium and Terrarium

aquarium.jpg

Discover the world of Adriatic fish and plants as well as some tropical varieties. This is the perfect place to escape the heat of a midsummer afternoon.

Free with Šibenik Card

4pm: Šibenik Zip Line

Race across the spectacular scenery of the Cikola River Canyon, on the edge of Krka National Park, on Šibenik Zip Line. You'll run along a course of three separate lines, suspended hundreds of metres above the canyon floor. Thrillseekers will not be disappointed.

20% discount with Šibenik Card

5.30pm: Shopping in Šibenik

_MG_9462234rtgvfdirujhndfc.JPG

Searching for souvenirs from your time in Croatia? Looking to take back home something unique, handcrafted or locally designed? Want to pick up some nice new sunglasses for the rest of your holiday? There's nowhere better than the big city for shopping. A wide range of city stores and services offer discount with Šibenik Card. They include

Optika Glavadanovic –20%

Deni Design –20%

Gallery Juraj Dalmatinac –20%

Souvenir Shop Skrinjica –20%

Lana Art Gallery –20%

8.00pm: Barone Fortress

148634907_3710909032323289_8739173190972631043_n.jpgView from Barone

The most recently renovated of all Šibenik's fortresses (although, there's one more on the way!), Barone Fortress is unique in several ways. Firstly, it currently holds the most advanced augmented reality section of all the city fortresses. These vividly unlock the history of the building and the city. Secondly, this is the highest and furthest back of all the forts. As a result, the views you get from Barone are breathtaking, not least the sunset. Enjoy it with a glass of wine from the cool bar you'll find on the fortress top.

Free entrance with Šibenik Card

9.30pm: Dinner

Back to the city centre for dinner in one of the restaurants accepting Šibenik Card.

Old_city_from_Banj_Beach.jpg

11pm: Romantic walk by moonlight along Šibenik waterfront, the perfect end to 48 hours in Šibenik.

IMG_928856789o.JPG

You can buy Šibenik Card at:

Slaptours/Avalon Agency, Obala hrvatske mornarice 1, Šibenik.

Civitas Sacra, Interpretation Centre of the Cathedral of St. James, Kralja Tomislava 10, Šibenik.

Amadria Park Šibenik.

Souvenir shops in Amadria Park hotels.

Šibenik Tourist Board office, Tourist Information Center, Fausta Vrančića 18, or Obala palih omladinaca 3, Šibenik.

Vinoplod Winery Shop, Velimira Škorpika 2, Šibenik.

CoWorking space – Trokut Šibenik, Velimira Škorpika 7, Šibenik.

Or you can download a digital version to most phones here

Single card: 140 kn (approximately 19 €)

Family card - 2 adults, any number of children: 340 kn (approximately 45 €)

All photos © Šibenik Tourist Board or Marc Rowlands

Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Unique and UNESCO: The Fascinating and Futuristic Fortresses of Šibenik

May 12, 2021 – Using vivid modern techniques like 3D mapping and augmented reality, each of the Fortresses of Šibenik is unique. Here, we take a closer look at these fascinating, must-visit venues.

The city of Šibenik is surrounded by some of the most distinctive waters in Dalmatia. To the city's northeast, the great Krka river drops over gushing waterfalls, meeting Cikola river in the epic Krka National Park. Thereafter, it flows first into Lake Prokljan, then the bay of Šibenik. Around the water's edge in Šibenik, people enjoying in bars and restaurants. Or, in warmer months, sunbathing and swimming in the sea.

in_the_Channel_of_St._Ante.jpgThe Channel of St. Ante, with the City of Šibenik in the background and St. Nikola's Fortress in the foreground @ TZ Šibenik.

And yet, these special waters are not the only thing that makes Šibenik unique. There's much more to this city than just the sea. Not least, the unique Fortresses of Šibenik.

Actually, it's not that unusual to find a fortress, castle or fortifications in Croatian cities. After all, for several hundred years, this was the frontline of European defense against the invading Ottoman empire. However, Šibenik is unique within the entire Balkan region to have not one, but four fortresses from that era. Not only are they very well preserved, but also they have been completely renovated and thoroughly modernized.

Surprising multimedia and fascinating digital content now combine with fantastic views and unique architecture to draw visitors to the Fortresses of Šibenik. Subsequently, the four Fortresses of Šibenik now make up an unmissable part of any visit to the city.

Fortresses of Šibenik: St. Michael's Fortress


REFoto_izvor_Tvrava_kulture_6.jpgFortresses of Šibenik: St. Michael's Fortress @ TZ Šibenik.

The oldest of the four fortresses of Šibenik, iconic St. Michael's is today known as one of the most prestigious open-air concert stages on this side of the Adriatic. But, it also a place where you can learn fascinating history via spectacular modern technology. Deep within the fortress, 3D mapping techniques make 15th-century water tanks spring to life. This vivid display will transport you through centuries of exciting Šibenik history, including the story of St. Michael and the dragon.

Foto_izvor_Tvrava_kulture_3.jpgVivid multimedia trails through the Fortresses of Šibenik @ TZ Šibenik.

Fortresses of Šibenik: Barone Fortress


reFoto_izvor_Tvrava_kulture_14.jpgBarone Fortress @ TZ Šibenik.

The latest of the four Fortresses of Šibenik to be renovated, in Barone Fortress you get a whole new dimension of reality. Actually, Barone Fortress successfully repelled the fiercest attacks of the Ottomans in the 17th century and therefore changed the course of history in this area. Via augmented reality (AR), you can relive the sights and sounds of these key moments in European history. After the thrill of experiencing the battles, you'd be well advised to take a breather on the Barone Bar’s terrace. There, you can enjoy views of the entire city, while any younger visitors can have fun on the children’s playground.

REEEFoto_izvor_Tvrava_kulture_4.jpgVivid multimedia trails through the Fortresses of Šibenik @ TZ Šibenik.

Fortresses of Šibenik: St. Nikola's Fortress


REPHOTO_2.jpgFortresses of Šibenik: The UNESCO-protected St. Nikola's Fortress @ TZ Šibenik.

Within the Fortresses of Šibenik, St. Nicholas is unique. Not only is it the only one that sits on its own island within the sea, but also is a unique Renaissance-style Venetian fortification. As such, it is protected as a UNESCO monument of world architectural heritage.

The fortress was built on the island of Ljuljevac, in the Channel of St. Ante, where the waters of Šibenik bay meet the Adriatic. Owing to its protected status, the best way to access the fortress is on an official tour. Lasting around two hours, the tour takes you from Šibenik down the channel by boat. After arriving at the fortress, you're guided rounded the structure on a tour detailing the architectural highlights and history.

NickySibenik_Aerial_100.jpgFortresses of Šibenik: The UNESCO-protected St. Nikola's Fortress @ TZ Šibenik.

Fortresses of Šibenik: St. John's Fortress


johntvrdavasvivan04.jpgSt. John's Fortress @ TZ Šibenik.

The medieval church of St. John the Baptist that once stood on a hill, north of Šibenik's historical centre, dates to at least 1444. It is around this church that St. John's Fortress rose up. Naturally, it's also where the name comes from. In early 1646, when it was speedily built, alongside its peers, it helped save the city from the Ottomans. Later, it continued to be used by resident armies all the way up until the times of Yugoslavia. Today, St. John's is the last of the Fortresses of Šibenik to be undergoing reconstruction. Its completion is imminent and its official reopening is planned for September 2021.

Three of the Fortresses of Šibenik are included in the pan-European Fortresses of FORTITUDE project, which links significant sites in Croatia to some in Montenegro and Bosnia. If you want to know more about that project - and learn a little more about the history of some Šibenik fortresses, then look here.

Friday, 19 February 2021

People also ask Google: What is Croatia Famous For?

February 19, 2021 – What is Croatia Famous For?

People outside of the country really want to know more about Croatia. They search for answers online.

Here, we'll try to answer the popular search terms “What is Croatia famous for?” and “What is Croatia known for?”

Most of the people looking for answers to these questions have never been to Croatia. They may have been prompted to ask because they're planning to visit Croatia, they want to come to Croatia, or because they heard about Croatia on the news or from a friend.

What Croatia is known for depends on your perspective. People who live in the country sometimes have a very different view of what Croatia is famous for than the rest of the world. And, after visiting Croatia, people very often leave with a very different opinion of what Croatia is known for than before they came. That's because Croatia is a wonderful country, full of surprises and secrets to discover. And, it's because internet searches don't reveal everything. Luckily, you have Total Croatia News to do that for you.

What is Croatia known for?

1) Holidays


adriatic-sea-4393182_1920.jpg

Croatia is best known globally as a tourist destination. Catching sight of pictures of the country online is enough to make almost anyone want to come. If you've heard about it from a friend, seen the country used in a TV show like Game of Thrones or Succession, or watched a travel show, your mind will be made up. Following such prompts, it's common for Croatia to move to first place on your bucket list. If it's not already, it should be, There are lots of reasons why Croatia is best known for holidays (vacations).

a) Islands


Mljet-NP-Panorama-Cijelog-Otoka-small-1536x771aaaakjdsfkjasfbkajs.jpg

What is Croatia famous for? Islands © Mljet National Park

Within Croatia's tourist offer, its most famous aspect is its islands. Croatia has over a thousand islands - 1246 when you include islets. 48 Croatian islands are inhabited year-round, but many more come to life over the warmer months. Sailing in Croatia is one of the best ways to see the islands, and if you're looking for a place for sailing in the Mediterranean, Croatia is the best choice because of its wealth of islands. These days, existing images of Croatia's islands have been joined by a lot more aerial photography and, when people see these, they instantly fall in love.

b) Beaches


Golden_Cape.jpg
What is Croatia famous for? Its holidays are famous for their beaches © Szabolcs Emich

Croatia has 5835 kilometres of coastline on the Adriatic Sea - 1,777.3 kilometres of coast on the mainland, and a further 4,058 kilometres of coast around its islands and islets. The Croatian coast is the most indented of the entire Mediterranean. This repeated advance and retreat into the Adriatic forms a landscape littered with exciting, spectacular peninsulas, quiet, hidden bays, and some of the best beaches in the world. There are so many beaches in Croatia, you can find a spot to suit everyone. On the island of Pag and in the Zadar region, you'll find beaches full of young people where the party never stops. Elsewhere, romantic and elegant seafood restaurants hug the shoreline. Beach bars can range from ultra-luxurious to basic and cheap. The beaches themselves can be popular and full of people, facilities, excitement and water sports, or they can be remote, idyllic, and near-deserted, accessible only by boat. Sand, pebble, and stone all line the perfectly crystal-clear seas which are the common feature shared by all.

c) Dubrovnik


Ivankovoooooooooooooo.jpg
What is Croatia famous for? Dubrovnik © Ivan Ivanković

As a backdrop to Game Of Thrones and movies from franchises like Star Wars and James Bond, Dubrovnik is known all over the world. Everybody wants to see it in person, and that's why it's an essential stop-off for so many huge cruise ships in warmer months. But, Dubrovnik's fame did not begin with the invention of film and television. The city was an autonomous city-state for long periods of time in history, and Dubrovnik was known all over Europe – the famous walls which surround the city of Dubrovnik are a testament to a desire to maintain its independent standing for centuries while living in the shadow of expanding, ambitious empires.

d) Heritage


amphitheater-261115_1920.jpg
What is Croatia famous for? Heritage. Pula amphitheatre is one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world

The walled city of Dubrovnik is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Croatia's rich architectural and ancient heritage. Diocletian's Palace in Split is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and still the living, breathing centre of life in the city (that people still live within it and it is not preserved in aspic is one of its most charming features and no small reason for its excellent preservation).

Having existed on the line of European defence against the Ottoman empire, Croatia also has many incredible fortresses and castles. The fortresses of Sibenik are well worth seeing if you're visiting Sibenik-Knin County and its excellent coast. A small number of Croatia's best castles exist on the coast, Rijeka's Trsat and Nova Kraljevica Castle is nearby Bakar being two of them. Most of Croatia's best and prettiest castles are actually located in its continental regions which, compared to the coast, remain largely undiscovered by most international tourists.

crosssjhstfhd.jpg
Many spectacular castles in the country's continental regions are, for these parts, what is Croatia famous for

Pula amphitheatre (sometimes referred to as Pula Arena) is one of the largest and best-preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world. A spectacular sight year-round, like Diocletian's Palace, it remains a living part of the city's life, famously hosting an international film festival, concerts by orchestras, opera stars, and famous rock and pop musicians. Over recent years, it has also played a part in the city's music festivals.

e) Music Festivals


imagechriskws.jpg
What is Croatia famous for? Music festivals © Khris Cowley

There is a very good reason why the city of Pula leapt massively up the list of most-researched online Croatian destinations over the last decade. It played host to two of the country's most famous international music festivals. Though the music at some of these can be quite niche, the global attention they have brought to the country is simply massive. Clever modern branding and marketing by the experienced international operators who host their festivals in Croatia mean that millions of young people all over the world have seen videos, photos and reviews of Croatia music festivals, each of them set within a spectacular backdrop of seaside Croatia.

f) Plitvice Lakes and natural heritage


plitwitz-67175_1280.jpg
What is Croatia Famous For? Plitvice Lakes, national parks and natural heritage

Known for its chain of 16 terraced lakes and gushing waterfalls, Plitvice Lakes is the oldest, biggest and most famous National Park in Croatia. Everybody wants to see it. And many do. But that's not the be-all and end-all of Croatia's stunning natural beauty. Within the country's diverse topography, you'll find 7 further National Parks and 12 Nature Parks which can be mountain terrain, an archipelago of islands, or vibrant wetlands.

2) Football


Modrić_World_Cup_2018.jpg
What is Croatia famous for? Football. Seen here, Luka Modric at the 2018 World Cup © Светлана Бекетова

The glittering international careers of Croatian footballers Luka Modrić, Ivan Rakitić, Ivan Perišić, Mario Mandžukić, and others have in recent years advertised Croatia as a factory of top-flight footballing talent. They helped put Croatia football on the map with fans of European football. Football fans in Croatia have a very different perception of just how famous Croatian football is to everyone else in the world. If you talk to a Croatian fan about football, it's almost guaranteed that they will remind you of a time (perhaps before either of you were born) when their local or national team beat your local or national team in football. 99% of people will have no idea what they are talking about. The past occasions which prompt this parochial pride pale into insignificance against the Croatian National Football Team's achievement in reaching the World Cup Final of 2018. This monumental occasion brought the eyes of the world on Croatia, extending way beyond the vision of regular football fans. Subsequently, the internet exploded with people asking “Where is Croatia?”

Sports in general are what is Croatia known for

143299314_166758951912742_8157734674376052357_n.jpg

Croatians are enthusiastic about sports and engage in a wide number of them. The difference in perception between how Croats view the fame this gets them and the reality within the rest of the world is simply huge. Rowing, basketball, wrestling, mixed martial arts, tennis, handball, boxing, waterpolo, ice hockey, skiing and volleyball are just some of the sports in which Croatia has enthusiastically supported individuals and local and national teams. Some of these are regarded as minority sports even in other countries that also pursue them. Croatians don't understand this part. If you say to a Croatian “What is handball? I never heard of that,” they will look at you like you are crazy or of below-average intelligence.

3) Zagreb


zagreb-2133033_1920.jpg
What is Croatia famous for? Its capital city Zagreb is becoming increasingly better known

Over relatively recent years, the Croatian capital has skyrocketed in terms of fame and visitor numbers. Tens of thousands of people from all over the world now come to visit Zagreb each year. Its massive new success can be partly attributed to the rising popularity of international tourism in some areas of Asia (and Zagreb being used as a setting for some television programmes made in some Asian countries) and the massive success of Zagreb's Advent which, after consecutively attaining the title of Best European Christmas Market three times in a row, has become famous throughout the continent and further still. Zagreb's fame is not however restricted to tourism. Zagreb is known for its incredible Austro-Hungarian architecture, its Upper Town (Gornji Grad) and the buildings there, an array of museums and city centre parks and as home to world-famous education and scientific institutions, like to Ruder Boskovic Institute and the Faculty of Economics, University of Zagreb.

4) Olive oil


olive-oil-1596639_1280.jpg
What is Croatia famous for? Olive oil

Croatian olive oil is the best in the world. Don't just take out word for it! Even the experts say so. In 2020, leading guide Flos Olei voted Istria in northwest Croatia as the world's best olive oil growing region for a sixth consecutive year. Olive oil production is an ancient endeavour in Croatia, and over hundreds of years, the trees have matured, and the growers learned everything there is to know. Olive oil is made throughout a much wider area of Croatia than just Istria, and local differences in climate, variety, and soil all impact the flavour of the oils produced. Croatian has no less than five different olive oils protected at a European level under the designation of their place of origin. These and many other Croatian olive oils are distinct and are among the best you're ever likely to try.

5) There was a war here


AnyConv.com__1440px-Yugoslaw_Army_destroyed_this_Hotel_in_Kupari_Croatia.jpg
What is Croatia famous for? A relatively recent war left its mark on the country © Modzzak

Under rights granted to the republics of the former Yugoslavia and with a strong mandate from the Croatian people, gained across two national referendums, Croatia declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Yugoslavia was a multi-ethnic country, with each republic containing a mixture of different ethnicities and indeed many families which themselves were the product of mixed ethnicities. Ethnic tensions and the rise of strong nationalist political voices in each of the former republics and within certain regions of these countries lead to a situation where war became inevitable. The worst of the fighting was suffered within Croatia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina and the part of southern Serbia which is now Kosovo. The Croatian War of Independence (known locally as the Homeland War) lasted from 1991 – 1995. The Yugoslav wars of which it was a major part is regarded as the deadliest conflict in Europe since World War II. In many cases, this war pitted neighbouring houses or neighbouring villages against each other and sometimes members of the same family could be found on opposing sides. The war left huge damage on the country and its infrastructure, some of which is still visible. Worse still, it had a much greater physical and psychological impact on the population. Some people in Croatia today would rather not talk about the war and would prefer to instead talk about the country's present and future. For other people in Croatia, the war remains something of an obsession. If you are curious about the Croatian War of Independence, it is not advisable to bring it up in conversation when you visit the country unless you know the person you are speaking with extremely well. It is a sensitive subject for many and can unnecessarily provoke strong emotions and painful memories. There are many resources online where you can instead read all about the war, there are good documentary series about it on Youtube and there are several museums in Croatia where you can go and learn more, in Vukovar, Karlovac and in Zagreb.

6) Wine


plenkovicwino.jpg
What is Croatia famous for? Its wine is some of the best you'll ever try © Plenković

Croatia is not really that famous for wine. Well, not as famous as it should be because Croatia makes some of the greatest wine on the planet. Croatian wine is only really famous to those who have tried it after visiting – you'll never forget it! A growing cabal of Croatian wine enthusiasts are trying their best internationally to spread the word about Croatian wine. However, there isn't really that much space in Croatia to make all the wine it needs to supply its homegrown demands and a greatly increased export market. Therefore, export prices of Croatian wine are quite high and even when it does reach foreign shores, these prices ensure its appreciation only by a select few. There's a popular saying locally that goes something like this “We have enough for ourselves and our guests”. Nevertheless, Croatian wine is frequently awarded at the most prestigious international competitions and expos. White wine, red wine, sparkling wine, cuvee (mixed) and rose wine are all made here and Croatia truly excels at making each. You can find different kinds of grape grown and wine produced in the different regions of Croatia. The best way to learn about Croatian wine is to ask someone who really knows about wine or simply come to Croatia to try it. Or, perhaps better still, don't do that and then there will be more for those of us who live here. Cheers!

7) Croatian produce


_DSC5692_DxOdrnipops.jpg
Drniš prsut
is protected at a European level, one of 32 products currently protected in this way and therefore what is Croatia famous for © Tourist Board of Drniš

To date, 32 agricultural and food products from Croatia have attained protection at a European level. These range from different prosciuttos, olive oils and Dalmatian bacon, to pastries and pastas, honey, cheese, turkeys, lamb, cabbages, mandarins, salt, sausages, potatoes and something called Meso 'z tiblice (which took a friend from the region where it's made three days to fully research so he could explain it to me at the levels necessary to write an informed article about it – so, you can research that one online). While some prosciutto, bacon, sausages, olive oil and wine do make it out of Croatia, much of these are snaffled up by a discerning few of those-in-the-know. The rest, you will only really be able to try if you visit. And, there are many other items of Croatian produce which are known which you can also try while here

Truffles


paukkkk.jpg
What is Croatia known for? Truffles © Donatella Paukovic

By weight, one of the most expensive delicacies in the world, truffles are a famous part of the cuisine within some regions of Croatia. They feature heavily in the menu of Istria, which is well known as a region in which both white and black truffles are found and then added to food, oils or other products. Truth be told, this isn't a black and white issue - there are a great number of different types of truffle and they can be found over many different regions in Croatia, including around Zagreb and in Zagreb County. But, you'll need to see a man about a dog if you want to find them yourself.

Vegeta


1376x860-9ef61aac-4c1b-11ea-85b3-92f307bc0925feewedshg.png
What is Croatia known for? Vegeta

Having celebrated its 60th birthday in 2019, the cooking condiment Vegeta is exported and known in many other countries, particularly Croatia's close neighbours. It is popularly put into soups and stews to give them more flavour. Among its ingredients are small pieces of dehydrated vegetables like carrot, parsnip, onion, celery, plus spices, salt and herbs like parsley.

Chocolate


AlexandeSteinsfhagdba.jpg
What is Croatia known for? Chocolate is a big export© Alexander Stein

Though making chocolate is only around a century old in Croatia, Croatian chocolate has grown to become one of its leading manufactured food exports. Some of the most popular bars may be a little heavy on sugar and low on cocoa for more discerning tastes. But, lots of others really like it.

Beer


untitled_panorama-1beerystu.jpg
What is Croatia famous for? Its beer is becoming more famous internationally © The Garden Brewery

The exploding growth of the Croatian craft ale scene over the last 10 years is something that is likely to have passed you by, unless you're a regular visitor to the country, a beer buff or both. Most of the producers are quite small and production not great enough to make a big splash on international markets. However, even within a craft-flooded current market, Croatian beer is becoming more widely known – in one poll, the Zagreb-based Garden Brewery was in 2020 voted Europe's Best Brewery for the second consecutive year

8) Innovation


nikola-tesla-hrvatska_600_804yes.jpg
What is Croatia famous for? Pioneers, inventors and innovation. Nikola Tesla was born here

From the parachute, fingerprinting, the retractable pen and the tungsten filament electric light-bulb to the torpedo, modern seismology, the World Health Oganisation and the cravat (a necktie, and the precursor to the tie worn by many today), Croatia has gifted many innovations to the world. The list of pioneers - scientists, artists, researchers and inventors - who were born here throughout history is long. And, although innovation is not currently regarded as experiencing a golden period in Croatia, there are still some Croatian innovators whose impact is felt globally, such as electric hypercar maker Mate Rimac.

9) Being poor


skint.jpg
What is Croatia famous for? Being poor. Yikes!

The minimum wage in Croatia is among the lowest in Europe. Croatian language media is constantly filled with stories about corruption. There is a huge state apparatus in which key (if not most) positions are regarded to be politically or personally-motivated appointments. This leads to a lack of opportunity for Croatia's highly educated young people. Many emigrate for better pay and better opportunities. This leads to a brain drain and affects the country's demographics considerably (if it usually the best educated, the ablest and the youngest Croatian adults who emigrate). Many of those who stay are influenced by the stories of widespread corruption and lack of opportunity and are therefore lethargic in their work, leading to a lack of productivity. A considerable part of the Croatian economy is based on tourism which remains largely seasonal.

10) People want to live in Croatia


apartment-1899964_1920.jpg
What is Croatia famous for? People want to come and live here. No, really.

Yes, despite many younger Croatians leaving or dreaming of leaving and despite the low wages, many people who are not from Croatia dream about living here. Of course, it's an all too familiar scenario that you go on holiday somewhere and while sitting at a seafood restaurant in sight of a glorious sunset, having had a few too many glasses of the local wine, you fall in love with Miguel or however the waiter is called who served it and Miguel's homeland. But, with Croatia, this is actually no passing fancy, no idle holiday dream. People do decide to move here. And not just for the sunset and Miguel (nobody in Croatia is called Miguel - Ed).

Croatia may be known for being poor, but it also has one of the best lifestyles in Europe. That it's cafe terraces are usually full to capacity tells you something about the work to living ratio. Croatians are not just spectators of sport, many enjoy a healthy lifestyle. This informs everything from their pastimes to their diet. There are great facilities for exercise and sport, wonderful nature close by whichever part of the country you're in. You can escape into somewhere wonderful and unknown at a moment's notice. The country is well connected internally by brilliant roads and motorways, reliable intercity buses and an international train network. The tourism industry ensures that multiple airports across Croatia can connect you to almost anywhere you want to go, and major international airports in Belgrade and Budapest, just a couple of hours away, fly to some extremely exotic locations. There are a wealth of fascinating neighbour countries on your doorstep to explore on a day trip or weekend and superfast broadband is being rolled out over the entire country. This is perhaps one of the reasons Croatia has been heralded as one of the world's best options for Digital Nomads. In a few years, when we ask what is Croatia famous far, they could be one of the answers.

What is Croatia famous for, but only after you've visited

Some things you experience when you visit Croatia come as a complete surprise. Most would simply never be aware of them until they visit. They are usually top of the list of things you want to do when you come back to Croatia.

Gastronomy


fritaja_sparoge_1-maja-danica-pecanic_1600x900ntbbbbb.jpgGastronomy is only one of the things what is Croatia known for only after you've visited © Maja Danica Pecanic / Croatian National Tourist Board

Despite a few famous TV chefs having visited and filmed in Croatia over the years, Croatian gastronomy remains largely unknown to almost everyone who's never been to Croatia. That's a shame because you can find some fine food here. Croatia has increased its Michelin-starred and Michelin-recommended restaurants tenfold over recent years. But, perhaps the bigger story is the traditional cuisine which varies greatly within the countries different regions. From the gut-busting barbecue grills and the classic Mediterranean fare of Dalmatia to the pasta, asparagus and truffles of Istria to the sausages and paprika-rich stews of Slavonia and the best smoked and preserved meats of the region, there's an untold amount of secret Croatian gastronomy to discover.

Coffee


restaurant-3815076_1280.jpgWhat is Croatia known for? Well, to locals, it's famous for coffee - not just a drink, it's a ritual

Croatians are passionate about coffee and about going for coffee. It's a beloved ritual here. Going for coffee in Croatia is often about much more than having coffee. It's an integral part of socialising, catching up and sometimes being seen. It doesn't always involve coffee either. Sometimes, you'll be invited for coffee, only to end up ordering beer. It's not about the coffee. Although, the standard of coffee in Croatia, and the places where you drink it, is usually really good.

The misapprehension: What is Croatia known for (if you are a Croatian living in Croatia)

Handball, music

For the latest travel info, bookmark our main travel info article, which is updated daily

Read the Croatian Travel Update in your language - now available in 24 languages.

Join the Total Croatia Travel INFO Viber community.

Search