Time Out Croatia news

Your up-to-the-minute guide to Croatia news, culture, events and happenings

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  • Travel
  • Transport & Travel

Dubrovnik is Croatia’s jewel in the crown as far as tourism is concerned. Now the city’s Tourist Board has a new director, Miro Drašković, who tells Time Out Croatia about his plans to revive the industry post-pandemic – and how locals are very much part of the strategy. Can you tell our readers something about yourself and your background? I was born in Dubrovnik and I’ve spent practically all my life in the area. Like most locals on the Croatian coast, I started working in tourism very early on, already at high school. My long-running interest in foreign languages enabled me to take different jobs in the industry – in the end, I chose to work at a destination management company (DMC). After graduating from Dubrovnik University, I spent a year and a half working at a DMC in Prague, which really was very valuable experience that helped me in essentially building my confidence to continue growing professionally. Dubrovnik Tourist BoardMiro Drašković How do you evaluate the effects of the pandemic on the local tourist industry? The pandemic severely affected all our lives as well as the industry. The Dubrovnik area lives practically entirely from tourism and, from a business point of view, of course, for the locals in the past two years, everything changed for the worse. On the other hand, our private lives thrived, we had more time for our families and although the economic effects of the pandemic were harsh, we proved that we were very resilient in successfully overcoming t

  • Things to do
  • Events & Festivals

With the success of the recent INmusic in Zagreb, and the ongoing partying at Fresh Island on Zrće beach, the summer festival season has kicked off in earnest around Croatia. Back with a bang after a two-year hiatus, the beach bashes and seaside revelries of Croatia’s many festivals will be running through until September. Pula Music Week features seven days of sounds in the city’s Roman-era Colosseum, the Arena. Performances by Bosnian DJ Solomun, UK electro duo Disclosure, South Korean DJ Peggy Gou and others run from June 30-July 6. This dovetails with the long-established Hideout Festival at Zrće beach, now in its tenth edition, offering a huge bill at five open-air venues over five days in early July. UK DJ duo CamelPhat, Bristol DJ Eats Everything and Adelaide DJ Sonny Fodera all feature among the 75+ electro-music masters, with boat and beach parties always an extra. The event runs July 3-7. © Hideout The day after, Split’s Ultra Europe starts up at the Park Mladeži, this year with superstar Dutch DJ Martin Garrix, award-winning UK-Canadian veteran Richie Hawtin and trance master Armin van Buuren. These and other star names appear July 8-10. There’s nothing but music all summer in Tisno near Vodice, starting with Love International (July 13-19), impeccably curated by The Garden crew. Headliners include the UK’s Ben UFO, French electro house merchant Ivan Smagghe and Ireland’s own Saoirse. Numbers are limited to 2,500 – all weekly passes have been snaffled up, only re

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  • Things to do
  • Events & Festivals

Now in its tenth year, the Fresh Island Festival picks up where it left off in 2019, providing quality hip hop and R&B in a beach setting with plenty of pre- and after- parties, pool and boat parties. The location, Zrće beach at Novalja, is where major clubs, Aquarius, Papaya and Kalypso, all have venues and pool resources to stage major seaside events all summer. For the main three days, from Sunday June 26 to Tuesday June 28, Jamaican dancehall singer Shenseea, South-African record producer DJ Maphorisa and London rapper Tion Wayne headline while Saturday 25th and Wednesday 29th are given over to party fun and post-party chilling. Three-day tickets are still available at £163. The Fresh Island Festival is one of the most major events of its kind in Europe. Previous performers include Snoop Dogg, Stormzy and Nas.

  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

Set up in 2017 by two former pilots, Tomislav Anadolac and Hrvoje Bušić, small-batch distillery Duh u Boci has achieved major global acclaim in record speed thanks to a focus on quality and natural Croatian products. Their Old Pilot’s Gin won two golds at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2019 and 2021. This spring, their Old Pilot’s Vodka won gold. Duh i BociDuh i Boci Tomislav takes up the story: “I met Hrvoje at the Pilots’ Academy in Zadar in 2010. We both then went to work in different fields, in IT and in the corporate world, but we kept in touch”. “Whenever either of us was away on a business trip, we’d always bring back a bottle of spirits to share with friends. I noticed that gins such as Monkey 47 used Croatian juniper among their ingredients. We have so many top-quality natural products here in Croatia, that got us thinking. Why not us? Why can’t we create these kinds of brands?” "We wanted to something completely different to high-volume production, to use old recipes and tell something of the history of Croatia in the product.” With both of them earning excellent, reliable salaries, it was no idle move to step out of the corporate world: “We needed to be brave to go in this direction,” admits Tomislav. “Hrvoje went to a top distilling academy in the Netherlands and received top grades. That encouraged us that we were on the right track. Back home, we focused on hand-picked, homegrown ingredients with no compromise on quality”. Duh i Bo

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  • Things to do
  • Events & Festivals

Now in its 15th year, Zagreb’s INmusic is the most high-profile of Croatia’s many summer festivals, with top music acts performing by Lake Jarun. Starting today, Monday, June 20, the 2022 edition is no different, except that festivalgoers have had to hang on for two years since Foals, Johnny Marr and Garbage trod the boards. Judging by this year’s line-up, it’s been worth the wait. Headlining on the Main Stage on the first night, the Killers have been preparing a special show. Ireland’s Fontaines D.C. play the World Stage on the same evening and look out for Bulgaria’s Nocktern, Europavox winners in 2021, who get the ball rolling at 5pm. On the Tuesday, June 21, Nick Cave returns to INmusic on the Main Stage and don’t miss South London’s post-punk outfit Dry Cleaning on the Hidden Stage, a warm-up for their Glastonbury show the following weekend. Wednesday, June 22, sees Deftones and Gogol Bordello take the Main Stage and the UK’s angry Sleaford Mods grab the audience by the throat from the World Music Stage. Kasabian close proceedings on the Thursday, June 23, with East London’s art rockers Snapped Ankles worth a listen on the Hidden Stage. VJs and DJs appear on the Tesla and Night Stages and we’re happy to report that the Karaoke Stage is back! INmusic, from Monday June 20, to Thursday June 23.

  • Things to do
  • Events & Festivals

This weekend, a band’s trusty van will be making its way slowly but surely to cover the ten-hour, 800-km drive from a studio in Sofia to the stage at Zagreb’s prestigious INmusic festival. Due to open the four-day bash at 5pm sharp on Monday, June 20, before Nick Cave, the Killers and the Sleaford Mods step up, Bulgarian electro rockers Nocktern know they will be playing the biggest show of their lives. The trio won last year’s talent show, Europavox, granting them a passage to Zagreb and a shot at the international big time. We caught up with the group’s likeable drummer Boris Malevanov to talk underground sounds, Zagreb’s savvy music scene and why it’s good to have a day job. Lyubomir IgnatovNocktern “I can’t wait to be back in Zagreb,” begins Boris Malevanov, sharing his happy memories of playing in a far smaller place than the stage at INmusic. “The people there were so cool, I really was impressed. They were a great crowd, I felt we spoke the same language.” Boris and his two bandmates from Nocktern have since been preparing their show to wow Zagreb once more. Only this time, the stakes are higher. “I have mixed feelings about it,” admits Boris. “On the one hand, of course, I’m very excited, on the other, you do feel the tension. But that’s normal. You need that the kind of pressure to keep you focused. You wouldn’t feel anything, otherwise.” Certainly, this buzz and passion is conveyed by Nocktern’s catchy, edgy, moody indietronica, as captured

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Live music, circus shows, DJs and craft beer all feature for the opening weekend of Art Park Zagreb, the capital’s major summer alfresco gallery happening in Ribnjak. Kicking off on Friday, June 17, three days of family-friendly culture surround this month-long show of street art in the shadow of Zagreb Cathedral. As well as bringing together some of the city’s most challenging artists, Art Park Zagreb lays on DJs for the opening night, a mainstream disco on the Saturday and a circus show with a free workshop for kids on the Sunday. The event then runs for a whole month until July 17, allowing visitors to hang out in hammocks, play ping-pong, watch films, browse the stalls and drink a special craft beer created by local brewers Pivovara Medvedgrad.  

  • Film
  • Film

World Cup finalists in 2018, their players starring for Europe’s top clubs, Croatia are a major global football power today. But the national team only played their first game in 1990 and their first major tournament in 1996, during which time the country gained its independence. Now a new documentary by award-winning UK filmmaker Louis Myles follows the path of the Croatian team from the break-up of Yugoslavia to bursting onto the world stage at the World Cup of 1998. Croatia: Defining a Nation describes this transformation as seen through the eyes of three of the men who helped create it: Zvonimir Boban, Slaven Bilić and Igor Štimac. All three began their football careers just as Yugoslavia was falling apart – two would star in the country’s triumph at the 1987 World Youth Championship – and all three were members of Croatia’s newly formed national side that came close to making the World Cup final in 1998. All three also went on to enjoy considerable success in Europe’s major leagues, in England and Italy. The film then moves forward to bring in the current generation of Croatian heroes – Luka Modrić, Ivan Rakitić ­– who acknowledge the debt they owe to the pioneering efforts of the 1990s’ generation. The film can be seen on fifaplus through fifa.com, part of FIFA’s new free streaming service.

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  • Film
  • Film

Two of Dubrovnik’s revered outdoor cinemas, the Jadran and the Slavica, have just reopened for summer screenings. Halfway between Stradun and the seafront, the Jadran sits in the heart of the Old Town, making up in atmosphere what it might not be able to provide in contemporary comfort. Staff usually hand out cushions as you walk in. This is real cinema paradiso stuff, including the old-school projecting equipment. Films are shown in the early evening, allowing you to stroll around the Old Town afterwards. The schedule is usually filled with recent blockbusters and crowd-pleasers – you’ll see it posted up around town. Equipped with an open-air bar, the Slavica enjoys the same panoramic view of Danče Bay near the Pile Gate, the ideal setting for a romantic drama or Hollywood classic. Again, you’ll find the schedule posted up around town.

  • Restaurants
  • Drinking

With three platinums and 16 gold medals, Croatian wines have just achieved their greatest success so far at the prestigious Decanter World Awards. Considered the gold standard for the global industry, the accolades have been given since 2004. This year, experts at the UK magazine sampled more than 18,000 wines from around the world. In 2021, Croatian winemakers took three platinum and eight golds. Now the Decanter judges have granted twice as many golds, along with an equal number of platinums. Croatia can justifiably consider itself a major force in the region as far as wine is concerned, although relatively little is exported. Istria remains the domestic leader – both Gianfranco Kozlović and the Benvenuti brothers claimed platinum medals. Stalwart Marko Fakin won yet another gold for Istria, his wines having been recognised by the Decanter team every year they have been entered. Fellow Motovun winemaker Claudio Tomaz picked up another gold for his Teran Barbarossa. Two golds went to the Zura winery in Korčula, and one to Badel for its nine-year old, mature Korlat Supreme. David Štampar and Branko Jakopić took golds back to the ever more prominent vineyards of Međimurje, and even the venerable cellars of Ilok in Slavonia, in operation for generations, claimed gold. Perhaps most impressively, Croatia’s third platinum went to Šoškić in Plešivica, just outside Zagreb. ‘We are dedicated to the pursuit of exceptional wines,’ runs the motto of this family-run winery, only in busin

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