Clean up your pup in time for Croatia's first Dog Carnival
Is your Alsatian still stodgy after feasting on Christmas leftovers? Has your beloved beagle rested by radiator, looking ruff, ever since the excess of New Year? Do you know a Dalmatian who is overweight, stubborn, lazy and ill-tempered? Well, now the Christmas howlidays are over and it's time to get your dog into shape for Pula's first dog carnival. It's carnival season across Croatia, with events in Pula and Rijeka attracting humans from far and wide. This year, your canine companion is also catered for. So, kit your dog out in winter running wear, book an appointment at the hound hairdresser's or maybe consider sending them to a spa for some poodle pampering, because they'll need to be in peak condition in order to look pawfect at this competition. Pula Dog Carnival takes place on Saturday 22 February at the city's Mars fields between midday and 4pm. There, you'll be able to see a parade of man's best friend, with all types of dogs transfurmed by fancy and funny hats and costumes. Entrance to Pula Dog Carnival is free, although the event is a fundraising effort in support of the Fido Association, which, among other activities, helps look after abandoned cats (this particular detail is perhaps best not shared with your dog). A family-friendly event, there will be face painting for the kids and other fun activities, a raffle, refreshments and, of course, prizes for the best-dressed dogs. Winning entrants and their owners may even end up getting snapped by the local pupara
Great sports, health and fitness events to help you get in shape for summer
Sports, health, fitness and wellness are something of a national preoccupation in Croatia. Most eyes in the country will be fixed to the TV screens when the national teams compete in football, handball, basketball and waterpolo. But, for a very large number of Croatians, it's simply not enough to just be a spectator, especially not with summer on the horizon and when you have thousands of kilometres of beautiful beaches demanding your near-naked attendance. Of course, any time is right to start getting into shape, but Croatians make a concerted effort to do so in winter and early spring, before it becomes too hot for strenuous exercise. And they're extremely welcoming to visitors and foreign nationals who want to join in. From the parks and neighbourhoods of Zagreb to the beautifully varied landscape of rural and coastal Istria, here are some of the best events of the season in which you can.RECOMMENDED: More great things to do in Croatia this winter
Inauguration of Rijeka as European Capital of Culture 2020
A huge 24-hour party takes place throughout Rijeka to mark its inauguration as European Capital of Culture 2020. Festivities start on Friday 31 January and continue well into Sunday 2 February (and, indeed, throughout the forthcoming year), but the main day of events and celebration of this inauguration period is Saturday 1 February. Street artists, dancers, open-air exhibitions and street theatre will line the routes of the city centre throughout the day and there will be a soundtrack of music provided by live bands and DJs throughout the day and night. The day begins with a get-together at Skradin bar and guided city bus tours, followed by the official inauguration at the Croatian National Theatre Ivan Zajc Rijeka in the afternoon at which members of the European Commission, diplomats, government officials, 16 EU culture ministers and representatives of previous and future European Capitals of Culture will be present. The central event of the inauguration ceremony, Opera Industriale, symbolises the city and combines sound, music, performers, art and noise and will include more than 120 participants. The gathered crowds will also be asked to join in. It takes place at 7pm at Rijeka Port. More than 70 additional events will take place as part of the inauguration, at over 30 city-centre locations, with some 500 performers taking part. Rock, pop, jazz, punk, electronic and blues performers will play on outdoor and indoor stages with local stars like Jonathan, Parafi, Fit and
2020 is your last chance to swim by the waterfalls of Krka National Park
2020 will be the final year in which visitors to Krka National Park (pictured) will be able to swim in Skradinski Buk, the largest and most-popular water asset situated there. From January 2021, the practice of swimming in this section of the park will be banned. Park authorities explained that climate change and the need to conserve resources and the richness of biodiversity within the park are the reasons for the rule change.Skradinski Buk at Krka National ParkThousands of tourists and locals visit Krka National Park every year and enjoy swimming in Skradinski Buk, which lies in full view of the park's most impressive display of waterfalls. Many are drawn specifically for this aspect of the park. At some other Croatian National Parks, such as Plitvice Lakes, swimming is forbidden throughout the protected area. Some areas of the park which are more popular with locals will maintain the tradition of swimming within the waters, namely Stinice, Remetić - Pisak and downstream of the Roška waterfall, but the biggest and most popular lake for visitors will be off-limits to swimmers from the end of this year. Grab your last chance while you can.
Great things to do in Croatia this winter
Croatia's famous Christmas markets may have just ended, but the country's special Advent celebrations are far from the only reason to visit Croatia in winter. As the season progresses, more likely than not, Croatia's castles and national parks will be covered in a magical shroud of snow, giving them their most impressive, annual outfit. It's the start of a thrilling year of events in Rijeka as the city assumes its title of European Capital of Culture 2020 and its thrilling carnival takes place, like the one in Pula, this winter. Zagreb's stunning Festival of Lights is one of the capital's most spectacular events of the year, let alone winter. And, from visiting pop and rock bands, techno DJs and opera events to art exhibitions and film festivals, there are lots of great things still left to do in Croatia, making the country one of the best options in Europe for a winter break.
The best of Croatia
The 51 best things to do in Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik is a one-town tourist industry on its own, with endless things to do all year round. As stunning as the clear blue sea around it, the former centre of the independent Republic of Ragusa invites superlatives and attracts the lion's share of Croatia's visitors. Read on for our insider's guide to the best things to do in Dubrovnik. RECOMMENDED: More great things to do in Dubrovnik. Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList and tag @TimeOutEverywhere. You can also find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world, or take a look at our list of the 50 best things to do in the world right now.
In pictures: 69 photos of the best street art in Zagreb
Zagreb is no stranger to graffiti, from its downtown walls covered in rashes of swirling name-tags to bright and beautiful murals that add flourishes of colour to the city. Here are 69 beautiful examples of urban art in the capital with a distinctly Zagrebian flavour. Photos of Tesla, Human Rights House, Čulinečka (Mali princ) and the Grif bar used by kind permission of Zagreb photography website Lice Grada. Check it out here.
In pictures: why Rijeka is the most awesome city on the coast
A parade of rain-smeared buildings with splashes of Habsburgian glamour, Rijeka isn't your typical seaside town. It remains one of the Adriatic’s main transport hubs, it’s central port providing Croatia with a window to the world. ‘Port of diversity’ is the guiding theme of its stint as the European Capital of Culture 2020, showing off the city’s multiculturalism and its maritime history. Take a look at this gallery to see what makes Rijeka so diverse.
These then-and-now photos show how Zagreb has changed in the last 100 years
A lot has changed in Zagreb over the years, beautifully captured in this series of images by Ognjen Ivanović. The photographer has travelled across the city with old pictures and polaroids in hand, documenting how Zagreb looked then and now. The results are fascinating and also rather beautiful - just take a look at this slideshow of pictures to see what we mean.
The 51 most beautiful destinations in Croatia
World-famous TV shows like Game Of Thrones, equally well known international music festivals and the country's unprecedented success at the 2018 World Cup have placed Croatia and some of its cities in the global spotlight. But just how widely is the country known beyond the big hitters like Dubrovnik, Zagreb, Pula and Split? Here's your insider's guide to the 51 most beautiful destinations to visit in Croatia.
The most fairytale-like castles in Croatia
Throughout its history, Croatia has existed under the influence of many different empires. The Greeks and the Romans once ruled here, the independent state of Venice was once in charge, then the Austro-Hungarian empire. Old family names such as Frankopan, Zrinski and Habsburg have ruled the country's regions or entirety, sometimes from fortifications used to fend off invasions by Bulgaria, Hungary, the Italians and the Ottomans. As a result, Croatia is littered with old city walls, pristinely preserved or ruined castles. Here are some of the best.
Rijeka's seventh annual Impulse Festival
Rijeka, the Port of Diversity, is receiving its most high-profile year on the international stage, thanks to its status as European Capital of Culture 2020. One of the most desirable aspects of this status is the cultural legacy the year leaves in its wake. Now in its seventh year and organised by Rijeka's most passionate live music promoters, Distune, Impulse Festival is as valuable a cultural asset as any in the city and its guaranteed return in 2021 is assured. Taking place over a week, the festival sees lectures, DJ nights and live concerts occur across several of the city centre's bars and clubs, with a daytime record and music fair also attached. Making Rijeka a special place to visit this and every year, here are all of Impulse Festival's events for the 2020 occurrence.
Croatia villa holidays with Villsy
A land of over 1000 islands and almost six thousand kilometres of pristine coastline, Croatia villa holidays are often the very best way to experience and explore this beautiful country. And with over 1000 properties scattered all across the country, Villsy are one of the best choices for Croatia villa holidays. Whether it's the preserved, historic architecture of Pula, quiet coves and beaches reachable only by boat, epic national parks, world-famous music festivals in Dalmatia or bustling cities like Split and Dubrovnik, Croatia is a country with countless offers for the visitor. Choosing to spend your nights in one of Villsy's luxury villas will allow you the freedom to explore whichever part of Croatia appeals to you and your fellow travellers, whether they be family members, business colleagues, friends or just that special someone. Here are five destinations with distinctly different offers, each of which can be explored while on Croatia villa holidays with Villsy.
The incredible monuments of Bjelovar-Bilogora county
Bjelovar-Bilogora county is steeped in history, reflected in its attractive Habsburg buildings, its Austro-Hungarian spas and its post-war memorials. These three monuments provide distinctly different architectural value, which anyone visiting Zagreb, central Croatia or Slavonia should see. This article is sponsored by the Bjelovar Bilogora county TB and The Croatian National Tourism Board: 'Croatia Full of Life'.
Croatia's 'island of vitality' opens itself to restorative weekends aimed at men
Losinj Hotels & Villas' award-winning Hotel Bellevue is launching a restorative weekend getaway aimed at men. The five-star hotel is the brand's principle wellness resort and holds the famous Bellevue Spa Clinic, which was just renovated in 2018. Located in Čikat Bay, the complex will play host the men's health and wellness weekend between October 4 and 6. In addition to the usual wellness treatments available from Bellevue Spa Clinic, the weekend offers a specially constructed calendar of event and activities specially designed to interest, destress and relax a male clientele. There will be a welcome dinner at the hotel's fusion restaurant Matsunoki, which combines Japanese and Mediterranean foods. On the weekend's second day, attendees will be offered the chance to experience some of the natural beauty of the island with a selection of outdoor activities including FootNet, SUP, kayaking and much more in the natural embrace of the island. Lunch will be served by the waterside and will be comprised of local wines and Mediterranean specialities. In the afternoon, guests will take their pick of treatments at the Bellevue Spa before that evening's seafood-based dinner at the hotel's sister property, the nearby Boutique Hotel Alhambra which will have a theatrical cabaret theme and will be followed by cognac and cigars at Villa Augusta. On Sunday, a hiking tour around Čikat Bay concludes the weekend. The two-night Gentlemen's Getaway Weekend starts from EUR 351.00 per person (a
Osijek on a plate
Fresh pasta from Istria, served with generous shavings of truffle, sumptuous seafood accompanied by zesty wedges of lemon and the traditional green chard; Croatia's cuisine has become one of the more famous facets of a holiday on the country's coast. And deservedly so. Locally-sourced flavours and ingredients are nearly always found alongside summertime coastal dishes although, with an ever-expanding gastro scene, some of Croatia's top chefs are now looking to employ adventurous techniques which allow them to experiment with such time-honoured dishes. However, Croatia's gastronomical offer extends much further than the seasonal menus of the seaside. And, after turning their attentions to the famous coastal platters of Istria and Dalmatia, the next area ripe for culinary rediscovery must surely be Slavonia. Čobanac © Maja Danica PečanićThe county of Osijek Baranja, located in the far east of Croatia and at the heart of the flatlands known as the Pannonian Basin, is Croatia's great unknown gastronomic star. Here, as in Istria and Dalmatia, flavours and components are selected from nearby, creating a menu in which ingredients complement each other naturally. But, the difference here is the wealth of ingredients on offer. Dalmatia is characterised by its crystal clear Adriatic, glorious sunsets and the spectacular backdrop of the Dinaric Alps. The rock which lies beneath accounts for much of what you'll see there, from the shingle beaches to the mountain ranges. But, it won't
Lošinj's Hotel Bellevue celebrates art and beauty at an exclusive pop-up exhibition
Lošinj Hotels & Villas has announced an exciting new pop-up exhibition at the five-star Hotel Bellevue, a collaboration with leading galleries and curators Josip Konta Art Studio, Galerija Libar Gallery and Patrizio Contemporary Gallery. This autumn season, from September 28 to October 5 2019, guests at the luxurious hotel can experience the rejuvenating 'Art & Beauty' package which offers exclusive access to a curated collection by iconic artists including pop-art icon Andy Warhol and a visit to the Croatian Apoxyomenos, one of the world's best-preserved ancient Greek statues - plus art-inspired treatments at the Bellevue Spa Clinic. Launching on September 28 with an opening reception, the gallery open daily from 10am until 6pm for one week and offers guests the opportunity to meet with prominent curator Goran Margeta and international art dealer and historian Dr. Marco Antonio Patrizio. The pop-up exhibition is the collaboration between academic sculptor and painter Josip Konta, one of the most prominent names of the contemporary Croatian art scene; Croatian art gallery Galerija Libar and art advisor and collector Dr Marco Antonio Patrizio. Visitors can see works from domestic and international artists Julie Knifer, Getulio Alviani, Piero Gilardi, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Bernard Aubertin, Giorgio de Chirico, Andy Warhol, Edo Murtic, Ivan Picelj and many more. The hotel's award-winning Bellevue Spa Clinic will also feature a dedicated menu of pampering treatments inspired by fam
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20 great things to do in Pula
Istria’s historic main city of Pula is symbolised by its Roman amphitheatre, scene of a surprisingly wide range of outdoor events every summer. Festivals of film and electronic music, and concerts by everyone from Elton John to José Carreras, fill the 2,000-year-old arena, with its near intact walled ring. Roman remains also form Pula’s city centre, dominated by a hilltop Venetian fortress. With docks rather than beaches nearby, many head south for out-of-town seaside fun in Verudela and Medulin. RECOMMENDED: more great things to do in Pula. Done something on this list and loved it? Share it with the hashtag #TimeOutDoList and tag @TimeOutEverywhere. You can also find out more about how Time Out selects the very best things to do all over the world, or take a look at our list of the 50 best things to do in the world right now.
Croatia's best islands
Popular destinations in Croatia
Croatia's best bars and restaurants
The best Dubrovnik restaurants
Dubrovnik restaurants are beginning to offer the culinary quality and variety that should be expected of such a luxury destination. And dining in Dubrovnik needn't cost an arm and a leg: many places offers simple, wholesome dishes at wallet-friendly prices.
The best Zagreb bars
People in Croatia's capital city always give themselves time to linger and socialise over drinks. Whatever the time of year, new Zagreb bars are always raising and lowering their banners across the city centre and beyond, while traditional landmarks stay firm. Time Out's experts discover the best places to sip across town.