The best spas in Los Angeles for your pampering needs
When it comes to pampering and relaxation, Los Angeles knows a thing or two about the finer things in life. After all, the city is home to sought-after salons, hotels, restaurants and bars that fit the bill for high-end living. And while the beaches and Hollywood may get all the hype, the best spas in Los Angeles make a strong case for one of the best things to do in L.A. Whether you’re looking to unwind after a long work week or release tension after sitting in traffic on the 405 (the culprit of many a stiff neck), you can find all of your decompressing needs at these stunning, top-rated spas. The luxury hotels and day spas not only impress with high quality, experienced masseuses and treatment offerings, but also feature serene interiors that set the scene for some well-deserved “me time.” Of course, a gift card for mom is always a good idea. Treat yourself to everything from a Swedish massage in a plush greenhouse to a rosemary foot soak, a CBD sports massage, a traditional Thai massage or a Japanese-style couples massage, complete with sushi delivered straight to your suite. Top off the pampering treatment with hydrating facials, manicures, pedicures or other wellness offerings. And if you’re going to book an hour or two at any number of these spas, make sure to take advantage of the additional features for guests like steam showers, pools, Himalayan Salt saunas, small bites menus and Champagne. Go big or go home, right?
Celebrate summer with a boat party in NYC
This summer, the heat is on and the best way to cool down is to get out on the water. You athletic types can try kayaking NYC’s rivers, and landlubbers can stick to the city’s prominent waterfront restaurants and boat bars, but if you have any hint of seafaring fun in you, a boat party in NYC is one of the best things to do in the summer. Open waters, sea breezes and stunning views of Manhattan are all on tap when you embark on a booze cruise in NYC. Oh and did we mention full bars, great food, and live music? Take your summer celebrations to the next level and set sail with these boat parties. There’s something for everyone, whether it’s a cantina-themed boat, a lobster-centric excursion, a fine dining cruise or a leisurely happy hour float. You’re more than welcome to rock the boat on a rock n roll cruise, and cocktails are tastier when sipped on a yacht. Check out these NYC boat parties for a totally nautical summer.
The best spa hotels and resorts in Austin
Austin’s undoubtedly become the best place in Texas for plush spa hotels and resorts. Yes, the city is better known for sweaty festivals and greasy barbecue…but did you know that feel-good businesses are popping up all over the place right now? Stroll around downtown and you’ll see bodies clad with yoga gear in the Seaholm District, a sparkling new Barry’s on 2nd, and vegan nosh pretty much everywhere. The wellness scene is indeed booming, and if you’re looking to fully immerse yourself, then one of Bat City’s gorgeous spa boudoirs may just be what the therapist, life coach, nutritionist or trainer ordered. You can go down one of two delicious routes—head to the hills and escape at a spa resort; many are all-inclusive and offer breathtaking views of the Hill Country. Or stay downtown, in the heart of all the action, but sporadically retreat to a cavern of whirlpools, candle-lit treatment rooms, and plant-forward dining. We’ve plucked six of the finest overnight wellness offerings in Austin right now, so you can experience blissful R&R the Texan way. Recommended: The best Austin experiences to give as gifts
The 22 best new things to do in the world in 2022
The last time we made this list was in the heady days of January 2020. Remember them? There’d been rumblings of a virus originating in a wet market in Wuhan, but life was pretty much normal in most parts of the world. We did our thing. We made plans. We looked forward to a whole load of new cultural stuff happening around the world that year. Except basically none of it did. Music, art, theatre: all involve gathering loads of people together in often crowded spaces. Not good during the Panny D. Big openings were cancelled. Festival season was a write-off. We even stopped writing about going out altogether and rebranded as something called Time In. Throughout it all, our planners looked depressingly empty. But now, happily, we live in a world where vaccines have allowed things to return to some semblance of normality. And while we skipped a 2021 edition of this definitive global events and openings calendar, we’re pretty confident that almost all of the amazing things you’ll find below will happen next year. So, Omi C permitting (someone had to start calling it that), here are the 22 best new things to do in the world in 2022, from massive new museums to huge gigs, theatre shows and art exhibitions you won’t want to miss. RECOMMENDED: 🖼️ The 20 best museums and galleries in the world🚂 11 of the most incredible train journeys around the world🌊 9 cities that could be underwater by 2030🌹 The most romantic places in the world 🍸 The 28 coolest bars in the world right now
The 37 best cities in the world in 2021
You’d think a pandemic might defeat the point of living in a city. During lockdowns, much of the fun and culture and social life that define urban living are off the table. And these being big, sprawling metropolises, it’d be easy to feel a bit hemmed in when you can do little else but hang out in your flat. But there you’d be wrong. Our cities adapted. Communities rallied like never before. We fought to help our businesses survive. And – somehow – we even found ways to have fun. Now many of us have emerged from lockdowns and are taking tentative steps back towards semi-normality, we thought it was time to recognise all the great things our cities have achieved over the past 18 months. So, once again, we launched the Time Out Index: a poll of 27,000 city-dwellers from Melbourne to Madrid, Chicago to Copenhagen and Tel Aviv to Tokyo. We wanted to find out which cities really stepped up and pulled together this year. So we asked you not just about food and culture, as we always do, but also community projects, green space and sustainability. We were after the cities that were not only thinking about the now, but also the future. The ones making life better both for us and for our grandkids. And here are the results: the best cities in the world in 2021. This list was put together based on answers across every category in the poll, along with insights from Time Out editors and experts worldwide. Read on to find out how your city fared – and what it can learn from other amazing p
40 fun things to do in Switzerland
Switzerland was ranked as the fourth happiest country on the planet in the 2022 World Happiness Report, a survey which reveals the global ranking of happiness in 149 nations. Switzerland continually achieves a great ranking in the survey, but what is it about living there that makes everyone so happy? We’ve got an answer – 40 answers, to be precise, covering just some of the unique sights, stunning scenery, great things to do, fun events and special experiences from across the country. And while it’s not possible to do everything on our list quite yet, it shouldn’t be too long before things start to open up again, giving everyone the chance to experience all those amazing things they’ve been missing out on.
The best Airbnb Croatia stays
Considering it’s a country of such phenomenal natural beauty and rich, varied culture, Croatia is already pretty astonishingly good value for money. And its Airbnbs are no different. From 19th century lighthouses to luxurious beachside villas, Croatia is home to some of Europe’s most stunning rentals, plenty of which are near famous tourist hotspots. So below we’ve rounded up some of our favourites: the 10 best Airbnbs in Croatia. RECOMMENDED: The best hotels in Croatia.
The 16 best city breaks in Europe for 2022
Despite the chaos that seems to be making itself worryingly comfortable in Britain’s airports, city break season is well and truly upon us. There are few things more refreshing than a weekend in a new place, and enchanting Europe is filled with small cities that are perfect for a whistlestop tour. The best city breaks in Europe tick all of the boxes, even creating some brand new categories and subsequently ticking them off too. You can’t beat a city break. We’ve consulted our local experts in major cities across the continent to nominate the places they reckon we should be visiting this year. Everywhere from France to Bosnia and Herzegovina is covered, with special events and thrilling experiences around every corner. Here’s what they came back with. We’ll see you in the queues…
The best kid-friendly restaurants in NYC
Of course NYC is known for world-class restaurants, but there are also plenty of kid-friendly restaurants in NYC that are fun for the whole family. Whether it’s a top spot that welcomes kids or a fun restaurant in NYC that’s all about entertainment, this city has dining spots for you and the little ones. You can expect great quality food, options for picky eaters and room for the kids to be themselves. After a long day with the kids (there are so many things to do with kids in NYC, it’s easy to keep them entertained), the whole family deserves a treat. Or maybe you’re taking them to a kid-friendly Broadway show and need a fun place to eat with the kids in Times Square. Whatever the case, there’s no shortage of restaurants that offer great food and a kid-friendly environment. From pizza or tacos to theme restaurants, outdoor restaurants and dessert-forward spots, these fun, kid-friendly restaurants in NYC are perfect for a family meal.
The 10 best Nice restaurants
The French Riviera is a magnificent piece of real estate. It lives up to its reputation and then some, offering up luxurious travel in spades. Golden, glittering spades. Nice is the centre of life here, and the big city marries the hustle and bustle of modern life with the tranquillity of the coast perfectly. Food? Oh baby, if you like quality food, you are in all sorts of luck.The best restaurants in Nice bring the traditions of the coast hurtling into the present, echoing the ways of the past and funnelling recipes through kaleidoscopic lenses and modern techniques. Devouring these delicious dishes is one of the best things to do here, a key part of a trip to Nice that you’ll never forget.
The 30 best pizza places in NYC
Imagine a town so certain of its pizza superiority that its denizens seem to go to pieces when officials dare to dine with knives and forks, its highest elected officials take to social media to battle the matter and some ascribe mystical powers to the local tap water that helps form the dough. That’s Pizza Town, baby, less commonly known as New York City. And it's true; NYC does have the best pizza in the country. We root for other locales to come in second and third, but the number one spot is and always has been reserved for these five boroughs that form one perfect whole. Its available almost everywhere, made to suit every taste and style and there probably is something to that whole water deal. Call it a pie, a slice or just plain dinner, this is the best pizza in NYC. RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best restaurants in NYC
The 10 most beautiful national parks in the UK
The UK does a fine line in sweeping countryside, undulating hills and stunning valleys, so it stands to reason that the national parks are something special. That is an understatement, and the most beautiful national parks in the UK will take your breath away and fill your lungs, all at the same time. From the rugged Welsh coast to secret backwaters in the east, these protected natural spaces deserve all the attention and love they get and more. The United Kingdom does ‘small but perfectly formed’ better than most, and there is plenty to sink your teeth into here. As the weather improves, get out into beautiful nature and embrace everything this wonderful place has to offer. RECOMMENDED:🏊 The best wild swimming spots in the UK🐚 The most beautiful hidden beaches in the UK📸 The UK’s most Instagrammed villages🪂 The best extreme outdoor activity breaks in the UK🚴 The most beautiful bike trails in the UK
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Free from the robot clutches of the Transformers franchise and his last, direct-to-Netflix thriller 6 Underground, Michael Bay returns where he belongs: a car chase in Los Angeles surrounded by muscled, sweaty men. War veteran Will Sharp (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), in dire need of cash to pay for his wife’s unspecified surgery, asks his career criminal adoptive brother Danny (Jake Gyllenhaal) for help as a last recourse. Abdul-Mateen II is the more grounded of the two while Gyllenhaal is giving us crazy-eyes. What’s supposed to be an easy job gets really messy, really quickly, and the two brothers find themselves in a LA-wide police chase with an injured cop in the back of the ambulance they’ve hijacked. If he dies, their sentences will be much more severe. The steely EMT Cam (Eliza Gonzalez) rounds off this unhinged scenario, a relatively sane counterweight to the odd-couple brothers as she tries to keep the cop alive. Ambulance is a remake of a 2005 Danish film of the same name, but pimped up à la Bay. Something is always happening, very loudly, and everyone is concerned with looking very cool while it happens. Most of the action happens inside the titular ambulance, and credit to Bay for making it feel as cramped and frenetic as the story demands through sweaty close-ups and lunatic banter. His camera goes from trembling close-ups to swooping helicopter shots of his beloved LA at dizzying speed. Something is always happening, very loudly, and everyone is concerned with loo
Live Talks Los Angeles
L.A.’s star-studded lecture series returns—both virtually and in person—with a lineup of writers, artists, performers, scientists and business leaders who will graciously blow your mind. For both online and IRL events, you’ll have the option of purchasing the speaker’s book—otherwise, some of the streaming discussions are free to view. This spring, Live Talks hosts in-person events with Carl Bernstein and Josh Singer (Apr 13), Emmanuel Acho and Justin Baldoni (Apr 14), Wil Wheaton and John Ross Bowie (Apr 19), Alexandra Billings and Joey Soloway (Apr 20), Gary Janetti and Casey Wilson (May 3), Eliza Reid and Lisa Napoli (May 9) and Rabbi Steve Leder and Amanda Kloots (June 12), plus virtual events with Susan Cain and Angela Duckworth (Apr 12) and Liz Fosslien and Mollie West Duffy (Apr 27).
The Who—that is, Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, some other musicians and two very prominent ghosts—come to town on their “The Who Hits Back!” tour. See them in Anaheim at the Honda Center or at the Hollywood Bowl.
Picnics on the Lawn by Chiswick
After enduring the long and lonely lockdown, most of us are bursting for things to do over the approaching summer, and here’s a brilliant idea: the picnics-on-the-lawn summer series at Chiswick. A mainstay of the flashy Eastern suburb of Woollahra, Chiswick has long been one of Sydney’s top dining destinations, whether it be for business lunches, birthdays, weddings or hens-parties. No matter the occasion, it’s hard to think of many venues that so comfortably caters for, and excels at accommodating larger groups. And in a stunning setting to boot. Picnics on the Lawn takes the experience one step further by moving the party out the side door and straight into the garden. Picnics became an unlikely beacon of hope a few months back, signalling our impending release from this latest lockdown. Suddenly Sydney couldn’t get enough of them; we could actually socialise again, outside, with friends, at a picnic! And let’s face it, when the sun is shining there are few places you’d rather be than Sydney. Therein lies the beauty of Picnics on the Lawn. Chiswick has teamed up with Bombay Gin and local luxury picnic purveyors To Dine For to create a carefree, relaxed and totally bougie afternoon in the sun, on the lovely lawns of the Chiswick Gardens. Next time you’re craving a picnic, grab a bunch of your besties and book yourselves in for this truly dreamy experience, all you have to do is turn up. A neatly arranged row of low-lying tables sit atop earthy-toned picnic rugs, plush cush
Grand Central Market Holiday Marketplace
If you’re making a list and checking it twice, consider this annual shopping event for unique kitchen, pantry and tabletop finds, plus all sorts of foodie goodies. Though GCM has yet to announce a formal holiday market this year, it has started hosting a bazaar every Friday through Sunday in the downstairs basement event space.
KIIS FM’s annual holiday behemoth’s lineup reads like a roll call of the station’s playlist: Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, Doja Cat, Lil Nas X, the Kid LAROI, Saweetie, Black Eyed Peas, Tate McRae, Bazzi and, erm, Dixie D’Amelio will all take over the Forum this holiday season. The best seats will cost you a boatload, so look out for news of a free pre-show that usually precedes the main event.
Levitt Pavilion Los Angeles concerts
You know it’s summer in L.A. when the live outdoor music starts swelling all over the city, including at MacArthur Park’s Levitt Pavilion. The Westlake concert series returns this summer with free shows every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Expect a genre-spanning mix of local acts that range from cumbia to ska to EDM. Check out the full season lineup below. Courtesy Levitt Pavilion
SESH Comedy BYOB Summer Pop-Up
Throughout the summer, Lower East Side hidden gem Sesh Comedy is hosting a BYOB summer pop-up. Each ticket comes with an alcoholic drink of choice, while BYOB is still encouraged. Each night hosts two shows that run for 75 minutes each, and features comedians from Comedy Central, HBO, Colbert, Netflix, Amazon, and more. Lineups change weekly, so be sure to check out @seshcomedy on Instagram for weekly show details!
Immersive art exhibit Arcadia Earth has reopened after being closed due to the pandemic, and it looks better than ever! The exhibit aims to inspire visitors artistically and ethically, as it uses 15 rooms to spotlight the environmental challenges that our planet is facing (such as overfishing, food waste, and climate change). This exhibit will not only leave visitors in awe, but it will help support Oceanic Global, an organization devoted to raising awareness around our aquatic ecosystems. In addition, a tree will also be planted for every ticket sold, making it a perfect gift for your eco-conscious friends!
Weekly Buckaroos Comedy Show
Looking for some hilarious free fun this summer? Every Tuesday night at Pete’s Candy Store in Williamsburg, the “The Biggest Little Venue in NYC”, comedy fans can gather for a free show at 7pm! The lineups change weekly and can be found on the show’s Instagram and Facebook pages. For the safety of both the performers and the audience, proof of full vaccination is required for attendance. A full-service bar will be available with drinks and snacks for purchase throughout the show.
Young NYC Artists Showcase
Hudson River Park is currently displaying a new public art exhibition, displaying works by graduates from NYC SALT, an arts nonprofit photography program that gives students the opportunity to develop both their artistic and career skills in the field. The exhibition focuses on the diverse and dynamic communities throughout the city that the SALT alumni call home, and features 22 works displayed on 7-by-9 foot panels along the park.
Venice Art Walk and Auctions
The Venice Artwalk returns in digital form with more than 200 works by nationally-recognized artists up for auction. If you’re flush with cash, you can bid on works donated by local luminaries like Lita Albuquerque, John Baldessari, Larry Bell, Billy Al Bengston, Laddie John Dill, Ed Moses and Ed Ruscha. Proceeds benefit Venice Family Clinic.
Meet Miro Drašković, new director of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board
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
Best festivals in Croatia this summer
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
Fresh Island Festival kicks off summer season at Zrće beach
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.
Fly boys at Duh u Boci dream big to produce medal-winning spirits
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
INmusic brings top performers to Zagreb
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.
Bulgarian electro rockers Nocktern to open INmusic after Europavox win
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
Ribnjak showcases Art Park Zagreb
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.
Croatia’s heroic football journey inspires new documentary 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.
See films beneath the stars in Dubrovnik
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.
Record haul for Croatian wine at Decanter World Awards
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
St John’s Fortress in Šibenik reopens after renovation
Built in the mid-1600s to protect Šibenik from Ottoman invasion, St John’s Fortress is now open to the public after a six-year renovation. One of four bastions surrounding the venerable Dalmatian city, St John’s was named after the church of the same name that had stood atop this vantage point for at least 200 years before the fortifications were constructed. Built by Venetians under the expert guidance of Genoese engineer Antonio Leni, the feature indeed withstood a month-long Ottoman siege during the late summer of 1647. Instructive features also just unveiled provide useful historical background, although many visitors will come for the stunning panorama alone. The fortress is open until 9pm daily, from 2pm on weekdays and from 9am at weekends.
All aboard the night train – Budapest to Split back on track
As of June 10, the overnight train between Budapest and Split will be running once more, scheduled to take passengers on the 14-hour journey until September 24. Comfort and affordability are the watchwords of the Adria InterCity service. Travellers can choose between a couchette of four to six berths or a private cabin for one, two or three. Trains will be equipped with elegant dining cars once reserved for Hungarian government ministers. The 1845 departure from Budapest Keleti means that you can time your evening meal around sunset over Lake Balaton around two hours later. The Adria InterCity runs twice a week in the shoulder season, three times in high season between June 19-August 29. Prices for a berth in a six-person couchette starts at €43, or €49 in a four-person one. A single cabin to yourself is €99, a double €69 per person, a three-bed €56 each. Cabins also have wash basins. All passengers receive a welcome package of basic toiletries, with breakfast and a hot drink included in the basic ticket price.