Monthly Archives: April 2017

The Best Zagreb Hotels—Non-Chain Accommodation in the City Centre

zagreb-hotel

Zagreb is often overlooked as a destination by travelers bound for the inviting beaches south of the Croatia capital. But the city warrants a longer stay.

With its lively cafe scene, beautiful parks and spectacular blend of east-west architecture, all backed by phenomenal mountain scenery, Zagreb is deserving of a few days’ stay before heading on to the Croatian coast.

The signs of the city’s vivid history – both ancient and recent – are vivid everywhere. The fascinating labyrinth of the Old Town around Gradec dates from the times of the Mongol raids in the 13th century and is surrounded by defensive towers like Lotrscak Tower, indicative of the fear of attack which once resonated around the city.

There are signs of the boom times too, in lush leafy parks like Maksimir Park: a gorgeous English garden dating from the 1700’s, and Southeastern Europe’s first specially designed public promenade.

Recent history has also radically altered the face of Zagreb: the Kosovo War took its toll on many of the older buildings and a walk of the city streets today reveals a mix of tatty 18th century facades, haughty Art Nouveau architecture and flashy new boutiques and designer hotels sprung up over the rubble left by the conflict.

There are reasons a-plenty to linger in Zagreb but when it comes to finding a place to stay, the city-central options, and the online resources for finding them, are very limited.

Of course Zagreb does boast top end, pleasant-but-samey chain hotels—Hotel Sheraton Zagreb and the lovely Hotel Regent Esplanade but for the traveller’s seeking luxury, convenience or both, along with that personal, individual touch, the following hotels are among Zagreb’s very best.

Currencies in Eastern Europe

East Europe Currencies Trip

Using Money from Forints to Zloty

When traveling around Eastern Europe, chances are you’re changing currencies regularly. How can you get Zloty and Koruna straight in your mind, and your wallet?

Traveling around Eastern Europe often means crossing a lot of borders. While most of Western Europe rationalized to one currency, the Euro, Eastern Europe has yet to do so. This means you might be changing currencies a few times per trip, and that can make things complicated.

Five Best Kept Secrets about Croatia

Dubrovnik by night

Croatia is an up and rising destination for holidaymakers. Those who look into her five best kept secrets will bring home more than vacation memories.

First-time travelers from all over the world hardly miss the most popular tourist spots in Croatia, namely the Dalmatian islands and beaches like Hvar, Brac or even Vis; the national parks like Plitvice, Krka or even Mljet; the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Dubrovnik, Split or even Porec. But Croatia displays her charm beyond the touristic realm.

The Alcazaba of Malaga in Spain

Malaga

This 8thC Andalucian Fortified Palace is a Gem of Moorish Architect

Tha Alcazaba is a fine Moorish fortress and palace – a miniature Alhambra. Steeped in Spain´s turbulent history, its huge ramparts tower over the old city of Malaga.

 

Any visitor exploring the charming Old City of Malaga in Andalucia must include the Alcazaba; its towering ramparts and cool, colonnaded courtyards and gardens evoke the essence of Spain’s Moorish history.

The main parts of the Alcazaba were completed by Abderrahman I, the ruler of the Moorish Kingdom of Cordoba, in the 8th Century, although there had previously been Roman, and possibly even Phoenician fortifications on the site.

Explore Croatia’s forgotten Roman City of Salona

Croatia

The former Dalmatian Capital and Diocletian’s Birthplace near Split

Among the most famous and spectacular historical draws in Croatia today is the finely preserved and UNESCO protected Diocletian’s Palace in Split, a C4th Roman marvel

However, of lesser fame and often overlooked by traveller’s visiting the Dalmatian coast is a site without whose existence we would not be able to marvel at Diocletian’s great work of art today.

The remains of the city of Solin – known to the Romans as Salona – lie just a few miles north-east of modern day Split. Solin belonged to the Illyrian Delmatae tribe before being drawn into the rapidly expanding Roman empire as it reached out across the Adriatic.

Travelling the Adriatic Highway

Sunset

Cities and Landscapes of the Croatian Coast

The Adriatic highway snakes its way down the Croatian coast, linking historic towns and fine landscapes.

The Adriatic highway is a marvellous road to drive or bike, though risky – its serpentine twists and turns sometimes ornamented by skidmarks leading to a hole in the crash barrier, the sea hundreds of feet below. It’s a route of dramatic karst scenery, with clear blue water to one side, and the view of islands in the distance.

Trogir, Unesco Heritage in Croatia

Cathedral

World Heritage Architecture and Amazing Seaside Fort Near Split

An ideal day trip from the major Dalmatian Coast city of Split, Croatia’s Trogir is a village of Romanesque and Renaissance architecture settled onto a tiny island.

Take your holiday pace down a notch with a relaxing day in tiny but gorgeous Trogir. Just an hour by bus from busy Split, you can enjoy classic architecture, good views and great seafood without having too far to walk for any of it.

Zagreb, Capital of Croatia, City of Statues

Zagreb Art Pavilion

Gracious Town Ideal for Walking With Museums, Churches, and Gardens

Zagreb, capital of Croatia, has the relaxed atmosphere of a large provincial town. It’s an ideal walking city, with parks, gardens, quirky statues and plenty of cafes.

Any traveller to Zagreb will be spoilt for choice – there’s plenty to see and do in this lovely city, with it’s gracious wide streets and parks giving way to narrow laneways crammed with cafés serving teas and cake throughout the day and well into the night.

There are plenty of great museums, a thriving market area, and interesting churches. And all around, awaiting discovery, are lots of quirky statues and other curiosities.

Dubrovnik in Croatian Summer

Dubrovnik

Dalmatian Coast City Delight in the Balkans

Dubrovnik on the Croatian Dalmatian Coast is famed for its high city walls and photogenic red roof landscape.

Dubrovnik is a place for writing fairytales. Steep red castle walls dropping into a perfect bluegreen sea, winding alleyways and hidden staircases criss-crossing the inner city, and a happy-go-lucky holiday atmosphere make it one of my favorite parts of Croatia.