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Osijek

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Osijek[1] is a city in Eastern Croatia. It is an important transport hub and the principal city of Slavonia.

Palace of the Slavonian General Command
Tvrđa during the Antiques Market
The Antique Market takes place the first Saturday of each month

Understand[edit]

Due to its important location near the junction of the Drava and Danube rivers, this large and prosperous town (the fourth largest city in Croatia with a population around 120,000) bore much of the brunt of the recent conflict in the 1990s. Many fine buildings have been restored to their former glory, though do not be surprised to see some scars still remaining. Some buildings still have bullet holes or shrapnel markings in them, though like the local economy, the town is mostly back to where it was in pre-war days. Osijek is the largest city and the economic and the cultural centre of the eastern Croatian region of Slavonia, as well as the administrative center of Osijek-Baranja county.

Get in[edit]

Osijek is the major rail and road hub for all forms of transport in eastern Croatia.

By rail[edit]

Rail services to Osijek terminate at the grand 1880s railway building at the bottom edge of the central town. In addition to the numerous train services operate each day to Zagreb (including the new, high-speed tilt train which completes the journey in around 3 hours), there are services to Koprivnica and Rijeka as well as other local services within Croatia to places like Slavonski Brod and Đakovo. The Croatian Railways [2] has information on train times and tickets. The railway station is being renovated and modernised. There are daily connections with places in the city area. There are also daily connections to Bizovac spa.

By bus[edit]

The bus station adjoins the train station and offers international as well as domestic services. Some of the many destinations on offer include Vukovar, Đakovo, Novi Sad, Belgrade, Pecs and Tuzla. Timetables, tickets and information are easily accessible. Panturist [3] is the major bus operator out of Osijek and has listings of domestic and international bus travel - click on the vozni red icon. Central bus station is renovating and it will become the biggest one in south-eastern Europe. Bus companies Panturist, Polet, APP, Croatiatrans and many other smaller companies are daily connecting the city with all parts of the country.

By plane[edit]

In summer months, there are flights with Croatia Airlines [4] from the Adriatic coast from Split and Dubrovnik to Osijek Airport [5] (located some distance from the city). This can be very useful to save back-tracking through to Zagreb once again, or the very mountainous and windy journey through Bosnia. Buses and taxis connect the airport with the city center and hotels. There is also a secondary airport, used exclusively for sport and private flying purposes (Sport Airport Čepin). It is also used for exhibitions. When Pope John Paul II visited Croatia, this was the place where the service was held. The annual car-show is also held at this airport.

There is now an international service by Ryanair,which started servicing flights to the London Gatwick.Connecting Osijek with Munich and Frankfurt is planned for 2015.

By road[edit]

Main highways pass nearby to Osijek from Zagreb through to Belgrade (Beograd), and the pan-European corridor Vc from Budapest through to Sarajevo will see a new motorway added to the Croatian network, construction to be completed by 2010.

Highway A5 or Slavonika was opened 17.04.2009. It connects Osijek with the A3 highway which runs from Zagreb to the Serbian border.

Driving to Osijek is easy with good signposting from all directions, and there is on-street as well as lot parking in the town.

Get around[edit]

Tram at Ante Starčević Square and Hotel Central

Osijek is divided into two main regions - the upper town (focusing on the city square, Trg Ante Starcevic), and Tvrđa, the preserved fortress town to the east of the town centre along the Drava River. The whole city has 12 districts/blocks: Upper Town, Lower Town, Fortress, New Town, South 1, South 2, Green Field, Retfala, New Retfala, Industrial District, Tvrdjavica and The Left Coast.

Osijek has a tram system dating back to 1884, and the three main lines connect the railway station, town square, Tvrđa, industrial district, all city borders (tickets can be bought from the driver, or you can purchase a BUTRA-universal bus/tram card for unlimited riding). The network is currently being completely overhauled and more than doubled in length, and the city's old trams are being modernized. Local buses fill the gaps where the trams do not run and are quite frequent. A map of the local transport system can be found on the Tourist Board's website. [6] . You can also experience the ride with the oldest tram in Europe, which has been renovated for sightseeing tours. Buses are riding cca every 10-15 minutes in the city area, and every 20-25 minutes those which are connecting the settlements around the city (Tenja, Sarvas, Visnjevac, Josipovac, Cepin, Vladislavci, Bilje, Darda, Bizovac, Nemetin, Bijelo Brdo).

There are numerous bicycling routes all around the city, such as Donji grad-Bilje, Jug II.-Industrijska četvrt, and so on.

Taxis are serving the line within the main railway station/airport to the city center.

Otherwise, it is fairly straightforward and well-designed city to traverse by foot with few hills.

See[edit][add listing]

Europska Avenija/Europe Avenue has many beautiful, though some decaying seccessionist buildings
Tvrđa in Osijek, Croatia
  • Kino Europa. - modernist architecture  edit
  • Kino Urania. - secessionist architecture  edit
  • Europska Avenija (Europe Avenue). magnificent secession style buildings  edit
  • Tvrđa is the self-contained 18th-century Hapsburg defensive fortress just east of the city centre. This immaculately-preserved baroque military compound, designed by Maximillian de Gosseau in 1721, contains many fine buildings to view by day, and at night becomes the hotspot with bars and clubs. Luckily there was no damage during the recent conflict to the site, ensuring great viewing and photos. Tvrđa is based around the main square, Trg Svetog Trojstva, and the Museum of Slavonia is located here with artefacts throughout history as early as Roman times. There are also situated high schools, and university of Osijek. On the main square is also Archeological museum, and Music school. Fortress is also the place for a good night-life with numerous bars, discos and restaurants.
  • Co-Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul This is the tallest church in Croatia and has a spire of 90m. The Co-Cathedral was planned by Josip Juraj Strossmayer, and the internal stonework is by renouned Austrian sculptor Hauser. The church contains many stunning stained glass windows and a large, fine-sounding pipe organ constructed by the Walcher firm of Linz, Austria. Co-Cathedral is often place for big concerts of classical and religious music.
  • Croatian National Theatre, Zupanijska Ul. A beautiful building designed in 1886 and severely damaged in the recent conflict. A painstaking restoration has restored it to its former glory, though shortly afterwards a McDonald's restaurant opened up on the ground floor. Shows, concerts and opera are performed weekly.
  • Promenada is located along the banks of the Drava River and is a pleasant walk past the marina, cafes, and parklands. In the Winter port are also many bars, and the second tallest building in the city, Hotel Osijek (4 star hotel)
  • Pejacevic Castle is located on the edge of the Upper Town and on the enterance to Retfala district. Part of the castle is owned by Little siters of St. Mary, and they will be delited to show you the whole castle and around it. Do not be afraid of the dog in the yard, which is a pet of the nuns. There are around 10 sisters in the convent, with few candidates.
  • The Municipal Park of King Petar Krešimir IV and the Tomislav Park date from the beginning of the 20th century, and are protected national landmarks. They are excellent place for a relaxing break after walking around the city.
  • Church of St. Roch is a little church in the Upper Town, and it is the first Catholic church built after Ottoman Empire ruled the city.
  • Church of St. Michael is the second biggest church in the city, built in high baroque and royal style, by models from Vienna and Budapest. Priest lives right next door, and he will proudly take you inside the church, and explain everything about the past, style, and some interesting facts about the church. On the square in the front of the church can be seen traces where was before over hundred years ago a Muslim mosque.
  • Water Gate the only remained entrance to the Fortress from Habsburg Empire times. Near the Gate is a path to the Fortress walls which are surrounding 3/4 of the Fortress
  • City Area Administration Palace is situated just across the street from the Croatian National Theatre, quite near the main city square.
  • Zoo, Sjevernodravska obala 1, +385 31 285234 (, fax: +385 31 214784), [7]. 9AM-5PM, tickets stop being sold at 4PM. The largest zoo park in Croatia, with lots of species of animals.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Visit the Franciscan monastery of St. Cross, situated in Tvrđa (Fortress). Franciscan monks will be delighted to show you the beautiful church, with interior decorated in high baroque style. They can also take you to see the rich monastery library. Franciscans are very, very polite and they will help you if you have any questions, not only about the monastery, also about the city.
  • Go with a bicycle on a route from Osijek to village Bilje (cca 10km from Osijek), and explore the beauty of golden fields and green forests. NB! Pay attention on "Mine field" signs, and do not go in the forests on your own.
  • Visit the Antiques Market, which takes place the first Saturday of every month in Tvrđa and features sellers from across Slavonia and as far as Austria and Hungary.
  • Visit numerous festivals in the city:
    Summer Nights of Osijek - which includes, among other things, fairs the last weekends of June, July, and August that sell traditional crafts and food.
    Pannonian Challenge [8] - Extreme sport & Music Festival
    Autumn in Tvrđa
    Osijek Beer Festival
    UFO - Urban Fest Osijek[9] - Rock music festival within the walls of Tvrđa, the old fortress of the city each June.
    Festival of Tamburitza music[10] - Traditional Slavonian music festival that occurs each May.
  • If you would like to see some excellent folk dance shows, there are two very good folk ensembles holding concerts around not only the city and country, also in the world. HKUD "Osijek 1862." and HKUD "Zeljeznicar" are one of the best folk ensembles in the country.
  • Visit the factory of chocolate "Kandit" which is one of the biggest in the country, and it is well known for the rich and full taste of candies and chocolate

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Handmade ethno souvenirs can be bought in a little shop "Rukotvorine" not far from the Croatian National Theatre. Antiquity shops and souvenirs shops are all around the city
  • There are several traditional instrument shops around the city
  • Traditional table cloths can be found on the city market for a very low and reasonable price
  • Fresh and delicious food can be found on every open-air market place

Eat[edit][add listing]

Known for its rich, complex (and spicy!) flavors, Slavonia is renowned across Croatia for some of the best cuisine. As the economic and cultural center of the region, Osijek has many great restaurants--many of which are located in Tvrđa--serving traditional dishes such as fiš paprikas (fish stew with hand-made noodles); kulen (spicy sausages); "čobanac" (stew); "gulaš"; duck, lamb or pork "ispod peke" or "pod pekom," which is cooked under a clay bell-shaped lid; venison; "šnitzl" (schnitzel); and various kinds and preparations of river fish such as catfish, perch, and carp.

  • Kod Ruže [11] - Franje Kuhača 25a, Osijek // Tel. 031 206 066
  • Klub restoran Waldinger[12] - Županijska ulica 8, Osijek // Tel. 031 250 450
  • Gradski Podrum[13] - Županijska ulica 8, Osijek // Tel. 031 212 079
  • Slavonska Kuća [14] - Kamila Firingera 26 // Tel. 031 369 955

Čevapčići or ćevapi, though not traditionally Croatian, are a nonetheless very popular fast food option.

  • Makedonka [15], which literally means "Macedonian woman", is the best place for ćevapi in town. - Trg bana Jelačića 7, Osijek // Tel. 031 503-403
  • Leganini, Sv. L.B. Mandića 31, 31000 Osijek, (+385-31) 29 74 99, [16]. Open 08:00-22:00, Sunday: Closed. “Lega” means “pal” in the Osijek dialect. The motto of this “friendly café” is “Try something new,” meaning a sandwich wrap instead of čevapi or pljeskavica. The flat bread is made to order, then wrapped around your choice of meats, sauces and fresh vegetables. Located on the way into town on the route from Đakovo highway, this is a good place for a quick bite if you’re hungry after a long drive. They also deliver.  edit

Drink[edit][add listing]

Osijek has the oldest beer brewery in Croatia, Osječko, which was founded in year 1687. Brewery is producing not only beer, but also non-alcoholic drinks.

Slavonia is known for its white wines, such as graševina, traminac; kapistran; and Rajnski rizling, although the red are very good, as well. Notable wines come from Kutjevo, Ilok, and Erdut.

  • "Matrix Bar" (Fortress)
  • "Q Club" (Fortress)
  • "Strossmayer" (Strossmayer Street)
  • "Kavana Waldinger" (Zupanijska Street)
  • "Patrick Pub" (Fortress)
  • "Luna" (Fortress)
  • "Big Ben" (Fortress)
  • "Oxygen bar"
  • "S.Co.Bar" formerly known as famous Voodoo bar
  • "Old Bridge Pub" (Fortress)
  • "Bastion" (Fortress)


Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Hotel Drava, I.F.Gundulića 25a 31000, Osijek, 031/ 250-500, [17].  edit
  • Hotel Osijek, Šamačka 4, Tel: +385 31 230 333 (Fax: +385 31 230 444, E-mail: info@hotelosijek.hr) [18]. Hotel Osijek has got 140 rooms, and 7 apartments. The hotel is located on the river bank of the Drava river in the center of the city.
  • Hotel Waldinger, Županijska ul. 8, Tel: ++385 (31) 250 450 (Fax: ++385 (31) 250 453, E-mail: info@waldinger.hr) [19].
  • Hotel Central, Trg A. Starčevića 6, Tel: +385 31 283 399 (Fax: +385 31 283 891, E-mail: info@hotel-central-os.hr) [20]. Hotel Central is located at the central square of the city.
  • Zoo Hotel, Tvrđavica, Tel: +385 (0) 31 22 99 22 (Fax: +385 (0) 31 22 99 11, E-mail: zoo-hotel@zoo-hotel.com) [21]. As stated by the name the Zoo Hotel is located at the Osijek Zoo.
  • Hotel Villa Ariston, Kačićeva 6, Tel: +385 31 251-351 (Fax: +385 31 251-350, E-mail: ariston.d.o.o@os.t-com.hr) [22]. Hotel Ariston is located close to the bus and railwaystation.
  • Hotel Villa Sveti Rok, Sv. Roka 13, Tel: +385 31 310 490 (Fax: +385 31 310 499) [23].
  • Hotel Mursa, B. Kačića 2/a, +385 31 207 640.
  • Hotel Millenium, Kralja Petra Svacica 12, +385 31 53 13 30
  • Hotel Silver, Martina Divalta 84, +385 31 58 25 35
  • Guesthouse Maksimilian, Franjevacka 12 - Fortress/Tvrdja, +385 31 497 567, www.maksimilian.hr. Good value for the price.
  • Pansion Regina, "Zupanijska 6, Osijek" - City Centre, Tel. +385 031 202 203 Fax. +385 031 202 030 [24]
  • Youth Hostel Tufna, Franje Kuhača 10/I, [25]
  • slavonika, postanska26, +385 95 88 44 111, [26]. checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. Rent whole house with many free services: Bikes fly rods computer in every room wi fi internet table-tenis darts solar shower chairs for sun grill (broiler, kettle, spit) parasol large table for a terrace various board games (chess, cards, jumbo, monopoly ...) vegetables (gratis basket ecologically grown vegetables from our greenhouses, in season) (45.587447,18.579038) edit
  • slavonika, postanska 26, 31221 josipovac, [27]. www.smjestaj-slavonika.com Villa Slavonika offers low prices and best service you have many thing free like: Bikes fly rods computer in every room wi fi internet table-tenis darts solar shower chairs for sun grill (broiler, kettle, spit) parasol Badminton large table for a terrace various board games (chess, cards, jumbo, monopoly ...) vegetables (gratis basket ecologically grown vegetables from our greenhouses, in season) (45.587552,18.578824) edit


Get out[edit]

Kopački rit wooden trail
Castle Eltz in Vukovar
Church in Ilok
  • There are natural thermal spas just to the west of Osijek in the town of Bizovac. They provide much better value than spas closer to Zagreb or Varazdin, and see fewer tourists. The spa is easily accessible by train or bus.
  • Osijek is circled by picturesque wine roads (vinska cesta) that feature many well-known and award winning wines. In fact, the vineyards of Baranja[28] and Erdut are the first two vineyard areas to become part of the Vintour – the wine roads of the European Union. Kutjevo[29] and Ilok[30] are also within an hour or so of the city and feature excellent varieties.
  • The town of Vukovar is less than an hour away and buses leave very regularly (almost every hour, 7 days a week). This town was completely blown up in the recent conflict due to being on the border of Croatia and Serbia and having a mixed-ethnic population, and provides the visitor with a fascinating (if not sobering) view on the war.
  • Đakovo and its enormous Cathedral are a half-hour to the south of Osijek. Besides the beautiful Cathedral which completely dominates the town, there are Lipizzaner horses being trained just on the edge of the city (a great morning's viewing), and every year in July is the annual folk and embroidery festival which attracts visitors from far and wide.
  • The Kopački Rit [31] is the biggest natural wetlands in Europe and the birdlife is spectacular. This enormous nature park, located around 15km north of Osijek where the Danube and Drava rivers flow into one another, is a great day out in the countryside - though bring some insect repellent as the mosquitos do bite!! There is no public transport to the park, so take the local bus to Bilje and its a 2-3km walk.
  • The town of Ilok is about an hour away and well-known for its wine, food, Castle Ilok, and a beautiful little church. A few of the best restaurants are located in this area as well, including Principovac and the restaurant at Hotel Dunav.




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