People wanting a unique cultural experience, unmatched cuisine, and breathtaking landscapes should consider living in the lovely country of Croatia. Croatia is a land steeped in history with its first century Amphitheatre and grand collection of Neanderthal remains.
It boasts some of the largest truffles in the world and beaches that are striking in brightness and color. The country is all about beauty, and three cities in particular – Osijek, Split, and Zagreb – are exceptional choices.
Osijek is located by the Drava on the river’s right bank. Much of the population is Catholic, so it is no surprise that the neo-Gothic Church of St Peter and St Paul resides there. Its spire is over 250 feet high, and above the church’s small main entry are three gargoyles ogling down at its congregants. Horticulturists enjoy King Peter Kresimir IV Park, a carefully designed area with trees purposely chosen to provide beauty throughout all four seasons.
There is a unique street in this city, splendidly named European Avenue. The buildings’ architecture was favored during the Austro-Hungarian Empire and many of the structures are palaces. The popular Museum of Fine Arts is located there as well. If residents are in a gaming sort of mood, they can go to one of almost 50 casinos within an hour’s driving distance.
Split is a port city nestled between grey mountains and the dark Adriatic sea. Emperor Diocletian’s built his retirement home there – the Diocletian’s Palace. The palace served as a fortified shelter for citizens trying to escape from barbarian attacks as well, and it is one of ten certified World Heritage Sites in Croatia.
The promenade of Riva offers a number of quaint cafes, the opportunity to people-watch, and a fine view as the sun fades over the water. Split is also known for its multiple festivals.
In April, citizens are treated to commemorations celebrating Split’s famous playwright, Marko Maruli. There is also the International Flower Fair in May which finds the basement of the Diocletian Palace inundated with the best artistic displays the local florists can create. The Days of Diocletian is a more whimsical jubilee. One famous citizen is chosen to play Emperor while fashion shows, concerts, and a mixed procession of characters take place.
Zagreb is Croatia’s capital and appeals to the more urban individual. Two of its main sections are particularly appealing. Novi Gornji grad consists of St Mark’s Church, Sabor (parliament), and several art galleries and museums, including the odd Museum of Broken Relationships.
Donji grad might be viewed as Zagreb’s theatre district with shops and cafes and options for entertainment that run the gamut. One of the mainstays of any country is its cuisine, and Croatia is no different. Residents often partake of Dalmatian food. It mostly consists of fish, leafy greens, herbs, and, of course, extra virgin olive oil. Zagreb food is somewhat different and is made up of meat and potato dishes.
Croatia offers something else that is appealing, particularly for those who want to retire Mediterranean style. The cost of living is much lower than it is in the United States. A night out for two at a good restaurant will thin the wallet by a mere $33. Buying groceries in the US is almost 60% higher than in Croatia. Most attractive of all, the purchase of a house there is unlikely to cost more than in other countries.
This young nation of Croatia is an enchanting country to visit, and an even more appealing place to live.