Best of Croatia in 2016: tourism
1. Travel and Leisure names Croatia the best destination in the world
Every year, one of world’s top travel magazines votes for the most desirable tourist destination. Their editors’s pick was actually Portugal, but the readers chose differently. The travellers’ hearts spoke and Croatia won by 4%.
2. Croatia is the most googled travel destination
Google knows best where the world wants to go on a holiday. According to their algorithms, searches and clicks, the answer is simple and unanimous: Croatia.
3. Stiniva gets voted as Europe’s best beach
European Best Destination readers pick Stiniva beach as the most beautiful in Europe. For 10,000 global travellers this spectacular bay beats anywhere on the coast of Portugal, Spain, Greece and Corsica.
4. Zagreb defends its title as Europe’s best Christmas market
Zagreb has outdone itself in throwing the best Advent festivities so far. The city defended its last year’s title as the best Christmas market. 33,607 voters said so on the European Best Destinations website.
5. Zadar gets crowned as Europe’s best destination
With gorgeous sunsets, the sea organ and sun salutations, Zadar is now officially the best of Europe. Better than Paris, London, Rome and Prague… Majority of 288,000 readers voted so. Luka Modrić’s FB campaign to choose his hometown helped too.
6. Dubrovnik hits the milestone of 1 mil tourists
Last year, it was Zagreb. Now ‘the Pearl of the Adriatic’ will remember 2016 as the year when it welcomed its one millionth tourist. The success is not without challenges. Let’s hope the city comes up with inventive ways of channeling eager travellers.
Best of Croatia in 2016: culture
7. NME includes InMusic among 12 best music festivals in the world
The locals have adored InMusic since its beginning. And now this 3-day music galore on the Zagreb Lake Jarun gets a massive recognition.
8. Kino Europa wins the best European cinema award
In the sea of cineplexes, this iconic cinema stands out with its independent character. Now the winner of the Best Programming Award, it continues to be at the forefront of cultural and social events.
9. Lonac among world best murals
Widewalls magazine has included Croatia’s top street artist Lonac among world’s most beautiful murals. In the 2016 finale is Lonac’s new masterpiece ‘Nitpicking’, painted in Rijeka.
10. Museum of broken relationships opens in Hollywood
This unusual place where break-ups heal through art is already Zagreb’s most visited museum. From June 2016, the Museum opens a franchise in Hollywood LA. Let’s hope it helps there too.
11. Netflix comes to Croatia
It is now legal to watch all our favourite TV shows online. For a small subscription, HBO comes to rescue us from the otherwise dull TV program (HRT 3 excluded!)
12. Croatia becomes a free reading zone
And for no subscription at all, everyone in Croatia can access a free digital library. You can read and download more than 100,000 books through Croatia Reads app. Even with abysmal reading rates, we are the first country in the world to become a free reading zone. Hats off!
Update: the Croatia Reads app was free during the Christmas 2016 holidays. Visit their FB page to learn about their plans for the future.
13. Croatian typography for Louvre
Croatian designers Sandro Dujmenović and Marko Hrastovec authored the new typography of the Louvre. Their Louvre Sans and Louvre Serif appear on the Museum’s new logo and visual identity.
14. Awards for Zadar and Vukovar museums
The East Centric Architecture Triennale awards Zadar and Vukovar museums. Archeological Museum in Zadar for the best interior design. And the Vučedol Culture Museum for the best public building. What a major promotion of Croatia’s cultural heritage!
Best of Croatia in 2016: business
15. Filming in Croatia peaks
Game of Thrones season 7 continues filming at their favourite Dubrovnik sets. The city has also bewitched the producers of ‘Robin Hood: Origins’ and ‘Nightfall’ series. And earlier this year, Stradun was packed with the Star Wars characters.
No doubt, Dubrovnik has become a major movie star. Let’s hope there’s soon an Oscar for the best set. Because we’ll win it.
16. Rimac Concept_One wins the fastest EV car race
When racing against Tesla Model S P90D and Ferrari LaFerrari, Concept_One proved the fastest. All praise to Rimac. They say, the only slight problem is that the car can’t be bought in a store. Only custom-made on order 🙂
17. Istria named the world’s best quality oil region – again
Flos Olei, the annual ‘Bible’ of premier olive oils, praises Istria as the best olive oil region. They made its pick out of 1,800 world oils.
18. Borovo makes a breakthrough in the US
Croatian shoe brand Borovo hit it big when US Vogue showed love to their pink startas shoes. Borovo USA has built the brand awareness through the startas unique story and hand-made quality.
Best of Croatia in 2016: sports
19. The most successful Olympics ever
This year Croatia broke its Olympic record. We came home from Rio de Janeiro with ten medals (five gold, three silver and two bronze).
Gold went to Josip Glasnović (shooting), Martin and Valent Sinković (rowing), Šime Fantela and Igor Marenić (sailing), Sara Kolak (javelin throw), and Sandra Perković (discus throw). You rock, guys!
20. Croatian Mountain Rescue team’s letter goes viral on FB
Croatian Mountain Rescue (GSS) is a team of humanitarians who have rescued thousands in rugged mountains. Tourists included.
They are big-hearted, devoted and always on call. But there’s just one thing they’d like you to do: act responsibly. Like… don’t go hiking in flip-flops.
Their letter went viral on Facebook.
Did I miss any other uplifting events from 2016?
Share them here.
Let’s meet the New Year smiling.