Thursday, 23 January 2020

Fancy buying a place in the sun in Dubrovnik? Looking for an apartment with a difference? How about a chapel? This must be one of the strangest real estate deals in Dubrovnik for some time, an ancient stone chapel that has been converted into an apartment. The chapel, named Our Lady of Sorrows, is currently up for sale, and the price for this 25 metres squared unique apartment is 120,000 Euros. Meaning that the unusual apartment will cost you 4,800 Euros a metre squared. An online advert states that the Dubrovnik real estate is “a single-storey stone house with a 15 square metre garden.”

The chapel was originally constructed in 1710 and is located in the suburb of Lapad. According to a report by Dubrovacki Vjesnik the chapel was sold by the original family who owned it to a private individual who then converted it into an apartment.

The online ad for the chapel Our Lady of Sorrows chapel adds that it is a “Unique property, in the centre of Lapad, of historic significance, completely renovated following the guidelines and permission of the conservator.”

chapel for sale in dubrovnik

Looking for a rather unusual Dubrovnik address 

The owner states that “A lot of effort and money has been invested and unfortunately due to illness I have to sell it.” And clearly the owner is willing to be constructive with the payment terms as the ad states that the Lapad chapel apartment can be exchanged for “A smaller studio or apartment (Zagreb or Dubrovnik) or a new car can be taken into account. All options are available only to serious and real buyers who know how to appreciate such a valuable unique property.”

It certainly is a unique real estate offer, and one that could quite easily find its way onto AirBnb or booking.com in the near future, if a buyer is found.

 

A total of 3.1 million kuna (€417,000) could be set aside from the state budget to compensate for campaign-related expenses of the top three candidates in the recent presidential election held in December and January - Zoran Milanovic, supported by the Social Democrats, incumbent Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, backed by the ruling centre-right HDZ party, and formally independent singer-turned-politician Miroslav Skoro.

Milanovic can expect a budget refund of some 1.2 million kuna (€161,000) for campaign costs in both rounds of the election, while Grabar-Kitarovic will get 1.08 million (€135,000). Skoro, who ended up third in the first round and did not qualify for the run-off, could receive a total of 827,000 (€111,000).

Provided that the national election commission clears the candidates' campaign financial records, the three candidates can expect a refund by mid March.

According to Croatian law, candidates who win at least 10 percent of the vote in the first round of the presidential election are eligible for state-funded compensation of campaign costs.

DotMetrics, a Croatian startup, has become the official web analytics system for British websites, winning the tender advertised by UK Online Measurement Ltd. (UKOM), a company established by Britain's leading publishers and advertisers, announced the startup on Tuesday.

DotMetrics won the tender in cooperation with Ipsos, one of the leading providers of advanced market research expertise in the world, leaving behind some of the top players on the global market of data collection, such as the US company comScore, announced the startup. DotMetrics added that it is officially taking over on 1 January 2021, and that it has signed a 5-year contract.

The startup did not reveal the value of the contract but according to unofficial sources, the job will bring in €40 million in 5 years.

DotMetrics said that so far it had provided web analytics services for neighbouring countries and that this was their first job in the West European market, with the UK being a special challenge to Croatian analysts as it was the largest advertising market in Europe and the third largest advertising market in the world.

"The Internet is by far the most important advertising channel in the UK, and budget allocation depends on the high-quality data. Furthermore, Great Britain is the 'Champion's League' of Internet advertising," DotMetrics CEO Jan Jilek said, adding that winning the tender for such a contract was a matter of prestige and an excellent reference for the future.

On that note, the startup has already begun negotiations on entering other European markets. Jilek points out that Croatia will remain the DotMetrics' hub, and that it will perform the analytics from Zagreb, meaning that the number of employees will rise more than three-fold. The number of employees is expected to continue growing in the coming years.

DotMetrics is an originally Croatian methodology developed by the FistNet company and Ipsos Adria, and it gathers website traffic data by marking and storing the whole traffic of a particular website and connecting it to demographic data from surveys and basic research.

 

Dubrovnik has been placed on the most Instagrammable places in the world! During the summer months the social media channels are filled with glorious panaramas of Dubrovnik so it will probably come as no surprise that the pearl of the Adriatic has been placed on a list of the most Instagrammable places for 2020.

Global travel site Big 7 Travel has released the official list of the 'World’s Most Instagrammable Places 2020'. Dubrovnik came in at No.13! How did Big 7 Travel choose the winners? Via a comprehensive scoring system that analysed the amount of hashtags per destination, survey results of Big 7 Media’s 1.5 million audience, and votes cast by a panel of travel experts.

The top of the list was taken by Sydney, Australia, followed by Hong Kong and in third Dubai.

“With its winding streets, cliffside beach bars and UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Old Town, it’s no wonder Dubrovnik is such a popular spot. Looking down across the terracotta rooftop tiles that cover the city with the sea in the background is unbeatable. Plus, nearly the entire Croatian city of Dubrovnik was used as the setting for the King’s Landing filming location in Game of Thrones,” writes Big 7 travel on Dubrovnik.

TOP 10 MOST INSTAGRAMMABLE DESTINATIONS 2020:


Sydney, Australia

Hong Kong

Dubai, UAE

New York City, USA

Singapore

Tokyo, Japan

Lisbon, Portugal

Bali, Indonesia

London, England

Jaipur, India

 

When you are an avid traveler like I am, you surely must know that sometimes managing international currency can be a little bit complicated. Not only the amount of money we carry with us should be limited due to international tax laws but also because the U.S. dollar may not be accepted in some countries. So how can we pay for goods and services while we are traveling around the world then? Due to the reasons listed above and many others, lately I've been trying to find a way of exploring the world while managing my money regardless of what part of the world I am in. I'm glad to say that I have found the perfect way to do it, and I would like to share it with you, my fellow travelers.

Cryptocurrency provides us with a secure and private way to control our money regardless of where we are, without limitations, and without having to pay exorbitant fees. And because cryptocurrency payments are impossible to block, your account can never be frozen.

No more waiting on hold with your bank’s phone support!!

But before I provide you with the whys and hows, we need to talk first about what is a cryptocurrency and why is such a big deal.

What is Cryptocurrency?

Cryptocurrency is an alternative method of online payment, a digital or virtual currency that is secured by cryptography. It allows us to transfer funds directly between two parties, without the need for a third party like a bank or credit card company with minimal processing fees, allowing users to avoid the steep fees charged by banks and financial institutions.

Cryptocurrency has been praised due to its portability, inflation resistance, and transparency. Cryptocurrencies are virtual and are not stored in a central database, which means that there is no central authority, government, or corporation that has access to your funds or your personal information.

Today, there are thousands of alternate cryptocurrencies around the world, each one with various functions and specifications, Bitcoin being the most popular one.

What is Bitcoin?

Launched in 2009, Bitcoin is a digital currency that uses peer-to-peer technology to facilitate instant payments, similar to Skype, or BitTorrent, a file-sharing system. Cryptocurrency transactions are immutable.

Once they happen, there’s no taking them back. Bitcoin is the fastest, easiest, and safest way to exchange money. As long as you have an internet connection you'll have access to cryptocurrency.

What is Cryptocurrency

The value of bitcoin comes from supply and demand and the fact that it’s supply is limited. So once all the Bitcoin is mined, a third party (like a government for example) cannot just go and print more Bitcoin just because they feel like it. Some people say that this is what gives Bitcoin intrinsic value.

Which Countries Accept Bitcoin as a Payment Method?

I would be as bold to say that you can find people in any country that are willing to accept Bitcoin. But obviously there are some countries that have voiced their support on a national level.

Recently, the Chinese government has come out and stated they will be focusing on blockchain and more specifically, digital currencies. South Korea has a massive appetite for crypto, where “everyone and their grandmothers” are getting into it. Countries like Venezuela have adopted crypto now that the Bolivar practically has no monetary value due to an irresponsible government. Then you have western countries like the USA, Canada, UK, Australia and then the EU that are making incredible strides to adopting crypto via methods like crypto ATMs, marketplaces where you can exchange BTC for cash, or even merchants that will accept crypto directly.

What can I do with Bitcoin?

The list of things you can do with bitcoin is endless, because cryptocurrency isn’t tied to a specific country, traveling with crypto can cut down on money exchange fees.

Worldwide, over thousands of shops accept bitcoin as a payment method. Some of the most important ones are:

● KFC Canada decided to accept Bitcoin for a limited time
● Overstock, a american online retailer that sells big ticket items at lower prices.
● Several Subway branches accept Bitcoin as payment for their sandwiches.
● CheapAir an american online travel agency, they sell planet tickets in exchange for bitcoin
● Amazon: while this online shop doesn't accept bitcoin directly, you can use use a website called purse.io that connects people who want to buy on Amazon with sellers who want to get Bitcoin in return for their items
● AT&T this mobile carrier, have provided a cryptocurrency payment option to their customers

These stores are only the most famous ones that accept cryptocurrency in exchange for their services, but there are several other businesses that accept Bitcoin as well, you just have to find them.

You can also convert your Bitcoin into gift cards, while there are many famous stores that accept cryptocurrencies as a payment method sadly there are others that do not accept them, buying gift cards is a perfect way to spend your bitcoins. Gyft, a popular online store, offer discounts and rewards to customers who purchase gift cards using Bitcoin.

Probably the most practical way of using Bitcoin abroad is by converting it into cash. For this, you can use a marketplace called LocalBitcoins, select your county and then find people nearby who want to buy Bitcoin for cash (via bank transfer, physical cash, PayPal transfer, etc…)

Often, you can even find Kiosks in malls that will give you cash for your Bitcoin on the spot.

bitcoin for travel

Can Bitcoin be Converted to Cash?

One of the most important questions people ask once they have enough knowledge about cryptocurrency and bitcoin is whether or not it can be converted to cash, and I'm glad to say that yes, it can.

Bitcoin can be converted to cash using bitcoin ATM or through a bitcoin credit cards.

A Bitcoin ATM is like a traditional ATM that dispenses fiat currencies where you use your debit card to withdraw USD or whichever other major international currency. The bitcoin ATM, allows you to buy or sell bitcoins anonymously, you have a Visa Bitcoin debit card, you can use it anywhere Visa credit and debit cards are accepted, is important to know that these Bitcoin cards only allow purchases in U.S. dollars. If you want to use a Bitcoin card in the E.U you should get a Coinbase card that is accepted in the UK, Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland, and The Netherlands. The most marvelous characteristic about the Bitcoin debit card is that you can use it to withdraw USD from any ATM.

But the whole point of using Bitcoin is to save on exchange fees, ATM fees, etc…

So let’s do a quick comparison between typical Bitcoin ATM fees and your traditional currency exchange desk, shall we?

Unfortunately, crypto is still considered quite risky. And with higher risk comes higher fees. The average fee of using a Bitcoin ATM is about 6%. But that depends on the country you are travelling to. The range is from 2.5% to 10% depending on how well-adopted crypto is in that country.

Now a currency exchange desk on the other hand charges about 1-3% of the total cash value. But you also need to factor in what hidden fees your bank is charging you when you take out the cash you want to convert in the first place).

So when you compare Bitcoin ATMs to regular currency exchanges, Bitcoin doesn’t seem like a super viable option. Plus it’s still a very new technology, so it will only improve with time.

However, when you factor in other options like LocalBitcoins (that allows you to exchange your BTC for cash) with buyers who live in the city, traveling with BTC becomes a lot more viable.

How Can I Start Using Bitcoin?

1. Acquiring Bitcoin.

The first thing you should do once you have decided to invest in any cryptocoin is to buy Bitcoins instantly with a credit card or debit card through verified sellers such as Coinbase, Binance (the two most famous platforms) or other local merchants.

If it is your first time buying Bitcoin, then Coinbase is probably your safest bet. You will need to go through something called “KYC” where they will need to verify your identity and make sure you are a real person. I highly recommend LocalBitcoins as well as you can buy directly from people who want to sell BTC and there are tons of options to buy (cash, PayPal transfer, bank transfer, etc…)

2. Get a Bitcoin Wallet.

A Bitcoin wallet is a software program where Bitcoins are stored. All of the wallets allows you to transfer Bitcoin from one wallet to another.

There are a number of Bitcoin wallets to choose from, such as mobile Bitcoin wallets, hardware wallets and web wallets the difference between them is that web wallets while being the easiest to use they are potentially less secure than the others.

Hardware wallets are the most secure because they do not expose your private keys to the network. Once the software is downloaded, you don't have to rely on third-party services to complete Bitcoin transactions.

The most popular ones are Ledger wallet and Trezor wallet. To increase the security of your wallet, you should create a public and a private Bitcoin address, your public address allows you to receive Bitcoin from other people and the private address is the one you'll use to send Bitcoin to others.

3. Make a Bitcoin Transaction

After buying your Bitcoin, you should transfer it to your wallet. Many sellers use BitPay, to process their Bitcoin transactions. Make sure to use the public address of the person you are buying from and send your Bitcoin to this address as payment, along with the amount of Bitcoin you want to send them and wait for the transaction to be confirmed. Follow these steps and voila, you'll have all the skills to successfully make a bitcoin transaction.

Conclusion

Right now the number of services and merchants accepting Cryptocurrencies all over the world is growing extremely fast.

From online retailers to travel agencies and food chains, the possibilities are endless. You can also get paid with cryptocurrency by accepting them as a payment for goods and services. It's a beneficial and secure exchange for everybody involved in the transaction.

Cryptocurrencies allows you to directly control the money yourself without the involvement of a third party like a bank or any other institution.

And one of the most important characteristics about this new type of currency is that is accepted in several countries in the world from North America to the European union, even Asian countries such as Singapore and Hong Kong are starting to see the value of the Cryptocurrency.

It seems as if cryptocurrencies are here to stay.

 

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Text by Marina Yoveva - www.exploreist.com   

 

 

 

The European Commission has launched a pilot project called "Fuel Price Comparison", and Croatia has joined it aiming to determine the best model to inform consumers about the prices of different fuels on the domestic market, the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Ministry said on Sunday.

Apart from Croatia, eight other EU member countries are participating in the project which was launched on January 15 and will last until February 1.

Throughout that period, consumers at ten chosen petrol stations in Croatia will be offered participation in a survey based on a comparison of prices of conventional and alternative fuels, including petrol and diesel fuels, as well as liquefied petroleum gas, compressed natural gas and electricity.

The comparison of fuel prices will be shown on leaflets, banners and digital displays.

The survey will include randomly chosen consumers and reveal their preferences regarding the optimal form of price comparison.

Under EU rules, as of June 2020, consumers must have access to information on the average prices of different types of fuel.

An important factor of choice when purchasing a new vehicle is the type of fuel and its price. Considering conventional and alternative fuels, on offer, apart from diesel and petrol engines, are also electric, hybrid and other engines.

As of June 2020, consumers will obtain information at petrol stations about the average prices of fuels per 100 kilometres driven.

As part of the project, a method has been developed to calculate the prices of different types of fuel per 100 kilometres driven.

The average prices of fuel in Croatia in the last quarter of 2019 were HRK 9.96 for petrol, HRK 10.03 for diesel fuels, HRK 4.58 for liquefied petroleum gas, HRK 9 for compressed natural gas and HRK 0.78 for electricity.

 

A free concert by Argentinean composer Adrián Placenti dedicated to the photographs by Pavo Urban will take place on Monday, January 27th, starting at 8:30 pm at the Marin Drzic Theater. Even though the tickets are free, you need to pick them up at the box office early in order to attend the concert.

Pavo Urban is most remembered for his war photographs, but during his brief artistic career he has distinguished himself by a series of photographs of different styles, genres and themes, and Adrien Placenti, a composer from Buenos Aires, was fascinated by Urban's series of door motifs. These are small-format black and white photographs that feature and highlight interior or exterior doors as the most common motif; the door of the room, the hall, the door of the City, including the doors from Ploce in which he died a year after taking the photo.

This is a more personal opus related to Urban's intimate spaces and his then girlfriend, photographer Mara Bratos, to whom he wrote letters from the battlefield. In one letter, he describes what Dubrovnik looks like at two o'clock in the morning when he calls Mara to America. At first, this eerie silence and darkness were frightening to him, and then… ”… you think how wonderful this city is when you cannot see it. You just feel it. And with the first darkness and the extinguishing of the light on the windows you go out into the abyss, pass by the rare fireflies and only by the scent of carob do you know in which part of Sv. Jacob you are. And everything is a game, some strange competition with reality - you are trying to convince the war that it is not that’’.

In the suite Puertas abiertas (Open Door), the composer Placenti questions this idea of fireflies, the city as a labyrinth of souls and their encounters. On the other hand, tango is "a beloved bohemian with a wound that he hides, dressed in mourning from head to toe ... laughter but also death dressed in dancers," according to the classic text of the genre, Apología tanguera songs from 1933. In the traditional milonga, the rules of conduct require that dancers remain anonymous, and often dance for years without knowing each other's names, while the dance itself is physically quite intimate. It can be said that Placenti in Urban's earlier, more intimate photographs, feels that upcoming tragedy of lost souls that also embodies the aesthetics of tango music.

The story from the encounter of the work of deceased Dubrovnik photographer Pavo Urban and Argentine composer Adrián Placenti will be performed by the piano composer himself and Katalin Bartha on the violin with the narration of actor Dario Gverovic.

Free tickets to this concert can be picked at the Marin Drzic Theatre at the box office, which works from 9am to 3pm on Wednesdays and from 3pm to 9pm from Thursday to Saturday.

As many as 17.5 Croatian households are unable to pay their bills on time, according to a 2018 Eurostat analysis – Poslovni.hr reports. There are only two nations that are 'worse': Bulgarians, whose 30.1 percent of households are unable to pay their bills, and Greeks who are at the top with 35.6 percent of households with that problem.

The Dutch are the most liquid, with only 1.5 percent of households having problems paying their bills on time. Czechs are not that far with 2.1 percent, as well as the Swedes and Austrians with just over two percent of those who are problematic.

Germany, Luxembourg and Portugal follow. The nations with two-digit problems, in addition to those on top are Hungarians, Latvians, Cypriots, Slovenes and Romanians –Poslovni.hr writes.

 

The average net salary in Zagreb in October 2019 amounted to 7,541 kuna (€1,014), which is 1,045 kuna higher than the average take-home pay for the rest of Croatia for that month.

The average net salary in Zagreb this past October increased in the nominal terms by 54 kuna or 0.72 percent, compared to September 2019, and also by HRK 281 or 3.8 percent compared to October 2018, show statistics published by the city's strategic planning and development department.

Broken down by the type of business activity, Zagreb's highest average monthly salary, 12,103 kuna, was paid to those working in the crude oil and natural gas exploitation services, followed by the financial services sector, where the average monthly take-home pay in October was 10,823 kuna.

On the other hand, the lowest average monthly wage, 4,125 kuna, was paid in the clothes manufacturing sector.

 

It is Veganuary and time to celebrate all things vegan. Croatia has just finished on a list of the top vegan friendly countries in the world, in a very healthy 30 position.

In the new year, hundreds of thousands of people take part in Veganuary. This is when, during the month of January, people try to convert to a vegan diet to test the waters, sometimes even make a complete change to their lifestyle. The idea is for people curious in the diet to try it out and decide whether it’s something they can continue to do throughout the year.

“During Veganuary, we have researched which countries around the world are the best for vegans based on factors such as number of vegan restaurants, popularity of veganism, and animal welfare. Ranking as the most vegan-friendly is Thailand with an incredible choice of 334 different vegan restaurants and generally a low meat, milk and egg consumption,” stated the Hotel Follower who carried out the rankings.

is croatia really vegan friendly

Croatia ranks as the 30th most vegan-friendly country. The other most vegan-friendly countries include: South Korea, Taiwan, Canada and Malaysia.

Croatia’s ranking could have been better if there were more vegan restaurants in the country. Generally, Croatians have been relatively slow to realise that a large proportion of tourists who visit every summer are vegan, and therefore looking for vegan restaurants. Out of a possible 10 points for restaurants in the country, Croatia only scored 4 points.

 

The Voice of Dubrovnik

THE VOICE OF DUBROVNIK


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