Monday, 19 August 2019

According to the latest data from the Croatian National Bank (HNB), the total Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Croatia in 2016 amounted to 1.7 billion Euros, or 1.5 billion Euros more than in 2015.

After a significant annual decline in FDI in 2015 by almost 77 percent in comparison to 2014, the latest figures indicate an important recovery, commented analysts from Raiffeisen Bank Austria.

Last year most foreign direct investment came from Italy, almost 1.9 billion Euros, followed by the Netherlands (539 billion Euros), and Luxembourg (275 billion Euros), whilst the most significant net outflow in 2016 was recorded with Austria, 1.38 billion Euros.

Furthermore, according to the revised data, in the period between 1993 and 2016, Croatia recorded 30.8 billion Euros of FDI. Excluding the so-called circular investments, that have an impact on increasing FDI in both directions i.e. in Croatia and abroad, this amount is lower and amounts to 28.4 billion Euros.

During this cumulative period, the highest values of foreign direct investment in Croatia were recorded in the financial intermediation sector (more than 33 percent), and in the wholesale trade sector.

Every week The Dubrovnik Times goes to new levels for your pleasure. This time it’s all about culinary pleasure. We have scoured the menus of Dubrovnik to bring you our favourites. And not only did we just research the menus we have gone that extra step and tasted the food in advance for you...its hard work but someone has to do it. This week I visited a restaurant for the first time ever...but not the last time.

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Now I must have driven past this restaurant hundreds of times, I would always throw a glance and think “that looks like a great spot for lunch,” but would then continue past once again. This time I stopped, and I am glad I did. Located in the wide open bay of Zaton the Gverović-Orsan restaurant is one of the iconic eateries of the region. Some restaurants advertise that they “have a sea view” or are “close to the sea” – if Gverović-Orsan was any closer to the sea I would be sitting with the fishes. “Every table is front line to the sea, so everyone has a sea view,” laughed the manager as I found a table.

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I could however see a problem – I am not going to want to leave here. And being so close to the sea it made perfect sense to go for a seafood lunch of which Gverović-Orsan has plenty to choose from. Octopus salad, fresh anchovies on rock sapphire and fish carpaccio, all delicious, all fresh and all presented gloriously.

The fish carpaccio was in an unusual sauce so I asked the manager “Lemon, honey and olive oil...all ingredients we grow ourselves,” he smiled. This proved to be one of the keys to the success of the restaurant, keeping things simple and authentic and using home grown local produce to the maximum.

On to the main course and sticking with the fish theme I plumped for the black risotto “Orsan.” I had heard about this risotto before, renowned as one of the best in the region. I am a fan of black risotto so couldn’t wait to dive in. Loaded with flavour (and seafood) it was a complete winner. Delicate and light (so often risottos are heavy) is was the perfect balance of tastes. One tip – as there are only 12 tables I would heavily recommend booking in advance, in fact in the summer you will be lucky to find a table if you haven’t booked.

Respecting traditional values and recipes all in the perfect location, that is Gverović-Orsan. And to round of a perfect lunch I chose pancakes in a wild orange and honey sauce. And yes I was right; I just didn’t want to go home. Gverović-Orsan gets 10/10 from me.      

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Štikovica 43, Zaton 20235, Dubrovnik
Tel: +385 (0) 98271555
Opening hours - Monday to Sunday 12pm to midnight

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The summer arrived in full force today in Dubrovnik as temperatures hit 30 degrees! The ancient Old City was awash with tourists enjoying the baking weather and blue skies.

The cafe bars of the city were doing a roaring trade with al fresco coffee the order of the day. A great end/start to the week in Dubrovnik and according to the weather forecast the warmer weather should continue all next week with temperatures in the high twenties expected, the Adriatic Sea is still a rather refreshing 21 degrees.

Check out our photo gallery by Tonci Plazibat

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Ask the Guide - May 2017

May 28, 2017

Who, what, when, where and how! We have the answers to all your questions about Dubrovnik from one of the leading tour guides in the city – Ivan Vukovic.

If you have ever had a guided tour of Dubrovnik there is a good chance that you have bumped into Ivan Vukovic. For the past decade Ivan has been leading visitors around Dubrovnik, thousands and thousands of guests have been captivated by his local insight and wealth of knowledge. From Game of Thrones to walking tours and even Star Wars tours Vukovic is always thinking ahead of the game. You can find more information on Ivan Vukovic and his tours at his website -

Send your questions to Ivan and “Ask the Guide” at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or through the social media accounts of The Dubrovnik Times...if you don’t ask you will never know.

Here are this week’s questions

When is the best time of the day to visit the city walls and how long does it take to walk them?

Definitely in the early morning at 8.00 a.m when the walls open for visitors so as to avoid the scorching heat. This is particularly important in the high season because temperatures can reach 35 degree and there is very little shade on the walls. It takes around an hour and a half to walk the city walls, 1,940 metres, at a reasonable pace.

What are the top three sights that you would recommend to see in Dubrovnik?
My top three recommendations to see and do whilst in Dubrovnik are, in no particular order, the City Walls and the Lovrjenac Fortress, the Dubrovnik Cable Car and the island of Lokrum.

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 Minceta Fortress - the highest part of the Dubrovnik City Walls  

How many gates are there into the Old City and which is the least busy?

There are three land entrances into the Old City of Dubrovnik – Pile, Ploce and Buza. There are also two gates from the old harbour into the Old City. Out of all of the three gates into the city the least busy is the Buza Gate, the north gate. But beware there are plenty of steps down from this gate to the centre of the city, not a problem when enterting, a bigger problem climbing up 200 or so steps when you leave. This gate, in spite of the steps, is the best option if you want to go on the cable car, as the crow flies it is the shortest distance from the Stradun.

How much was left of the city after the 1667 earthquake?

The 1667 earthquake was one of the darkest days of Dubrovnik’s history. The aftermath of the earthquake killed half of the population, around 3,000 citizens, and two thirds of the city was destroyed either in the quake or as a result of the ensuing fires.

WordCamp Zagreb, the biggest annual gathering of the WorldPress community will take place for the first time in Zagreb from the 1st to the 3rd of September 2017.

The three-day event is the official Croatian WordCamp in 2017 and since past WordCamps in Rijeka (2015) and Split (2016) got such a big attendee satisfaction rating of 95 percent and gathered more than 500 participants, the organizers believe that the first Zagreb WordCamp will be the largest individual event in Croatia related to WordPress.

‘’After two successful events in Rijeka and Split, we are happy to host the next WordCamp in the city of Zagreb – capital of Croatia. Aiming for 300 attendees, with three days of content (workshops, conference day and contributor day), we are confident this will help the Croatian WordPress community grow even further. Word Camp will also be a perfect opportunity to meet people that work and live Word Press. On both past WordCamps, we had around 20 percent of people who visited us outside Croatia, so this is also an opportunity for new business leads’’, said the organizers.

WordPress is a free and open-source platform and the world’s most popular website management or blogging system in use on the Web supporting more than 60 million websites.

Since it was founded in 2003, WordPress has become one of the world's most important open source projects through which online publishing is democratized and the values of joint work and contribution to open source projects are being promoted.

One of the most popular beaches in Dubrovnik area, Uvala Lapad, is on the cusp of a new, brighter future. The beach, which in the summer is a hotspot for locals and tourists, is in a tourist area of the town and surrounded by many hotels. However the summer season has already begun and the beach still looks like a building site. And according to travel forums the noise for the construction works is annoying holidaymakers.

“We are looking to book a holiday to Lapad but reluctant to do so if the work is NOT completed. Various web forums are complaining about noise when staying in nearby hotels,” commented a reader of The Dubrovnik Times.

Commenting to The Dubrovnik Times the company stated that - Sunset Beach in Uvala Lapad in Dubrovnik is currently under construction, but those construction works are going on according to the planned schedule. Realistic time of completion and opening of the beach is expected end of June, as it stated in the concession contract. So all in all, works are going well, all will be on time, Uvala will get an amazing beach with bar, pastry shop, restaurant.

Through no fault of my own, but thanks to an exploding clutch in my car, I have been forced onto public transport for the past week. Being without my car is like being without my left leg. Don’t get me wrong I am not a great car fan, I don’t really know an Audi from an Austin, I am certainly not a “petrol head.” I couldn’t really care what I drive as long as it gets me from A to B in one piece. So after my clutch (amongst other oil covered parts) all decided to commit suicide at the same time, like a group of lemmings throwing themselves off a cliff, I was, just like the old BBC serial – On the Buses.

First problem memorising the timetable, “if number 10 leaves Cavtat at 8.00am what time does it get to Mlini?” was the first question I posed my wife who has the timetable and bus movements ingrained in her memory. Well not so tricky but why do buses run every hour when they are totally full. Why aren’t there more buses at peak times? Like in the morning when people are going to work. It is standing room only in the mornings. And why is it that I always end up standing right next to a fellow passenger who must have spent the whole evening eating heads of garlic! Are they afraid of vampires? There also seems to be some “rogue” buses that roam around Zupa without any number or destination, apparently you need some inside knowledge to understand the hidden movements of these secret buses.

But apart from the leaky morning timetable there seems to be a much bigger problem and that involves informing tourists. I have found myself acting as a mobile tourist guide as confused foreign guests struggle to comprehend where to get off the bus for the Old City. “Does this bus go right to the Old City?” is a daily question. “Well no but relatively close,” comes my standard answer and then a whole script of directions (almost with GPS) to direct them.

The absolute problem is where they get off the bus from Zupa, the closest bus stop to the Old City. Every second bus this is solved by a bus driver screaming at the top of his voice like a banshee “OLD TOWN...OLD TOWN.” This is far from ideal, but at least the driver (or every second driver) is making some kind of effort. Of course if the tourists don’t hear the driver’s yells, or if he “forgets” to shout, the foreign passengers continue down to Gruž, further away from their final destination. But the lack of direction doesn’t end there. The lucky ones that actually get off the bus on Ilijina glavica are then met with another dilemma...which way now. Why is there no clear signpost here? Wouldn’t it make more sense just to have a small notice board explaining where to go? A kind of “you are here” sign and a map to get to the city centre.

Let’s be honest the lucky tourists who get off the number 10 at ilijina glavica are not heading for the school, police station or supermarket. But instead they are left following school children who run across a four lane busy road without any zebra crossing. Why not just direct them to the subway that runs under this busy junction. The city spent millions on this junction why not direct people to actually use it as it was designed. How much could I sign cost? If they need it in perfect English I will translate it for them free of charge! There is a flashy new clock, manicured gardens and a countdown traffic light system, come one let’s just install a clear signpost. “Is this a normal problem?”

I quizzed my wife thinking that maybe I was just being unlucky. “Oh, it happens every day, I even thought about printing a small set of directions and handing it out to lost foreigners,” she added. So it wasn’t just me, and I can only think what it is like in the height of the season, absolute chaos. It also makes a problem for the drivers who are forced to act as tourist guides. I have to be fair the vast majority of drivers that I have met have been correct and polite. There was even one who changed up a 200 Kuna note that was handed to him by a tourist, and he did it with a warm smile and kind words. Just install a bloody sign and make everyone’s life easier, and if you need it translated I am here.

For the sixth year in a row the most prestigious gastro project in Croatia has awarded the best restaurants in the country for 2017.

The Good Restaurants (Dobri Restorani) award is a joint project of the Croatian daily newspaper Jutarnji list and Vinart with their partners and sponsors Jamnica, Metro, Koral Badel 1862, and Losinj Hotels & Villas. This event is well known for creating the only objective national and regional top list of the best restaurants in Croatia.

A professional jury of 500 voters from all over Croatia was selected, including prominent representatives of Croatia's gastro scene such as restaurateurs, chefs, food journalists, bloggers, business people, tourist workers, and winemakers. The only condition was general customer satisfaction upon leaving the restaurant.

The Dobri Restorani award was rewarded in several categories such as Best restaurants in Croatia, Best restaurants in Dalmatia, Best restaurants in Istria and Kvarner, Best restaurants in Zagreb, Best restaurants in Central Croatia, and Best restaurants in Slavonia and Podunavlje. In addition, Croatian chefs chose the best among themselves for the category Best chef.

According to the voting that was held in secret, the absolute winner this year for the second time in a row is the Pelegrini restaurant in Sibenik, whilst its chef and owner Rudolf Stefan was voted the Best chef for 2017. The team from Sibenik has been in the very top of the Croatian gastro scene for years. Their quality has been recognized outside the country; the restaurant Pelegrini is a member of the prestigious association ''Jeunes restaurateurs d'Europe'', whilst the British newspaper Telegraph included ''Pelegrini'' in the top five destinations for a gourmet vacation in Croatia.

It is interesting to note that four restaurants from Dubrovnik, ''360'', ''Nautika'', ''Proto'', and ''Pantarul'' have made it to the top ten Best restaurants in Dalmatia, whilst the restaurant ''Monte'' from Rovinj was awarded the first Michelin star in Croatia earlier this year.

Here are the top ten restaurants lists by the categories:

Best 10 Restaurants in Croatia

1. Pelegrini, Sibenik
2. Dubravkin put, Zagreb
3. Monte, Rovinj
4. Noel, Zagreb
5. Plavi podrum, Volosko
6. Vinodol, Zagreb
7. Bevanda, Opatija
8. Carpaccio, Zagreb
9. Marina, Novigrad
10. Mala hiza, Mackovec

Best 10 Restaurants in Dalmatia
1. Pelegrini, Sibenik
2. 360, Dubrovnik
3. Boskinac, Novalja
4. Laganini Palmizana, Hvar
5. Bokeria, Split
6. Nautika, Dubrovnik
7. Fosa, Zadar
8. Proto, Dubrovnik
9. Pojoda, Vis
10. Pantarul, Dubrovnik

Best Restaurants in Istria and Kvarner
1. Monte, Rovinj
2. Plavi podrum, Volosko
3. Bevanda, Opatija
4. Marina, Novigrad
5. Batelina, Medulin
6. San Rocco, Brtonigla
7. Johnson, Moscenicka Draga
8. Damir & Ornella, Novigrad
9. Stari Podrum, Momjan
10. Badi, Umag

Best Restaurants in Zagreb
1. Dubravkin put, Zagreb
2. Noel, Zagreb
3. Vinodol, Zagreb
4. Carpaccio, Zagreb
5. Bistro Apetit, Zagreb
6. Takenoko, Zagreb
7. ManO, Zagreb
8. Barbieri’s, Zagreb
9. Apetit City, Zagreb
10. Time, Zagreb

Best Restaurants in Central Croatia
1. Mala hiza, Mackovec
2. Karlo, Plesivica
3. Kod spilje, Otrusevec
4. Mundoaka, Cakovec
5. Villa Magdalena, Krapinske Toplice
6. Vuglec Breg, Lepajci
7. Djurina hiža, Varazdinske Toplice
8. Academia hotel Kaj, Marija Bistrica
9. Mon ami, Velika Gorica
10. Dvorac Mihanovic, Tuheljske Toplice

Best Restaurants in Slavonia and Podunavlje
1. Muzej okusa, Osijek
2. Baranjska kuca, Karanac
3. Zimska luka, Osijek, Hotel Osijek
4. Josic, Zmajevac
5. Principovac, Ilok
6. Lumiere, Osijek
7. Dunav, Ilok
8. Kovac, Carda Suza
9. Klub restoran Waldinger, Osijek
10. Kormoran, Bilje.

The marking of the 25th anniversary of the liberation of the Ombla River in Dubrovnik and the subsequent unblocking of Dubrovnik was held today in Komolac with the unveiling of a new monument in honour of the Croatian war veterans.

- It is immense honour today to stand here with you and share the feeling of pride at the place where 25 years ago our sons, husbands and fathers proudly stood and defended our city and our homeland with their lives – commented the Commissioner for the Government of Dubrovnik, Nada Medović.

The new memorial in Komolac was constructed by the T.L.O. Studio for architecture and urban planning, according to the original idea of Mr. Mario Zdraulić. The cost of building the park with the new monument to the Homeland War Veterans was entirely covered by the City of Dubrovnik.

According to the latest list ''30 Smartest People Alive Today'' from Super Scholar, three representatives from Croatia have found their place on this prestigious list.

The American portal which is dedicated to education and knowledge as the most important links in the history of humans, used IQ results and other factors in compiling the list.

The average result on an IQ test is 100, with most people in the world falling in the category ‘’85-114’’. Anyone with a result over 140 is considered ‘’above average’’, and anyone with a result above 160 is considered ‘’a genius’’.

As expected, the list is topped by a brilliant Stephen Hawking, followed by an array of accomplished academics, smart young intellectuals, former child prodigies and IQ wizards such as Paul Allen, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Manahel Thabet, Garry Kasparov, Terence Tao, Donald Knuth, and many others.

As far as Croatia is concerned, three super smart Croats made the country very proud; Nikola Poljak who placed as the 14th on the list, Ivan Ivec (18th) and Mislav Predavec (23rd).

Nikola Poljak is a Croatian researcher and physicist with an IQ of 183. He was born in Cakovec in 1982, and works as an assistant research fellow and instructor at the University of Zagreb’s experimental physics department. Poljak is also an assistant research fellow at CERN, working on the collaborative A Large Ion Collider Experiment in Geneva, Switzerland. Two years ago, Poljak was also among the top 30 smartest people in the world.

Ivan Ivec is a 41-year old mathematician and IQ test specialist with an IQ of 174. He has a PhD in mathematics and works as a professor in the A.G.Matos high school in Samobor. Ivec is a member of Croatia’s MENSA and has a website dedicated to IQ testing.

Mislav Predavec is also a mathematician with an IQ of 190. He was born in Zagreb in 1967 where he works as a professor. ‘’I always felt that I was a step ahead of others. As material in school increased, I just solved the problems faster and better’’, commented Predavec. His unique abilities were recognized from his early age.

The Voice of Dubrovnik


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