During the magical Advent time
Discover Christmas time festivities in Osijek. Holiday spirit await you on its streets and have a taste of famous continental Croatian cuisine
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Sarah & Kris happened upon Osijek while gallivanting around the globe in search of mouth-watering wine and food. After spending five unforgettable days in Osijek and its surrounding area during Advent, still full of impressions, they decided to list seven super reasons to visit Osijek.
Gastronomy is at the top of the list, of course, followed by the city's storied past and lush architecture, Kopački Rit, wineries and breweries, festivals, engaging farmers' markets and, most important of all – the warm, friendly and interesting people.
So, what are you waiting for? Retrace the steps of Sarah & Kris and try to recreate their unforgettable experience.
Advent in Osijek
Duration: 6 Days | Min number of person: 2
Christmas time in Osijek
with tips from American bloggers
A treasure trove of tradition and heritage
Discover the best of
The black room in American bar Dollar
A little Museum tour with local historical tales
Have local dinner in cosy restaurant Ruža
After breakfast at the hotel, we will take a compelling guided walking tour of the city. You will get acquainted with the beautifully restored Baroque-style Tvrđa Fortress on the bank of the Drava River, which, in case you didn’t know, originates in South Tyrol near Lake Dobbiaco in Italy.
The guide’s riveting story will take you back to 1712 when Baron von Beckers, an Austrian general, and his compatriot, the famed military commander Prince Eugene of Savoy, supervised the restoration of the fortress after fending off the Ottomans.
As we resume our walk through the streets of Osijek, we will arrive at the Museum of Slavonia. The Museum’s expert guide will provide additional facts about the heritage of the city and the wider Osijek region – as well as historical tidbits, like the one about the disused dungeons located below the Museum far from the sight of the general public, or the city guard moving from the square to a different location only to abandon it once again.
After listening to a plethora of stories about the history of Osijek, it’s time to return to the present and continue towards the vibrant farmer’s market where growers from the city’s surrounding area display their home-grown fresh produce on a daily basis. Something tells us that you might be intrigued by the local flavours, so we’ll let you try the homemade bread, cheese, and cream with hot peppers for a more traditional taste. This is followed by a break at the Trica café. We will go to for the lunch at a small family-owned home-cooking restaurant. Then we will return to the hotel for a short afternoon break. You will have dinner at the attention-grabbing American Bar Dollar. We will continue hanging out together at the popular St. Patrick's Pub, where the playlist consists of tunes by the most famous Croatian and international artists.
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Strolling through Osijek old Town
Arrival to Osijek. Settle in at the lovely decorated Bed & Breakfast in Tvrđa.
Dinner at the cosy and quaint Ruža restaurant with live entertainment provided by a dynamic musical duo. The Slavonian platter and zander carpaccio will be served as hors d’oeuvres, while the stuffed burger and fish stew will be served as main dishes.
Next, we will take a stroll through Tvrđa, which is considered the most beautiful part of Osijek by the locals.
Overnight stay at a family Bed & Breakfast.
Christmas time in Osijek , 6 days
After breakfast at the hotel, we will take you on a tour of the gorgeous surrounding area of Osijek and the Baranja region, where traditional villages exude the spirit of times gone by, which has been preserved since the days of yore and fostered through lavish folk costumes, folklore, customs and the small-scale craft production of rakija (fruit brandy), wine and meat delicacies such as kulen (the most sought after Slavonian meat product).
We will go on a walking photo safari at the Kopački Rit Nature Park, which forms an integral part of the EU Natura 2000 network of protected areas and is one of the most valuable floodplains in Europe. Here you can take photos of the wetlands, natural channels, and backwaters, which are the perfect environments for endangered species and thriving ecosystems. You won’t be able to fully grasp the extraordinary beauty of this natural environment until you spot a herd of deer or flocks of birds flying over a sounder of wild boar. After the safari, we will continue our drive and pass through Mirkovci and the majestic landscape of Baranja on our way to the wine region and the village of Zmajevac. We will also be stopping at the Mlin Gallery for a short while. Here you can marvel at the displayed items made from white clay found in Baranja by Danijel Asztalos, a renowned Croatian artist from Baranja, or check out the pottery clay mannequins wearing women’s jewellery, which is another of Danijel’s masterpieces.
You will have dinner in the traditional wine atmosphere of the Josić restaurant and winery, where you will get to try four different varieties of premium wine from Baranja. Next, we will head to Batina where we will visit the monument to the Battle of Batina, offering a spectacular view of the formidable Danube, the second longest river in Europe, providing an ample supply of drinking water to the whole of Central Europe. Also, it should be noted that seldom has a river inspired such a vast number of artists to create magnificent pieces of music or novels. Let’s take this opportunity to stand awestruck for a moment.
Return to Osijek. A short break at the Bed & Breakfast accommodation, after which we will go the Vinska mušica wine bar. A kind of snack will be followed by wine tasting. Overnight.stay.
Danijel Asztalos, a renowned Croatian clay artist and potter from Baranja
Walking photo safari in gorgeous Baranja and Nature Park Kopački rit
After breakfast at the hotel, you will be escorted to Osijek Airport.
Explore Osijek’s culinary delicacies
PRICE PER PERSON:
We will visit the popular Autopija flea market on the outskirts of the city, which draws in thousands of visitors every Sunday.
Autopija is frequented by plenty of loyal visitors who never fail to show up week after week, while others come here for the distinct purpose of acquiring items that are impossible to find in modern shopping malls.
The pijaca, which means market in the local vernacular, is a buzz. You can buy here anything from ordinary screws to cars. People stop here to chat with other people, familiar and unfamiliar, and usually discuss politics and the struggles of the little people. And while you're debating politics and sizing up the cars on sale, you might as well treat yourself to a barbecue sausage or a spicy Slavonian sausage.
Afterward, we will have lunch at the beautiful Orlov put eco farm, where its owners grow eco food and live in perfect harmony with nature. Return to Osijek. If you take a cue from Sarah & Kris and visit Osijek in the winter, we will take you to the Advent in Osijek Christmas market.
Dinner at the quaint Mađarska Retfala Hungarian inn. Overnight stay.
Another unusual day in Osijek
After breakfast, we will hop on to take a tram ride to the City Market in downtown Osijek to buy food prepared by Nenad Komes, the chef of the American Bar Dollar. We will also be preparing lunch together.
Free time. Osijek doesn't just have great wine bars, it also boasts fantastic craft beer. Craft beer enthusiast Tibor Kainz, who opened Gajba, the first craft beer bar in Slavonia, is definitely an expert on the subject. We will try some excellent Slavonian craft beers at Tibor's beer bar. For an authentic beer drinking experience, visit Osijek in early May during the much-frequented and inviting Craft Festival. Dinner in Osijek at the superb “Museum of taste “ restaurant, which is located in the gorgeous renovated pavilion of the City Garden, which was built in 1804 and used to be known as the “Schönbrunn of Osijek”.
Osijek's flea market
Craft beer bar Gajba
Duration: 3 Days | Minimum number of persons: 2
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In the evening hours it will seem as if the beauty and warmth of the Slavonian scenery have somehow become one with the warmth spreading out of the lovely old outdoor events that are surrounded by merry visitors sipping tasty Slavonian mulled wine, putting wood into the oven that keeps them warm and chatting with their friends. Some of them remembering the childhood stories they had heard as a children in the long winter nights from their Grandmas Advent in Osijek with its home atmosphere, feelings of hope and anticipation will remind you on those days .
Advent in Tvrđa, Osijek in Croatia
the heart of Pannonia
Advent in Osijek, 3 days
From Zagreb to Osijek, the heart of Pannonia
Morning drive by public bus from Zagreb towards the idyllic Pannonian regions of Slavonia and Baranja. On your way you will enjoy in a pleasant approximate 3,30 hours bus ride and a lovely scenery of Croatian lowland. Upon arrival to Osijek bus station you will be transferred by a private car to a cozy bed & breakfast where a welcome drink will be served. Meet with your private guide at your accommodation for a walking sightseeing tour of Osijek. You shall hear an interesting historic tales about Roman colony of Osijek, the long Ottoman period when the Turks constructed a wooden bridge to cross the marshlands on their way to capture Vienna.
In order to cross the marshlands northeast of town, the Turks construct a 8km-long wooden bridge from Osijek to Darda. Featuring watch-towers and rest-stations, the bridge become one of the eight wonders of European engineering.
You will continue your walk to the Church of St.Peter and St.Paul. You will walk back to Fortress (Tvrđa). Ending the sightseeing tour you will head to a lovely restaurant with typical Slavonian food.
Visit to the Osijek Advent Fair at Fortress (Tvrđa) in the evening. Advent at Tvrđa takes place at one of the most beautiful locations in Osijek where you can experience the Christmas atmosphere of this region and become familiar with the traditions and customs.
Advent songs are singing expressing the joy of coming Christmas time encourages believers to spiritually preparation for the feast of Christmas.
Although there is no recorded footage, about the traditional customs associated with the celebration of the pre Christmas holiday Season many of them are passed for years from knee to knee and are keep up today by many cultural-artistic societies who are concerned preserve the tradition.
Among other things at the Osijek Advent fair caterers from Osijek have prepared traditional Slavonian food and wine, a plentiful assortment of hot drinks, sausages with sauerkraut as well as ceramic and other interesting items. An optional dinner at the fair. Return to the bed & breakfast accommodation.
Exploring Osijek surrounding and ethno village in Baranja)
After breakfast departure to Beli Manastir to visit the Ethnological Centre of Baranja’s Heritage
presents cultural heritage of the area in Baranja from the late 19th to early 20th century.The exhibition is based on the unbreakable bond between people of Baranja and their natural environment Baranja’s fields, wetlands, plains and forests, rivers and hills with fertile vineyards. You will introduce with the extraordinary woman art skills of handmade textiles production, and many other Slavonian art and craft products of wood.
After visiting the Centre, we leave to the ethno village Karanac where you can enjoy in typical authentic Slavonian ethno houses (whose decorated facades are usually facing the street),rich gastronomic homemade food very frequently accompanied by the lively music of domestic instrument Slavonian tamburitzas.
A stroll and tour of the lovely ethno village where the most interest will surely be aroused by the “Street of Forgotten Times” where many forgotten crafts are presented (an ancient barber shop, the inn “Under the Pear Tree” has bacon and sausages hanging above the Bar, where at the table only Brandy, wine and soda water are served, or An earthen house, summer kitchen, ice-house and workshops where once, pottery, clogs, baskets and barrels were made, as well as for carpentry and weaving all bring back memories of times gone by. Maybe this is the reason why their owner Mr. Baja (very typical Slavonian nickname) renewed them, and save forever.
We will leave ethno village and head to the Banovo Hill surrounded by millions of vineyards
a place to relax and enjoy the unspoiled hectare of vineyards, landscapes of the Croatian Podunavlje and the city of Osijek. It will be a time to head in a nice wine cellar in village of Suza for the wonderful Baranja’s wine taste. After wine taste we head to Batina, a village in the very east of Croatia, which offers a wonderful panoramic view of the beautiful Dunav. Also located here is the Batina Battle Memorial Complex which was erected to commemorate the fierce victorious battles that took place here and results in the liberation of the area in World War II.
Day will be conclude in a nice restaurant in the village of Zmajevac where the lunch will be served the typical slavonian food. Return to Osijek.If you will not be tired there will still be a time to stroll on the lovely Osijek Advent Fair and enjoy the lovely evening.
Winneries in Zmajevac village near Osijek
Tree in field at sunset in wintertime near Osijek
PRICE PER PERSON:
PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE:
Drinks during the meals
Insurance and health policy
Time to leave Osijek
Slavonian food specialities
After breakfast checkout from your accommodation.Before you leave Osijek, if a time will allow you listen to the Osijek church bells at 11.00 a.m. and try “Osijek dumpling” a popular Osijek dish, made of dough with addition of plums, poppy and walnuts. A dish is connected to a memory of the liberation the town from the Turkish Empire in a late 1687 when at 11 o’clock the Turks left the town. In 18th century in a memory to that time, all the renew churches bells start ringing at 11.00 a.m. The story goes on and you might be curious why Osijek dumpling is connected with the church belles? Osijek housewife started to finish their lunch to cook pasta or to prepare dough before noon and expression over the time was changed into “Knoedl time”.
Transfer to the Bus station and leave city of Osijek by public Bus to Zagreb.
GOOD TO KNOW:
If you arrive to Zagreb by plane you could be transferred to Osijek by private car, public bus or train.
THIS TRIP INCLUDES:
Return bus ticket Zagreb-Osijek-Zagreb
Return private transfer from Osijek bus station to the accommodation
Two overnights with breakfast in a twin or double ensuite room at Bed & Breakfast
Guided sightseeing tour of Osijek
Lunch at a restaurant in Osijek
Guided sightseeing tour of Baranja with wine tasting (3 types of wine), lunch and entrance fee
VAT and travel preparations
SLAVONIA & BARANJA REGION
Check out how it feels to visit Slavonia on Advent
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