Tipura Ilija, Professional Consultant at ERNI Switzerland reveals some pieces of his background in this episode of our Insider Tips Series. Let us discover with him some of the biggest jewels that Croatia has to offer.
Ilijas roots go back to the Croatian part of Bosnia and Herzegovina – his grandparents lived in Slavonski Brod, a city in the eastern part of today’s Croatia. Ilijas parents decided to move to Switzerland in 1990 where their son was born. The connection to Croatia was still strong and so the family decided to go back to their home country until Ilijas 3rd class of the elementary school. They stayed only for 6 months before returning to Switzerland again as the economic situation in Croatia was very bad. Ilija loves Croatia and visits very often – every 3 months – as he has a lot of friends and family living there. And of course – spending the Summer on the Croatian coast is a must for Ilija. Here are his tips for the travellers among us.
- Typical food you would advise people to try: Croatia has a very diverse cuisine, depending on the region you are visiting the tips may vary. When near the sea, you should definitely try Dalmatinski pršut, which is a gastronomic speciality – ham dried on smoke. It has a special salty smoky taste. When visiting the island Pag, a must-try is the cheese Paški sir made of sheep milk having a spicy flavour. Traditional pasta made of truffles Istrian fuži in the region of Istria is also worth trying. In Winter, rolled cabbage leaves with meat and rice inside called Sarma are the typical winter dish to go for.
- Typical drink: I would say the brandies are something which Croatia is very famous for. Šljivovica (made of plums) or Smokvača (made of figs) – it is not that hard like the plum brandy.
- The most beautiful place: It is hard to choose one, but on the sea, it is Split, Dubrovnik and Zadar which are magnificent. Also the islands like e.g. Hvar, Krk or Korčula. In the inner of the country, the capital city Zagreb is worth a visit. The city’s Christmas market was voted the best in Europe three times in a row. The entire culture and atmosphere of Zagreb is unique.
- Most famous sight: The old town of Dubrovnik is a must-see, you have amazing views and for the fans of Game of Thrones the city has a special meaning as parts of the series were recorded there. When you visit Dubrovnik you feel like put back in ancient times, although some locals still live there in the historical part. Dubrovnik is also called the Pearl of the Adria.
- Mostly used greeting in the local language: Bok! There are many theories where the word originated from. One of those theories is that it is an abbreviated derivation of the archaic Austrian salutation ‘Mein Buecken’ (bow).
- Famous personality: Luka Modrić, a footballer who plays as a midfielder for the Spanish club Real Madrid and as captain for the Croatia national team. Also, Nikola Tesla, the inventor, electrical and mechanical engineer, grew up in the region of today’s Croatia – we and also Serbia are very proud of him.
- Typical dessert: Palačinke, it is like crepes, you can find it on every corner. Croatians prefer to eat it sweet, with chocolate.
- Recommended way of transport: If visiting the coastal area, you can do great sailing trips due to Croatia having more than 1000 islands. A good way of transportation is also renting a motorbike or bicycle and riding the coast down on the coastal roads – an awesome experience.