Osijek

Central square of Osijek (Trg Ante Starcevica)

Osijek is a city in Eastern Croatia. It is an important transport hub and the principal city of Slavonia.

Understand

Due to its important location near the junction of the Drava and Danube rivers, this large and prosperous town (the fourth largest city in Croatia with a population around 120,000) bore much of the brunt of the recent conflict in the 1990s. Many fine buildings have been restored to their former glory, though do not be surprised to see some scars still remaining. Some buildings still have bullet holes or shrapnel markings in them, though like the local economy, the town is mostly back to where it was in pre-war days. Osijek is the largest city and the economic and the cultural centre of the eastern Croatian region of Slavonia, as well as the administrative center of Osijek-Baranja county.

Get in

Osijek is the major rail and road hub for all forms of transport in eastern Croatia.

By rail

Rail services to Osijek terminate at the grand 1880s railway building at the bottom edge of the central town. In addition to the numerous train services operate each day to Zagreb (including the new, high-speed tilt train which completes the journey in around 3 hours), there are services to Koprivnica and Rijeka as well as other local services within Croatia to places like Slavonski Brod and Đakovo. The Croatian Railways has information on train times and tickets. The railway station is being renovated and modernised. There are daily connections with places in the city area. There are also daily connections to Bizovac spa.

By bus

The bus station adjoins the train station and offers international as well as domestic services. Some of the many destinations on offer include Vukovar, Đakovo, Novi Sad, Belgrade, Pecs and Tuzla. Timetables, tickets and information are easily accessible. Panturist is the major bus operator out of Osijek and has listings of domestic and international bus travel - click on the vozni red icon. Central bus station is renovating and it will become the biggest one in south-eastern Europe. Bus companies Panturist, Polet, APP, Croatiatrans and many other smaller companies are daily connecting the city with all parts of the country.

By plane

In summer months, there are flights with Croatia Airlines from the Adriatic coast from Split and Dubrovnik to Osijek Airport (located some distance from the city). This can be very useful to save back-tracking through to Zagreb once again, or the very mountainous and windy journey through Bosnia. Buses and taxis connect the airport with the city center and hotels. There is also a secondary airport, used exclusively for sport and private flying purposes (Sport Airport Čepin). It is also used for exhibitions. When Pope John Paul II visited Croatia, this was the place where the service was held. The annual car-show is also held at this airport.

There is now an international service by Germanwings to Cologne and other German cities. Ryanair has started servicing flights to the United Kingdom and Germany. Egyptian Lotus Air is starting services in summer 2009., connecting the city with the city of Hurghada.

By road

Main highways pass nearby to Osijek from Zagreb through to Belgrade (Beograd), and the pan-European corridor Vc from Budapest through to Sarajevo will see a new motorway added to the Croatian network, construction to be completed by 2010.

Highway A5 or Slavonika was opened 17.04.2009. It connects Osijek with the A3 highway which runs from Zagreb to the Serbian border.

Driving to Osijek is easy with good signposting from all directions, and there is on-street as well as lot parking in the town.

Get around

Osijek is divided into two main regions - the upper town (focusing on the city square, Trg Ante Starcevic), and Tvrđa, the preserved fortress town to the east of the town centre along the Drava River. The whole city has 12 districts/blocks: Upper Town, Lower Town, Fortress, New Town, South 1, South 2, Green Field, Retfala, New Retfala, Industrial District, Tvrdjavica and The Left Coast.

Osijek has a tram system dating back to 1884, and the three main lines connect the railway station, town square, Tvrđa, industrial district, all city borders (tickets can be bought from the driver, or you can purchase a BUTRA-universal bus/tram card for unlimited riding). The network is currently being completely overhauled and more than doubled in length, and the city's old trams are being modernized. Local buses fill the gaps where the trams do not run and are quite frequent. A map of the local transport system can be found on the Tourist Board's website. . You can also experience the ride with the oldest tram in Europe, which has been renovated for sightseeing tours. Buses are riding cca every 10-15 minutes in the city area, and every 20-25 minutes those which are connecting the settlements around the city (Tenja, Sarvas, Visnjevac, Josipovac, Cepin, Vladislavci, Bilje, Darda, Bizovac, Nemetin, Bijelo Brdo).

There are numerous bicycling routes all around the city, such as Donji grad-Bilje, Jug II.-Industrijska četvrt, and so on.

Taxis are serving the line within the main railway station/airport to the city center.

Otherwise, it is fairly straightforward and well-designed city to traverse by foot with few hills.

See

Co-cathedral of St.Peter and St.Paul

Do

Buy

Eat

The specialty of Slavonia is undoubtably food.

With culinary influences from all directions, and a love of spicy food, Osijek has many great restaurants serving traditional Croatian cuisine. Two specialties of the area include riblji paprikas (fish stew with hand-made noodles) or kulen (spicy sausages). Going out to eat in restaurants in Osijek is often far better value than in other large Croatian cities, though for those who insist on self-catering there is a supermarket and an open-air market between the town square and railway station.

Drink

Sleep

Go next

Kopački Rit
This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, March 28, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.