5 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Croatia

(This article was originally published in Croatia Week Magazine.)

In a matter of a few years, Croatia has transformed from Europe’s hidden gem to Europe’s hottest holiday destination. With spotless beaches along the Adriatic, national parks full of waterfalls, and charming cobble-stoned cities, it’s unlikely that Croatia will fall off the radar anytime soon.

However, just like in any other popular destination, the rise in visitors is a ripe opportunity for some tourist traps to flourish. As an American who’s lived in Croatia for over a year, I’ve seen this first hand.

Here are 5 of the biggest tourist traps you’ll want to avoid for a more authentic Croatian holiday. Read more

The Ultimate Insider’s Guide to Dubrovnik

Drum roll please… I’m about the drop the ultimate knowledge bomb full of insider travel tips to one of the world’s trendiest destinations: Dubrovnik, Croatia. Trust me when I say you won’t find these tips in any Lonely Planet Guide or one of the various “36 hour travel guides” on Pinterest.

Why? Because I didn’t just visit Dubrovnik; I lived there. I first came to study abroad, then fell in love, literally, with a local. I then returned to live for another 6 months. I’m one of the lucky few Americans that actually were immersed in the culture and Dubrovnik mentality.

No tourist traps. No sponsorships. Only my genuine tips (and a few of my boyfriend’s recommendations too) about a destination that turned into my second home:

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The Reverse Culture Shock After Leaving Croatia

Here is a piece I wrote for Croatia Week Magazine. Within only a short few days the piece was picked up, translated, and shared across across several major Croatian news sites, gaining both positive and some negative feedback. What do you think?

“I never realized how much living in Croatia changed me until I left. I lived in Croatia for about a year in total, first studying abroad in Dubrovnik, and then coming back to stay with my Croatian boyfriend.

But it seems every time I leave, I take a bigger part of Croatia with me, which has led to a collision between American and Croatian culture. To say that I’ve experienced reverse culture shock would be an understatement. Read more

Narnia is a Place on Earth, and it’s Not Where You’d Expect…

Throughout my entire childhood (okay, adulthood too) I dreamed of opening my closet only to find it a portal to Narnia. The winter wonderland that C.S Lewis described in his fantasy novels captured the imagination and hearts of millions. But what if I told you that fiction could become a reality?

Okay, so without the evil witches and talking beavers, of course, there is a place on earth covered in waterfalls and flowing streams, painted a twinkling silver right out of a storybook. What’s most surprising is that it is hidden in a place you would least expect it. Read more

Zagreb’s Award-Winning Christmas Festival Proves Croatia is More Than a Summer Destination

Huddling for warmth in wooden huts, sipping hot wine, indulging in sausages on a stick, while singing holiday classics with crowds from all corners of the globe: it’s no surprise why Europe is a hub of holiday festivities. Yet, one lesser-known European destinations is taking this season as an opportunity to show the world it’s magic.

This year I made it a point to visit the Advent Christmas festival in Zagreb, after seeing it won Europe’s Best Christmas market in 2016. From each park filled with live music and twinkling trees, to the various carefully crafted outdoor displays and attractions, Croatia’s capital city has clearly put in the effort to earn its title. Zagreb’s advent Christmas festival is helping pave the way for Croatia to become a year-round vacation destination. Read more