Photo: Mario Romulić

Arguably Croatia’s biggest hidden gem for digital nomads, Osijek is a magnificent city in the east of Croatia which has much to offer away from the crowds. In the words of one American DN who lived there for 6 months: “Osijek is one of the best places I have ever lived. As a single woman, it is safe, English is spoken, it is much cheaper than the coast, the locals are welcoming, the food and wine are incredible, the nature outstanding, the historic city is stunning, and the WiFi is excellent.” Some things to know about Osijek:

  • Osijek is home to Croatia’s first brewery, dating back to 1664, and the excellent craft beer scene today continues that tradition.
  • A sign of its historical significance is the fact that Croatia’s first trams were introduced in Osijek in 1884. 
  • With 17 parks and many other green spaces, Osijek has been officially named the greenest city in Croatia. Add the promenade along the Drava, and you have found your outdoor city heaven.
  • Osijek Cathedral is the second-tallest church in SE Europe, built with an incredible 3 million bricks. 
  • Osijek is Croatia’s most bike-friendly city, in keeping with its focus of nature. 

Equidistant between Belgrade and Zagreb, Osijek offers a very different experience to that of the coast. Slavonia is known as the most hospitable of the Croatian regions. And with many people emigrating in search of economic opportunity,  locals appreciate arriving nomads bringing a fresh mindset and life in the economy. The city is surrounded by excellent wine regions, as well as superb rural tourism spots, where you can sample the local wines and excellent traditional cuisines. Kopacki Rit Nature Park is one of the outstanding wetlands of Europe. 

Osijek and the region is a biking destination, and the annual Pannonian Challenge has put the region further on the cycling map. River cruises, fishing, swimming and diving are all possible thanks to the Drava River.

Festivals worth checking out:

  • Osijek Antique Fair (every first Saturday of the month)
  • Craft Beer Festival
  • WineOs (January)
  • Evening of Wine & Art
  • HeadOnEast (March)
  • ReArt (June)
  • Pannonian Challenge (August)
  • UFO Festival (September)
  • Osijek Summer Nights

Osijek has one of the most dynamic startup scenes in Croatia, and there is plenty of great local energy to tap into. The city itself is very walkable, an even more pleasant experience given its historic buildings and numerous parks. Public transport is very efficient, and there are regular buses, both nationally and internationally. There is also an international airport, and the city is just off the main Zagreb to Belgrade motorway. 

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