10 reasons why locals love Osijek
People of Osijek are famously hospitable and they will proudly guide you through their city's streets and tell you a few local stories. We recommend you top 10 things that you should see, things that every lover of the city on Drava would show you. These are the things and places that locals enjoy seeing on their walks and they gladly often revisit them.
1. Water gate and walls
Magical baroque fortification, known as Tvrđa, is the pearl of the city that keeps many legends involving Austro-Hungarian soldiers, monuments, bastions, and powerful cannons. Tvrđa proudly reminds us of the famous history of the city. Many stories surround the Water gate that stands amidst the remaining walls, not to mention that this is locals' favorite spot for taking romantic pictures.
2. Osijek's parks
In Croatia, Osijek is known for being one of the greenest cities, since the number of parks surpasses the number of squares. Take a walk in one of 17 parks that will offer you protection in winter, shield you from the sun in summer, or dazzle you with richness of colors in spring and fall. If you are going from Tvrđa to the center of the city, you will discover the names of three Croatian kings after which the three successive parks are named. Pay attention, some trees have a story to tell.
3. Secession sequence
There are plenty of charming places in the city. Although a stroll through the promenade along Drava is an essential part of the local experience, those same locals will undoubtedly direct you to the most beautiful street in the city, European Avenue, in which you will find a sequence of buildings designed in secessionist style (early 20th century). They were built by Osijek’s citizens who took in the culture and architectural trends of Austria and Hungary and poured their new ideas into these innovatively decorated buildings, that together form the secession sequence.
4. Co-cathedral of St Peter and Paul
The imposing neo-Gothic church of St Peter and Paul, patron saints of the city, is one of the most valued symbols of the city. Its shape is deeply ingrained in the heart of every local. With its 90-metre spire, it looks after the citizens like a caring parent and invites passers-by to discover its impressive beauty and warmth within. Richly painted with frescoes and bathed in the rays of sun that come through stained glass, it inspires the visitors to look up and slow down their tempo in life.
Biking, walking, running, roller skating, coffee with friends, winter port. These are the words that the locals associate with their promenade along the river. If you take a walk along Drava, you will definitely start to feel like you are part of the town, and you will be greeted by many friendly faces and a sea of cyclists.
6. Pedestrian Bridge
Pedestrian bridge is a hanging bridge that lights up during the night. Whether you decide to walk, bike or run, pay attention to the path that you can find by crossing the bridge. Most notably, you will discover that there is a beautiful view of the town from the center of the bridge. If you are there with a loved one, you might want to eternalize your love with a padlock. When you get to the other side of the river, you can check out Osijek's beach and swimming pool area, the zoo, or the skate park where young and skilled bikers and skaters perfect their tricks for upcoming competitions.
7. River ferry
There are few cities that pride themselves with the fact that they offer their citizens free and eco-friendly water vessel every day. The unique attraction in question is Osijek's ferry that has been providing its services to generations of Osijek's citizens in need of crossing the river, often to get to the zoo in front of which the ferry stops. This vehicle is not only pleasurable, but also useful because it only uses Drava's flow to move, making it quite eco-friendly.
Biggest in size in Croatia and surrounded by peaceful nature, Osijek's zoo probably has the happiest animals in the country, primarily because of the open space that they can freely use. In the zoo there are around 650 animals, and our youngest visitors are delighted to see chimpanzees, meerkats, lions, giraffes, and many other magnificent, wild animals.
Summer days in Osijek would be unthinkable without a swim in the river Drava or city's pools. The Pedestrian bridge will take you to the river beach and pool area on the left bank of the river that the locals wittingly named Copacabana. In the summer, this is the most visited place in the city and although it is quite smaller than the one in Rio, Copacabana offers fantastic weather and enough space for sunbathing and recreation.
10. The red „Fićo“ monument
An art installation that you should not miss tells the story of David and Goliath. The little red car was demolished by a large tank during the Croatian War of Independence and symbolically represents the beginning of the war in the city, as well as in the country. But, being witty as they are, Osijek citizens did not miss a chance to pay homage to the red car by giving him the role of the winner. Today, the little red car is shown running over the big tank and this reminds the locals of their brave spirit and the successful defense the city.