2 July 2013 by Alex Stewart
On 1 July Croatia became the 28th member of the European Union, just two decades after the country's brutal war of independence.
Celebrations marked the event, which saw the country become the first to join the EU since Bulgaria and Romania in 2007. Huge crowds gathered in the capital Zagreb, whilst border posts were removed between crossings with EU neighbours Slovenia and Hungary. Croatia will though continue to use the kuna as its currency.
Croatia applied to join the EU a decade ago and in that time has seen its status rise as travellers began to discover the cultural and natural treasures within its borders. Visitor numbers continue to increase, drawn by the historic cities, spectacular coastline and glittering array of islands offshore; read our traveller's guide to Croatia for a flavour of Europe's current 'it' destination and then go see for yourself what all the fuss is about.