Croatia has all sorts of markets. You’ll find outdoor stalls, lots of indoor shopping markets and places by the road offering locally grown specialties.
Zagreb, the capital of the country, has many malls. The largest and most modern is the Avenue Mall. This is a good place to look for upscale retailers. If you’re here during the winter, look for the Importanne Centar. It’s underground so you’re protected from the cold. For an sudden emergencies, head for the King’s Cross in West Croatia where they have a huge grocery store. You can also pick up any medications you need at the city’s chain of pharmacies. Look for the chain Gradska ljekarna. They have over three dozen locations all over Zagreb. On the outskirts of town is the Westgate Shopping Center. This is an ideal place to head if you are on the way to somewhere else and you need to find items to tide you over. There’s ample parking and more than 250 retailers. Many prices are cheaper than what you’ll find in the rest of the region. The Kaptol centar is another large mall with late hours on Thursdays.
Open Air Markets
Open air markets are a great way to get products from locals, often at bargain prices. Look for the Dolac market in Zagreb for fresh produce, flavored honey, just caught fish, smoked meats and locally made cheese. This is a good place to sample many Croatian specialties and fish. The fish market is housed in a separate building. For flowers, try the Cvjetni trg in the center of town. Look for lavender filled sachets to bring home. If you’re here during Christmas, look for Licitar cookies. These brightly colored cookies are traditional Christmas decorative ornaments. They are not edible so you can bring them home as a memory of your trip.
The Origin of the Tie
The Croats invented the tie. That’s right, the one that goes around male necks. Croatian merchants and soldiers traveled to Paris very often in the 1600’s during the Thirty Years War. In an effort to show their support support for King Louis XIV, and as a variation on the traditional Croatian military uniform, they put brightly colored scarves around their necks that extended down the front of their shirts. This idea was immediately picked up by the French who were always looking for new ways to play with fashion. The new fashion was dubbed “a la Croate.” That became the world cravat from which we get the word tie. Today, you can find ties here at multiple locations including the Passage Oktogon, where traditional Croatian ties are sold.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about shopping in Croatia.