The majesty of Croatia is a wonder, and shopping in Dubrovnik is a pleasure: ancient buildings surround you and modern goods are on display, from savory food and wine to sumptuous masks and mementos. Here are a few gems to look out for.
Books and Masks and More
As you walk down Dubrovnik’s main Stradun thoroughfare, keep an eye out for Algoritam and Algebra. These branches of Croatia’s largest bookstore are a book lover’s paradise, with hundreds of titles in hardback, paperback, and many languages. Additional branches of these stores filled with bibliophile treasures can also be found in Croatian cities Zagreb and Split.
Besides books and souvenirs, you will find here a splendid array of masks: gorgeous, eye-catching creations in wonderful colors, patterns and designs. Want to pretend you’re a gorgeous flower? Want to be a cat at next year’s Halloween party? Buy yourself a half-face cat mask in velvet and satin. Prices vary depending on the complexity of the mask, but there is something for everyone.
If you want a sensory experience while you shop, seek out Casa Croatica, located in the Old Town area of Dubrovnik. You will find it down a narrow side street near Prijeko (where the restaurants are), and soon discover a warm and cozy gem. The interior space is a delight of stone and wood, with lovely old furniture and traditional decor. Soak up the atmosphere as you walk in the door! Local products abound, including an excellent selection of olive oil from many Croatian regions, traditional brandy and liqueur, local embroidery, and delicacies made to secret, ancient recipes. Here you will find the real deal: authentic goods made in Croatia, and not as is so often, in China. If you’re a wine lover, experience Croatian wine made from plava mali, the chief red grape used in Croatia’s very old wine-making tradition. Bring a bottle home!
While walking down the Old Town’s textured stone streets, if scents of honey and lavender fill the air, there’s a good chance you’ve come upon the open-air marketplace of Gundulic Square. It’s a marvelous place to buy authentic Dubrovnik products, including sweet-bitter arancini (candied orange peel), bags of lavender for your drawers, closets, and bathroom, dried fruit and figs, sugared almonds, flavored brandies and handmade lace napkins and tablecloths.
For a special treat, set your alarms and arrive at Gundulic Square just before 12 noon, when the church bells like clockwork begin to chime and a host of pigeons arrive. Watch these feathery white birds land on the red roofs behind the statue of famed author Ivan Gundulic, and witness the locals who gather, ready and waiting to feed them. Get your cameras and smartphones out and be sure to capture the moment of this glorious custom. You will be thankful!
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about shopping in Dubrovnik.
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