1 more image
Food and wine shops: A taste of Croatia
What to buy: For anyone who like to take a taste of where they've been home with them, Croatia has some great goodies to offer. You'll find some lovely speciality food and wine shops in the main centres such as Split and Dubrovnik but the local supermarkets are good hunting grounds too.
The ubiquitous Ajvar relish can become an addiction - particularly if you can find one that is home-made rather than mass-produced. Made from roasted red peppers and aubergine with garlic and oil, and maybe some chilli, this is the flavour of Croatia in a jar.
Paprenjak is another Croatian speciality - a biscuit flavoured with honey, walnuts and pepper, the recipe is reputed to be hundreds of years old - or perhaps you'd prefer seizis - nut coated biscuits with a strawberry jam filling.
Olive oil from Brac, air-dried ham (prsut) - if your home bases' quarantine regulations allow it, beautiful almond nougat, sour cherry syrup (maraschino cherries originated here in Dalmatia), dried fig jam - they're all delicious.Related to:
- Food and Dining
2 more images
Markets: Fresh today
Don't we all love fresh markets? The colour, the smells, the buzz. Local people going about the regular daily routine. Being offered a taste of this, a sniff of that, a sliver of cheese, a oily black olive, a sweet ripe cherry.
As you would expect, there are some great markets to check out in Croatia. The fruit and vegetables all look - and taste - so fresh - tree-ripened fruit bursting with flavour, crisp salads and crunchy vegetables. Flowers straight from the garden. Bright-eyed fish and seafood still squirming. Big rounds of home made cheese and eggs practically still warm from the nest. Home-made fresh fruit syrups and relishes.
If you're self-catering in an apartment these are the perfect places to stock up for dinner. Otherwise content yourself with the ingredients for a picnic lunch, a fruity snack or simply fil the eye with it all.
True Authentic Taste
Sad but true - less and less small farmers manage to survive from their farms if they don't switch to mass production with pesticides and fertilizers. That's why I have special admiration for those who still endure and offer their products like the man on this picture.
There are tons and tons of huge cheap watermelons available, but they don't taste so good, so I was very happy to find this farmer and have a chat with him while I was buying sweet aromatic watermelon.
Dolac is Zagreb's main city market. It is held on a terrace overlooking the main square, Trg bana Jelacica and you'll also have a view of the cathedral from here. You can find all kinds of fresh fruits and vegetables on the terrace along with many other vendors sell all kinds of meat, breads and cheeses. Niksa (VTer, diocletianvs) and I tried some fresh bread with a local variety of young and sour cheese that might not be in existence if the EU infringes on the traditional way of producing it. I didn't care for the sour taste of the cheese, but this is certainly a great place to shop for dinner.
What you should bring back from Croatia ?
What to buy: What you should bring back from Croatia if you drive home ?
Sweet onions. These onions are so sweet you can eat them raw, sliced for example in tomato salads or cooked in a gratin with cheese. We find them in France only in the most southern regions and not much, so each time possible (Croatia, Greece, Spain), we bring back 15 kg of sweet onions for ourselves and for gifts. There outer skin is pinkish, the flesh white. Caution, they don't keep very well, even in a cool and aerated place but if you keep an eye on them, that will do for let's say 2 month.
Ajvar. We usually bring back a box of 24 jars of medium size Ajvar. If you don't care for the weight, the jars are better protected in a full box and it will carry easily. At home, it will keep at least 2 years. The smaller jars are perfect gifts : if your friends enjoy, you can give them some more ; if they don't, a small jar is quickly empty and they will not loaded by unwanted gifts !
Prsut (ham). At the end of your travel, on your way home, why not to bring back a whole Istrian ham ? Once wrapped in absorbing kitchen paper, in some towels and in a plastic bag, there is no problem to drive home, even if that lasts two days. You should try !
Alcoholic beverages. You have to keep an eye on what is allowed by the custom.
Dingac. For yourself, it is better to drink it in Croatia, but if you want to share with friends a testing of Dingac vs Californian Zinfandel (you should do that).
Istra bitter. Good buy
Rajki. Why not ?
If you fly home, or if you travel by train or bus, you will have to travel lighter. Ham is excluded as well as onions ! However, I recommend bringing back a few of the smaller jars of Ajvar.
Ribarnica: Fresh fish
The word "ribarnica" just means fish market, so if you see this sign, you're close to some really fresh fish, which is ideal if you have cooking facilities while in Croatia (which might just be an open fire on the beach!!). Even in Zagreb, the fish was brought in fresh daily from the coast and was very fresh.
Croata: Croatian souvenirs (1): Cravata
The story goes that in the 17th Century Croatian soldiers within the Napoleon army were spotted to wear particular scarves around their necks as part of their standard uniforms. This "Croatian Style" became very popular among the French noblemen around the year 1650, and soon the fashionable expression in French "a la croate" became the word which in many languages still resembles to the name of Croatia - the homeland of the Cravate.
Every day more than 600 million people around the globe wear this fashion detail around their necks, close to their hearts.
What to buy: Croata company produces original Croatian neckties that can be found in almost all Croatian towns.
Special packages are also available for all those looking for original souvenir from Croatia - Croata with a Story.
What to pay: From 26$ for a Souvenir Collection up to 150$ for special collections.
Paprenjak: Croatian souvenirs (2): Paprenjak
Paprenjak is a gingerbread-type traditional Croatian aromatic pastry that supposedly dates back from Renaissance times. It is also said that Paprenjak’s ingredients - honey, walnuts and pepper, almost perfectly present the Croatian history itself: a sweet-peppery bite to the taste of many.
With its special rectangular shape and folklore motives it presents a true souvenir from Croatia.
What to buy: There are various packages of Paprenjaks available - from a single wrapped cookie to the 200 g luxurious packages. They all come in a well design boxes or bags with a Paprenjak story.
What to pay: From 10kn.
TOZ Penkala: Croatian souvenirs (3): Penkala pen
Eduard Slavoljub Penkala (1871 – 1922) was Zagreb-based extraordinary inventor and innovator, known by its aim to make practical devices simpler, more useful and of a higher quality.
On 24 January 1906 he registered the patent for an automatic pencil, a truly revolutionary innovation among writing instruments of the time. The automatic pencil was an instant success, and soon "Penkalomania" spread around the world. This was helped by a clever advertising logo depicting a friendly man with a pointed nose and big ear with an automatic pencil tucked behind it. The company diversified into other writing instruments and accessories patented by Penkala. As the business grew, a second factory was set up in Berlin.
Zagreb factory became one of the largest and most modern in Europe, thanks to its modern operating methods and the unprecedented care it took of its workers. New product lines were introduced, most notably the twist-mechanism pencil patented by Penkala in 1917.
Penkala was also fascinated by the first flights of the Wright brothers and other pioneers of aviation, and became determined to design the first Croatian aircraft. As a result of an intensive study of aero-dynamics, he patented several inventions in that field, and construction of the parts for Penkala's aircraft began in 1909. In the spring of 1910 the aircraft was completed, and nearly all of Zagreb turned out to witness and cheer Penkala's first public flight.
What to buy: Automatic pencils, Twist mechanism pencils, Push-button pens and other inventions by Penkala can be found in some stationery shops, souvenir shops and tourist offices in Zagreb and the rest of Croatia.
What to pay: From 100 kn for a small souvenir-packed Automatic pencil.
SMS products: Croatian souvenirs (4): Taste of Mediterranean
Food in coastal areas of the Adriatic is typical Mediterranean food that consists of lots of fish products, vegetables and olive oil. This relatively new company is producing a wide range of healthy products produced from natural ingredients, with traditional methods and packed in well-designed packages that are suitable for small gifts or as a remainder to your stay in Croatia.
The product range includes Salted and marinated fish program, Fruits & vegetables and Olive oils.
Be warned however that their products such as “Adriatic sardine fillets with capers in olive oil”, “Green olives with almonds” or “Green olives with dried fig” as well as Fig marmalade and Orange marmalade possibly create a total addiction!
What to buy: Plain olives
Green pitted olives in Dalmatian Marinade
Green olives with fennel
Green olives with capers
Green olive with garlic
Black baked olives with herbs in olive oil
Pearl onions in wine vinegar
Pearl onions in alcohol vinegar
Black olive paste
Green olive paste
Adriatic sardine fillets in olive oil
Adriatic anchovy fillets in olive oil
Adriatic sardine fillets with capers in olive oil
Adriatic anchovy fillets with capers in olive oil
Adriatic sardine fillets with dried tomatoes in salad oil
Extra virgin olive oil
Virgin olive oil
What to pay: From 15kn for marmalades, 25kn for olives, 35kn for sardines and 45kn for olive oil....
Nothing in particular.: Souvenirs and Postcards.
Postcards are more expensive than what you can get in London or Paris or other big cities in Western Europe. Hence, we only got a couple. The quality of the postcards does not appeal to me for the price.
The touristy souvenirs that I will usually buy, such as fridge magnets, are more expensive in Croatia compared to Western Europe. The quality for the price is not what I am looking for...
Everywhere you go, there will be someone selling laced tableclothes, etc. They are beautiful and I suppose hand-made.
all over Croaita: Lavender Bags of Croatia
Lavender bags are very popular in Croaita. I saw lots of lavender bags in different cities even small towns. Croatians made little bags or tiny cushions made of laces for lavender seeds. It smells good. Actually I bought plenty of lavender bags as gift to family & friends. Alsý i should say that bags are very attractive for photographers by their colours.
Pula open air market: Honey of Istria-Pula
There is an open air market at downtown of Pula. You can buy vegetable, fruit, flowers, cheese, olve and honey. Among these honey is very tasty. Pula honey is completely natural and no atificials in it. In Croatian honey is "med".
What to buy: honey
Various: Other markets
Check out my individual city pages for specific information and locations, but all of the cities I visited had good local markets selling everything from local craft, cheap toys, good quality produce and fresh cut flowers.
Buy local products from the locals.
In Croatia you often see people selling locally made products by the side of the street from small stalls.
This is often farming products like cheese and honey, but locally made alcohol is common too.
I personally love buying from the ladies by the side of the road and i also think it´s a good way to support the local economy.
What to buy: Cheese, honey and grappa can often be bought by the side of the road.
What to pay: Prices there are very flexible and you can mostly haggle the price down if you like that.Related to:
- Food and Dining
We didn't stay here but we entered several times. We had a couple of drinks in the lobby as we were...more
We stayed here from 30 Dec 2011 to 1 January 2012. This is truly an excellent hotel. Staff and...more
The guide told us it was situated so close to the center that we could walk back there, but the bus...more
Top Croatia Hotels
- Cavtat Hotels
- 157 Reviews - 419 Photos
- Dubrovnik Hotels
- 1822 Reviews - 4853 Photos
- Split Hotels
- 912 Reviews - 2389 Photos
- Opatija Hotels
- 184 Reviews - 439 Photos
- Porec Hotels
- 277 Reviews - 640 Photos
- Hvar Hotels
- 377 Reviews - 1004 Photos
- Zagreb Hotels
- 1868 Reviews - 4718 Photos
- Makarska Hotels
- 52 Reviews - 306 Photos
- Pula Hotels
- 529 Reviews - 1230 Photos
- Rovinj Hotels
- 325 Reviews - 863 Photos
- Book now for big savings!
- Hotels.com Outstanding choice of hotels all over the world at fantastic prices.
- Book now for big savings!
- Hotels.com Outstanding choice of hotels all over the world at fantastic prices.
Explore the World
- Beram Hotels
- Alcalá de Henares
- Cornwall Hotels
- Yiwu Hotels
- Phitsanulok Hotels