Croatia isn’t exactly known as a shopping destination, it is fair to say, but it turns out that Zagreb may be something of an exception! There’s an excellent variety of shops all over the capital, from well-known global brands to local ones, stores selling standard clothing and accessories to handcrafted, unique products. Take a look at our Shopping in Zagreb guide for the best places to get your shopping fix, and where to pick up items to take back home.
Shopping in Zagreb – Department Stores
There are a couple of department stores right on Zagreb’s main square, Trg ban Jelacic. The first Zagreb department we need to talk about is Nama, just by the corner of the main square and Ilica street. Although the origins of the store stretch back further in history, Nama has occupied parts of this relatively grand space in Zagreb since 1903. Nama (short for Narodni Magazin, meaning national store) was large chain of department stores in the times of Yugoslavia with locations all over Croatia and Slovenia; these days, just two remain in Croatia and both are in Zagreb – in this location and on Kvaternik Square.
Nama is perhaps a little old-fashioned but is worth a visit to browse amongst its wares – it does have a very wide range of items. Make sure you admire the store’s interior, not least its central atrium with intricate metal balustrades and beautiful glass roof.
Over on the other side of the main square you’ll find the more modern Müller. As department stores go, it’s actually pretty small but boy, do they pack in the goods! The main points of interest are the ground floor with its busy and bustling beauty counters and the basement level with its pharmacy and health food items. But most importantly is the (surprisingly impressive) toy department on the third and fourth levels. If you’re visiting Zagreb with young kids and want to reward them after a busy day of sightseeing (or perhaps you need something to do in bad weather), absolutely head here. Your little ones will love it!
Shopping in Zagreb – Ilica
The street of Ilica, which stretches west from the main square, has long been known as a top shopping destination in Zagreb. The street is in fact one of the longest in Zagreb, at almost 6 kilometres long! It is home to many different shops today, from standard high street shops to more pricey ones, as well as numerous cafes, restaurants, attractions (such as the Museum of Illusions) and more. It is well worth a stroll down this bustling street whether you’re window shopping or actual shopping.
Markets in Zagreb
The main market in Zagreb is Dolac, which is located just north of Ban Jelacic Square. As you approach the market from the main square, you’ll be surrounded by gorgeous scents – for this little section of street is full of stalls selling flowers and plants. There are largely two elements to Dolac; the upper level selling fruit, veg, honeys and jams, non-perishable items, little trinkets and souvenirs; and the lower, indoor level where you can buy meat, fish, bakery items and more.
It’s best to visit Dolac in the morning to get the most of the produce and to see the market in full swing.
Britanski Trg (which translates to British Square!) hosts another daily open-air market with plenty of wonderful food items from small-scale producers. The square also hosts an antiques market every Sunday.
Interesting Shops in Zagreb
Croatia is famous for the necktie – the cravat – so if you’re interested in taking home this famous symbol of the country, head to the Kravata shop (Radiceva 13). Outside you’ll find what’s probably one of the largest ties you’ve ever seen! Kravata has been producing ties since 1950 and today still sell some excellent quality, wonderfully crafted neckties.
The famous confectionary brand Kras (which was founded in 1911) has several Bonbonniere shops in Zagreb which are the best place to pick up some of their tasty products to treat your friends and family with back home. The easiest shop to head to is probably the one at Varsavska 1 which is just by Cvjetni Trg.
Take Me Home (Tomiceva 4) is an excellent place to pick up some handcrafted Croatian products – souvenirs with a soul! Their wares include items for the home, jewellery, fashion accessories, kids toys and more.
Znanje Bookshop, just south of the main square (Gajeva 1), is a very well-stocked place with all manner of books and publications, and even a pretty good children’s section with some toys. The bookstore also has a small selection of English language books, so it’s the place to come to if you need another book to read on your travels.
Shopping in Zagreb – Souvenirs
It will come as no surprise to learn there are numerous souvenir shops near the main square, particularly as you walk north towards the cathedral and round through to other parts of Zagreb’s Upper Town. We understand not everyone’s a fan of these kinds of souvenir shops, but we’re suckers for little knick knacks such as the hand-painted heart souvenirs (a great little item to take home from Zagreb) which you can buy as a magnet or a small hanging decoration for just a few Euros. Or at least buy something with red-and-white checks!
Zagreb’s main square often hosts a market selling hand-made souvenirs and other Croatian specialities. This is another great place to pick up some souvenirs for home.
Shopping for Essentials in Zagreb – Supermarkets, Pharmacies/Drugstores and Newspaper Kiosks
None of these is the first category of shopping you want to visit when you’re on holiday, but we know they’re essential when you want to pick up some snacks, medical/beauty supplies…or perhaps something you’ve forgotten to pack! You’ll notice supermarkets and pharmacies practically on every street corner, they’re so plentiful in Croatia’s capital.
Across the city you’ll notice little huts which, on closer inspection, turn out to be newspaper kiosks! They sell a selection of newspapers and magazines, including some foreign-language ones – but of most interest to visitors is the fact that these kiosks sell the all-important paper tickets for trams in Zagreb.
Shopping in Zagreb – Malls
Even Croatia hasn’t escaped the rise of malls in recent years, and there are several options in Zagreb, mostly a little further out of the centre of the city. These Zagreb malls aren’t exactly on par with the mega-malls you might get in North America or places such as the UK, but they’re a good place to head if you’re after a mix of mainstream shopping, a bite to eat and some entertainment. (Many of the malls are also home to a cinema, for example.)
In the southwest of the city, you will find the large Arena Centar, part of a complex that also includes the main entertainment venue in the capital, the Arena Zagreb. You’ll find high-street brands such as Zara, Benetton, Levi’s, Crocs, Gap, Lego, H&M, Lush all here.
Avenue Mall in the south of the city is one of the oldest malls in the city. Again, it’s a typical mall with a mix of brands you’ll recognise and more local names, plus a food court and cafes dotted around. There’s also a CineStar cinema here.
Centar Kaptol is located in the northern part of Zagreb, and is a slightly more refined kind of mall with some more upmarket names such as Barbour, Max & Co, Gant and Polo Ralph Lauren, plus a selection of nice restaurants and cafes, and an excellent boutique cinema.
A more central option is Supernova Cvjetni, a multi-storey mini-mall located on Cvjetni Trg, just south of Ilica. The mall has a collection of about 30 shops, a mix of well-known foreign names (e.g. H&M, s.Oliver) and more local ones, plus cafes, a supermarket and a pharmacy/drugstore. A highlight is the Gligora store which is an excellent place to pick up some Croatian food specialities.