At Zagreb’s much-loved, indoor-outdoor Dolac Market, all manner of edible supplies and artisanal products are trucked in from the fertile farming regions of Croatia and displayed in myriad stalls sheltered by red umbrellas. The capital city’s premier market has been bustling for 80-plus years and attracts a loyal crowd of grocery-shopping locals as well as hungry visitors on the hunt for a cheap meal. In addition to being a great place for food shopping, it is also an excellent people-watching spot.
The market it divided into two main sections: a raised, open-air market square where producers sell fresh fruits, vegetables, and eggs; and a street-level indoor market for meat, fish, dairy products, and flowers. From early morning on, the market is abuzz with shoppers and traders, many of whom are on a first-name basis with their regular customers. The best place to observe the action is from one of the bars or cafés dotted around the edge where patrons dine on gableci (cheap and hearty lunches). Visitors can either explore independently or browse in the company of a local tour guide who can explain regional ingredients and specialties. Most Zagreb city sightseeing tours include a stop at the market.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Bring cash to pay for purchases.
- Bargaining has fallen out of favor at this local market and most vendors now have fixed prices. If no prices are listed, feel free to try and negotiate, but be aware that you may be rejected.
- Get there early to nab the best produce.
How to Get There
Dolac Market is strategically located between the Lower Town (Donji Grad) and Upper Town (Gornji Grad), overlooking Trg bana Josipa Jelacica, Zagreb’s main square. Take the tram (lines 1, 6, 11, 12, 13, 14, or 17) to Trg bana Jelacica. The market is just a five-minute stroll away.
When to Get There
The market is open daily from 6:30am to 3pm (until 1pm on Sundays) and is at its busiest and buzziest on sunny weekend days. The best time to go is in the morning, when the baked goods are still warm and the finest fresh produce has yet to be snapped up. Many traders start packing up their stalls in early afternoon.
What to Eat at Dolac Market
Dolac Market is the ideal place to delve into Croatia’s culinary scene. Among the must-try dairy products for sale here is sir i vrhnje (cream cheese), which is often served with a sprinkling of salt or spices. Other typical ready-to-eat Croatian meals you may see on menus here include grilled fish with a side serving of blitva (garlic-spiked sautéed Swiss chard and potatoes), grah (bean stew), and purica s mlincima (roasted turkey with baked noodles).