Shopping in Croatia
If you are looking for souvenirs from Croatia you should read this.
Croatia is great for shopping as it has a variety of locally manufactured articles, such as the tie, now worn daily around the world by millions. Croatia is so proud that they even have a day of their own to celebrate: The Day of the Tie. Other typical products of the country are crafts, both in the manufacture of wooden toys and glass. Do not miss the typical umbrella of Zagreb, characteristic for its cheerful colours; nor Croatian jewellery, many handmade with red coral from the Adriatic. All these items, in addition to liquors and the typical delicacies of the country, can be found in stores located throughout Croatia, although the cities with the greatest variety are Zagreb and Dubrovnik.
Croatia has a great variety of handmade items. The small shops that run through the alleys of Dubrovnik, or Zagreb, Split or some of the villages of the interior are great places to buy traditional crafts. Among the most typical products are toys carved in wood, a tradition of localities such as Zagorje. They are usually aeroplanes, trains or dolls in old-fashioned designs and painted in bright colours. Glass is also one of the country’s most popular materials. The most prestigious glassware producing area is Samobor, where you can find everything from kitchen utensils to crystal jewellery.
Croatian jewellery is very well regarded. Many of the pieces that can be purchased are made with red coral from the Adriatic Sea and are made by hand often crafted by young local designers, inspired by traditional models whilst incorporating a modern touch. The products that enjoy greater popularity are brooches, earrings, bracelets and pendants. Although there are quality jewellers scattered throughout the country, the best area to buy these items is the street of Placa or Od Puca, in Dubrovnik, where some of the jewellers' workshops are located.
Croatia has a long tradition of craftsmanship. Since ancient times many of the women of the interior, such as Lepoglava, as well as some regions of the coast, have been dedicated to weaving and making bobbin lace. Therefore many of the small shops that are in large cities such as Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Split or the surrounding villages, have a variety of bedspreads, tablecloths, bags or coasters and also hand embroidery products. The technique used in Lepoglava to braid the threads is protected by UNESCO. In September the International Festival of Lace is celebrated, in which it is possible to watch lace embroiders at work. The island of Pag is also well known for this work. It produces mainly linen and silk embroidery.
This aromatic plant is typical of Croatia, especially, of the island of Hvar, where during its flowering you can see the fields awash with purple. In the stores of the island or the most touristic areas, it is common to find lavender products. It is usually sold dry, in small sacks that serve as air fresheners. There are also soaps and colognes made with this flower, as well as cosmetics and therapeutic treatments.
This garment, originally used by men, was created in the 17th century by Croatian army horsemen, who wore a piece of cloth tied around their necks. They called them Hrvatska and upon their arrival in France, the French liked it so much that they acquired it and it began to gain popularity with the French elites. Currently, ties are one of the flagship products of Croatia, who on October 18 celebrate the Day of the Tie. One of the best cities to buy them is in the capital, Zagreb. Here you can find the Kravata-Croata company that manufactures them in silk, many of them made by hand, and exports them all over the world.
Umbrellas are one of the most popular accessories in the Zagreb region. The capital of Croatia is full of shops where you can find these items whose main appeal is that they are designed and made by craftsmen, who try to maintain the aesthetics that the Croatian umbrella had in the 18th century. They are made of cotton and are very colourful, usually red with stripes or other patterns.