By Iva Ralica
If you wish to avoid the stores when buying groceries, flowers or even some other goods, Zagreb offers a few alternatives – farmers’ markets.
The first farmers’ market in Zagreb was opened back in 1850 and today almost there are a number scattered in suburbs around the city. They are usually located near the local centre and open from around 6:00 – 7:00 am until around 13:00 – 15:00 pm, depending on the particular market and the day of the week.
The prices vary, but considering these are (usually) homegrown products, different criteria should be used. Also, you might consider the time of the day, the day of the week and the season. Markets in Zagreb are known for red umbrellas which cover the benches and which can be bought ( in their smaller form) as souvenirs.
So if you are keen to experience some real local culture here is a guide to the main markets in Zagreb.
Address: Dolac 9
This is a central market behind the main square, settled near the Cathedral just like in the 19th century. It has been the city’s major trading place since 1926. Farmers (women are usually known as “kumice”) from surrounding villages offer a variety of homegrown fruit and vegetables or homemade cheese and cream. You can find butchers and fishmongers in the covered market below, downstairs. In front of it there is also a “flower market”. It also became a part of an international show “Food markets – In the Belly of the City” as the most famous market in Zagreb.
Address: Flower Square
Cvjetni Trg, or translated in English Flower Square, today does not resemble what it used to be. You won’t find any fruit or vegetables here, but it still has a few little stalls that sell flowers. Surrounded by old city buildings but also modern architecture, it is a small oasis of what used to be a real farmer’s market.
Address: Trešnjevački trg 2
Its name was mentioned first in the 17th century and is associated with a cherry tree. Today this is a big market which can easily be reached using a tram number 12 or 9. One can buy here anything from vegetables to cheap clothes and find some good fast food bars nearby.
Address: Martićeva 67
Smaller than the rest, but thus more intimate. It is supposed to be in the renewed part of the Kvaternik square (where only flower booths can be found now) but the market is located nearby. Still has some of its old “spirit” – authentic umbrellas, homegrown vegetables, butchers boots and of course the feeling while negotiating with the merchants.
Address: Barčev trg 16
The biggest market in Novi Zagreb. Offers fruit, vegetable, dairy products such as homemade cheese and fresh milk. Recently said to be more expensive than the other markets and that is because merchants have to pay higher rent for having a roof above the benches.
Dubrava – Yellow Market
Address: Cerska 1a
The biggest market of the eastern part of the town. Here you can find anything from vegetables, meat and cheese to kitchen equipment, clothes, bags and shoes.
Address: Arnoldova 2
Except for having fresh fruit and vegetables, it is best known as an antique market on Sunday where you can find beautiful and unique old items and Thursdays it is a book market. Recently the City started changing its structure (plans on adding circular intersection) but the citizens are refusing to give up without the fight, considering Kvatrić and especially Cvjetni trg were already changed.
Mali Plac is a popular unique mobile organic food market selling goods from small local producers. Over the last six years Mali plan has become a well-known gastronomic project in Zagreb, primarily thanks to its mobile character and the selection of OPGs and local products coming from known sources and produced in a sustainable, ecological way as well as a special approach that encourages direct interaction between producers and consumers without intermediaries and wholesalers. The operate at various locations depending on the season so check their website for full details. http://www.mali-plac.org
Address: Sajmišna cesta
Hrelić flea market is worth checking out from a tourist perspective. Happening on Sundays and Wednesdays on the outskirts of Zagreb, it is a busy flea market with a lot of energy where people sell literally everything. Food, music and some real characters add to the atmosphere.