The best destination for shopping in Croatia is Zagreb, which offers a range of retail experiences you won’t find along the Adriatic coast. The capital has regular flea and collectors’ markets, second-hand clothes shops and plenty of stores selling old books, records and CDs.
Zagreb also has more in the way of boutiques selling household goods and fashion accessories by Croatian designers, although these crop up in Rovinj, Dubrovnik and Split as well.
Many of Croatia’s best souvenir ideas involve food and drink. Top Croatian wines can generally be picked up at high-street supermarkets, although a specialist wine shop (vinoteka) will stock a broader choice. Bottles of herb-flavoured rakija, often featuring fragments of herb in the bottle, also make good gifts. Widely available delicatessen products include truffle-based sauces and pâtés, pršut, figs in honey and other fruit-based preserves. Extra-virgin olive oil is as good as any in Europe. Soaps made from olive oil and fragranced with local herbs are also a good buy, as are bags of lavender, harvested on the island of Hvar.
Intricate embroidery featuring folk motifs is still produced in many areas of inland Croatia, and in the Konavle region south of Dubrovnik. Even the smallest pieces make gorgeous souvenirs, but can be very expensive. Finally, lacemaking is still a traditional occupation in the Adriatic town of Pag, where lacemakers are frequently encountered selling their wares from doorways and living-room windows.
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