The Dubrovnik shopping arena is, thankfully, starting to be less dominated by the overpriced tourist shops that once dominated the city, and a few key stores are holding out against these tacky souvenir shops that line the main street of Stradun. Time Out discovers the best places to go shopping in Dubrovnik, from designer boutiques to open-air markets.
The best shops in Dubrovnik
Now visitors to Dubrovnik need no longer panic when invited to a VIP party at short notice. Maria describes itself as a concept store but fashion is the focus here. Strategically located at the Ploče Gate, it's one of the few places in Croatia where you can find a battery of major international names such as Givenchy, Stella McCartney and Rick Owens, all laid out in an ample space – with prices to match the quality and atmosphere on offer. Despite this, staff are approachable and in no way snobby. You'll find a long list of designers and styles laid out on the website.Read more
If you've lost, forgotten or galloped through your holiday reads quicker than anticipated, this bookshop is a boon. Half the store is dedicated to English-language publications: from travel guides to bestsellers, classics to heavyweight volumes on politics, history, art and design. Also has an impressive stock of two dozen (pricy) English magazines (Q, Arena, Vogue), postcards, CDs and glossy photographic album histories of Dubrovnik.Read more
Halfway along Stradun, this small, friendly shop contains a reasonable selection of local and international wines. A comprehensive list of the domestic varieties on offer in-store or by order is on the website. For a standard bottle to take to the beach, you'll find cheaper at one of the local groceries outside the Pile Gate.Read more
A few steps above restaurant-crammed Prijeko is this small photography gallery, hosting themed exhibitions over the summer and selling prints by leading Croatian photographers in a variety of sizes. The gallery owner hails from the Carmel in California, a town long associated with photography (both Edward Weston and Ansel Adams had studios there in their day). The gallery also sells jewelry manufactured by the nearby Atelier Secret.Read more
The main market in Dubrovnik for fruit, vegetables and, alongside, fish. In a section of the ruined garden of the Gundulić summer villa, Gruž market is larger and cheaper than the one in the Old Town Gundulićeva poljana. Shoppers and occasional restaurateurs arrive here, near the ferry terminal, from early in the morning, hoping to find the best goods. Few words are exchanged with the vendors, who have come down from the Neretva delta, Konavle or Herzegovina over the border. With a little luck, locals find the best cabbage for zelena menestra (cabbage, smoked pork and potato), goats' cheese for salads, the best eggs for rožata (the local version of crème caramel) and, for traditional Ragusan orange cake, oranges from Lopud. Prices are mostly fixed and haggling doesn't tend to happen. A little discount might be easiest at the end of the working day, when vendors are looking to offload all their stock. If you are fond of fine fish, get here by 7am, when women arrive from the Elafiti islands. The stock varies from day to day, but Fridays is usually the best. Although everyone here moans about the cost of living these days, the most expensive fish, starting from 100kn a kilo, quickly vanishes.Read more
This little gallery puts on regular exhibitions by local artists, as well as art workshops. The gift shop sells tasteful souvenirs, jewellery and albums related to Dubrovnik. Look out for books by Italian cartoonist Osvaldo Cavandolli. His drawings found inspiration in Dubrovnik thanks to gallery owner Tea Batinić, who invited him here a few years ago. The result was 'Dubrovnik', 35 stories written by Batinić, illustrated by Cavandolli.Read more