Ten brilliant wines from the supermarket
Croatia produces some of the finest wines you will ever try. You may know it, you may not. But it's a fact. The country may not have as famous or developed a reputation as a world leader in winemaking like, say, France or Italy, but those in the know have been aware of Croatia’s brilliant wines for many years. This year alone, Croatian wines have swept the boards at each of the leading, internationally-recognised wine competitions and trade fairs. Croatia’s wine products are of too high a quality and some too small in production to ever become ubiquitous on UK supermarket shelves; you’d have to go to a specialist wine trader to pick them up. Croatia itself has terrific specialist wine stores where, if you really know what you’re looking for and you’re willing to travel, you can pick up the very best Croatian wines. But not everyone who likes wine is an expert and not every place you go while on holiday has a specialist wine store. However, wherever you go you will find supermarkets like Spar, which has well over 110 outlets in the country. Here, you can pick up some truly excellent wines to treat yourself or to take home.
Your ultimate summer style guide
Croatia's capital is a stylish place, so if you've left anything behind - or find yourself in need of something special to wear - check out this shopping list curated by Time Out and Arena Centar. Featuring everything you could possibly need on holiday, from amazing skincare products to the coolest shades around, say hello to summer with our ultimate shopping guide. Shoppers seeking holiday essentials head just south of the Sava to Arena Centar, one of the region’s biggest indoor shopping malls. Situated next to the city’s major sports hall where all the major games and music events happen, this giant shopping and entertainment complex hosts all the brands you know from home - and many, many more. Fantastic local stores rub shoulders with recognisable internationals, with heaps to do once you're there - you can grab a cocktail, catch a film or explore the dizzying range of options at the food courts. If there's anything you've forgotten to pack, or if you want to pick up a sassy souvenir in Croatia, read on for our ultimate summer wishlist.
Cross Mladost Bridge southbound on a Sunday morning and the first thing you see will be an ant-like procession of human forms moving purposefully along the River Sava embankment. It’s the weekly pilgrimage to Hrelić, a vast outdoor market that spreads itself across a gravelly lot, some 2km east of the bridge. Here a grid-plan mini-city of stalls sells everything from cheap jeans and T-shirts to footwear, no-longer-fashionable toys, second-hand sunglasses, and spare parts for machines you never knew existed. Some sellers only deal in specialised items (one offers fishing rods, another accordions); others simply set their junk out on the gravel in a disorderly pile. If you enjoy rummaging for used clothes, or dream of finding that offbeat fashion accessory that you never even knew you wanted until you saw it gleaming up at you from a dusty car-park floor, then Hrelić is most definitely for you. For a rather more genteel take on the same experience, the Sunday antiques and bric-a-brac market on Britanski trg provides the chance to browse the kind of junk that has been elevated to collectable status – old postcards, vintage magazines, second-hand books, and the kind of kitchenware your parents threw out years ago and now wish they hadn’t. Prints, militaria, old coins, folk costumes, retro furniture and genuine antiques also turn up, making Britanski trg a crucial stop-off for the determined curiosity hunter. It’s also an important Sunday social ritual, with the square’s café te
Zagreb shopping guide
In Zagreb, shopping has undergone a makeover. From being a staid and rather quaint shopping backwater, the Croatian capital can now justifiably claim to be a hub of contemporary design. But for all these recent developments, Zagreb has not lost its traditional charm. The Dolac market behind the main square is still everyone's first port of call for fresh fruit and vegetables, and second-hand record stores abound. Read on to find out where to go shopping in Zagreb.
Where to shop in Dubrovnik
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.
Recommended shops in Zagreb
Arguably Croatia's leading luxury boutique, Maria was launched in Dubrovnik in 2007 and opened up in Zagreb in December 2010. On sale are the latest collections by top international names across the whole spectrum of pret-à-porter collections, including Gucci, Stella McCartney and Balenciaga. It's not just a question of fancy frocks: ultra-glamorous (and ultra-expensive) shoes, bags and belts are there to be tried on too.
Designer Ana Tevsić started her own "Love, Ana" label, a line of quirky interior furnishings and accessories, in defiance of the current market crisis. This is her own sleek shop/studio; she sells a variety of her own designs, including her most famous "Chew On This" wall-hanger, and also stocks products from other promising designers, along with a variety of multilingual magazines. An interesting place to pick up something both useful and original.
Bold, edgy, unisex designs in a post-industrial boutique belonging to Dioralop, the fashion duo made up of Maja Merlić and Andreja Bistričić. Regular participants in the London and Paris fashion weeks, they are noted for using blurry polaroid (‘dioralop’, geddit?) photographs as the basis for their striking prints.
A florist shop nominally, this is a spot where art and flowers intersect. For a tourist's purposes, Saša Šekoranja's shop is the best place to give your hosts a thank-you-gift flower arrangement that shows you both have an insider's knowledge of town and ample amounts of taste. You'll see the sign prominently above the door in the direction of Britanski trg from the main square. This is Šekoranja's flagship shop. The artist and flower magician also has a gallery, Velvet (at Dežmanova 9 – next to his café of the same name), which sells delicate design elements for the home: china, lamps, sculpture, etchings, and odd-but-welcome findings such as organic bowls made of roots, herbs and leaves.
Recommended shops in Dubrovnik
Strategically located near Stradun street, the Maria Store is one of the few places in Croatia where you can find a battery of major international names such as Givenchy, Lanvin, Valentino, Saint Lauren and Stella McCartney, all laid out in a light, relaxing space designed by Italian architect Marco Bonelli. Prices to match the quality and atmosphere on offer. Staff are approachable, though, whatever you're looking for.
The daily market, on a raised square a set of stairs up from Jelačić, has been the city's major trading place since 1926. Farmers from surrounding villages come to sell their home-made foodstuffs and some of the freshest fruit and vegetables you'll ever taste. In the covered market downstairs are butchers, fishmongers and old ladies selling the local speciality sir i vrhnje (cheese and cream). Flowers and lace are also widely available. Alongside, the renovated fish market, ribarnica, sells fresh produce every day but Monday.