Though no mecca for contemporary fashion, Croatia's second city is gradually embracing the design revolution that has already swept the capital. Split shopping encompasses anything from funky local design to revered Croatian and international designer brands. Around town, you'll also find independent outlets for locally produced preserves, and for fresh local produce, Split market opens from early doors alongside Diocletian's Palace. Our team of local experts show you where to go shopping in Split.
The best shopping in Split
This lovely little boutique specialises in local wines, olive oils and preserves, mainly produced by the Stella Croatica team based on Mljet. Many make ideal gifts or souvenirs to take home, authentic ones at that, but why not pick up one of their sausages to provide that quality touch to the picnic you're taking down to the beach?
Pavo Majić founded Art Studio Naranča in 1983, before it moved to the bar-filled alley of Majstora Jurja in the palace in early 1990s. Naranča (‘Orange’) is a serious gallery specialising in graphic art. Besides selling works by some of Croatia’s artists, Naranča also organises exhibitions, and Pavo is a founder of internationally recognised Graphic Biennale. However, there are souvenirs too, uniquely printed T-shirts, coffee mugs, even grocery bags, as well as jewellery designed by Maja Mijač Majić. There are art books too. If you can carry it home, maybe even one of the artworks here might also catch your eye.
Set in new premises downtown, this shop sells accessories and objets d’art made by independent local designers. There’s a lot of highly individual, quirky and attractively priced stuff here, from Dijana Rimac’s soft-and- wooly necklaces, Jelena Štulić’s scrabble-brooches, Luka Vučić’s ornaments made from old vinyl records and Ivan Krželj’s geometric-design postcards.
Is chocolate-making the new rock and roll? Well it certainly is as far as Marinko Biškić is concerned. The veteran Split punk rocker is the brains behind Nadalina, a range of unique, Dalmatian-flavoured chocolate bars that have become something of a cult purchase in recent years. Biškić’s bars contain 70% cocoa solids and a range of this-could-only-be-Dalmatia flavours such as carob, lavender (far tastier than it sounds), dried fig and prošek dessert wine. The retail outlet on Dioklecijanova also sells truffles and pralines by weight, alongside jars of chocolate spread for those whose chocolate cravings begin at breakfast time. Not surprisingly given Biškić’s background, one of Nadalina’s best-selling items is a piece of chocolate in the form of a 7-inch single (featuring retro Italian hit Guarda che Luna), which can actually be played on a turntable prior to eating.
Located in the scramble of streets that make up the historic old town, CROATA store in Split is stacked with silk cravats which take inspiration from local heritage, some using Croatian Glagolitic letters in their patterns. Croata is intimately tied up with the history of the necktie, and takes this tradition seriously. It even boasts an academic institution to research the heritage of the tie, and the story of the cravat is retold at this store, which welcomes visitors and tourists to hear it’s museum-style narration in the sale space, aside from the kind of garments they always offer to passing dignitaries, celebrities and men and women. It also boasts some limited edition cuts - only a handful in the same colour or pattern – and a very special tie made with 24-karat gold thread, rightfully placed on a pedestal in the shop window.
Tucked in beside the Diocletian's Palace halfway up the pedestrianised commercial thoroughfare of Marmontova, the Ribarnica, or Fish Market, is a local landmark. There's both an outdoor section (comprising a few stalls) and an indoor one, and around bars open from early in the day. Things tend to pack up by mid-afternoon. Celebrated seafood restaurant Noštromo could not be better located to take advantage of the fresh produce on offer.
'With you since 1949' says the website of this venerable and much-loved cake shop on the Riva embankment. Pastries, cream cakes, ice-creams, all can be taken away as you stroll down the Riva or eaten sur place, and there are coffees and soft drinks to accompany. Branches throughout Dalmatia.
Approaching its centenary, one of the most famous brands in Croatia was renamed after an anti-fascist hero from World War II, Josip Kraš. The confectionery makers have since branched out from bonbons to produce wafers, tea biscuits, powders, sprinkles and cooking chocolates. Pride of place goes to Kraš Bajaderas, sweets of exquisite almond-enriched almonds, all individually wrapped and oriental in flavour. Griottes have sour-cherry centres in dark chocolate coating. There are selection and souvenir boxes too. Ideal gifts but you may be tempted to dip in.
On the eastern side of the Diocletian's Palace, the side nearest the bus station, market stalls spread over a large expanse of space from early hours every day. It's not just produce, though you will find piles of fresh fruit, vegetables, olive oils and wines; clothes, cheap toys, bags, belts and every kind of knick-knack is purveyed here. In fact, it's the ideal place to find whatever playthings you might need for the beach not ten minutes' walk away.