The best shopping 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.
Hidden away in an off-street courtyard, this is a most unusual and unexpected combination of second hand bookshop and hand-made cosmetics boutique. Let's begin with the cosmetics - there's a range of organic products, including hand and face creams and body lotions, made from olive oil and Adriatic herbs by Šibenik-based firm Sapunoteka. The soap can be bought in big slices priced by weight, or in nicely packaged 100-gram bricks (25kn). There's a big choice – particularly recommended are Three Colours White (3 boje bijelo; with aniseed), Not Everything is as Grey as You Think (Nije sve tako sivo; fennel and lemon), or the excitingly grainy Little Witch (Mala Vještica; poppy seed, clay and lavender). On sale in the other half of the shop are over 4,000 book titles - almost half in English - and T-shirts with subversive slogans, badges, and a variety of rabble-rousing books.
The aim of this exemplary little shop near the lower station of Zagreb’s funicular is to stock all those quality products made by Croatian designers that also work well as souvenirs – in the sense that they’re small enough to fit in your luggage and might also be useful once you actually get them home. There’s a lot to choose from here, from Ana Horvat’s eccentric-but-loveable animal soft toys to SexyPlexy’s wear-with-care coloured-shard necklaces. Playful present ideas include Žvig’s one-shot rakija mugs carved from walnut wood (they only stay upright when empty), and Hidden Garden pendants with real herbs inside. For those prepared to splash out on something for the home, Lidia Bosevski’s ceramics convey arty elegance; while Filip Gordon Frank’s Mini Me desk lamp is already something of a Croatian design icon.
Having celebrated its centenary in 2011, local chocolatier Kraš continues to produce everyone's favourite sweets, biscuits and wafers. This stylish store is its flagship outlet, and it's a short walk from the main square. Make sure you try some Bajadera.
This huge shopping centre in south-west Zagreb is home to 200 shops and kiosks, and includes several of the big brands present in Croatia, including fashion retailers Inditex/Zara, H&M and LPP/Reserved as well as Mohito, Sinsay, Cropp and House. The large hypermarket, the international food court and various cafés are your options if you’re hungry; if you’re looking for entertainment, there’s the Game World Casino and the Cinestar Multiplex Cinema offers 3D, IMAX, and Samsung 4DX screenings. There are allocated play areas for children, and around three thousand parking spaces; the centre also runs its own free bus service and is easily accessible by public transport. In summer time a green patio area with water fountain provides the opportunity to relax.
Almost a century old and still in the family, this classic hat shop is a real Zagreb institution. Looking at Kobali’s artfully arranged salon display is a bit like leafing through vintage fashion magazines and being taken aback by just how individual, wearable and stylishly retro the millinery still is. Leopard-print caps (800kn) look like something out of a Seventies fashion shoot and will go down a storm at the disco; classic ladies’ straw hats (2000kn plus) come in natural colours or in black and can be swoon-inducingly elegant when paired with the right summer outfit. For the guys, a raffish linen flat cap will set you back 600kn. Note that the address is Ilica 5, but the salon is actually located just round the corner on Margaretska.
Croatian Ana Marija Brkić established her own fashion label for womenswear in 2002, quickly establishing a reputation for understated glamour and subtle chic. She is also one of Croatia's leading designers of spectacles and sunglasses. You can see her creations in her tiny but elegant, white-walled shop just a few blocks south and east of the main square. Alongside the current season's collection of casual and eveningwear, there are also handbags, belts and bracelets on display. Croatian Ana Marija Brkić established her own fashion label for womenswear in 2002, quickly establishing a reputation for understated glamour and subtle chic. She is also one of Croatia's leading designers of spectacles and sunglasses. You can see her creations in her tiny but elegant, white-walled shop just a few blocks south and east of the main square. Alongside the current season's collection of casual and eveningwear, there are also handbags, belts and bracelets on display.