Vešmašina
© Vešmašina

Zagreb shopping guide

Croatian design is on the up – with downtown Zagreb its showcase. Our local experts take their pick in Time Out's essential Zagreb shopping guide

By Time Out contributors and Justin McDonnell
Advertising

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.

The best shopping in Zagreb

Free Bird
© Free Bird

Free Bird

Based here since 1999, secondhand music shop Free Bird is now Croatia's largest secondhand record store. Run by Tomislav Gaži, it stocks 35 000 LPs and 15 000 CDs covering all musical genres. It has a fast turnover with buy-outs of big collections, weekly sales and old hi-fi equipment, the likes of which it also repairs.

Škrgatić, šeširi, hats, Zagreb
© BRANIMIR KRALJ

Škrgatić

There’s something pleasantly old-fashioned about Škrgatić, a family hat-maker that has been around for over a hundred years and doesn’t look as if it has changed its lines for decades. The ladies’ hats seem to have jumped straight from the pages of Vogue circa 1932; although it’s the retro styles of the men’s hats that represent Škrgatić’s key appeal. A Victorian top hat that’s perfect for that steam-punk look will set you back around 800kn, while a black fisherman-style cap of the kind worn by John Lennon in the early Sixties costs a very reasonable 180kn. Trilbies and wide-brimmed fedora-style affairs fill in the middle ground. All hats are made from natural materials such as wool, rabbit fur and felt.

Advertising

bio&bio

Zagreb's first ethical, organic health-food store serves products made to macrobiotic and vegetarian principles. Now with branches in Split, Dubrovnik and Rijeka, plus three others in Zagreb, bio&bio offers natural and organic food and food supplements, and natural cosmetics. They are also book publishers, and run classes for yoga and similar activities.

 

Croata

Shopping Shoes Zagreb

Croatia is widely regarded as the original home of the necktie, and this smart store in the Oktogon arcade (just west of the main square) is a successful attempt to turn this heritage into contemporary style. Many know the story of how the necktie was born: while fighting alongside their Croat allies in the 17th century, the French were struck by the Croatian soldiers' scarves. The look became fashionable and the French named the accessory the cravat (the Français-isation of the word Hrvat, or Croat). Croata plays this story hard and has blossomed into Croatia's tie-selling leader with shops all over the country. This location is beautiful with marble and wooden inlay floors, dark wooden display cases and everything awash in manly brass. Besides silk ties – ranging in price from 249kn to 2,000kn, some with Croatian Glagolithic letters and patterns absorbed from local traditions – shelves are stocked with wallets, shoes by Lloyd of Germany, belts, tie clasps, briefcases, fountain pens, tuxedoes, and women's accessories like scarves, handbags, gloves and belts.

Advertising
 Cahun
© Šeširi i kape Cahun

Cahun

This long-standing family business certainly boasts one of Zagreb’s best shop signs, with an amusing graphic of a top-hatted gent with a monocle hanging over the entrance. Cahun’s hand-crafted hats cover all the classic styles, although the fantastic range of summer headgear is perhaps its strongest suit. The straw boaters, straw panamas and straw fedoras on offer here exude a timeless glamour and are several cuts above the generic straw-hat gear you will find at street markets at seaside resort. Accessorize with Cahun’s hat bands and turban-wraps to recreate that art-deco movie-poster look.

bornstein, popular venues, kaptol, zagreb, croatia
©Vanda Vucicevic/Time Out

Bornstein

Shopping Kaptol

Now run by an enthusiastic and friendly young couple, Bornstein is the best wine boutique in Zagreb and potentially in all of Croatia. It opened in 1990 on Pantovcak, the first private enoteca in all of former Yugoslavia, selling only wines from private producers. Some 24 years later, the store is filled with labels from every region of Croatia, and clear advice on their qualities is offered willingly. The shop also stocks truffles, honey and olive oils, making it a handy one-stop shop for quality souvenirs. Bornstein, the original location, can be found just above Britanski trg at Pantovčak 9 (+385 1 48 23 435, same website).

Advertising

Natura Croatica

Shopping Bakeries Zagreb

Natura Croatica specialises in olive oils, jams, soaps, pâtés, vinegars, fruit brandies, liqueurs, sweets, honeys and truffle-based preserves. This is the most central branch of a mini-chain.

Vintage Circus
© vintage circus

Vintage Circus

Vintage Circus is the label of Lidija Bošnjak, a designer who has a reputation for producing ladieswear for ladies who are still girls at heart: bold, brash, playful prints that just about remain on the right side of kitsch. T-shirts (200kn) featuring the TV test card, Frida Kahlo or a range of cat motifs are among the top sellers, although there’s a broad range of unabashedly colourful frocks and skirts – one skirt sports a striking map of the world print (420kn) but they’re all pretty far-out. There is also a small range of accessories and jewelry by other local designers.

Advertising
Vivat
© Vivat

Vivat Fina Vina

This large and well-stocked wine shop is something of a treasure-trove, stocking all manner of Croatian wines in all geographical areas and price ranges, and a fair spread of foreign wines too. There’s a particularly good stock of sparkling wines in all price ranges, and plenty of non-wine extras such as specialist Croatian olive oils by Oleum Viride, cheeky chocolates by Split-based Nadalina, and a variety of fine, herb-based rakijas from the Aura distillery in Istria. Vivat also sells quality glassware, should you be on the look-out for quality home accessories.

Karma Record Store

Shopping Music and entertainment Zagreb

A bright conservatory full of cacti provides a rather welcoming environment in which to browse one of Zagreb's biggest and best-arranged collections of collectable vinyl, with sections devoted to just about every genre imaginable. Sideboard drawers are packed with 7-inch singles, and there's a growing collection of second-hand films on DVD. Karma also have a huge collection of vintage film posters, and piles of pop-culture magazines.

Show more
Recommended

    You may also like

      Advertising