For a glimpse of local life, the farmer markets are the best place to go. There are no city in Croatia without at least one.
When it comes to food the people of Croatia like to have theirs simple, fresh and locally grown produces.
Most people don’t know that to get a true taste of the local culture will be visiting one of these open green markets to find out a true meaning of these places which continue to play a central role in a life of local people. A visit to any of these markets is an excellent way to feel the pulse of Croatian cities and to witness what everyday life looks like.
Aside from their practical uses, these markets are the places where the local population and curious tourists tend to mix without prejudice.
They are a gathering place for people from different environments, for example like people from islands (Brac, Hvar and Solta), mountain people from Dalmatia hinterland (Dalmatinska Zagora), farmers around Zagreb capital, or farmers from Konavle south of Dubrovnik or farmers from Zadar Ravni Kotari valley.
All of them bring their produce to the concrete or wooden benches in the shade. Here you can find everything that grows under the sun, from strawberries, fresh or dried figs, lemons, grapes, potatoes, sweet tomatoes and all king of green vegetable like spinach, chard, carrots, goat's and sheep's cheese, homemade jams, liqueurs and brandies, cured meats and fresh poultry.
They are places of abundance, flavors and colors, all decorated with lively and loud sales people who are hopping to persuade you to taste their goods and buy their products.
Some of these market sellers have been feeding local inhabitants for generations. Depending on the time of day you arrive, markets can be quite an overwhelming experience, so it's wise to take a calm stroll watching what the local buyers do, waiting for the prices to do down towards the end of the day (usually after the noon).
After you buy all you need, it's time to visit a fish markets ( always very close to open green markets). Markets are the place where you should negotiate as the prices depend on your ability to bargain.
It's hard to imagine any Croatia's city, no matter how big it is, without farmer markets or usually called 'open green market' (in Croatian 'trznica' ). Most of green markets are located near the city center and in coastal townsin combination with fish markets.
Zagreb as a capital of Croatia has 24 markets (trznice) that cover almost every corner of this city.
Dolac is the largest, best known and most important market in Zagreb. This market is a combination of open (for fruit and vegetables) and closed (for meat) market.It's located in the city's Upper Town, between Ban Jelacic Square, Kaptol and the Upper Town.
Although nowadays nobody needs to go to the market anymore because supermarkets have prevailed also in Zagreb but people still shop at the Dolac market.
Dolac market is one of Zagreb's, must-visit attraction, the best place to experience local flavors, and to feel a pulse of the real city life. Read this Frank G. article, an expatriate Canadian currently living in Croatia, about Dolac market.
Dubrovnik town has two farmers markets. One is known as Gruz market located about 2 km northwest of the Old City while Gundulic Square market is located inside the old city walls.
Gundulic Square market is a best place to buy your beach picnic food, situated in the heart of the Old Town. The market opens every morning and closes in the afternoon, but if you would like to buy a fresh food, you should get up pretty early. People offer here fresh local products grown in the fields just outside the Town (mostly from Konavle region).
Gruz is a big Dubrovnik harbor. Dubrovnik main Bus Terminal is also situated in Gruz. It has the biggest Dubrovnik open market on which every day you can buy fresh fruit and vegetables and various fresh fish.
This market has a very good bus connection with the other parts of Dubrovnik (bus number 7 drives to Lapad, buses number 1A and 1B drive to the Old Town.
I recommend this market as the best place for buying fruits, vegetables and fresh fish. You should be there no later than 07,30 AM if you really want the fresh products, originating from the locally farms. Prices are lower than those on Gundulic Square.
One of Split farmer markets is famous Pazar, a big open air market located at the eastern side of the Diocletian Palace in front of Silver Gate.
It's one of town’s iconic spots, a mixture of sea and land, islanders, people of Split and those from the countryside. The market opens around 7 AM and closes by 2 PM, but if you want to save, just go there late in the morning (after 12 PM). It’s a good time to bargain for slightly lower prices with the vendors.
If you want to buy fresh and quality products just follow where the locals are buying. The local housewives have ‘their people‘ , the vendors they are always buying from, just watch them and you won’t be wrong.
Market prices vary, depending on the season, but sometimes can be totally out of control especially in the peak of the season.
In most Dalmatian towns the market is a delight for all the senses. Zadar is no exception, where Zadar market is one of the most picturesque and most colorful in the area.
Zadar's market has existed since the Middle Ages but today's market place, dates from the period after World War II when many buildings in this part of town were razed to the ground.
This one of many farmer markets in Zadar, but this one is located on the Zadar old town peninsula, under the town walls. The best time to visit this market is from 06 AM to - 13 PM. Prices are very reasonable and depend on season and supply.
The eastern region of Croatia, Slavonia, with its capital Osijek, is one of destinations which are not visited so frequently. This region is one the most developed agricultural zones in Croatia.
Osijek actually has two main markets, the Green Market in the city center, and Autopija, a flea market outside of the city center. The first one is definitely the cheapest green markets in Croatia.
At the Green Market, locally grown fruits and vegetables are displayed on tables under umbrellas. Items are weighed using traditional balance scales and weights. Fresh-made cheeses and meats are sold from glass cases indoors and small shops surrounding the market sell freshwater fish – some so fresh they are still swimming. Text is taken from blog article '7 super reasons to visit Osijek Croatia' .