Farmer Markets in Croatia: Enjoying Delicious, Locally Grown Food

My top recommendation to anybody visiting Croatia is to visit the farmer markets. This lets you get a true taste of local life, support the local farmers and enjoy really good food. Plus, every city and town has at least one.

Simple, Fresh, and Local

Although delicious, Croatian cuisine focuses on freshness, simplicity and, most importantly, locally grown produce.

To truly experience this, you must visit the open green markets, which still play an important role in any Croatia’s daily life, even though the big supermarket chains have had (and still have) a bit impact over it.

If you’re interested in Croatian cuisine, I recommend checking out my previous article about the best traditional Croatian foods, or maybe try making some of these tasty dishes at home with the help of my fritule recipe or the krostule recipe.

All in all, farmer markets in Croatia are where locals and tourists mix freely. They bring together people from various regions: islands like Brač, Hvar, and Šolta; the Dalmatian hinterland; areas around Zagreb; Konavle near Dubrovnik; and the Zadar Ravni Kotari valley.

What You’ll Find at the Croatian Farmer Markets

fruit market in Croatia

At these markets, vendors display their goods on concrete or wooden benches in the shade, and the prices are usually lower than those in the supermarkets, while all produce is locally grown. You’ll usually find (depending on the season):

  • Fruits: strawberries, fresh or dried figs, lemons, grapes.
  • Vegetables: potatoes, sweet tomatoes, spinach, chard, carrots.
  • Dairy: locally made goat and sheep cheese (delicious!)
  • Homemade products: jams, liqueurs, brandies.
  • Meats: cured meats, fresh poultry.

Or, if you would rather get a more in-depth look at what’s on offer, here are the first things that come to mind based on the season (some are available all year long):

  • Spring: Asparagus, radishes, early strawberries, peas, and spring onions.
  • Summer: Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, peaches, melons, and berries.
  • Autumn: Pumpkins, apples, pears, figs, chestnuts, and grapes.
  • Winter: Citrus fruits like lemons and oranges, root vegetables, kale, and winter squash.

These markets are lively, full of colors and flavors, with vendors eager to have you taste and buy their products.

Even more important, Croatia has a law supporting family farms, known as OPG (Obiteljsko poljoprivredno gospodarstvo). This law allows families to run agricultural activities together. Many market sellers have been providing for local communities for generations, and the food is fresh, nutritious and tasty.

Tips for Visiting the Local Farmer Markets

  • Timing: Visit early in the morning for the freshest produce.
  • Bargaining: Prices can drop towards the end of the day, usually after noon. Bargaining is common. Especially if the prices are not written down, you might get the “tourist” price (more expensive). So always haggle!
  • Fish Markets: After shopping, visit the nearby fish markets for fresh seafood.

Farmers’ Market Etiquette and Tips

having fun at the local farmer market

Visiting Croatian farmer markets is also a cultural experience, especially if you’re a foreigner. Understanding local customs can enhance your visit – and taking one or more of the extra steps I recommend below might help a lot, as locals will appreciate you for at least trying.

Here are some tips to help you blend in and enjoy your market experience:

  • Greeting Vendors: Start with a friendly “Dobar dan” (Good day) or “Dobro jutro” (Good morning). A smile goes a long way in building rapport.
  • Asking Prices: Use “Koliko košta?” (How much does it cost?) to inquire about prices.
  • Thanking Sellers: Always thank the vendors with “Hvala” (Thank you).

If you want to improve your Croatian language skills even further, also read my article where I teach you how to say Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year in Croatian.

Back to the etiquette when visiting the local farmer markets, here are some other things you should be aware of:

  • Sampling: Vendors often offer samples. It’s polite to try before buying, but don’t take advantage. Also, they will sometimes offer unwashed fruits or vegetables, so don’t feel obliged to try them if you feel uncomfortable doing so.
  • Queueing: Be aware of informal queue systems, especially in crowded markets. Observe and follow local practices.
  • Respecting Produce: Handle produce gently and ask before picking up items. Most sellers don’t like you touching their products, especially if you’re not buying.

Sustainability and Organic Produce

Croatia places a strong emphasis on organic produce and sustainable farming practices. Many farmer markets showcase products grown without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers.

This is one of the things that I like the most here, and the main reason why I recommend visiting the local farmers’ markets in the first place.

While you can absolutely find organic produce in supermarkets, many of the goodies sold by locals in the markets are not officially labeled/certified organic, but are grown in identical or nearly identical conditions to those in organic agriculture.

If you want to ensure that you get certified organic produce, look for signs saying “organski” (organic) or “ekološki” (ecological) to identify them.

Additionally, you can engage with vendors to learn about their farming practices. Most are passionate about their methods and happy to share.

Iconic Farmer Markets in Croatia

Every city in Croatia, regardless of its size, has a farmer market, often referred to as an ‘open green market’ (in Croatian ‘tržnica’).

These markets are typically located near city centers and are commonly paired with fish markets in coastal towns. Some are truly iconic and should be visited as a tourist attraction, too if you are in the area. Let’s check them out!

Zagreb: The Heart of Croatian Markets

As the capital, Zagreb boasts 24 markets, covering almost every corner of the city. Check out my Zagreb map to easily get around, including public transport. And know that one market in Zagreb is considered better than others.

Dolac Market

Dolac is the largest and most well-known market in Zagreb. It combines an open market for fruits and vegetables with a closed market for meat.

Located in the Upper Town, between Ban Jelačić Square, Kaptol, and the Upper Town, Dolac is a must-visit.

Despite the prevalence of supermarkets, locals still flock to Dolac for fresh produce, making it a perfect spot to experience the city’s pulse.

Tips for Visiting Dolac Market

  • Best Time to Visit: Early morning for the freshest produce.
  • Local Specialties I recommend: Look for fresh herbs, local honey, and homemade cheeses.
  • Nearby Attractions: Explore the historic Upper Town after your market visit.

Dubrovnik: Markets by the Sea

Dubrovnik has two notable farmer markets: Gruž Market and Gundulić Square Market.

Gruž Market

Located about 2 km northwest of the Old City, Gruž Market is situated in Dubrovnik’s main harbor area, near the bus terminal.

It is the largest market in the city, offering a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and fish. For the best selection, visit around 7:30 AM. Prices here are generally lower than those at Gundulić Square.

Gundulić Square Market

This market is within the old city walls, making it a convenient spot for picking up picnic supplies.

Open every morning until the afternoon, it features fresh products mainly from the nearby Konavle region. Early visits ensure the freshest picks.

No matter which of these markets you visit, I recommend trying the local olive oil, as well as the renowned lavender products, and Konavle wines.

And if you don’t feel like cooking, check out my list of the best restaurants in Dubrovnik, where you will most likely enjoy the delicious, locally grown produce.

Split: The Famous Pazar

Split’s Pazar market is an iconic spot located at the eastern side of the Diocletian Palace, in front of the Silver Gate.

Opening around 7 AM and closing by 2 PM, Pazar is a bustling market where locals and vendors from both the sea and countryside converge. For the best deals, visit after 12 PM, when prices often drop. Watch where the locals shop to find the best quality products. I recommend looking for fresh seafood, Dalmatian prosciutto, and local pastries.

Zadar: A Market for the Senses

Zadar’s market, one of the most picturesque and colorful in the region, has a rich history dating back to the Middle Ages.

Located on the old town peninsula under the town walls, the market operates from 6 AM to 1 PM. Prices vary with the season, but they are generally reasonable. This market is a sensory delight, offering a wide array of local produce. Try the marinated olives, Pag cheese, and local wines.

Visit the Sea Organ and Greeting to the Sun installations after your market trip, two of the main attractions in Zadar.

Osijek Farmer Market

In eastern Croatia, the region of Slavonia, with its capital Osijek, is known for its rich agricultural heritage, although it’s not such a big touristic spot as other cities in the country.

Osijek has two main markets: the Green Market in the city center and Autopija, a flea market on the outskirts.

The Green Market is among the most affordable in Croatia, offering a wide variety of local produce. Look for homemade sausages, paprika, and regional wines.


Farmer markets in Croatia are perfect places for sampling the local cuisine and products, but many of them also serve as cultural landmarks that offer some solid insight into local life.

I would go as far as saying that no visit to a Croatian town is complete if you don’t check out the local market too.

Thanks for sharing this article!

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