Guide to Shopping in Split, Croatia: Best Places for Souvenirs and more
If you are planning to visit Split Croatia, this essential shopping in Split guide, can be of great help and at the same time, a great fun.
Split city, with almost two hundred thousand inhabitants, has a wide range of shopping options from shopping malls, open markets to small shops selling basically everything.
One of the funniest things in Split is that shopping can be inseparable part of old town sightseeing, as everything happens in a relatively restricted area.
While strolling Split old town and its streets, you will notice that the center of the palace boasts a wide variety of stalls, street vendors.
Where to do shopping in Split
There is a large choice of places and it all depends what you want to buy. If you are looking for fresh food and local product than there are only two places.
When it comes to food the people of Dalmatia like to have their simple, fresh and grown locally.There are no exotic spices or complex preparations, just bio and natural flavors.
In Split there is no shortage of natural products, and there is no better place to get them than the local farmers’ market and fish market, or as locals call them Pazar (Pah-zar) and the Peskerija (pesh-kah-ria).
One would expect to find both places close to each other, but in Split is exactly opposite; Peskerija (fish market) is close to old fishermen port Matejuska, while Pazar (green market) is just above the ferry port. See the map below!
Green Market – Pazar
The convenience of Pazar position is its vicinity to the bus station and ferry port, so you can supply with veg and fruits before leaving for your favorite island as it’s at least twice more expensive on the islands.
Shopping in Split green market is a unique experience, with colorful fruits and vegetables and inevitable hustle of picturesque sellers.
Pazar is one of ritual places where the local population and pleasure-seeking tourists tend to mix without prejudice. It’s a gathering place for people from Brac, Hvar and Solta islands, for the mountain people of Dalmatinska Zagora (Split city interior area) and people from smaller local towns like the seven Kastela villages (the zone near Split airport).
All of them bring regularly every day their produces to the concrete benches in the shade of the eastern wall of Diocletian’s palace. The only problem is in prices which are totally out of control especially in the peak of the season.
Especially, pay attention to two different type of sellers – resellers and direct producers. Just follow where the locals buy. The local housewives have ‘their people‘ — vendors they are always buying from, just watch them and you won’t be wrong. Another advice – always bargain for the price!
Here you can find everything that grows under the sun, from strawberries, fresh or dried figs, lemons, grapes and pomegranates to wild asparagus, sweet smelling tomatoes, spinach and chard, carrots, tomatoes, goat’s and sheep’s cheeses, homemade jams and honey, liqueurs and brandies, meat and fresh poultry.
This open market has a special part for shopping in Split where you can buy cheap but low quality cloths and shoes from China, a bit expensive and a bit more quality cloths and shoes from Turkey, ugly souvenirs of unknown origin, fake cheese from Livno or island of Pag etc.
Depending on the time of day you arrive, Pazar can be quite an overwhelming experience, so take my advice and buy a cold beer at the nearby kiosk and join the locals in the shade waiting for the prices to go down towards the mid day.
Fish market – Ribarnica Peskeria (pescheria)
Peskeria is located a short walk from Pazar, in the middle of Marmontova street, the nice marble paved street at the western end of Riva promenade. Marmontova street is a lifeblood of shopping in Split.
It isn’t difficult to find it or you’ll smell it easily. No worries, due to nearby sulfur sources since Diocletian time, the air keeps the fish fresh and hygienic, as it’s one of the rare fish markets without flies.
The fish market opens early as the morning catch comes even before 07:00, so if you want to find the best pieces, set your alarm clock early in the morning. Local people do not eat expensive fish like dentex (Zubatac in Croatian), john dory (Kovac) or other prize catches.
These all go to restaurants for tourists. Local prefer cheaper, smaller fish like sardines, anchovies (incun), squid (lignja), sea-bream (arbun), mackerel (skusa) and red mullet (cipal). These fish are not only cheaper, they’re tasty and healthy too. It’s renowned the benefits of oily fish like sardine and mackerel.
Feeling a bit nervous when shopping in Split fresh fish? Don’t worry, just check for shiny scales, clear eyes and firm flash. Check gills too, should be bright red! If it’s OK, you can buy your best piece to end up at your grill!
The main area of shopping in Split
Marmontova street that runs from the Split waterfront promenade (Riva) all the way to Split National Theater, has been always the most important city shopping area.
This marble-lined street (free traffic zone) is the main area for designers and brand ed goods (particularly shoes). There you’ll find good quality stores feature Armani, Dolce and Gabbana, Esprit, Gulliver shoes, Benneton, La Coste, Robe di Kappa, Diesel, Gas and many more…
Split Shopping Malls
For shopping in Split, there are 5 shopping malls worthwhile visiting:
- Emmezeta – this mall is actually outside Split city area, in Kastel Sucurac, which is the first of the 7 Kastela villages. It’s only 8 Km from Split center to this mall.It’s reachable by bus 37 from Split to Trogir.
- Joker center – opened in 2007 this mall is a popular shopping in Split spot. The Joker center is situated 15-20 minutes walk from the city center, buses stop more or less in front of the center. Locals visit this mall as only McDonald in the city, can be found at the ground floor of the center.
- Mercator Mall – is situated 5 km outside of Split direction Trogir. It’s one of the oldest malls in Split. This mall has a large supermarket and additionally you’ll find about 20 smaller shops, like Intersport, shoe shops, clothes shops and a few jewelry shops.
- City Center One – inaugurated in 2010 it’s one of largest shopping center in Dalmatia. Located in the eastern part of the city of Split, offers a big selection of shops, bars, restaurants spread over the three floors.
- Mall of Split – the newest mall opened in 2016 is a premier shopping destination with over 200 retail brands including international fashion labels; some appearing in Split for the first time. It can be reached by public transport with 7 bus lines: 1, 5, 6, 10, 16, 18, and 22.