Split may be known for its historical attractions, but Croatia’s second city does not disappoint when it comes to shopping: from fashion at Split’s shopping malls to unique artworks on sale at the city’s galleries.
Before heading home after a holiday exploring Diocletian’s Palace and people-watching on the Riva promenade, you may want to spend some time choosing the perfect memento of your time in Split. Over the last decade, more and more shopping malls have been popping up on the outskirts of the city, but the city centre is still a treasure trove of souvenir-buying opportunities. In Split’s historic centre, you can expect to find everything from designer brands to antiques.
Marble-tiled Marmont Street is one of Split’s most popular shopping areas, and is still the go-to location for fans of designer brands – despite competition from the many shopping malls that have opened outside the centre. It’s also one of the main pedestrian streets in the city, situated in its very heart – stretching from the Riva waterfront to the theatre building. Among other stores, Marmont is home to big names such as Zara, Massimo Dutti and Bershka. To refuel and rest your feet, sit down at one of the many bars in the surrounding streets, or stop to listen to the talented street musicians who line the street. The Christmas and New Year’s holidays are the best times to find bargains.
The biggest shopping centre in Dalmatia, Mall of Split is a great choice for fashionistas on all budgets, featuring both cheaper and high-end brands, including Pepe Jeans, Timberland, Tommy Hilfiger, Mango and Tom Tailor. Set over four floors (and also home to a cinema), Mall of Split presents a good workout, but thankfully there are numerous restaurants and bars on each floor of the mall, providing the perfect pit-stop. The mall is located in the eastern part of the city and is easily accessible by public transport.
The stone walls of Split’s Old Town are famous for their cooling effect, making lengthy shopping expeditions comfortable even on hot summer days. This is especially true if you climb down into the cellars of the Diocletian’s Palace, which conceal a creative oasis packed with souvenirs and artworks made by local artisans and creatives, showcasing the city’s artistic spirit. The colourful offering includes hand-made jewellery, paintings and sculptures, all of them ideal as gifts and mementos of Split and Dalmatia. Some stalls are open throughout the year, but the range is most diverse during the summer season.
Just a two-minute walk from Diocletian’s Palace lies another must-visit for art enthusiasts –Jaman Art Gallery. The gallery is owned by Split-based artist Danijel Jaman, who is famous for his surreal pop-art painting style – all of his works explode with colour. “My style has changed through the years,” says Jaman, “but the basics remain the same, the paintings are based around colour – very bright, vibrant and expressive.” Customers can also purchase Jaman’s paintings, prints, sculptures and cell phone cases through the Jaman Art Gallery online shop.
Nered bills itself as “a gift shop for people with good taste” on its Facebook page. Within the few square metres that the shop occupies on Dominis Street, you can find mugs, magnets, pen holders, kitchen, aprons and T-shirts – practically any souvenir you could wish for. Prices are not especially low, but all the items sold here have a unique Croatian design. The owner of the store, Jolanda Vitaljić, is also the author of My Dalmatian Cookbook, an illustrated compilation of traditional Dalmatian recipes. You can, of course, buy the cookbook here, too – the perfect souvenir to take the tastes of your Dalmatian holiday home with you.
Split’s central Green Market (also known as Pazar) is an open-air market famous for its abundance of vibrantly coloured locally grown fruits and vegetables. Its almost chaotic crowds and the sounds of bargaining and shouts of enthusiastic local sellers are part of its undeniable charm, which draws both locals and tourists. If it’s obvious that you’re a visitor, be prepared to haggle!