Grocery Shopping in Croatia – Guide (2024)

Grocery shopping in Croatia

There are many supermarkets, small stores, and farmers’ markets in Croatia and they differ in the quality of ingredients and prices.

If you are planning to do grocery shopping in Croatia, you’ll have a clear expectation of the best supermarkets that offer what you are looking for after you read this article.

We, locals, are aware of the supply, prices, and marketing schemes some stores apply, so let’s see what you should know before doing grocery shopping in Croatia.

Currency in Croatia

Fortunately for tourists, since 2023. Croatia’s new currency is Euro, so there’s no need to convert everything into Kuna as it used to be. 

This may be sad news for us locals as we got sedimental with our old currency, but we got to learn to let it go.

Now you can pay with Euros wherever you go and don’t need any currency calculating apps or visit exchange offices if you already have euros by hand.

Shopping hours

Shopping hours in Croatia may vary depending on the store and the season.

However, generally, stores are open from Monday to Saturday with normal working hours, with shorter working hours on Sundays and holidays.

From October to May, it’s normal for stores to open at 7 or 8 and close at 8, 9, or 10 pm with an exception on Sundays and holidays when stores can already close before 2 PM or not work at all.

Supermarkets usually close at the latest so you can find many still open before 10 pm while smaller stores close earlier at 8 or 9 pm.

During the tourist season from June to September, stores have longer working hours to accommodate the higher tourist traffic. Most stores during the season will open at 7 or 8 am and close at 9 or 10 pm even on weekends.

If everything is closed and you need something quick like a snack, cigarettes or beer you’ll always find gas stations somewhere in the town that work non-stop.

Where should you shop?

1. Supermarkets

Supermarkets in Croatia are the best choice for shopping with a long grocery list just like it’s the case in most states across the world.

Typically, you’ll find a great variety of products from imported goods to locally manufactured goods with great budget alternatives.

2. Tisak stands

Tisak stands are ideal when you need something small like cigarettes, soda, snacks, papers, or a lottery ticket.

You’ll find plenty of these small stands at bus/tram stations and on the roads in every urban area.

You can also pay bills and receive packets at these places, so they are very popular in Croatia.

3. Local stores

Every part of the town or the village has local stores that are typically well equipped with everything essential.

You may not find a great variety of products at small local stores, but all groceries such as bread, fruits, or vegetables are fresh and it makes no sense to drive to a supermarket when you only need milk and coffee.

4. Farm market

Local farm markets are sometimes better alternatives to shopping in big supermarkets.

Local farm markets offer a variety of fresh ingredients grown locally with a quality-first principle and local farm markets are the best place to find fresh fish if you visit any town nearby the coastline.

If you are looking for authentic and healthy food go to farmers’ markets and buy groceries straight from grandmas, villagers, and fishermen who earlier that day captured the great fish of the Adriatic Sea.

5. Gas stations

Gas stations are only good in emergencies as you’ll find a lack of product variety and the prices are quite expensive compared to other places.

However, you’ll find tasty sandwiches and cold sodas at gas stations, so I guess when you are hungry and thirsty the money isn’t a problem.

What are the cheapest supermarkets? 


Lidl is the Austrian-based supermarket brand that established its roots in Croatian soil as one of the most affordable supermarket chains.

LIDL is a great option whether you are buying vegetables, fruits, or meat and you can even find some LIDL brand clothes for a cheap price. 

LIDL is really an excellent choice for most of the grocery shopping list except for some food such as fish and doesn’t offer a variety of meat.

Some other supermarkets have a stand with fresh fish on ice and various meat you can choose from while LIDL is more focused on prepacked fresh and frozen grocery goods.

Moreover, their vegetables and fruits are fresh and delicious, and the rest of the non-edible household stuff is super cheap and of decent quality.


Eurospin is another great supermarket with lots of options unless you are looking for a huge variety of products or fresh fish.

In Eurospin you can’t find many options like multiple brand choices of the same product but you can find decent quality brands for quite a low price.

I recommend Eurospin for household items and basic grocery shopping when you don’t need anything specific but need to get all essentials for a low price.

After all, this is the strategy many locals use, get what you can in budget-friendly stores and buy the rest of the specific groceries at other places.


Spar has big supermarkets with lots of variety and their own brand of products which are super cheap compared to other brands without a big drop in quality.

You’ll find almost everything in Spar supermarkets as they have a big variety of all products including fresh fish and meat.

If you want to save money look for their products branded “spar” and you’ll save money on products such as milk, flour, spices, and more.

The rest of the prices are quite standard and probably slightly lower than in some other popular supermarkets but it greatly depends on what type of product you are looking for.

Supermarkets in Croatia always try to compete by offering a low price on certain products while the competition doesn’t and vice versa in the circle.

Other popular supermarkets

Among the other stores I mentioned above, LIDL is probably the most popular budget-friendly supermarket in Croatia.

However, let’s see what other popular supermarkets are out there in which you can find a full assortment, not regarding the cheapest options.


Konzum is a popular Croatian supermarket with around 600 stores in 300 cities.

You’ll find a wide variety of products such as groceries, household items, electronics, and clothing.

Konzum offers some good quality products for affordable prices on items such as milk, bread, and pasta under the brand “K plus”.


Kaufland is full of everything, so it rarely happens that you don’t find what you came for.

Kaufland has a big variety of products just like Konzum does, but I find their stores to be bigger and better organized to my preference.

Kaufland also has a “K-Classic” brand of products on milk, bread, pasta, and similar goods at high quality and affordable prices.


You’ll find a decent shopping experience in Plodine in one of their 200 stores across the state.

Personally, I find meat to be of higher quality at other places but again this might be just my personal experience.

I hear that many people from my surroundings are satisfied with Plodine and their brand is well-established, so there’s no reason to avoid Plodine.

How expensive are groceries in Croatia?

In the latest times, groceries are considered expensive by locals as Croatia has among the most expensive groceries compared to the average salaries.

However, in Croatia, fast food is not only more expensive than healthy stuff like vegetables, quality meat, fruits, and spices but what’s the point of eating junk when you can cook at home?

This doesn’t apply to everyone, but this supports the culture of cooking at home and spending less time in fast food restaurants or buying bad frozen alternatives from supermarkets.

Grocery shopping probably seems quite standard or even cheap for some foreigners from states with higher gross domestic product value, but with Croatian wages, it’s not a surprise that many Croatians find groceries very expensive because recently the grocery prices went up and the wages didn’t follow.

For instance, you can find many groceries in LIDL identical to those in Germany but for the same or higher price. When you compare the average German net salary of €2,600 and the Croatian average net salary of €1100, it’s visible why many would like the grocery prices to go down a bit.

The prices of alcohol and tobacco on other hand are considerably lower than in the UK, Germany, or Italy and the same can be said for lots of fast food and restaurants.

What to buy?

Vegetables and fruits

Vegetables such as radishes, garlic, onion, parsley, spinach, mangel, carrots, potatoes, cauliflower, cabbage, fennel, salads, celery, and many more are great ingredients you can find in Croatian supermarkets and stores.

You’ll also find a variety of fruits such as various apples, pears, oranges, lemons, limes, watermelons, all kinds of berries, plums and many more I can’t think of at the moment.

All these ingredients can be found supplied by local farms, and typically, you’ll only find the freshest vegetables and fruits on shelves.


We Croats consume plenty of meat, so if you are a meat lover you’ll find high-quality meat at many locations.

It’s smart to buy fresh fish at farmers’ markets for an authentic experience. You can also go to popular supermarkets like Konzum but the supply will be smaller.

Fish, lamb, pork, beef, and game meat are all part of Croatian cuisine.

From what I have heard from foreigners, the quality of meat (especially chicken) in Croatia, Bosnia, and Serbia is the best in Europe.

For instance, I never ate a watery, artificial-tasting chicken in Croatia while it’s not so uncommon to find such chicken in UK supermarkets.

Olive oil

Olive oil is an extremely popular ingredient alongside the Croatian coastline and we use it in many dishes, so I had to mention this.

Croatian olive oil is considered one of the best olive oils in the world and won many rewards.

You’ll find great Extra virgin olive oils mostly coming from Istria, the Kvarner region, and Dalmatia.


You’ll find a great variety of spices used in Croatian cuisine, from red paprika to oregano. 

Croatian stores are well equipped with a variety of spices, but I can recommend true Mediterranean spices such as oregano, basil, or rosemary which are known for making Croatian cuisine stand out from the rest.

If you are keen on cooking and exploring Croatian recipes there’s so much to do.


There are some popular Croatian snacks you’ll hardly find elsewhere and those are:

  • Napolitanke
  • Bananko
  • Jaffa Keks
  • Smoki
  • Slani Stapici
  • Bajadera


You’ll find almost every alcohol you have in mind in stores, but rakija is the renowned Croatian spirit that you must try.

There are many rakija types, but here are some most popular:

  • Biska – Popular in Istria, made from various herbs and mistletoe.
  • Travarica – Super-popular everywhere, made from herbs such as sage, juniper, rosemary, fennel…
  • Medica – Super-popular sweet rakija made with an addition of honey
  • Sljivovica – Super-popular everywhere, made from plums with a really strong, bitter taste
  • Borovicka – Super-popular everywhere, rakija with blueberries!

At what age can you buy alcohol and tobacco?

You need to be 18. to purchase alcohol or tobacco at any place in Croatia.

Alcohol and tobacco can be found almost everywhere including gas stations, but if you are underage or look young, they’ll ask you for a license first before selling any tobacco or alcohol.

So, if you look young don’t forget to bring a license to prove that you are older than 18!

Shopping tips in Croatia

1. Browse action catalogs for great deals

For many Croats buying on action sales is the strategy to live by. 

Browse the catalogs of mentioned supermarkets or visit local small stores to get discounted prices on discount days or weeks.

This is the smart strategy if you want to save money but often going to one supermarket just to buy apples and lemons and then driving to the other 3 stores to get the rest on the discount sale can be painful if you don’t have the abundance of time and patience.

2. Bring a euro for a shopping cart

There are shopping carts on wheels located inside or outside the supermarket facilities and to unlock them you need to insert a euro.

I have heard this is not common in every other country in the world, but it’s a standard practice in Croatia.

You get the Euro back after returning the cartwheel and the cartwheels simply make the shopping better experience if you have a big grocery list to check.

3. Bring a bag or pay for one

You can buy a bag for like 50 cents or you can bring your own bag straight into the store to save money.

In the latest times, I see more and more supermarkets offering recyclable bags which are a great alternative for nature, however, you can’t carry heavy items in them or they’ll collapse.

Some places may only have such recyclable bags while some places may also offer standard plastic bags.

In either case, it’s smart to bring some kind of bag that can handle the weight when going grocery shopping in Croatia.

Final take on

Croatia has lots to offer in supermarkets, local stores, and farmers’ markets so it’s worth exploring the options once you arrive.

I tried to give you a broad but clearer picture of what’s going on in Croatia stores, what you can expect to find, and at what quality and price.

Croatia is a nice place to visit but it’s also a nice place to have comfortable life!


Dino is a local who has spent 27 years of his life in Croatia. He's here to provide you with useful information and some local guidance.

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