Dolac is not only the biggest and the most beautiful open air-market in Zagreb, but also one of the favourite places of Zagreb residents and visitors alike. For residents of Zagreb, going to Dolac Market is a mini-ritual in itself.
You may be able to watch the Dolac Market from your window at the Main Square Residence, but you should also feel the atmosphere of this special place as it is considered one of the most attractive markets in Europe. The open-air market has been located on Dolac since 1930, after being relocated from Ban Jelačić Square.
If you take the left stairway up to the Dolac Market, you will be met to your left with a statue of kumica. Kumice are peasant women from villages around Zagreb who have been selling their home-made products and vegetables grown in their own gardens on markets in Zagreb for decades. Typical produces include grincajg (a mixture of carrots, parsley roots and celery for home-made soup), pickled cabbage and turnips, leafy vegetables, legumes, delicious fruit, eggs from chicken running around in the farmer’s yard… However, kumice are best-known for the favourite speciality in Zagreb – fresh cottage cheese and cream, although they also make excellent smoked hard cheese. There are less and less true kumice today, yet many residents of Zagreb have at least one “own” kumica because each kumica has her product which is particularly good.
In the past, kumice used to come mainly from Šestine (at the time a village north of Zagreb, nowadays one of the city’s elite residential areas) and the red umbrellas in the open section of the market are adaptations of characteristic Šestine umbrellas (available as souvenirs). Another cute souvenir are wooden toys that were made in the past in villages around Zagreb as well as licitari biscuits of which the most characteristic is the heart-shaped licitar given as an expression of love.
Being not far away from the sea, Zagreb and Dolac enjoy an excellent offer of fresh fish, crabs and shells, as well as home-made Mediterranean products (olive oil, smoked ham, dry figs…) and produces from Slavonia, famous for cured meat delicacies such as kulen and Slavonian sausages. In addition to all of the above, Dolac offers a wide variety of fresh meat, pastas, honey… Enjoy the environment, get to know locals in informal situations (markets are said to be one of the best places to get to know a city and its residents) and make sure to take plenty of photos.
Photos: Licitar hearts and the Dolac Market atmosphere