When in Zagreb I like to stay in Hotel Dubrovnik. It is not the most fantastic hotel, but it’s location is hard to beat: in the very heart of Zagreb, where people have coffee outside even in winter time when there is snow. Great! It is also located next to some spots I like for my well being: the Pinguin fast food sandwich bar (they do not talk a lot, but they do a great job), the great ice cream parlour Vincek, and at last the micro brewery Pivnica Medvedgrad after having visited the Upper Town and listened to some free (!) live music outdoors at the so called Strossmayer Promenade. It is almost a ritual when I have time in Zagreb.
Hotel Dubrovnik has another advantage: before the work day starts you just walk about 100 meters across the main square, climb up the stairs and you are welcomed by the great Dolac market! It is a fairly big square surrounded by buildings of mixed architectural styles and a fish market. The Zagreb Cathedral is overlooking the market from a distance, also a way to assure fair trade.
From my point of view Zagreb which has lots of architecture from the Austro-Hungarian empire shows a nice mix of Mediterranean & Eastern European lifestyles. And the market reflects this to a certain degree. It is a very well “disciplined market”: the tables for the stalls are nicely standardized including their umbrellas, there is a section with small permanent stalls without shades which come with their own refrigeration. And in the evenings everything is properly put together and piled up.
And when the vendors have prepared their part in the morning, the market offers all its splendour: fruit & vegetables in abundance! It is a feast for the eyes and the locals come here in plenty. Even in winter time the merchants sell fresh produce (more cabbage and alike) while standing in the snow! That is Mediterranean feeling even when it is cold. Besides all the fresh produce there is also honey, cheese etc. But the fruit and vegetables are dominating.
A good place to observe the scenery are the cafes on the Eastern side of the market where you may sit outside and have a coffee or a Rakija.
All in all: Dolac market combines Mediterranean & Eastern European savoir vivre and is worth more than one visit.
A little link list: