Red sunshades – Britanski market, Zagreb / Croatia

  • History, café & the market
    History, café & the market

Everything is red at the Britanski square outdoor market in Zagreb. The umbrellas of the stalls and those of the large café watching over the market. The historic buildings around it serve as a nice frame of this relaxing market where locals buy their food.

Many tourists know the Dolac market next to the city square. In less than 10 minutes walking distance Britanski market is less busy but has the charm of a neighbourhood meeting place. In the evening hours, when the market has closed, the huge café at the square is still open, adding life and local flavour to the then empty square.


In the early morning hours, just after breakfast, the market has a constant flow of buyers wandering from stall to stall looking for deals on vegetables and fruit. The offer is seasonal and gives an impression on what people are going to cook. Looks pretty vegetarian, but a couple carts were selling meat and sausages as well.

Some of the vendors had a very small offering, barely covering the table of their stall. It seemed that they had a small plot at home and wanted to increase their meagre pension.

Eye catching were the plastic bags filled with chopped mixed vegetables (see photo gallery). Slices of carrots, zucchini, cabbage and more were mixed ready to be used for a soup or so.

As this market, like all the others in Zagreb is managed by the city company Zagrebački Holding. The setup of the market is standardized: the stalls all have the same type tables reminding of German Beer Fest ones and a red umbrella – all helping to set up and dismantle very quickly. Stalls which need refrigeration, e.g. the cheese mongers have simple, stainless steel covered stalls with power supply. All the stalls stay overnight at the square in a proper order, only the umbrellas are stored somewhere. I assume this standardization assures fairness amongst vendors and some promotes basic hygiene.


The café along the quare is a winner. Not only that the red sunshades match those ones of the market, but it allows to observe all the market activities from the comfort of a chair. In the early evening parents come and share a drink while their little kids are playing on the then empty square. Later when the kids are in bed, people are still sitting together, enjoying conversations and life. No hustle and bustle as in the close city centre. And for your date there is an open flower shop next to the café.

All in all: a very relaxing ambiance – observe locals and guess what they are going to cook with their purchases

A little link list: