When it comes to food local people prefer their local farmers’ markets in Split city. With urban populations expanding year after year, Split boasts with several modern shopping centers, but when we are talking about fresh food, they can’t give up of some popular markets.
Visiting Split Croatia for the first time, sooner or later you’ll come across on two local markets, a true belly of the city, the only places where you can still feel the spirit of Dalmatia and the Mediterranean, the colors, flavors and aromas.
If you like to have a simple, fresh and grown locally food than there is no better place to get them then on local farmers’ market and fish market as locals call them – Pazar (Pah.zar) and the Peskerija (pesh kah ria).
Many tourists would naturally expect to find both markets close to each other but they are exactly at two opposite ends of old city center and Riva, seaside promenade.
There is a very logical reason for this. This open-space green markets is located on the eastern side of Diocletian Palace, closer to Split harbor and bus and train station while fish market is situated close to former fishing port – Matejuska.
Markets in Split - Pazar
Split green market, known under the name as ‘Pazar’, despite many new supermarkets and shopping malls is favorable place where locals prefer to buy their groceries. This big open air market is located at the eastern side of the Diocletian Palace in front of Silver Gate
The good thing is that Pazar is very close to bus station and ferry port so if you can spare few minutes before leaving to your favorite island you can stock up on vegetables since it’s at least three times more expensive on the islands.
Apart from its practical uses, this picturesque place is one of those places where the locals and tourists tend to mix without prejudice. It the gathering place for people from islands like Hvar, Brac, Solta and small villages from Split’s hinterland.
All of them bring their products on the concrete counters in the shade of the eastern walls of Diocletian palace. Here you’ll find everything that grows under the sun, from strawberries, fresh and dried figs, lemons, grapes and pomegranates to wild asparagus, tomatoes, plus all kinds of green leafy veg like spinach and chard, carrots and sheep’s cheese, homemade jam, liqueurs and brandies, meat and fresh eggs and poultry.
This market is an abundance of flavors and colors, garnished with loud vendors voices who are hopping to persuade you to buy their products. But follow my advice as this place can be rather overwhelming experience and wait for prices to go down (usually after noon) as it’s the best time to save.
Now after you got all you need from fresh veg, cheese or a bottle of homemade grappa (brandy), it’s time to head for another market – Peskerija (Fish market).
Ribarnica – Fish Market
Ribarnica or Peskerija (Fish market) is located on opposite side of green market (see the above map), in the middle of Marmontova street, elegant marble paved street ate the western end of Riva promenade.
You must see this market if you like fresh caught fish. Do not trust that your scent will take you there as this fish market is the only market in the world where the air here keeps the fish hygienic and believe it or not without flies.
All that must be thanked to sulfur wells, built here by Diocletian, that keeps this market very clean and breathable. This market opens very early in the morning, even before 07 AM with the morning catch.
I advice to set your alarm clock early if you want the best pieces to end up on your grill. Fish is rather expensive so the locals buy smaller and cheaper fish like sardines, anchovies, squid, sea-bream, mackerel or red mullet. Precious fish like dentex or john dory will finish to restaurants.