This week we've teamed up with Mirna from Insight Design Guide to bring you the best of Zagreb's crafts. The team behind the Insight Design Guide tries hard to promote local artists, designers and craftsmen, as well as their products. They publish a quarterly Zagreb shopping guide, that's distributed free of charge throughout Zagreb hotels, but it's also available online.
Zagreb County has a long tradition of craftsmanship. Local craftsmen passed their skills down from one generation to the next. Over time, some crafts have changed, some have developed and some have fallen into oblivion, but the tradition has remained. The art of folk masters found their future through the production of souvenirs and replicas of Croatian national symbols. Yet some artisans have stayed the same as they have been for over 100 years.
The beautiful thing about artisans in Zagreb is that, even though the times ask for low-priced mass produced products, there are still people that try to provide and enrich our lives with new and exciting handmade products.
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What to buy in Croatia: great crafts you can find in Zagreb
Cerovečki umbrellas – umbrellas and parasols with a 100 year old tradition
Cerovački family has been manufacturing handmade umbrellas for over a century. Tradition, quality, and good design helped Cerovečki umbrellas to resist the fast growing market of cheap and low-quality umbrellas available on every corner. This is already the third generation of the same family to manufacture these handmade umbrellas.
They have a great reputation all over the world and have designed umbrellas and parasols even for theater and movie productions in the USA and UK.
Their Šestinski kišobran (Šestine’s Umbrella) has become a symbol of Zagreb for its unique and beautiful design; great quality, durability and heritage. Originally, Šestinski kišobran dates from mid-18th century, and it was a part of folk costume of people from Šestine, a Zagreb’s neighborhood located north of the town center.
Prices vary from 100 Kn to 500 Kn.
Contacts: Ilica 49, Zagreb | t: +385 1 4847 417 | Website
Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 8.30 am-8 pm | Sat: 8.30 am-2 pm | Sunday closed
Hats by Kobali
For five generations now, the Kobali’s family has been handcrafting designer’s quality hats. Their hats are stylish yet uncompromisingly original and of a great quality. Kobali’s store, in downtown Zagreb, is considered one of Zagreb’s landmarks, as it has stood there for generations of Zagreb residents.
Kobali’s hats can also be purchased online through their own web shop. Prices vary depending on style, material, and size. You can expect to pay anywhere between 60 and 260 euro, with majority of items selling for 130 and 170 euro.
Contacts: Ilica 5 – Oktogon, Zagreb | t: +385 1 4839 401 | Website
Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 9 am-8 pm | Sat: 9 am-3 pm | Sunday closed
Gloopy wardrobe creatures
Gloopy wardrobe creatures are handmade lavender stuffed animals. Lara and Sunčana, a creative duo behind Gloopy, designed these fun-looking lavender sachets to keep unwanted visitors away from your closets. Gloopy lavender sachets are made of cotton, and stuffed with 100% organic lavender. They come in many shapes: a frog, a snake, a mouse, a bat, a spider, and even and angel looking lavender sachets.
This is really cool home item, and even a practical souvenir you can bring home from Croatia. Gloopy wardrobe creature cost 135 Kn, and you can buy them at Dizajnholik online store, or at Take Me Home, and Top stores in Zagreb.
Contacts: t: +385 91 3010 308 | Website
Jasmina i lutkice
Croatian textile designer Jasmina Kosanović took Zagreb’s artsy scene by surprise with her handmade rag dolls. One of the oldest children’s toys, Jasmina’s rag dolls are beautiful, magical creatures with imaginative clothes, and joyful appearances.
At her store in downtown Zagreb, you’ll find fairies and elves, witches, Little Red Riding Hood, angels, and animals like rabbits, foxes, lions, and cats. Prices vary from 100 Kn up to 1.500 Kn.
Contacts: Petrinjska 40, Zagreb | t: +385 98 795 773 | Website
Opening hours: Mon-Fri: 10 am-8 pm | Sat: 10 am-7 pm | Sun: 10 am-noon, 5 pm-10 pm
For the more contemporary buyers, there is a new and more techie product that has taken Croatia by storm – Walligami smart vertical planter. It has a built-in indicator for when the soil is dry and signals you to water the plant. Great, right?!
There are many more artisans and craftsmen to be found around Zagreb, from shoemakers to beautiful handmade souvenirs, but you have to know where to look for. The best Zagreb's shopping guide highlighting local handmade products is Insights Design Guide.
We'd like to thank Mirna from Insights Design Guide for these insider's tips on what to buy in Croatia, and where to buy it. We love their project, and we are happy to promote their guide. Their guide helps local artisans and craftsmen get attention and besides it's free. Please check their website and support local economy by buying local handmade souvenirs. Give these guys thumbs up, check their shopping guide, and follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Google +, and Pinterest.
What do you think about those unique Croatian souvenirs? Let us know in the comments below.