Looking for the top Croatian souvenirs? If you are planning your trip to Croatia then you will want to save this post when you are shopping for Croatia Souvenirs.
I love picking up small keepsakes to remind me of my time at a destination. I have traveled to Croatia many times and have my share of souvenirs from Croatia around the house. Your friends and family will love the Croatian gifts you bring home. Croatian wine makes a great gift, make sure to try some Croatian Rosé wine.
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- 📚 Read Lonely Planet Croatia and Fodor’s Essential Croatia
- 🏖️ Read more about Best Croatian Food You Must Try
What to Buy in Croatia – Our Favorite Croatian Souvenirs
Get ready to do some shopping in Croatia. I have compiled a list of some of my favorite Croatia souvenirs that you can’t leave Croatia without. There is everything from locally made souvenirs to delicious Croatian food that is worth taking home with you. Make room in your suitcase to take home memories from Croatia.
The Croatian Cravat (Croatian Tie)
History of the Cravat dates back to the 16th century that was part of Croatian soldier’s uniforms. It was originally a neck scarf worn by the Croatian military that spread as a fashion accessory across Europe.
A traditional cravat is a perfect gift for anyone and you will find them at shops around Croatia. This cravat store is located in Zagreb.
My relatives always send gifts of lavender products from Croatia. I didn’t know that Croatia was known for its beautiful lavender fields. I love the lavender sachets and soaps and the aromatic lavender oil. Everything is better when it is locally made.
Lavender is known to have wonderful relaxing properties and is typically used as a sleep aid. I love added lavender oil to my essential oil diffuser. I have been known to travel with it! The lavender sachets are great to add to your underwear drawer or linen closet. They are even great to keep in your suitcase to keep it smelling fresh. I bet you didn’t know that Croatia is known for its beautiful lavender fields. Get ready to fill your suitcase with all the locally made lavender products from local soap and sachets of lavender.
Traditional Croatian Lace
I have one too many Croatian lace doilies around the house. Growing up, my mother had (and still has) lace table cloths, bed covers, and other various lace goods. Lace making has been named by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage.
There are three distinct traditions of lace making in Croatia mostly found in the Dalmatian coast in Hvar and Pag as well as the northern region of Croatian in Lepoglava.
The needle-point lace in Pag was originally used to make ecclesiastical garments, tablecloths, and ornaments for clothing.
The Benedictine nuns in the town of Hvar make Aloe lace using fresh aloe leaves that are woven into a net on a cardboard background. These pieces have become a symbol of Hvar.
Croatian lace would make a perfect gift for anyone. You will be able to find lace products at the markets as well as various stores. I always like to buy from the local women in the market.
Licitar hearts are one of the most recognizable symbols of Zagreb, the capital of Croatia.
These beautiful red hearts are made from gingerbread. The tradition of gingerbread making appeared certain European monasteries during the Middle Ages and came to Croatia where it became a craft. The Croatian Licitar hearts are also a protected Intangible Cultural Heritages.
These colorfully decorated cookies are made from flour, sugar, water and baking soda along with some spices. The gingerbread is shaped, baked, dried and painted with edible colors.
You will be able to find these colorfully decorated cookies all throughout Zagreb.
Croatian Rakija Brandy
Rakija is a brandy that you will find throughout the Balkans that is made from fermented fruit. We would usually come home from Croatia with homemade rakija in plastic pop bottles. This is how you will find the homemade rakija. You will also be able to find rakija at any store where they sell alcohol as well as at Duty-Free shops.
This is a Croatian traditional drink, kind of like Grapa to Italians.
If you are a cheese lover then you are in for a treat. One of my favorite cheeses from Croatia comes from the island of Pag. Pag cheese or Pag Island cheese is a Croatian variety of hard, sheep milk cheese originating from the Adriatic island of Pag. It is one of the most famous artisan cheeses in the country. You need to try all the food in Croatia.
Paski sir (cheese) is produced from a unique breed of small sheep, Paska Ovca that graze on shrubs, grasses, and herbs on the island. Because of the winds coming off the Adriatic Sea, also known as Bura, the island gets sprinkled with the salt air.
Croatian cheese has won six golds at the 2017 World Cheese Awards in London.
Did I tell you that I’m a chocoholic? When in Croatia you must try Kraš chocolates. Kraš was the first large chocolatier in the Balkans, starting out in Zagreb in 1911. Kraš also gained international recognition for the quality of its products, by winning numerous medals at various trade fairs.
Croatian Olive Oil
Don’t leave without purchasing some delicious Croatian Olive oil. I am lucky that my mother would bring home this liquid gold every summer.
Croatia has some of the best olive oil I have had. As Italians, they use it on everything and it is an essential part of their cuisine. Nothing tastes better than freshly pressed olive oil. The best olive oil has a slightly peppery taste but you can also get milder flavored olive oil.
I have never seen a Croatian olive oil product in Canada or the United States so it will truly be a unique gift to bring home.
You can’t leave Croatia without a couple of bottles of their wine. With so many indigenous grape varieties, you will want to try them all. Make sure to pick up a Dingac, Plavac Mali, Posip, Babic and so many more.
They are difficult to find in North America so if you can, pick up a few bottles to enjoy at home after your trip. Here are some Croatian wines in Canada. Here are some of the top Croatian wine recommendations. If you are visiting the Dalmatian region the try Vugava, Stina Plavac Mali, some Posip wine, and rose wine. If you are heading to Istria then Malvazija is your top choice and Grasevina if you are heading to Slavonia.
Croatian Souvenirs Conclusion
There are many more items that you should add to your list of Croatian souvenirs to pick up on your visit. I will add them as I remember them. I think because I have travelled there frequently I took these things for granted.
If you are planning your trip to Croatia then you might want to check out these posts as well:
- Top Things to Do in Istria, Croatia
- Croatian National Parks
- Top Croatian Islands to Visit
- Best Croatian Food You Must Try
- Top Things to Do in Rijeka, Croatia
- Discover the Best Things to Do in Hvar, Croatia
- Amazing Day Trips from Split, Croatia
- Best Day Trips from Dubrovnik, Croatia
- Game of Thrones Dubrovnik Tour