Shopping in Dubrovnik

The open-air market in Dubrovnik Old Town takes place on Gundulićeva Poljana – it is slightly touristy, but worth a browse, with fresh fruit and vegetables in the mornings, and a few stalls staying for the afternoon to sell souvenirs such as embroidery, lavender bags, homemade rakija (a potent spirit, often flavoured with fruit or herbs) and strings of dried figs. If you are self catering, you'll find several small supermarkets in the Old Town, plus bakeries for fresh kruh (bread) and krafne (doughnuts).

My favourite place to buy wine to bring home is Dubrovačka Kuća (Svetog Dominika bb; + 385 20 322092) in the Old Town close to Ploče Gate – they have an excellent selection of quality Croatian wines, plus rakija, olive oil and truffle products.

Other places to shop for presents include Boutique Croatia (Pred Dvorom 2; + 385 20 323526; selling original Croatian silk ties in presentation boxes, and Ronchi (Lučarica 2; + 385 20 323699), a family-run millinery dating back to 1858, where you buy classy and amusing handcrafted hats. And for locally-produced souvenirs such as natural sponges (from the island of Krapanj), candle holders (made from stone from the island of Brač), and paintings by Dubrovnik-based artists, take a look in at Medusa (Prijeko 18; +385 20 322004; )

A veritable Aladdin's cave, Galerija Buža (Miha Pracat 6; + 385 20 323144) near the Orthodox Church, is packed with quirky handmade jewellery created by Croatian designer Ivona Matica, plus silk scarves and lacework. Next door, Galerija Giardin (Miha Pracata 8; + 385 20 324780) also stocks modern chunky jewellery, with lots of big coloured semi-precious stones.

Upmarket Dubrovnik is also home to some smart and shockingly expensive designer boutiques. Close to Ploče Gate in the Old Town, Maria (Sv Dominika bb; + 385 20 321330; stocks ultra-chic clothes and accessories flaunting labels such as Yves Saint Laurent and Givenchy. And close to the Rector’s Palace, Michal Negrin (Pred Dvorom 1; + 385 20 321202; showcases the work of a talented Israeli designer who creates whimsical Victorian-inspired dresses, which seem totally in tune with Dubrovnik's old-fashioned romantic elegance.

The best place for English-language books and newspapers is Algoritam (Placa 8; + 385 20 322044) in the Old Town.

For general information on what to expect of shopping on the Dalmatian Coast, see my Shopping in Dalmatian Coast page.