Markets on Coast Twice as Expensive as Those in Continental Croatia?

Lauren Simmonds

As Novac writes on the 6th of August, 2019, yet another tourist season is in full swing, and while some of Croatia’s private renters are struggling with filling their empty beds, certain tourists continue to resent the high prices of some rather basic services.

Consequently, Glas Slavonije researched and compared the prices of fruits and vegetables available on five markets along the Adriatic coast with the prices pointed out by producers and sellers at the main market in Osijek, far from the sea in Eastern Croatia. The differences are enormous, with prices for the same product in certain places up to 100 percent more expensive.

On Istrian markets, the prices of a dozen ingredients on the markets of Pula and Poreč were compared with those in Osijek. In Pula, you’ll need to allocate 12 kuna for a kilogram of nectarines, and you will pay the half the price, 6 kuna, for the exact same amount in Osijek. For tomatoes, the difference is even greater, in Pula, one kilogram costs 22 kuna, while in Osijek, the same amount costs 10 kuna and similar to the cost of pears, which in this coastal town cost 20 kuna, compared to 8 kuna in Slavonia.

You won’t manage to save anything on the markets of Poreč, either, where a pound of carrots costs 15 kuna, and in Osijek you will pay between 8 and 10 kuna for the same amount, it’s the same situation with peppers, for which it is necessary to allocate 20 kuna in Poreč and 12 kuna in Osijek.

You can find your favorite summer fruit, watermelon, on Poreč market for six to eight kuna per kilo, while in Osijek, you’ll spend half as much or find it for even less, since you will only need to spend about 3 kuna for the same amount.

Interestingly, the price of zucchini is the same in both of these cities in Croatia and amounts to 10 kuna, but the price of young potatoes is twice as expensive in Poreč and costs between 8 and 10 kuna per kilo, while in Osijek it costs 4 or 5 kuna, depending of course on the producer. There is a drastic difference in the price of plums, which are offered on Poreč market for 16 kuna per kilogram, while in Osijek, you can easily find the exact same amount for 3 or at most 5 kuna.

In Dubrovnik, one producer complained that they were the most expensive “market” in the whole of Croatia. It is difficult not to become irritated by the general cost of basic things in the city under the famous Mt. Srđ, where you will need to fork out as much a 25 kuna per kilo for pears, 40 kuna for grapes (both white and black), onions, peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, and even plums cost 20 kuna, and for garlic and legumes, you’ll likely spend about 40 kuna per kilo. A truly incomprehensible price difference.

You can find a slightly more acceptable set of prices on Split’s market, where a kilogram of tomatoes or peppers costs up to 15 kuna per kilogram, the price of carrots is equal to that of those sold on Osijek’s market, ie, from 8 kuna to 10 kuna, and when it comes to nectarines, the price ranges from 8 to as much as 16 kuna per kilogram.

You’ll pay almost double for pears and nectarines in Zadar than you will on Osijek’s market, where both fruits cost 15 kuna per kilo, it’s the same situation with plums at a price of 10 kuna, while the ”twice the price” trend is rounded off with watermelons with a price of 6 kuna, versus Osijek’s 3 kuna per kilogram.

However, you will be better off in Zadar if you’re buying zucchini and tomatoes, which you can find for 5 or 6 kuna per kilo. The coastal price is also similar for pears, which in most coastal cities cost 15 kuna a kilo, and another summer favourite, apricots, are also twice as expensive in Zadar than they are in Osijek – costing 20 kuna per kilo. There is a big difference in Zadar’s offer of corn, which costs 4 kuna a piece, and the one on the Osijek market, costing only 2 kuna.

Since January the 1st, 2019, VAT on fruit, vegetables, meat and fish in Croatia has been reduced, but data from the Central Bureau of Statistics in the months that followed showed that this did not generally affect the prices of these products for the end buyer, and some prices even went up. 

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