Plot Twist – Serbian Citizens Shopping for Groceries in Croatia

Katarina Anđelković

shopping for groceries in croatia

January 5, 2024 – Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina used to be known as cheap shopping meccas for Croatian people living near the borders. In a turn of events, however, with rising prices of goods and fuel, Serbian people have increasingly started hopping the border to go shopping for groceries in Croatia.

As Poslovni writes, citizens from the border areas of Serbia have increasingly started going shopping in the easternmost Croatian town of Ilok. As they say, they come for cheaper food, but also for fuel.

While before the pandemic the citizens of eastern Croatia would go across the border to Serbia for cheaper food, household goods and cigarettes, now the residents of Bačka Palanka and the surrounding villages, and even Novi Sad, increasingly buy groceries and fuel in Ilok.

“Only white bread and cigarettes are cheaper here. When I need to buy cheese in Serbia, I have to work out a strategy of where to find something without feeling ripped off. It’s the same with fish. We come here and buy a few weeks’ worth of groceries, just like we would go shopping in Novi Sad. Everything is cheaper by 20 percent or more and there are always discounts which make a difference. There are even better shops in Vukovar, but it is a little further away,’ Nenad from Čelarevo told and added that the same cheese in the same retail chain in Serbia is 20 percent more expensive than in Croatia.

“We noticed that since Croatia became a member of the EU, they are careful with the promotions. There are clear rules on how and in what way promotions are advertised – you can’t, for example, lower the price for one product, then raise it, then lower it again and say it’s on promotion again, as is done in our country,” says an interlocutor from Serbia for

A cashier in a shop in Ilok says that there have never been so many customers from Serbia. “We would always go shopping in Bačka Palanka. We keep going because it’s a bigger place, livelier, with a good market, but there have never been so many people from Serbia here. Many take the opportunity when they pass through here and primarily buy food and household items. From what I hear, they also go to Vukovar a lot,’ said the saleswoman for

For example, the price of milk in Serbia is 150 dinars (1.26 euros), while in Croatia it is around 100 dinars (84 cents). Yogurt costs 180 dinars (1.52 euros) in Serbia, and 140 dinars (1.18 euros) in Croatia. Meat, eggs, cheese and chemical products are also cheaper. In Croatia, fish, both sea and river, is cheaper than in Serbia. A kilogram of carp costs 750 dinars (6.32 euros) in Serbia, and 580 dinars (4.89 euros) in Croatia. The price of a 400-gram pack of diced beef in Croatia is at least 100 dinars less than in Serbia.

As for fuel, diesel costs 195 dinars (1.64 euros) in Serbia, and petrol 175 (1.48 euros), while in Croatia the price of diesel and petrol per liter is 160 dinars (1.35 euros).


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