Every morning, from 6.30 am, the old quarter in the Croatian city of Split is abuzz with activity. In an age where supermarkets dot nearly every street corner and stock everything from food to toiletries and cleaning supplies, it’s refreshing to see that Split’s morning markets offering fresh produce and fish remain popular among locals. The markets are located in the heart of the city, round the corner from Diocletian’s Palace.
I spent some time in Split during my travels across the Balkans last summer. At the vibrant Green Market (Pazar), vendors sell fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as an assortment of other products–nuts, cheeses and eggs, flowers, clothes, inexpensive souvenirs–and call out to passersby to slow down and take a look.
A short walk from the Green Market, you will come across the morning fish market (peskarija) housed in an old Secessionist building on Mormontova Street. You’ll find a variety of seafood here, including mackarels, sardines, anchovies, shellfish, sea bass, trout and lobster. Interestingly, you won’t see many flies buzzing around the chopped fish–I’ve learned that this is due to the smell emanating from the sulphur springs nearby, which repels the flies.
I don’t eat seafood, so dealing with the smells and sights felt like a rather Herculean task, but it was worth it just to get a glimpse of local life in this beautiful coastal city.