The flea market of Zageb is stuck between an army base and a land fill hill next to the river Sava only a couple of miles from the city centre. It is huge. The only one I have seen larger was in San Francisco and that was a long time ago. Anything and everything is for sale at Hrelić, I have seen wooden dildos, Olympic mascots made of lego, vintage machine guns, pianos, and white elephants amongst the piles and piles of clothes, books, tools and tat! The weather and the season effect the nature and number of stalls that set up each Sunday, Saturday and Wednesday morning. On average it takes about 2 hours to walk up and down every row but allow 3 hours if you want to look properly. This time of the year there are masses of skis and ski boots on offer in the summer there are more sunglasses available than on could possibly imagine!
This market is the source of most of the books that are sold in the Sto Citas bookshop. Markos and Sunni have been “doing” the Sunday market for so long that the are well know by most of the regular stall holders (as is Ena their dog who begs an incredible amount of bread and bad dog diet stuff from stall holders and customers every week!) Some give them advance warning of new books coming and even invite them to come and collect books from their houses or storage units. There are many “business stalls selling new stuff mostly cheap clothing and tools my favourites are the wooden product stalls from where I recently replaced my wood dining plate. The rest of the stuff is second hand, “knocked off” or in some way “shady” as all the very best flea markets are. (RIP Hackeny Wick car boot sale!).
The Barabrith crew tend to go most Sundays. We get up early enough to make it to the books before most of the other book dealers do. There are several hideous cafebar’s around the edge of the market in shacks that I doubt would pass any H&S inspections and stink of dead burning animals but thankfully some only do drinks. Inside the market are two mini bakery outlets one of which often has vegan croissants! They are vegan by default rather than intent, the margarine being cheaper than butter, we guess! The best local speciality food wise though comes from a little stall in the middle of the rows stalls that do large flat Pogacice which are a cross between a donut and a pitta bread, most folk have them with nutella on, I have mine covered in garlic oil, lovely!
If you are visiting Zagreb and want to see something real and maybe bag a bargain I can’t recommend Hrelić too highly.