Dubrovnik is not known for its music. Nevertheless, don’t make the mistake of ignoring this historic city as it still has its fair share of music venues covering a range of styles and moods.
At the height of summer, Dubrovnik is buzzing. The temperatures aren’t far away from scorching, crowds of people come out in force and Croatia’s most famous seaside city is alive with the sound of music. You won’t find many concerts in the city, but you will find bar after bar pumping out an array of music from jazz to reggae.
Bar, Nightclub, Mediterranean
Located in an old quarantine house that is jam-packed with history, Lazareti caters to a decidedly artistic crowd. This is a place in which to indulge one’s creative desires, a venue that attracts some of the best underground musicians and DJs that Dalmatia has to offer. It isn’t just live music either, with plenty of live theatre and other entertainment on the schedule. Dubrovnik’s lazarettos (quarantine stations) once housed traders moving from state to state, but today it is all about the ideas and the beats.
Gruž might not have the beauty of Dubrovnik’s old town, but this gritty neighbourhood more than holds its own culturally. Love Bar is one of the area’s finest joints, a modern bar that is beautifully designed, provides good drinks and even better music. The rooftop summer terrace provides a gorgeous setting for live bands throughout the summer, especially when the sun is setting over the city.
Live music and cold beer inarguably go together. The Dubrovnik Beer Company’s Saturday summer schedule provides that perfect combination for those lucky enough to find themselves in this Dalmatian delight. The DBC attracts a diverse mix of local residents and visitors, bridging the divide between two increasingly estranged groups of Dubrovnik society – the power of music and beer.
Irish pubs in busy tourist-centric towns can be hit or miss. Some ramp up the stereotypes – and the prices – a little too much. Dubrovnik’s Gaffe, however, does Irish drinking perfectly, offering all the trappings of a traditional Irish pub while retaining genuine charm and character. Acoustic music plays most evenings, but don’t let that lull you into a sense of singer-songwriter melancholy – these are dancing tunes.
Every town worth its salt should have at least one excellent rock café, and luckily for riff-lovers worldwide Dubrovnik doesn’t let the side down. Exit Rock Cafe is legendary in these parts, a staple of the city’s nightlife scene for well over a decade and a favourite for long-haired locals donning leather and denim. Everything a rock bar should be, in short. The walls are a veritable ‘who’s who’ of rock and roll history, and offer a handy visual guide to the steady stream of classics that blast their way out of the speakers. Expect volume, expect beer.
Located in the popular Lapad neighbourhood, Roxy Club is a local favourite and has been for years. An eventful place with musical history pouring out of the walls in the form of artefacts and collectables. You might just be inspired to start your own band after a night at Lapad’s Roxy Club.
Beach Bar Dodo is one of the most beloved bars on Dubrovnik’s coastline, yet it somehow retains a secretive, intimate atmosphere. Built into the side of a cliff overlooking the historic Lovrijenac Fortress, Dodo utilises music to accentuate its lounge atmosphere, foregoing the ear-splitting volume of its contemporaries in favour of sounds that make the jaw-dropping natural beauty in front of you just that little bit more incredible.
Classical music deserves a glorious setting. This most elegant of genres is always best enjoyed in historic and graceful surroundings. Where better than the Rector’s Palace in Dubrovnik? Originally built in the 13th century, the Palace (known as Knežev Dvor in Croatian) hosts a plethora of summertime concerts that provide a particularly apt soundtrack to sumptuous surroundings.
The only jazz café in Dubrovnik, the Troubadour might not be quite as live music-centric as visitors may hope. Still, this is a mighty popular place in the heart of Dubrovnik, run by jazz club veterans who play regular live music.
A nightclub found inside a medieval fortress, Revelin is the place to go in Dubrovnik for anyone seeking a classic thumping Balkan night out. Many international DJs have performed at this famous club, from Fatboy Slim to Paul Van Dyk; Carl Cox and R3hab. There’s no better place in Dubrovnik for late night dancing, that’s for sure.