A Nightlife Guide to Hvar, Croatia
Hvar City provides stunning views, outdoor weather and a party atmosphere when the sun goes down | © JOHN KELLERMAN / Alamy Stock Photo
Searching for the ultimate nightlife experience in Croatia? Look no further than Hvar – a tranquil island by day and party destination by night. Dinko Dujmić, the co-founder of Hvar Pub Crawl, shares his top picks for discovering the island’s nightlife.
Hvar Town is home to the largest selection of nightlife on the island. Choose from going wild at bars and clubs, chilling out to live music or indulging in a luxurious night out dressed to the nines – distinct options for partiers of different styles, age groups and budgets. Culture Trip speaks with Dinko Dujmić, co-owner of Hvar Pub Crawl to get the scoop. Dinko and his partner Visko (aka Dink and Vice) deliver an epic nightlife journey with local guides taking partygoers through Hvar’s most famous spots.
Hvar Pub Crawl starts the night off with an hour-long booze cruise around the Pakleni Islands, complete with unlimited drinks and an onboard DJ. It’s a great chance to meet tons of new people before heading to the best bar in town. Guests receive a free welcome shot and also a discount for certain drinks – Jäger Bombs for all! The night finishes at a nightclub with free VIP entry and another free welcome shot. Using the local expertise and recommendations of Hvar Pub Crawl’s team, let’s dive further into the island’s nightlife options.
Don’t let the name fool you. “They don’t play jazz music,” assures Dinko. Tucked away on a secret side street, this indoor venue brings you off the beaten path and attracts an eclectic and international group of people. The staff is entertaining and friendly – Jadro and Carla will welcome you with open arms. Expect to hear old-school rap and hip-hop beats, R&B and even funk. Their drink speciality is known as the “Nutella Shot” – it’s a unique twist of hazelnut flavours added to the traditional Croatian staple that is rakija, a local fruit brandy. Another popular choice is to take your cocktails in a trumpet-shaped one-litre pitcher.
A small venue tucked down an alleyway right in the heart of Hvar Town, Kiva Bar is usually packed to the rafters relatively early in the night – people often spill out onto the streets. Hvar Pub Crawl sometimes takes guests to Kiva bar because they “find it really cool”, but the team warns that it is “often very crowded”. Partygoers say it’s a great place to start the night and warm up before a club – and happy hour goes on until 11pm. The bar plays music from many eras, including a mix of old-school dance, pop and hip-hop. The recommended drink is the “Tequila Boom-Boom” – really, the name says it all.
Bar, Cocktails, $$$
The seaside location of this bar can’t be beat – patrons can stare into the turquoise waters and Hvar’s night sky while enjoying fast and friendly service, as well as happy hour between 5–10pm. Choose from a wide array of drinks (more than 100 different cocktails and shooters), popular pitchers, the Jäger Train (burning Jäger Bombs) and the speciality – the Nautica shot. The interior is dominated by antique details, such as retro sofas and stylised French wallpaper, creatively combined with modern elements such as industrial chandeliers. Nautica is undoubtedly one of the island’s most Instagrammable nightlife spots.
Carpe Diem Bar
Cocktail Bar, Croatian, $$$
One of Croatia’s glitziest coastal bars, Carpe Diem has been around since 1999. During the month of August the bar has a reservation-only policy, which attracts a plethora of VIPs, including celebs and the elite yachting fraternity. The resident DJs spin house music, and the crowd is always dressed to impress. There’s even a fashion show twice a week – basically, come here to see and be seen.
Carpe Diem Beach
You don’t have to worry about closing time at Carpe Diem Bar, because the party just continues at Carpe Diem Beach – the club’s satellite location on a small island directly across from the town. It’s “definitely the best nightclub in the area,” says Dinko. The outdoor venue, set in the middle of the forest, certainly has a unique ambience. To get there, you’ll need to take a free 10-minute taxi boat from the top of Hvar Harbour. They play mainly house music, but also host events with world class headliners and themed parties such as the Full Moon Party.
Hula Hula Beach and Bar
Cocktail Bar, Thai, $$$
Hula Hula is among the most popular beach clubs in Hvar and one of the island’s best places to experience a magical sunset. The venue’s location provides unadulterated views of the nearby Pakleni Islands. During the day, expect chilled-out music, sun beds, VIP tables and open-air massage pavilions. As the sun goes down, the beach bar invites you to show your stuff on the island’s best beach dance floor.
Pink Champagne Club
Nightclub, Cocktails, Wine
With a motto like “Think pink, party hard”, you can pretty much imagine the atmosphere when the party finishes at Hula Hula after 2am. Pink Champagne is known as the other elite clubbing experience in Hvar – so expect higher prices and a clientele to match. Here you’ll find colourful neon lights, dancers on podiums, and VIP sections with plush seating and exposed brick walls. Don’t be surprised if there’s colourful confetti all over you when you walk outside at sunrise.
Central Park Club
Bar, Beer, Wine, Cocktails, $$$
“It’s not really a club – it’s a bar with live music,” says Dinko. This is the only spot in Hvar where you can enjoy live music seven days a week during the summer months – a variety of jazz, soul, blues and four-piece house bands. This relaxing spot boasts a large terrace on the waterfront with views over the surrounding phoenix palm trees. The atmosphere tends to draw a more mature and refined crowd – you probably won’t see people guzzling down shots and pitchers here.
Bar, Cocktails, $$$
If you’re in need of some luxury, look no further than Ka’lavanda – an upscale cocktail and music lounge. The building dates back to the 18th century, when it served as water storage for families living nearby. In 2002, it was completely renovated and transformed into the breathtaking spot you see today. The venue is nestled between two beautiful oleander trees, with stunning views overlooking St Stephen’s Cathedral. The craft cocktails are expertly made using local ingredients, and best enjoyed on one of the plush couches. Dinko notes that they “probably offer the best variety of hard liquors and spirits on the island, and it’s also notably a very LGBTQ-friendly location.”
Wine Bar Pršuta 3
Wine Bar, Wine, Croatian
Hvar’s best wine bar is an unpretentious little place in an alley behind the main square and busy harbour. Sink into the couch by the bar and feel as if you’re in a local’s living room, all the while sampling some of the best wines on the island paired with Dalmatian snacks. It’s an experience that can’t be missed for serious wine lovers. Dinko’s recommendation? “A big plate of locally made pršut (prosciutto) with olives and fresh bread, all sourced from just a few kilometres away. Washed down with a glass of Plavac Mali, of course.” Mouths watering, anyone?
Bar, Wine, Beer, Cocktails
If you want to feel like a local, this is the place to be. “It’s my favourite place for a quiet drink and feels like a well-kept secret,” Dinko says. The bar’s name comes from the Croatian word for terrace (the bar is mostly terrace), and is located in front of the oldest public theatre in Europe, right above the main square, offering amazing views of Hvar Fortress. It doesn’t really play music, which makes it an ideal place to hang out and chat with friends. The action around the harbour and main square can feel a bit hectic at times, but climbing the stairs to Teraca, the world seems to slip away – then it’s just you and the twinkling lights of this beautiful town.
These recommendations were updated on September 2, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.