With a flux of international visitors, Dubrovnik’s nightlife has grown increasingly diverse: from live music hotspots to clubs set inside former barracks. Filip Sulic of local Culture Club Revelin shares his top tips for exploring nightlife in the Pearl of the Adriatic.
An ancient walled city rising majestically from the sea, Dubrovnik is one of Croatia’s greatest assets. Filip Sulic, booking agent at Culture Club Revelin, an atmospheric nightclub set in a 500-year-old fortress, believes the city punches well above its weight when it comes to nightlife.
Culture Club Revelin is the place to go when last orders are called in the city’s bars. After opening in 2011, the club was voted one of DJ Mag’s top 50 in the world in 2019, thanks to its unbeatable location – set in a 16th-century barrel-vaulted fortress on the eastern side of Dubrovnik’s Old Town, replete with light shows and a globe-spanning roster of DJs.
“The list of past acts is huge,” says Sulic. “We’ve booked everyone from Carl Cox to Dixon, Fatboy Slim, Idris Elba and Paul Van Dyk.” And the atmosphere? “There is only one word to describe it – amazing,” he exclaims. “Dancing inside an old fortress with a state-of-the-art sound and light system with incredible DJs and even more amazing people.”
Dubrovnik’s nightlife is very seasonal, suggests Sulic. Expect regional live acts in the winter, with nightclubs heating up in spring.
This is the place for after-hours partying. A 16th-century rave cave with mesmerising light shows, cage dancers and fire-breathers, Revelin teems with late-night fun. The line-up is the strongest you’ll find in the area, according to Sulic. “Nothing comes close to what’s going on in Revelin.”
“One of my favourites is Lazareti, also located inside the city walls,” says Sulic. A less-polished but equally atmospheric experience, Lazareti is set in ex-quarantine barracks, and offers an ad-hoc programme of live music and clubbing events, catering to a more local crowd. Be sure to check the club’s website and Facebook page to see what’s going on.
“My second favourite place is the beautiful Coral Beach Bar, a great day and night venue,” says Sulic. More of a daytime beach hangout, near the family-friendly Copacabana on the Babin Kuk peninsula, Coral Beach Bar also holds late-night parties and special DJ events.
“One more club worth mentioning is Sky,” Sulic says. Tucked behind the spiral stairs at the exit from the Old Town, this is a hedonistic little spot with loud EDM blaring and an affordable drinks list. Popular with backpackers and local club-goers, it’s one of the cheapest clubs in Dubrovnik – once you’ve paid the 40 Croatian kuna (£4.50) entrance fee.
According to Sulic, winter is the time to catch live Croatian acts. But there’s a clutch of bars that offers stellar jazz and acoustic music year-round. Top of the pile is the Troubadour, run by the British couple who established the legendary London club that shares its name. Here, a troupe of jazz musicians host late-night jams on the intimate terrace to an appreciative, cocktail-sipping crowd.
“I have one particular bar that I love to visit when I get the time. It’s called Casablanca, and it’s one of Dubrovnik’s most unique places. With an old-school interior decked out in wooden panelling, it’s a place where you can enjoy some amazing cocktails and people watching,” says Sulic, who recommends this bar as the perfect warm-up location. By day, Casablanca is a relaxed bar to enjoy a drink away from the midday heat. By night, it’s a headier, party-orientated experience with a reliable selection of craft beers, spirits and wine to match.
A trip to Dubrovnik wouldn’t be complete without visiting one of its two cliff bars. Situated on the rocks below the walls of the Old Town, they offer panoramic views and a stunning setting to enjoy a swim and a sundowner. Buža – meaning ‘hole in the wall’ can get very popular – especially during sunset – so make a beeline once you’ve walked the city walls.
The more laissez-faire of the two open-air bars on the rocks, you can dive into Bard’s moonlit waters until midnight, and enjoy unparalleled views of Lokrum island and the Adriatic Sea. Find the entrance to this hidden bar opposite the terrace of the Konoba Ekvinocijo restaurant – look out for ‘8-20 Topless Nudist’ painted on the wall to find the stone steps. Bard also screens films in summer.
A lovely little wine bar located on Stradun, D’vino is one of Dubrovnik’s more authentic finds. The friendly staff are quick to offer up informed suggestions, and much of the wine on your table comes from the nearby island of Korčula and the Pelješac Peninsula. With over a hundred domestic wines to sample, this is a great place to start the night, paired with platters of local cheeses and cured meats. Try to nab one of the tables on the outdoor terrace.
Nestled in a naturally formed cavern below ground, Cave Bar More is attached to the hotel of the same name on the Lapad Peninsula. Constellations of twinkly fairy lights decorate the stalagmites and stalactites, and it’s an atmospheric location to enjoy a cocktail or two, with the gentle pitter-patter of electronica in the background. Outside, the coastal promenade offers extensive views of the Old Town.