The Best Nightclubs in Split, Croatia

Where to go when the sun sets in Split
Where to go when the sun sets in Split | © Ian Furniss / Alamy Stock Photo
Amar Grover

Split, on the Dalmatian coast of the Adriatic, has been establishing itself as a serious clubbers’ destination over recent years – with plenty of bars and nightspots to enjoy all-nighters in a balmy Mediterranean climate. Here’s our pick of the best.

Set on a small hilly peninsula jutting from the convoluted coastline, Split exudes a youthful party-central atmosphere in summer when it’s high season. Bodies heave, music thumps, rakija – a ubiquitous and potent local spirit – flows like water and the nights are forever young. They’re also pretty warm, which means a fair chunk of the clubbing scene happens outside. Check, too, whether clubs and venues are open as some are seasonal.

1. Central the Club

Music Venue

True to its name, Central lies in the city’s heart minutes away from Diocletian’s Palace. Formerly an imposing cinema, its two dance floors and four bars make it one of Split’s largest and best known clubs with space for just over a thousand people. There are several VIP areas and separate lounges, plus go-go dancers and acrobats on catwalks. Regular themed events and special nights with named DJs make it a popular venue.

2. Vanilla Club

Music Venue

Alongside a large public swimming pool – think plenty of groovy lighting reflections – Vanilla specialises in summer-club extravaganzas. These often climax during annual yachting parties when the beautiful people sail in for dusk-till-dawn excess. Several bars – including one that revolves – link the indoors with the outdoors and its spacious terrace often hosts live music from Croatian artists (for which you’ll usually pay more).

3. Zenta

Music Venue

Situated beside the sea in the southern Firule district, Zenta appeals to a youngish crowd of hipsters and clubbers. It’s a relatively modest place on two floors – often playing different music – where you’re more likely to rub shoulders with locals than tourists. Expect raucous, honest fun rather than laser-sharp light shows. An enclosed upper balcony overlooks the open terrace, which is usually weather-proofed in winter.

4. Quasimodo Club

Nightclub, Cocktails

Hidden in the bowels of a bland-looking modern building a little north of Diocletian’s Palace, Quasimodo is a music venue primarily featuring Croatian and regional acts. There’s usually an eclectic programme here ranging from rock to jazz and blues together with souped-up Balkan funk and folk. It’s a small place and, though unlikely to win any style awards, there’s probably nowhere better to tap into the local music scene.

5. Hemingway Bar

Bar, Cocktail Bar, Croatian

Luxury yachts on Split waterfront evening view. Image shot 09/2015. Exact date unknown.
© Zoonar GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo

Tucked away in a quiet road fronting the marina, the chameleon-like Hemingway morphs from polished café and cocktail bar at sundown to clubby lounge-bar at night. Part of a small chain across Croatia, it’s not strictly a nightclub but the international-yachtie vibe, sea-facing location and literary name collectively lend an easy-going if not charming veneer of high-life sophistication.

6. Split Circus (Monty Python)

Bar, Nightclub, Beer

Squeezed into a rather bland mall in the southern Firule quarter, this tiny bar – also known as Monty Python – hosts live music (often covers bands), DJs, stand-up comedy and open mic nights. It’s a real smokey-local joint with neat book-filled shelves seemingly at odds with the faintly rock-hipster vibe. Often rammed, it’s a good spot for a cheap ‘n’ cheerful night out.

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