In the last 20 years, the Croatian tourism industry has gone from strength to strength, and now boasts 10 million visitors a year. It’s perhaps most famous for its unspoilt beaches, over 100 of which have Blue Flag status, as well as the thousand islands that dot the Adriatic coastline. The natural highlights are complemented by cultural centres such as Dubrovnik’s Old City and the medieval centre of Trogir. But for people who haven’t visited the country before, the nightlife can come as a surprise. The bars, nightclubs and casinos of Croatia are a huge draw for night owls; let’s take a look at some of the best.
If you’re arriving in the capital, Zagreb, you’ll be pleased to hear there’s a huge number of late-night options. Grab a beer or a cocktail at Krivi Put on Savska and enjoy the laid-back ambience and cheap prices, before heading to one of the city’s five casinos for some card- or roulette-based excitement. Casino City on Mihanoviceva has poker tables for those who have the skills, while Casino Fortuna offers a wider range of slots. If you’re new to table games like poker, it’s a good idea to rehearse your skills online first, as it’s often possible to play for token money rather than the real thing while you find your feet. Wi-Fi is fairly easy to find in Croatia, so if you’re travelling around you can carry on playing online with various mobile apps. The country has a good range of casinos in many major cities.
Heading down to the coast, Split is another great destination for party lovers. Aim for the Riva area and you’ll find numerous watering holes that are always full of locals and tourists. In the Old Town you’ll be spoilt for choice, but Bifora on Bernadov Prilaz is a great spot to start. It’s open until 1am (except Sundays); if you’re just getting started at that time, try Imperium on the harbour. It’s a huge club with a range of events, so if you’re picky about music check what’s on first. Gamblers can head off to the Split Hotel and Casino for games that include Blackjack, Baccarat and Caribbean Stud Poker.
Hvar is a little more upmarket and a hotspot for nautical types. There are ferries to the island from Split, Dubrovnik and Rijeka, and it’s well worth the trip. Hvar Town is crammed with partiers all summer long, and clubs like Carpe Diem tend to stay open all night in high season. For a pre-club drink, try Kiva Bar for tequila cocktails or Hula Hula for sundowners on the beach. When it all gets too much, there are plenty of smaller towns and villages on the island where you can rest and recuperate in time for the next session…