It’s not often that you get the opportunity to do shots in a rowdy bar surrounded by cobblestone streets and Roman ruins. In Split, Croatia, this unique nightlife scene is a happy reality. On summer nights, the city comes to life with people looking to get a taste of Split’s thriving nightlife scene.
But don’t be deterred if you, like us, don’t always enjoy loud bars overflowing with people. There are also art bars, jazz clubs, and late night cafés with a more relaxing environment. Whether you are looking for a few drinks, a leisurely stroll or a late night bite to eat, there is something for everyone.
About Split’s Nightlife
Split is a major tourist destination in Croatia during the summer months. This means that the nightlife scene is alive and well pretty much any day of the week, including weeknights. When we went out, it was a Wednesday night in June and all the best bars were full of people.
The Riva Harbor is a great place to start your night to get a good feel for the city. Restaurants and coffee shops line the water, and there’s a great walking path for people watching and sightseeing.
Once you’re ready to find a bar to have a drink at, it’s time to wander away from the main promenade. Many of Split’s best bars are hiding away in the winding cobblestone streets that branch off from the Riva Harbor promenade.
One important thing that we want to note is that smoking is legal inside bars in Croatia. This means that people will be smoking quite heavily in bars. If you have any aversions to inhaling smoke, you may want to get a seat on a patio where the smoke concentration isn’t as strong.
Drinks & Prices
Many of the bars have the same drinks that are popular in other parts of the world. Gin, vodka and whisky are all very popular, as well as local wines and beers. You’ll probably see Ožujsko on draft at most everywhere you go, which is a very popular beer in Croatia.
If you are feeling adventurous and want to try a traditional Croatian drink, we recommend rakija. Rakija is a sweet fruit brandy that is very popular in the balkans. It’s made from fermented fruit juices and it is drank in shot form. The marischino cherry and walnut flavors were our favorite!
As far as prices go, expect reasonably priced drinks that are quite a bit lower than drink prices in the U.S. In our experience, the average drink price was about 30 kuna (about $4.50 USD). Fancier cocktails with top shelf liquor were a little more, but overall prices were very fair and reasonable.
Best Places in Split’s Nightlife Scene
Split has some really unique places to enjoy at night. Whether you are looking for a hip new bar to drink at or just a relaxing place to enjoy live music, there is something for everyone. Here are a few of our favorite places in Split’s thriving nightlife scene:
Academia Club Ghetto
Academia Club Ghetto is one of the most unusual bars we’ve been to. Ever. This funky art club featuring art and music might just be one of the weirdest places you visit in Split. If you’re looking to dance, a DJ plays music in the back room where there is a small dance floor. Outside, there is a patio with small candlelit tables and green vines growing up the walls.
This is definitely a more alternative scene, so keep an open mind when arriving at this one-of-a-kind late night spot. It’s hard to explain the charm of this bizarre bar, but it actually ended up being our favorite bar of the night!
Marvlvs Library Jazz Club
At Marvlvs Library Jazz Club, the name is pretty self explanatory as to what you can expect: a bar that resembles a library with jazz music playing. Rows of books cover the walls (even the menu is a book!), and smooth jazz music plays in the background. There’s a small bar to sit at, but most of the seating is at tables and booths scattered throughout the bar.
The classy atmosphere was one of our favorites during our time in Split, and they even introduced us to a new type of alcohol. Rakija, a fermented brandy liquor, is taken in fruity shots! We loved the cherry and walnut flavors. Even better, they were only 15 kuna ($2.30 USD) each.
Fabrique Pub is the type of bar that we would recommend to essentially anyone. There is comfy seating, cool lighting, and big screen TVs playing sports games. Plus, there is more than one bar so you never have to wait too long for a drink.
Fabrique has a really big beer list, so that’s what we ordered while we were there. Drinking a pint of beer while we watched a soccer game was an ideal way to spend the night!
The Riva Harbor Promenade
This central area in Split is packed with awesome restaurants and cafes that are open late into the night. Take your pick of a scenic spot located just across from the water for excellent people watching in a casual, laid back environment.
Charlie’s Backpacker Bar
The ultimate place to meet fellow travelers, Charlie’s Backpacker Bar is an institution in Split. Many even call it a rite of passage among travelers passing through Split.
When we stopped by late at night, it was a bit more crowded than we were expecting. People were pouring out onto the streets since the inside was so packed. If you’d prefer a quieter scene, we’d recommend going a little earlier in the day.
We accidentally stumbled into Diocletian’s palace when looking for another bar. It was a happy mistake, but boy are we glad that we did! Not only is it way less crowded at night, there is also live music and candles illuminating the area. We sat for a while and enjoyed the music in the relaxing candlelit historic ruins. Pretty cool, huh?
Shotgun Shooters Bar
Shotgun Shooters Club is a great bar to visit if you are looking for a rowdier bar. Neon paint covers the walls at this popular watering hole where shots are the specialty. The provocatively named shots are the thing to order, but they do offer a few specialty cocktails, as well.
Be warned that they do offer some controversial deals (flash your chest for a free drink), so this definitely isn’t the place for everyone. Nevertheless, we felt compelled to mention it since it is a cool part of Split’s nightlife scene.
Late Night Snacks
We are definitely a fan of late night snacks, and were pleased at the options in Split! Everywhere you look, there are street food vendors and small restaurants that specialize in late night food like french fries and pizza.
Pictured above is our order of french fries that we got from a small sandwich shop located conveniently between bars. They were served with mayo, ketchup and mustard. Yum!
If you’re hungry for something a little fancier, worry not! Many of the restaurants in Split stay open fairly late.
There is nothing like wandering your way through old cobblestone streets between countless bars. It’s a combination of modern fun and historic beauty–in the best way possible. Here are a few recommendations that we would make before you go:
- Bring kunas: Having cash is crucial in Croatia, since credit card use isn’t widely adopted. Bring kunas since most bars will not accept USD or even Euros.
- Take a second layer: Split can get extremely hot and humid during the day, but as soon as the sun goes down the cool sea breeze brings the temperature down significantly.
- Be open minded: Croatia has a lot of different drinks that we weren’t accustomed to in the States. By asking the bartender what they recommend, you might try your new favorite drink!
- Take advantage of patios: If you don’t smoke cigarettes (like us), patios can be a great place for a safe haven. With many people smoking cigarettes indoors, the smoke can get very concentrated.
- Take an Uber: Don’t drink and drive, kids! Ubers are very inexpensive in Croatia, so plan on walking home or taking an Uber.
We loved exploring Split’s nightlife scene, and we hope you do, too! Be sure to leave us any questions that you have in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to check out our video on Split’s nightlife to enjoy the fun with us!
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