The best Dubrovnik bars

Whether you're a swish cocktail sipper or a relaxed beer drinker, you'll find your perfect drinking spot in Croatia's jewel in the crown. Read on for our essential guide to Dubrovnik bars

© Rajko Radovanovic/Time Out

By day, Dubrovnik and its overcrowded Old Town seem the perfect place for sandal-wearing coffee-sippers. But by night, Dubrovnik bars spring to life, with a number of atmospheric spots serving up anything from fine Dalmatian wines to fancy cocktails. Dip in to our essential drinking guide.

Where to drink in Dubrovnik

Buža I

The more haphazard of the two open-air bars cut into the sea-facing rocks, Buža I welcomes sunbathers, divers, drinkers and film fans. Its entry faces the terrace of the Konoba Ekvinocijo; on the wall is daubed '8-20 Topless Nudist'. Down a stone staircase are bar tables and metal steps towards the sea. Films are also shown.

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Dubrovnik

Buža II

The more well known of the cliff-face bars; tourists follow the 'Cold Drinks' sign from the open square of Rudjera Boškovića. Prices are a little steeper but you get a thatched roof and table service. Buža II also the same jaw-dropping view – if you can find a table in high season.

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Dubrovnik

D'Vino

Opened in 2008, Dubrovnik's first real wine bar is presided over by Australian-Croatian Sasha and his friendly and informative team. D'Vino manages to stock more than 100 varieties, 76 available by the glass. Every decent Istrian, Slavonian and Dalmatian label is here, including Grgić Plavac Mali and Zlatan Plavac. The house wine begins at 25kn and the venue lays on wine tours. Savoury meat-and-cheese platters are tailor-made to complement the wine. It's a comfortable, modern, intimate space to enjoy a drink – with a few seats outside in summer.

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Dubrovnik

Hard Jazz Caffe Troubadour

The most famous bar in town, formerly run by Marko Brešković (1942-2010), one-time bass-player with the Dubrovački Trubaduri and an accomplished jazz musician to boot. Brešković used to preside over nightly jams on the Troubadour's terrace, turning Bunićeva poljana into an essential stop-off on any nocturnal tour of the city. Despite Brešković's departure the Troubadour remains its old self, with its commitment to live music intact and its traditional clientele still loyal. Drink prices are somewhat inflated on gig nights, and coffee isn't served after 8pm – but it's still hard to find a seat here on a summer evening.

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Dubrovnik Free

Karaka Irish Bar

This long-established expat bar stands beside another, the Gaffe Pub. Locally-owned Karaka comprises a compact interior filled with pub paraphernalia and two large television screens, the focus of attention on sports nights. There are a couple of tables outside too. Erdinger, Kilkenny and Guinness are among the foreign and domestic beers. Many remain after the mid-afternoon happy hours to close of play - you'll be lucky to find a spot after 10pm. Occasional live music too.

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Dubrovnik

Katie O'Connor's Irish Pub

The best of the Irish venues is an Australian-Croatian operation - look out for the board announcing that week's Sky Sports matches on the right-hand side halfway up Dropćeva. Within, downstairs, is a cavern-like space decked out in wooden benches, green cushions and framed old Guinness ads. On offer are all-day breakfasts, fish and chips in Guinness batter and sundry pub meals until 6pm, complemented by draught Harp, Erdinger, Kilkenny, Laško, Strongbow and the black stuff.

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Dubrovnik

Casablanca

Old film and beer ads brighten the space; posters promote long-forgottten Olympics and pool-table lightshades of coloured glass advertise Coors beer. Cocktails come in creamy or killer varieties, football or music videos are screened and staff buzz about in daft blue shirts with some bullshit motto on them. Recommended.

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Dubrovnik

Libertina

This characterful shoebox of a bar is known as 'Luci' after Luci Capurso, owner and ex-member of vintage beat combo Dubrovački Trubaduri. Shying away from his Eurovision Song Contest past, Luci serves the regulars, pleasingly oblivious to the piles of money being made at inferior bars on his doorstep.

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Dubrovnik

Ludwig

Even this grunge bar in a Stradun side street has its own dinky little lantern, although you can't see any middle-aged tourists lingering over a pint. The walls are decorated with a seemingly random mosaic of posters, book covers and pictures torn from magazines (Gogol, Mogwai, Kill Bill and Hendrix all get a decorative look-in), but it's the hard-living black-clad drinkers hunched around the counter that make the place.

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Dubrovnik

Roxy

Set on a small stretch lined with party bars, the Roxy has been Dubrovnik's prime musos' hangout for the past 25 years, with letters from the Beatles Fan Club, an old Animals album and an original Penny Lane 45, all framed and mounted. There's a Seeburg jukebox, too, just for show – chat-level sounds come from the CD player.

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