A spectacular panoramic can make the tangiest wine taste a little sweeter. In Croatia – where the coast is lined with beautiful cities like Dubrovnik and party-central islands like Hvar – rooftop bars are ten a penny. Split boasts dozens of spots where you can booze away the night as you gaze over the ocean, and even in Zagreb, miles from the sea, you can admire the majestic cityscape from a ramshackle rooftop bar. Here is our pick of the bars with the best views in Croatia.
The best rooftop bars in Croatia
On the edge of a crumbly cliff, directly above the sea, Buza Bar is one of Dubrovnik’s most thrillingly beautiful boozy offerings. To get to Buža – which translates as “hole” – you squeeze your way through a hole-in-the-wall chink which opens out onto its rocky multi-storey terrace. Tables and chairs are arranged elegantly according to the cliff’s natural jagged arrangement of rocks, lending the place a subtle touch of the sublime. While you sip at a cool drink under the sun, you can gaze across to mysterious Lokrum island and the moody hills of Southern Dalmatia.
The clue’s in the name with this one. Atop the landmark skyscraper at the edge of the main square, this bar is one of the highest points in the city. Photographers will relish the chance to get panoramic snaps of Zagreb from this 360° vantage point, and there are binoculars for those who want to just marvel at the sweeping sight. There’s also free Wi-Fi, so you need waste no time waiting to show off on Instagram. Zagreb Eye is open all day – shot espresso as you watch the city wake up, or swig beer as you watch dusk fall over the city.
This bar-restaurant, which transforms into a club when the sun goes down, is quickly becoming one of the most happening spots in the city (rumour has it British footballer Rio Ferdinand, no less, has made an appearance). From its private sandy beach you can see the island-dotted ocean stretch for miles in front of you, and you can drink into the sunset and beyond – it stays open until around 3am.
The perfect spot for yacht owners to admire their yachts from a distance, this super swanky bar looks out over the old city of Hvar, its boat-lined shore, and – in the distance – the lush Paklinski islands. Cool blue lighting and sharp design lend this viewpoint bar a chilled sophistication.
Set within the formidable walls of Dubrovnik itself, the capacious outdoor cocktail terrace of this recently revamped restaurant looks out over the glorious Old Town harbour. The cocktails are on the pricey side, but you’ll be so distracted by the postcard-perfect view, and so quickly hooked on these expertly made drinks, that you won’t notice your wallet getting lighter and lighter.
You’ll find Sunset Lounge in the five-star Hotel Dubrovnik Palace – naturally, then, it’s an extremely classy affair. A piano player sets a romantic ambience in the evenings, which you can sink into while enjoying a glass of top quality wine or a masterfully made cocktail: the specialist Perković brandies on offer are a deliciously earthy blend of carob, fig and nut. Of course, as its name suggests, the bar’s best bit is its spectacular panoramic view. On a clear day you can see Mljet island, and every day you can watch the sun sink into the watery horizon.
So this one doesn’t offer spectacular, sea-and-sunset panoramas like the others, but its view has a different kind of charm. It’s a first-floor flat in a crumbly-round-the-edges, characterful building, whose rooms have been transformed into a cluster of shabby-chic lounges. The outdoor seating area looks over Rakijas, the street lined with bustling bars. So you can watch crowds getting merry as you do the same yourself.
Sitting at the tip of this charming Adriatic town, the five-star Hotel Bevanda’s bar is comfortable, chic, and offers a view that'll keep you there for hours; from here, you can see the lush green land curl round and meet the ocean, as oaky boats glide by, bobbing on the waves.
On a terrace next to the sea, Caffe Bar Kon-Tiki is the perfect spot to watch the waves lap at little boats, or to gaze at the solemn hills in the distance. It’s the kind of gently stunning view that soothes the eyes – just what you need after a meal at one of the gourmet restaurants that flank this friendly, authentic-feeling bar.