Dubrovnik nightlife is unusual - while the city has an abundance of bars, clubs are relatively few. But what they lack in quantity, they more than make up for in quality. Clubs here tend to capitalise on the city's brilliant architecture; you might find yourself raving in a cavernous 16th-century fortress or between the stony walls of ex-quarantine barracks. Head to one of these places after hitting one of Dubrovnik's many spectacular bars, and you're guaranteed a special night.
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Occupying a lovely beachside location, guests travel by land and sea to get to Banje – there’s even a private pier to anchor your dingy, boat or yacht. During the day, this is a superb, seafood-orientated, fine dining Mediterranean restaurant. By night, Banje transforms into a clubby beachside cocktail bar. It's hired for fashion parties – but the place is far from intimidating and prices are reasonable.
A club venue since summer 2011, the angular 16th-century fortress that marks the eastern end of Dubrovnik's Old Town has become the place to go after drinking-up time has been called in the town centre's other bars. Luckily, Dubrovnik's military architects had the foresight to construct what is an ideal venue for a club: the stark interior of bare stone blocks, complete with arched aisle spaces and lofty barreled roofs, provide the perfect backdrop for the state-of-the-art light-show. What Renaissance Ragusans might have made of the lithe females dancing in cages is another question entirely.
This beautiful old-style bar in a sumptuously large indoor-outdoor space right on the harbour attracts a young, fashionable crowd. The dark wood and marble interior, with a huge old-fashioned mirror behind the bar, has expensive-looking decor and pleasant gallery seating. The indoor back terrace is inside a shopping centre, where DJs spin for dancers at weekends. The real terrace, out front facing the harbour, is one of the nicer ones in Rijeka. Relax in wicker while you watch crowds and boats go past.
This would be the best year-round nightspot if they ran a regular programme – as things stand at the moment live gigs and DJ appearances come in flurries, and the website is not updated often enough to provide due notification. It is set in an old stone ex-quarantine barracks. Pay your money at the gate, and head down to an open courtyard under the stars. The main building is at the bottom: a stage for DJ decks and live acts; a dancefloor, and a balcony area with bar.
There is little Latin about this last-stop dance-and-drink den, an all-too-easy slide downhill from the Capitano, by the Pile Gate. Mainstream dance music is the order of the day, although there are occasional live gigs by Croatian rock-pop names. The nominal entry fee counts towards a first drink.