Music & Nightlife

Find the best clubs and nightlife in Croatia – and where to see the best live music shows, festivals and concerts

The best music in Croatia this month
Things to do

The best music in Croatia this month

There's arguably not a better time for music in Croatia than December. With Advent celebrations taking place across the whole country, there are many free gigs in Croatia this month. During winter the clubbing scene is also in full swing, so international DJs join world-class opera, classical music and ballet productions, ethno/folk music giants, the best of visiting rock bands plus homegrown heroes of pop and hip hop on this month's recommended list.

The best music events at this year's Advent in Karlovac
Things to do

The best music events at this year's Advent in Karlovac

This year's Advent in Karlovac is the city's biggest yet and one of the programme's best features is its music content, most of which is free and takes place at the Karlovac Music Pavilion. The city has a long reputation for music, being home to the oldest music school in Croatia and many music professionals have studied and performed in the city since it was first founded in 1804. Look out for performances by the current students and faculty as part of this year's Advent, as well as concerts by some of Croatia's biggest stars from the worlds of pop, rock, hip hop and ethno music.

The best places to see The Nutcracker in Croatia this Christmas
Dance

The best places to see The Nutcracker in Croatia this Christmas

This Christmas, Croatia is going nutty for The Nutcracker. The magical ballet is the theme of this year's Advent in Zagreb and you can expect to see its characters come to life throughout the capital city. A firm family favourite with an unforgettable score by Tchaikovsky, The Nutcracker has been performed in Croatia more times than any other ballet. This year, no less than five internationally-renowned ballet ensembles interpret the show across Croatia's major cities Split, Rijeka, Osijek, Zadar and Zagreb.

Celine Dion
Music

Celine Dion

Canadian singer Celine Dion is one of the world's most popular singers. She has released the highest-selling music of all time in her native French language and secured worldwide success after beginning to record in English from the early '90s. Hits like 'The Power of Love', 'Think Twice', 'Because You Loved Me', 'It's All Coming Back to Me Now', 'I'm Your Angel' and the monstrous 'My Heart Will Go On' from the Titanic movie will surely get an airing at this show alongside songs from her latest album 'Courage' (2019), which is her first USA number one album in over a decade and a half. With an established reputation as a live performer, expect a spectacular show from the queen of Canadian music.

The best clubs and nightlife in Rijeka
Nightlife

The best clubs and nightlife in Rijeka

If you're looking for somewhere to drink, dance or party in Rijeka, you're spoilt for choice. Ever rebellious Rijeka has a nightlife scene that matches its reputation as Croatia's most alternative city, with an intoxicating array of fun bars, pubs and clubs. Hit up these late-night bars and clubs in Rijeka to quench your thirst into the early hours.

Discover Croatia's best nightlife venues

The best live music venues in Zagreb
Music

The best live music venues in Zagreb

Zagreb may not have the star-power of other European capitals but the city punches well above its weight when it comes to awesome music venues. From giant stadiums to scuzzy rock bars and sweaty techno clubs, let our experts point the way with this handy guide to Zagreb's best music venues. RECOMMENDED: music and festivals in Croatia.

The best clubs in Zagreb
Nightlife

The best clubs in Zagreb

Visitors don't always discover the best clubs in Zagreb. Lurking in unlikely locations, they're  guarded by a close-knit circle of regulars and are largely unadvertised. But if you're looking for somewhere to party, you might be surprised at Zagreb's proficient offerings - behind the city's pretty facade lies a thriving subculture, whose holy houses are the post-industrial warehouse clubs scattered around the city. As with neighbouring capital Belgrade, Zagreb's party scene has a hint of Berlin about it, with its unwavering focus on electronic music and that special sense of camraderie that comes from co-raving for whole weekends. Here are the best clubs in the city. RECOMMENDED: more great nightlife in Zagreb.

Dubrovnik nightlife guide
Clubs

Dubrovnik nightlife guide

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. RECOMMENDED: more bars in Dubrovnik.

LGBT+ guide to Zagreb
LGBTQ+

LGBT+ guide to Zagreb

The rainbow flag doesn't flutter quite as brilliantly in Zagreb as in nearby European capitals, but that's not to say Croatia's capital hasn't got a characterful queer scene of its own. Although compact, a range of organisations and queer-friendly venues work hard to make sure the city's LGBT+ scene is as inclusive and buzzing as possible. Read on for the best gay bars and queer spaces in Zagreb.

Recommended live music events and concert venues

Tvornica kulture • Zagreb
Nightlife

Tvornica kulture • Zagreb

Tvornica kulture (‘The Culture Factory’) has established itself as Zagreb‘s leading medium-sized venue for live rock and pop. The fashionably black, 1,800-capacity main hall (Veliki pogon, ‘Large Workshop’) has now been augmented by the addition of a much more intimate small hall (Mali pogon), which hosts gigs by local bands and disc-spinning after-parties. Mali pogon also works as a café during the day. Concerts take place several times a week, with club nights featuring DJs and visuals at weekends. Ticket prices range from 35kn to 200kn depending on who is playing. Draught beer 15kn, imported Czech Budweiser in bottles 20kn.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Revelin Culture Club • Dubrovnik
Nightlife

Revelin Culture Club • Dubrovnik

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. With an elongated bar, large dancefloor and plenty of surrounding nooks and crannies, it's the kind of place that can cater for large numbers of people without making them feel pushed around. A lot of leading Croatian pop and rock acts perform here throughout the year. In summer, there'll probably be an international DJ appearing here every weekend throughout the season - 2012 saw Fat Boy Slim, Martin Solveig and sundry others lug their record boxes up Revelin's stone steps.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
AKC Medika • Zagreb
Nightlife

AKC Medika • Zagreb

Still going strong despite the municipal authorities' threat to dramatically raise the rent, this shrine to all things alternative grew out of Zagreb’s anarchist movement and is still run as a non-profit-making collective. A courtyard decorated by some of Zagreb’s best street artists has a café-bar on one side, and a concert venue-cum-club space on the other. Events range from anarcho-punk gigs to dub reggae DJs and cutting-edge dance music, with all kinds of other styles thrown in for good measure. Visual arts association Otomptom throw impromptu film evenings screening animation and shorts. Popular with a broad spectrum of Zagreb’s club-hungry youth, Medika is much more than just a gathering point for the grungey underground.

Time Out says
5 out of 5 stars
Crkva • Rijeka
Clubs

Crkva • Rijeka

Rijeka is a city that is famed for its nightlife and in addition to the wide variety of clubs on offer in the city you will also find special parties and small festival like events taking place occasionally in some of the former industrial buildings by the city's waterside. Many such events revolve around underground dance music and occur sporadically, but Crkva (meaning church) is the city's premier spot for such sounds each and every week. Spectacular lights and visuals mark this intimate venue, its DJ booth raised and placed centrally in the room to appear like an altar in a church, from where the DJ delivers his/her sermon. They host old school techno nights, hip hop concerts, various styles of house music events, hard dance parties and just about every Croatian DJ worth their salt plays here, alongside international guests who appear roughly once a month.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars
Masters
Nightlife

Masters

The intimate Masters is located next to the clay courts of the Maksimir Tennis Centre and in a loft bedecked with wooden floors and a tree-house-style bar. The DJ presides over a relaxed vibe and offers music from deep house to dub, techno to reggae. International names make appearances here in this relatively secret dance enclave. Check Facebook page for events.

Time Out says
4 out of 5 stars

New music

Introducing... Tobi North
Music

Introducing... Tobi North

Tobi North is Zagreb’s new kid on the block. The London-born Singaporean has spent the last 5 years in the Croatian capital syncing his trendy hip-hop and RnB beats to Europe’s promising alternative pop scene, contributing to Croatia’s lively urban music scene.  The man providing the good vibes is Jun Ishida, who is also an up and coming figure on Zagreb’s DJ scene. Performing under the alias of ‘Jaxtasy’, he has previously been seen supporting some of Croatia’s most well-known rap stars like Vojko V, Kukus and Connect. However, his truer art can be found in the depths of his culturally relevant, hip-hop hybrid sounds, which he issues under the name Tobi North.  Taking on heavy influence from the anonymous hip-hop and RnB artists Blackbear and Afthetheparty, who energize the hopeless romantic expressed in the explicit vocals and melancholic flow. In contrast, the optimistic synth sounds are drawn from the nu-disco form of ‘MuraMasa’. The music also encompasses progressive ideas found in experimental metal.  Tobi North’s muses over his inspirations ‘I have been writing music since I was very young, it’s all I know. During my short life, I’ve witnessed the music industry turn more into a business than it has ever been before, my ambition does not lie in commercial success but rather to bring back the artistry and heart that modern hip-hop seems to have forgotten’.  The young performer recently shot his new ‘Everyday’ music video in London, his debut video ‘Again’ having eme

Introducing... Mel Camino
Music

Introducing... Mel Camino

Mel Camino, who hail from Velika Gorica, just outside Zagreb, have been active for the last 12 years, although out of the spotlight of the mainstream music scene. They have released four studio albums to date 'Kapadokija', 'Kolumbo svoje duše, 'Avion bez uzletne piste' and their latest 'Kad?Sad!', all of which can be heard on the group's Bandcamp page. The band has a free concert in Zagreb's Močvara on 29th November and to coincide with this they are releasing a video for their latest single 'Vidova'. Mel Camino's sounds cover ethno melodies, classic/alternative rock, electronic, or mixture of each. Support at the concert comes from Feral Instinct, an alternative metal band also from Velika Gorica/Zagreb and Solarov, a Zagreb band with rock and electronic influences.  

Introducing... Kensington Lima
Music

Introducing... Kensington Lima

Originally from Split, Josip Radić is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He has lived in Zagreb since 2005 and Kensington Lima is his new band project. Radić's name may be familiar to existing fans of new Croatian music; he is one half of the extraordinary Valentino Bošković, alongside Branko Dragičević, who have released three spectacular albums since 2014. 'Valentino Bošković is a collaboration,' explains Radić. 'We are both the authors and performers. Kensington Lima is my solo songwriting project. And on the recordings so far, I also play most of the instruments. Some of these songs have been lying around for the last 15 years. After I turned 30 I decided it was time for me to record them.' In contrast to the sometimes zany, sci-fi quoting and humorous pop music of Valentino Bošković, Radić's Kensington Lima project is more of a serious, heartfelt affair. Kensington Lima is frequently acoustic, barren of the electronic or synthesizer sounds sometimes audible in the duo. In Kensington Lima he is clearly combining American country and rock music elements, often to stunningly beautiful and epic effect. 'Kensington Lima's music is informed by pretty much all of my influences, which range from The Beatles, early Pink Floyd, The Kinks, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Jackson Browne to more recent acts like Wilco, Beck. Or Dawes. They're one of my favourite new bands. It's that kind of west coast rock, Americana sound.' Their sound is not the only difference Ken

Introducing... Mimika Orchestra
Music

Introducing... Mimika Orchestra

Being eight years old, Mimika Orchestra needs much less of an introduction than other groups featured in this column, particularly to those in London where the orchestra was formed and performed over several years. But, for the last two years, the outfit's composer and leader Mak Murtić has been back in his home city, Zagreb. His prolific output and ceaseless musical adventuring has since had as significant an impact as anyone's in the city. Plus, Mimika Orchestra have just released their third album, the fascinating and accomplished 'Divinities Of The Earth And The Waters', so it's a great time to talk about them.Mak Murtić spent seven years studying and working in London where he became absorbed into a young and exciting music scene of infinite musical possibilities involving an infinite number of fantastic players. Some of the musicians he played and collaborated with there are among the most talked about names on the now internationally recognised, new London jazz scene, such as saxophonists Shabaka Hutchings and Nubya Garcia, and tuba player Theon Cross (whose brother Nathaniel Cross plays the trombone in Mimika). 'There were all of these jam sessions going on,' says Murtić, 'I don't think it was really my studies which inspired Mimika.'Meeting so many talents, Murtić's ideas and Mimika's line up expanded drastically; they are now an orchestra who can number anything between 12 and over 20 members in live performance, containing two singers, several brass instruments, st