The Opatija bar and cafe scene is a little sparse, but excels in grand coffeehouses of Habsburg heritage, Wagner being the classic example. Hotel terraces on the promenade can be great for a daylight refresher; but as the evening wears on, the venue choice narrows, with Hemingway, adjacent Galeb and Monokini the surefire bets.
This Viennese-style coffeeshop offers cakes, ice-cream sundaes and splits, superb coffee, fancy teas, eight types of cocktail and most other types of booze. They also make their own chocolate sweets and pralines, which you can buy for immediate consumption or in a mixed box to take away.
This slick seaside space of several bars and two small dancefloors is the main local spot to drink and party. After sundown it heaves with fun-seeking holidaymakers looking to mingle over Opatija’s best cocktails. Plush, low chairs make it hard to leave the covered terrace, with its view of the marina on one side and the open sea on the other. The dancefloors are serviced by DJs and gratuitous go-go dancers. A recently added restaurant serves sandwich-plus-salad brunch offers during the morning, plus good-quality pastas, steaks and seafood dishes until 2am.
Opatija’s leading (only?) contemporary bar attracts a younger, more bohemian crowd. Friendly staff give enthusiastic service, even though things can get hectic later on. The bar, on the main road through the heart of town, comes with funky decor with retro overtones from the 1960s. Monokini also accommodates regularly changing exhibitions by Croatian artists. CDs range from techno to rock. Internet café at the back.
The folks behind the Hemingway in Opatija [and indeed Split and Zagreb too] run a disco on the popular pebbly beach of Medveja, just outside Lovran. The tented-over café is good for beachside drinking during the day, but the party begins after dark, when sunbathers have gone.
On the peninsula that sticks out to the east of Opatija's Lido, this spot attracts trendy beachwear by day and becomes a cool place to drink come nightfall. Deckchairs and sun loungers sit by the waterside, complemented by low-key lighting. The eclectic chillout music is a stark contrast to the teenager-friendly beats emanating from the other bars in town. All in all, a good place to take in the view of town over quality cocktails.
Visible from the main street through the town centre, this prominent open-air disco-bar has a waterside location (on the concrete lido, not a 'beach' as such), spread with loungey furniture. there's a dance floor in front of the DJ podium. Colosseum is frequently the venue for glitzy parties with hostesses, but the place attracts a fair cross-section of locals, tourists, young and not-so-young, and drink prices aren't noticeably higher than in the more mainstream bars around town.
Right between Volosko’s two gourmet restaurants, is this just the right seaside terrace spot or before- or after-dinner drinks. The Kon-Tiki is busy all day with a good mix of locals and visitors enjoying Croatian beer on tap for 18kn a pint, bottled varieties including Guinness, or one of the innumerable shots and cocktails. The gorgeous harbour view and convivial atmosphere are compelling reasons to hang around and watch the sun set over the distant hills.