As the capital and largest city of Croatia, Zagreb is home to all types of watering holes – jazz clubs, wine bars, nightclubs with deejays – you name it, they have it. Whatever your fix, here are the 10 best bars in this Dalmatian city.
Drink with the locals
A hidden Zagreb gem, Alcatraz is an after-dinner, before-the-club spot that’s popular with both tourists and locals. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in character – eclectic lights, flags of different countries and other knick-knacks hang from the ceiling, and the walls are filled with a quirky mix of paintings and decorations. The beer is cheap, the music is loud, and the staff is friendly and welcoming. Great live music and an outdoor space for mingling make it one of Zagreb’s top drinking spots.
Opening hours: 7am-midnight Mon-Thur; 7am-2am Fri &-Sat; 8am-midnight Sun
Watch out for: all the rakija (Croatians’ most popular spirit) you can drink
Address & telephone number: Preradoviceva 12, Zagreb, Croatia, +38 5915 213703
TESLA Power House
Part bar, part café
TESLA Power House fits right in with its neighboring watering holes in Flower Square, which has become one of Zagreb’s premier barhopping spots. Though it’s a newer bar in the area, TESLA has already made a mark on the scene. Its trendy, industrial interior and weekend deejays give it a nightclub vibe, but it’s busy with cover bands and happy hour specials during the week as well. Named after the famous inventor Nikola Tesla, TESLA has an impressive wine collection and cocktail list, and also serves up delicious smoothies and coffee drinks, making it the perfect spot for a night out or a place to catch up with friends during the day.
Opening hours: 7am-midnight Mon-Thur; 7am-2am Fri &-Sat; 8am-midnight Sun
Watch out for: an impressive wine selection and live music
Address & telephone number: Varšavska ul. 4, Zagreb, Croatia, +00 3859 13304988
Modern gourmet food and drink
Dežman Bar sits in a narrow, pedestrian alley just off one of Zagreb’s busiest streets, making it a prime drinking and dining locale that’s close to the center, but far enough from the noise. Its modern interior with matte-black walls gives it a swanky, sleek vibe, and its outdoor terrace is the perfect place to enjoy a gourmet sandwich, a bottle of wine and good conversation. Dežman Bar is the whole package in one place – good service, great food and even better drinks.
Opening hours: 8am – 12am, Mon-Sat
Watch out for: Masterchef Christian Cabalier’s gourmet sandwiches
Address & telephone number: Dezmanova 3, Zagreb, Croatia, +38 5148 46160
A dive bar with charm
Go back in time at this ‘80s themed bar, which is named after Miroslav Krleža, a famous Croatian writer who was born in the building in 1893. Close to the main square, MK has a beautiful wooden bar and booth seating, and has become the gathering spot for Zagreb’s artists, bohos, locals, and the tippler crowd. While it’s no nightclub, MK Bar is still one of Zagreb’s most charming dive bars – and it still gets rowdy and crowded with locals on the weekends.
Opening hours: 8am-1am Mon-Thu, to 2am Fri & Sat, to 11pm Sun
Watch out for: people-watching and meeting locals
Address & telephone number: 10000 Radićeva ul. 12, Zagreb, Croatia, +38 5148 30980
For the chic and artistic
A trendy hangout for Zagreb’s creative types, Sedmica is a cult bar with a 1950s feel that has been serving the artsy crowd for over two decades. With a dark, slightly mysterious interior clad with black wrought iron and an entranceway lined with exhibition posters advertising local cultural events, this little bar is especially popular with the city’s younger, intellectual population. Enjoy local brews like Fischer’s and Erdinger on tap or Leffe in bottles at the bar or on the mezzanine above, overlooking the action.
Opening hours: 8am – 12am Mon-Sat; 5pm – 12am Sun
Watch out for: a hidden entrance (enter the courtyard for building number 7)
Address & telephone number: Ul. Andrije Kačića Miošića 7A, Zagreb, Croatia, +385 1 486 6689
Live jazz with old-pub feel
Hop off the train stop in Zagreb’s main square and you’ll land at Bacchus – a tiny, semi-underground jazz bar that’s become a city classic. This old pub is filled with a hodgepodge of antiques and vinyl records reminiscent of another era. During the winter, they host live jazz shows, and open up their garden terrace to guests in the summer. One of the most popular spots in Zagreb to meet friends and listen to music, Bacchus is almost always packed.
Opening hours: 11am – 12am Mon-Fri; 12pm – 12am Sat
Watch out for: live jazz and a lengthy list of Dalmatian wines
Address & telephone number: Trg kralja Tomislava 16, Zagreb, Croatia, +385 98 322 804
Two floors and a terrace
Decorated with a dark wood and brass interior, Oliver Twist boasts two floors and a huge outdoor terrace in front, perfect for people watching. Smack dab in the midst of a street with plenty of other bar options, this Zagreb pub offers up a generous selection of local and imported brews and liquors. Oliver Twist has an English pub feel to it, and you’re likely to hear both English and Croatian speakers when you walk in.
Opening hours: Daily 9am – 3am
Watch out for: a huge outdoor terrace packed full in the summer
Address & telephone number: Ivana Tkalčića 60, Zagreb, Croatia, +385 1 4812 206
Funky and fun
A trendy music bar and chic student hangout, SPUNK’s vibe changes from a coffee-break bar in the day to a garage rock bar with deejays and indie bands at night. The brightly colored walls are lined with comic book murals, and vintage movie and music posters – the vibe in here is practically electric, with neon lighting and even some hanging disco balls. Visitors can enjoy drinks sitting around the bar or at a table, all the while enjoying live music into the wee hours of night.
Opening hours: 7am – 1am Mon-Thur; 7am – 4am Fri; 9am – 4am Sat; 9am – 1am Sun
Watch out for: the eclectic mix of live music and plenty of party events (check their Facebook page for upcoming ones)
Address & telephone number: Hrvatske bratske zajednice b.b., Zagreb, Croatia; +385 1 6151 528
A little bit of everything
Whatever you’re looking for in a bar, Vinyl has it. Located right in the middle of the pedestrian strip across from the Grounded Sun sculpture, this bar and café is made up of five separate rooms on the ground floor and a room for live music and events downstairs. Each room has its own personality, perfect for a bar that wears many hats during the week – think live music, vinyl spinning deejays, poetry readings, or even a second-hand book exchange.
Price: Mid-range to High
Opening hours: 8am – 2am Mon-Thur; 8am – 4am Fri-Sat; 9am – midnight Sun
Watch out for: the whiskey selection
Address & telephone number: Bogovićeva ul. 3, Zagreb, Croatia; +385 1 5635 483
Sherry’s Wine & Bites
Get your wine on
Sherry’s is a wine lover’s paradise. Go by the bottle or the glass in this intimate, cozy spot just outside the city center, which boasts about 250 wines from all over the region. Snack on Croatian tapas (cheese, ham, olives, etc.) and appetizers while you learn about different wines, and expect staff and owners to help suggest the best wines for your taste (and wallet). A relaxing bar for any occasion, Sherry’s is sure to make you feel right at home.
Price range: Mid-range
Opening hours: 7am – midnight Mon-Sat
Watch out for: a wide range of wines
Address & telephone number: Ilica 73 in the yard, Zagreb, Croatia; +385 91 250 77 12