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Mix up your annual pilgrimage to the White Isle with a late-night filled trip to Croatia. For over 10 years, globetrotting techno travellers have flocked to archaic forts, rock-hewn caves and floating platoons for sun, sea and sounds. Pag ranks high for non-stop debauchery whereas Pula combines impressive locations with decibel-defying beats. Split is often associated with purse-friendly Old Town pub crawls but chances are you’ve been there, done that (probably as an 18-year-old inter-railer) – so ditch it in favour of the clubs lining Bačvice Beach. Not just for the lads/lasses on a techno tour, we’ve included some more low-key, bohemian places to let your hair down too.
Noa Beach Club Pag
Croatia’s most popular clubbing haunt is set on the notoriously naughty Zrće beach. From May through to September, Noa Beach Club sees crowds of partygoers shuffle until unmentionable hours. Eleven bars, suspended-over-sea hammocks and saltwater pools complete the party platoon. A guest list of international, superstar DJ’s grace the main stage each summer with highlights from Hideout festival each year. Expect confetti cannons, laser light shows, teeny, tiny bikinis and an earful of thumping bass.
Lauded as one of the world’s best clubs by DJ Mag, the open-air amphitheatres hosts bi-daily parties with big names, big crowds and bigger beats. Pleasure seekers come to party alongside like-minded ravers beneath swaying palms, gushing waterfalls and firework-filled skies. A-list artists such as Jamie Jones, Patrick Topping and Loco Dice regularly tear up the dance floor.
- +385 91 5615 103
- Go to Website
Carpe Diem Hvar
Popular with the glitterati set, you’ll rub shoulders with royals, Bey and Jay and Ri-Ri here. Start at Carpe Diem’s swish mainland outpost before catching the water taxi to Stipanska. Make the most of Croatia’s sunniest island climate as you artfully prop yourself up at the waterside beach bar. After topping up your tan (and your glass) slink effortlessly from sun lounger to sun downer, as bottles of rosé are replaced by eye-watering shots of rakija.
- +385 21 742 369
- Go to Website
Art Café Dubrovnik
Croatia’s nightlife isn’t resigned to raving and misbehaving; between the throng of clubs you’ll find this avant-garde oasis frequented by a more local, creative crowd. Homemade bathtub seats, recycled washing-drum tables, glow-in-the-dark murals and a funky jazz soundtrack join a brunch menu, giving you an excuse to visit morning, noon or night. Don’t hang around out front; instead take your alcohol-spiked smoothie (try mango, yoghurt and white rum) through to the hidden terrace behind the bar.
Arrive early and leave late at this former World War I weapons depot. Earning itself the nickname “the rave cave” by those in the know, the naturally cavernous enclave amplifies the heady electro beats spun by largely French and German DJs. Watch the sunrise from the waterfront terrace.
Fort Punta Christo Pula
Rally the troops and hunker down in the 2000-year-old defence force that’s been transformed into a sound-system utopia. With views across the entrance to the Bay of Pula and flanked by a national park on either side, it’s the venue that planted Croatia on the global party radar. Gain access to the three main courtyards (including 3000-capacity dancefloor) via an elaborate tunnel system, before cementing yourself underground for one of the venues infamous tunnel parties.
Housed in a former bank, Cvajner is an artsy hangout that attracts a predominately bohemian (and rather beautiful) crowd. Eclectic Tito-era furniture, faded wall frescoes and an array of art by emerging artists invite you to linger a little longer inside. Then, snag a prime people-watching spot on the terrace overlooking the Roman square.
- +385 52 216 502
La Bodega Zadar
Sleek, chic and not a pair of box-fresh Nikes insight, La Bodega is a must for oenophiles. Stocking over 250 Croatian wines, pair robust reds with local, spiced prosciutto and truffle cheeses. Hanging hams and garlicky-cured meats are suspended above the narrow bar, which often overspills out onto the cobbled street.
- +385 99 462 9440
- Go to Website
Zenta Club Split
During the day, holidaymakers strip off to top up their tan on Bačvice Beach, but as soon as the last sun worshipper has shaken off their towel, strobe lights replace sunloungers and the only parasols in sight are of the miniature cocktail variety. With a playlist that flutters between techno, EDM and commercial, the clientele is older, more refined and likely to remember Ibiza in its heyday. Get a private speedboat transfer if you don’t fancy waiting in the water-taxi queue.
- +385 98 455 578
- Go to Website
Noa Beach Club
Fort Punta Christo
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