Croatia’s capital might be known for its coffee culture rather than its nightlife, but Zagreb’s best bars are often hidden in plain sight. With a closer look, travellers will find there are plenty of bars for enjoying a drink. Cocktail bars, clubs and dives are all among the best bars in Zagreb if you know where to look.
Take a seat at one of Zagreb’s best bars for a night of expertly-mixed drinks, dancing or smokey interiors.
Best bars in Zagreb
Bornstein’s is easily Zagreb’s best wine bar and wine shop. The bar is set inside of a cozy cellar to display a wide range of Croatian wines hailing from the Adriatic coast to the hills of Zagreb. The knowledgeable staff directs guests to glasses or bottles they will love based on guests’ favourite notes or wine profiles.
Order a paired snack too, for the full effect.
Craft Room is the equivalent of Bornstein’s but with beer instead of wine. The broad menu offers a wide range of Zagreb’s best brews as well as from other regions of Croatia. Ask the waiter what’s on tap – it changes frequently with the seasons, and take a seat on one of the two patios.
Rakija is similar to brandy, grappa or schnapps and is widely made throughout the Balkans. The most popular type in Croatia is medica, plum rakija, and it packs a punch. Rakhia Bar is Zagreb’s best bar for trying the regional specialty, but ask the waiter for direction when you order if you prefer earthy to sweet liquor.
Don’t forget, rakija is sipped in Croatia, not a shot!
Hemingway Lounge Bar sits on a corner across from Croatia’s National Theatre. The bar used to be a gathering place for performers to gather for a nightcap after the show. Today, Hemingway’s has become a popular stop for cocktails paired with stunning views of the Hapsburg-yellow theatre at sunset and watching the many people who walk by.
For those looking for a night of dancing, try Time. The bar turns into something of a club late at night and presents a more sophisticated atmosphere than other clubs. The menu is quite long and includes a variety of liquors, beers and wines to choose from.
Swanky Monkey Garden is actually a hostel, but their bar is a favourite among travellers and locals. A lively place for meeting people, the bar makes great cocktails and serves them up on a light and airy patio.
The perfect setting for an Aperol Spritz or two.
Tolkien’s House is a cosy pub located in Kaptol across from Zagreb’s cathedral and above Dolac market. The well-worn bar fills up, so go early and order a beer.
It’s almost as good as being in the Shire with a fresh ale. And yes, beer does come in rustic tankards.