Though it’s often stated that the only “real” nightlife in Croatia is found on islands like Hvar, Brac and Pag, Zagreb is no joke when it comes to getting down after-hours. With a healthy influx of locals (it’s the country’s capital, after all) and students (the city houses Croatia’s best universities), you can be sure to find plenty of people year-round who are more than willing to help you party the night away in style. And since Zagreb’s inland location means it hasn’t been overrun by tourists, you’ll find that the often-beautiful Croatians here are much more approachable than at other locations along the Dalmatian Coast. Nice perk, eh? Ok, enough chit chat. Let’s get down to business.
In the city center, your best bets will be Preradoviceva and the pedestrian Tkalciceva Streets, both within fairly close proximity of one another. Tkalciceva, undoubtedly the most popular thoroughfare in “Upper Town” Zagreb, thrives during the day with a profusion of cafes and at night with a number of popular bars and a limited number of clubs to boot. It’s definitely a good choice during the summer months for sitting outside and soaking up the cool Zagreb atmosphere. West of Zagreb Park in “Lower Town” you’ll find some funky alternative options on Preradoviceva Street, including bars like Golf and Apartman. Like Tkalciceva, the clubs on this strip aren’t what you’d call abundant, so if you’re downtown and looking for something more dance-oriented check out some tried and true options like Lemon on Ljudevita Gaja and Purgeraj at Ribnjak Park. Hemmingway Bar (ul. Tuškanac 1) also deserves an honorable mention for its cult following and chic atmosphere.
If you’re not opposed to a southwesterly cab ride, Lake Jarun is a definite hot spot for those who don’t mind something of the cliché club scene. There are plenty of options to choose from both on and just off the lake front, including the much-touted Aquarius nightclub and the cool but more out of the way Zabac Café. In the summer especially you can rest assured that much of the weekend-warrior crowd will usually be outsourced to this side of the city. And should you feel like indulging in a game of chance, don’t be afraid to try your hand at some of Zagreb’s casinos (Golden Sun, Arcotel Allegra, etc.), where there’s plenty of partying and gambling at your disposal complete with well-dressed locals who are more than happy to help you find ways to spend your newly acquired wealth. In short, Wednesday through the weekend, you’ll find there’s plenty to do to keep yourself occupied in the Croatian capital once the sun goes down.