Nightlife on the Dalmatian Coast is at its most animated in summer, when opening hours are extended: many bars stay open till 3am and dance clubs till 5am at weekends. You’ll find the highest concentration of chi-chi cocktail bars and stylish open-air clubs in Hvar Town and Dubrovnik – prices can be pretty outrageous, with foreign visitors the main spenders. Read more on my Hvar nightlife and Dubrovnik nightlife pages. That said, Dalmatians themselves certainly like to drink and know how to party – Split is the best place to experience summer nightlife with the locals and see some alternative Croatian bands play live concerts. Find out more on my Split nightlife page.
The Dubrovnik Summer Festival (www.dubrovnik-festival.hr) and Split Summer Festival (www.splitsko-ljeto.hr) both run from mid-July through mid-August, staging evening concerts, theatre, dance and opera below starlit skies. Stages are set up at outdoor venues in the pedestrian-only old towns, and feature impressive line-ups of internationally renowned artists. Tickets are at a premium, so you’d do well to book in advance. Another form of evening entertainment to look out for is the ljetno kino (open-air summer cinema) – the best known is Bačvice (Put Firula 2) in Split.
Out of season, nightlife is considerably more low-key, with just Split keeping the party going through chilly winter evenings. Most bars close at 11pm Sunday-Thursday and at midnight Friday-Saturday, and clubs are only open at weekends.