Where better than Dubrovnik to relax with a drink in hand? With its cliffside cafés, swanky ocean-view lounges, and literally subterranean watering holes, we can't think of a sweeter spot. Check out the 5 best spots to grab a cocktail or Croatian craft beer in Old Town and beyond.

Drinking in Dubrovnik

Most visitors to Dubrovnik will start an evening out in the Old Town. Running parallel to the main street that cuts its way through the walled city is Prijeko Ulitsa, lined with buzzing bars and restaurants.

If you follow the wall's path, you may come to a few discreet openings; step through them and you’ll find makeshift, romantic bars perched on a rocky outcropping with incredible views of the sea— surely Dubrovnik’s most enticing hidden hangouts.

Buža Bar

Photo courtesy of Buža Beach Bar

A literal hole-in-the-wall (the translation of “buža”), this dreamy place for “cold drinks” (as the sign beckons you) can only be accessed by going through a small, somewhat hidden opening in the city walls. Once on the other side, you’ll be greeted by a few tables on multiple terraces carved into the cliffs overlooking the sea and a few green islands off in the distance.

Grab a beer and a snack, and sit back to watch local daredevil cliff divers jump into the water. Don’t expect this place to get rowdy, though; it is laid-back, often quiet, and is more of a café and hangout spot than a straightforward bar.

Sunset Lounge

Photo courtesy of Hotel Duvrovnik Palace

With its panoramic windows, gleaming floors, and square Plexiglas stool and tables, the sleek Sunset Lounge at the Hotel Dubrovnik Palace seems designed to capture every bit of the Mediterranean light and enhance it. Order up a few snacks and cocktails, or try a selection of local Perković brandies infused with Mediterranean flavors against a backdrop of nightly piano music.

What’s more, this is a welcome change from all the rowdy city drinking dens and clifftop haunts you may have encountered in Dubrovnik: True to its name, this hotel bar is a place to dress up and have a classy, tranquil evening as you watch the sun go down.

Bistro Izvor

Photo courtesy of Bistro Izvor

Far from the crowded alleyways of old town Dubrovnik, the unlikely location of Bistro Izvor is one of its main draws: at the origin point of the River Ombra, which empties out into the Adriatic several miles west. Here’s where you can enjoy a glass of wine or a Croatian craft beer along with some Dubrovnik delicacies, including octopus salad, tuna tartare and seared swordfish steak.

Plenty of tables and sun loungers are tucked into the leafy area along the river or set up on the terrace, from which you can also see locals bathing and frolicking on the tiny dam that marks the beginning of the river.

Cave Bar

Photo courtesy of Cave Bar More

True to its name, the subterranean Cave Bar More is actually located in a cave, discovered during construction of the boutique hotel that sits directly above it. Access is via an elevator or a staircase through a tunnel, but once there, you’ll find the vibe otherworldly, especially when paired with the hushed sounds of the sea from just outside.

Order a glass of wine or a cocktail from the illuminated bar cut directly into the stone, then, from your perch on one of the bar’s cozy lounge chairs, gaze up at elegant, whirling rock formations. This is a place to enjoy a sense of peacefulness and coolness, especially in the height of Dubrovnik's summer.

D’Vino

Photo courtesy of D'Vino Wine Bar

This popular old town gem is serious about Croatian wines, especially from small, family-owned vineyards close to Dubrovnik. The bar offers all-day tastings, so you can come in as early as breakfast time for a crash course in identifying and appreciating local varietals, as well as day tours to local vineyards, so you can meet some up-and-coming Croatian winemakers.

In the evening, though, this bar fills up with a sophisticated, international crowd looking to pair its light, fruity reds and whites with heaping platters of cheeses, meats, and various marinated antipasti: the perfect start to a night out in the city.