Dubrovnik: Boozing at Buža


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I’d previously blogged about what I thought was the best bar in the world, Koi in Protaras. But there’s a new contender in town. It may be shockingly overpriced and has the worst toilets in Europe, but the views you enjoy of the Adriatic and the chilled out holiday vibe make Buža a must for anyone in need of liquid refreshment in Dubrovnik.

Finding Buža is your first test. The word Buža actually means hole in the Dubrovnik dialect – to get to the bar you have to step through a hole in the city walls near St. Stephen’s tower in the Old Town. Look out for signs advertising “Cold drinks” in the courtyard in front of the Jesuit Church.

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Once you’ve found and entered through the hole, you might feel a bit like one of the kids from The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe entering Narnia. The view really is magical, although you won’t have it all to yourself. Buža is so popular, people go there just to stand outside the entrance and take photos of it – you might have to elbow past a few of these to get a table.

As for drinks choices, they really weren’t joking when they said “cold drinks”. No tea or coffee is served, and on one occasion I fancied a red wine but when it came it was ice-cold. Bottled drinks served in plastic cups are the order of the day, although you can put your plastic cup in a cool wooden holder (see main picture).

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The mark up on the drinks must be massive – the only beer sold here is the unpronounceable Croatian lager, Ožujsko at 35 kunas (about £4.50) for a 33cl bottle. But with views like these, you might not care.

The bar is perched on the rocks with the city walls behind you, the Adriatic below you and Lokrum island straight ahead of you. We visited every day at different times, and had great views of boats bobbing over the sea to Lokrum in the daytime, huge cruiseships leaving town (yippee!) in the evening and the gorgeous pinky-orange sunset.

In the daytime, along with the sound of the sea crashing onto the rocks, chilled out ’90s pop music from a Croatian radio station is your soundtrack – think Savage Garden and Katrina and the Waves. They even sell Bacardi Breezer – last seen in the UK when Shania Twain was in the charts. In the evening you are more likely to hear Elvis Presley’s Greatest Hits.

The only gripe we had (other than the prices), were the toilets – two festival-style loos inside one lockable room. The first time we went to Buža, we both had to spend a penny (separately, of course!), but after holding our noses and stepping over the toilet paper thrown all over the floor, we decided to “hold on” on our subsequent visits until we’d got to another bar. I appreciate that there’s no running water at the bar, and cleaning toilets may not be the nicest task but surely Buža makes enough profit out of us to be able to afford a cleaner or even a toilet attendant?

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On our last day in Dubrovnik, we walked on the Old Town’s walls and could clearly see the white umbrellas of Buža below us at one point. We could also make out what I thought was a copycat bar on the rocks a few metres past Buža. We didn’t have time to sample a drink here, so I’ll be back in Dubrovnik very soon to review what turned out to be Buža II.

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Categories: Bosnia and CroatiaTags: , , ,

20 comments

  1. I think I may have had a tipple at this little bar too – must go through my pics and check 🙂

  2. And how did you rate the Ožujsko? I thought it was rather good. I think I saw this place from the wall top walk but didn’t try to find it and at those prices I am glad that I didn’t!

  3. I’m pretty sure we used that bar (but not the loo!) when we were in Dubrovnik, Buza is a great name for a boozer!

  4. Looks like a great spot – we didn’t manage to drag ourselves out of Montenegro so am saving Dubrovnik for a proper Croatia trip sometime and will check this place out for sure.

  5. I had a wee drink here and loved it as much as you did Richard. I did not have occasion to use the toilets thankfully! I was visiting in October, so luckily it was not very busy and the weather was still nice. Did you go out to Lokrum?

  6. I never made it here but it looks like a cool place to have a drink! The views are spectacular. It looks like you had nice weather in Dubrovnik. It was a bit up and down for us, especially when we went to Lokrum so I’m loving your picture of Lokrum with the clear blue skies!

    • We had strange weather too – thunderstorms and hot, bright sunshine within hours of each other. Buza is good whatever the weather for viewing the waves, but it can get a bit windy out there on the rocks!

  7. Reading this belatedly linked off your latest post. I can remember my first visit to Buza in 2002. Pretty identical except the drinks were SOOOOO cheap! It was about €1 for a delicious Ozujsko back then, and they had none of your fancy cup holders! In fact, they didn’t have cups I think, it was straight from the bottle. Other memories are of the people cliff jumping from a terrifying height from rocks in front of Buza and popping down between beers for a swim in the beautiful sea below.

    Finally, I often wonder about the owner Danko – we saw him there in 2002 and 2005 (when we met him in the town he got us a bottle of wine with our meal at the restaurant when we told him how much we loved his place). Is he still around do you know?

    • Sorry, can’t help you about the owner. The bar is extremely busy now and you’ll be lucky to get a seat – a lot of people walk in just to look around and take photos. There’s a second Buza bar nearby which is a bit more rustic and a lot harder to find – we only noticed it from the walls.

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