Ohrid is a rather small town, so there aren't an overwhelming number of places where you can grab a good pint, or maybe just chill with some friends. However, even with the available options it can still be hard to decide where to spend your hard-earned denars, so we've put together a list of some of the best such places to help you choose.
A splash of colour in the centre of Ohrid’s pedestrian street, Shilla is a little different to the majority of cafes in town. This is almost a four-in-one, a cocktail bar masquerading as a smoothie joint with coffee and live music in town, but Shilla is a polymath cafe if ever there was one. A darling location with cheery service in a spot perfect for people-watching, Shilla is an afternoon waiting to be enjoyed.
We found ourselves looking for a defibrylator on first entering Liquid, a boisterous affair that also serves as a bar and that gives the impression of being a practice space for the world smoking championships, a purely made-up event that the kids who hang out here would almost certainly win should such a thing exist. A great place to meet young locals, and thankfully possessing an al fresco terrace next to the water, find it along the dark alley that leads to the Church of St. Sophia.
Cuba Libre Beach & Bar
This infamous Ohrid night spot maintains a nightclub all year round at Naum Ohridski 10a, whilst the summer season sees the opening of their hedonistic lakeside club in which a small beach just south of the centre is converted into a place of cocktails, snacks, good-looking people and very loud music. Policed by serious bouncers who exercise a certain amount of face control, Friday and Saturday nights feature DJs and live music until the very early hours of the morning.
A whopping great lounge overlooking the lake, this lively and at times chaotic venue features staff running around trying to keep the punters happy, who during our last visit were a predominantly young crowd having a good time and drinking vast amounts of wine like it was going out of fashion. It can get quite loud in here during the evenings, but the terrace overhanging the water more than makes up for the mayhem if you’re lucky enough to find a free a table by the water. Their limited menu, which includes great pizza, also makes Noa worthy of visit when you’re hungry.
The Duck Café
Run by a local music enthusiast and situated inside a gorgeous old building right next to the lake, the fabulous Duck Café’s neon sign proclaims Jazz & Blues which is slightly misleading as almost all of the live music played here is rock. The drinks are a bit pricey and the music is very much hit and miss, but if you turn up on a good night it’s well worth sticking around. The staff speak good English, so we recommend you drop by early to find out what evening events are planned for the next few days.
Kadmo Beach & Club
Giving Cuba next door a run for its money, this is another fine beachside venture doubling as a restaurant and a nightclub of sorts. In a genuinely idyllic setting and often popular with large groups and families who come to wine, dine and generally celebrate, Friday and Saturday nights feature live DJs and other acts and offer a fascinating opportunity to get sloshed with the locals and generally have a bit of a wild time.
The name says it all here, as the titular terrace is actually more of a pier as it sits on pylons over the splashing waves of the lake. Open for nearly three decades, Terazza is one of the most popular places in town throughout the year, often turning into a rollicking nightspot in the evenings with frequent live concerts packing the house.
A swanky lounge bar overlooking the water, Objectif churns out a range of decent dishes throughout the day and is a fine place to drop by for food and/or drink anytime. As the evening descends on Ohrid the place livens up a bit and provides a good opportunity to meet like-minded locals and knock back a few drinks with them, whilst the weekends are given over to a regular series of live music concerts featuring musicians (and the occasional DJ) working in several musical genres.
A decent lounge bar with plenty of regular live music close to the water and barely two minutes from the Old Bazaar, Mr. I draws in a mixed crowd of locals throughout the year and an even larger assortment of drinkers during the holiday season. One of the few places actively promoting shisha (bubble pipe) smoking, the slightly clinical feel to the place melts away if you manage to secure a table with a view of the lake and the crowds strolling up and down the waterfront outside. In keeping with local tradition, Mr. I maintains a boutique hotel upstairs if you eat too many of their recommended burgers and need to lie down.