The Complete Nightlife Guide to Krakow
Estimated Party Time
Poland’s most beautiful city is also home to the country’s largest student population, which means that it’s always time to party. The locals generally don’t hit the bars until 10pm but if people are drinking, the barman is pouring, so start early or start late – it really doesn’t matter.
Restaurants start to fill up by 8pm and are absolutely packed by 10pm so book your reservations early to ensure a table at some of the best eateries in town. The best piece of advice is to do as Krakow’s students’ do and start partying early and finish late.
The beating heart of Krakow’s nightlife scene is its Old Town. All of the best hotspots in the city can be found between here and Kazimierz, the old Jewish quarter of the city that lies just South of the Old Town on the littoral of the Wisla River.
But truthfully, nearly every street, cellar, and courtyard in every part of this amazing city is packed with awesome bars and pubs just waiting to be discovered (Try out our bar crawl to discover all these gems).
Krakow’s clubs seem locked in an ever escalating hedonistic arms race, each new place continually upping the ante in terms of swank and sound systems. 120,000 students and millions of tourists a year fuel the super-charged, sexed-up atmosphere of Krakow’s clubbing scene which makes it our favourite city for groups that love 130bpm. Club lovers should take advantage of our VIP Clubbing activity in Krakow, but just in case you want to go it alone here’s our two favourite clubs, both located in Old Town.
Baccarat – 500 sq. meters and 10 separate rooms of interior design that owes much to a Mafioso’s wet dream – think colour-coordinated rooms with matching plush leather couches. This place has eye-catching ambience augmented by the juicy sounds of house and heavy beats. Exclusive settings include their VIP Room and, my favourite, their PIMP Room. https://www.baccaratclub.pl/en/
Burlesque – Buried deep beneath the city in the cellars of the Old Town, this club captures something of the spirit of a cabaret gone mad. Live dancers in exotic costumes entertain to some of the best curated and live music in town. Sumptuous cocktails and the secretive feel of its location give this one of the best, not to forget to mention sexiest, atmospheres of any club in Krakow. https://burlesqueclub.eu/
Need reservations for one of the ultimate clubbing experiences?
Finding the best out of literally hundreds of bars in Krakow requires never ending research. <Sigh> It’s a thankless task, but somebody’s got to do it. It’s taken us thousands of man-hours to separate the best from the rest so you never have to visit an Irish theme pub out of desperation for a proper pint.
A couple of words of wisdom for beer lovers and all visitors in Krakow: first, a pint will cost you anywhere between £1.50 and £2.50, possibly more depending on your tipple of choice and the pub or bar. While that’s certainly cheaper than U.K. prices there is a caveat, namely that Polish beer is much, much stronger than that found in the British Isles. You can drink for less for sure, but you’ll pay for it the next day if you don’t keep an eye on your intake. Second, as a visitor to the city the choice of bars is truly mind-boggling, even more so after you’ve had a few, so it may pay to check out our Pub Crawl or Bar Crawl activities in an effort to visit the best of the best led by one of our experienced guides. Last, cash is still king in Poland so don’t expect every watering hole to accept a credit card.
Chmiel Beer Pub – The elegant and cozy interior of this beautifully restored 15th century cellar hosts one of the best bars in Krakow. Choose from over 200 beer brands, 20 ciders and an innumerable amount of cocktails. The chilled-out and friendly atmosphere makes it one of the superb pubs to visit. Plus, pinball machines. It’s the perfect place to pre-game before your big night out.
Wodka Café Bar – Vodka = Poland. It’s as simple as that. And this is the only place in Krakow where you need to go to find the most unusual vodkas, the most delicious vodkas and the most choice of vodkas offered by any vodka bar. Did I mention they serve vodka? Over 100 different vodkas served with a professional staff capable of recommending one that suits your palate. My personal favourite drink in the world is also served here – tatanka. Apple juice mixed with Żubrówka vodka. For some reason that brand of vodka is banned in the United States so it’s got to be good, right?
Forget the tired stereotype that Polish cuisine is all about potatoes and boiled cabbage. Krakow, like any other modern European city, is packed with a host of fantastic restaurants, ranging from rock-bottomed priced milk bars, to mid-priced bistros, to upscale gourmet restaurants. Krakow’s best eateries are primarily located in the Old Town and the Kazimierz Quarter, which is perfect as that’s where you’ll most likely be partying later. Local custom dictates that you make a reservation, even if you only manage to do it just a couple of hours in advance of your arrival at your chosen restaurant.
Trezo – Traditional Polish cuisine meets modern fine dining in a restaurant that combines old-school favourites with trends in fusion cuisine styles. It’s a small restaurant so make sure you book your table early. The elegant décor, the reasonably priced menu, and its location smack dab in the middle of the Old Town make this one of our recommended dining establishments. Try the pork fillets with ceps sauce and herbed Polish-style gnocchi – one of my top picks.
Cyrano de Bergerac – Located in the atmospheric surroundings of the cellars of a building that’s over 500 years old in the heart of Old Town, this gourmet restaurant elevates ambience and the art of gastronomy to new heights. It’s expensive, but you are guaranteed fabulous haute cuisine. The drinks menu is expansive, the food is amazing, the setting is gorgeous – if your group is made up of foodies there really is no other place to go in Krakow.
As one of the tourism capitals of Europe there is no shortage of hostels, hotels, guesthouses, B&Bs and alternative accommodation like apartments to choose from on your visit to Krakow. However, because of the hordes of tourists that visit this famous city, especially during the summer months, it is highly recommended to book as early as possible if you are staying central. For added travel convenience you should book our Return Airport Transfer. Our high-rollers might be interested in the Airport Strip Limo service which can even be bumped up to a Hummer Airport Pickup with or without the stripper.
Raddison Blu – This five-star, stylish hotel offers an unrivalled location just outside the Old Town, free high-speed wi-fi, two on-site restaurants and a bar, as well as free bicycles and a fitness centre. It’s strategic position in Krakow enables easy access to all of the major tourist sites and public transport. If you like to travel in style, this is the only hotel for your party in Krakow.
The Alexander I and Alexander II Hotels – If you’re looking for more simple, yet still comfortable and convenient accommodation on your stag do in Krakow then look no further. The Alexander hotels are mid-priced, centrally located hotels that are perfect for travelers on a budget still looking for decently sized rooms, Continental breakfasts, and other amenities associated with staying in a European hotel.
Krakow is a tourist mecca. Here are our top tips to avoid all the tourist traps and pitfalls on your sojourn and to help make your stay in Krakow all the more pleasant.
- Krakow is still a cash-first city where many hotels, bars and pubs don’t accept credit or debit cards. Avoid changing your money at the Bureaux de Change in the town centre unless you enjoy giving your money away – the rates can be awful. Cheques are definitely out as a method of payment. Cash machines and ATMs are probably your best option available for laying your hands on some cash.
- Don’t take taxis from the ranks – ask your bartender to phone for one as it’s generally up to 30% cheaper.
- Don’t expect American-style top quality service at restaurants, bars and hotels. But do expect to tip at least 10% on any meal.
- BOOK EVERYTHING EARLY! We really can’t stress how busy Krakow can be, especially during the summer, so get in early or don’t get in at all.
- The symbols differentiating public toilets for men and women are unique to Poland. Circle = women. Triangle = Men. I thought it would be the other way around but that’s just how it is.
- Stay central or as near to the Old Town as possible as that is where all of the best bars and clubs are located.
- It is worth your while to book our Krakow Bar Crawl as our guides will take you to the best in bars in town whilst giving the tourist traps a miss. With so many bars and pubs in this party town it’s easy to wind up in a really terrible place without local knowledge.
Why walk when you can ride in our Party Tram or our Limo Bus? All that wasted time walking from bar to bar when you could be drinking and dancing from place to place. Keep the party rolling!
For the penny-wise
Party hard AND smart by booking our Krakow Bar Crawl or our Vodka Tasting activities. Don’t wander into one of the many terrible tourist bars and pay over the odds for watered down alcohol. Let our experienced and very pretty local guides lead you to our favourite watering holes in Krakow.
For the big spenders
If you’ve got the cash to splash we can think of a number of ways to help you spend it! Our VIP Clubbing with private room reservations is the only way to party till the break of dawn. Ponder our Strippers Jacuzzi activity – hot water and even hotter women – the perfect combination! Finally, the Hummer City tour not only shows off your spending power and the best bits of Krakow, it’s the perfect way to travel in style.
A party in Krakow is jam-packed with action, adventure, thrills and top-quality fun. Our personalized care offers unparalleled customer service. Check out our Packages for the latest and greatest weekend deals in Krakow or contact our party planners to help create a custom package that matches your unique tastes to take advantage of all this amazing city has to offer you and your best mates.