The chat on bars starts off with Kazimierz. The reason for this is that it is the BEST place in Krakow for a night out. Bohemian, lively and bursting with life - there is nowhere quite like it.
In general, the liveliest place to head to is Plac Nowy. This is a market square surrounded by a wide choice of bars and restaurants. Listed below, are some noteworthy places not to miss.
Alternatively, on warm summer evenings, the bars and outdoor music of Szeroka offer a relaxing haven to sit back and soak up the unique Jewish quarter vibe. 

Visitors staying in the Old Town, don't miss a visit to Tytano.

This is the place for a relaxing drink. The interior is candlelit in winter and after dusk, but it also boasts a fantastic outdoor courtyard for whiling away the warm summer evenings. Décor is primarily supplied by a mosaic of black and white portraits from days gone by. Music can vary from The Andrews Sisters to Franz Ferdinand. This is the perfect place to absorb the true atmosphere of wonderful Kazimierz. Located right next to a very famous courtyard which features prominently in Schindler's List.
Address:- Meiselsa 20, Kazimierz, Krakow

The Singer

This is one of the original Kazimierz bohemian bars. Dark, velvety, Singer sewing machines for tables, and always entertaining, this is an absolute must for anyone visiting Kazimierz. Candlelit, fantastic music, and dancing on the table is compulsory on Friday/Saturday nights. The place goes wild for a bit of Balkan gypsy music. Be warned, you might find it extremely difficult to leave this place and go home!

Address - ul. Estery 20, Kazimierz, Krakow

Once again, this is one of the original bohemian, Kazimierz hangouts and is legendary. It is a bit of a tardis in that there is a main bar area, a smoking room accessed through a wardrobe, a concert venue and excellent restaurant. Seating is available outside in the summer, which is an excellent place to sit back and take in the daily life of Plac Nowy. The food is top notch also. There is a wide selection of street food, superb gourmet burgers and a variety of other speciality dishes. For beer lovers, the Pilsner Urquell served here has to be the best in Krakow. Decor is the usual rickety, mismatched bric-a-brac illuminated with candles. On really cold nights, there is also a roaring fire. Don't be put off by the fact that from the outside it looks like a squat!
Alchhemia - link for the restaurant - link for pub/club
Address:- ul. Estery 5

Kolanko 6
This is another of my Kazimierz favourites. Once again, the initial impression on entering this bar/restaurant is very deceptive since it contains a large dining space, outside courtyard and venue hall accessed to the left of the small room you initially enter into. The courtyard is a favourite for enjoying warm summer evenings. 
Food available has a Middle Eastern/North African influence as well as a brilliant selection of Nalesniki (Polish Pancakes) both sweet and savoury. In addition, there is a pleasing selection of cocktails.
To be recommended is the breakfast buffet available every morning for 22zl with a large selection of tasties on offer.

Eszeweria is another trademark, Kazimierz, bohemian oasis. The interior is again a hotch-potch of old sofas, standard lamps, tables and chairs which exudes a certain unique charm. The real bonus with this bar is the wonderful summer garden area at the back of the building. It is a soothing haven, with a lot of quirky furnishings, which removes you from the noise and bustle of the world outside. This is an absolute must for tourists to Kazimierz if you really want to experience the true atmosphere of the district. In addition, don't miss a trip to the truly unique toilet!
Eszeweria garden

Address:- ul. Józefa 9

Forum Przestrzenie
This watering hole epitomises the type of innovative spaces to drink that Krakow seems to specialise in. Located in a former communist era hotel across the river from the castle (Wawel), this is a must if you want to experience what you can do with an apparently abandoned space. The bar is located in what used to be the reception area for the hotel and has a liberal scattering of bean bags amongst the stylish furnishings. In the warmer months, lounging on the river bank outside on one of the numerous deck chairs watching the river boats go by, or simply admiring the views to the castle and Skalka Sanctuary is to be thoroughly recommended. It also offers great food and often doubles up as a venue for live music or food festivals.
ul. Marii Konopnickiej 28, Debniki

Forum Przestrzenie

This is a fairly recent addition to the Kazimierz drinking scene. Located in a former Jewish prayer house, the interior still boasts the original frescoes from its previous life – albeit somewhat peeling, rubbed and flaking. The original mechitza (balcony) for separating men and women in Jewish temples still exists above the bar and the overall feel is one of stylish spaciousness. The only beer on offer is Pilsner Urquell in various guises which can be savoured by purchasing very reasonably priced beer sampling boards. Downstairs houses DJ parties at weekends and salsa classes occur midweek in the bar area. This places just oozes coolness!
ul. Meiselsa 18, Kazimierz
 Original wall frescoes in Hevre

This is an extremely well stocked wine bar located just off Plac Wolnica in Kazimierz. There are more than 350 labels, 40 of which are available by the glass. Peruse the wines by viewing them on the floor to ceiling shelving around the walls, select the one you fancy and take it to the bar. Some small snacks and nibbles are offered as accompaniments and there are wine tasting menus available on Wednesday evenings. Soothing live piano music provides the background ambience to the thoroughly convivial atmosphere. An all round pleasant evening is always to be savoured in BARaWINO.
Ul Mostowa 1, Kazimierz


This really is a very different watering hole. Housed inside a historic Dutch cargo barge dating back to 1889, Barka is a super cool place for either hanging out catching rays on the deck, or descending into the hold for a scoop in the trendy, stylish bar area. It is absolutely essential that you also experience a trip to the loos since it involves heaving levers and twirling wheels to close the door behind you in true submarine hatch door style. It also hosts DJ nights. So for you night owls out there, this is a great place on the river to take in the Krakow vibe. Access it beside the Bernatek pedestrian bridge linking Kazimierz to Podgorze.
Bulwar Kurlandzki
Barka River Barge


These days it is hard to escape from the tourist frenzy,stag/hen do parties that trawl the streets of the old town. However, there are still some classy places that don't attract these groups that should be explored.


This is a classic venue attached to the concrete Bunkier Stztuki Gallery of Modern Art. It is not found within the gallery, but is actually a terrace built out into the Planty Gradens that surround the Old Town. Full of rickety tables and chairs, it exudes the typical quirky decor that Krakow excels in. The walls are sheets of polythene to keep out the cold in winter, but are pulled back to enjoy the warmth of summer. Always lively, this is a great place to imbibe unpasturised Polish beer, coffee, vodka or whatever takes your fancy in what appears to be a giant greenhouse.
Plac Szczepanski 3A, Old Town



Noworolski is located in the medieval cloth hall right in the centre of the main market square. It is a sumptuous art nouveau café dating back to 1910. The interiors are stunning and were created by Polish artist Jozef Mehoffer  
The cafe has experienced a chequered history as a result of the tumultuous years of the 20th century. Lenin would come here to read the papers on his visits to Krakow. During WW2, the Nazis commandeered it as their own social club. After the war, the communists confiscated it. However, in 1991 it was restituted back to the original family owners. It is pricey by Krakow’s standards but well worth the extra pennies. Not because of the quality of the cakes and coffee, but because of the decadent interiors which are a trip back to Poland’s rich café society days. Also, it exudes a classy atmosphere thanks to the live pianist tickling away.
Rynek Główny,


Europejska is another of Krakow’s elegant cafes which exudes an air of bygone days. Classy, cosy and decorated with old gramophones, this is a wonderful haven to soak up the elegant atmosphere tucking into one of their intricately decorated cake selections washed down with coffee, tea or something stronger. Don’t miss a visit here.
Rynek Główny 35

Jama Michalika

This café/bar/restaurant is another of Krakow’s remnants of a past era and has actually been rated as one of the 15 most historic cafes in Europe by GlobalGrasshopper. It is a feast of art nouveau and is where "Mloda Polska" was born (the Polish Art Nouveau movement). The walls are adorned with artist's work who used to gather here and enthuse over their heroes such as Mucha and Klimt. To enter, walk straight through the main door, past the cloakroom area and front cafe, and enter the door on the right. You will find yourself in a very large piece of authentic art nouveau heaven. Meals, cakes, coffees or drinks are served.
ul. Florianska 45,
Old Town

Mercy Brown

This bar used to be a very secret, hidden gem. However, the word is out and more people are finding their way here. Arguably the best cocktails in Krakow are to be savoured here and the “speakeasy”, 1920s atmosphere extends to trying to find it in the first place. The overall feel and ambience transports you back in time with a burlesque/cabaret style atmosphere. Cocktails come in at 21zl but are worth the cost because the bartenders are experts a whipping up and beautifully presenting some truly novel concoctions.
So I will let you into the secret. It is found upstairs from the Smakolyki restaurant on ul. Straszewskiego, Old Town. There is nothing at the entrance to indicate where the bar is. Simply make it known to the doorman that you want to go upstairs.   
ul. Straszewskiego 28
Old Town

Piwnica Pod Baranami

This bar is to be found right on the main square (Rynek). It is probably one of Krakow’s most iconic clubs and for many years – and still to this day – is where the best and most legendary cabarets were created. Considering its location, it has miraculously escaped the plastic neon sterility of the modern tourist era and provides a comforting haven for an eclectic mix of artists, authors and such like. Great music provides a warm atmosphere to tipple to and admire the art displays on the wall. Tasty food is also offered with friendly service. Cabarets are still performed at 9pm every Saturday – best to book a ticket in advance.
Rynek Glowny 27


This really has to be the coolest place to be in Krakow at the moment and really should not be missed. Set in an abandoned cigarette factory and its associated outbuildings, it offers the hippest, urbanite, urbexish warren to hang out in. Within this maze there are to be found some excellent drinking dens. However, what makes them truly unique, is that they are created - with some style and imagination - out of an abandoned urban space. It is just 10 minutes walk from the main square so there is no excuse for not going here.

Mash Room

Believe it or not, this place offers cocktails on tap which you buy by the tumbler or by the carafe for amazingly cheap prices. Lovely Czech beer and bar tapas can also be savoured in this "pop-up", crazy deserted, urban hangout that spills out into the surrounding abandoned alleyways during those lovely summer evenings. Proudly badging itself as a "dive bar", experience an atmosphere rarely found in the "health and safety" obsessed western world and marvel at what can be done with what would appear to be useless, derelict urban spaces.
ul. Dolnych Młynów 10/7B
For beer lovers, this is the place to be. 25 craft beers are to be found on tap as well as at least 50 bottled offerings. Couple this with a rustic, abandoned, post industrial setting, cool music and seating that spills out in the alleyways surrounding it - why go anywhere else?
Dolnych Młynów 10,

For other Tytano hotspots - watch this space! It is a very dynamic.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the interesting information about bars and nightlife in Krakow.