Krakow has over 200 bars, but what we’re dealing with here are the ones that are strictly for backpackers; the Krakow bars where there’s no stupid dress code to get in, strict door policy or entrance fee. And the ones that when you’re inside, the drinks are cheap, the music is fun and the atmosphere chill.
Most of the clubs in Krakow are located across two of the city’s oldest districts, the Old Town and the old Jewish Quarter, Kazimierz. The Old Town dates back to medieval times, but is now home to the coolest bars. While Kazimierz’s cobbled streets house the most interesting places to drink.
1. Ambasada Śledzia
For your first taste of Poland’s official drink, head to Ambasada Śledzia. Serving up vodka as the locals take it, it’s known as the ‘herring embassy’, thanks to the side of pickled herring given with every shot. It closes at midnight, which is unusual for Krakow, but makes it a great place to start your night.
2. Singer Café
Singer Café is cool AF. Located in a cellar, inside you’ll find vintage Singer sewing machines embedded into the tables and lit up by candlelight. This would be a cool place to visit after Ambasada Śledzia, as it really gets going after midnight. You might even be able to sew up any holes in your backpacker clothes while you’re there.
If you want somewhere a bit more chilled, check out Alchemia, another really popular bar for backpackers in Krakow. There’s a casual vibe here, quite low key by day before things get going for the evening and night. Before you go, check out the website for the cellar sessions musical line up.
4. Klub Re
Beer garden lovers might get over excited when they see Klub Re. Located in the centre of the city but hidden behind huge buildings, you’ll need to keep a look out for it. They have live music indoors throughout the week, so keep an eye on listings. In the summer the garden gets kind of crazy – get involved!
5. Harris Piano Jazz Bar
This is the mellowest bar on the list: the Harris Piano Jazz Bar. From here it only gets crazier so adjust your Krakow bar choice accordingly. On a Monday there are open jam sessions, especially for those who love the sound of the sax. For a chilled night out, this is the one, located just off the main square.
Grab a whisky straight up, be cool.
6. Pauza Club
Right this is it, party time. No more bars. Pauza is an electro-techno club split across two levels. Chatters and chillers are on the first floor and dancers can dip down below to the basement. If you haven’t gone too nuts on the vodkas before, you might appreciate the retro art on the walls too.
Thursday is the night to be at Cien. It’s Sex on Wax night, meaning hot tunes, famous DJs and lots of beautiful people dancing. Cien Klub has been going since 2003, so you know it’s got to be good! Have a quick Google online before you go; you can find the night’s guestlist to sign up for free entry.
8. Frantic Club
Frantic Club is one of the newest places for a night out in Krakow, but is already one of the coolest places to go. Expect mainstream club, pop and RnB, and there’s a chill out room for when it gets too much. The prices might be a little more in here, so get your pre-drink on if this place is your plan for the night.
9. Art Klub Bledne Kolo
Visit Art Klub Bledne Kolo to party where the locals are. This is the club to go to for an authentic Krakow experience. It’s one of the most popular places in Krakow to be on a Saturday night, particularly right at the bar trying out their cocktail list. Art Klub Bledne Kolo is also a great place for dropping in during the day to have a coffee and chill on their comfy sofas, the perfect place to scroll through Facebook aimlessly on your phone. We all do it.
Cheesy pop is top of the line up at Goraczka on Sunday nights. You can head over from 5pm to dance the night away with Kylie, Steps and S Club 7. There are six rooms, all with fancy lighting set ups – you just know you’re going to bring out your mad dancing after a few Polish vodkas in here, right? Could be one of those nights where you need to ban your friends from Snapchat…