The bars in Krakow each have their own little unique quirks, mixing in history and paying attention to detail when it comes to ambience, decor and spirits. So when on astag weekend in Krakowyou're in for a treat as you’ll find plenty of cavernous cellars, smoky corners, authentic pubs and stylish cocktail bars here. If you head to the Kazimierz District you’ll discover that they favour dark, mysterious and shabby-chic bars that get livelier the later it gets. Be sure to check out Main Square.
One thing’s for sure, this won’t be your usual night out. To help you choose which underground establishment to sample Krakow’s spirits and beers, we’ve made a list, with a wide range of different bars to suit any tastes.
This popular bar is on the corner of the bohemian Plac Nowy area and will transport you back in time. With retro funky furniture, knickknacks and sepia candlelight, it’s a unique place for down-to-earth drinking and socialising. There’s often jazz, blues and experimental acts playing, while the talented bar staff show off their mixology skills.
Mercy Brown Dive Bar
This chic cocktail bar is the city’s first speakeasy-style venue, hiding in a basement below Smakolyki restaurant. Once in, you’ll discover vintage style and elegance, with chandeliers, plush velveteen couches and dim candlelight. Bartenders mix cocktails full of flavour with style and flair, while jazz music plays in the background.
This cosy 1920s-style bar is in on the fringes of vibrant Kazimierz. Here you’ll find a place dedicated to the ‘green fairy’ - absinthe. Serving over 20 variations of absinthe, the bar staff will introduce you to the rituals of drinking this particular spirit, including both the traditional French and sugar burning methods. It’s also a great place to have a hot drink, vodka shots or enjoy jazz, blues and swing music.
Wodka Cafe Bar
This bar in the Old Town is the perfect place to try out different Polish vodkas. Inside, it’s pint-sized and tight-knit, but does have two floors, making it an intimate and sociable venue. There are various different flavours of vodka to try, and a taster tray is a great way to sample as many as possible. Or there is a good selection of creatively-mixed vodka-based long drinks.
This unique retro coffee and cocktail bar is set in an abandoned Soviet-era hotel and is now a favourite among the locals. It has a huge terrace looking out onto Wisla River filled with beach chairs to enjoy the views. The original interiors have been updated with graffiti art and vintage neon signs, with bean bags, retro sofas, ping-pong tables and foosball. You’ll find tasty sandwiches, salads, pizza and beer here.
This late-night party bar was one of the first bars in the Jewish Quarter. Named, not for live music, but for the vintage sewing machines that make up part of its signature decor alongside cracked mirrors, dusky paintings and candlelight. As the night goes on, tables and chairs turn into dance floors as everyone enjoys a mix of gipsy, klezmer, Celtic and swing music.
This bar embodies the spirit of Kazimierz with antiques, candelabras, frosty mirrors and dim lighting that the quarter’s used to. Its large seasonal garden stands out as an oasis during the summer months. It also hosts regular concerts and events.
This Communist-themed bar is a parody of the past, with old proletarian posters and socialist bits and bobs. You might even catch them celebrating one of the Communist holidays. It's a place that’s unpredictable and doesn’t conform. Its punk-rock atmosphere is created by a soundtrack of punk, garage and metal playing until the early hours of the morning.
This well-known favourite is one of the best choices if you want a late night, but not quite a nightclub. Featuring 2 bars, a stage, DJ station and dance floor, it has plenty of space for parties and events. A playlist of classic rock, indie hits, post-punk and new wave plays when there’s not a concert or DJ set on the weekends.
This music-focused cellar bar brings international acts together to host some of the city’s most exciting concerts. Expect to hear a mix of contemporary indie bands, alternative rock and electronic music. It’s also home to one of Krakow’s best beer gardens, where people come to relax in the shade of the trees, before heading to the basement to start the party.
This Old Town cellar is Kraków's oldest brew-pub, with its own mini brewery, Austrian restaurant and club. Located just a five-minute walk from the Main Market Square, the restaurant serves a variety of meats from venison and wild boar to beef, with beer, poured straight from the tanks to your glass. It has a Bavarian beer hall feel with its design reminiscent of an old Austrian fort.
You're bound to enjoy yourstag do in Krakow, and with all this choice you may struggle to make it home in one piece!