Thanks to a thriving student population, alcohol prices in Krakow are low and drinks deals are plentiful.
There are more bars per square meter in Krakow’s Old Town than anywhere else on Earth, making it perfect for astag bar crawl. You’ll find everything from strip clubs, to traditional taverns, upmarket lounges and basement beer cellars as you rub shoulders with merry locals. It’s impossible to sample every illicit delight in one night, but you can get pretty close on an organised pub crawl with a local guide.
As the rest of the world embraces the speakeasy trend, Krakow is all about ‘Lost Bars’. In the low-lit basements of Kazimierz, you'll find hidden venues like wicked 1920s cabaret bars, serving up riqsue burlesque shows and killer cocktails. This area is also where you’ll find the biggest and loudest clubs in Krakow, where VIP areas are roped off and the dress code is strictly shirt and shoes. Casual ‘vodka and snack’ bars add a bit of local flavour to a night out, and vodka-tasting tours are a great excuse to knock back the shots in the name of culture.
A night out in Poland starts in earnest at 10pm and the clubs start to fill at midnight (most bars stay open till the morning). Grabbing some hearty pub grub for dinner is a sure fire way to acceptably extend the drinking hours.
To get down with the cool kids, wander down the gridlines ofNowa Huta:a former communist district with secret speakeasies now built into its housing blocks.
As far as boozing goes in Poland,vodkais the order of the day. The good stuff is drunk straight (and never followed up with beer or wine) and, as far as locals will tell you, it doesn’t give you a hangover - which should be enough to tell you that Poles could quite literally drink you under the table. When in a vodka bar, you’ll usually find glasses are accompanied by plates of meat (think blood sausage and smoked ham) or pickles. Don’t forget to drink to health - na zdrowie!