Krakow nightlife is unique to nightlife anywhere else in Europe. Although Krakow’s gorgeous architecture, charming town square and the glow from Wawel Castle give the city a true fairy-tale feel, bars in Krakow are anything but cute. Of course, there are a handful of delightful riverside bars and rooftop restaurants offering fantastic cocktails but the best bars in Krakow are a little harder to find!
Krakow favors the gloomy but gorgeous basement bars. The slightly spooky, shabby-chic establishments adored by locals and travelers alike. Think deep reds, dark wood furnishings and fascinatingly beautiful creeping green foliage.
Follow this guide to the best bars in Krakow and party like a local in this postcard perfect Medieval city. We guarantee you’ll have a Kracking good time!
Spooky chic! 📷: @beaupapercompany
The slightly rusty and dusty vibe of Singer cafe gives a real sense of what prewar Krakow might have looked like. The place is in the heart of the hipster district Kazimierz and was named after the iconic Singer sewing machines, which have been transformed into tables. The granny-chic patterned wall paper, heavy antique furniture and old paintings create a somewhat spooky atmosphere. Although haunted by its own legend, the small Singer space still remains a popular hangout among both locals and expats. Towards the end of the night, people start to dance on those old sewing tables, or sew they say!
Address: Izaaka 1, Kazimierz
2. Ursa Maior
Concept Store and Pub 📷:@kallamigvadduvill
The rather minimalist interior of Ursa Maior with it’s wholesome, folky vibe is pretty refreshing after visiting many of the vintage-esque hipster bars Krakow has to offer. Ursa Maior is all about craft beers from their microbrewery in the Bieszczady Mountains. You’ll find a fantastic selection of craft beers from Belgian style, smoked and even IPAs. Prices start from $3 for a draft beer and with the really friendly staff always up for a chat you can easily while away an afternoon at Ursa Maior sampling beers and swapping stories.
Address: Plac Wolnica 10
3. Pijalnia Wódki i Piwa
A favorite chain for many Poles, Pijalnia Wodka i Piwa is an old-school bar influenced by Poland’s socialist movement. You won’t find doting waiters or a fancy interior, but if you’re after a cheap round of drinks, Pijalnia is the place for you. Flavored vodkas and beer cost only $1, (yes, you read it right!), so people always end up staying for more than one. It’s a good idea to accompany your shots with a typical Polish snack like salted herring or steak tartare, to avoid things getting a little too messy! Pijalnia is the perfect pit stop to rev up an evening or a great place to grab a night cap.
Address: Świętego Jana 5
4. Forum Przestrzenie
The Hotel Forum was built in the Soviet-era and was turned into a bar that has quickly become a hip meeting spot for Krakow’s youngsters, and with good reason! The Forum Przestrzenie is a makeshift beach right in the heart of the city. Travellers chill on lounge chairs right by the Wisla river and the beach overlooks Wawel Castle giving drinkers the dreamiest of views. We recommend going for a long and lazy lunch in the summertime, sipping a beer or homemade lemonade while watching the sunset behind the castle.
Address: Marii Konopnickiej 28
The entrance to Narnia! 📷: @freakymafiabanana
Alchemia has earned its reputation as a legendary venue in the bustling Jewish quarter of Kazimierz, also home to Oskar Schindler’s factory. Alchemia is a kingdom of shabby vintage décor and decadent atmosphere. Expect four different candle-lit spaces combined into one super cool venue, music events, cultural nights, and a fab selection of drinks. Check out their gig calendar where you can find a concert for every type of music lover, Alchemia is a staple in Krakow nightlife!
Address: Estery 5
6. House of Beer
🎵 200 bottles of beer on the wall, 200 bottles of beer… 🎵 📷: @dutchbeerlove86
A true boozy paradise for any beer fanatic! Choose from over 200 bottled beers and 12 on tap with prices accommodating for every budget, starting at $1.20 for the beer of the day. The perfect chance to taste some Eastern European tipples from Lithuania, Czech Republic, Ukraine and of course Poland. Poland has been experiencing a huge craft beer renaissance over the last couple of years, resulting in a bunch of microbreweries and cool craft beer bars popping up all over the city. House of beer is easily one of the best bars in Krakow, so hop to it!
Address: Świętego Tomasza 35
Eszewiera is atmospheric, to say the least. It’s magical and cozy with twinkly fairy-lights and plush armchairs welcoming you in. This little café bar in the center of the oh-so-trendy Kazimierz district ticks all the boxes. Although Eszeweria follows the quirky ramshackle style of old Krakow, it still manages to boast it’s own unique romantic vibe and has a truly lovely garden in the back. All craft beers are very reasonably priced, don’t miss their signature lemon vodka for a sour sweet hit. While you’re in Józefa Street you might want to check out the local art galleries and antique stores, as well as the High Synagogue. A must see for any Krakow visitor.
Address: Józefa 9
8. Multi Qlti
I’ll take two please! 📷: @pureise
This quirky tap bar is just off Krakow’s gorgeous Main Square. If you’re looking for a cheap afternoon, walk around the stunning Main Square before heading over to Multi Qlti for some cold ones (with the lads). You can order different serving sizes starting at 150ml for only $1. So if you’re an indecisive beer nut, you can try them all without breaking the bank!
Address: Szewska 21
9. Klub Re
Lovely little garden 📷 @ak.alicja89
Although it’s right in the center of Krakow, this edgy basement bar is not so easy to find! Maybe that’s why it remains so popular among local students and hipsters who bring a chilled authentic vibe to it. Many students decide to study in Krakow not just because of its prestigious university, but rather to enjoy the city’s varied student life and young energy. During the warm months you can sit outside in a vast beer garden with a glass of a Hungarian wine, cider or a beer for $2. As soon as it gets dark, chances are that the downstairs space will fill up with a lively crowd waiting for an alternative music concert. Time to boogie!
Address: Św. Krzyża 4
Gettin’ hot in here 🔥 📷: @stevie_b_a_r_r_e_t_t
Stepping into Absynt feels like stepping into your whimsical and, well, slightly loopy aunt’s living room. Instead of cups of tea, expect goblets of smoking cocktails. Absynt bar is another timeless bar in Kazimierz and one of the best bars in Krakow. Living up to its name, this bohemian nightlife venue offers absinthe from old-school apparatus, with an intriguing palette of colors. You can be sure to find drinks here that you’ve never tried before, like a burning shot by the name of Hemingway. We’re sure you’ll love this quirky bar, and you know what they say… absinthe makes the heart grow stronger!
Address: Miodowa 28
11. U Romana
Krakow looks like a fairy tale! 📷: @s_mamlina
Roman’s, located above the Krakow Music Academy, is a rooftop cafeteria/bar and boasts truly stunning, panoramic views of Krakow. Serving traditional local food for as a little as $3-4 a meal – HELLO Polish milk-bars! – U Romana is a great refuel stop before embarking on your evening. But come on, we bet we had you at panoramic views!
Address: Św. Tomasza 43
Rustic riverside vibes 😍 📷: @spasskova
Barka means barge, and that’s exactly what this charming little boat bar docked at the Wisła River is! Barka is one of those places you stumble across without even knowing it existed, but you’ll be happy you did. Located right next to the Lovers’ Bridge, Barka is a pleasant open-air hangout where you won’t pay more than $3 for a local beer. In the evening the deck turns into a dance floor, so hold on, dear passengers! This is one boozy cruise!
Address: Podgórska 16, Bulwar Kurlandzki
Shabby chic realness 📷: @bannaners
Probably one of the oldest and most characteristic pubs in the Kazimierz district, Propaganda is full of memories for the Poles who grew up in the era of the Poland People’s Republic (PRL) before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Propaganda showcases history as well as poking fun at the absurdity of the communist times. Just have a look at the peculiar regime slogans on the walls and chat to the locals for help understanding the translations. Propaganda is wonderful, and the prices even more so!
Address: Miodowa 20
Neon playground 📷: @maddy_lev
Any Mario Kart or Zelda fans here? Cybermachina is a retro video games sanctuary where you can play the games of your childhood on Nintendo, Xbox 360/One or PlayStation consoles. Not exactly what you would expect from a medieval city! You can just grab a beer for $1.20 and give a vintage arcade machine a try. If you’re not exactly an avid gamer don’t worry – we got you covered! Board games usually win over even the skeptical, and Cybermachina has a huge selection. If you want to geek-gasm even harder then check out the super cool and super nerdy game themed cocktails… Pika Pika Lemonade anyone?
Address: Stolarska 11
15. Piękny Pies
Find me in the Klub 📷: @aleksandrarosikk
Carefully following Krakow’s recipe for a perfect bar, Pies is seedy, offers inexpensive beer for $2 and cocktails for $4, and has a small music stage. Piekny Pies is open 24 hours a day, every day of the week. There is no doubt that it’s a Krakow classic and all you marathon party people can find heaven here! A typical Krakow nightlife spot for after any evening, Piekny Pies is always ready to beckon you in!
Address: Bożego Ciała 9
Archway goals 📷: @mishka_jackowska
Poland isn’t the first country that comes to mind when you think of wine production but this doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on your favorite tipple when in Krakow. Fortunately for wine lovers there’s Winoman. Winoman is a cozy bodega right in the center of Krakow. Although good wine is never too cheap, this place offers each wine by the glass starting from $2-3, which is perfect when partnered with tapas starting at $3 a platter. The unpretentious interior design is a delightful setting for a relaxed evening.
Address: Bracka 15
17. Mercy Brown Dive Bar
Creative cocktails 📷: @davreynolds
If you feel like experiencing a little sophistication then the chic Mercy Brown cocktail bar might be the twisted mix you need. Mercy Brown offers cocktail classics, as well as the staff’s experimental drinks with a Polish twist! All in a stylish art-deco interior with swing and jazz rhythms in the background. Cocktails cost around $5 which is not exactly a budget price by Krakow’s standards, but the experience makes up for the price! It might be a good idea to reserve a table beforehand as Mercy Brown’s gets busy fast.
Address: Floriana Straszewskiego 28
18. Wódka Café Bar
Which flavors would you pick?! 📷: @sav_j
This small cellar bar is famous for its long tasting trays with 6 different flavored vodkas for you to enjoy, or… force down! Play it safe with the classics, and go for lemon, raspberry, and quince, or spice things up a bit with ginger or chili chocolate!
Address: Mikołajska 5
19. Strefa Piwa
Beer, glorious beer 📷: @wojto19a
Józefa Street is a total winner amongst Krakow’s student population, and Strefa Piwa with its pleasant cellar is one of the best bars in Krakow. You can choose from 18 quality craft beers for less than $2 and snacks at similarly low prices. There are some scarce samples from tiny breweries here that are hard to find elsewhere in Krakow. If you’re a traveling football freak, Strefa will shelter you and support your addiction by screening important matches on the TVs. Goooaaaal!
Address: Józefa 6
20. CK Browar
Krakow, you have a lil’ pizza my heart! 📷: @camposeffect
If you’re not a fan of bar hopping and like to spend hours at a time relaxing in the same pub, then CK Browar is the place for you. This basement bar is connected to a restaurant and serves six different types of beer from their own microbrewery at very fair prices. If you’re going out in a group and feel confident about your drinking capacity, order a cool 3.30l or an impressive 5l beer pipe and pour your own glasses. Don’t miss their happy hour deals every day until 4pm, when 5l of light beer costs only $12! The wooden tables and chairs and Tiffany-style lamps, together with antique beer memorabilia and bare-brick walls create a classic décor. The atmosphere gets really buzzing in the evening so prepare to party!
Address: Podwale 6-7
So there you have it, our recommendations for the 20 best bars in Krakow. Let us know if you know any that should be included in the comments below!
About the author: Paula is usually torn between always having something to read and keeping her backpack light. Traveling and frequently changing environments has become her lifestyle, and currently her home is in Poland. She gets especially excited about tasty food, broad landscapes and inspiring people. Fascinated with remembering places through feelings and flavors.