The 10 best bars in Krakow

Krakow is a university city, which sets the tone for a vibrant nightlife, further fuelled by the introduction of tourist pub crawls. Don’t let this put you off though, this city has plenty of easy-to-find, little-known drinking establishments, where you can enjoy a range of vodkas or the burgeoning craft beer scene. In fact, there are reportedly more bars per capita here than anywhere else in Europe. Don’t miss the jazz bars, which became popular in Poland in the 1920s and 30s but were banned by the communists after World War II for being ‘foreign to the working class’. They weren’t allowed back until 1956.

For more Krakow inspiration, check out our guides to the best hotels, restaurants and activities.

Sky bar

Located on the 6th floor of Hotel Stary, Sky Bar offers stunning views of the Cloth Hall on the central market square and St. Mary’s Basilica. It’s also great for cocktails and mocktails; try their grapefruit daiquiri. Snacks are also available, from healthy homemade pickles such as Swiss chard, radish and cucumber to breaded shrimps with fries and mayonnaise. Amid the city’s bustling bar scene, this is a place to enjoy a quiet drink, with a view.

Price: €£
Getting In: drop-in is welcome

Baroque, Krakow

The interior of Baroque is elegant with luxurious seating – photo: Sarota

Harris Piano Jazzbar

A mainstay of the Kraków jazz scene, Harris Piano Jazz Bar has been drawing crowds with its jam sessions since it opened in 1997. Most days of the week are dedicated to something different, from blues and rock’n’roll on Fridays to classic jazz on Sundays and jam sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Some of the greats have passed through the doors of this dimly lit cellar beneath the cobblestones of the Main Market Square, so sit back, order a pint and enjoy.

Contact: 00 48 12 421 5741;
Getting In: Reservations recommended

Harris Piano Jazz Bar, KrakowHarris Piano Jazz Bar, Krakow

Harris Piano Jazzbar has been attracting large crowds since it opened in 1997

Mercy Brown’s Bar

This take on a speakeasy bar (the entrance is hidden) has a reputation as the best cocktail bar in town. Once you find the doorway into the Smakołyki restaurant, you’ll be transported to a scene of roaring twenties elegance, with velvet sofas, gold curtains, soft candlelight, chandeliers and pleated lampshades set to electro swing music. The staff make their own tinctures, there’s a range of liqueurs and craft spirits, and cocktails range from Bubblekiwi (Polish vodka, ginger, kiwi and sparkling wine) to Teatime (gin, jasmine tea cordial and elderflower liqueur). There’s live jazz on Sundays.

Contact: 00 48 531 706 692; Facebook page
Price: €£
Getting In: Elegant attire is recommended, but reservations are essential.

Mercy Brown Bar, KrakowMercy Brown Bar, Krakow

Join us at Mercy Brown Bar on Sunday evenings for live jazz and a cocktail

Bunker Café

This café is attached to a Polish contemporary art gallery, Bunkier Sztuki, and opens onto a lovely garden in the leafy Planty area that surrounds the old town. Beer is their thing and they serve unpasteurised draught and tank beers here – fresh, chilled and delicious. The food is good and simple; salads, burgers, cakes, but their coffee is known to be some of the best in the city. It has a lovely, relaxed atmosphere; the kind of place you stop for an evening drink and stay until closing time at 1am.

Contact: 00 48 12 431 05 85;
Opening hours: Daily, 9am-1am
Getting In: Reservations not required

Bunkier Café, KrakowBunkier Café, Krakow

Bunkier Café opens onto a beautiful garden in the green Planty


One of Krakow’s most evocative bars, the old photos, dim candlelight and antique furniture transport you straight into the Kazimierz (former Jewish Quarter) of yesteryear. The basement hosts some of the best concerts in the city and is a key part of the annual jazz and klezmer festivals. If hunger gets the better of you, head next door to Alchemia od Kuchnia, where service comes with a smile and, surrounded by exposed brick walls, you can tuck into falafel and other street food gems before heading back to the musical fray.

Contact: 00 48 12 421 22 00;
Price: £
Getting In:
Reservations not required

Stara Zajezdnia Krakow by DeSilva

This old tram depot from 1913, right in the centre of Kazimierz, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its ‘Prussian Wall’ of rare wooden framework filled in with bricks. Opened in 2012, it was completely renovated and now houses the city’s largest beer hall, a microbrewery, a restaurant and a garden. Flat-screen TVs stream sporting events. Many of the beers are innovative, from pale pilsner with lime blossom honey to pear wheat beer to pilsner with pressed apple juice. The restaurant serves modern Polish cuisine with an emphasis on fish.

Contact: Ulica Åw. Wawrzyńca 12;
Getting In: Reservations not required

Krakow City Hall, KrakowKrakow City Hall, Krakow

Stara Zajezdnia Kraków houses the city’s largest beer hall, a microbrewery, a restaurant and a garden

Vodka Café Bar

If you want to immerse yourself in the Polish world of vodka, this tiny bar is the place to do it. They have over 100 different flavours, from chocolate to chilli, earl grey to blackthorn. Order a selection of six on a board and see how you go. It’s inevitably popular with tourists who are into the vodka shot culture, which means the cosy two-storey interior can get busy – but get there early and grab the tasting menu if you can, or sit down with a long drink curated by the mixologists behind the bar and take your time.

Contact: 00 48 12 4223214; Facebook page
Getting In: Drop-ins are welcome

Vodka Café Bar, KrakowVodka Café Bar, Krakow

Wódka Café Bar has over 100 different flavours, from chocolate to chili, from earl grey to sloe

Hedwigs Bar, Stradom House

Hedwig’s Bar is a deconsecrated chapel with beautiful frescoes on the 14th-century walls and a magnificent chandelier hanging from the domed ceiling in the recently opened Stradom House, an Autograph Collection hotel. It offers cocktails (try the Lady with an Ermine cocktail, named after the eponymous Leonardo da Vinci painting that is a must-try in the Czartoryski Museum) and live DJ music for a lively, elegant crowd. There are also light bites from beef tartare with garlic toast to mini octopus burgers.

Price: €£
Reservations: recommended

Piec Art acoustic jazz club

Opened in 1999, this jazz club has managed to remain at the top of Kraków’s respected jazz scene ever since, attracting some of the biggest names in world jazz to its stage. Live concerts take place most nights in the vaulted brick cellars, drawing an arty crowd. The cocktail bar menu includes all the classics of the cocktail trade, with plenty of Cuba Libres for when Latin jazz takes to the stage, and other specialities such as the ‘Bartender fantasy’, a heady mix of malibu and vodka.

Contact: 00 48 12 429 6425;
Opening hours: Daily, 7:30am-2:00am
Getting In: Drop-ins are welcome

Piec Art Acoustic Jazz Club, KrakowPiec Art Acoustic Jazz Club, Krakow

Live concerts take place most evenings in the vaulted brick cellars of the Piec Art Acoustic Jazz Club

Sledż in Fryzera

If you’re looking for late-night food, you can’t go wrong with the two absolute pillars of Polish gastronomy, vodka and herring. The pickled herring is served in as many different ways as the vodka has flavours, and one slides down the other as easily. This group, who opened the very first vodka and herring bar with Ambasador Åledzia, are so popular that they now have three locations in the city, but this one, on the beautiful Stolarska Street, takes the culinary plaudits.

Address: Ulica Stolarska 5, Kraków, Poland
Contact: 00 48 662 5694 60
Opening hours: Daily, 12:00-04:00; Fri-Sat, 12:00-06:00
Getting In: Drop-ins are welcome

How we choose

Every bar, venue or experience in this curated list has been tried and tested by our destination expert, who has visited to give you his insider perspective. We cover a range of budgets and styles, from casual pubs to fancy cocktail bars – to best suit every type of traveller – and consider service, drinks, atmosphere and price point in our recommendations. We update this list regularly to stay on top of the latest openings and provide up-to-date recommendations.

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