The 10 best bars in Krakow

Kraków is a university town, which sets the tone for a lively nightlife, further encouraged by the brave introduction of tourist bars. Don’t let that put you off though, this city has plenty of off-the-radar drinking spots where you can sample vodka or the burgeoning craft beer scene. In fact, there are allegedly more crops per capita here than anywhere else in Europe. Don’t miss the jazz bars, which were very popular in Poland in the twenties and thirties but were banned by the communists after the Second World War, as ‘alien to the working class’. It was only in 1956 that they were allowed again.

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

Sky Bar

Located on the 6th floor of the Stary Hotel, the Sky Bar offers stunning views of the Cloth Hall in the main market square and St Mary’s Basilica. It’s also great for cocktails and mocktails; try their grapefruit daiquiri. Snacks are also available from home-made healthy dips like beets, radishes and cucumbers to breaded shrimp with French fries and mayonnaise. Amidst the city’s buzzy bar scene, this is a place to enjoy a drink, with a view, in peace.

Price: ££
Entry: welcome to walk in

Baroque, Krakow

Baroque interior is elegant with plush seating – photo: Sarota

Harris Piano Jazz Bar

Harris Piano Jazz Bar has been a pillar of the jazz scene in Kraków, drawing crowds since its arrival in 1997 with its jam sessions. Most days of the week are dedicated to something different from blues and rock ‘n’ roll on Friday to classic jazz on Sunday and jam sessions on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Some of the greats have passed through the doors of this dimly lit cellar under the Main Market Square cruise so sit back, order a beer and enjoy.

Contact: 00 48 12 421 5741;
Price: £
Entry: Reservations recommended

Harris Piano Jazz Bar, KrakowHarris Piano Jazz Bar, Krakow

Harris Piano Jazz bar has been drawing crowds since bursting onto the scene in 1997

Mercy Bar Brown

This twist on a speakeasy bar (the entrance is hidden) is said to be the best cocktail bar in town. Once you’ve found the door inside the Smakołyki restaurant, you enter the elegant scene of the roaring twenties with velvet curtains, golden drapes, soft candlelight, chandeliers and frilly lampshades accompanied by Electro swing music. The staff make their own tinctures, there’s a range of liqueurs and craft drinks and a range of cocktails from Bubblekiwi (Polish vodka, ginger, kiwi and sparkling wine) to Teatime (gin, jasmine cord tea and elderflower liqueur). There is live jazz on Sundays.

Contact: 00 48 531 706 692; Facebook page
Price: ££
Entry: Elegant wear is recommended; reservations essential.

Brown Mercy Bar, KrakowBrown Mercy Bar, Krakow

Settle in for live jazz and a Sunday evening cocktail at Mercy Brown Bar

Bunkier Café

This cafe is attached to the Polish contemporary art gallery, Bunkier Sztuki, and opens out onto a beautiful garden in the leafy Planta, which surrounds the Old Town. Beer is their thing and here they serve unpasteurised draft beer and tank beer – fresh, chilled and very tasty. Food is good and simple; salads, burgers, cakes but their coffee is renowned as one of the best in town. There is a lovely, easy going atmosphere; the kind of place you stop in for an afternoon drink and stay there until closing time at 1am.

Contact: 00 48 12 431 05 85;
Opening times: Every day, 9am-1am
Price: £
Entry: Reservations are not required

Bunkier Café, KrakowBunkier Café, Krakow

Bunkier Café opens out onto a beautiful garden in leafy Plandy


One of the most remarkable bars in Kraków: its old photographs, candlelight and antique furniture take you right into the Kazimierz (former Jewish Quarter) of yesteryear. The cellar hosts some of the best concerts in town and is an important feature in the annual jazz and klezmer festivals. If you get hungry, pop next door to Alchemia od Kuchnia where service comes with a smile and surrounded by exposed brick walls you can eat falafel and other street food gems before returning to the music.

Contact: 00 48 12 421 22 00;
Price: £
No need to make reservations

Stara Zajezdnia Kraków by DeSilva

This old tram depot from 1913, right in the center of Kazimierz, is now a historical monument on the Unesco heritage list with its ‘Prussian wall’ of rare wooden framework filled with bricks. Opened in 2012, it was completely renovated and now houses the city’s largest beer hall, brewery, restaurant and courtyard. Flat screen TVs stream sporting events. Many of the innovative beers range from light lager with lime blossom honey to pear wheat beer to lager with pressed apple juice. The restaurant serves modern Polish cuisine with an emphasis on fish.

Contact: Ulica & Sacute;w. Wawrzyńka 12;
Price: £
Entry: No need to make reservations

Stara Zajezdnia Kraków, KrakowStara Zajezdnia Kraków, Krakow

Stara Zajezdnia Kraków has the city’s largest beer hall, brewery, restaurant and courtyard

Vodka Café Bar

If you want to immerse yourself in the world of Polish vodka, this tiny bar is the place to do it. They have more than 100 different flavors from chocolate to chilli, earl gray to blackberries. Order a sampling of six on a board and see how you go. Inevitably popular with tourists who like the vodka shot culture, which means the cozy two-floor interior can get crowded – but go early and take the tasting menu if you can, or settle down with a long drink fed by the mixologists behind the bar, and pace yourself.

Contact: 00 48 12 4223214; Facebook page
Price: £
Entry: Welcome to walk in

Bar Café Wódka, KrakowWódka Café Bar, Krakow

Wódka Café Bar has more than 100 different flavours, from chocolate to chilli, earl gray to blackberry

Hedwig’s Bar, Stradom House

Hedwig’s Bar is a derelict chapel with stunning 14th century frescoes on its walls and a magnificent chandelier hanging from the vaulted ceiling, located within the recently opened Stradom House, Autograph Collection hotel. It offers cocktails (try the Lady with Ermine cocktail, named after a Leonardo da Vinci painting not to be missed at the Czartoryski Museum), and live DJ music for a lively and elegant crowd. There are also light bites from beef tartar with garlic toast to mini octopus burgers.

Price: ££
Reservations: recommended

Art Piece Sound Jazz Club

This jazz club opened in 1999 and has managed to remain at the forefront of Kraków’s jazz scene ever since, attracting some of the biggest players in the jazz world to its stage. Live concerts take place most nights within the vaulted brick cellars that attract an artistic crowd. The cocktail bar menu includes the classic flavors of the cocktail trade with plenty of Cuba Libre for when Latin jazz hits the stage and other specialties such as the ‘Fantasy Bartender’, an intoxicating mix of malibu and vodka.

Contact: 00 48 12 429 6425;
Opening times: Every day, 7.30am-2pm
Entry: Welcome to walk in

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

Live concerts take place most nights within the vaulted brick cellars of the Piec Art Acoustic Acoustic Jazz Club

Śleż u Fryzera

Those looking for a late night feed could do nothing better than to come here for the two full pillars of gastronomy, vodka and Polish herring. The pickled herring here is served in as many different ways as there are flavors in the vodka and one slips down as easily as the other is turned. This group that launched the first vodka and herring bar with the Ambasador & Sacute;ledzia is so popular that they now have three outlets in town, but this one, in the beautiful Stolarska Street, wins the culinary accolade.

Address: Ulica Stolarska 5, Krakow, Poland
Contact: 00 48 662 5694 60
Opening times: Every day, 12pm-4am; Friday-Saturday, 12pm-6am
Price: £
Entry: Welcome to walk in

How we choose

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

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