Your guide to Krakow Nightlife
Krakow is easily one of the best cities in Europe to party, and in fact, the Old Town district has more pubs and bars per square meter than anywhere else in the world. Because of this, Krakow has become home to some of the best, strangest, and most exciting nightlife in Europe.
To help you experience all that Krakow has to offer and make the best of the Krakow Nightlife, we have made a quick list of the Dos and Don’ts of partying in Krakow. You can also check out our Nightlife Survival Guide for more tips.
Dos of Krakow Nightlife
#1 Go to a Polish Shot Bar
The many shot bars located all over Krakow are uniquely Polish. Thanks to their love of vodka, and low taxes and regulations on alcohol compared to most western countries.
Each shot bar typically has a set of in-house mixed vodka flavors to choose from plus a range of spirits and beers. The atmosphere at these bars is always lively, no matter what time of the day or night you visit. The most famous shot bars in Krakow are BaniaLuka and Pijalnia. Shots and beers start from only €1
If your looking for more of Krakow’s nightlife then check out some of these guides.
- Krakow Nightlife – 29 of the best bars, clubs, techno, local pubs & more (+some to avoid)
- 10 of The Best Wine Bars in Krakow
- 14 Places to Watch Live Music in Krakow
- The Best Vodka Bars in Krakow
- Krakow Craft Beer & Where To Find It
#2 Try with the Locals
Generally, Polish people are very welcoming and approachable, don’t let the language barrier hold you back. Krakow is a student city, so most young people speak excellent English and if not then have shot and try to speak polish. SOme t
Hot Tip: Learn a few basic Polish words as it will surely impress the locals Or check out these 4 things not to say to polish girls.
#3 Tip the Bar Staff
Don’t be such a tight arse. It doesn’t matter if tipping isn’t common where you’re from, everyone tips in Poland so you should too. More often than not the bar staff will undoubtedly look after you if you do leave a tip. Even if it’s just a couple of zloty.
#4 Late night snack
After experiencing all that Krakow Nightlife has to offer you’ll surely want to get a late-night snack on your way home. Swap out the standard greasy kebab for some Polish Pierogi. Most people will grab a quick heart-stopping kebab on their way back to their accommodation after a night on the town, but in Krakow, you can skip that and instead get yourself some excellent pierogi from some of the all-night pierogi shops. It’s much better for you than a kebab, and you won’t feel sick in the morning. Our favorite is 24Pierogi
#5 Do a Pub Crawl
There are so many excellent and popular bars and clubs in Krakow. But there are also some horribly shit bars and clubs amongst the Krakow Nightlife (not many but some). The best way to see them all or at least the best ones is to join a Pub Crawl. It’s cheap, very convenient but most of all you skip all the bad venues.
#6 Visit the Lesser-Known Places
Most people spend all their time around the main square, but there are lots of great bars and areas you can venture out to. The Jewish Quarter (also known as Kazimierz) has some great bars and pubs. If you’re looking to spend some time with locals, then check out our Alternative Krakow Guide.
#7 Specify what Drinks you Want
When ordering drinks at clubs, you need to make sure you tell them precisely what drink you want, or they will charge you for the most expensive option. For example, if you say “vodka lemonade please” they will give you top-shelf stuff, and you’ll be paying upwards of 15+ euro for one drink. Just ask for the cheapest, and you’ll be fine.
Hot Tip: Ask for the polish vodka Wyborowa as it’s excellent quality but also inexpensive.
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Dont’s of Krakow Nightlife
#1 Avoid Strip Clubs
No, really don’t go. It doesn’t matter how much you want to go or how strong your urge is to throw money at tits you can’t touch…..just don’t do it.
The strip clubs here are not like the upstanding, respectable family-friendly business from your hometown. They are extraordinarily dodgy and are purely designed to steal as much money off drunk tourists as possible. If you still really need to go, make sure you only bring cash and be very careful.
Hot Tip: Don’t pay with a card as they will charge your card multiple times and say it’s declined or incorrect pin, but they are just putting the transaction through numerous times.
#2 Street Girls
If two girls approach you on the street and say they are lost or not from around here and ask you to take them somewhere. Unless you look like Brad Pit, run away as fast as you can. This is a scam where they bring you to a bar they work for, and you will be charged ridiculously high prices for drinks. Check out our full list of Krakow Nightlife Scams to watch out for.
#3 Don’t Drink in Public
Unlike Poland’s neighbour Germany, you can’t drink on the street here and can receive hefty fines from the city police who are sick of hearing tourists whinge and whine about how they didn’t know they couldn’t drink on the streets.
Hot Tip: just put it and a coke bottle or McDonald’s Cup
#4 Don’t Fall Asleep on the Street
This rule is a bit of common sense, but when you’ve had twenty shots of vodka, the footpath and garden bed can look like a very enticing place to sleep. No matter how good it seems, don’t lay down not even for a quick nap, as you might wake up with no phone, wallet, shoes, or in a police cell.
#5 Don’t Look at the Security
Well, you can look at them but as long as you’re smiling and not swaying side to side with your eyes rolling into the back of your head you’ll be fine. It’s safe to say that security in Poland doesn’t have the best temperaments and you don’t want to be on the receiving end of one of them having a bad day.
#6 Don’t use the 24-hour Currency Exchange
Generally, exchanges (Kantor in Polish) that are open during the night will most likely give you terrible rates and rip you off. You can pay with a debit or credit card at most venues in Krakow.
#7 Don’t Pay with Big Notes
Don’t pay with big denomination notes as most bars and clubs always seem to be low on change and they will either not serve you or take bigger tips than expected.
Dos & Dont’s of Krakow Nightlife
Depending on what type of person you are, these could be in either section. Because of this, we have decided to make a section with both, the Dos & Dont’s of Krakow Nightlife. Try at your own risk!
There can be sort of a love-hate relationship with this one, this stuff is super strong and will get you super wasted, and at 95% alcohol, it’s definitely not for the faint-hearted.
#2 Order every Vodka Flovour
Order and attempt to drink every flavour of vodka. There are so many great polish vodkas, and you should try them all but maybe not all in the one night.
#3 Finish a Game of Pub Crawl Bingo
Many have tried, but few have ever made it to the end of a game Krakow Crawl Pub Crawl Bingo. I game that will have you doing things you never thought possible. Book on to our pub crawl to join!
#4 Get a late night tattoo
After a few shots of spiritus, anything can seem like a good idea. Krakow has multiple all-night tattoo shops around the Old Town so make sure your friends don’t make you do something you’ll regret
final Words about Krakow Nightlife
Krakow has an amazing and diverse nightlife scene with something to offer for anyone. However, like most popular tourist cities it also has some downfalls and areas for improvement. Overall it’s a very safe and fun place to go out for people travelling in a group or solo.
If you have any further queries about Krakow’s Nightlife or about Krakow in general, please get in touch with us as we love to share everything we know about this great city.