We all love to party but sometimes it can be a bit scary to go out in a new city. So we have put together this nightlife guide, which will help you in having the craziest, drunkest and safest night possible in this magical city we all love.
Krakow is a great place to party but it can get extremely cold during winter, down to -20° in fact! So make sure to pack a warm jacket if you’re visiting at that time of the year. All clubs have cloakrooms and charge around 2 zł, but sometimes they get very busy and even occasionally lose garments – so keep that in mind.
Although Poland is in the EU, it still uses it’s own currency, which is the Złoty. The conversion rate is around 4 zł to 1 €. Just be careful when changing over money, as most places in the old town have terrible rates.
Bars & Clubs
There are two main areas in Krakow to visit and party – the Old Town and the district of Kazimierz. Both are great but each one is different. The Old Town is the way to go if you’re looking for some great clubs. However, if unique bars and pubs is the stuff you’re after, then you should definitely head down to Kazimierz. That’s not to say they’re not any good bars in the Old Town but Kazimierz has definitely a greater variety of them.
Most bars in Krakow have a very relaxed dress code. The clubs in the Old Town however are more strict and it varies from no sports gear to full suit and tie. So it’s always best to check ahead, as the door selection is usually unforgiving.
Krakow is a student city, with over 200,000 students. Most of them, as well as other locals, are very polite and approachable. They love talking to foreigners, usually asking where they’re from and what they’re doing here.
Hello! – Cześć!
How are you? – Jak się masz? Two beers please – Dwa piwa proszę
No – Nie / Tak – Yes
Please – Proszę
What’s your phone number? – Jaki jest twój numer telefonu?
You are beautiful! – Jesteś piękna!
I’m drunk – Jestem pijany
Policemen are always walking around at night for people who may need help but they’re also however sick and tired of dealing with drunk tourists. Misbehaving visitors are being locked up for the night until they sober up. Afterwards they’re slapped with a cool 500 zł (120 €) fine.
It’s great to party in a new city and especially one with such a diverse and vibrant nightlife scene, but just like any other popular tourist city there comes the darker side of tourist traps and scams. Check out our blog post on the 5 most common nightlife scams.
Most bars and clubs are located in the Old Town or the district of Kazimierz, which are around 15 minutes on foot from each other. Moreover, the bars are a stone’s throw from one to another.
The bouncers at most bars and clubs aren’t very nice, so don’t look at them or say anything to them. If they ask you to leave you should do so promptly.
Cash or card?
Nearly every bar, pub and club in Krakow accepts credit cards. When you have to pay cash, try not using big notes, as the bartenders won’t be too happy about it. Everyone always seems to be running out of change, so you might end up leaving a bigger tip just because they might not have any change to return to you.
When ordering drinks at clubs, you need to specify exactly what drink you want – otherwise the bartender will make you the most expensive one. We recommend to always ask for the cheapest option.
Tipping isn’t mandatory in Krakow, but for dinner it’s polite to normally leave about 12% of the bill. At a bar you normally leave about 1 zł per drink or more if it’s busy and you want to be served quickly.
Drinking in public
It’s illegal to drink in public. If the police catches you, they’ll give you a nice, big fine or lock you up for the night.
Drugs are absolutely illegal in Krakow. You can get in a lot of trouble if you’re caught with any! The quality is also known to be very poor. You’re better off buying a few extra shots of vodka, or – if you’re feeling really brave – getting a shot of Spirytus (96% strength). For extra tips check out our Do’s & Don’ts of parting in Krakow blog
Late Night Munchies
After a night out on the booze in most cities you would head to the closest kebab shop. Now Krakow isn’t any different in that regard – we have those on every corner. You can definitely give them a miss though and head to one of the 24-hour pierogi restaurants or a shot bar (BaniaLuka or Pijalnia Wódki I Piwa for instance), in which you can order either some traditional polish snacks or some cheese toasties.
If you are too drunk to get home, then it’s best to call a taxi or order an Uber. Be aware that if you just hop into a random cab on the street, it will most definitely be pricier and the driver might try to rip you off.