If you go trust the locals, Krakow is home to the highest density of bars and clubs in – wait for it – the entire world. Now while we here at Embark.org are unable to verify the validity of this claim, the moral you can safely take away is this: if you’ve come to Poland to imbibe, then this is the city for you. Thousands of students, myriad travelers and hundreds of bars all combine to make for a memorable night out in the medieval capital. All the more enticing is the fact that the bulk of these establishments are packed tightly together in a handful of streets and neighborhoods that are located fairly close to one another, making a night of bar and club hopping a snap. Now brace yourself for a crash course in Krakow Nightlife 101.
Start with Old Town, a deceptively quaint looking collection of buildings that comes alive at night with a surge of basement and, in the warmer months, courtyard activity. Walk in any direction from the centrally located Rynek Square and chances are you’ll discover a plethora of both bars and clubs tucked away down side streets and alleyways. It’s useless to try and cover all the options here, and moreover the ability to explore this nocturnal world sans itinerary is part of the fun; still, for the clubbers among you ul. Szewska on the west end is a street name worth remembering. There are also some fantastic beer bars here, with Polish and Czech brews quickly gaining popularity. Keep your eyes open for U Jozina and the aptly named House of Beer.
South of the Old Town, the reenergized Kazimierz district is budding with bars, cafes and a few clubs that draw on a more bohemian, but no less energetic, crowd. Take a stroll along bustling ul. Szeroka and you’ll find a wealth of cafes and pubs to start your night off on the right “stopa.” When you’re ready to take the party to the next level, plac Nowy is the place to be, with a ton of eclectic nightlife haunts catering to your every debaucherous desire. Alchemia is one of the staples here, and for good reason, but don’t limit yourself with such a vast selection of memorable bars to choose from. You’ll definitely want at least a couple nights to do this city’s underbelly the justice it deserves.