The best bars in Krakow
Looking for the best bars in Krakow? We’ve got you covered! From atmospheric pubs to edgy craft beer havens, we’ve rounded up the best spots in the city for every occasion.
We could effuse for hours about the best bars in Krakow. Our 8th podcast is proof. That’s because we’re lucky enough to live in a city brimming with captivating venues where you’ll want to kick back and savor the moment.
Slow travelers who like to get down with the locals will be in their element. Whether discovering local beers and Polish vodkas or living it up with cocktails, there’s a venue around every corner. All with a unique personality.
Moods and interests may vary. So, to orient your compass, we’ve selected a medley of sparkling bars. From animated hotspots to laid-back bars flush with Cracovian character; and everything in between.
Top bars in Krakow for a relaxing outdoor drink
The sun is beaming, you’ve spent the day leisurely bopping around some of the leading things to do in Krakow, and now it’s time to unwind with a cooling beverage. Happily, you’re spoiled for choice when looking for a bar with a welcoming terrace or garden.
Let’s cut to the chase. Forum Przestrzenie (AKA Forum: Lato) is our favorite summer hangout in Krakow.
A sprawling terrace on the banks of the Vistula bursts into life at night. Wawel Castle is on the horizon. Live music and DJs keep the urban beach vibes bubbling over. And an extensive bar caters to all thirsts. There’s a contemporary food court on hand, with modern pub grub.
If that’s not stimulating enough, there’s a hot-air balloon and Ferris Wheel for further heady thrills. And even better views of the Old Town.
Restaurant, beach bar, or cultural center? You choose; every answer is the right one.
Goodtime Monty regulars will know that Kazimierz is the place to be for the best bars in Krakow. A neighborhood star is Mleczarnia, a hostel, and café bursting with Polish character and boasting a delightfully chilled garden.
Black and white portraits adorn the café walls for a touch of retro chic. Across the road is an easygoing beer garden that simmers with life in summer.
The breakfasts are good. The cheesecake is exceptional (worth the stop alone). The drinks choice is extensive and inexpensive. And the vibe is super chilled. Need we say more?
Sticking with lively Kazimierz, the gastropub and nightclub Alchemia on Plac Nowy is another amiable space to drop anchor and enjoy a refreshing beverage. Cocktails and street food stand out on a menu for all seasons. Vegetarians will be at home, with hummus and falafel sharing plates in demand. Hot breakfast fans, too (if you’re on the hunt for a decent breakfast in Krakow, we’ve got some more amazing breakfast recommendations).
The faded wooden interior spills onto a tightly-packed terrace that is always lively when temperatures rise. At night, candles flicker in the dim interior, music in the background, creating a bohemian mood in one of the most atmospheric (and oldest) bars in Krakow.
Good to know: If you’re a jazz lover, Klub Alchemia is one of the leading venues during the summer Jazz Festival.
Singer is an irreverent fixture on Kazimierz’s diverse bar scene, where the Singer sewing machine inexplicably takes center stage. Sewing machines are found on tables lining the sidewalk outside the bar. Time stood still indoors, with a homely setting dripping in old-time character. And even more of the curious Singer sewing machines.
Stop for a relaxing afternoon drink — Polish vodka headlines — and return for an exuberant evening where music and dancing turn Singer into one of the most colorful bars in Krakow. There’s even a sizable (apparently stable) table exclusively used for dancing.
One of our more eccentric picks for the best bar in Krakow, but one that we know visitors will fall in love with.
Another Kazimierz oozing character is Hevre. Located in a former synagogue, its high ceilings, mural-covered walls, and arched windows make for an arresting setting. You’ll see plenty of tourists dropping by for drinks and photos.
Grab one of the best cocktails in Krakow to cool down on one of the sidewalk tables. But you’ll probably want to linger indoors too to appreciate the singular décor.
Arrive with an appetite, and an eclectic menu brimming with international and local plates awaits. Vegetarians will rejoice with a mix of Eastern-inspired dishes or more classic pub food made with Beyond Meat ingredients. Meat dishes abound too. A rare opportunity for omnivores and vegetarians to enjoy a house burger together.
Another of the best bars in Krakow purely for the atmosphere is Eszeweria. Behind the unassuming entrance, you’ll find another cozy and utterly Cracovian interior, replete with fresh flowers and candles to illuminate the dark and homelike interior.
But they also have a delightful, plant-filled garden for an al fresco beverage. No food here, just an old-school bar in the local tradition.
Plac Nowy 1
If you’re on the lookout for some of Krakow’s best cocktails, head back to Plac Nowy. This bar shares a name with the trendy square in Kazimierz.
The bright and breezy warehouse-style setting and crisp decor set the contemporary tone. You can even knock down a few pins at a bowling alley below the bar before knocking back a cocktail. Perhaps beforehand, if you intend to win.
It’s not just cocktails and bowling balls. There’s a microbrewery and a top-notch kitchen serving modern Polish and European dishes. Plus, a neat sidewalk terrace when craving some fresh air. Everything you need for an evening to remember.
Rubinstein Hotel Sky Bar
Ask us where to enjoy sunset cocktails in Krakow, and we’d say head skywards at the Rubinstein Hotel for unparalleled views across the city (highlighted on our pocket city guide of the city picking out all the best spots for a drink). It’s only five floors up, but that’s enough to breach the rooftops and savor panoramic views of Wawel Castle and the Old Town.
There are few better perspectives of the city center. With opening times stretching from morning until 10pm in the summer, this is the perfect spot to uncoil whatever the mood. Coffee and photos in the afternoon, or save the wow factor for de rigueur cocktails as the sun sets.
One of our more refined picks for cocktails in Krakow, but the Sky Bar views are priceless. And the backdrop marks it out as one of the most romantic bars in the city. Especially as the sun dips below the skyline.
The finest craft beer bars in Krakow
This won’t surprise anyone, but the Polish are partial to the occasional beer. But like every European city, craft beer is in the ascendancy.
Hoppy IPAs and inventive microbreweries are drawing in young and old. They might not have displaced Żywiec, Tyskie, and other big Polish breweries in the national affection. But they are winning over beer drinkers with a taste for modern bars where beer making is a passion.
Let’s take a look at the best craft beer venues in Krakow.
Cavernous Stara Zajedznia evokes the bierkeller spirit in a warehouse with a contemporary character. Aside from a menu stuffed with modern pub favorites, a long list of drinks is available from a bar that buzzes with energy. Topping the list is piwo (beer) from their microbrewery.
Look out for the “beer of the week”. And don’t miss the Orange Bitter. Takeout bottles are available if you feel you’ve missed out on one of the rich array of award-winning craft beers. Although you can minimize that possibility with a beer set that includes their 4 bestselling beers in 200ml glasses.
In summer, deckchairs are out in the garden. And the atmosphere is always upbeat, whatever the season.
You might have guessed that Nowy Kraftowy, meaning “New Craft”, take their amber brews seriously. There’s an extensive selection on tap from Poland and further afield.
A modern gastropub, comforting international food is available to pair with your drinks. Order a mishmash of small pours, and your tray will be marked with the corresponding number from the beer selection displayed above the bar. With insightful descriptions to match, they become an easy conversation starter.
Intimate and cozy inside, a (thankfully covered) terrace is available to suit the weather and the vibe. We love to unwind here when craving a beer with an exotic name and flavor profile to match.
The code of silence means nobody talks about Omerta. Only kidding. Locals love this place. The unpretentious craft beer pub won’t win any design awards compared to other beloved bars in Krakow. But their beer and welcome are up there with the finest.
Uber-relaxed, you can unhurriedly pick from an ever-changing lineup of IPAs, stouts, ales, and lagers that are chalked up daily. Craft beer enthusiasts staff the dual counters and fill the bar. And they keep returning because Omerta is an authentic hangout for beer aficionados. And maybe one or two Godfather fans.
Our craft beer love-in takes us to another corner of vibrant Kazimierz and another local favorite, Craftownia. The neighborhood haunt is often touted as one of the best bars in Krakow partly due to the cozy and quirky environment, partly due to the craft beer selection.
The constantly updated chalkboard boasts local brews and kegs from other corners of the globe. The staff like to illuminate curious drinkers, and the regulars imbue a community vibe to win over first-timers.
Apart from other bar staples, like Polish vodka, there’s not much more to Craftownia — a craft beer haven, through and through.
Dive Bars in Krakow
If you like your bars down and dirty, you might be restless to find a proper dive bar. They’re few and far between in Krakow, but there’s a couple that we like and think you will too.
The rough and ready quirks of the Propaganda Pub is the archetypal student bar. Dark, dingy, with wild times etched into the faded wooden décor. You can be yourself and enjoy a raucous night to remember. Drink prices are reasonable, the music is punchy, and the welcome is warm. Sure, cleaning is an afterthought, if thought of at all.
Plastering the walls are Soviet iconography, and there’s a sense that this pub changes for nobody. As one of the edgiest bars in Krakow, we imagine plenty more good times are yet to be carved into the Propaganda Pub’s history.
Stary Port Bar
Ahoy, ye slow travelers, the Stary Port Bar is an oddity, by any measure. A bar dedicated to life on the high seas, far from the ocean.
This colorful nook of a bar is known for its live music and taste for sea shanties long before they had a brief moment in the sun (circa 2021). Tucked in a basement just outside the Old Town, it’s a lot of fun at Stary Port Bar. In truth, it’s kind of popular with tourists. But it hasn’t lost its seafaring spirit and easygoing personality. And there’s nowhere better to swig naval rum and bore everyone with pirate jokes.
What about the wine bars in Krakow?
Fear not if you’re a wine lover and despairing that we’ve not yet mentioned one wine bar. We have a whole guide dedicated to exploring wine bars in Krakow.
To save you a click, here are the best wine bars in Krakow.
- Dzikie wino – Just off Market Square, this stylish wine bar has an enchanting garden and a stellar selection of wines, Polish included.
- Krako Slow Wines – Handy for an afternoon drink near the Oskar Schindler Museum, with good food and sublime regional wines.
- Stoccaggio Wine Bar & Shop – A refined bar-a-vin perfect for post-dinner drinks or picking up an intriguing bottle to takeout.
- Trzy Cztery Wine – Wonderful natural wines, delicious food, and a charming setting combine for a delightful place to unwind.
- GMT Georgian wine – one of our hidden gems in Krakow. Art, Georgian wines and foods, an urban oasis of a garden, and no kids. Tranquility reigns.
Where to find the best cocktails in Krakow
The short answer: in our post about our favorite cocktail bars in Krakow. Some are contenders for the best bar in Krakow.
Goodtime Monty the most favorite cocktail bars in Krakow :
- William Rabbit & Co – a magical speakeasy hidden from view and oozing personality, with some of the most inventive cocktails in Krakow.
- TAG cocktail bar – A modern, refined bar with skilled mixologists and calming ambiance. Just what you need after exploring the Old Town nearby.
- Gin Mill – Kazimierz is where you’ll find many of the best bars in Krakow. Gin Mill is one of them. A jaw-dropping array of gins and some of the most original cocktails in town.
Last Orders: Wrapping up our tour of our favorite bars in Krakow
Having exhausted our knowledge of the bars in Krakow and now craving a refreshing drink, we end this odyssey with a quick summary of all our favorites. A tl;dr for those who like to scroll and scan.
Our favorite bars in Krakow
To unwind and relax with a cooling beer, we’d head to the easygoing Alchemia.
When our palate calls for wine, Krako Slow Wine’s medley of regional wines tops the agenda.
Sunset cocktails can’t be beaten at the Rubinstein Hotel Skybar, where the views are unbeatable.
For a laidback speakeasy, it’s got to be the bewitching William Rabbit & Co.
And for cocktails and gin lovers, the sophisticated Gin Mill never disappoints.
And with that, we raise a toast and wish you a wonderful time exploring the endless variety of bars in Krakow. Na Zdrowie!