The phenomenon of ‘Ruin Bars’ is becoming increasingly popular in Europe. Instead of modern decor, ‘Ruin Bars’ promote a more lived-in feel with shaky, mismatched furnishings, incomplete renovations, a dilapidated look and often candlelit sofas. The pleasure of sipping a cocktail or a cold kraft beer in one of Krakow’s Ruin Pubs very satisfying. The city’s historical pedigree hides a number of buildings that are perfect candidates to fit in with the growing trend for vintage, Olde Worlde and style from times gone by. Some of them offer good quality food and some are located in surprisingly quiet and secluded courtyards, sheltered from the main hustle and bustle of the busy tourist season. So whether you’re on a romantic visit or a stag and hen night, or simply spending a weekend in this historic city, here are some of the most interesting places worth visiting – the pubs, cellars and blue sky open air of Krakow.
Take a drink or 2 at these must visit venues:
This popular place is located next to Mały Rynek, the smaller of the two squares in the city centre. A great place for an evening beer and a chat about the day’s events, before moving on to further attractions of Krakow Nightlife. A secluded, tree-lined garden where beer is only served in the garden and other drinks can be purchased in the covered area of the pub. This is a popular spot for locals to relax in the evenings.
Stara Zajezdnia by DeSilva
This large and spacious pub, brewery, restaurant and multipurpose room was once Krakow’s tram depot, which opened in 1913 and was later transformed into a bus and coach repair shop in the 1960s, then into a go-kart track before being restructured in 2012 and still operating today. The building itself was declared a historical monument by UNESCO in 1985. Craft beers are brewed on the premises and large halls can be hired for corporate events, private parties or receptions.
Music Club Forty Kleparz
This 19th century fort used to be the headquarters of the army, but today it is a live music centre with outdoor gardens, music stages, DJs and dance floors and a cinema. Concerts take place both outdoors and indoors, and there are several bars available as the fort covers an area of 1000 square metres. It is a very atmospheric place with many attractions in the corridors of this magnificent real fort, which in the past was part of the defence of Krakow.
To experience the club scene here are some excellent suggestions:
The choice of dance clubs in Krakow is huge, from intimate basement clubs to stylish venues with a ban on wearing shorts, Krakow has it all, music of all genres and periods throughout the decades. Clubs, like pubs, have no set closing time, so you can literally sit in them until breakfast the next day. Many people are impressed by the Krakow sunrise on the Main Square, which is a nice addition to the experience. A selection of Old Town dance clubs include:
Shine a very well-known and popular glitzy club with all modern décor and 3 function rooms, so, grab yourself a VIP reservation.
Teatro Cubano a fantastic Latino vibe but not only, lots of chill out places and situated just of the main square Rynek.
Prozak is one of Krakow’s most iconic & cult dance club, everybody knows Prozack. Basement club with Live Music on occasions, just ask any local for directions.
There are many, many clubs in Krakow and apart from the above mentioned, so, an honourable mention goes to Klub 30, for varied age groups and styles of music on three different levels and Klub Lokal for that underground edge. A little tip when buying drinks in clubs is to always ask for the lowest priced vodka available. Most of these clubs and pubs are in and around the main square (Rynek) or Old Town area and most locations whether a pub or cocktail bar have indoor & outdoor gardens plus food, snacks and some a dancefloor.
One particular venue to visit is off the beaten track so to speak but a popular and trendy place is Forum Przestrzenie which is situated between the Old Town and Kazimierz on the River Vistula’s edge, The Forum as it’s known as is has its own beach with deck chairs and loungers with massive bar areas. A hugely popular meeting point at all times of the day & night with varied activities going on the whole year indoors & outdoors with music, art, sponsored events & festivals. Plenty of eating options from fast to sit down service, something for everyone whether you just want to relax or get into the action with the numerous DJ parties.