Historic Clubs and Cafes

Kraków's Main Market Square is one of Central Europe's liveliest public arenas, filled with horse carriages, buskers and thousands of people. For centuries, though, this was not a tourist attraction, but the city's nerve centre and intellectual heart. While much of the modern-day square has been given over to visitors, there are institutions still going strong here that remain near and dear to Cracovians' hearts (and minds).

Stats

  • Start Main Market Square
  • End Main Market Square
  • Length 1km; two hours

Epic Club

Legendary Klub Pod Jaszczurami has been packing in students for happenings since the 1960s, and the black-and-white photos of performances through the years plastered on the walls testify to its pedigree. It's suffered a bit of a climbdown these days, hosting karaoke nights and DJs, but peek inside and see the main stage, which still crackles with that old vibe.

Political Favourite

Even if you don't stop for a coffee at Noworolski, pause to admire the stunning art nouveau interiors by Polish artist Józef Mehoffer. As the sign outside says, the Noworolski has been here since 1910, serving the likes of Lenin and later becoming a favourite of occupying German officers. It sailed through the communist years intact and still feels timeless.

Communist Classic

Clubs in Kraków come and go with the season, but Feniks, hiding in plain sight right on the main square, is still largely unchanged from communist days. The red velvet curtains and white tablecloths lend a throwback feel.

Flapper Style

Sure, the Polish food at Europejska is good, but most people come to soak up the old-world atmosphere of the restaurant's two back rooms. Striped wallpaper, green-velvet banquettes and old gramophones lend a genuine 1920s, flapper-era feel.

Meet Gustav Klimt

The modest exterior of old-school Hawełka hides a world of late-19th and early 20th century art nouveau splendour inside. You'll feel like you stepped back in time to the Austrian occupation in the decades before WWI.

Rogues' Gallery

Vis-à-vis, with its tiny stand-up bar, is famous for having the cheapest beer prices on the main square and for being a haunt of artists, painters, poets, singers and actors.

Pub for the Ages

The Piwnica Pod Baranami (Under the Rams) harks back to the mid-1950s when it functioned as a 'literary cabaret'. Nowadays, the program is a bit sporadic, but the place continues to host a summer jazz festival in July and other concerts and recitals throughout the year. It's a classic Kraków cellar pub.

Key Features

  • Historic pubs
  • Atmospheric clubs

Getting There

Tram Nos 1, 6, 8, 13 and 18.