While many folk flock to Krakow to wander the cobblestone streets of the Old Town, or gawp at the Gothic spires of the Wawel Hill and the meanders of the Vistula, and others come for the depths of the UNESCO salt mines in Wieliczka, the city also draws an altogether different crowd of travelers: partiers – in search of that fabled Krakow pub crawl.
Yes sir, pulled in by the city’s legendary reputation as the home of more bars and clubs per square meter than any other town in Europe (perhaps apocryphal but you wouldn’t know it), not to mention cheap booze aplenty, hedonists and night owls hit the streets of Poland’s cultural capital by the thousands each year.
Catering to this shindig-hungry sub-set of the city’s patrons is one of the town’s most celebrated and lauded institutions. For more than eight years, the professional ‘drunk guides’ (their words, not ours) at Krawl Through Krakow (just KTK for short) have been the go-to people for everything after dark, offering a menu of shot-heavy, beer-doused socialising, dancing, chin wagging and – occasionally though more often than not – unbridled mayhem like no one else in the city.
Nights on Krakow’s most acclaimed pub crawl start with the so-called power hour: a 60-minute bout of unlimited drinks. And unlike with many organised pub crawls in Europe, when KTK say ‘unlimited drinks’ – they mean unlimited drinks! Slavic beers flow, gin and tonics bubble, white wines are glugged and whiskeys gargled, all while customers mingle and chat to both fellow travelers and the staff of the pub crawl itself (most of whom were previous partiers on the crawl themselves). There’s also oodles of bar games going, from beer pong to drinking challenges, along with free tees and giveaways.
The night ensues with a handful of bars in the heart of the Old Town, flitting between subterranean beer caverns and thumping electro joints, all of which come with totally gratis entry (part of the pub crawl ticket) and with free shots on arrival. Finally, the climax of the KTK comes with a no-holes-barred dosing of Krakow nightlife, as revellers are taken to one of the top clubs in the city. This is where the shindiggery and hedonism really take over, with everything from bar dancing to shot trays to drunken philosophical conversations about who did what and where carrying on until the early hours.
In short, this one’s a great place to meet new people, get jolly and experience the legendary nightlife of this Slavic city like a local!
The Krawl Through Krakow meets every evening, every day of the year just in front of the Adam Mickiewicz statue on the Main Square at 9pm.