One of the best things about travelling is stumbling upon a place that makes you feel like a local. There’s nothing finer than discovering an intimate bar where you can settle and unwind after a day at work or exploring the city. Whether you’re in Warsaw or Krakow, here are our top picks for bars where you can kick back and relax.
One of the best bars in Krakow, Pauza also functions as a sleek all-day café: a place you can stop in for a mid-morning coffee with your laptop just as well as a late-night craft cocktail. A calm, cool space with frequent art exhibits, low-slung couches and an ultra-modern vibe, it feels more more like your coolest friend’s apartment than a bar.
A couple of minutes’ walk from Pauza is the enchanted space of Café Bar Magia. Plants dangle from the glass ceiling in the enclosed courtyard, soft chairs invite you to linger over cakes and coffee for hours, and numerous nooks, crannies and alcoves are ideal for taking a couple hours of “me time”, whether that’s with a book, your computer or a friend. A full menu of food and drinks, from cappuccino to pasta to smoothies, means there’s something for everyone at any time of day.
For something stylish in the evenings, the Globe Café at the Hilton Garden Inn Krakow is known for its international menu of shared plates and its stellar cocktails (it’s the only bar in Poland that’s accredited by the International Bartender Association). Stop in for a pre-dinner drink or meet friends to watch the latest football match over snacks and beers.
For a spot that combines history and ambience to a tee, Czeczotka Bar is one of the best bars in Kraków. Just off the 13th century Rynek Glowny Square, it’s full of old-fashioned wooden furniture and friendly servers delivering innovative cocktails adorned with fruit, foam and spices, as well as some of the strongest coffee in the city. Grab a comfy armchair by the window for views of the square and great people-watching.
The best bars in Warsaw are not the all-night party hubs; rather, they’re the welcoming, cozy bars where you can while away an afternoon or evening in perfect comfort surrounded by locals doing the same.
If you’re looking for a daytime relaxation spot – somewhere to take a break from meetings or to rest your feet after sightseeing – the Pistaccio Lobby Bar & Lounge at the Hilton Warsaw Hotel and Convention Centre has a welcoming ambience that encourages serious relaxation. Soaring ceilings and enormous windows let in plenty of natural light, plus it’s open all day so you can pop in for an espresso and sweet treat or a classic cocktail, depending on what you’re craving. If you’re looking for a stylish sanctuary to take a break from the city buzz, this is the place.
Bar Wieczorny is the ultimate local hangout, a neighbourhood spot with bartenders who create custom drinks just for you, with a chilled-out backyard that’s just right for warm summer evenings. It’s in Mokotow, a little out of the city centre, but that’s what keeps it special and authentic, and the occasional live music gigs are a special bonus. Plus, it’s right on the way to the Hampton by Hilton Warsaw Mokotow, where you can get a restful, well-deserved night’s sleep after your evening of explorations.