In cities, social life no longer happens in old markets, in club cafes with cheap beer and vodka near the center, or places that appear in popular tourist guides under the headings: "You must go there if you're in Krakow." It has moved into alternative areas that are not so pompous and often far from the strict center - often examples of creative development of old spaces or new ones with a light urban character. After the pandemic, many of them are being built outdoors - because we crave air all the time. We suggest which way to go to find such places in Krakow.
Zablocie - where post-industrial history collides with modernity
Well, let's start with one of the most rapidly developing areas of Krakow in recent years, namely Zabłocie, which is part of the Podgórze district. Zabłocie is a typical example of revitalization of post-industrial areas. It was once home to Oskar Schindler 's famous "Emalia" factory and a glassworks - where not only utility glass but also architectural glass was produced. For many years the area stood neglected. The city had no idea how to develop the destroyed post-factory areas. It was not until the early 2000s that both the Cracow authorities and developers began to take concrete steps to develop this space. As a result, new housing estates were built, as well as the MOCAK Museum of Contemporary Art, which attracted Krakow residents to Zabłocie.
They began to see the area's revitalization potential and gradually directed it to new functions. Some of the buildings that used to be factories were renovated and arranged into new spaces: food and beverage establishments, retail and start-ups. Thus, Zabłocie has become one of the most visited places in Krakow. So where to go in Zablocie? A sizable choice is Tadeusza Romanowicza Street. A new pub arcade is currently operating there. The "Nalej se" pub, which is not only a gastronomy outlet, but also a place for meetings and activities of the local community, is certainly worth noting.
Pub "Nalej se" in Krakow's Zabłocie district
© Nalej se (Facebook)
The "Nalejse" regularly, and even more so in the summer, hosts cloud film screenings, karaoke or other events that foster social interaction. You can sit there inside and outside on deck chairs.
In turn, on the other side of Romanovich Street you will come across other pubs, among them the "Emalia", which has been in operation for several years and whose name refers to an enamelware factory. It's a modern, colorful interior, broken with a traditional touch - enamelware serving as lamp shades, among other things. The "Enamelware" has pleasant service and a tasty menu. From time to time you can also find a concert there, and in summer sit in the charmingly arranged garden.
And since we are in Zabłocie, let's also mention Lipowa 6f Street, because there is a place for lovers of original wines and snacks - "Krako Slow Wines" . This is a wine pump room and one of the places in Zablocie that never stands empty. The interior has been arranged to resemble a wine cellar, where simplicity and wood dominate. The bar and tables are surrounded by racks of wines from around the world.
Nadwislanska - a passage with fancy pubs
And from Zablocie, it's a stone's throw to the center of Podgórze, on Nadwislanska, where several new fancy places have opened in the past year - eager to fall into Facebook and Instagram tags. Nadwislanska is certainly trendy and besieged. On weekends, it's hard to find free tables at, among others, the newest "Olio" pizzeria, whose interior is dominated by natural materials and motifs, or the "Resto&Vodka Bar" with an industrial feel.
And if someone is bothered by the fancy atmosphere, tasty beer and coffee can be had at the retro-vintage pub "Tworzywo", near Nadwiślańska Street, specifically on Bohaterów Getta Square.
Bezogródek and Hype Park - open food truck basins
In the age of pandemonium, residents of Krakow are eager to spend time in new spaces located outdoors. We're talking about, among others, the "Bezogródek Tropical Spot" on Błonia, a space arranged in a tropical climate, with palm trees and many places to "sit and talk Cracovian." What can you do there? Not only eat deliciously there are several foodtrack offerings to choose from, but also practice yoga and listen to good music.
This spring, "Hype Park", an open-air gastronomic and musical space planned to operate year-round, also began operating on Kamienna Street, on the site of the Freight Station warehouses. Four music stages, plenty of seating and food trucks have been arranged on five thousand square meters.
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Speaking of Krakow's open spaces, the invariably besieged one is "Forum Spaces," located on the boulevards, at 28 Maria Konopnicka Street, in the old reception area of the Prussian Forum Hotel. In the summer, Spaces is extremely well-liked, as can be seen almost every summer evening - deck chairs where people sip craft beers form a long line along the Vistula River. Forum Spaces also hosts musical events.
Kazimierz not to be outdone
New things, new things, but Kazimierz cannot be omitted from this list. Because although its position has somewhat weakened against younger places, we still like to go there. So where to go in Kazimierz? To put it simply: first of all, everywhere around Plac Nowy. There you will find pubs, cafes and restaurants imbued with the atmosphere of Kazimierz, where regulars as well as newcomers - usually tourists - hang out. It's also certainly a good idea to go to "Hevre" on the corner of Beer Meisels and Corpus Christi , a stylish place in the spirit of Jewish culture and Krakow's Kazimierz, where we can eat and drink well, and at the same time catch an interesting cultural event. For it is in "Hevre" that many such events take place.
Interior of "Hevre"
© Karnet Krakow
The same is true of "Cheder" at 26 Józefa St.: the center of the Jewish Culture Festival, a Jewish community center, a reading room and a bookstore, where at the same time we can taste unique dishes inspired by Israeli cuisine. Above all, it is a meeting place.
Interior of the "Cheder"
© Karnet Kraków
And there are two more places in Krakow's Kazimierz focused strictly on literature and reading. The first one: the bookstore-café "Lokator" operating on Mostowa Street - a place with colorful decor, including charming artwork of its founder - Piotr PIO Kalinski, shelves full of good contemporary literature (and not only!), and delicious coffee. It's worth looking there not only to check out and buy an inspiring book, but also for the literary meetings that take place there regularly.
"Lokator" at Mostowa 1
© Karnet Krakow
The second is "Literary Café" at 41 Krakowska Street - a bookstore, café and community center in one, similar to "Lokator" , attracts with its colors and shelves full of books. The entire interior resembles a multicolored library, and Anna Orzechowska and Lukasz Blazejewski are responsible for its design. The gem is a bar built with coffers for library catalogs.
In "Café Litearcka" we will also have a delicious breakfast "po krakosku". - obwarzanek with a variety of pastes, drink good coffee and a colorful drink. Interesting fact: since the end of the 19th century, in the current premises of the Café there was a Judaic library "Ezra" , which served as a model institution for the entire network of Zionist libraries.
If you intend to come to Krakow and check out interesting social places, be sure to look at these addresses. You will judge the climate for yourself!