Krakow is filled with great bars and nightlife. Tourists and locals alike, are spoilt for choice when it comes to places to drink. Most first time visitors to Krakow tend to stick to the Old Town and main square, but there is much more if you head to the Jewish Quarter of Kazimierz, or even further to the neighbouring area Podgorze. In fact, there are so many bars in Krakow that it is pretty much impossible to walk through the main streets on an evening without being accosted by street promoters, telling you why one bar is better than the others. It can get exhausting, we know!
Sometimes you want to find something different, somewhere high-above the stressful streets, where you can look down over the city, with a cold drink in your hand and just relax. Well, much like the classic Drifters song of the 1960s, it sounds like you need to go, ‘Up on the roof.’ Time then, for a run-down of the best roof-top bars in Krakow.
Sky Bar is quite possibly the best kept secret in Krakow’s Old Town. Situated only a stone’s throw from the main square, this is a huge rooftop and very classy bar that offers an amazing view of St. Mary’s Basilica and the square itself. Despite its fantastic location, Sky Bar never seems to be too crowded, and so you can usually bag yourself a front-row seat for the best view in the house. In fact, there are actually two roof terraces up here, one at the front and one further towards the back, so that makes for plenty of seating options. The bar serves up classy cocktails, and there is even a summer restaurant serving food. This isn’t the cheapest drink in Krakow, but considering the view it could be a lot pricier, and once you’re perched high above the bustling streets with a tasty cocktail in hand, you’ll definitely think it was worth it!
During Summer Sky Bar is open 12pm- 11pm every day, but bear in mind roof access is usually closed during Winter (except for special occasions).
Address: Szczepańska 5, 31-011
For an unrivalled view of Wawel Castle, there really is no better spot in Krakow than Vidok, a swanky restaurant and bar on the rooftop of the Jubilat shopping arcade by the river. The panoramic view allows you to appreciate one of the most famous sights in Krakow, Wawel hill, in all its glory. Whether watching the sun go down over the Wisla river, or sipping on a cold beer on a summer’s night, Vidok is a top spot for relaxing in Krakow. The restaurant here is also great for a Romantic dinner with a view, and they even serve up alcoholic coffees with Baileys and Amaretto, if you need more than a great view to perk you up. Open from 11am- 11pm every day.
Address: aleja Zygmunta Krasińskiego 1, 31-111 Kraków
Okay, so if Sky Bar isn’t the best kept secret in Krakow, then Metrum certainly is. Located at the very end of Tomasza, a few minutes walk from Krakow’s main square lies popular restobar Metrum, offering tasty food and breathtaking views of the city. To access the rooftop, first you have to find it, as Metrum is situated on the rooftop of The Krakow Music Academy. Enter the building and walk straight into the foyer. A staircase on your left, leads you to the lift doors, ride the lift to the top and voila, one of the best views of Krakow you can get. Like with Sky Bar, there are actually two terraces, one left and one right as you exit the lift, and both offer spectacular views. Also the prices here for food and coffee and cakes, really aren’t too bad at all considering the view, as this is technically a student cafe for the students of the Music academy. So I know what you’re thinking; it’s great, it’s cheap, it’s quick service, so what’s the catch? Well the only downside to Metrum, is that they don’t serve any alcohol. Remember this is a student cafe. However if you are looking for somewhere to enjoy a coffee and a chat with a view of Krakow’s church towers all the way to Wawel Castle, then you will not be disappointed. Open 7 days a week, 9am- until 8pm weekdays and until 6pm Sat/ Sun and even serving breakfast, Metrum takes some beating for rooftop views in Krakow. If you are looking for some more cool bars and a great night out, check out Krakow Crawl.
Address: Świętego Tomasza 40
There isn’t much to choose from to say that one is better than the other, between Vidok (mentioned above) and the rooftop at Hotel Pod Wawelem, other than that Vidok offers a slightly more panoramic view of Wawel Castle and therefore makes this list first. Located slightly closer to Wawel Castle on the same riverside stretch as Vidok, is Hotel Pod Wawelem, offering an almost identical view as our entry at number 2 here. Not to be confused with Pod Wawelem, a restaurant situated at the foot of Wawel Castle on the other side (Pod Wawelem literally meaning ‘under Wawel’), Hotel Pod Wawelem is another stylish rooftop bar and restaurant serving up cold drinks and great views.
Address: pl. Na Groblach 2
Situated high above Szeroka, in the most famous part of the Jewish Quarter, sits the rooftop bar of Hotel Rubenstein and it’s attached restaurant, Szeroka 12. Hotel Rubenstein is the old home of legendary cosmetics entrepreneur Helena Rubenstein and the rooftop bar offers some great views across the Jewish quarter to Wawel castle. Like Helena Rubenstein herself, the bar is not cheap, but you are paying for the surroundings and of course, for the view and this place can offer a peaceful haven from the busy street below, particularly when the tour groups are out in force in the height of summer and you need a moment to relax in peace with a cold drink.
Address: Szeroka 12, 31-053
Literally translating to ‘Garden on the Roof of Kazimierz,’ this place really couldn’t be more obvious in advertising itself as a rooftop bar. However, most tourists in Krakow tend to orientate themselves around the Old Town main square and the few who do venture as far as the Jewish quarter, are met with such an overwhelming amount of great bars and restaurants when they do get there, that despite its location and obvious name, this little rooftop bar in the heart of the Jewish quarter, sits relatively undiscovered. You enter through the Jewish Cultural centre downstairs, wind up the stairs until you can go no higher and emerge into a peaceful, tranquil roof garden, overlooking the famous Plac Nowy below. Perfect for escaping the crowded beer gardens on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Enjoy!
Address: Beera Meiselsa 17, 33-332 Kraków
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