Wroclaw, with all its conveniently located pubs and clubs, is a great place to go out ‘on the lash’ – or as it is more commonly referred to – for a few drinks.
Last Friday, I went on an unplanned, spontaneous drinking mission with a couple of friends which turned out to be one of the best I have been on for a long, long time. Before heading out, I was keen to check out all that Wroclaw's wide spectrum of nightlife had to offer. This liquid tour took us across Europe, back in time and even to rock n’ roll heaven. So, just where did we end, up? Read on to find out …
It was 9.00 p.m. as we started out in ‘Czeski Film’ which is located in a courtyard at the beginning of ul. Kiełbasznica.nr 2 (Sausage street) very close to Plac. Solny. The courtyard, with its deep and narrow layout, created the effect that the surrounding buildings are much taller than they in fact were. It felt a lot like a lazy, Parisian bar (well at least the courtyard did). The lack of loud music and crowds of people was a welcome factor as we were able to talk easily and enjoy our first beer of the evening.
Photocredit: Facebook / Guinness Pub Wroclaw
The next stop, a mere 20-metres down the road, was the Guinness pub on the corner of Plac.Solny. This 'Irish Bar' run by some Poles quite rightly has its critics. Even so, you can find all your favourite Irish tipples including Guinness and Murphy’s available. Unfortunately they do come at Irish prices, but the good news is the regular Polish beer is also in vast supply. This was our taste of Ireland with some live music to boot. There is usually live music here at weekends and the covers band this particular night did a good job to churn out modern classics such as ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams and daft punk’s ‘Get lucky’. It was pleasant enough to enjoy a pint to and not nearly as bad as I had feared.
After this, third base was the Kraków-style underground pub on the market square (Rynek 5) beneath ‘Dwor Polski’, now known as ‘Kocia Kołyska’ formerly called Piwnica Stanczyka. The place was not incredibly busy, but there was a friendly smile from the barmaid and the drinks were poured without delay. This was a good moment to do a bit of ‘at the bar’ American-style drinking and the beginning of philosophizing about world issues.
Photocredit: Facebook / Przedwojenna – przekąski i zakąski
Following this, and just around the corner on ul. Mikołaja, we came across the enchanting ‘Przedwojenna Bistro’ (Before the war) theme pub with authentic furniture and decorations from 1930’s pre-war Poland, complete with authentic looking antiques, a portrait of the great leader Jozef Piłsudski and original newspaper clippings from that time. Music from this era was lightly played in the background to complete the effect – and after 3 beers it was beginning to work. Despite the huge popularity of the place, (it was completely packed inside) it was surprisingly easy to order. On top of the already listed attractions is the fact that everything costs either 4 or 8 zł. All drinks (beer, wine, vodka etc..) go for 4 zł and traditional food – the perfect snack during a pub crawl went for 8 zł. I personally took advantage of this and ate their ‘Gzik’ Potatoes with cream-cheese.
5th base also provided a bit of a time travel. ‘Lewitacja’ – a cheesy disco playing 80's hit such as ‘Wake me up before you go-go’, was just a short walk down the street to a gateway opposite the Sofitel hotel, which is home to around 6 pubs. We went upstairs and easily found a table and ordered. If you like pop music it will be well up your street, but even if you can't stand the kitschy tunes there's no need to fret as you you won't be so aware of them by this stage in the evening.
Final stop – and this is a place that many people end up at the end of a night – the notorious ‘Niebo’ (Heaven) in Pasaż Leopolda ,which is essentially a no frills rockers bar that never seems to close. Dimly lit with loud rock music, this is in fact a place where many people drink themselves sober. The dance floor was bustling with the music pounding out from the speakers and after a final small beer it was definitely time to go.
The night finished quite late and there was a predictable hangover all round. However, it was a really good night out and I would certainly repeat it again.
The bar crawl comprised a mix of pubs catering for the alternative and commercial, old school and new school, Polish and Expats. So if you are interested in seeing a bit of everything in Wroclaw's nightlife, especially without walking too far, this route comes recommended.