Summer bars have predictably sprung up all over town as Wrocław enters its scorching holiday period. There are currently a whopping 8 beach bars (2 more than 2017) and a handful of floating bars too.
In the last month we've visited every beach bar to bring you the ins and outs of each. We've also had a stroll through Wyspa Słodowa to check out the scene at the island's floating bars.
In today's guide we'll give you the lowdown on each and every venue.
However, first and foremost, let's take a look at the common traits all these beach bars all have. Although the outdoor venues do have their own subtle differences, pretty much all of them have the same approach and offer the same attractions. So it's worth reading if you're not sure the city's beach bars will float your boat.
Common beach bar traits
So what can you expect at a Wrocław beach bar? Are they right for you?
Despite the fact that there are 8 of them spread across the city, the vast majority of the bars subscribe to the same formula. There isn't really one bar that focuses on being more laid back, alternative, exclusive or cheap. This inevitably means the vibe at each bar doesn't differ too much.
Expect to find the following:
- large plots of sand (obvious you may think, but Forma Plynna Beach Bar is the exception)
- a direct view of the river
- kids play areas
- higher than average prices
- non-stop music (although Opatovice Beach Bar was quiet on our visit)
- plastic glasses
- portable toilets
- regular concerts, dj nights and standup performances
- yoga sessions on weekend mornings or lunchtimes
Naturally, a temporary beach bar is not going to able to benefit from having proper toilets and facilities, so the plastic glasses and portable toilets are completely understandable. Prices at beach bars aren't the greatest either, but that's also logical given they are a seasonal business.
That said, these are things worth weighing up if you value comfort and are deciding between a beach bar and a beer garden in a conventional bar or restaurant.
There are major plusses too of course, otherwise they wouldn't be worth writing about! The bars offer a great way to legally enjoy a drink along the beautiful Odra river, while they also host numerous interesting concerts, parties and cultural events.
Beach bars in the north of Wrocław: Stara Odra, Basen and Prostu z Mostu
If you're looking to do a beach bar pub crawl, the north of Wrocław is definitely a solid option.
There are three beach bars all within walking distance of each other, two of which are on opposite sides of the Trzebnicki bridge.
On the north side of the bridge you'll come across Stara Odra Beach Bar, which we've found to be one of the most chilled out in town.
The main selling point of the bar is the fact it has a spacey feel to it; you can comfortably stretch your legs without ever worrying about anyone tripping over you. The music on our visit wasn't the loudest either, so it was pretty easy to unwind there (although the fact they are showing the World Cup might change that).
When all is said and done, Stara Odra is an ideal choice for a lazy Sunday afternoon. It isn't the most lively or shouty of beach bars, and this works to its advantage. There are plenty of umbrellas there too if you need protection from the sun on a scorching day.
On the south side of the river, opposite Stara Odra Beach Bar, lies Basen Beach Bar.
Although not as pretty as Stara Odra, Basen Beach bar does sport a much better view. Ironically that's because your view is of Stara Odra Beach Bar rather than the other way round. The view also takes in the leafy Karłowice district, which looks better than the more industrial feel that the Kleczków neighbourhood has.
The vibe at Basen is very much similar to Stara Odra, with its wooden hut offering a nice large sheltered area ideal for large groups. You can also rent a Shisha at Basen if you fancy, something that's not available at every beach bar.
A pleasant 15 minute stroll along the river from Basen Beach bar takes you to Prostu z Mostu, one of the city's newest outdoor venues.
Undoubtedly Wrocław's most 'civilised' beach bar, Prostu z Mostu boasts two seperate areas. One part is lined with bark and contains solid tables and chairs sheltered by a flurry of umbrellas.
As you'd expect, bark is a lot easier to walk on than sand, which makes this part of the bar more accessible to those who have reduced mobility. It also suits those who prefer the feel of a beer garden to a beach bar. If you do like sand that's not a problem either, as Prostu z Mostu incorporates a large beach section too.
The venue spans an impressive 5,000 square metres and has a large bar to meet demand from customers even at peak times.
The dynamic nature of Prostu z Mostu means it can pretty much suit everyone. Its location is very practical and the owners also organise a lot of events there. All of this is bound to help Prostu z Mostu earn a reputation as one of Wrocław's best beach bars.
Beach bars in the east of Wrocław: Forma Plynna, Odrana, Zazoo and Opatovice
Another option for a beach bar pub crawl is to head to three of the four beach bars located in the east of the city.
Forma Plynna and Odrana are pretty much right next each other, with Zazoo not too far away. Then if you make the trek deep into Biskupin, you can also enjoy the more secluded Opatovice Beach Bar.
Forma Plynna is Wrocław's only beach bar that doesn't actually have a 'beach'. The chairs and tables are instead laid out on either bark or grass.
Owned by the same people as Prostu z Mostu, Forma Plynna is another well run beach bar that regularly attracts a decent crowd. The bar's location in the university district makes its ideal for students, but pretty much anyone can get there easily by hopping off a tram or bus at the pl. Grunwaldzki stop.
Things can get a bit a crowded at Forma Plynna and in some areas the sun-chairs are pretty tightly packed. That said, the far end of the beach bar has plenty of space, so if you want to find a quiet spot just grab a chair and place it down nearby the river.
Like Prostu z Mostu, there are plenty of staff on hand to help alleviate the queues – something that can be a problem at temporary bars. Forma Plynna also looks beautiful in the evenings when its lights illuminate the bar and its picturesque surroundings.
When it comes to food, toasted baguettes and rolls with various filling are available for between 12 and 19zł.
Ultimately the Forma Plynna experience delivers more often than not. The only real disadvantage is that is somewhat boxed-in when compared to the neighbouring Odrana, which is a relatively minor issue that a lot of people may not even notice.
Wrocław's newest summer venue is Odrana Beach Bar, located just a few metres away from Forma Plynna.
The bar is a little different in that its beach area is actually permanent; Odrana's umbrellas and sunchairs are dotted around the plot of sand that's part of the new Wrocław University of Technology boulevard.
As a result, the bar feels far more open than neighbouring Forma Plynna, which is fenced off from the rest of the boulevard. This makes it easier to sit right up next to the water and watch all the boats sailing along the Odra.
Away from the beach, alternative seating can be found on elegant wooden platforms that are easily more refined than some other beach bars' ramshackle creations.
In terms of food and drink, Odrana have jumped on the pizza and ice cream bandwagon – so if you're peckish you can satisfy your hunger without heading elsewhere.
At the end of the day, Odrana ultimately provides a more laid back experience than Forma Plynna. Whether you see that as an advantage or not naturally depends on your own way of looking at things.
Zazoo is arguably Wrocław's most established beach bar having already been in place for 2 consecutive summers.
As you'd expect, the bar's location nearby the zoo means the place is popular with families at the weekends. Even so, with a live dj and plenty of concerts and other attractions, Zazoo comfortably attracts a disparate crowd of people from different age groups.
The beach bar has grown in size and scope since it started back in 2016, and it now incorporates a seperate food zone where grilled meat dishes and pizza are available.
The seats laid out on the grassy hill in front of Zazoo's bar and stage also help to create an amphitheater-like backdrop for the concerts the beach bar host.
Large queues can form at Zazoo however, and the swathes of people that can gather there on weekends won't make it the ideal spot for everyone. If on the other hand you like the buzz of a large crowd, this is definitely a summer venue to check out.
If you like the concept of the beach bar but are put off by the volume of people and noise, it may well be worth making the journey to Opatovice beach bar.
Its secluded location near the Opatovice dam and island is far from the city centre and still a bit of a trek from the touristy Hala Stulecia / Wrocław Zoo area. This should mean the bar has a more laid back feel to it, which is certainly the impression we got during our visit there about a fortnight ago.
The area around Opatovice beach bar is popular with cyclists, while those with active lifestyles may also fancy having a go at navigating the nearby line-park.
The bar is perched high above the water, so unfortunately you can't sit right up to close to the river like you can at some other beach bars. If you like to watch the boats go by on the Odra you won't see much activity either, as obviously the bar is located downstream next the dam.
On the plus side, Opatovice feels the least 'urban' of all the beach bars in Wrocław. Apart from the dam, the bar looks out onto nothing else than trees and water. So if you feel a need to hang out in a spot that feels more connected with nature, this is the place for you.
The only beach bar in the west of Wrocław: Hotspot
Hotspot is the only beach bar located in the west of the city. It's also the largest in Wrocław.
Owned by the same people as Zazoo, Hotspot regularly host large parties and concerts to fill up the huge sandy area they've built by the Millennium Bridge.
Despite the fact the beach bar covers such an enormous space, we found the best spot for a drink was actually away out on the grass nearby the bridge.
The beach bar certainly looks the most commercial in town; the place is littered with adverts all over the shop. The beer selection is much worse than you'll find at the other beach bars too – there's very little craft brews on offer at all.
On site you'll find food trucks offering fish & chips, pizza and burgers. None of them looked particularly appealing to us, but it would be unfair to pass judgment without checking them out first. If you have opinion on them, please let us know!
All in all, If you live in the west of the city Hotspot is definitely worth visiting. If you love mainstream summer parties Hotspot is also a lively place to dance all night under the stars. Anyone seeking a more intimate experience would nonetheless be better off heading somewhere else.
Bars in the Wyspa Słodowa area: Barbarka, Ponton, Cicha Woda and Wyspa Tamka
If you find the massive sandpits at beach bars a bit gimmicky, then a visit to one of the floating bars on Wyspa Słodowa could be a better option.
The idea of paying full price for a beer on Wyspa Słodowa seemed completely alien a few years ago, but the floating bars have eventually become a permanent fixture on the island. There are now a handful of them looking out onto the University building, while there's also Wyspa Tamka club on Tamka Island.
Barbarka is Wyspa Słodowa's most lively floating bar thanks to the music that keeps pumping out from the various djs that play there. The summer bar's thunder may have been stolen a little bit with the arrival of all the beach bars, but they are continuing to run as normal.
Similar to pretty much all the floating bars on the Island, you can enjoy watching all the boats circle round the area in front of the University.
If the music at Barbarka proves to loud for your taste, you can also stroll down the island and pop into the two neighbouring bars, Ponton and Cicha Woda. At the latter you can enjoy Brooklyn Lager on tap as well as decent (but arguably overpriced) pizza.
The most left-field option on the list comes in the shape of Wyspa Tamka, an alternative venue home to some relentless techno and electro parties. You can easily get an idea of the vibe there in the YouTube video below.