Owing to its holiday-making reputation, Zakopane is not short of options to make the most of your evenings. Zakopane’s nightlife somewhat reflects the seasons. Being the main mountain resort in Poland, winter nights come alive with the Après Ski crowd, with tourists from both within Poland and beyond. Spring and Summer bring a different mountain crowd, and Autumn, before the snow falls, tends to be Zakopane nightlife’s quiet season.
Evening entertainment is prolific for the size of town, and consists of a mixture of pubs, bars, cafes and clubs. Many are located on the central area of Krupówki Street, but it is worth exploring those off the central thoroughfare too. Nonetheless, Krupówki Street is the thriving heart of Zakopane with not only bars and clubs but a range of vendors, restaurants and shops. There is something for everyone, whatever your tastes, and whether you’re looking to dance the night away or get cosy with a cold beer in a friendly pub-like bar.
Zakopane Nightlife: Bars & Pubs:
The atmosphere in the evenings in Zakopane is relaxed, informal and friendly, much as you would expect from a winter sports town anywhere across Europe. Zako, as it is affectionately known by locals, offers a great choice of evening watering holes:
- Winoteka pod Berlami (Grunwaldzka): Don’t miss this delightful bar that offers a range of drinks, but most importantly serves the largest selection of wines to be found in the region with offerings from across the globe. There are in excess of 100 different wine choices here which can be enjoyed within the wine bar, or ordered to take away. Don’t miss a winter opportunity to sample the Polish winter mulled wine, Grzaniec, offered here.
- Nietota (Krupówki): Beer lovers need to head to Nietota which is a light and airy bar, adorned with images of the mountainous area around Zakopane, matched with pine furniture, making for a light and informal venue.
- Café Piano (Krupówki): Whilst technically on Krupówki, Café Piano is slightly tucked away, but well worth seeking out. This is a place you’ll remember, not least because of the wooden swings that double up as bar stools. This is most definitely a bar to visit if you want to soak up the highland atmosphere with a hint of eccentricity. Even better, Café Piano is popular with the locals so you know it has to be good.
- Jagoda (Krupówki): Billing itself as a cocktail bar, in reality Jagoda offers so much more. Take your pick from a conventional lower floor, a stylish loft-style den with bar, or the beer terrace that overlooks a tumbling stream. It’s not just cocktails here but beers, cakes, and a tasty grill.
- Anemon (Krupówki): Whilst Anemon might be tiny, it packs a big punch when it comes to atmosphere. If you’re a Guinness or Murphys drinker then you’ll find both here on tap, along with other European offerings, and if beer isn’t your drink of choice then you won’t be disappointed by the cocktails either.
- Legenda Nietoperza (Krupówki): If you’re looking for a mainstream bar-style drinks venue in Zakopane then this place, literally translated as ‘The Legend of the Bat’, would feel at home in a provincial American ski resort. Take your pick from cocktails, whiskeys, and cold beer.
- Seagram (Krupówki): As its name suggests, this is Zakopane’s Irish bar and Guinness is in no short supply to be enjoyed in an authentic and classic atmosphere
- Lobby Bar (Droga do Bialego): Nestled above a spa and swimming pool, this is a perfect post-ski wind-down spot to enjoy a Polish vodka, a cocktail and even a fine selection of cigars.
- Café Sabala (Krupówki): Only in Poland do you get a harmonious blend of cake and vodka, and Café Sabala is the place to partake in both. Wrap up warm, sit on the beautiful terrace and watch the town life go by. Café Sabala is attached to a hotel and so draws a mixed crowd.
- Literatka (Krupówki): This is a small hidden gem in the heart of Zakopane but is a cosy art pub with interesting and varied décor in the centre of town.
- Karczma u Ratowników (Piłsudskiego): Home of the Tatra Mountain Rescue, passers by are also welcome here to enjoy a beer or two. This is a comfortable spot to unwind and has been designed in homage to the Tatra Voluntary Rescue Service.
Zakopane Nightlife: Clubs
If you’re looking for dancing as well as drinking, then Zakopane has you covered. From small intimate music venues to thumping house clubs, to more alternative options, there’s something for everyone. The holiday atmosphere of the town adds to the party feel once night time comes to Zakopane.
- Dworzec Tatrzanski (Krupówki): Don’t let the name ‘club’ deceive you here. Dworzec Tatrzanski is so much more than your ordinary club and instead is more the hub of culture in Zakopane. It somehow manages to draw together a club scene, concerts, lectures and exhibitions and pull each off with style. Hugely popular is the White Nights Festival which takes places daily between Christmas and New Year, as are the Dworzec Tatrzanski nu-jazz extravaganzas and ragga concerts. Also often found here are the clubbing staples of house and drum’n’bass. If you’re not sure what’s on have a look around Zakopane for the distinctive fish logo which will adorn relevant posters and flyers with the latest events. As well as an atmospheric dance floor there are captivating Arabian-nights themed rooms for chilling with cushions and shisha pipes. Not one to miss.
- Va Va Voom (Tadeusza Kościuszki): The biggest names make Va Va Voom their stop off point and you’re as likely to be treated to an international big name as you are a local favourite when it comes to the DJ’s throwing out the tunes at Va Va Voom. This is a smart styled club set over two floors and whilst still relatively new on the Zakopane night scene it’s setting the trend for alternative and sophisticated club nights.
- Rockus (Zaruskiego): If mainstream isn’t your thing then Rockus offers a rock and pop disco-styled bar hidden underground, and connected to the hostel above which provides many of its patrons. If you’re lucky you’ll be treated to a live concert, but whatever the event, this is definitely the ‘young’ clubbing scene in Zakopane.
- Genesis (Plac Niepodleglosci): Multi-media clubbing effects such as lights, lasers and smoke machines team together with the latest dance music in this classic-style club.
- Prestige (Krupówki): Blending together the hedonistic vibes of hip hop, house and latino, Prestige is an upbeat yet intoxicating club which is fast becoming a trend-setter on the Zakopane scene.
- La Playa (Chalubin Skiego): This is Zakopane’s beach bar. Yes, you heard correctly: if you’ve had enough of Alpine vistas, then get in the Hawaiian groove with tropical cocktails, palm trees and delicious snacks. Fundamentally, La Playa is a well-themed chill-out lounge perfect for parties and music nights.
- U-Boot (Droga do Bialego): Taking after its namesake, the submarine, be prepared for a slightly different entertainment option here with bowling, pool and even a golf simulator. It also hosts music nights and discos at the weekend.