Words by: Timo Janse
Photography by: Marlijn Berendsen
Although Kraków, Poland does not seem like an obvious choice, the unique beauty of the city and its steady influx of tourism due to the many must-see sights in the vicinity has driven service industry levels to a point where the density of bars-to-people has a level unmatched by virtually every city in Europe.
To many, this is the main city in the country for cocktails
-also former capital of the country by the way- , and the sheer amount of places that offer cocktails is staggering.
When visiting don't be that tourist and leave the many tourist trap style shot bars and faux "burlesque" venues for what it is. Because when the surface is scratched one will find a vibrant drinking culture with lots going on and at amazing value-for-money.
Multi-award winning cocktail bar, and current holder of the "best bar of Poland" spot, Mercy Brown was the city's first speakeasy bar. Beyond its obvious hard to find appeal lies a cosy, well thought of bar with great attention to details.
Combining a coffee place and cocktail bar under one roof is something that is rarely done well, but this laid-back place has managed to do it. Completely unpretentious sliding from lunch into drinks without breaking a sweat.
Situated above a Jewish themed restaurant, this enormous cocktail bar takes its inspiration from a broader Arabic and mediterranean approach. The unique small alcoves on the sides are popular and the spirit selection is very deliberate and well thought of.
Another speakeasy bar, however one that oozes cool. With a very distinct colour pattern and style, this bar has a loose vibe to it that appeals to many. The name means "mouth to mouth" and is a playful reference to its word to mouth fame.
Sundays are "surprise me" nights with no menu policy which is a smart and nice touch.
As it is Immensely popular this means you might need to shoot some pool in the "front" before being able to get in but the result is well worth it.
Z ust do Ust