Zakopane nightlife is all about Krupowki Street. It’s the main drag in the city and comes filled with everything from traditional mountain beer taverns to pumping clubs. You might just be surprised at how lively it really gets. Zakopane isn’t as big a nightlife destination as Krakow, but it’s still got its fair share of late-night dance bars and sleek cocktail lounges. To put it another way – you won’t be short on apres ski options in these parts!
What’s really nice about the nightlife in Zakopane is how close together everything is. In Krakow, you can often find yourself walking 10-20 minutes to the next bar on the list. Here, virtually everywhere you could want to party is clustered in and around the immediate vicinity of the downtown core, which is eminently walkable, even after a beer or 10.
In this guide to the nightlife in Zakopane, we’ll run through the very best bars in the town. We’ll also see when the town is at its most happening for would-be partiers, and even offer a couple of hotel suggestions that are great picks if hedonism is your number one priority. Let’s begin…
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This is just one part of a complete guide to Zakopane
What’s in this guide to Zako nightlife?
What’s Zakopane nightlife like?
Good but not over the top – that’s really how we’d describe the Zakopane evening scene. The town has loads of bars and even a couple of clubs. But don’t expect it to pump on until the early morning like it does in Krakow.
Things really get lively in the middle of the skiing season. The whole of Krupowki Street (where most of the bars are) will pulse with life from around 5pm then. Another peak comes in the middle of summer, when lots of hikers head to Zakopane for the trails.
What’s nice about the Zakopane nightlife is that really it can be whatever you want it to be. Fancy a chic bout of Italian fine dining with the other half? That’s easy. Want to dance to Polish folk music and eat pierogi in traditional taverns? That’s doable. Prefer pumping discos until 4am? They are there.
The best bars in Zakopane
There are plenty of proper highlander pubs in Zakopane. Built from wood, warmed by real fires, serving mulled wine by winter and big steins of cold beer by summer, they are just the thing for that trip to the mountains. Here are the ones that we think stand out from the crowd…
Cafe Piano Zakopane
Undoubtedly our favorite bar in Zakopane is Café Piano. It’s tucked in a cluster of cottages just behind Krupowki Street. Duck through the narrow timber entrance and you’ll be in a bijou space that revolves around an L-shaped bar. There are all sorts of nooks and crannies to sit in, along with a charming outdoor space that really comes into its own in the summer months. The piano that gives the joint its name is rarely used, but the backing track is still a foot-stomping mix of jazz and blues from the old days.
Coffees and cocktails mingle in Europejska, a sort of half bakery, half drinking hole midway up Krupowki Street. We love it in the winter for the blazing log fire that roars under the hearth. The wine selection is surprisingly fantastic, so drop in if you’re craving something fancy and French. There’s also outdoor seating for the summer months. The beer is a touch pricy, so dodge if you’re just after pints.
La Playa Beach Bar & ChillOut Lounge
Right, this one’s never, ever open when we walk past these days. The one time we’ve managed to get in there for a beer it was utterly fantastic. We salute the idea – a chilled surf shack a la Portugal right there in the middle of the Zako strip. They serve uber-cheesy pizzas, Jägermeister by the bucket load, and cold beer. Check out the vintage VW camper that’s on site!
Cafe Tygodnik Podhalanski
Cafe Tygodnik Podhalanski is one of the true local secrets of Zakopane. You won’t even find it listed on Google Maps when you type in “bars” (that’s how most people find most bars, right?). To get there, you have to enter what looks like a rundown office block on the corner of Tadeusza Kościuszki and then take the elevator to the top floor. The doors will open to reveal a cozy, multi-room drinking hole with all sorts of nooks and crannies to settle in for an evening aperitivo. During the summer, the outdoor terrace spaces can’t be beaten. The cocktails are great.
Big Watra Browar is the closest thing you get to a Bavarian beer hall in the depths of the Polish Tatras. They have huge copper tanks flanking the main drinking room and loads of long tables to guzzle those frothy beers at. It’s a must for beer lovers but get in early because the start serving food in the evenings and the vibe turns very restaurant.
The best Zakopane nightclubs
Zakopane isn’t the place to go chasing pumping alt clubs and underground venues that go all night long. Krakow is better for that by a long shot. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t options for those early-hours dance seshes. There most certainly are. Check out…
Klub Vavavoom gets some negative reviews on account of the pretty mean bouncers that front the doors. We’ve been turned away by them too and, yea, we have to agree they are kinda’ curt. This isn’t Berghain guys! If you do get in (and we have also made it past the door once or twice) then you get arguably the best DJ and dance club in the city. It’s got a big pit area and mezzanine surrounding it. The design is neon-chic with curious vintage and boho touches. Drinks are a touch pricy but nothing crazy. Look to this as the go-to later option.
Le Scandale Zakopane
The Le Scandale name cut its teeth in the midst of the Krakow Old Town. They have an outlet on the buzzy square of Plac Szepanski back in the big city. It’s a corker of a spot for cocktails and a great option if you love whisky. The same upscale vibes continue on down in Zakopane, where the joint beckons on the ground floor of the uber-chic Aries Hotel & Spa (arguably the best hotel in the whole winter capital of Polska). The design is something else – think 50s Deco meets Chicago Jazz. DJs usually go until 2am ish on the weekends. There are often queues for drinks.