Beers, endless bars, markets and more:

Krakow New Year’s Eve

So, you’re thinking about hitting Krakow New Year’s Eve, eh? Good choice! Prep yourself for a Slavic blowout of epic proportions, complete with streams of potent vodka, legendary all-nighters you’ll never forget (or never remember!), awesome DJs and live music to boot. Oh, and there’s cheap skiing, enticing Christmas markets, snow-dusted parks and plenty of history to get through too. Nice.

Parties, parties everywhere

Krakow New Year’s Eve promises to take this already-legendary town of hedonism and nightlife to whole new and dizzying heights. Events take place right across the city, with even the old Soviet tenement blocks of Nowa Huta (a relic of the USSR) erupting with expat parties and shindigs. Meanwhile, on the southern side of town, where the boho districts of Kazimierz and Podgorze are used to entertaining night owls with their medley of underground jazz clubs and smoky beer halls, shot bars and converted factory venues, there are other, more cerebral gigs to attend on the big night. You’ll get live music and vodka tasting sessions aplenty, all hosted in artsy cafes and pubs where the walls are laden with local graffiti and photography. However, it’s the Old Town area where Krakow New Year’s Eve parties really hit their zenith.
Krakow at New Years Eve

The Old Town over New Years

The scents of cinnamon and spiced pork sausages twist and turn in the icy air. Smoky sheep’s cheese sizzles over smouldering coals, and the soaring outlines of Gothic church spires can just be made out between the dancing plumes of snow that fall all around. Welcome to New Year on the Rynek Główny; Krakow’s sprawling cobblestone Market Square. Nestled right in the middle of the UNESCO-attested Old Town district, this spot hosts Krakow’s Christmas Market. A medley of cosy timber shacks and craft stalls that’s packed with everything from whittled Slavic trinkets to fluffy woollen socks, it’s the perfect place to get those New Year gifts and souvenirs.
Krakow Christmas Market

The Party in the Old Town

Here, between the snow-dusted cobbles and the redbrick churches, countless clubs and bars host thousands of travellers and locals. Karaoke blares from the upper windows down one street; the clink of whiskey tumblers and sloshing Long Islands echoes from the subterranean speakeasies on another. There’s jazz playing in the piano bars, and EDM thumping through the dance floors. And that’s not even mentioning the NYE Pub Crawl, which packs in several of the very best of these clubs, unlimited drinking hours, drinking games, raucous crowds of partiers, and even an open buffet to get everyone set for the celebrations.
Snow, skis and winter sports

You don’t have to linger in the city in the build up to that Krakow New Year’s Eve celebration either! You could opt to join the thousands of locals that make for the serrated tips of the Tatra Mountains. These rise up like daggers less than two hours to the south; a phalanx of snow-mantled summits and craggy massifs that marks the border with Slovakia.

In the winter, they are also home to a clutch of top-rated ski resorts, which are especially perfect for those looking to find their snow feet. Head for the up-coming ski field of Kotelnica in Białka Tatrzańska, where you’ll get 17 kilometres of groomed runs for beginners and intermediates. Or, opt to ride the creaking cable car to the top of Kasprowy Wierch, where challenging black runs weave through the Tatras to Zakopane – the impossibly-enchanting so-called winter capital of Poland.

The best part though? Ski passes will cost just a fraction of the price they do in France or Austria – think £15 for a full day’s skiing!

You can find out more about skiing in Poland here. 

Zakopane Holiday Period