Alchemia, Krak贸w 馃嚨馃嚤

Location: Estery 5, 31-056 Krak贸w, Poland

Venue Type: Late Night Bar / Basement Club / Corner Caf茅 / Theme Pub

Year of Inscription: Founder Member

EBG Rating:9.1/10
Quality of Drinks
Major European and Polish lagers, cocktails, regional liqueurs.
Antiquey time warp. a series of rooms with vintage furnishings, drawing room, pantry, art space etc, and basement club
Dusky and brooding in the day, raucous and excitable at night.
Live music, basement area for clubbing, simple food, outdoor seating
Value For Money鉂わ笍鉂わ笍鉂わ笍
Middling but with some happy hour deals.
DescriptionThe Jewish Quarter in Krakow, Kazimierz has one of the most densely concentrated and highest quality offerings of quirky, alternative and atmospheric pubs and bars in the whole of Europe. The choice for a pub crawl is bountiful and very difficult to cover every bar of merit in one trip.

Alchemia is the beating heart of Kazimierz, based directly on Plac Nowy. On a warm summer night there are seemingly no real joins between the limits of the bar and the zapiekankie stalls on the square itself, with groups congregating, milling about, enjoying a drink and the buzz of the social scene, sometimes even with street music as the often well marked boundaries pub going are ripped up in favour of an almost Latin American/bohemian feel.

It isn鈥檛 all about the al fresco socialising though, that is merely a happy consequence of its popularity and position. The pub itself is superb, and the intimate atmosphere in certain nooks and crannies is almost a contradiction from the vibrancy on the street.

You couldn鈥檛 visit a more archetypal antiquey/vintage style place. Tables and chairs are set to candle light while vintage furniture is spread across the rooms. The rabbit hole feel is continued even further by having to climb through a wardrobe into the back room.

The colours are red, velvet and the woozy glow of candlelight. The bar is usually busy enough that most seats are taken but not so busy that you can鈥檛 swoop on a vacant table a few minutes later, and spend an hour or two luxuriating in the faded cracked grandeur and the collective feel that seems to permeate through the venue that this is the place to be.

The bar serves Pilsner Urquell, tank Tyskie for a reasonable price at happy hour and the range of Ksiasece beers which are a step up from the normal range of Polish lager, especially the wheat beer, but at the time of writing the Polish craft beer scene hasn鈥檛 yet arrived. There are plenty of places nearby for that in any event.

Alchemia may be somewhat of an institution, and I expect some locals may feel it is passe, but there is no denying its intrinsic quality and the essential journey you must make to Alchemia upon your visit to Krakow.