Warsaw Nightlife: Bars, Pubs & Clubs
The explosion of bars and clubs in Warsaw over the last few years means that you are never far from a fresh beer or decent nightspot. On the other hand, it's still easy to find yourself stranded outside the bolted doors of a supposedly popular club on a Wednesday night, or staring into the bottom of a pint glass in a deserted bar. Local knowledge, trends and the Superman-like ability to scoot across town in a flash (“Taxi!”) are prerequisites to achieving a successful night out. But that’s why you have us. The new money crowd have certainly found a home amongst the posh eateries and glamorous nightclubs around Pl. Piłsudskiego (B-3) and Pl. Teatralny (B-2); keep in mind, however, that clubs in this area have such strict door policies that it may be easier to get out of a mobile phone contract than get in for a drink and a boogie. Warsaw's young arty crowd prefer the down-at-heel clubs and bars that have popped up in the districts across the river: Stara Praga (G/H-1) and the fashionable and increasingly gentrified Saska Kępa (H-2/3).
Opening hours listed here should only be treated as rough approximation; in practise many bars and clubs will stay open well beyond the call of duty if the need arises, but by the same benchmark will happily bolt the doors if business is slow. Below are a few rapid-fire suggestions for those who need an instant plan; the less desperate should spend a bit more time scrutinising our in-depth reviews section.
Warsaw's biggest multi-tap bar Piw Paw attracts a true mix of punters, all of whom are attracted by the selection of hand-crafted Polish and European beers. Across the river, OSP Saska Kępa is a neat little bar and an amiable local experience with the addition of classy Polish beers.
Cheap:It has to be The Pavilions, a ramshackle collection of dive bars in the courtyard behind Nowy Swiat that offers Warsaw drinking in its rawest form. And if you don’t mind herring and 5zl vodka shots explore the 24 hour zakąski bars like Bar Warszawa de Luxe.
Lads:For Sky Sports, pints and pub banter with local ex-pats head along to Warsaw Tortilla Factory, Legends and Someplace Else. Once the need to 'move like Jagger' kicks in, chances are you will get into one of the clubs on ul. Mazowiecka (B-3); home of Enklawa, the biggest international dance club in town, this short street also offers numerous other popular club options. Those in search of sensual pleasures and the erotic arts (otherwise known as strippers and lap dancers!) should check out our adult section and then proceed wisely.
Couples:The pricey custom cocktails at The Pictures are made with the precision of an atomic scientist; it may not sound romantic...but it is! Judging by the numerous sexy couples seated at the bar, Coctail Bar Max hits the right note with their 'tell us what flavours, alcohols and fruits you like and we'll mix a drink specifically for you' concept.
Splurge:Panorama Bar's cocktails are worth the dip into your wallet, as are the views from the 40th floor. If you’re dressed to impress hit up Platinum Club for the chance to drink like a champagne-swilling Russian oligarch.