Krakow’s amply supplied with places to eat- cafés, cukiernias (cake shops), mleczny (milk bars) and restaurants by the dozen. Polish food, with its oodles of pork, salted fish, cheese and beetroot soup- the famous borsch- is the most easily available, and down every street you’ll find some eatery or the other which serves typical Polish meals. It’s invariably inexpensive and filling, and can often be pretty tasty too. If, however, you’ve had your fill of local grub, Krakow has a number of outlets which serve international cuisine too. Amongst the most popular are the city’s many pizza parlours, Oriental food restaurants, Vietnamese food stalls, burger joints and fast food outlets.
Many Poles eat the main meal of the day, which is dinner, between 3 and 5 pm. As a result, many restaurants open only by about 1 pm, and close by about 9 pm. An increasing number of eateries, however, are adopting the more familiar (to Westerners) timings for meal times.
Krakow’s not a place you’re likely to get bored. There’s plenty happening in the city all the time, and whether you’re in the mood for drinking and dancing, or would prefer a sedate evening watching world-class ballet, this is where you’ll get it.
Krakow’s nightlife is vibrant enough for the local students- who are as fond of a good time as students anywhere else; there are bars, pubs, casinos, and discos all across the city where the music- usually rock, jazz or blues- continues till as late as 4 in the morning. Many of the city’s most frequented bars are underground, in Krakow’s famous cellars. Krakow’s nightlife is concentrated in the area around the Main Market Square and the Kazimierz area.
For those who don’t care much for discos and loud music, Krakow offers cinema, theatre, chamber music, ballet, opera- you name it. The Philharmonic Hall, the Wawel Royal Castle, the Culture Centre and various churches and squares in Krakow host concerts, shows and festivals all through the year.
Easily the best source for information on cultural events and activities in Krakow is the Cultural Information Centre (the CIK). The institution publishes a monthly Karnet-Krakow Cultural Events guide, a very helpful tool for finding out what’s happening where.