Alchemia

Alchemia
Rating
88% from 86 reviews
Website
Alchemia
Address
ul. Estery 5

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Editor's review

Alchemia has become something of a flagship in the gritty club world of Kazimierz. Packed to the rafters almost every evening, this place is more than just a pub/club - it has become a genuine place of meeting and partying for the Kazimierz crowd. Overflowing into several rooms, Alchemia is strikingly decorated with old paintings and furniture, but utterly without pretence. Popular with artists, most gallery openings throughout the district culminate in splendid bohemian madness at Alchemia - where dancing on the tables in the early hours in a fog of smoke, surrounded by countless burning candles seems simply the most natural thing in the world. Unmissable.

Editor
Local Life Krakow

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Charlie from United Kingdom Reply Mar 3rd, 2017

Best pub in Krakow !

Michael from United Kingdom Reply Mar 5th, 2015

Plenty of events going on here, so don't just drink... check out if there is a band or performance in the basement below the main room.

Guest Reply Dec 11th, 2014

nice place

Guest from United Kingdom Reply Nov 22nd, 2014

Solid place to start a pub crawl in Kazimierz.

Michaela from United Kingdom Reply Sep 23rd, 2014

Lovely place - lots going on (mainly drinking!)

Steve from United Kingdom Reply Jun 18th, 2014

Bit overrated. We found more interesting bars nearby.

Mark from United Kingdom Reply May 28th, 2014

Saw Kroke last week - awesome ! Bit of a squeeze in the basement concert hall, but atmosphere was great. Cult.

Jason from United Kingdom Reply May 7th, 2014

Still an OK place to go, esp if there is something going on downstairs, like a concert. Staff not especially friendly, but there you go...

Liam from Ireland Reply Apr 8th, 2014

Not what it used to be

Serap Ekici from Poland Reply Mar 27th, 2014

Ordered for a small pizza and waited for 45 min. Then it turned out that there is no pizza. Just lost time there nobody cared. I think that Alchemia is used to be a good place.

slinks from United Kingdom Reply Dec 27th, 2013

An unfortunate victim of its own popularity, Alchemia rightfully rose to prominence in the late 90s thanks to its off-the-wall decor and brashly Bohemian atmosphere. In fact you can still enjoy the experience of wandering through cupboards, Narnia-style, to get to natty little back rooms, perfect for discussing nihilism in the flickering candlelight. These days however Alchemia is as much part of the tourist trail as St. Mary's Basilica, meaning whiny American voices are likely to punctuate much of your poetry analysis/philosophical debate. Still well worth a visit, especially for a special event downstairs or during winter, when the curse of the tourist is alleviated.

Dave from United Kingdom Reply Dec 9th, 2013

We are in our sixties and have had some great nights there with the young ones

Mike from United Kingdom Dec 9th, 2013

Must have been with us!

Jenny from United Kingdom Reply Nov 16th, 2013

Hasn't changed much, but found some other places nearby which are perhaps better. Omerta pub had a much better beer selection, for example.

Tom from Ireland Reply Oct 11th, 2013

Brilliant!

Helen from United Kingdom Reply Sep 16th, 2013

Our favourite bar in Kazimierz! Staff can be a bit offhand, but the atmosphere amongst the drinkers is awesome - we made some great friends here. There also seemed to be quite a lot going on in the music club part downstairs - something different every night pretty much.

Martina from United Kingdom Reply Aug 18th, 2013

Still as magical as it has always been. Classic Cracow!

Mike from United Kingdom Reply Jul 22nd, 2013

Still a decent place to go, but not as cool as it was 5 years ago. Try Forum on the river if you are looking for the party....

James from United Kingdom Reply Jun 21st, 2013

Classic ruin pub. Ok but there are better places nearby.

Victoria from Sweden Reply Aug 8th, 2012

Great place! So lovely! I saw Mc Silk and the Gang Bang Band,not exactly my type of music but the pub was really nice.

Bojana from Serbia Reply Jul 30th, 2012

I will never forget the nights my friends and I spent here during our Poland trip last summer. Lovely young people (both locals and tourists), unparalleled ambience, lots of subculture! A MUST!

Denise from Romania Reply Mar 21st, 2012

it's a must...AN AMAZING PLACE THAT SHOULDN'T BE SKIPPED!

Iuliana Arssene from Poland Reply Mar 20th, 2012

This is such a cool place! I loved it!

Kate from United States Reply Nov 22nd, 2011

Fantastic bar/pub in the Kazimierz district. Wonderful atmosphere- kooky and a bit melancholic, but completely bewitching. Went there a few times and only managed to get a seat once- its very popular with the studenty/alternative locals. Not many tourists (other than us) but the staff and locals alike were welcoming. Drinks were well priced and service swift. Would highly recommend that you visit this bar, and indeed the Kazimierz districts, if your visiting Krakow.

mike joiner from United States Reply Nov 10th, 2011

wish we had one in ny :-)

Pawelek from Poland Reply Oct 8th, 2011

Still my fave place in town and with the jazz festival on it's way , there will plenty of great gigs to attend there.

Kasia C. from Poland Reply Jul 24th, 2011

Legendary place, bad bar staff:( Still worth a visit though!

Anuka from United Kingdom Reply Jun 11th, 2011

Alchemia :o)The place,where my jurney was begun...with looove :)

Moritz from United States Reply May 30th, 2011

Classic!!!

andrzej from Poland Reply May 27th, 2011

obsluga swiadczy o lokalu. przy zakupie 1go piwa barman bezczelnie sie ociagal z wydaniem reszty, a jak juz wydał to powiedzial "co za ludzie nawet napiwku nie dadza". za co? za to ze mi piwa naleje do kufla? chyba za to juz dostaje pensje... szkoda dla niego bo po 3cim piwie zawsze daje dyszke napiwku. cierpliwosc poplaca. alchemia zostala nam polecona jako jeden z lepszych klubów -juz wiecej nie wstapimy, a szkoda bo miejsce samo w sobie urocze.

philip o toole from Ireland Reply Mar 12th, 2011

great spot,love this bar the most of all the bars in krakow, great effect with the walkin wardrobe,never felt rushed and the service was excellent and friendly and loved the little cakes on offer and the whole building was great a real throw back from the 1920s. forget about all your pubs in the old town this is the place to be

Giel from Netherlands Reply Jul 30th, 2010

Best bar in Cracow, period. The bar has an old and authentic atmosphere, while the people are young and modern.

Victor from United States Reply Jul 14th, 2010

The Original and best, if you're in Kazimierz you just have to go. Best in the early hours of the morning!

Dan from United Kingdom Reply Mar 26th, 2010

A cool place to hang out and watch the wanderings on the square...

Sam Troughton from United Kingdom Reply Feb 26th, 2010

Like something out of the Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus. I dread to think how thick the layer of tobacco grime there is on the ceiling. Best to just drink your beer. Enjoy!

Stewart from United Kingdom Reply Feb 6th, 2010

Visited last year (March 09) Looking forward to returning Feb 2010. A 'one off' place to visit.

Shrek from United Kingdom Reply Dec 31st, 2009

Pozdrowienia i duzo szczesia zycze moim wszystkim znajomym z Alchemi

Dean from Ireland Reply Dec 31st, 2009

Nice bar, good atmosphere but ruined by the bar staff. I dont think I have ever encountered more ignorant people behind the bar. They seem to spend most of their time insulting foreigners and mocking them in Polish (I know because my Polish friend translated) Other than that I would recomend it for a drink, but be sure not to tip the assholes behind the bar...especially the small shit with black hair

L J from United Kingdom Reply Dec 27th, 2009

Stumbled upon this fantastic place by accident as I strolled around Kazimierz. This was my first time to Krakow and this bar/cafe really made the break magical. I returned again this year and plan to go back next year. I first went there in day time and it takes on a different but still magical feeling at night. You must visit everyone was very friendly.

andrew from United Kingdom Reply Nov 10th, 2009

a right moody bar.at night with the candles burning it could be the most perfect bar in the world to spend time with your loved one.

Miguel Escamilla from Mexico Reply Oct 13th, 2009

Excelente lugar, estuve ahí hace unos meses,me pareció fantástico, Polonía es mágica y su gente me hizo sentir como en casa.Saludos a todos en Krakovia. wwww.poeticahomeostasis.blogspot.com

Karen & Alex from United States Reply Sep 28th, 2009

Very dungeons and dragons! Both loved it!

Dave from United Kingdom Reply Jul 31st, 2009

Super cool bar. Dangerous - you'll never leave!

Guray Gurkan from Turkey Reply Jul 10th, 2009

Thanks for sharing the piano with me till morning:) Really a lovely place!

Guray Gurkan from Turkmenistan Reply Jul 10th, 2009

Thanks for sharing the piano with me till morning:) Really a lovely place!

David Kessler from United States Reply Jul 10th, 2009

Went to a crazy jazz klezmer session here during the festival and ended up spending most of the night/morning in the bar. Crazy place. Loved it!

Kilian from Albania Reply Jun 25th, 2009

I love Alchemia

Barbara Perry from United Kingdom Reply Jun 10th, 2009

Cracow is my favorite city and Alchemeria is the best place to be to soak up the atmosphere. It is the perfect place to meet strangers that fast become friends. It's eclectic choice of music means your'e never bored. And the staff - friendly and generous with their time towards non-polish speaking visitors. Can not wait till we are there again.

Helen Cresswell from United Kingdom Reply Jun 10th, 2009

Quite a cafe this! Loved watching life go by on the square....

Jonina Campbell from United States Reply Oct 18th, 2008

funky, bohemian and chill environment definetly a must!!

Zio Alfio from Italy Reply Mar 27th, 2008

Ci sono stato quasi due anni fà e devo dire che il ricordo di Alchemia è ancora vivido; perchè è il posto che meglio rappresenta Cracovia, romantico, buio, decadente, e sopratutto suggestivo. Vi consiglio di andarci il pomeriggio quando la luce che entra dalle finestre contrasta con il buio dell'interno...unico.

Ross McDonald from United Kingdom Reply Mar 21st, 2008

I liked it. It is dark and atmospheric with candlelit tables and a good mix of people. If you are a non smoker, the one big downside is that this is the smokiest bar I have ever been in. It seemed like the entire bar was smoking!

b-side from United States Reply Feb 16th, 2008

B-side Upon entering any club there is a latency period of anything between half-a-second and 3 or 4 hours before the fun starts. Estimates suggest that B-side falls off the scale, how could anyone ever enjoy voluntarily living part of their lives in such a stinking shit-hole? Walking here I had to cross a bridge (partially fulfilling a dream of walking on water), swans plunged in an unceasing filtering of a murky subaqueous world unknown to me, but going to B-side shook off my illusions and crashed me bitterly down to earth. The sound of breaking glass here is well-liked, as is a primeaval screaming plucked from the tortured souls of those losely trying to dance. Mates violently and destructively pogo-ing their misdirected energy into each-other. (I imagine they imagine they are living the gilded-lives of hotel-detroying rock and roll heroes themselves). I bang the glass of beer against my own forehead in misgiving and misunderstanding. The urge to add to the carnage peaks then troughs. Then I go back there : and there and back again; somehow despite this attempt at mockery, of cleansing myself of its stink which even now clings to my follicles -somehow I caught the bug. That's B-side in a nutshell.

A from Ireland Reply Jan 29th, 2008

Fantastic, Bohemian place. Excellent for a group or for a romantic night. When you enter it, it feels like you're in a different world.

David from Spain Reply Jan 8th, 2008

The bar has style...in its own way. I like hanging out in Kazimierz quite a bit and I would recommend having a pint in this place. Not the easiest place to meet people, though. It seems like everybody comes with a group and just sits at tables. Staff could be a lot more friendly, but maybe this is a Polish thing. I was standing by the bar and talking with people, and you would think that the staff would engage you a bit in chit chat, but nope! Nothing! Just sad looks on their faces like they were thinking..."only 1 more hour and I am out of here..." Other than that, check it out.

Giorgio from Italy Reply Jan 4th, 2008

se la tirano da morire, però il locale è molto bello e ci si sta bene.

Renato from Portugal Reply Jan 4th, 2008

Simply the best!

Uwe from Germany Reply Oct 31st, 2007

Das Alchemia ist ein unbedingtes muss für alle midnightflyer. Die Mischung aus leicht staubig und angestossenem Interieur gepaart mit exquisiter Fotografie an den Wänden (Oktober 2007) und einem jungem Publikum, dass mit Musik gegen den Zeitgeist verwöhnt wird, hat in mir einen nachhaltigen Eindruck hinterlassen. Hätte ich nur einen Abend in Krakau, im Alchemia würde ich unbedingt mindestens ein Zywiec trinken!

Monika from United States Reply Aug 26th, 2007

Alchemia is a one thing and it's lovely but the owner is... the bar was cool, music good there is nothing bad; exept stuff but this is normal in Poland, so you should not complint...but the owner. ;) Any who it was worth it!

Eszter from Hungary Reply Aug 1st, 2007

I liked it very much! Mysterious and exciting place. I'd like to visit again...

Tania from Italy Reply Apr 1st, 2007

Assolutamente imperdibile! Vivace e frequentato tanto il pomeriggio quanto la sera. Ottima birra e buoni cocktails e il locale...davvero troppo carino. Andateci! Tania & Mirko

Gum from United States Reply Mar 6th, 2007

Love this place dearly, but recognise Mark's frustration with the staff. They don't give a shit and are happy to hang out in the kitchen ignoring the line at the bar. (They also take a certain amount of pre-meditated glee in seeing your hot beer overflow when you try to drink it.) The too-cool attitude is annoying, but the popularity of this place, especially with foreigners, must be tiresome. Still, if I wanted Parisian snobbiness, I'd go live in Paris. I also understand their need to get a proper bouncer, but this guy is a royal asshole; if he doesn't want me inside, fine--there's a million other great places I can have a drink...

Mark from United Kingdom Reply Mar 6th, 2007

The staff here have got a serious attitude problem. I was recently refused service here on the grounds that i was too drunk already... which would have been fine, however this was merely a pretext towards very thinly disguised xenophobia by a moody bar wench. Shame it's a nice place but needs a fresh set of staff if it's going to remain one of the best places in Kazimierz. No one wants American style 'have a nice day' corporate service but I don't think a little respect towards the customers who pay their wages isn't too much to ask. Getting the high and mighty treatment from a lowly kitchen hand is not my idea of fun...

Piet from Netherlands Reply Feb 24th, 2007

Don't miss it!!!

Pier from France Reply Jan 6th, 2007

Beautiful place, beautiful atmosphere, to the evening illuminated only from the light of the candles... Only a problem, for the little light, a group of 3 German girls, has stolen the pocketbook to me. Unfortunately I m sure of that, because many times 6-7 are passages behind me where I held the jacket for to go to the bath. After I have only understood as the things had gone..

Monia from United Kingdom Reply Dec 15th, 2006

Alchemia Pub on Estery 5 is a real cultural institution and classic Kazimierz at its best. Each room has its own name and characteristic decoration. You can sit in Hell, Purgatory, Alchemy or in the Kitchen which is entered through a stylish wardrobe. The Hell’s floor is made of sandstone from the 600-year old flooring of the St.Catherine Church in Kazimierz, while one wall is covered with burnt boards from a local barracks. There is also a cellar where there is a place for frequent and always very good live concerts and theatre plays, movies and other cultural events.

Dominique from United States Reply Nov 28th, 2006

This bar lives up to all of the expectations listed on this page. It oozes atmosphere, the portraits seem to have eyes that watch your every move, and seeing the wardrobe door pop open when you didn't realize it was another room is akin to discovering an alcoholic Narnia. Go. Now.

Lee (Chairman elect) from United Kingdom Reply Oct 24th, 2006

Woah. Mystic polish atmosphere. Cracovian memories are made of this place. No pointing. Watch out for the puddle by lil ash's feet. I want to be back here now. Be here or be Jerr. Whoops, two fingers.

DI from Israel Reply Sep 27th, 2006

STUNNING! Nice and pretty (rare combination huh) girls and friendly & mystic atmosphere. One of my faves in Krakow!!!!!

Ron from Netherlands Reply Sep 21st, 2006

Never see this in Holland. Stunning! Krakow rules, really!!

Sam from Slovenia Reply Jun 22nd, 2006

Everybody needs somebody to drink...

lorna smith from United Kingdom Reply Apr 7th, 2006

Wonder unusual bar. Relaxed and easy to be in for far too long!

Andy P from United Kingdom Reply Mar 15th, 2006

this place is one of a kind, darkly atmospheric but welcoming. when i went in there were students working by candlelight and attractive females reading existentialist novels and drinking strong coffee. i'd highly recommend this place and i look forward to returning with a copy of a nietzsche or kierkegaard and a suitably intellectual opening line.

Andrew from United Kingdom Reply Mar 13th, 2006

This is my favourate bar in Krakow. The atmosphere at night on a weekend is superb. It is lit entirely by candles and is more like being at a house party than a bar. It's a good place to be romantic or a just to sit with friends and chat. I will definately go back.

Wimon from United Kingdom Reply Mar 12th, 2006

I was here 1st w/e in March. Alchemia is atmospheric and low-lit on a Wednesday, seemed good even though fairly empty. We returned on the Saturday night and it was great, didn't want to leave. My fave bar in Krakow.

Kevin Peters from United Kingdom Reply Feb 24th, 2006

Absolutely awesome! The best pub in Cracow without a doubt! We had a wicked time here and will be back.

Manuel from Spain Reply Jan 10th, 2006

Alchemia es el lenitivo, el rincón cálido y plácido, lugar para conversar, reflexionar y ensimismarse. Refugio del viajero que arriba a Cracovia.

Pete from Finland Reply Dec 16th, 2005

Alchemia is why i come to cracow!

JOANNA from France Reply Oct 27th, 2005

Alchemia...elle me manque beaucoup!! Cet un lieu super extraordinaire! Gros bisous à EWCIA, MICHAL et JUREK :)

J. from Germany Reply Aug 10th, 2005

totaly nice! in and outside at anytime. a great place to start or to end the the day!

Dunc from United Kingdom Reply May 9th, 2005

More bohemian than a Dandy Warhol, this is the essential Krakowian venue for planning a proletarian revolution, discussing which is the best of the Pink Floyd albums, or simply enjoying an afternoon beer. Na zdrowie!

Paul Holder from United Kingdom Reply Feb 28th, 2005

We visited in the day time and had a lovely time just chilling out watching people stumble through the wardrobe door into the 'hidden rooms'!

kola from Netherlands Reply Jan 4th, 2005

Happy New Year to my favourite club in Krakow!

Scarlett from Poland Reply Aug 23rd, 2004

Best of Kazimierz! Just keep coming back and back and back ... with old and new friends, all loving the place as much as me!

Alberto from Spain Reply Aug 20th, 2004

Amazing place. Beautiful to discover, wonderful music, black cats everywhere. For sure I´ll try to come back. There´s something hard to explain about its atmosphere and the suggestion it makes in the people. You´d better go and simply experience. It won´t dissapoint anybody.

Veronika from Czech Republic Reply Sep 11th, 2003

Incredible place! The atmosphere is very magic and jewish. When you take your first step in your mouth will be wide open untill you make your last step out! I'm fully recomending this pub to everybody who want to leave reality outside the door :)

Pam Jameson from United Kingdom Reply Sep 1st, 2003

Fantastic! Alchemia is king of Kazimierz! Singer used to be the place to hang out, but it's all happening now at Alchemia - they seem to be expanding (theatre, music, everything is going on here) and all the Krakow artists hang out too, so its colourful. Check out the dripping wax candlesticks - it's like the Rocky Horror Picture Show. Where are you vamps?

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