Krakow Hangover Guide
We’ve all been there. The morning after the night before.
The night where all our dreams came true amidst the adventure of a lifetime, or, the night where all our worst fears were realized as we tumbled jagged down the cutting rocks of despair. The night that never truly performed, that struggled to surface against the suffocating mediocrity of our dry toast 9 to 5’s. The night where we drank a proportion of liquids that would put Lake Baikal to shame and the night that would lead to a punishing tomorrow.
This wicked beast which claws at our very souls and consumes all creative or productive thought. Binds our ankles with dank rope, rotted by pessimism, and drags us further, deeper into our couch of shame – regret – vomit.
A tantrum inside our belly beats it’s fists, demanding freedom from our self inflicted lot – a healing from the gods. We do not deserve such punishment for our dancing, for our attempts to dive into freedom and fun through the whirlpool of liquor! Fix me! Free me! Uncover my breast, O ye daemons, let me breathe once more the clear salted air of peace and of comfort!
Now, now... be not afraid, poor broken souls. We, the medicine women of Krakow, have heard your plea and dammit all, in this moment of weakness you need a womb; a chrysalis which will harbour your re-birth into pure warrior over-self.
Listen now to our healing prayers, we will hold you to our bosom as we float on perfumed cloud towards a nest of rejuvenation and redemption!
Before you can go anywhere, you actually need get off the couch so let’s make these first steps easy for you.
- If you are reading this it means that you have access to the internet - Binaural Beats. These are something top music scientists have developed with their smarts in order to help the emotionally or physically pain stricken. Thats you. Might sound like someone trying to use a drill to access your worst memories at first but seriously, just give it a few minutes and you will be very surprised at how much better you feel. Now, you are ready for phase 2 - movement.
- Do you have room service? Can you make it to the phone or to the fridge? Yes, well you have to. In your fridge, or in your hotel restaurant's fridge, there will be the obligatory jar of Ogorek (Pickles). You need to drink a glass of it. It is how the Polish do. Ogorek juice is packed with natural vitamin C & probably a bunch of other stuff that’s good for you. Whatever, just drink it. It will help you to crawl outside your door.
Congratulations! You've advanced to the third level and it's time to visit some of Krakow’s favourite hangover hangs.
Kolanko No. 6
When your tummy feels like a washing machine that can only be stopped by a very specific but as of yet unknown to you combination of foods, Kolanko has your back. Take your time in tracing down that elusive stomach solution as you groggily pick your way over a long, long table blessed by surprising, gourmet breakfast foods which have surely been imbued with bird-song by the angels. The famous Kolanko breakfast buffet.
Repeatedly topped up with fresh nosh until about 12 every day, you won’t have to move fast or make any difficult decisions. You can have it all, in a world where slow and steady wins the hangover fixing. Choose between slumping your decaying fraud of a former body in a corner of their cavernous wooden room filled with vintagey mismatched chairs and tables, or letting the plant-life, cigarettes and the soft sunshine will you back into existence from the pretty garden. Did we mention it's 22zl/ all you can eat/drink?
Phone: 12 292 03 20
Address: ul. Józefa 17, Kazimierz
If you’re only visiting for the weekend and half of that is in danger of being consumed by your monster hangover, you can still enjoy the cultural experience of curing your traditional Polish hangover in the traditional Polish way.
- Pierogi are dumplings: warm, mushy, steamy, potatoey, cheesy, easy. A stodgy classic to soak up your liquid sufferings like a sponge.
- Zurek is a soup, liquids go down smoother, way less chewing. It has sausage. It has potato. It is sour and in its sourness lies the secret of its healing properties.
- Placki Ziemniaczane are fried pancakes made of potato. Pour some goulash on top and you’re ready to plough the fields.
Sometimes hungover stomachs are cranky and racist and only want whatever mamma made you when you was a tiny babe, so we’ll also mention that Milkbar Tomasza, who are very highly thought of amongst the hungover Krakow crowd, serve up every variation of food involving egg, bacon, pancake or panini - right up to a black pudding with your full English.
Phone: 12 422 17 06
Address: ul. Tomasza 24, Stare Miasto
If you have ever read any of the Upanishads, such as the Bhagavad Gita, or else pursued some Vedic scripture, perhaps listened to an audiobook of Tagore, then you will know that the number one way to heal a hangover is with a big bowl of curry. Buddha himself once famously quoth...
“And he who hath consumed a poison spirit shall then eat a big bowl of curry and feel much better”. It’s historical fact.
Maybe we should have focused more on Buddha, as actually they don’t serve Indian curry here at all. Rather uniquely for Krakow, Wok offers up mostly South-Asian or Chinese specialties which although cooked by Polish chefs (unlike many other Krakasian [Krakow-Asian, just invented it] kitchens whom we won’t name & shame) taste really bloody authentic.
Situated beside a big friendly tree are wide, red benches with cosy blankets, great lunch specials, a selection of yerba mate and other such healing or else re-intoxicating beverages. They’ve designed their menu so that you can design your curry with a choose-your-own-adventure approach to the nature of your ingredients, sauces & salads. From the light and refreshing Vietnamese Pho to the creamy Red Curry and moreish Sate; ginger, turmeric, coriander, chilli, pak choy - your body will definitely stop punishing you after you feed it such a healthy and invigorating treat.
Phone: 887 250 250
Address: ul. Meiselsa 14, Kazimierz
Once you’ve stuffed your stomach with anything you can stomach, you will be needing to find a place to digest. A peaceful, green garden... hammocks hanging from huge shady trees... sunshine dappled through the leaves, speckling big sink-into couches and cheerful flowers with honey drops of light.
However, if currently allergic to outside or sun or air or happiness, inside are dark and moody, smoky candle-lit rooms. More giant hungry couches wait to swallow up your nausea with their gaping, pillowy mouths. Chain smoke cigarettes, try to sip a black coffee with your shaking hand, or to continue the reckless cycle of alcoholism with a calming glass of whiskey. You’ll be in good company here as it is something of a hangover hotspot.
Phone +48 12 292 04 58
Address: ul. Jozefa 9, Kazimierz
Sometimes, unfortunately, your eyes are melting in their sockets, you’ve some tissue stuck to your face with drool (maybe yours, maybe not) and you need a special kind of non-judgemental environment for your special state. A don’t-worry-been-there-before safe zone in which you will not be burdened by extraneous self-hatred brought on by a waitress side-eyeing your unintentional mohawk.
Punkt Docelowy is staffed and frequented exclusively by real people who actually have lives of their own and could care less if you had a pizza delivered to your beanbag. Perfect out front for people watching, perfect out back for people avoiding, furnished with an assortment of comfy chairs, corners, ledges, benches & beanbags in which to die. They have tea and coffee and pringles but let’s be honest, you’ll have one of their Czech or local craft beers because you’re already f*cked anyway.
Phone: 727 586 695
Address: ul. Staromostowa 1, Podgorze
If you’re too hungover for the several planes, busses, rickshaws, donkeys and the long uphill hike that it will take to get yourself from Krakow to a Tibetan Monastery, then this little grotto of ancient medicinal teas and nap worthy floor cushions is about as close as you’re going to get.
While there won’t be any monks on hand to guide your journey to wellness, Czajownia and its apothecaries can surely soothe your pain. Curl up on a rug, bury your pounding head in a cushion, let the shisha pipes and the selection of over 100 aromatic and exotic tea variations slide you right into a healing trance. This right here is exactly why opium dens were so popular.
Phone: +48 664 299 306
Address: Kazimierz, ul. Jozefa 25
People with hangovers should not really have to do anything. If the world were rightly balanced, they would be granted a special badge and all the sober people would be required by law to care for the wobegon souls. Unfortunately for you, in our reality at least, this is not so. The one thing which it is truly an affront to ask a hungover person to do... is to think. If you are hungover, you should not under any circumstances attempt to do any thinking right now. Very dangerous.
Head to the cinema; the wellspring of other people thinking for you. Of the multitude of Cracovian cinemas, Kika is the obvious choice for one very special reason: they have beanbags. That’s right, beanbags. Beanbags in a cinema. Kika provides to you, in your sorry state, the ultimate seating and brain-work alternative. A beanbag for your bum, the sitting place path of least resistance… and a metaphorical movie beanbag for your brain, a path of absolutely no mental effort whatsoever; pretty colours, pretty pictures and dreams of a better, less-hungover life. We don’t really want to tell you, for your own sake, but they do serve beer in their in-house cafe… and yes, you can drink it on the beanbag with the film, you scum.
Phone:12 296 41 52
Address: ul. Ignacego Krasickiego 18, Podgorze
CHAIYO Therapy centre
Not sure if you can even handle the wellness, but if you have enough ambition to let other people touch you then your hounds of pain may soon be transformed into sounds of rain (like, as in that rain & flute & tibetan singing bowl music they always play. That was good writing right there - what do you know, you’re hungover).
Close your eyes and drift away into a dreamworld of friendly mythical creatures, high seas adventures, romances on the misty moors and the reality of people who you can give money to in exchange for massaging your spine right out of jack-in-the-box accordion form and into purring kitten form. Release all cares and regrets from the night before as the ancient secrets handed down to your actual Thai masseuse work their magic on your clearly in need body.
Phone: 12 422 65 49
Address: ul.Dietla 103/2, Stare Miasto
Ambra Day Spa
With their rubbings, scrubbings, soakings and pokings given poetic titles such as 'In the Rose Garden Ceremony' and 'Treasures of Morrocco Ritual' we're not totally confident that this isn't a house of the occult. Whether or not you're being prepared for sacrifice to the gods aside, it seems that here, you can get just about anything done to any part of your body.
When (if) you emerge from a day at Ambra, you may be half human, half lavender milk. While you're there you can get your cavitations peeled (?), a classic GeneO+ Tripollar Neomassage (??), or else just a good old fashioned Power Hialuronic (???). They also have all the normal things (massages, manicures, hair things, skin things) along with lots more things that sound like they are from the future or the loading text of SIMS 2 (Reticulating Splines, Calibrating Personality Matrix - anyone?). Click here to check out the full list.
Address:ul. Królowej Jadwigi 100
Last night you talked to a bouncer. He told you to leave, you told him you didn’t want to and spat on his stupid black shirt. He kicked you in the head and then he kicked you out. Bastard. Now you’ve read our list and all the places we have mentioned so far just make you feel angrier at the idea of going there, and at the mere suggestion of fruity things like ‘healing’, ‘wellness’, ‘joy’ and ‘existence’.
You probably still need to get some of that residual anger out but don’t even have enough energy to punch a floppy dandelion. Propaganda has dark dark corners for dark dark thoughts and the blasting punk/metal soundtrack to match.
See how long you can hold your hand in a candle flame before you begin to feel something… anything. Play Russian roulette with some Polish bikers, play that game where you stab a knife between your fingers as fast as you can, put cigarettes out on your own arm.
The walls are plastered with all kinds of communist-era junk, guitars, motorcycles, anything they could get to stick there - and lots of vintage propaganda posters that will help you to transfer your anger into the political art sphere. Create your own modern masterpiece of anti-something-propaganda with blood and coasters. We’re exaggerating, it’s a great bar, you’ll love it.
Phone: 600 331 922
Address: ul. Miodowa 20, Kazimierz