How to spend New Year’s Eve in 2018/19 Krakow

Defying the odds, humanity has yet again made successful revolution around the sun on a rock hurtling through space.

If you’re spending New Year’s Eve on the Krakow part of that rock, here are our top picks for how to spend it:

Krakow’s official celebrations

Masked alternative band Bokka will perform on Krakow's Main Square (phot. Lukasis, vis. Kuba Guzik, in Poznań)
Masked alternative band Bokka will perform on Krakow’s Main Square (phot. Lukasis, vis. Kuba Guzik, in Poznań, via Facebook)

The city of Krakow will be hosting three stages of free musical performances in different parts of the city as the evening draws to a close. Expect big, packed crowds but high-quality musical offerings.

The most prominent stage is on the Main Square. Starting at 20:15 till late past midnight, the following music acts will perform:

  • Best-selling young Polish rapper/footballer Quebonafide
  • Otsochodzi, another rapper whose work hearkens back to classic 90s hip-hop
  • Extremely danceable, funky electronic group Kamp!
  • BOKKA, a secretive alternative rock band who perform wearing mirror masks on their faces
  • Ment XXL performing his set Flirtini with other musicians
  • A final electronic set by young female Ukrainian artist DJ Facheroia

If it’s more exotic music you seek, head to Plac Wolnica in Kazimierz. There, starting at 21, you can find:

  • Electronic music producer Ludwik Zamenhof (AKA Andrzej Zagajewski, who takes his stage name from the Polish inventor of the Esperanto language), mixing Bulgarian, Polish, Balkan, Indian, and Syrian influences and samples into his beats
  • Local DJ Daniel Drumz, whose rhythms are inspired by music from Africa and the Middle East

For more of a retro feel (in music and architecture), also starting at 21 in the heart of Nowa Huta (Aleja Róż) is a stage on which DJ Vasil will spin some of the best disco hits from the 1980s.

Parties and clubs

If the official city entertainment isn’t your scene, there are, of course, also a variety of clubs and parties around town. We recommend the following:

  • Piękny Pies (ul.Bożego Ciała 9, 20:00, free) – One of Kazimierz’s coolest clubs is hosting local DJ Superman for a dance party
  • FORUM Przestrzenie (ul. Marii Konopnickiej 28, 20:00, 85-100 PLN) – The tickets are rather pricey, but they’ll get you access to two stages at one of Krakow’s largest and most popular clubs, featuring Envee with special guest Monika Borzym as well as a collective on The Very Polish Cutouts label
  • Cafe Szafe (ul. Felicjanek 10, 19:00, free) – Famous for their themed parties (last year’s NYE was jungle-inspired), this year Cafe Szafe aims to breeze away your winter blues with a seaside-themed party to dance and hang out. If you want to be sure to get a space in the relatively small establishment, email mail.cafeszafe@gmail.com
  • BAL (ul. Ślusarska 9, 21:00, 120 PLN) – Another theme party, this one in Krakow’s budding southern Zabłocie district. At this one, you’ll have to wear your pajamas. Another high ticket price, but it’ll get you an all-night buffet, two drinks and a glass of champagne, and all-night music and dancing. Reserve tickets via email, telephone (794 909 336), or via the linked Facebook page

Chill at the cinema

from Córka Trenera (A Coach's Daughter) a 2018 Polish film directed by Łukasz Grzegorzek
from Córka Trenera (A Coach’s Daughter) a 2018 Polish film directed by Łukasz Grzegorzek

Rather spend midnight in a dark room sitting down? A few cinemas are offering late night screenings:

  • Kino Pod Baranami on Krakow’s Main Square is showing three films from 2018 for one price of 119 PLN – Green Book (dir. Peter Farrelly), Beautiful Boy (dir. Felix van Groeningen), and Córka Trenera (A Coach’s Daughter) (dir. Łukasz Grzegorzek, in Polish with English subtitles). Tickets can be bought online or at the door if available
  • For the same price, this might be your last chance to see a New Year’s Eve screening at Krakow’s legendary Kino ARS at Św. Tomasza 11 (as in 2019 it will be replaced with a hotel). Starting shortly after 21, depending on which screen you choose, you can see some triple combination of new films from around Europe: The Favourite (dir. Yorgos Lanthimos), My Beautiful Son, Loro (dir. Paolo Sorrentino), The Emperor of Paris (dir. Jean-François Richet), Happy as Lazzaro (dir.  Alice Rohrwacher), and Everybody Knows (dir. Asghar Farhadi). Buy tickets online or at the door if available

At home

Don’t feel like going out? In that case, the one thing you should keep in mind is that, while the city of Krakow does not have an official fireworks display, many private residents will be setting off explosive displays of their own – which may cause distress for your pet. If you have a fuzzy friend, check out the Krakow Post guide for how to keep them calm during the noisy festivities.

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