Bydgoszcz is a beautiful canal city, often dubbed the “Venice of Poland” due to its riverside location, canal boats and pretty buildings. The city’s appeal has increased recently as it was chosen to host some football matches in the 2017 European Championships including Serbia v. Spain. Aside from the tranquility and beauty down by the river, the city has a lively vibe at night and a fabulous range of bars to test out. Here are seven of the best.
Bar, Pub, European, $$$
Pub Amsterdam is a good choice for a central drink – it’s in the Stary Rynek (Old Town Square), next door to Bobby Burger. Prices are somewhat cheap in Bydgoszcz compared with bar prices in Warsaw, Gdynia and Gdańsk, and the bar is long and narrow with sports shown on TV. The bar also has a cocktail and shots menu and serves grzane piwo (hot beer) in the winter.
With a pirate theme, a happy vibe, special offers, and live karaoke, Pub Kubryk is the place to be in Bydgoszcz by night. They have their own food menu, but you can also get pizza ordered from the place next door, and the bar shows live sports. It attracts a young and lively crowd every night and has a good beer garden in summer time.
Kraftodajnia is a superb craft beer pub with a significant range of beers on tap and in bottles. Prices are higher here, but you pay for quality and a cosy venue run by beer enthusiasts. The menu is always changing too: as kegs run out, they replace the beers with new ones. There are always some really interesting beers on tap, from lagers to ales, to wheat beers, dark beers, stouts, and sour beers.
PRL Bars, or socialist-themed bars are a quirky step back in time, a throwback to the old USSR era, and indeed communist times here in Poland. This pub is right in the heart of Bydgoszcz, in the main square. The full name of the pub comes from the previous name of the country, Polska Rzeczpospolita Ludowa (The Polish People’s Republic). Inside you can find cheap beers, wines and spirits, with a traditional food menu. However the pub’s main selling point is its interior décor. The walls are adorned with items and pictures from the past, including typewriters, old televisions, and gramophones.
Ministerstwo Śledzia i Wódki is a chain of bars with outlets in a few towns and cities across Poland. Their Bydgoszcz venue is also in the main square, facing the Town Hall. Again, this is a pub with an old school and retro vibe. The menu and pricing is similar to that of Pub PRL, and on the wall there are vintage LP covers from Communist times. In English the name of the bar is “Ministry of Herring and Vodka”, so the herring dishes (they normally have three options) are highly recommended, and locals consume a shot or two of vodka while eating their meal. They also serve Tatar and a range of good Polish soups.
One of Poland’s legendary bar chains is present here in Bydgoszcz: the famous Pijalnia Wodki i Piwa (a chain which is also present on the list of best shot bars in Warsaw). In here, expect a no-frills environment – cheap drinks, cheap food, and walls decorated with old newspapers. This is a great place for a quick few drinks en route to somewhere else on a night out. Plus, the venue’s notoriously long opening hours also make it an option for a late 4am beer. It’s open every day from 9am to 5am.
This place is the nearest that Bydgoszcz gets to an “English themed” option, though realistically it’s as much a Polish or Irish-style pub as it is English, despite what its name suggests. With red brick walls, imported beer and cocktails, London Pub is a trendy place to spend the evening. There is often live music here and you can watch live football and other sports on the big screens in a cosy bar. At weekends, locals love to dance here, partying through the night until 3am.