Where to Watch the 2018 World Cup in Kraków

On June 14th the world will be watching as the 2018 FIFA WORLD CUP kicks off. All of us at Poland In Your Pocket will be watching too as our respective national teams muscle their way to the second round… oh wait! What?! I’ve just been informed that the US is not coming to play this time. Really?! Trinidad and Tobago!? Well, at least Panama and Honduras will have a shot at it. So we’ll be cheering for Mexico, Japan and Poland. Ranked 10th in the world, Poland has one of the strongest teams they’ve ever had, so expect every seat of every bar or cafe with a screen to be filled with fans, families and grannies chanting and cheering for the biało czerwoni. These are the initial group stage fixtures for Poland, during which city life will basically stop.

Here is a list of places where you can enjoy the World Cup with your friends. If Poland is playing, make sue to reserve a place or just arrive earlier to get good seats.

THE OFFICIAL KRAKÓW FAN ZONE

After much speculation, the city has in fact gone all-out with its official Fan Zone, which occupies the large open space next to the new Cracovia Centennial Hall, near Kraków’s Błonia meadow. Entry is free, and matches will be screened on an enormous 9 x 5m screen. In addition to plenty of beer (but only up to 3.5% alcohol), there’s a big emphasis on gastronomy, with benches and tables for dining on traditional Polish dishes, as well as traditional dishes from around the world prepared specifically to coincide with whichever nations are playing each other. There will also be food trucks nearby, photo booths, face painting and…a ‘mini zoo’ where animals nations will predict match winners (cringe).

All the while, an entire schedule of events will be taking place inside the Centennial Hall sports arena, including a youth football tournament, wrestling tournament, a canoe kayak simulator, tennis demonstrations, creative animations and workshops, tug-of-war, dance and ballet shows and more. The entire Fan Zone is adapted to the needs of people with disabilities, and there is an entire programme of sports competitions specifically for those with disabilities.

STARA ZAJEZDNIA

This huge former tram depot in Kazimierz has been turned into a microbrewery, and not only offers their own beer, but also has a full menu of eats and one of the largest ranges of whiskies in town. Matches will be shown on enormous screens both inside and outside, and this place is so big that it’s a sure bet for anyone who needs a last minute place to catch the match.

DWOREK STREET FOOD PARK

Enjoy the open air, cheap international eats and game time excitement at this food truck park near the train station, which will have a giant screen showing all matches. Certainly one of the hipper places in town to watch the World Cup, and unlike other food trucks parks in town, this one has bathrooms.

ZET PE TE

Essentially a maze of beer gardens on the grounds of a former tobacco factory, Tytano has basically evolved into its own self-contained nightlife district, and ZetPeTe is the complex’s largest venue, featuring two beer gardens with outside bars on either side of their spacious indoor music club/concert space. World Cup matches will be projected on a giant screen in the far garden at the very back of the Tytano complex, or inside if it’s raining. We’ve absolutely no doubt this will be one of the best places to watch in town.

Just over the pedestrian footbridge in Podgórze – and arguably the best bar in the district.
This intimate venue in the Gothic cellars of a fancy shopping centre has been a favourite after-work sports pub and weekend dance club for locals.

As the name implies, Mojito Caffé marries coffee culture with craft cocktails – and quite literally in the form of their exciting coffee cocktails.
Filled with glass sconces, booth seating and images of fox hunts, Bull Pub perfectly captures what the Great British Pub once looked liked.

Five TVs, space for about 120 people spread over three rooms, beer for 9zł and regular cocktail promotions.

Looking to fill the sports bar void created by the Irish M’Bassy’s demise, Football Heaven is actually that over-crowded and often obnoxious pub.

Kraków’s friendliest Irish pub is a great place to find fellow comrades in arms for any game.
One of the oldest and most infamous student clubs in Kraków, Pod Jaszczurami mixes academic sophistication and sophomoric mayhem.

A cult hangout for local beer connoisseurs, Omerta overcomes a tired Mafia theme (replete with pics and quotes from The Godfather), with one of the best beer lists in town.
The legend of this esteemed jazz den dates back to 1999, and it has managed to remain at the forefront of Kraków’s respected jazz scene ever since.

A proper pool hall with a handsome design and large windows that practically put the action happening inside out onto the sidewalk.

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