“Spend your nightlife table hopping; trying to keep your bag of bones in trim” – Noel Gallagher.
When life took me to the beautiful canal city of Bydgoszcz, I was sure to pump out a textbook top 5 bars type post. This was originally scheduled for the defunct Don’t Stop Living blog. From DSL to PRL, I decided to tour the bars, cafes and restaurants on my two day stint in this city, the Venice of Poland, or to put it the way it should be – Venice is the Bydgoszcz of Italy. Hashtag the beast #piatkowepicie #bydgoszcz #tourist
I stayed at the cosy Hotel Zawisza and headed out to explore this often neglected Polish super town, a Magiczne Miasto for sure. I picked out the best 12 bars, pubs, cafes, restaurants etc. in this trendy city and here I present you with my tourist list…
The first actual pub I visited in “Byddy” was Pub Amsterdam. A throwback to ancient Holland you think? Not really but a cosy decor and narrow shaped bar did remind me of some epic pubs in Amsterdam and London. I had a Grzane Piwo (Hot Spiced Beer) in here, watched football on the TV and used their WiFi.
The beer was actually 7.5 zloty which is a bargain for Grzane Piwo compared with Warsaw and Gdansk prices and the beer’s location is dead central – it’s in the Stary Rynek – Old Town Square, next door to Bobby Burger.
Stary Rynek 16, Bydgoszcz
tel.: 52 322 76 95, kom.: 888 719 719
With a pirate theme, a lively vibe, special offers and live karaoke, this is the pure fire place to be in Bydgoszcz by night. I popped in for a quick beer, listened to the karaoke and mingled with two pretty local girls who informed me about sights, sounds and features of their town. You can also get pizza ordered from the joint next door. I had a dark beer here and it was 6 zloty for a bottle. A Zywiec Stout.
3.You Don’t Know Jack
It’s true that I don’t know Jack. What is also true is that when you backpack a lesser known city on the Polish tourist trail, you learn interesting things. A pub with its name in English, yet still the OLDEST Pub in Byddy! It should say “You don’t know Jack shit” but I doubt the Catholic Church or the Soviet Union would have approved the profanity. Apparently the old name was The King’s Head, this is written above the entrance as is the Studenci Krajow so the name might get confusing, but the locals know it as “Jack”.
The prices in here are ridiculously cheap – it’s a student hangout. A beer and a pizza for 10 zloty!!! Yes and the beer was good and the pizza was huge – that is £2!! Cheapest beer and pizza in Europe in a bar surely?! Certainly on my travels! The interior decor is also great, there is a balcony view of the city and a basement nightclub. It’s a box full of magic tricks!
Jack Pub/You Don’t Know Jack
Długa 65, 85-034 Bydgoszcz
Phone: 52 372 98 81
Without a doubt, the best “craft beer pub” in town and a cool hangout. Prices go up as a result of course but you pay for quality. I sampled a few of their tap beers and have been meaning to compile a “Best Craft Beer Bars in Poland” article. When I do, Kraftodajnia is bound to feature.
If you have followed my stories on here, you might have read a previous Piątkowe Picie, where I listed the first “PRL or Socialist Themed Bars” I visited. I love this throwback to the old USSR era and indeed communist times here in mighty Poland. So many of these bars are named “PRL” now, a letter hat-trick whose original treble was an anagram of Polska Rzeczpospolita Ludowa (The Polish People’s Republic). Clever vendors these days dress it up as “Pub Restaurant Libacion.
Pub PRL is also in the main square and I enjoyed drinking Grzaniec here, the hot wine, priced at 8 zloty. I chatted at length to bar girl Ola, a budding journalist as well as admiring the pure sensational range of 70s and 80s items that adorn the walls and floors. This is what a “PRL” pub should be, rather cool like the now defunct Projekt PRL in Starogard Gdanski.
Stary Rynek 5, 85-105 Bydgoszcz
Phone: 692 130 280
6.Po Co Cafe
I was invited by Visit Bydgoszcz Tourist Board to a coffee tasting session and demonstration at the trendy Po Co Cafe. This also happens to be the coolest WiFi cafe in town. It’s pretty small but the coffee is great. It’s locally owned and we get four samples to taste. I try coffee from Brazil, Colombia, Ethiopia and a “Commercial Coffee” (i.e. from Ratsbux!!). The Ratsbuz one is by far the worst and I guess it. The best was the Ethiopia one. Fond memories of feeding hyenas mouth to mouth when I whackpacked in Harar, Ethiopia!
Po Co Cafe
Długa 61, 85-034 Bydgoszcz
Telephone: 536 867 873
When I first moved to Gdansk, I remember seeing the Bobby Burger restaurant in the Stare Miasto and thinking it looked unique. I later found out it’s a big burger chain. This was normally against my travel repertoire, that was until I tasted their burgers!
I also realised that each Bobby Burger supports the local culture around it – so here in the Bydgoszcz one, I was able to try Bydgoszcz Jasne Piwo (local light beer) for the first time. A spicy burger with bacon was 15 zloty and my Bydgoszcz beer was 8 zloty.
The swanky Przystan Hotel has inside its grounds an excellent riverside cafe, serving up good coffee, food and beers. On this occasion, I went in for a coffee, to do some blogging and admire the views. A cool place to relax with a cappuccino!
Przystan Cafe, Hotel Przystan,
Ul. Tamka 2, 85-102 Bydgoszcz, Województwo: kujawsko-pomorskie
Tel.: +48 52 585-96-01
Fax: +48 52 585-96-10
Email: [email protected]
9.MSW – Ministerswo Sledzia i Wodki
Another pub that featured on my Best PRL Bars list, this is cheap, socialistic in style and has a cool basement bar with old vintage Polish record sleeves adorning the wall by the stairs that take you back in time 30 years.
I popped in during the morning for a coffee so didn’t see the place by night, but when you’re a travel blogger on a two day mission, it can be hard to cover all tracks. Menus show old style design but with current prices. Like a few of its fellow PRL Bars, this place is cheap.
10.Pijalnia Wodki i Piwa
When you travel (or indeed live) in Poland, you can’t miss the budget bar option of the textbook, consistent “Pijalnia Wodki i Piwa”, literally “House of Beer and Vodka”, this chain is the country’s cheapest chain of pubs. I often compare it to Wetherspoons in the U.K. Each Pijalnia Wodki i Piwa looks the same inside, they all have 4 zloty vodka, beer, coffee and tea and they all have 8 zloty snacks. Definitely one for the budget backpacker. I tend to just have my 4 zloty beer and then move on…
11.Siesta Bistro & Galeria
For an arty, up market wine bar, try the cosy Siesta which is on Ulica Gdanska. Once inside, expect good wine and coffee and a hearty exquisite food menu. I’m not really a big fan of wine, so it was coffee for me here and admiring the art within.
The seats are cosy and there is nice art on the wall.
Bistro Galeria Siesta
ul. Gdańska 66
The final bar on this list goes to Katarynka which has the best Pierogi in town and some awesome locally brewed beers to sample. This was my dinner choice on my final night in Byddy! Again, it is bang in the centre – situated beside the Tourist Information Office in the Stary Rynek, Old Town Square.
I had the epic Piwojad Raspberry beer – made locally and tasty. I also tried the Himbeer Weizen (White Polish Beer) and treated myself to the best Pierogi in the city – Pierogi z spinakiem i serem (spinach and cheese).
Niedźwiedzia 3, 85-103 Bydgoszcz
Telephone: 52 320 30 95
So I definitely recommend a few days in Bydgoszcz – as you can tell I loved touring the sights of this city and the bars and cafes too. Here are some videos from my trip: