On my quest to visit as many provinces and UNESCO heritages sites in Poland as possible, many thought I’d skip some obvious cities on the way. Indeed, I did. I hadn’t even stepped foot in Płock until September 2018 so it was finally time! If you are a tourist here, be aware that Płock is not pronounced like the English spelling of “Plock”.
How to pronounce Płock
Be careful how to say the name of the city – Płock. It’s not pronounced anything like the English spelling of Plock or Plok! Nor even “Plosk”, or “Plots” or “Plotsch”. It’s more like “Pwottsssk”. I was loving it, on arrival by bus from the capital city of Warszawa. Before I cover the sightseeing in Pretty Płock, here’s a wee post on my favourite bars, cafes and restaurants. My backpacking friend Malina hails from Płock, and she backpacked 7 African countries with me in the last year including the wacaday trip from Rwanda to the Democratic Republic of Congo and feeding giraffes in Kenya.
Quick Background on Płock
I was stunned to discover that Płock was once the capital of Poland. In my country, Belfast has always been the capital city of Northern Ireland (since our formation in 1921). So from 1079 – 1138 Płock was the first historical capital of Poland. I found out that the cathedral here contains the sarcophagi of a number of Polish monarchs, from the times when Poland was a Kingdom. Other capitals of Poland were Gniezno, Krakow, Lublin and Warszawa. Płock serves another purpose away from the Warszawian capital here – it is the cultural, academic, scientific, administrative and transportation centre of the north-west Masovian Province (Mazowieckie).
Foremost here, pretty Płock supplies its curious visitor with unexpected and stunning views over Poland’s longest river, the Wisła. Given its only 1.5 hours by bus or train from Warszawa, it is a bit shocking that this charmigator doesn’t attract more tourists. I mean, it is easily reachable on a day trip from Warszawa. As well as once capitaling the country, Poland’s oldest school is here, and of course I singled out some epicative bars, cafes and restaurants in which to sample the finest social times on Płock’s block. Move over, Warszawa…there’s a new kid on the Płock.
I had two nights here and a quick weekend trip but I still managed to visit some great restaurants, bars, cafes and pubs, so here are my favourites. I will review the guesthouse and sights separately.
For the finest local beer brewed in Płock, be sure to make a visit to Browar Tumski. This was my main hangout and favourite bar – okay so I visited it on both the days I was here, and had many a beer inside including the deska piw (5 of the best) and the tasty Pineapple Milkshake IPA. Tumski is a popular local hangout located right in the main old town square. I didn’t see or hear any other foreign tourists here, but it attracts a lively mix of Płock residents and tourists (whether Polish or not).
As you might know, I love a good microbrewery, craft beer or beer with a difference. Browar Tumski does a beer of the week and brews its own beer. To sample all of them on a decent budget, I opted for the ‘deska piw’, which contains five beers by this brewery, served on a board in 5 mini glasses.
The five beers might well vary, but I had a lager, a wheat beer, an IPA, an APA and a stout. At the time I also tried their unusual pineapple beer which was damn refreshing on a hot summer day. In line with other quality Browars in Poland, the food menu serves up delicious Polish dishes. I had to indulge of course. These dishes give you a good sample of Polish cuisine and act as great beer accompaniments. I tried both the pierogi with goose and the placki ziemniaczane (potato pancakes) with vegetables. As a bonus, and for the blogging geek, the bar also has free Wi-Fi.
Stary Rynek 13
+24 268 69 39
+48 501 612 088
2.Zbrojownia Craft Beer
The best craft beer bar in town for its sheer range of bottled and draught beer has to be Zbrojownia Craft Beer. This is a trendy evening venue for the beer connoisseurs of Płock. It also happens to be Płock’s first Craft Beer bar and has a rotating selection of 9 beers on tap, to satisfy the demands of all beer loving customers you of course it was an early port of call for me. It is strictly a night time venue, opening its doors at 4 pm and otwarte until the wee hours. It’s an enclosed and cosy venue with beer geekage, talkative, knowledgeable staff. If you are unsure which beer to try, ask the barman for a small sample, or scour the fridge until you find the beer of your desire. It is not really a food orientated venue, but burgers and zapiekanki (Polish bread with cheese and mushroom) are available.
Zbrojownia Craft Beer
Zbrojownia Craft Beer on Facebook
dr inż. Jakuba Chojnackiego 8/10, 09-400 Płock
Located on Ulica Grodzka in Płock’s old town, Zachęta Bar is a lively night time haunt, which attracts students, young couples and a few tourists. It’s not a place for a big selection of drinks but I popped in to check it out. Revellers drink cold Polish beers on tap such as Lech, Książęce and a few regional ales. The spirit selection is decent with a great variety of flavoured (and colourful) vodkas, custom made shots and imported whiskeys. On Fridays and Saturdays, the venue gets packed out and locals are not shy to dance the night away. Zachęta is also well-suited for sports fans as live football (mostly the local team’s matches – Wisła Płock) is shown here and there are darts and arm wrestling competitions.
Zachęta Bar on Facebook
Grodzka 9, 09-409 Płock
The city’s most popular Steakhouse is more than just a place to taste the best meat cuts in town. Antrykot Steakhouse is a superb bar which sits on the main old town square in Płock, a buzzing area in summer (I backpacked it late August/early September). For sports fans, the inside part of the bars shows live football (mostly Polish league but also Champions league), volleyball and basketball. For steak lovers, get ready to devour a steak from the awesome menu, which includes the Australian Black Angus Steak and the Jack Daniel’s Rib Eye Steak. The chicken breast marinated in lemon and potato is worth a try, or indeed one of the burgers featuring on the predictably meat dominated menu. Polish beer Tyskie and Czech beer Kozel are both served on draught in a venue which also caters for the cocktail buff. The frontal beer garden is open in the summer months, and overlooks the main old town square.
Antrykot Steakhouse on Facebook
Stary Rynek 25, 09-409 Płock
Lisia Jama is a trendy bar, club and restaurant all in one. A happy vibe and warm atmosphere oozes out of Płock’s well-known Lisia Jama, which serves up delicious burgers and pizzas to go alongside their range of cocktails and cold Polish draught beer (Warka and Żywiec). Live music pumps from the speakers on weekend nights, as local DJs aim to fill up the dancefloor. Polish Ekstraklasa, Spanish La Liga and English Premier League football matches are shown on the big screens. The planked outdoor beer terrace has wooden tables, benches and seats and gets packed out in the summer months. I popped in for a quick Sunday afternoon beer. It’s easy to find – you’ll spot the huge wall mural on the way in.
For a real treat and something out of the ordinary, have a drink and a bite to eat at the quirky Wieża Ciśnień, which translates as ‘Water Tower’. It’s not central and a wee bit of a dander but it was on route to my hostel/guesthouse so I popped in and loved it. It’s one of my favourite places to have a beer in Płock, maybe even in Poland. It is a tall brick tower which was used for storage and distribution of water in days gone by and is now a drinking haunt.
Yes, recently, a local businessman decided to convert the tower into a cosy and atmospheric restaurant and bar. During the hotter months, you can enjoy watching the traffic go by (on Ulica Warszawska) from the outdoor balcony. However, the cosy option is to try a warm Polish beer (known as Grzane Piwo) during the cold winter months, accompanied by the venue’s trademark burgers. The 5 storey tower also specialises in whiskey.
ul. Warszawska 26
tel.: 24 367 10 00
e-mail: [email protected]
7.Bar Stara Chata
The cosy and chilled out Bar Stara Chata (Old Hut Bar) is located on Rajmunda Rembielińskiego street, slightly away from the main hub of bars which dominates Płock’s old town. This makes for a calmer and more relaxed experience. Live sports are shown on the big screens, including Polish national football and volleyball matches. The bar also has table football and darts. Living up to its name of Old Hut Bar, Bar Stara Chata has wood-furnished walls and mountain hut-style windows. Polish specialities pierogi and bigos are both included on the food menu and the beer menu has German, Czech and Polish beers.
Bar Stara Chata on Facebook
Rajmunda Rembielińskiego 6b, 09-400 Płock
8.Karczma Pod Strzecha
A cosy spot on Grodzka Street for decent Polish food of the your granny variety…here expect good pierogi, bigos and all that tends towards a Polish traditional lunch or dinner. Good soups, a cosy patio and alcohol too. Gosh, Płock is really spoilt for food, so many choices and my list and weekend merely scratched the surface!
I found out later they actually have two venues in the city now, but I went to the one in Grodzka (5).
9.Caffe and Bistro Na Deptaku
I was here in Płock over a weekend and also wanted to try some good coffee, find a Wi-Fi bar and watch the football. I found it difficult to watch any English football match in the main bars, so I headed to this quiet bar and made use of their fast Wi-Fi. I watched AFC Bournemouth put up a good fight but lose 2-0 to Chelsea away. Later in the same season we beat them 4-0!
This cosy cafe and bar is on Tumska 5. As well as fast Wi-Fi and good coffee, I also had a beer here – they have bottled and tap beer as a basic and plenty of spirits.
Caffe and Bistro Na Deptaku
Tumska 5, 09-410 Płock
10.Krepsiaki Pancake House
I only had time for 10 places in Płock so apologies for those places I didn’t visit or write about – maybe next time? love how Poland has different styles of “pancakes” (and I know this isn’t exactly the correct word, but I’ll roll with it. Basically there are crepes, nalesniki, pancakes and placki ziemniaczane. Here in Płock, I headed to Krepsiaki for a dark beer and a delicious Saturday night dessert of blueberry, banana and chocolate pancakes. Pleasant waitresses and right on the main square, so definitely a relaxing spot.
Stary Rynek 9, 09-400 Płock
Here are some videos from my time in pretty Płock: