The big three of Eastern Europe. Thousands of years of history, wide rivers slicing the city into old and new, stag and hen parties, cheap beer, and an illustrious reputation for partying, which may or may not be true…. But which is best?
Clubs: 10/10 – Ruin Bars are the best clubs I’ve ever been in. One club can have 30 rooms and a different scene in each room so you can always find something you like. Also, the architecture of these bars in one of a kind having been built into the ruins of old war bunkers. The Berlin purists might say this dilutes the “scene.” But who likes Berlin’s ultra-exclusiveness anyway. Also, these go off every day of the week.
Prices: 7/10 – Not as cheap as Krakow, but cheaper than Prague. Prices are friendly and almost all of the bars are free to enter.
Bars: 8/10 – Clubs not your thing? Budapest has a great bar scene and beer lounge scene as well. These close earlier, but often have awesome character for a happy hour drink.
Music: 7/10 – I experienced a lot of really average DJ’s, but it wasn’t awful.
Crowd: 7/10 – Budapest is a big target for young study abroad-ers and stag and hen parties. I’m all for a good time, but both can mess up a vibe.
Proximity: 7/10 – pretty much every bar is within walking distance. Only a few would need a taxi, but that did happen to us once…
Clubs: 6/10 – Prague didn’t really nail it with the clubs. There are a few, but they had little character.
Prices: 6/10 – Prague was pricey! It was pretty much on the level of Western Europe. That took me by surprise so heads up. Cover charges at most places ranging from 3 -10 euros.
Bars: 6/10 – I found some fun bars, but there weren’t a lot. Maybe 5. The rest of the bars we found had no character (tacky 1950’s American inspired bar, typical top 40 smelly small club, pricey and fancy pubs/steakhouses turned bars, etc).
Music: 7/10 – The few good bars had some good music. Most of the music wasn’t so good.
Crowd: 6/10 Prague is very touristy and full of hens and stags. You can hear their singing and chanting from blocks away. There are also a lot of Irish bars so that attracted a lot of U.K. people People in Prague were pretty flashy.
Proximity: 8/10 Prague is small, everything is walkable and the metro system is very good once you figure it out. It is also “essentially” free.
Clubs: 7/10: We were there Sunday – Thursday so most things were quiet….but for a big three city that’s no excuse.
Prices: 9/10 – Poland is very budget friendly. You can find most drinks from 1-2 euros. Unfortunately in Poland you cannot drink on the streets like other European cities, which prevents you from having road beers. We didn’t see a lot of cover charges, but again things were quiet.
Bars: 7/10 – There are a lot of pretty cool bars. Not as much as Budapest, but more than Prague.
Music: 7/10 – Not bad but not impressive. We found a few places with live music.
Crowd: 8/10 – Krakow is a little more out of the way so we found more locals, more young people, less touristy and flashy people, less stags and hens, more backpacker vibe.
Proximity: 7/10 Krakow is actually pretty big. The main areas are all walkable, but if you want to go from one side to the other it’s pretty far. Fortunately, Uber is very cheap.
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