New Year in Krakow
Welcoming 2019 with a bang!


Ahh, the New Year!

Clean slate, fresh start and the feeling that everything is possible. Also – the best parties! Christmas joy is still present and it mixes with the excitement for new beginnings. Friends gather together to celebrate and start the new chapter on the right foot. If you are planning on spending that magical time in Krakow, you will definitely fall in love with the atmosphere!

Although to be fair... it's extremely easy to fall in love with Krakow at any time of the year.

What can you expect from Krakow as far as the New Year goes? In this post I will tell you all there is to know.

UPDATE: We are happy to announce that the New Year's Eve in Krakow 2018/19 (main celebration at the Main Market Square) will take place. The official list of the artists performing include Quebonafide, Otsochodzi, BOKKA and CAMP - stars of rap, hip-hop and electronic music. The entrance is free!


What is ‘sylwester’?

The word you will hear and see everywhere is a Polish version of the well-known name Sylvester.

But why does Poland go bananas over Rocky Balboa at the end of every year?

The answer may disappoint you (if you are a Rambo fan wanting a fun anecdote, that is). It’s quite simple, really: 31st December is a name day for Sylwester, therefore it has become a commonly used term for New Year’s Eve in Poland.

By the way, it’s also a name day for Barbacjan, Saturnina and Tworzysław, so let’s be glad that Sylwester is the one that stuck – it’s a lot easier to pronounce for foreigners!

If someone asks you ‘jakie masz plany na sylwestra?’, it means ‘what are your plans for the New Year’s Eve?’ :)


Before the New Year’s Eve

Krakow is exceptionally beautiful during the Christmas period, so we encourage you to start your visit it a few days before the New Year. We have an entire blog post about Christmas in Krakow and reasons why you should visit our Christmas market, so check them out to get more information on the topic!

The city centre looks as if taken out of a fairytale with all the lights and (hopefully!) snow. It’s the perfect scenery to do some sightseeing and take tons of breathtaking photos that will make your friends back home drool with jealousy, while the Christmas market is a great opportunity to try a variety of Polish dishes and get some mulled wine in your system. 

Sounds like a good warm up before the party, right?



New Year's Eve in Krakow Main Market Square

Get ready for the biggest and the loudest party in the city! It will have three locations! Although the biggest scene will be built next to the Town Hall Tower in the Main Market Square, there is also going to be one in Nowa Huta District, and another one in Kazimierz District

The party in the Main Market Square will present you the best Polish hip-hop, rap and electronical music - Quebonafide, BOKKA and CAMP. It will not be any television broadcast - the party will be just for locals and visitors. At the end the city offers an incredible light show! It will start at 8:15 PM and will last to 2:00 AM.

In Kazimierz and Nowa Huta District you can go dancing! The party wil take place in heated tents. On Plac Wolnica in Kazimierz there will be an etno-style party, and in Aleja Róż in Nowa Huta there will be an 80's-style party! Both of them will start at 9:00 PM and end at 1:00 AM.

The entrance is completely free!

As in the previous years, there won't be any firework display - the city is taking safety of people and animals into consideration.

  • You are not allowed to enter the party under alcohol influence
  • You cannot bring any glass bottles with you
  • Bringing any pyrotechnical articles is forbidden

New Year’s Eve parties in Krakow – our picks!

There will be countless events on that special night and everyone will be able to find something for themselves. We wanted to let you know about the parties that seemed particularly interesting. Without further ado…

Let’s jump right into it!

1. Disco fever

click here to find out more

70’s, 80’s, 90’s… throwback to the simpler times!

If Stayin’ alive, La Isla Bonita or Smooth criminal are your jams and you looove rocking flared jeans, this is THE party for you. It will be colourful, fun and… Groovy.

Don’t let the sequins blind you, this will be your night for sure. Prepare to rock the dancefloor! Also worth mentioning – vegetarian food options will be available. 


2. Monte Carlo Night

click here to find out more

If you want to start 2019 in a luxorious atmosphere, this may pique your interest.

Inspired by the glamour of oldschool casino de Monte-Carlo, this party will let you see 2018 off in style. Spoil yourself with some fancy drinks and enjoy your night.

Vive la vie!


3. Underwater world

click here to find out more

This one is so cool!

It offers a marine coctail (we are curious what that might be), a 4-course meal and a lottery in which you can win treasures. Of course beverages, DJ, buffet and other standard elements are included in the price as well. 

We are wondering if they will hire real mermaids for the party. Now that would be something!


4. Black and white party

click here to find out more

That's a rather self-explanatory concept, isn't it?

A black and white-themed party. Simple, elegant ambience, mouth-watering food... what more could you possibly want?

Great option for all the folks who are into the insta-friendly monochromatic vibe.


5. 20's, 30's...

click here to find out more

We have already used a time machine to go back to the disco era. What if we go even further back?

Here is a treat for all the fans of swing, tango, jazz and all things vintage. Wear your favourite flapper dress, a cool headband and join the party in the heart of stunning Jewish quarter in Krakow!


6. Journey through the decades 

click here to find out more

It's the last time we're going back in time, we promise.

This party combines it all, so if you can't decide which decade is your favourite, no worries - they've got you covered. There will be a singer, a DJ and even a revue! 

So if you're torn between charleston, disco, jazz and twist, don't sweat it: turns out sometimes you can have it all.


7. Chicago - the musical

click here to find out more

Ok, but what if you're not into partying? 

Well, if you prefer seeing a good show, Krakow has something to offer as well (which is a common theme - it really is a city where everyone can find something for themselves!). 

How about seeing the classic - Chicago - on this special night? If you choose the showing at 20:30, a glass of champagne will be included.



The most popular choices

8. Concert hall

click here to find out more

Philharmonic orchestra in Krakow has their own unique proposal. If classical music tugs at your heartstrings (pun intended), this will probably be a great way to start the New Year on a good note (wow, I'm on fire!).

Seriously though, Bernstein's and Strauss's masterpieces in the programme are something everyone can enjoy and if you don't feel like dancing that night, maybe listening to some soothing tunes will be the perfect way to enter the New Year.


9. Once upon a time - Disney style!

click here to find out more

I tried not to be biased while compiling this list, but this has to be one of my favourites.

A room full of Winnie-the-Poohs, Bellas, Elsas, Mickey Mouses and Peter Pans? That sounds like an absolute blast! All that accompanied by 70's, 80's and 90's music... and classic Disney hits, of course :)

If you feel like being a princess, I don't think you can find a better opportunity. 

Plus - the venue is at the Main Market Square, you can't really beat that!


10. 'Sylwester station' in Stara Zajezdnia

click here to find out more

Stara Zajezdnia is one of the most impressive venues in Kazimierz (the Jewish Quarter) and every excuse is good enough to attend a party there and try some of their amazing craft beers!

If you have a soft spot for furry little creatures - it's worth mentioning that part of the revenues will be given to KTOZ, which is a local charity organization taking part of animals. 

Honorable mentions

Other parties definitely worth checking out!

New Year in Krakow - what to expect?

  • Take weather into consideration. Polish winters can be unpreditctable and it's good to be prepared for all occasions. Check the forecast a few days prior to your trip, pack accordingly and throw in an extra piece of clothing for different weather conditions anyway. Better safe than sorry!
  • 1st January is a bank holiday, so shops are closed and public transport has different timetables than usual. Remember about it when preparing your outing on the 31st!
  • Prebook your activities before coming to Poland. The Christmas period is a busy time tourist-wise and booking tours and tickets in advance is the smart thing to do.


I hope you will have a great time visiting Krakow during this magical time.

Happy New Year! :)

5 (2)


2018.10.29 15:10
Hi i am coming to Krakow for New Year from Scotland. I am wondering about the main square. Is there an event there and if so, how do i get tickets for it? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
2018.10.30 15:10
Hi Paul, thank you for your comment! Actually, we are wondering the same thing... There is no information about the celebration at Main Market Square yet, but we will update this blog post as soon as we know anything officially, so stay tuned ;) You can email me at - I will email you back when I have any information about this matter. Best regards, Karolina
Leigh Derbyshire
2018.11.05 11:11
Hi there, I will be visiting from England and thought these are all great ideas but do you know if there is anything less formal - for example, pubs or small restaurants rather than balls? Thanks
2018.11.06 12:11
Hi Leigh, I would recommend Klub Dziekanat or ToTu Club - there will be parties for sure. Other than that probably lots of clubs will offer the New Years Party, it's just not officially announced yet.
2018.11.06 12:11
Hi, I am visiting at New Year - can I only have 3 days, can you recommend any tourist visits or activities that are a must visit? I am also looking for something New Year - a nice bar maybe?
2018.11.12 13:11
Dear Grace, It is a little tricky since a lot of attractions will be closed, but from what I can see, you can enjoy a Wawel Cathedral tour, will still have some seats for Auschwitz Tour and Salt Mine tour for 31st Dec. Please email me at if you need some more help with choosing the right tour for you. Best regards, Karolina
Johanna Urquhart
2018.11.06 14:11
We are looking for things to do on New Years Eve, do you know what time the celebrations will start at the square?
2018.11.12 13:11
Dear Johanna, all the details about the New Year Eve will be given to the public on the 12th Dec. Unfortunately I don't have any info about the start time :(
2018.11.07 12:11
Traveling from US. Any suggestion for 17 and 15 year old. Thanks!!
2018.11.12 13:11
Hi Trish, Awesome that you're coming! It's a tricky question though - what are you guys interested in? Must-See places? (Auschwitz, Wieliczka Salt Mine, Wawel), or some off-the-beaten-track places? (Nowa Huta, Podgórze, Zakrzówek).
2018.11.13 23:11
Hi thinking of booking to come to krakow during new year for roughly 3 nights. Will tourist spots still be open during this period ?
2018.11.14 09:11
Dear Kathryn, I am sure they will be open, probably the opening hours might change slightly. Usually they work as per Sunday schedule. I hope that helps. It's hard for me to tell you the exact hours though.
2018.11.15 16:11
Looking to spend New Years's in Krakow and I was wondering about the Chicago musical, where can I find information in English? The website was all in Polish.
2018.12.17 12:12
Hi Linnea, you can find some information on the musical on Teatr Variété's website ( or contact them directly via e-mail ( - I'm sure they will be more than happy to help!
2018.11.17 08:11
Coming for New Year with hubby and daughter of 6. Any suggestions of activities we might do esp for her please ? :)
2018.12.17 21:12
Hi Karen, thank you for commenting! I would highly recommend checking out our blog, as we have plenty of posts that mention kid-friendly attractions and activities. Here is one devoted to them specifically:, but make sure to read a few more to get even more ideas (such as the Underground Museum, not mentioned in the post above). Have a great time in Krakow! :)
2018.11.24 12:11
Hi, I'm sobia from Pakistan I wish to celebrate newyear 2019 in Poland Anna could you pleas guide me.
2018.12.17 12:12
Dear Sobia, unfortunately I won't be in Krakow for the New Year's, but I'm certain that our articles will help you plan out your visit by making sure you're not missing out on anything worth seeing :) I hope you'll have lots of fun in Poland!
2018.12.01 06:12
Hi Karolina, would you be able to advice on things to do in Krakow on 1st Jan 2019? Not sure if most tourist sights will be closed on that day. Thank you!
2018.12.17 22:12
Hi Isabelle, unfortunately most of the attractions will be closed on the 1st, but hey - you can still walk around! A stroll through the Old Town, Jewish Quarter, Wawel Hill, maybe even Podgórze or Nowa Huta if you're feeling like seeing something off the beaten track is always available and doesn't require any tickets :) You can download a free audioguide from our website to enhance your experience even further.
2018.12.12 17:12
Hi! I want to ask for the artistsnon the main stage on new years eve I cant find it , thanx ;)
2018.12.17 12:12
Hello Nicole, names of the artists have been revealed just a few days ago! Confirmed performers are Quebonafide, Otsochodzi, BOKKA and CAMP.

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