“ Address: Mikołajska 2 / 31-025 / Krakow „
Just before Christmas we headed into Krakow city centre one evening for some drinks with friends. On this occasion the nature of the drinks was simple a pre-Christmas get together and catch up as I was due to fly home on the Wednesday to Birmingham to spend Christmas with my family. The pub choice for our pre-Christmas drinks was Bull Pub, an English themed pub located on a street which is named the Polish word for Santa Claus. With this in mind the pub was chosen by a friend for the reason of me being English and returning home for Christmas so it all seemed very fitting!
Bull Pub, Krakow
Bull Pub is a reasonably small pub in the centre of Krakow, Poland. It is located on Mikolajska Street which is a side street just off the main market square. The name Mikolajska is apparently the Polish name for Santa Claus. It is about a 10 minute walk from the central train station and shopping galleries and I would say around a 5 minute walk from the nearest tram stop.
That 'Pub' Smell!
As we entered Bull Pub the first thing which instantly hit me was the 'pub' smell, by this I mean that warming smell of beer that you sometimes get in a traditional old pub in England. For me this was by no means horrible and I actually really enjoyed the smell, shows how much over a year out of the UK can affect you! ;)
Bull Pub is an average sized pub. The bar area is to the right side and the pub seems to stretch quite far back and has a lot of seating areas. The decor in the pub can only really be described as being like a traditional old English pub. The walls were decorated in a slightly patterned wallpaper which looked like it hadn't been changed in years, the seating areas were covered in a red material which seemed faded and well worn, but for some reason this isn't as bad as it sounds in my description as it all added to the atmosphere that the pub is trying to create. On the wall there were a couple of Bulls heads which had been mounted, I asked the man behind the bar if they were real or fake and he assured me they were fake! Well... I had to check!
Once we were seated a waitress came over with a couple of menus for us to browse through. The menus contained a large selection of drinks, the usual beers, wines, ciders and soft drinks as well as Guinness, which seemed to be their kind of star attraction as they are proudly displaying a certificate of their competence to pull the perfect pint of Guinness. Personally I can't stand Guinness and I ordered a large beer with blackcurrant syrup while the other two ordered a Guinness each. Our waitress spoke in very nice English to me when she heard me speaking English and in Polish to the others as they were speaking Polish. After ordering our drinks we waited no longer than 5 minutes for them to arrive and I was offered the option of a straw with mine.
After getting our drinks we simply sat chatting and enjoying the atmosphere, for me it was a little piece of the homeland and for the others it was something different to the usual pubs we have here. Personally I really enjoyed the atmosphere here, even with the 'pub' smell it was good and I would say this is a fantastic replica of an old style English pub. I say old style as it reminds me of pubs when I first started going out back in the late '90's or even from when I was a child and we used to visit pubs for meals or while on holidays. Anyway, back to our evening, we spent around 3 hours here in total and drank a couple of drinks each. The total for my 2 beers with blackcurrant was 18zl (Polish zloty) which works out at under £2 each depending on the varying exchange rate.
Good English Grub!
Bull Pub also serves food although during our visit we didn't eat here. I did take a look at the menu though and saw that it offers a few dishes along the lines of chicken and steak and a very long list of salad meals. The prices seem pretty reasonable and the plates of food I saw being distributed to customers looked quite nice too.
Bull Pub has a large TV mounted on one of the walls where they show some football matches, I'm not sure which ones and whether they show them all as this isn't advertised but for me it was just a novelty to see English adverts being shown on the TV during half time of the match which was showing at the time of our visit, I think it was a Barcelona match but don't quote me on that one!
The toilets in Bull Pub are located down a couple of stairs and at the time of our visit they were clean and tidy with soap and hand dryers provided. It is worth noting that these were the only toilets I noticed here so unless there are some others hidden away somewhere then they aren't really suitable for wheelchair users because of the stairs.
I have just mentioned about the possible lack of toilet facilities for wheelchair users, but other than this the pub is spacious enough for manoeuvring around and in the large part the pub is all on one level.
Personally I don't smoke, but as one of our group did smoke my attention was drawn to an area at the rear of the pub which is sectioned off by glass windows. This area is the smoking area. It is sealed off from the rest of the pub to prevent the smoke smell taking over the whole pub but it is still a nice indoor place for smokers to visit for their needs and then be able to return to the table without having to venture outside, which during the winter in Krakow was a very important thing as at the time of our visit our temperature was hovering around the -12 degree mark!
Overall, I would recommend Bull Pub, I appreciate that many of you will be wanting to escape the English pub atmosphere if you are visiting Krakow and Poland as you will maybe want to experience the more typical Polish pubs, but for me personally Bull Pub was a nice reminder of home in a realistic, but not over the top, setting and I will definitely be visiting here again.
Thanks for reading :)