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Entertainment & Nightlife in Poland


The larger Polish cities have several theatre and dance companies. In addition there is a National Philharmonic, a National Opera and plenty of cinemas. There is a large selection of dance clubs, bars and venues for live music in most towns. Clubs often choose to stay open until the last guest leaves.

Warsaw's music scene can sometimes be disappointing, but it's a matter of knowing where to look because Warsaw has an abundance of musical delights, they just need to be fettered out. Clubs are in no shortage in Warsaw and are a very popular way to spend nearly every night out. There are several clubs littered about on Ulitsa Mazowiecka in Śródmieście, which are actually quite nice for the most part and where the chic head. While there are quite a few clubs in Śródmieście, and more specifically the city center, there are other clubs to be found in the other districts, including Wola and Mokotów.

While Kraków is undeniably a historic city, it is also very contemporary and vibrant. The 100,000 or so students in the city ensure that many of the bars and late night clubs remain cutting edge in terms of both music and atmosphere. Its popularity as a tourist destination means that there are plenty of cafés, restaurants and clubs as well as a wide choice of cultural events.

Many of the city’s bars offer live music, often jazz. These are great places to meet friends or new people. They vary in atmosphere and style from pub-style locals to underground bars in classic Gothic cellars. Traditional favourites are Harris Piano Jazz Bar, U Muniaka and Klub Indigo.


Performing Arts

Warsaw's opera and classical music offerings are some of the best in the country, and the availability of relatively cheap tickets means the performances are accessible to just about anyone. The main opera venue is the Teatr Wielki-Opera Narodowa (Plac Teatralny 1). Here you'll find everything from the Italian classics to occasionally bolder works featuring Polish avant-garde composers. The theatre box office is open Monday to Saturday 9 am to 7 pm, Sunday 10 am to 7 pm. For classical music, the first address is the Filharmonia Narodowa, the home of the National Philharmonic (Jasna 5). The box office is located at Sienkiewicza 10 and is open Monday to Saturday 10 am to 2 pm and 3 to 7 pm. Try timing your arrival just before show-time to get cheaper last-minutes tickets.

More intimate classical performances can be seen at the delightful Moniuszko Warsaw Music Society in the Szuster Palace or in the Frederic Chopin Music Academy. The concert hall at the Royal Castle is a charming location to see great performances. It's also worth keeping an eye out for performances in some of the acoustically ideal churches.

Another wonderful venue to see and hear classical music is in Lazienki Park, at the open-air Chopin piano recitals in the Rose Garden. Pianists from around the world come to play here during the summer months.

One of the city's best-kept secrets is the so-called Dom Kultury (House of Culture) or Osrodek Kultury (Cultural Centre) that can be found in every neighbourhood. Often, these places are hives of artistic and creative activity and put on regular performances by well-known entertainers. Some particularly active ones are Imielin, Bielanski Osrodek Kultury, Warszawski Osrodek Kultury and Lowicka.

Warsaw has a very active and diverse theatre scene. Performances of everything from puppets to classics can be seen here. The National Theatre (opened in 1765) is where the grandest productions take place. Ateneum offers modern favourites, Dramatyczny covers Shakespeare to Beckett, Guliwer has puppets and live actors, Komedia offers comic plays and Zydowski puts on Jewish performances. There are also many more theatres such as Rampa, Staromiejski, Studio and Syrena.

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