Let’s talk about the night prohibition in Poland. It’s a time when, in certain cities, you can’t buy alcohol after 10 pm. This ban isn’t something imposed nationwide, but it’s up to local authorities, which means it varies from place to place. You may be wondering, in which cities, or even parts of them, is the nightly sale of spirits restricted?
The Current Situation Of Alkohol Restrictions in Poland
According to Article 12 paragraph 4 of the Act on Upbringing in Sobriety, local councils can establish restrictions on the night-time sale of alcoholic beverages. This law applies to sales between 10 pm and 6 am. Let me explain how it works.
Essentially, the local council can decide, through a resolution, if this restriction applies to their city or indicated auxiliary units of the city. Several cities in Poland have taken advantage of this law. For instance, the last one to do so was Krakow, where the night prohibition started on July 1, 2023.
Now, you might be thinking, where did this idea to restrict the sale of alcohol in Poland come from?
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- I think you will love this article too: Mastering the Art of Drinking Vodka in Poland – Essential Tips
The Origin of Night Prohibition in Poland
Prohibition has had a roller coaster history in Poland. There were times when it was either praised or criticized. If you need a bit of a history lesson, let me tell you that between 1982 and 1990, the ban on alcohol sales was enforced until 1 pm.
This was done to combat drinking alcohol at work. A different law was signed in January 2018, giving local government units the power to determine when and where alcohol sales were banned.
Night Hours Alcohol Restriction in Polish Cities
Now, here’s what I believe you need to know about the prohibition of alcohol sales in Poland today. Several larger and smaller city authorities are considering introducing night prohibition in selected districts or even the entire town.
But, let’s clear up a misconception. The night prohibition doesn’t mean a total ban on selling alcoholic drinks. Instead, it just applies to points of sale like shops, petrol stations, and supermarkets.
I think it is worth to say, this ban doesn’t extend to catering establishments. This means, even if there is a night prohibition, you could still have a late-night drink at a restaurant or bar. In short, the night prohibition aims to control where and when you can buy alcohol for off-premises consumption.
I can tell you that the night prohibition in Poland is not just a country-wide phenomenon. It happens in cities and even specific neighborhoods. „Dziennik Gazeta Prawna” shared some insights in April 2023. They said:
already 10 percent of Polish municipalities have introduced a night-time ban on the sale of alcohol
This prohibition could be across the whole city or just in select districts.
Alcohol Sale Restrictions in Krakow
The folks in Krakow decided to adopt this act. They introduced a ban on selling alcohol after 10 pm in the city center. This applies to grocery and liquor stores. If you want a drink after this hour, restaurants and bars are your go-to places.
They’re excluded from the ban. I am convinced that Krakow is very determined about this. They even plan to extend the prohibition across the whole city. Starting July 1, no alcohol will be sold from midnight to 5.30 in the morning citywide.
- I think you should also read this article: Krakow’s Top 14 Clubs to Dance the Night Away
The Tri-City (Gdańsk, Gdynia, Sopot) Alcohol Sale Ban
The Tri-City, which includes Gdańsk, Gdynia, and Sopot, also has its share of the night prohibition story. In March 2022, the Gdańsk City Council made a decision. They banned the night-time sale of alcohol in the city center. This ban afected the Śródmieście district.
Beata Dunajewska, a city councilor, assures everyone that this is still a pilot project. It’s not a final decision yet. I think it’s worth saying that Gdynia and Sopot haven’t committed to banning the sale of alcohol yet.
- If you are looking for a great party in one of these cities, read this article about best night clubs.
Alcohol Sales Restrictions in Poznan
Let me tell you about Poznan. Here, at the request of the Old Town Housing Council, the City Council introduced prohibition in the Old Town. This includes the center of the city. Shops won’t sell alcohol from 10 pm to 6 am. This restriction affects grocery stores, discount stores, and liquor stores.
Night Hours Prohibition in Wrocław
The situation in Wrocław is pretty similar. The city council passed a resolution. They banned the sale of alcohol in the city center from 10 pm to 6 am. Their motive? They believe it will help improve safety in the area.
- Learn more about best nighlife scene in Wrocław by reading this article.
Łódź Joins the Alcohol Sale Ban At Night
In Łódź, it was actually the residents who pushed for the ban on alcohol sales in the city center. How democratic, right? City councilors decided to base their decision on public consultations.
However, polls showed that only 12% of respondents wanted restrictions on alcohol sales. But the councilors thought, „Well, let’s at least partially limit it”. So, they did. The ban was put into action in the heart of the city.
Alcohol Hours Restrictions in Katowice
Now, if you happen to stroll around Mariacka Street in Katowice in the evening and you think, „I could use a drink”, there’s something you need to knbow. The local government there has limited the ability to buy alcohol in the city center from 10pm till 6am. And it’s not just the city center. They’ve extended the ban to two districts: Załęże and Szopienice-Burowiec.
Bydgoszcz’s Late Night Prohibition
The authorities of Bydgoszcz took their sweet time before jumping on the prohibition bandwagon. It was only from April this year that the city center, which is also known as the Old Town Cultural Park, fell under prohibition. The city authorities spent two years debating this law. Finally, they made up their minds at the end of March this year.
- I think you should also read this article about best clubs in Bydgoszcz.
Prohibition in Zakopane
Zakopane was the last place to adopt the prohibition law. You might be asking, why? Well, it seems they had enough of drunk tourists. The local authorities decided to limit the ability to buy alcohol after 11 pm till 6 am.
Zakopane, by the way, is the capital of the Polish Tatra Mountains. So, it’s quite a popular spot, especially for tourists. If you’re there, it’s worth saying that you might want to buy your drinks earlier.
- There are few decent bars and clubs in Zakopane, check them out here.