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March 9, 2022

Here are the 3 “Party capitals” of Central Europe

Martin Müller

Content Lead

Curious which cities are having the most fun? The on-trade data is not just about business. Thanks to its granularity, we can analyze almost anything. So this time, we have decided to determine which city is the "party capital" of Poland, Czechia and Slovakia. And the results are quite surprising. 

The methodology of this research is simple. Since people go partying primarily in clubs and bars, we counted the number of these outlets in big cities and divided it by the population. We omitted municipalities under 50,000 inhabitants from the research to avoid skewing the results (e.g. 1 bar in a small town would result in its victory due to its low population).

In other words, a party capital is a city where you're most likely to run into a bar or club instead of different types of outlets — a place where it's easier and quicker to find a place to party. If you thought the party capitals would be Prague, Warsaw or Bratislava, we have a surprise for you.

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University cities and the "Slovakian Alps"

The party capital of Poland is Kraków. A city of almost 800,000 inhabitants packs 1.94 bars and clubs per 10,000 people. Why? Our bet is on the "university city" status. There are 23 universities in Kraków, and as we all know, students like to party. 

Warsaw, for example, also has a lot of universities. Still, it's also the capital city of Poland with headquarters of international companies, diplomatic quarters etc. Therefore, outlets must accommodate much more varied types of consumers, meaning there's not as large a proportion of bars and clubs as in smaller university cities. In fact, Warsaw barely made it into Poland's top 5 party cities.

But probably the biggest surprise took place in Slovakia. Our data shows the country's party capital is Nitra, a smaller city of about 70,000 inhabitants, with 2 universities and many faculties. This would not have been so unusual if it had not been closely followed by Poprad, an even smaller foothill city in the north of Slovakia, sometimes called the gateway to the High Tatras (sometimes dubbed as the "Slovakian Alps"). But even for this result, we have an explanation.

If you are not from Slovakia, you may not know it, but there are several ski resorts in the vicinity of Poprad. Modern skiing with après-ski culture is inseparably linked with bars and clubs. And where else to go to "go crazy" than to the biggest city under the High Tatras?

The Czech party capital is Pilsen, followed closely by Prague. Whereas Prague is commonly perceived as an international party city with clubs and bars on every corner, Pilsen is about 7.5 times smaller than Prague in terms of inhabitants, meaning there are a lot more of them per capita. Pilsen is also home to one of the largest Czech universities, so a large part of the population is made up of students. It also has a strong on-trade culture, being the home of the world-famous Pilsner Urquell.

See the complete list at the end of this article.

The business side of partying

You might now ask: This is all very interesting, but what should I do about it? The answer is simple. Do you have a product that is heavily geared towards partying and clubbing? Now you know where to sell it. 

But that's not the end of it. Our party capital approach is just an example of what could be done with Outlet Census and Market Meter insights. For instance, we can pinpoint areas of elevated consumer traffic with very high revenue and brand-building potential that we call Hot Zones. Or determine which city is a café capital based not on count of cafés per capita, but rather a much more precise Outlet Census indicator called Core customer proposition, which identifies the exact reason people are visiting a specific outlet.

We love bringing transparency and better understanding to the on-trade channel, and we can provide almost any kind of analysis, comparison or mapping of the market. If you ever have a specific project of this nature on your mind that you'd like SharpGrid to carry out, let us know.

And the winners are...

SharpGrid is a data & tech company reinventing market research in the on-trade channel. The on-trade channel consists of POSs (point of sale) where food & beverage is bought and consumed, and is often also called HoReCa, on-premise, food service, out-of-home, gastro or immediate consumption (IC) channel, hospitality, on-licence.


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