Skip to content

Vodka Tasting in Krakow: Best Tasting Tours & Bars

    A vodka tasting in Krakow is a must for anyone visiting the city. Vodka is Poland’s national drink and a cornerstone of the local food culture, so it’s definitely worth exploring the different types of Polish vodka and discovering the many stories, legends, and customs related to the local drinking culture. You’ll discover flavors and types that you’ll hardly find elsewhere, capable of winning over even those who usually don’t like vodka and markedly different from those you normally find in supermarkets or, worse, in the many tourist traps in town.

    Many people automatically associate vodka with Russia, which is quite fair and understandable. But few know that vodka actually originated in Poland, not far from Krakow. Its history is quite complex and controversial, and Polish vodka maintains a flavor and character quite distinct from counterparts produced in other countries. One of the best ways to immerse yourself in local culture and learn more about vodka, its history, and traditional rituals, is to participate in one of the Krakow’s vodka tasting tours. But there are several in the city and not all are of good quality and offer experiences that are worth the expense.

    For this reason, we have carefully prepared a selection of what we (and according to the experiences of hundreds of other travelers) believe are the best: only tested and reputable experiences, of quality and with excellent value for money, with expert guides capable of offering many cultural insights and a true tasting experience. Let’s find out which are the best vodka tastings in Krakow and the best Krakow Vodka Tasting Tours!

    Best Krakow Vodka Tasting Tours

    Vodka tasting tours in Krakow are among the most popular activities in the city, which is not surprising, as vodka is Poland’s national drink. Although there are dozens of vodka bars in Krakow, many are merely tourist traps. Similarly, many of the tours offered by various agencies in town are often nothing more than disguised and overpriced pub crawls.

    If, like us, you dislike wasting time and money on subpar experiences, you might consider one of the best vodka tours in Krakow or visit one of the top vodka bars. There are several, we have selected what we believe are the best ones here. These are led exclusively by experienced and reputable guides, who enable you to explore some of the best local vodka bars and taste some of the finest and most iconic Polish vodkas and tinctures. They also provide a rich insight into Polish vodka, its history, and local culture.

    Our Selection of the Best Vodka Tastings in Krakow

    Kraków Vodka Tour & Tasting Experience

    The Best Vodka Tasting in Krakow: 7 vodkas plus traditional snacks.

    Kraków Private Vodka Tasting Tour

    A private food & vodka tasting featuring up to 10 different vodkas.

    Polish Food and Vodka Experience

    A budget-friendly tasting of local food and 4 different vodkas.

    Vodka Factory Museum Private Tour

    Visit with tasting at an old vodka distillery in Krakow.

    But why participate in a vodka tasting in Krakow? Simply put, it’s the best place in the world to do so! According to many historians, vodka (or wódka, in Polish) originated in Poland at the beginning of the 1400s. A few years later, a similar recipe from Russian monks also appeared, which is why the paternity of the drink is disputed between the two countries.

    The first vodka distilleries are believed to have sprung up around Sandomierz, not far from Krakow. Over the centuries, the classic recipe of traditional pure white vodka has been complemented by hundreds of flavored variations. Tinctures and liqueurs based on vodka, fruit, and herbs are still prepared in local homes today, and some of the best craft distilleries around Krakow produce top-quality vodka. So, it’s more than just a drink. It’s a true cultural fact and part of local folklore.

    During a vodka tasting in Krakow, you can sample different types of authentic Polish vodka, traditionally distilled from grains or potatoes, often also accompanied by traditional snacks or other local food specialities. Poles love traditional white vodka, which is pure, clear, and strong. Among the most famous and prized, don’t miss the opportunity to taste J.A. Baczewski Vodka Monopolowa, one of the best and most authentic Polish vodkas, distilled purely from potatoes and subtly flavored with citrus fruits.

    Taste Vodka Krakow Vodka Bar Tasting

    But there are also many types of homemade and flavored vodkas. For example, you should try the traditional nalewki, something you will probably only find here: tinctures – and therefore not distillates – flavored and produced with a wide variety of local herbs, berries, and fruits, some of which are characteristic of the region. They are generally softer (usually under 30% alcohol) and very pleasant to taste, and they are much appreciated by those who don’t like the strong and burning flavor of classic vodka.

    Navigating this vast selection, made up of several hundred flavors and types of vodka and tinctures, could be overwhelming. And this is one of the reasons why you should opt for a guided vodka tasting tour. Below, you’ll find our favorites!

    ♥ Our Favorite Choice

    The Kraków Vodka Tour & Tasting Experience

    The Kraków Vodka Tour is by far the best vodka tasting experience in Krakow. With over a thousand positive reviews and a full 5 out of 5-star rating on TripAdvisor, Google, and many other platforms, it ranks #1 among nightlife, food, and drink experiences in Krakow. The fact that it is recommended by 100% of travelers (according to TripAdvisor) intrigued us so much that we felt compelled to try it and learn more.

    Indeed, this vodka tour in Krakow has an edge: it is meticulously curated by friendly and expert local guides, who provide a truly unique cultural experience. It’s not just a simple vodka tour, nor is it a place you would go to merely get drunk. Instead, it offers a genuine tasting and an insightful crash course in Polish vodka, as well as local culture and folklore.

    The tour is led by professional English-speaking guides who will navigate you through the cobbled alleys of the beautiful Krakow Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll discover bars and cafés with authentic charm, secret spots loved by locals, and atmospheric bars from the communist era. This is a true immersion into the culture of Polish vodka, which will reveal all the secrets of this iconic drink.

    The first thing you’ll discover is that authentic Polish vodka can be vastly different from the low-quality substitutes sold in various bars and tourist traps around Europe. And this tour is an excellent opportunity to sample the finest Polish vodkas and avoid Krakow’s numerous tourist traps. You will have the chance to taste some exceptional clear vodkas, as well as traditional and authentic flavored vodkas that have been produced in the region for centuries.

    In total, you will taste at least seven clear or flavored vodkas. If this sounds a bit intimidating, let me reassure you: the experience spans almost three hours, during which you will stroll through the alleys of the old town and visit various venues, including bars, cafés, and shops specializing in authentic traditional vodka. This makes the vodka tasting perfectly manageable for anyone, even those who aren’t accustomed to drinking and those who don’t typically enjoy vodka.

    The guides will assist you in choosing the vodkas best suited to your tastes: you can select from over 300 available varieties! It’s a huge variety! And is one of the aspects that sets this tour apart from all others. There is something for everyone, from the most intriguing historical clear vodka, to ancient herbal recipes, to extravagant modern flavors, and even softer options suitable for those who typically don’t enjoy vodka, such as chocolate and salted caramel. And if you’re feeling brave and want to try something stronger, just ask!

    One of the aspects we truly appreciated is that each vodka tasting is accompanied by commentary from the guide. This allows you to learn a great deal about Polish vodka: each brand has a unique history, different production processes, and uses unique or rare ingredients. There are also stories and legends to share. Moreover, as per tradition, the tastings are complemented by delicious food. That’s right, it’s not just a vodka tasting. The tastings are paired with local snacks, such as crusty bread, smoked mountain cheese, local sausage, crunchy pickles, sweet and savory pierogies, and much more.

    In our opinion, the Kraków Vodka Tour is undoubtedly one of the must-do experiences in Krakow! It’s an excellent way to learn more about vodka, its history, intriguing facts, and local culture. You will have the opportunity to sample authentic, high-quality vodkas and learn how to select and purchase them. Plus, the price is one of the best in town, offering unbeatable value.

    We were in search of a genuine vodka tasting experience in Krakow, something that wasn’t merely designed for tourist or comparable to a pub crawl, and this tour definitely fits the bill. By the time you finish the tour, you’ll have become somewhat of an expert on Polish vodka!

    Just remember to book well in advance: this is widely recognized as the most popular vodka tasting tour in Krakow. It’s conducted in small groups, so spaces are limited and often sell out quickly, especially on weekends. One of the perks of booking directly on the official website is the guarantee they offer: if you’re not satisfied, they will fully refund your ticket. Additionally, if you’re unable to attend, you can cancel for free up to 24 hours in advance.

    Check Availability and Prices

    Krakow Private Vodka Tasting Tour

    Those seeking a more intimate and exclusive experience might want to check out the Kraków Private Vodka Tasting Tour. This guided tasting tour offers a comprehensive overview of Kraków’s food and vodka scene. In this case, you will have an expert guide at your disposal, exclusively for you and your guests. You can choose from different languages such as English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Russian, and of course, Polish. If you book just for yourself, it might seem a bit pricey, but if you are traveling with family or a group of friends, the price becomes quite affordable.

    This tour also takes you through the best vodka bars in Krakow’s Old Town, where you’ll discover authentic Polish vodkas and the local drinking culture. You can choose from different types of experiences: the budget introductory tour lasts approximately 2 hours and includes 5 shots of vodka in 3 venues, while the standard tour lasts 3 hours and includes 7 shots of vodka in 4 venues, along with some snacks to accompany the drinks.

    Alternatively, you could opt for the most comprehensive tour which lasts 4 hours and includes the tasting of 10 different types of vodka in 5 different venues, as well as a tasting of snacks and traditional local foods. In fact, this option combines a vodka tasting with a food tour, and the food is substantial enough to equate to a lunch or dinner.

    Our Selection of the Best Vodka Tastings in Krakow

    Kraków Vodka Tour & Tasting Experience

    The Best Vodka Tasting in Krakow: 7 vodkas plus traditional snacks.

    Kraków Private Vodka Tasting Tour

    A private food & vodka tasting featuring up to 10 different vodkas.

    Polish Food and Vodka Experience

    A budget-friendly tasting of local food and 4 different vodkas.

    Vodka Factory Museum Private Tour

    Visit with tasting at an old vodka distillery in Krakow.

    Vodka Tasting in Krakow: Discover Poland’s National Drink

    What is the reason for attending a Krakow Vodka Tasting? Well, visiting Krakow and not tasting the renowned Polish vodkas is akin to traveling to Italy or France and not savoring a fine local wine. Vodka is the national drink of Poland! Following vodka, beer is the next popular choice: every Polish town boasts its own brewery, and both vodka and beers are still crafted today according to centuries-old recipes.

    Vodka is a cornerstone of local culture! It is a staple at convivial lunches and dinners among friends and relatives, and it plays a crucial role in special occasions and ceremonies. The most solemn moment of a ceremony is the vodka toast, which is typically preceded by an elaborate speech. Unsurprisingly, vodka is more than just a drink for the Poles, it’s a tradition. There are dozens of types of high-quality vodkas, ranging from the classic white vodkas to the more eclectic ones, flavored with complex aromatic bouquets, herbs, chocolate, hazelnuts, and citrus fruits.

    Starting with the world-renowned Wyborowa, a classic white vodka distilled from pure rye, you will immerse yourself in a mysterious world of colorful shot glasses, alchemist’s ampoules, and timeless bars. For example, only here will you be able to discover what a nalewka is. These colored ampoules date back to the Middle Ages and contain precious infusions based on vodka and herbs or various essences. There are hundreds of colorful combinations of aromas, and they are still prepared today according to old family recipes.

    You can then taste some of the best herbal vodkas, such as Żołądkowa Gorzka, which is one of the most popular nalewki, or a Wódka Dzięgielówka, an infusion made from vodka and angelica. Also worth trying is Żubrówka Bison Grass Vodka, made with herbs that grow in the Białowieża Forest, hand-picked and dried in the wind and sun.

    Then there is the famous J.A. Baczewski Vodka Monopolowa, one of the finest Polish vodkas. Its intriguing history dates back to the 18th century and until WWII, it was one of the finest spirits produced by the ancient factories of Lviv, which was once the capital of Galicia, and is now an important city in Ukraine. To learn more about its compelling history, you should join a vodka tasting tour in Krakow!

    There is a plethora of excellent Polish vodkas to taste. A tasting tour in Krakow is a great way to delve into the world of vodka tasting, to learn the basics of this spirit, its rituals, and its importance to the local culture. The vodkas we just mentioned are just some of the most popular and loved by the locals, but there are hundreds of different types, flavors, and combinations, many of which are handcrafted in local distilleries in the region around Krakow.

    So, you might discover many more and learn that vodka is not just clear and burning, but also very aromatic and not at all cloying like the flavored vodkas from the supermarket. Participating in a vodka tasting in Krakow allows you to dive in and gain many insights into the culture and traditions of Polish vodka production, and this makes it a truly recommended experience for those traveling in Poland!

    What should you expect from a good Krakow Vodka Tasting Tour?

    Well, first, you should expect to taste REAL Polish vodkas and not just any cool alcoholic drink. You are here to taste the best of traditional local products and honor Polish vodka with its compelling history and distinct culture.

    So, you shouldn’t opt for just any cheap tour where you’ll merely get drunk on a few shots of vodka of dubious quality. If you just want to socialize and drink, you might consider one of the excellent Krakow Pub Crawls, which are even more cost-effective! A vodka tasting is certainly also a lot of fun and a great opportunity to socialize. But first and foremost, they are an opportunity for cultural enrichment, designed for tasting and not just for getting drunk.

    The best vodka tasting tours are designed for a calm-paced experience, which always includes a pleasant walk and enough food to accompany the drinks. This makes vodka tastings ideal for anyone, regardless of whether they are couples, families, or even solo travelers.

    Moreover, it’s a good way to familiarize yourself with the city and its attractions, given that the guides are locals and are more than happy to advise you on what to do and see, where to eat, and more. For this reason, many people opt for a vodka tour and perhaps also a Krakow Free Walking Tour in the first few days of their stay in Krakow, so as to get an overview of the city and firsthand advice from locals and other travelers.

    Best Vodka Bars in Krakow for Vodka Tastings

    Unless you are already an expert or a local, you should consider participating in a vodka tasting tour at least once. This will provide a guided introduction to the world of Polish vodka, which includes not only several varieties differing in production method, ingredients, aromas, tastes, alcohol content, and methods of consumption, but also a real drinking etiquette, an integral part of local culture and traditions.

    Consider a vodka tasting in Krakow as an introductory overview that will give you the foundation to continue exploring the complex world of Polish vodkas independently. This will allow you to consciously choose what to drink, what to try, and how to distinguish quality vodka from the poor ones marketed purely for tourists.

    Whether you want to continue your vodka tasting in Krakow by trying other authentic Polish vodkas, or you want to try your hand at a self-organized vodka tour, there are some great vodka bar addresses in Krakow worth checking out.

    Among our favorites is the Wodka Bar (at Mikołajska, 5), which, as the name suggests, is a popular gathering spot for vodka lovers, with a remarkable selection of about a hundred traditional, high-quality vodkas and good locally produced flavored vodkas. Locals, especially young people and students in the mood for a cheap booze, usually head to Pijalnia Wódki i Piwa, a chain of shot bars located at various points in the city (including one on Floriańska and one in Kazimierz). Here you will find decent quality vodkas and drinks at affordable prices.

    Other tested and appreciated addresses are Staropolskie Trunki (on Floriańska) and Ambasada Śledzia (at Stolarska, 8). The latter, in addition to good vodkas and beers, also serves tasty snacks and specialties of Polish cuisine. For something different from the world-famous and strong clear vodkas, you might head to Nalefka (at Sławkowska, 23), an intriguing bar located near the central Floriańska street, which boasts a wide selection of nalewki, which technically is not vodka and not even a distillate, but a medium-grade liqueur handcrafted in the region, available in dozens of different flavors.

    If you are looking for a good place to buy quality local vodka and liquors, then you might want to take a look at Regionalne Alkohole (at Miodowa, 28) and Sklep Szambelan (at Bracka, 9) which have one of the widest selections in town. The latter is a really special place, boasting a wide selection of nalewki of different flavors preserved in traditional ampoules, and allows you to try the different flavors before buying them.

    FAQs about Vodka Tastings in Krakow

    Will I get drunk on a Krakow Vodka Tasting Tour?

    It’s highly unlikely, at most you might become nicely tipsy. The best vodka tasting tours include at least 6-7 different shots of vodka, but also plenty of food and snacks.

    They also last at least 2.5 hours and take place in a roaming manner among various venues scattered throughout the old town. So you will walk from one venue to another (usually no more than a 5-minute walk), all at a calm and relaxed pace. This will allow you to taste responsibly, without really getting drunk.

    Is a Krakow Vodka Tasting Tour similar to a Pub Crawl?

    It shouldn’t be. Even though we know that most of those marketed to tourists as vodka tours or vodka tastings are nothing more than a few shots of vodka in one of the many tourist bars in town, or something designed to get drunk and make friends, a real Krakow Vodka Tasting Tour should not be like that.

    The best tasting tours (like those recommended here) are cultural experiences that allow you to deepen your knowledge of Polish vodka and local cuisine, culture, and traditions.

    They are also very engaging and sociable, but the main focus here is on the quality of the vodka and the cultural experience, not on making new friends and partying in clubs. If you are more interested in that, then you should take a look at our guide to the best Krakow Pub Crawls, which are famous for being among the best in Europe and are definitely budget-friendly!

    Other interesting tips for your trip to Krakow

    Planning your trip to Krakow? Here you will find lots of resources and advice from the locals that will surely come in handy:

    Here you will also find everything you need to know about the Best Things to Do and See in Krakow and the must-do day trips: Auschwitz and Wieliczka Salt Mines.