Lonely Planet Writer

Poland now has an entire museum devoted to vodka

Visitors can now learn about more than 500 years of vodka history at Poland’s first museum dedicated entirely to the alcoholic beverage.

The museum is near the Vistula River in Warsaw. Image by Muzeum Polskiej Wódki

Situated in an old vodka factory a short walk from the Vistula River in Warsaw, the Muzeum Polskiej Wódki offers vodka tastings, food pairings, and a range of vodka-based cocktails. Exhibits offer a background on the production process, along with the history of over 500 years of Polish vodka. In each of the five rooms, visitors will walk across old vodka barrels and get a firsthand look at how the spirit affected the country’s culture.

Visitors enjoying the exhibits. Image by Muzeum Polskiej Wódki

The museum also teaches visitors about the legal protection around Polish vodka – it must be made using traditional recipes with local ingredients, and all aspects of the production process except bottling must take place in Poland. If a spirit doesn’t meet these criteria, it can’t be called Polish vodka. “Our museum is a tribute to the history of vodka production in Poland, a history spanning more than 500 years,” Andrzej Szumowski of the Polish Vodka Association told AFP. “Poland is the cradle of vodka.” 

The museum explains how vodka is made. Image by Muzeum Polskiej Wódki

The museum is housed in the converted Koneser distillery in the up-and-coming Praga-Północ district, a former industrial area currently undergoing regeneration. The Muzeum Polskiej Wódki is open 10am-8pm Sunday-Thursday, 11am-9pm Friday-Saturday. Tours are available in Polish, English, German, Russian, French, Spanish and Italian. Tickets start at 40 PLN (€9.30), and yes, there’s a gift shop.

Words: Ryan Barrell