Vodka is part of Polish culture. The numerous vodka shops in Krakow really emphasise this point. I loved these shops, they sold so many different brands and flavours of vodka. If you drink vodka and are visiting Krakow, then I highly recommend you make a visit to the vodka shops. You should try the flavoured vodka, do not just limit yourself to plain vodka. When you purchase vodka in Krakow your money will go along way. Even if you are on a backpackers budget you should not have to limit yourself to the cheapest vodka.
If like me, you are an indecisive person the vodka shops may be a challenging experience. My indecisiveness originally just led me to purchase and sample two dozen 10cl bottles of vodka, I ended up taking 10 litres home with me. I much preferred my Polish vodka to Smirnoff, Absolute or Grey Goose vodka. Transporting 10 litres of vodka home was not easy but it was worth it. The major UK supermarkets unfortunately do not stock Polish vodka and are more expensive than the Krakow vodka shops.
Due to the 100ml liquid rules on flights, if you want to transport large bottles of vodka home you will have to pay for hold luggage. You can reduce hold luggage costs by paying for the luggage at the same time you pay for your flights. You may want to consider taking a bag which is small enough (or can be squashed small enough) that it fits in hand luggage but is big enough for all your clothes and numerous bottles of vodka. If you do this, you will be able to to avoid paying for the hold luggage on the departure flight.
Remember some countries have limits on the amount of alcohol and cigarettes you can bring back from your travels. For English citizens there are no limits to the amount of alcohol or tobacco you can bring back from other EU countries for personal consumption. Although if you bring in more than 10 litres of spirit it will raise suspicions. You can find out more about the rules here.
In some parts of Europe cheap alcohol has brought in tourists and pushed out the locals and culture. This does not apply to Krakow and the surrounding area. During my trip alongside drinking vodka, I experienced authentic Polish food, visited numerous historic sites such as Auschwitz and went to the Christmas market. Poland’s cold, snowy nights certainly added to the character of the market.