The bar scene in Warsaw has really taken off over the last decade, and the city now genuinely provides a great night out that rivals Prague and needn’t blow your budget. Praga, across the river, is a formerly dangerous neighbourhood that now boasts a lively, bohemian bar scene – an interesting alternative to the more glitzy hangouts you’ll find downtown. Check out the English-language Warsaw Insider (available in most hotels; w www.warsawinsider.pl) for more information on nightlife and a monthly list of events.
The tipple most associated with Poland, vodka is actually in danger of being eclipsed in popularity by beer among young Poles, so it’s well worth seeking out the varieties you can’t find abroad before they disappear from Polish shops and bars completely. Traditionally served chilled and neat – although increasingly mixed with fruit juice –vodka can be clear or flavoured with anything from bison grass to mountain herbs to juniper berries or honey. There’s even been a revival of kosher vodkas, although whether their rabbinic stamps of approval are kosher themselves or just a marketing gimmick isn’t always obvious.