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From Krakow With Love

Jun 11, 2008
We have all seen hordes of drunken men, on a stag night, stumbling from bar to bar dressed in tuxedos, complete with toy Walter PPKs, doing rather poor impressions of the various incarnations of James Bond. Whether we like it or not James Bond themed stag weekends, especially with the new hardcore Daniel Craig as Bond, have become more popular than ever.

Nevertheless it is all usually good fun - but there is always something lacking when it's taking place in South End. How much more fun could be if the whole stag weekend was transferred to one of the most beautiful and flourishing post-cold war cities such as Krakow in Poland? Here are a few reasons why Krakow would be great for a James Bond extravaganza.

Well firstly the fact that you are in a different country gives your stag weekend more of a sense of adventure and mystery. There is the sense that anything could happen; that the vodka may be a lot stronger than you thought; that the strippers might just do anything; and you might strike it lucky on the blackjack. Also there's the 'out of sight, out of mind' factor, you can't be more out of sight than 881 miles away and in a different country!

Drinks are very cheap. Bond's favourite drink was the famous Martini 'shaken not stirred' and, as you may know, this comes in a crisp vodka-vermouth variety, as well as the traditional gin-vermouth mixer. Bond himself is said to have a preference for a very, very dry vodka vermouth mix. Poland is also extremely famous for loving its vodka, so this makes for a perfect cocktail. There are three local classics worth trying and these are Zubrowka, Zoladkowa and Wyborowa, and for around £1.50 for a liberal shot you can certainly try them all - but go easy if you want to last more than a couple hours: no-one is going to admire a vodka casualty!

If you want to break slightly from the theme and drink beer you will be pleasantly surprised to find that local beers are even cheaper that the local spirits. For half a litre of one of the local favourites, such as Zyweic, Tyskie, Okocim, and Tyskie, you can expect to pay between £1.40 and £1.85. However be warned that even the weaker Polish beers are around 6% so be careful. All of these are served throughout the city but, if is cocktails you are after, you may want to visit Café Art, near the Old Town, which specializes in them.

There are also three casinos to that you could visit on your Krakow stag weekend and they have all the favourites including roulette, blackjack, and poker. They open everyday of the week, from the afternoon, until dawn the next day. Entry is around 25p but, as a measure against money laundering the owner's are required to register all patrons, so you will need to take along your passport. Causal dress is allowed but most people will don business suits so you can get away with wearing your tux. Minimum stakes are about 50p making it a reasonably priced night out compared to the same in the UK.

As a relaxing option for a daytime activity is visit the aqua park - it's an invigorating way to recover from a hangover from all of the those vodka martinis and give your Krakow stag weekend that much needed sense of action. You could even recall Bond's more aquatic adventures in A Spy Who Loved Me.
About the Author
Josey Walker - The Founder & Managing Director of party organisers Stag Republic and Hen Nation. Stag Republic have been organising made-to-measure stag weekends abroad and hen weekends in Eastern Europe since 2000. More recently popular destinations include stag weekends in Krakow and Budapest. For interviews, images or comments contact: Josey Walker Stag Republic Phone: 00 3630 34 99 015 Email: info@stagrepublic.co.uk
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