Shmakovka Museum

Shmakovka Museum, Daugavpils: Address, Phone Number, Shmakovka Museum Reviews: 4.5/5

Shmakovka Museum
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

Top ways to experience similar attractions

Popular mentions

22 reviews
Very good

Francis D
Montreal, Canada1,845 contributions
Guided tour is a MUST
Aug 2020
I thought I was going to get an audioguide when I booked a timeslot to visit this museum (timeslot booking required... thanks to COVID).
Upon arrival and paying, I was offered a guided tour instead. Sure, it was 7,50 EUR more... but it was so worth it.

The guide was very good at explaining each panel station, giving detailed information and making it interactive, too.

It is important to note that there are no explanation panels on the items on display... so the audioguide is a minimum.

Our tour lasted about 1 hour and we covered everything, including the tasting.

The guided tour is highly recommended.
Written August 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Riga, Latvia201 contributions
Very interesting and educating
May 2020 • Couples
Highly recommended to visit this museum with guided tour, we were lucky to get awesome guide, got to know a lot of new interesting facts not only about Shmakovka, but also about Latgale region in general. A must-visit in Daugavpils. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Written May 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Colorado Springs, CO69 contributions
Šmakovkas Museum Worthwhile
Oct 2019 • Couples
When traveling to Daugavpils, add a trip to the Šmakovka museum to your list of things to do. The museum is not large, but in about an hour you can see good information with artifacts about the history of Latvia, culture, pottery, farm implements, the region of Latgale and the homemade liquor of that region, Šmakovka. The artifacts are catalogued on screens that provide translation in multiple languages. Another room provides insight into the process of distilling Šmakovka. At the end a sample shot is provided to those interested in trying it. Audio guides are available but not needed and would actually be annoying if the museum was crowded. The price is reasonable. The museum opens at 11 AM.
Written October 27, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Riga, Latvia3,576 contributions
Highlight of Daugavpils Trip
Jul 2019
When on our trip to Daugavpils, my girlfriend insisted that the Šmakovka museum was the must-see thing that we had to do in the city. The entrance is around the side of the large multi-purpose building of the main square of the city centre, then down a flight of stairs inside a door. We were greeted by two friendly young Latgalian men on the front desk (no "grumpy old man" that the other reviews mention), who were in the middle of showing another group out after their tour before turning attention to us.

Ticket prices were a little high for Latvia, and for museums in ex-Soviet countries in general, especially outside of major cities, even with a student discount. Still, it was about on par with what one would expect to pay for a small-to-medium sized museum in Central or Western Europe. We opted to go for the English audioguide so that we would both receive the same information. The translation was done really well in the guide, especially considering that the first language of the museum was not even Latvian or Russian, but Latgalian.

The museum is split into two large rooms detailing, essentially, a history of the last couple hundred years of Latgale through the eyes of Šmakovka makers. It goes into a great amount of detail on what separates the Latgale region from the rest of Latvia, before turning its attention to Latgale in the Soviet times with an interesting depiction of the local spirit becoming a symbol of resistance against authoritarianism. Of course, this exhibition drops off a little bit before modern day Latgale and the amount of anti-Latvian, pro-Russian sympathy currently found in the region.

Finally, after the main part of the museum is over, we were led back through the main entrance hall to the third room, where the guide took us through a tour of the actual distilling process of the drink, and you are able to go up close see every detail of the equipment used as you wish. When the tour is done, you are allowed a complementary shot of a Šmakovka of your choice from what they have available (the inclusion of this is probably why the ticket price was more expensive than expected).

In all, it was one of the highlights of our trip. A really interesting and informative museum, that any visitor to Daugavpils should visit. However, I wouldn't go again unless showing around new visitors who had never been before; certainly most Latvians that have visited their second city have been to the museum, so there isn't really much need for repeat visits unless showing around foreign guests. It isn't big enough for that, but definitely is a must-visit on your first trip to Daugavpils.
Written September 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Oskars L
Liepaja, Latvia33 contributions
Feb 2019 • Couples
Very interesting place to go and find out about the history of home made alcochol. Also you find out home to make it-hence you can start brewing yourself:) after the tour you can try the product
Written February 20, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Krisjanis V
Riga, Latvia23 contributions
Part of history
Feb 2018 • Friends
Wery interesting story using the original language, and telling some self experienced moments added some bonus. Of course opportunity to taste the real stuff was a part of that I would recomend.
Written February 19, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Paul F
9 contributions
Fun guide
Jun 2017 • Couples
Interesting stories about alcohol brewing with anecdotes and history lesson. Learn something new. Good service.
Written August 15, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Marcis G
Latvia2 contributions
Don't drink n' drive
Jul 2017 • Couples
Great place to explore history of our Shmakovka.
Definitely must to try all different types of Shmakovka's to understand various types!
Written July 21, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

London, UK8,048 contributions
Great experience-friendly female receptionist(but grumpy old man),interpretation, artefacts&warnings of demon drink
Jul 2017 • Friends

We two middle-aged British guys left our friend behind in the nearby D Family Hotel Apartment at 18:00 to fit in this exhibition of the history of this local spirit. We were only in D for a day and this was the last exhibition available that early evening, closing at 19:00. We had already been to the fortress and needed a small drink too!

We entered down into a reception lobby where we were dressed by a friendly woman and a grumpy man! Two tickets for €7 but no headphones as had run out (the grumpy man talked to the helpless woman). I winked at her. Possibly he'd been popping too much if the free stuff that day! He might have been the Boss!

We entered the room full of exhibits and touch screens interpreting them. They were numbered and the friendly receptionist showed us how to navigate, just follow the numbers, although arrows on the floor would have helped. There were a few people already inside but were in the way out.

The first section explained a bit the demon drink in general with health warnings galore. Quite informative too, confirming that Lithuania were the heaviest drinkers in Europe as my Lithuanian friends had told me earlier in our trip. I can believe that! The medical info was supplied by medical institutes and one could see the EU had helped funding the whole exhibition with a clause saying 'make sure people drink responsibly'! Treading a difficult line in celebrating the history of moonshine production in effect!

More sections on local culture, tribes, history, religions influences. The second main room started about bread making which of course is similar and bread and beer making compliment each other regarding raw material sources!

Lots of artefacts including oak mill stones, stills, bottles, matches, squashed milk pails etc. etc..

Very informative and interesting as the process was explained. The history of the home-made liquor explained about how it coped with the ruling powers and laws. Artefacts and images helped along. Interesting where cat's heads come into the picture! In the English West Country we have Rats!

We finished the rooms to return to reception at 18:45. We were alone apart from the friendly young wanna and the grumpy old man (maybe he wanted an early night?). She offered us a small shot of pear Smakowka and as she did I saw the third room full of modern equipment! In we went with ten minutes to full before chuckout time. More information on LED screens with videos to take in. All too much in ten minutes. The gleaming modern stills was impressive though. Filling in the visitors' book and adding 'cheers', 'bottoms up' and 'down the hatch' to the whiteboard before I left to finish my small shot (€1 with a gherkin if you come in off the street). None of it for sale unfortunately until 7/7 as the licensing paperwork is being sorted right now! It is available somewhere in the big shopping centre opposite (Solo) she explained. We never did get a chance to buy any unfortunately.

Written July 1, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Vilnius, Lithuania4,320 contributions
Not for the teetotallers
Apr 2017 • Solo
The museum in reality is only two rooms. One is dedicated to the modern technology of alcohol production and another is all about history of the strong local drink. What is great is how the history of the region (Latgala) is shown through šmakovka drink. In the exposition all elements are included – from long historical tradition of the product, means of production, distribution, serving and clashes with law, to the damage done by alcohol to a human organism. And, of course tasting of šmakovka is included. Price is steepish – 3.15 EUR single ticket, but it’s quite worth it.
Written April 28, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Showing results 1-10 of 13
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Frequently Asked Questions about Shmakovka Museum

Hotels near Shmakovka Museum: View all hotels near Shmakovka Museum on Tripadvisor

Restaurants near Shmakovka Museum: View all restaurants near Shmakovka Museum on Tripadvisor