If you’ve been following my posts recently you will totally know about how much I gush on about Poland. A country full of hidden gems that can be visted for a small price. Before I leave university I would certainly love to see LOADS of the country and visit as many cities as possible. However I can now happily say I have ticked off three Polish cities the past five months – Warsaw, Gdansk and Sopot (which I will write about eventually too). Here I’m essentially going to rave on about how amazing Gdansk is and why you need to go, it actually surpassed my expectations! Compared to Warsaw, this place was just stunning.
‘The Venice of the North’
Now this is certainly a nickname used by many to describe Gdansk. For those who do not know, Gdansk is a famous port city in the north of Poland. It sits right on the Baltic. It also has successfully retained its old architecture throughout most of the city. Despite the nickname, I honestly think Bruges or Amsterdam of the East is certainly more suitable. It really gives off those vibes but just with an Eastern European twist.
Underrated and unknown
If you read my previous post on Poland, you’ll know I made a point to say that it really is an underrated country to visit. Of course it is not an exotic and immensely different place to go, and in fact, many people visit here whilst travelling. However, it is pain-stabbingly clear that it gets much less attention than other countries and cities throughout Europe…A LOT LESS. Consequently, nothing feels like it is artificially there to support tourism, nor are prices high to exploit tourists. It is very calm and quiet here – exactly what I love.
As you can see in the photo above, my Mum and another local are the only people walking down the Marina! Little things like this can always make my trips away much more pleasant when you know you do not have to fight crowds.
Yes, again I have raved about loving going to cheap destinations – Poland being one them. Although to put it plainly, it cost my Mum and myself £100 per person for flights and a lovely 4* hotel for two nights. The hotel to be quite honest had a beautiful view, great service and a lovely room. Our flights were also pretty good (except arriving into Luton, my gosh remind me never to fly into there whilst it’s still undergoing building work! T_T) Meals in Gdansk were also cheap, we had three course meals both nights with drinks for £30 for both of us. These meals were simply amazing and one of the restuaraunts we went to certainly did not skimp out on portion sizes…I’m looking at you ‘Mojito’ in Gdansk’s Old Town. Excursions also cost next to nothing with 24 hour tram/bus passes costing £2 and return tickets on the railway costing £1 (this was to Sopot – a day trip out to here is great!)
So much to do
You could easily ramble on all day about Gdansk’s beauty but there was so much to do we only just got everything in! There were so many lovely walks, museums and sights to see. Notably many landmarks in the Old Town, walking down the Marina and visiting museums such as the European Solidarity Centre. This centre mainly informed you of what happened following the Gdansk shipyard protests. This contributed to the fallout of the USSR/Eastern Bloc. This museum was amazing and I thoroughly recommend it. We gave ourselves an hour and a half to do it, but realistically I could have done with double the amount of time. But I did take a lot from that place, in fact it’s inspired me finally to make a decision regarding my dissertation (even though I haven’t even started second year…). The Cold War era has always fascinated me, exploring the role of Gdansk and protests/riots in the collapse of communist Eastern Europe certainly would be an interesting thing to write about <3
It is an ‘easy’ destination
I love travelling, even if part of the trip involves some difficult moments. However, isn’t it wonderful when your trip is a completely smooth ride? As much as I adore going to Japan, the transit/immigration process and the journey itself is rather lengthy. Gdansk however was a very easy quick trip. Stansted airport has just undergone great renovations and the shops and eateries surpass Heathrow’s terminal 4. The queues and organisation there were also very smooth. We were able to eat breakfast in a beautiful terminal, then two hours later arrive in Gdansk, twenty minutes on from this we were eating lunch in the centre of the city. The airport is expertly situated very close to the city. In addition to this, the city itself is very simple to navigate and not very large. This meaning, that most exploring can easily be done by foot. The tourist information centres are dotted everywhere and although I rarely use them when I go away, I wanted to know the best way to get to a certain shopping centre as it was too far to walk. A quick question from me and a quick simple response back and we were there within no time. That is one lesson I have learnt this time, although I am proud of planning trips away myself without travel agents/guides, I really should use tourist information centres in the city more if I need to – they honestly can save so much time!
No need to explain this one with words…
Well what do you think? I do not know many who have been here, but those who have adore this place. With it being as cheap as chips, a weekend away here is a no brainer <3