Europe Travel

Travel || Gdansk Old Town

Gdansk is just so fantastically beautiful, I could wax lyrical about it! 

If you’re on a quick city break to Gdansk, like I was, I recommend focusing your attention on the Old Town because there is enough there to definitely fill your time! If you have a bit of wiggle room in your schedule, I recommend venturing out of the city centre to the Oliwa Cathedral, the Krzywy Domet (in Sopot) and Lapalice Castle. 

SEE / DO: 

But back to the old town: first you must walk along Mariacka Street, Gdansk’s most famous cobbled street. On both sides of you will see cool burgher houses and insanely intricate gargoyles. In the post war reconstruction, the facades were only changed slightly on the houses. Lining the street are carts selling amber. In fact, I’ve never seen so much amber in my life as I saw there! Baltic Amber is big business and Gdansk is the historic heart of the European trade. After walking down Mariacka Street, head in to Bazylika Mariacka (St Mary’s Church) for a look around (it’s free!). I have a whole separate post about St Mary’s later on so this is just a taster for now. 

Other extremely interesting and beautifully photogenic things in the area are Zbrojawnia, Artus, Long Market and the Fontanna Neptuna. There are several legends about the Neptune Fountain. Here’s my favourite: it was a rumour that the people of Gdansk had so much money that they kept throwing gold coins into the fountain for good luck. The God Neptune eventually become angry that his fountain was being so cluttered and littered that he crushed all the gold coins into powder and the water in the fountain became vodka. (That’s where vodka brand “Goldwasser” got it’s name.) 


STAY: 

I hugely recommend Gdansk for a city break. For one thing, it’s easily seen in a weekend. For another, it’s extremely affordable. I nabbed my flights return from Leeds for under £15. I spent less that £30 on bus tickets, food and attraction passes for the two days. I also stayed in a private room at a hostel called Guitar for the equivalent of £17. (Since I was traveling utterly alone I wanted it to be as cheap a trip as possible, so I only looked at hostels. But because I’m getting old, I only wanted a private room. None of that dorm business for me.) The staff at Guitar was super lovely, my room was spacious and it was definitely good value for money. All in, I spent around £65 for this city break. 

I’d also like to add that as a female traveling alone, I never felt uncomfortable. I was always on my guard, but I am even when walking around somewhere super familiar to me at night. I found that the people were super friendly and willing to help, and that once I expressed the fact that I knew zero (literally zero Polish), everyone I spoke to was kind enough to switch to English. 


TRANSPORT: 

The only thing that was moderately difficult was getting from the airport to the city. (I was flying in quite late at night.) I didn’t want to take a taxi into town (to save money) and both buses and the train are less than the equivalent of £1. However, I found the train utterly incomprehensible to use. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to get from the airport to my correct stop via the train. (And this is with the directions that I’d printed out from the hostel). But a super kind Polish woman, who wasn’t from the area tried to help me with the train ticket machine and she couldn’t figure it out either which makes me think the train system is just confusing for everyone. So if you are going from the airport to town, don’t do what I did at first and try to take the train. Do what I ended up doing. Go straight outside the airport and plop yourself down at bus stop #1. Take the 210 bus into the city. From the main train station (bus stop Dworzec Glowny) the Old Town is like a 6 minute walk. 


EAT: 

As Sam knows, I am a pierogi fiend. I can gobble them like it’s going out of style. And thanks to the recommendation of Jordan, I knew that I had to go to Pierogarnia Mandu (Gdansk Centrum) to fill my boots. They were dream pierogis; I had one order of the traditional cheese and potato stuffed ones topped with onions, bacon and a side of sour cream. You get 10 pierogis per order and they are filled to burst. Try though I might, I couldn’t get through all 10 alone. (And I did try. Valiantly.) My food order was under £5 and it was delicious, plus I’d eaten so much that I could barely move. If you’re in Gdansk, go there. My only tip is to make sure you leave a lot of time for your meal. They make the pierogi dumplings to order so you can wait around 30 minutes for your food to arrive, even when they aren’t busy. Now I just want more pierogis. 





Gdansk is so insanely beautiful and reasonably priced. I say book, book, book your flights! It was never on my travel bucket list before but I’m so glad that I went!

Have you ever traveled anywhere totally unexpected before? 

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  • Oooh, now I want me some pierogis! Seriously though, what a stunning little town. The architecture is really impressive. I am half Polish and always wanted to visit, now I want it even more!

  • I loved Gdansk too (really impossible not to, perhaps)… it was like… “can I move here?” :)) Also a pierogi fiend, but I got burned out on them early on because one day I ate them for literally every meal – not recommended. I did not know that little fact tidbit about Goldwasser – how cool! Also, how fun to take a solo trip – good for you! I’m all for that.

    • I’d have been tempted to eat them for every meal, so I totally get that 😉 Isn’t the Goldwasser story random? I loved it though! x

  • Awwww, thanks for the shout out! I’m so glad you had such a great time. I found Gdansk to just be the most adorable city and called my parents afterwards telling them I could move here! Also, really jealous of your pierogi picture because now I’m craving them!!!

  • I didn’t know that it was so pretty:)

    • It was so stunning! I have other posts about it that I’m still editing the pictures on but this is how lovely the old part of town was! x

  • I love your photos! Getting from airport to hotel is always a very stressful part of my trip planning. Public transport in foreign languages is also a bit of guess work and finger crossing and praying to St Christopher, patron saint of travellers and people who are really rather lost.

    • The shitty thing was that I had even planned (or thought I had) and then once I left the airport, the instructions that I had screen-shotted made ZERO sense. It almost broke me and I’m sure I looked shell-shocked by the time I got to the hospital. x

  • Zara

    Wow it looks beautiful! I have never really heard of it as being a travel destination before but I definitely will consider adding it to my bucket list now. The architecture is so interesting, not really like anywhere I have visited before. Every time I visit one of the smaller towns in Bavaria I am so surprised by how pretty and interesting they are 🙂 x
    http://www.misszarabelle.com

    • I only booked my tickets in the first place because they were so incredibly cheap in the post- New Year RyanAir sale. And then once I had the tickets and I started to research what to visit, I was absolutely blown away! x

  • I’ve booked to go in a couple of weeks!! I’m so excited!
    I’m pescetarian – am I going to starve to death over there?

    • It definitely seems like quite an extreme “comfort” food culture (stodgy foods like meats and potatoes and cheeses). But the pierogi place that I went to had a whole vegetarian section (and even a vegan option). I didn’t see many other meat-free options at other places though! x

  • I’m so intrigued (also, we need to book in a girlie weekend sometime!)

  • ninegrandstudent

    I’ve definitely put this on my bucket list now, it looks so different to anywhere else I’ve seen!

    NINEGRANDSTUDENT: A Lifestyle Blog

  • Your trip looks wonderful – stunning photos lovely!
    https://www.mrshollycrocker.com/

  • Wow what a place, these are amazing photos of what sounds like a wonderful place to visit, I never will get there but still I can enjoy the photos and the post and for that I thank you

  • Ahhh your photos are so beautiful, it looks like something from a fairytale! So enchanting! 😀 xx

    elizabeth ♡ ”Ice Cream” whispers Clara
    (lets follow each other on bloglovin or instagram)

  • Wow the old town looks fantastic! And I’m really impressed that you kept your budget so low for the weekend! #goals

    • It helped that flights were so crazily cheap and that I said in a hostel. But honestly, even hotel prices in Gdansk were quite low! x

  • Diana Maria

    Oh wow, these photos are absolutely breath taking! My family is from Poland and I’ve visited many times but I’m planning another trip there. There are so many gorgeous cities and places to explore, I can’t wait! It looks like you had a wonderful time xx

    Sending light & love your way,
    My Lovelier Days

  • What a lovely looking town! I am super impressed with your choice for a mini-break. Also this style is my favourite kind of travel post <3 xx

  • I visited Krakow in 2015 and it was incredible, and like you also realised – Poland is beautiful and so so cheap! You can get some really amazing food for barely anything! Alice xxx

    http://www.woodenwindowsills.co.uk

    • It’s crazy because I ate and drank (basically feasted like an old time king) for under £15! x

  • Leanne – Broke in the big Smok

    I’ve never thought about visiting Gdansk before but your pics are totally changing my mind! x

    • I didn’t know anything about it before I went, I was just spurned on by super cheap discount flights but now I’d heartily recommend it to everyone! You get that sort of Scandi feel from it too, just without the sticker shock! x

  • Now you’ve got me looking up tickets to Gdansk! I’ve wanted to go to Poland for ages but it’s so expensive from Doncaster because there’s such a demand for flights here. Leeds would be totally doable tho!

    • If you can be flexible with your travel time, there were some even crazier deals to Poland out of Leeds than the one I got! It was back in the winter when it was freezing, but I spotted a mid-week Gdansk flight for a fiver, which just seems insane! x