The majestic city of Gdansk in Poland is now the new travel destination where the most vibrant, historical, and enigmatic sights and stories are at the core of its glory. Gdansk has a rich merchant and maritime traditions that are expressed through the colorful shops and restaurants that were reconstructed after World War II.
A weekend trip is all you need to see, explore, and enjoy this place. Also, if you are on a budget but wanted to visit a quirky destination, then, a trip to Gdansk is for you!
We put together a guide on what to know and see in Gdansk so that you wouldn’t have to search far.
Welcome to the city where you literally have a colorful world.
Things you need to know
Plane. Depending on starting point, Gdansk is highly accessible by plane. However, flying could be very expensive especially during peak seasons or when you book closer to your travel date.
Train. The next best option would be the train. Travel time is longer than plane but lesser than bus. However, in our own experience, train is twice as expensive as bus with only approximately 30 minutes difference in arrival time from the latter. Travelling by train in Poland can be booked through this reliable website.
Ms. Travelingboots aboard the train on the way to Gdansk Glowny Station
Bus. Now, for a weekend trip to Gdansk, it would be reasonable to go by bus, at least for shorter distance. Your trip is just approximately four hours (only behind by 30 minutes compared to train) and the fare is cheaper by 20 zloty (two-way/person). The great thing about it is that, bus has a wifi and the train we took didn’t have one. You may check fare and book your bus ticket through this reliable website.
Drive or ride share. Definitely, if you have your own car and you want more freedom in your travel time and stops, then you can drive to Gdansk. There is also an option to share a ride. This is different from Uber or grab car concept. The way this works is that, there is a website where you can input your point of origin, your destination, then the date of your trip and people going to that place by car on your selected date will show-up on the list. You can then find the pick-up place and the drop-off point along with the price that would work for you. The price is calculated based on how much you need to share for the given trip.
Getting Around Gdansk
No need to hire a car. Most, if not all of the interesting places in Gdansk are just close to each other and very accessible by foot. We would even suggest that you only list down the places that you want to see and don’t follow a rigid itinerary. Instead, take a leisurely walk around the city and follow the crowd, bask into the colors and beauty of the sights around, and add some twist by going on a random restaurant hunt around the area. One caveat is when you plan to visit a museum or watch some shows. For these activities, be sure to book in advance to ensure sure seats and no complication on the date of the event.
Tram has a different ticket with the Inter City Train. When you purchase your tram ticket to go somewhere (maybe, to your hostel), make sure not to choose the intercity train option as it is completely different from the ones used in tram. Although no one is checking the ticket on the train, there might be instances where inspectors would randomly check tickets, if you don’t have a ticket or you are using an incorrect one, you would need to pay a fine for that. So, to avoid complications, please make sure to double check your options on the ticket machine in the station.
Uber. Yes, there is Uber in Gdansk. In our case, we used Uber to bring us from our hostel to Sopot because: 1. we were already pressed with time to commute via other options 2. tram’s operating time and distance of the station from our place of origin to our destination are quite far.
What to see in Gdansk?
Now we are revealing the highlight of this post – the places you will see in the city. Start listing down your favorite spots and bring it with you on your travel.
Oh, be sure to read through the end, we reserve the best spots for last.
This cobbled street is surrounded by buildings of discrete colors that have doors and windows etched with elegant designs of the Medieval time. If you also notice, basements and terrace are converted to shops that mostly sell amber, hence, often referred to as the “amber center”.
If you look at the door photos, it would be needless to say that I had a great time admiring the doors and terraces here. Aren’t they adorable?
The beauty of this street is not solely attributed to the glamour of amber nor to the color of buildings, instead, it is brought about by the closed narrow form of the street with the sight of the spectacular church pointing to the sky at the end of the road.
I love the photo of my friend here in her NYF-ish glamour.
This town hall is a Gothic-Renaissance inspired building built at the intersection of Long Lane and Long Market.
From here on, you can see the mix of historic and modern buildings that come in varied colors and designs.
These buildings here remind me of Dutch architecture.
You could just imagine my jaw dropping as I walked on the streets full of these colorful buildings.
As you can see, shops after shops are lofty and colorful.
Spotted this quirky restaurant on our way to Motlawa river.
Another line of exquisite architecture…
It was past 11:00 AM when we passed by here and look at the people – they were already drinking beer.
Do’t worry, we reserved one entry about this beer culture in Poland so, stay updated.
The weather in Gdansk is colder but walking on the cobbled streets with the impressive sight of Gothic-Renaissance architecture makes it tolerable.
This entrance will lead you to the Motlawa river.
Brama Wyzynna, or Upland Gate
Brama Wyzynna is one of the impressive entrance gates in Gdansk leading to the Royal route. Inscribed into this fortified gate is the Latin message that says: “Justice and piety are the two cornerstones of all kingdoms”. Clearly, the gate served as a formidable barrier to invading armies from 16th to 19th Century.
Unlike other Polish towns, Gdansk does not have a main square or “Rynek”. Instead, they have this wide street called Dlugi Targ (The Long street) which will lead you to the different colorful streets in the city.
From Mariacka street, you can just take a leisurely walk and you’ll surely arrive at this place.
The Neptune fountain was commissioned by the city of Gdansk in 1633 to represent the town hall. This statue is a Dutch inspired architecture
This was me trying to sneak some photo because this spot is very famous for picture taking.
As you continue to explore Gdansk, you will soon find an entrance to a totally different sight: of water, embankment, and boats.
When you reach Motlawa river, you can pause and enjoy the view here since it is very calming: it must be the water.
To get a slightly different perspective of Gdansk, you might want to experience the Motlawa river cruise and this galleon-type ship is just one of the many cruises you can get to bring you back to the olden times.
I find this part of Motlawa fascinating. The feels here is like London Eye in Denmark.
This is the Amber Sky Wheel, a 50 meter observation wheel where you can see a panoramic view of the city. It has 36 air conditioned cabins with 1 VIP car with glazed floor. The rotation would be 15 minutes and ticket costs 25 zloty. However, if you are 1.4 m tall, you can get your ticket at 15 zloty only and for children up to three years old , nah, the ride is for FREE!
Operating hours is from 10:00 to 22:00 and tickets can be bought at the ticket booth in front of the observation wheel.
We spent less than two days in Gdansk (because we only had the afternoon on our first day to explore the place) but the beauty of the city captivated our hearts and blew our minds away. For the time we spent here, it was all worth it!
For more information and tips on Gdansk, please visit their official website here.
Lastly, before we wrap-up this post, here are the details of our expenses (per person) that might be helpful.
Our mission now is to spread the word and we can’t wait for your own adventure to the majestic Gdansk!
Write on the comments any additional tips you have on Gdansk and share this post to your friends looking for their next adventure.