10 Reasons to visit Gdansk, Poland

“You’re going on holiday to Gdansk in Poland?!” Why? “Not my idea of a holiday destination!”

This is a question I faced many times leading up to my trip to the Northern Polish city of Gdansk. In fact, it may have been a statement I would have said myself, some years ago.

Poland was never a country that was on my highly desirable list. However, following its high acclaim from fellow travel blogger Jonny Blair, who writes as Northern Irishman in Poland; I knew I needed to visit.

I travelled to Gdansk at the end of March with my boyfriend, and despite the slight chill in the air, the city shone for us. We were not disappointed.

Gdansk is a destination which should receive more attention. So if you’re looking for some travel inspiration, here are 10 reasons to visit Gdansk:

1. It’s 3 cities in 1 (Tricity)

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When you visit Gdansk, you are not only visiting one city but three. Gdansk is made up of three cities, known as the tricity which include Gdansk (the largest), Sopot and Gdynia. In essence, the Tricity is a large metropolitan area and has a population of 1 million.
You can travel easily within the Tricity area, with buses and trains very accessible. All three cities have so much to offer, so you won’t get bored.

2. It can be seen in a long weekend 

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Although it is not possible to see everything a city has to offer on a short trip, you can still see a fair amount of it. Thanks to cheap flights, Gdansk is very accessible and it is a destination you can easily see in a long weekend.
We arrived in Gdansk on Friday afternoon, and left on Monday evening, and crammed in a lot of activities (and walking!)
You can fly direct to Gdansk from a number of  UK destinations such as Belfast,  Newcastle, Cardiff, London, Birmingham, Glasgow and Bristol.
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3. It is affordable 

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Visiting Gdansk will not break the bank. We found it to be an incredibly affordable destination, without the need to stay in a hostel.
Our flight from Stansted airport to Gdansk cost just £46 return. A bus ticket into the city centre from the airport cost 3.20 Zloty (under £1). We stayed in the most amazing apartment, which was a 15-minute walk from the city centre. This cost £87 for 4 nights.
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Additionally, we took £200 spending money, split between my boyfriend and I. We left the city having spent £170 between us. We could have done this a whole lot cheaper, but on occasions splashed out on fancier dinner and treats, as well as souvenirs.

4. It has a beach 

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Gdansk doesn’t have the same feel as most cities, tt is not overcrowded and stressful. However, if you want to get out of the city and find some beach time, then go to Gdynia. It has a clean and sandy beach, where you can sunbathe, or go for a paddle. Nearby, you’ll be able to grab some ice cream or chips from the local vendors.

5. There are some incredible buildings 

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If you make your way down the coast from Gdynia to Sopot,  you can spot the Krzywy Domek, which is the Polish for ‘crooked little house’. It is situated on the main high street and is now the home to a local shopping centre.

6. There is so much history

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Gdansk is the oldest city in Poland and has an incredible story to tell. You can find out about its history at the many museums, including Muzeum 1939 which is a newly opened Museum, a little out of the city and is dedicated to the events of World War II. You’ll need to book though, as tickets are limited.

7. It’s colourful 

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The charm of Gdansk takes a hold once you set foot on the cobbled main square. The colourful facades of buildings are just wonderful, and the architecture is stunning.

When you’re on the Długi Targ (main square), make sure you get a glimpse of the wonderful Neptunes Fountain, and the Fahrenheit monument: a monument to Daniel Fahrenheit who was born in the city and was the inventor of the thermometer.

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8. It has great food 

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If you like trying local food, then you can sample plenty when in Gdansk. Make sure you don’t leave without trying some pierogi (Polish Dumplings), which are normally filled with potatoes but can have a variety of fillings.

If you’re in the mood for something seriously sweet (and totally not Polish), then indulge yourself in some pancakes from Mr Pancake in Gdynia, whose motto is to screw the diet!

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9. It has awesome street art 

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If you want to venture a little out of the main city and love street art, then go to Zaspa.

Zaspa is a neighbourhood of Gdansk and is dominated by high-rise apartment buildings. Once these buildings were grey and lifeless, but have now been given a splash of colour by local artists.

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You can take a street art tour around this area, or get a bus/train there and have a wander yourself.

10. It’s close to the largest castle in the World 

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If you’re into fairytales and incredible castles, then jump on a train to Malbork, which is just 30-45 minutes from Gdansk, you can visit Malbork Castle, which is the largest Castle in the World (*by land area).

It is a fantastic trip out, and you can expect to spend anywhere between 3-4 hours there. With a great audio guide to give you a true sense of the history. You can truly feel like a princess for the day strolling around in this medieval fortress.

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Thinking about a trip to Gdansk? You should be!

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