Gdansk - Poland's Hidden Gem
When you think of Poland as a holiday destination Krakow and Warsaw immediately spring to mind, and for good reasons, both places offer much to do. However we wanted to see what else Poland had in its locker so we decided to visit Gdansk, a city nestled along the Baltic Coast, is Poland’s principal seaport and the country’s 4th largest metropolitan area. Flights are very reasonable, as is the accommodation within the city center.
Firstly, something we highly recommend is their tourist card, which offers free travel to and from the airport. It also grants free access to Gdansk’s most popular museums, plus other useful discounts around the city. Basically it more than pays for itself, and there are a few options that make it even more of a no-brainer.
From one of our visits to a museum we learnt that during World War 2 most of the city was completely destroyed, and then rebuilt to exactly how it was prior to preserve Gdansk’s incredible architecture. One piece of architecture in particular is the famous Crane building in the city center. It’s the oldest preserved harbor crane in Europe and was constructed between 1442 and 1444 in the form of two brick towers with a wooden crane mechanism installed between them. After having walked up the narrow, wooden steps to the highest floor of the Crane, which is about 27 m above ground, tourists can admire the panorama of the Motława river, Ołowianka Island, Granary Island and the yachts moored in the marina.
The 48 hour sightseeing package is just 40 PLN each, which equates to jut over £8, an absolute bargain, you’ll struggle not to get your moneys worth it’s that good. We managed to get it for that price by purchasing it online at www.visitgdansk.com .
When in a different country something that’s always on the list to try is the local food. After googling around we found a restaurant close by with excellent reviews called Pierogarnia Mandu Centrum. As the name suggests, it served Poland’s most popular dish, pierogi, which put simply are filled dumplings. The food here was excellent, made even better by a few cold beers that went down a treat, especially after being up since 3am!
Last on the list of essentials to cover is the nightlife! We always start off in a few local bars and ask the staff where is best, it hasn’t failed us yet and that’s a top tip. It was a Friday night and we were advised by numerous people to head towards a club called Parlament, which had an enormous queue outside, surely a good sign? Once inside we stayed the rest of the evening… and returned to the scene of the crime the following night, needless to say it’s worth heading here in the evening.
On our adventures to Gdansk we met a great guy called Michal who works for the tourist board, he said that during the summer everyone heads towards Sopot, a nearby beach town that comes alive and really is the place to be. That’s another place on our growing list then. Overall Gdansk was a real hidden gem and ticked every box, we’ll be back.