Gdańsk Backpacking Travel Guide

Information on hostels, transportation, cheap food and drinks, sights to see, activities and more.

Search for Gdańsk hostels at Hostelworld and budget hotels at Agoda.com

About


Gdańsk is a major Polish city in the north of the country and with one of the largest ports in the Baltic sea. Gdańsk is a very beautiful city with a Flemish/Dutch architecture style influenced by its membership within the Hanseatic League as well as a concerted rebuild in that style following WW2.

Within the last century Gdańsk has been the location for two significant events. World War II is considered to have started during the German invasion of Poland which was done so under the pretence of incorporating the Free City of Danzig into the Nazi Reich. By the end of the war the city lay almost completely in ruins at the hands of Soviet and Allied bombing. The German population was expelled and replaced by Poles as the city came under Polish rule and changed its name to Gdańsk.

Gdańsk is also known as the birthplace of Solidarity (pl: Solidarność), the labour and democracy movement that sparked a series of protests that successfully overturned the Communist regimes of the former Soviet bloc. The movement was led by the charismatic leader, Lech Wałęsa, who became Poland's first post-Communist president.

Hostels


5 Point Hostel

A really comfortable hostel, more like a home, with tea, magazines, games etc supplied in a cosy common area. Comfortable beds and proper duvets, the room was cute and very clean. Great location for both the train station and the old town. There isn't always someone on reception but they are always contactable. Free coffee and little treats were put out during the day. The bathrooms are very clean, with quirky decor and premium touches such as flowers.

Midtown Hostel

Midtown is very comfortable, safe, fun and close to the city centre. Free coffee and tea, free wifi and a common area equipped with comfy sofas, a TV, movies, books and games. It feels a bit like staying in an apartment and is certainly not a party hostel, but a great place to relax and for enjoying Gdańsk.

Grand Hostel

Grand Hostel is located in a renovated, 15th century building, Brama Swietojanska, which is one of Gdansk's main sights. Excellent placed right on the canal - close to everything you need to see. They provided candy and ear plugs upon check in. Breakfast is included and is delicious. Only downside is the lack of people there, but that is to be expected in smaller cities in the winter.

Sights and Highlights


Free Walking Tour

Joining a free walking tour is always a great first activity in a new city. Freewalkingtour.com run 2 walking tours in Gdańsk. Their main tour is of the Old Town of Gdańsk and is run Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Their other tour is a Solidarity tour and is run only on weekends. The meeting place is between the Golden Gate and the Amber Museum very close to the centre of the city.

Gdansk, Poland

European Solidarity Centre

The European Solidarity Centre is a museum and library devoted to the history of Solidarity, the Polish trade union and civil resistance movement, and other opposition movements of Communist Eastern Europe. It a must-see museum for anyone interested in modern European history. Very modern, good price, really interesting and reflective. This is a must if you are in Gdańsk, even for a couple of hours. Visit the ESC website for more info.

To Eat


Jadalnia Pod Zielonym Smokiem

A cheap and tasty restaurant that is quite similar in style to Polish milk bars. I wouldn't expect too many fancy dishes here. They serve simple food (pierogi, pasta, curry/rice, hearty soups) for a very good price. It is relaxed and cozy, more like a tavern and with lots of students. The staff is very friendly. Overall the perfect place to return to again and again during your stay.

Pyra Bar

My favourite little place to eat in Gdańsk. These guys are the potato specialists. They serve potato in a variety of forms. You can start with a potato soup and then move on to either a potato pancake or roasted potato topped with one of many of their delicious options. Suitable for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians (plenty of dishes with lots of meat). You can read their menu here. It is in Polish so you will need to use google translate plugin to read. Another place that you will want to return to many times while in town.

Original Burger

Lovely little place on the main street. Top notch place. You can find an english menu here. Vegetarians will love the chickpea and halloumi burger. A burger and two sides will set you back about 6€.

For Drinking


Degu-Degustatornia

These guys have a fantastic choice of craft beers from Poland and international beers. The beer garden makes it an ideal place to hang out in the summer.

Klubogaleria Bunkier

A very unique and interesting place. This club is located inside a six-storey, re-enforced concrete cube built as an air-raid shelter, bunker and anti-aircraft battery by the Germans during WWII. Each level has a different look and feel about, make sure you explore the whole place to find the area you like. Due to the sheer size of the place, make sure visit when a big crowd is expected otherwise it will feel a bit empty. An event calendar can be found at http://bunkierclub.pl/#KalendarzPage

LUMI Shot Bar

A Gdańsk institution. Great service and great shots. There's plenty to choose from so just ask the bartenders and they will help you. This is the perfect place to head to for some cheap drinks at the start of the night before heading out to a gig a or club a bit later.

Transportation


Local

Gdansk is located very close to the cities of Gdynia and Sopot. To check out these cities take the SKM train from Gdańsk Główny. Tickets to Gdynia will cost 5 zł and Sopot will cost 3.40 zł. A route map can be found at www.skm.pkp.pl/

Warsaw

There are trains travelling back and forth between Warsaw and Gdańsk all day. Train tickets can be purchased at intercity.pl/en/. Ticket prices vary according to the speed of the train and how far in advance the booking is made. Tickets can be as low as 12€ for some trips but most tickets seem to be around the 25€ mark. The fastest train journey is 2hrs 40mins. A bus journey with Polskibus will cost around 6€ but the journey will take about 4 hrs 35mins.

Poznan

Trains to Poznan can also be purchased at intercity.pl/en/. Tickets are around 11€ if booked in advance but closer to 20€ when booked on the day. The fastest train journey is 2hrs 54mins. A bus journey with Polskibus will again cost around 6€ but the journey will take right on 5 hours, 2 hours more than a fast train.

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