Worked hard this year? Craving some end-of-season sunshine? Don’t want to pay hundreds or even thousands of pounds for the privilege?
Look no further than Gdansk, Poland.
As we know, from the second week of September prices generally plummet with the kids returning to school and the tourist season largely over for another year. This then, is a perfect time for you to head to north Poland for a short weekend break. (But of course check the weather forecast before you book!).
Gdansk (known as Danzig in German) is actually the third busiest airport in all of Poland. Although you might not have previously heard of it, don’t be put off as its not a sleepy, middle of nowhere town, in fact far from it and especially not from late July to mid August. As such, getting from and to here is quite straight-forward as the airport offers excellent accessibility from a large number international destinations and a surprising amount of United Kingdom airports.
Prices for flights after the first week of September are looking extremely affordable. In fact, I’m pretty sure these examples are really going to surprise you:
At least worth looking into a little further, right?
If you can’t wait until September have a look at the prices now for August as temperatures have been glorious this entire last week.
Also be sure to keep an eye on those sneaky baggage costs. Recently Wizz Air made a big change their end and starting charging for hold luggage, much to the anger and disappointment of regular (and non regular) passengers.
Where to stay?
I have stayed in four hostels in and around the Gdansk area and I’ve done so in the peak tourist season so finding accommodation in September will only be easier by comparison. Two of these hostels were central to town and therefore were within walking distance from the train station and these are the two I would happily recommend you look into for your stay. These were named The 5 point hostel and The Midtown hostel.
Take a look at these few pictures and think how much you would pay for this level of style for accommodation back home. I’ll cover costs later on.
Super nice, huh.
Hostel pricing for August, (peak season) should again shock you considering the quality of the accommodation as depicted above. Between those two hostels I averaged around £12 per night including breakfast! Knowing this, private rooms would be affordable too should you wish for some privacy. Still think many of you back home wouldn’t stay in a hostel? If there’s one thing I hope regular readers have learn’t from my experience I really hope that it is that hostels need not have an old stigma attached to them. As I have proved time and time again, the reality is very different.
When I arrived here last week I was desperate for water so I purchased a regular (500ml) bottle from inside the train station at a cost of 5 Zloty (Approximately 1 GBP). If you think that is OK then you’ll have a nice surprise when you come to purchase goods from a regular corner shop. Recently I bought a Lipton (branded) Iced-tea AND a bottle of water for the same price of 5 Zloty. That’s gotta be as cheap as I’ve seen anywhere in Europe including the Balkans!
Transport is also really cheap making it very easy to get around by bus, train or tram. Or even by ferry thinking about it.
Getting to town:
The number ‘210’ bus does an airport pick-up every 30 minutes or so and it will have you in Gdansk town (Gdansk Glowny) approximately 40 minutes later at a barely believable cost of 75 pence.
Once you exit at Gdansk town (Gdansk Glowny), chances are your accommodation will be close by but if not, you will be directly outside the main train (and tram) station so moving on from here will be straight-forward should you need to.
What to eat?
I haven’t had a chance to sample too much traditional cuisine but here’s a glance at what I have enjoyed over these past few days. Actually, that’s probably a bit unfair because I’ve sampled from Saint Dominic’s fair and had a dish people say you should try when in this part of the world; fish of course.
Would you believe me if I said the least flavoursome dishes were the Seafood Tagliatelle and The Salmon? By far the other more simple dishes were more enjoyable and it would be these I would have again. Thankfully though I wasn’t too annoyed because 150 grams of Salmon, chips, an attempt of salad and a pint of larger cost me a barely believable £6.50 GBP. Then consider this was in Sopot; one of the ‘Tri-city’ town that I’ll speak a little more about another time.
What to do?
Tri-city as its known, consists of three towns adjacent to one another in a row along the coast of the Gdansk bay in the Baltic sea. These towns in order from south to north are Gdansk, Sopot and Ggdynia. They all offer something different to the other but the most northern of the three, Ggdynia, is more of an important seaport port so I was advised by locals that I could give that a miss and spend more time in the other two.
To name just a few of the many tourist attractions around here: The impressive Solidarity Museum, Neptune’s fountain, The Crane, Westerplatte (trigger of WW2), Malbork Castle, The Upside Down House in Szymbark, Hel peninsular and of course, beaches – as you’ll have seen from yesterday’s post.
So folks, for a fairly unique destination that most people you know haven’t been to and that offers all you could want as a tourist for a fantastic price, come to Gdansk! If you have more time, consider putting the effort in before hand and you could in advance obtain a three day visa to the enclave close by better known as Kaliningrad, Russia
Suddenly your friend’s one week vacation to the Caribbean looks a whole lot less interesting, not to mention super-expensive.