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Gdańsk is one of my favourite cities in Poland, but there are a few things you need to know before visiting Gdańsk alone.
Knowing these things will make your trip to Gdańsk smoother and more enjoyable. You’ll also avoid missing out on some of the best things the city has to offer.
I know Gdańsk isn’t the most popular city in Poland. Most people visit Krakow and maybe Warsaw.
But, if you have a few extra days in Poland, Gdańsk is one of the places I highly recommend you add to your itinerary.
It’s a small(ish) city in northern Poland with a huge history.
A history I honestly didn’t know about until I visited Gdańsk. I chose to visit Gdańsk because of how beautiful the city is. I’m so thankful I randomly chose to visit Gdańsk because it is so much more than it’s beautiful buildings and architecture.
Now that I know what visiting Gdańsk is like and how amazing it is, I want to share it all with you, so you can decide if it’s the right city for you to visit.
Hopefully these tips for visiting Gdańsk alone will help you decide if you want to visit the city or if you’re okay sticking to the more popular tourist areas.
Table of Contents
1. You Need More Than One Day in Gdańsk
I’ve seen a number of bloggers and travel content creators suggest that you can visit Gdańsk on a day trip from Warsaw.
I think that is not the right advice to give.
The train ride between Warsaw and Gdańsk is three hours, so you’re spending at least six hours in transit between the two cities.
That doesn’t leave much time at all to experience Gdańsk.
You wouldn’t be able to get a good understanding of the city, and you’d definitely be missing a lot of what the city has to offer.
I think a weekend getaway to Gdańsk is perfect. Having 1.5 to 2 days in Gdańsk is the perfect amount of time.
You’ll be able to see most of Gdańsk has to offer without being rushed.
You can enjoy the city, stop in a local café, go on a walking tour, and enjoy a more laid back trip to Gdańsk.
I spent three days in Gdańsk. It was a good amount of time, but I definitely think that two days is the perfect amount of time for most people visiting Gdańsk.
But please don’t do a day trip to Gdańsk from Warsaw. It isn’t worth it. You’ll be exhausted and feel like you didn’t get to see enough to make the journey worth it.
2. Make Time for a Free Walking Tour
You can go on a free walking tour pretty much anywhere in the world, but the free walking tours in Poland are on a whole other level.
I’ve been on free walking tours in four cities in Poland, and they’ve been incredible every single time.
No matter if you’re visiting Gdańsk alone, in a group, are young, or are old, a free walking tour is a must-do activity.
Free Tour is the company I always use in Poland, and they haven’t let me down yet.
Not only are free walking tours a great way to stay on budget, but they’re super interesting.
I like going on walking tours the first day or two when I arrive in a city. They help give you the lay of the land, and you learn a ton about the city.
Learning about the city from a local really helps put the city you’re visiting in perspective. You start to see it in a whole new light.
Gdańsk has an incredibly interesting and complex history.
I truly think the only way you can really appreciate your time in Gdańsk is by understanding the history. Otherwise you’re just walking through a beautiful city without any context.
So, when you’re visiting Gdańsk, be sure to make time for a free walking tour. I promise you that you won’t regret it!
3. Gdańsk is Very Walkable
Speaking on walking, Gdańsk is a super walkable city. You can get pretty much anywhere you want to go on foot.
The only time I relied on transportation other than my feet was when I visited Westerplatte, and there is no other option but to go by boat.
Other than that, my feet carried me everywhere I needed to go. It doesn’t take very long to walk to any of the main tourist sights either.
Their either in the old town or within a 30-minute walk of the old town.
So be sure to grab your walking shoes when visiting Gdańsk!
4. Get Outside the Old Town
Gdańsk’s old town is stunning, and it’s tempting to spend all your time exploring it. That is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when visiting Gdańsk though.
The city is so much more than it’s old town.
You don’t have to wander too far away from the main tourist area to get a different feel for Gdańsk. Even just walking 20 minutes in any direction will get you to a more local portion of the city.
You’ll find amazing restaurants, cute boutique stores, and possibly some fantastic street art.
Even if you don’t run into anything particularly amazing, it’s still worth getting outside the old town. Even if it is just to see different architecture and get out of the hustle and bustle of the tourist area.
There are a few notable things to do in Gdańsk just outside the old town including the European Solidarity Center and Museum of the Second World War.
Some people may consider the museum as inside the old town, but I would consider it outside. It’s beyond the main walking street and further along the water.
5. You Might Need a Jacket (Even During Summer)
One things that surprised me when visiting Gdańsk was that it was cooler than I thought. I was visiting in late April, and I was chilly at times.
It was certainly cooler than the other parts of Poland I had just visited.
I think this has to do with the city’s proximity to the water and the cool breeze that can come from the water.
If you’re only packing for a weekend trip to Gdańsk, I highly suggest you pack a sweater or light jacket with you even if you’re visiting during warmer months.
Especially if you plan on visiting Westerplatte. The boat ride can get really windy and cold. I found myself shivering both on the ride to Westerplatte and on the way backk.
And you’ll definitely want some warmer clothes if you’re visiting in winter, spring, or fall.
It’s better to err on the side of caution and bring a sweater you may not end up using than not enjoy your time in Gdańsk because you’re cold.
6. Visiting Westerplatte is Essential
Westerplatte is a small peninsula not far from Gdańsk. It is one of the most important things you can do while visiting Gdańsk.
Westerplatte is where the first battle took place when Germany invaded Poland, and it marks the start of WWII.
The peninsula now holds monuments and statues to honour the people who were lost during the battle of Westerplatte.
There are also the remains of buildings and bunkers that were left in the same condition as they were after the battle.
It is very interesting to walk around the peninsula and see the ruined buildings.
Unfortunately, when I visited there weren’t many plaques describing what took place and the history of Westerplatte.
But you the narrator on the boat that takes you to Westerplatte gives you a bit of a history lesson on the way over. And quite a musical serenade on the way back.
Or at least mine did.
But no matter whether you get serenaded on the boat ride home or not, going to Westerplatte is a must for anybody visiting Gdańsk.
7. The Train to Gdańsk Can be Expensive
Poland is known for being an affordable country. 99% of the time it is, but I was blown away by the price I paid for the train from Warsaw to Gdańsk.
It was outrageously expensive, and I have no explanation as to why it was so expensive.
But it seemed to be expensive all the time. It wasn’t just an anomaly when I was trying to get to Gdańsk.
My best guess is it was expensive because the train from Warsaw to Gdańsk was very new and a high-speed train.
So if you’re planning on visiting Gdańsk, just be aware that the train ticket to Gdańsk may cut into your budget more than you would like it to.
It is well worth visiting Gdańsk though! I loved it, and it is one of my favourite cities in Poland.
8. Sunday Isn’t the Best Day to Visit
Poland is a very religious country, and a lot of things are closed or have limited hours on Sundays.
If you’re only visiting Gdańsk for a few days, you want to avoid being in Gdańsk on a Sunday. You won’t be able to do everything you want to do, and the trip to Gdańsk won’t be worth it.
Especially considering how expensive the train from Warsaw is!
Arriving on a Sunday isn’t the worst thing in the world. Make sure you arrive in the middle of the day though. Many restaurants and grocery stores that are open on Sundays close early.
So plan your solo trip to Gdańsk accordingly.
9. Locals are Cold but Very Nice
Polish people aren’t know for being the friendliest people on the planet. But just because they mind their own business and don’t engage in small talk with strangers doesn’t mean they aren’t extremely nice and helpful.
Never be afraid to ask a local for help if you’re lost or have a question when visiting Gdańsk alone.
The locals won’t approach you, but they’re very happy to help you if you ask them.
The Importance of Internet Safety
You’re probably taking a risk when you travel without even knowing it. Not being internet safe is one of the sneaky ways you’re putting yourself at risk when you’re on the road.
You rely on public wifi networks all the time when you travel. From airports, to restaurants, to hotels, you’re always connecting to an unsafe wifi network.
Anybody can access those wifi networks, and it is easy to hack into your devices and steal your personal information like your banking details.
The only way you can protect your online information and data when travelling is by installing a VPN on your devices.
A VPN essentially puts an invisible forcefield around your devices that makes it impossible for people to access your personal online information.
Installing a VPN on all your devices is the simplest and easiest way you can protect your personal data when travelling.
My Favourite VPN
I love NordVPN. I’ve been using it for many years and have no plans of switching to another provider anytime soon.
NordVPN has consistently been voted the fastest VPN on the market, which is hugely important for travellers.
The last thing you want is to be slowed down by your VPN when you’re travelling. Trust me. It’s awful to have a slow VPN. If you’re like me, you get frustrated and stop using the VPN, which is just as bad as not having a VPN.
One NordVPN account allows you to protect up to six devices for one low price. And when I say low, I mean it.
The cost of a two-year NordVPN subscription costs less per month than a single Starbucks latte.
You really have no excuse not to protect your online devices when you travel. It is very affordable and using public wifi networks while unprotected is never worth the risk.
I always say that if you can afford to travel, you can afford to protect yourself with a VPN.
Install an Esim on Your Phone
Esims are a new technology that makes getting data anywhere in the world easy, convenient, and inexpensive.
You no longer have to search for public wifi, get a local sim, or change your phone number to a local number when travelling.
My favourite esim is Airalo.
It’s super affordable, has coverage in almost every country in the world, and provides extremely reliable data.
They even offer regional esims, so you can purchase one esim for your entire European holiday!
If you do use Drimsim, be sure to turn off your data when not actively using it. This will make sure it isn’t accidentally being used in the background and costing you more money.
Activities in Gdańsk You May be Interested in
I hope this article helps you plan your solo trip to Gdańsk.
It truly is one of the most underrated cities in Europe and is well worth visiting when you’re in Poland.
Two days is enough to see Gdańsk, and luckily the city is well connected to the rest of the country via the train even though it is in the northern part of the country.
I know Gdańsk isn’t the most popular city in Poland, but I feel like once more people learn about it, it’ll quickly become a popular city for tourists to visit.