Where to go and what to see in the North of Poland? Good question. If you ask the same question, maybe I am the person who can give you some tips. I visited North part of Poland many times already. But most of the time I go up to Gdansk and the area of this city. In next few sentences, I will try to give you advises how to get up to Gdansk easily and what to do there. So sit down and enjoy reading 🙂
How to get there?
If you live in Slovakia, it is super easy to get up to Gdansk. Train lovers will pay bit more for tickets, but their journey will be really comfy. As I live in Puchov, I will tell you how to get from this small town.
First of all you have to catch some train to Hranice na Morave. Is it 1 hour ride or a bit more. There you take Express train which starts in Vienna and stops in Hranice. This one will take you directly up to Gdansk (but the final station is Gdynia Glowna – it is second stop after Gdansk Glowny). This journey takes about 10 hours. It is quite a lot but the train is really comfortable, you get a bottle of water for free, wi-fi etc. The price for 1 person (return ticket) is 70€.
Important tip how to save money for this train journey.
If you plan to buy the ticket in Slovak rail office – forget about it as fast as you just can. Go to Czech rails website and click on their e-shop. Choose there as a starting station Horni Lidec (it is the first station behind the board with Slovakia). As a final one choose Gdansk or any other city you want to visit. Czech railways have some special offer if you are buying a return ticket to Poland, so you can get some special discount. The only problem might be that you have to book the return ticket on specific train and day and use is just for this one. But still, if you try to buy the ticket from Slovak Railway office, you will pay 30€ more for a single ticket. So I think this is a good tip how to save some money.
Bus lovers will use Flixbus
If you are a student and you are not fan of trains, you can use a Flixbus. I did not use this kind of transportation from Slovakia, but I know how it works so let me tell you. You can take a bus from Ruzomberok to Krakow and than from Krakow to Gdansk. I think this journey will take a bit more time then train but if you are lucky and you find some discounted tickets, you can give it a try. The comfort will not be as good as in train but still – it is up to you.
Where to stay there ?
I have 2 tips, or 3 lets say. Let me explain. If you check BOOKING you can find many hostels and apartments etc. When I was with friends in Gdansk, we stayed in hostel which is situated really close to train station and is called 3city Hostel. The hostel is nice, clean, bed are bit nosy but really comfortable. The only problem which I had with this hostel was, that the reception workers did not speak English so well. But the price and location were really good.
Anyway, this time when I went there with my mom, I decided to give a try to another hostel called Cycleon. The location is super amazing because you live just few steps from Old town. It is like, you stay at the hostel in your bed and in next 4 minutes you can be in the city center – by walking. The night there is a bit more expensive as in 3city Hostel but it worth it. Even the room for 10 people was super clean, air-conditioned and beds were super comfy. Also my mom, who is a bit older liked it there and did not have a problem. So I can say this one was perfect not just for young travelers but also for a bit older one. And the 3rd option? There is still Couchsurfing – so if you are a bit lucky, you can find somebody who will host you and also show you around.
Good tip for BOOKING
If you stay longer as I did and you pay more than 50€ per night, do not forget that Booking gives you a chance to save some money. Ask your friend to send you special link from Booking, with recommendation and as a gift, you can get back 15€. Sometimes it is more, sometimes less. But still, it is something! So give it a try.
Where to go and what to see ?
Finally you arrived and you are accommodated. Now it is time to visit some places in the city but also around. First of all, I will start with Gdansk.
For me it is really amazing just to get lost in the city. The streets are so beautiful that you will love it. Behind every single corner wait another surprise. Buildings, streets, statues, everything looks breathtaking. But for sure, do not miss these places :
- Long Market
- walk through long Market from both sides. If you are photographer, for sure visit this place in early morning when there is not so many tourists. You will have a chance to get some amazing shots.
- St. Mary’s Church
- It looks not so impressive inside but from the top, the view is breathtaking. You will have to walk 408 stairs up to the top. The last passage is really impressive with huge bells and stairs which are connected just with walls.
- Entry is 5 zloty to students and 10 zloty normal ticket
- Neptune’s Fountain
- Green Gate
- European Solidarity center
- National Maritime Museum
- Museum of the Second World War
- Modern looking buildings which is situated not far from old town. During the night it is nice lighted.
- Gdansk Historical Museum
- Monument to the Fallen Shipyard Workers of 1970
- Gora Gradowa
- From here you can get a nice view over the city. Not as nice as from Marys Church but this one is for free. So if you have time and love history, definitely come here. When you finish the view over the city, you can walk to several “caves” which are here and where you can hear. read and see some historical information about this place and the city.
- Wielki Mlyn
- World War II lovers will want to visit this place. This is the place where the WWII started, this is the place where Germans attacked Poland. The monument is spectacular but do not expect any view from the top. After visiting monument you can walk a bit small beach, which include nice soft sand and you can go to swim here a bit and just enjoy the rest of the day. Try to catch bus no. 106 or 606 which go directly to Westerplatte – buy 3,20 zloty ticket and I recommend you to buy also return ticket as I did not see any ticket machine in Westerplatte area.
- Some more photos from Gdansk
This part of Gdynia (one of the 3 cities here – Gdansk, Sopot, Gdynia) is situated 30 minutes from Gdansk. You can take Polregio or SKM trains to here. Tickets for both of these trains can be bought from Polregio machines which are in entrance of Gdansk Glowny train station (when you go inside it is on right side). These machines accept cards and cash also. So do not worry. Just a little advice from me is – come earlier, not just few minutes before train departures. Most of the time there is a long line for tickets, so you can miss the train which you planned to take.
Gdynia Orlowo train station is small one, without an office. When you arrive there, go to the right and follow the long street, which brings you directly to the seaside. Here on the left you can see amazing cliffs – it is not very safe to go under them, but it is not prohibited. I mean, there is just a sign which tells you to not go there but you can still go there (and as I saw many people went there). But I recommend to go just close to the cliffs and not really go under them – it is really risky as it is made just from sand. On the right side you have a small pier which is accessible for free.
If you like to walk on beach next to the sea, you have a good chance do this from Gdynia Orlowo to Sopot. It is about 5km long walk but it worth it. I did this journey with mom, but we were not really lucky for a nice weather. It started to rain super badly and I was so wet, as never before. First time in my life I had to go to the store just to buy some really cheap t-shirt. My first one was so wet and so heavy that it was not possible to wear it anymore.
Tip where to eat in Gdynia Orlowo
If you want to try some fresh fried fish, you should visit place called Grill and it is situated in building Tawerna Orlowska on Orlowska street. They are really fresh and good taste fish for super good prices. I eat there 2 different fishes with mom and both of them were fantastic. Also we ordered some fresh fries and they were delicious. Forget about these McDonald fries, these were completely different.
Sopot is nice city mostly known because of the famous pier and also house with crazy shapes. In from of pier you have a half circle where on one side can be found some fast food restaurant and on the other side many stores with souvenirs. Amber is of course all over here.
My advice for Sopot are these – Do not order Zapiekanka here (this is some kind of baguette with cheese, onion, mushroom etc on it. It was invented in Krakow but here in Sopot it was super bad and really expensive. So it really does not worth it to buy it here). Visiting a pier, that is a really question. Does it worth it or doesn’t it? For me I have to say, I visited this pier in winter, and views, were not really impressive. It is true that it is the biggest pier I have ever seen but still, to pay to visit pier sounds a bit creepy for me. If you want, go for it, but if you want to save some money for an ice cream, visit the pier in Gdynia Orlowo which I mentioned before. For me it was the same feeling 🙂
Slowinski park Narodowy
First of all transportation. How to get to this park? I can tell it that it took me 3 years to get there. Everytime when I visited Gdansk I did not have a chance to go there. But now, during summer, there is a direct train to Łeba. This city is situated just 10km from the dunes, which are most important part of the park. Again, to Łeba you can buy the Polregio ticket (which I recommend as the cheapest option). It takes less than 3 hours to get there. When you arrive to train station in Łeba, you will have to walk about 4km to the village called Rabka and from there it is another 5km to dunes in Slowinski park Narowody or you can take an electric bus. The ticket cost about 4€. Me and mom decided to walk there and on the way back we bought tickets for this bus. I have to say it was nice to walk there and ride back, I think it is the best option. And I can’t forget about the ferry which also goes from Rabka to the park – it takes around 1 hours to get there by ferry.
When you arrive to the park, you have to pay for entry. It is cheap as it cost around 1 or 2€. Right on the left side from the office, you can visit the watchtower. From it is possible to see the huge lake. The view is amazing and it worth to visit this place just because of this. Right under the watchtower is a ferry port, from where the ferry which I mentioned starts its journey. Further, the dunes start. I am sure this is something what you have never expected to see in Poland. Super big dunes, with the 40 m tallest one, with a view over the forest on the big lake on the left and super big Baltic sea on the right. On dunes you have marked trails where you can walk. It is not allowed to walk into some parts of the national park – and I have to say it is good decision, as these parts look really like dunes somewhere in Sahara or so. When you are already here, visit the beach next to dunes. You can take a rest here and if you walk a bit further to the West, you can be there completely alone. The sand here is super soft with lot of nice stones, if you are lucky enough you can find some small amber also.
Malbork is a castle built from bricks. It is the biggest and largest brick castle and building in the World. And if it is not a true, it does not matter because Malbork looks really amazing. This castle was destroyed when Russian were fighting with Germans here but people of Malbork repaired it very well. You have to walk about 15 minutes to reach the castle from train station. Do not miss the city center, it looks really nice. If you plan to see the castle from inside, be prepared to spend inside about 3 hours. But for sure it worth it.
It sounds weird right? To visit hell. But this is Hel with one L. So it is not that bad. Actually this a paradise which probably nobody expect to find in Poland. This is peninsula which is located about 3 hours from Gdansk and has one of the nicest beaches which I have ever visited. The water is about 22°C and the sun shine on this place. If you are looking for a place to rest, Hel is the right place! My advice for you is, take the electric mobile bus from train station to Hel beach. It cost just 1€ and can save you a lot of time!
Last few tips from me and a little resume
When you travel to Poland, you should know some simple words.
- Thanks you – Dzienkuje
- Hello – Dzien dobry
- Sorry – Przepraszam
- Ticket – Bilet
- How do I get to – Jak doledu do
What to buy in Gdansk? What are the most typical things to buy ?
- definitely Gold Wasser (look for it in Alcohol stores or in Auchan)
- Krowky – very typical and super sweet thing typical for Poland. If you want a really good quality one, made just from sugar and milk, visit Auchan store and look for Wawel Krowky (you can get 1 kg package for just 4€)
- souvenir store with unique souvenirs inside :
What to do if the weather is bad in seaside area ?
- Check Flixbus to Torun, it is nice city not far from Gdansk (about 2 hours)
- Check Flixbus or train to Olsztyn (city of thousand lakes)
So hope you will have a nice trip to Pomeranian Poland one day when you decide to go! See you next time!