So how much does a weekend away in the UK normally cost? Combine transport and accommodation, you will be looking around £100-£150. Around early January time, I was looking for something to do for my girlfriend’s birthday around early March. We just came back from our New Year’s European trip in Lisbon, Madrid and Amsterdam so cash wasn’t flowing at the time. I wanted to go abroad on the cheap so I got my WeekenGo app out and looked for some deals (you can go to my ‘Fight with Flights’ blog post for more info on getting great deals!). Like a sore thumb, there it stood out. A weekend in Gdansk, Poland with Wizzair flying from Liverpool and a centrally located hotel, all for a measly £65 per person. This is to fly out from Friday night and return Sunday night. No need for to take a day off work, just go to the airport straight after. The perfect package. I didn’t know much about Gdansk, nor Poland in that case, and all I know was I am visiting a port city.
Our flight got delayed due to heavy snow in Poland, about 3 hours, so we flew out at 1am on Saturday. Temperatures were dipping to -8c in Gdansk, this was going to be a very cold trip. So I packed very warmly.
We arrived at 5am Polish time and got a taxi straight to the hotel where we just got in to bed and slept in. Snow was continually falling throughout the night and when we woke up mid morning, we were greeted with snow capped buildings from our window. The snow had subsided and view was magnificent. You can see a church spire at the distance and clear blue skies. Our hotel, Celestin Residence, had very friendly staff, modern amenities and overall a very pleasant experience. So shout out to them!
We ventured out towards the main square where the fountain of Neptune is located. It’s a bustling area where tourists go to and roam. It’s filled with restaurants and shops, a typical European square. Heavily damaged in WW2, buildings have been rebuilt with beautiful and colourful facades.
After some sightseeing, we got very hungry. Next to our hotel was a Kashubian restaurant serving authentic Gdansk food called the Mestwin Tawerna. We ordered the mixed grill which consisted of pork, beef, jacket & mashed potatoes with some sides of vegetables. It was hearty and delicious. It was simple but its home cooked taste was like a big warm hug in a cold winter’s day. It was a unique setting with the local clothes and regional items hung up as decoration. I highly recommend this place.
Walking through the night, we saw a Ferris wheel lit up like a huge Christmas tree looking over the city. We had to get on, setting us back 25 Zloty each (around £6.50) for a 15 minute ride. We had a great vantage point of the city, seeing the skyline of church spires and the main street. It’s no London eye but it was definitely worth riding.
After the ride, we went on to a trendy bar by the river called the Cathead Multitap. They had local beers on tap and had a few drops. Live music with both English and Polish songs, with a good atmosphere housing tourists and locals alike.
On the last day, we went to the riverside. It was that cold that the river had frozen over. It was our last day so we went souvenir shopping and strolled casually. We didn’t want to commit to doing anything as our flight was leaving at 7pm. Walked through Long Lane and across Long Market, we stopped by a restaurant and had Pierogi’s for snacks.
Calling it a day, or weekend for that matter, we headed to the airport. For such a short trip, we had fun. Considering the cold, we have done well to go around and take the sights in. We had to miss other activities but I think we did enough to appreciate the port city. On the plane reflecting back on our trip, I wished I stayed longer, perhaps another day. In a city resilient after the destruction of the war, I have learnt a lot about Poland in the weekend I have stayed in Gdansk. Would I go back? Yes, but maybe not anytime soon. It’s a beautiful place. It’s starting to get exposed in the travel scene, where it truly belongs.