Summer,  Travelling

What is Gdansk about – Guide to avoid disappointment

What is and where is Gdansk

To get it over and done with, Gdansk is a baltic coast port city in Poland. It is part of the Tri-City in Pomerania; Gdansk, Gdynia and Sopot. In the summer the Tri-City is known for hosting a lot of concerts, festivals and parties.

Gdansk is a very historic place in Poland, where pretty much the World War II started. Today Gdansk is a touristic place, with high standard hotels, nice bars and a charming architecture.

However if you're not that into sightseeing and being all cultural you may find this article useful.

Gdansk thanks to it's touristic focus, can offer some pretty bad ass experiences. I am talking about things that will take you back in time to the communist soviet era of Poland. You could for example ride and shoot in a tank, go and do some Kalashnikov Shooting or even prank your mates by setting up an arrest with badges and handcuffs in an Old Communist-era van...until the "officers" hand him a vodka shot!.

Welcome to my guide of how to have fun in Gdansk.

The beautiful architecture

Surely, the old town in Gdansk has amazing architecture and state of art buildings designed by Europe's best architects. You could admire each building separately, with rich history each structure have it's unique purpose, history and mission. 

But how long can you admire the buildings, and do sightseeing before you start to get bored? Let's be honest it would be a pretty disappointing holiday to just walk around and look at the buildings.

It took me a while to get the best out of this City. For someone who is actually hungry for adventure the World War II history may be interesting, but just listening, reading and walking around may not do the job.

The extreme day activities

To be quite frankly honest the best thing I found to do in a day was not even in Gdansk. It was close by, still in the tri-city Gdynia. 

A perfect place for lads holiday, Adventure Park Gdynia.

I did a lot of quad biking in the past, but the quad biking in Adventure Park Gdynia was quite different. What I mean by that is that it quite frankly tested my and my brother's will and abilities. 

The tour guide that you suppose to follow takes you on some very steep hills and very challenging terrain. You really need to nail your balance and the centre of gravity to not fall off the quad bike.

You will be taken on narrow routes, where the space to make a mistake is very small. Some routes are just as wide as the quad bike itself. You will also be required to drive over fallen trees, where some are quite big and challenging to drive over.

Also as you can see on the above picture, you can get wet and muddy, those puddles can be really tricky. I got stuck in one of those, and had to get others to help to get the quad out of the mud.

More Off-Road

Adventure Park Gdynia offers more activities that are on a highly fun oriented level, you could for example also learn how to drive SUV's in those highly challenging conditions.

You could also go nuts and get their field package forest expedition πŸ‘‡πŸ»

Obtained from http://www.adventurepark.pl/we-offer?lang=en 

Obtained from http://www.adventurepark.pl/we-offer?lang=en 

And no. This review is not sponsored by anyone. Just an honest review of where I had fun πŸ‘Œ

The boring but interesting part

Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash

Out of the sightseeing business that I did in Gdansk, there was one place that positively surprised me. It was the Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk.

This place was located a short walk from where I stayed at the time, which was the PURO Hotel in Gdansk. On one of the rainy days in Gdansk I thought I would give it a go as it was free to visit on this day (I think it was a Tuesday), and so I went to the Museum.

I expected another place, where you just walk around and read a lot to kill some time. When I got there the first thing that grabbed my attention was the VR, set up just next to the entrance to the museum route. 

I went on this VR, and I could not believe how authentic it felt to see the beginning of World War II. With live radio broadcasts recording from that time playing in your ear, about the unexpected German invasion and the sirens across the country. You could see this gigantic ship slowly approaching and firing shots at the city of Gdansk.  

This is a great introduction of what the museum is like when you get in. The Museum of the Second World War in Gdansk really gives you a feel of the horror, evil nazi's and soviets which I was not prepared for. 

There is a great use of technology to make you feel the war. It was fascinating, sad, scary and motivating. Especially as you get towards the exit. There is a a short video above the exit, showing how poles fought back despite being abandoned by their western alliances, to get the country back.

Not a typical museum, really works on your senses.

The only real attraction in Gdansk when you're under 30

Now let's get to the best part. If you are not on a family holiday and are planning to go with your friends there is quite a few interesting places where you can go to at night.

The number one place that is really cool is 100cznia (stocznia). 

What is 100cznia?

"100cznia is a cultural project that brings to the Tricity the place we know from major European cities. By means of cargo containers at the Gdansk Shipyard was created our own city in a city- an ecosystem that attracts with the combination of artistic disorder, the power of cultural events, good food quality and a casual atmosphere."

(TripAdvisor.co.uk, 2019)

100cznia is a fantastic place off the tourist map. The nightlife at 100cznia is great, especially in the summer. There is a little beach alike atmosphere.

You will find loads of different kinds of music, in old cargo containers.  You can eat from mini container restaurants, dance, listen to music, chill and party in this place.  It's an open-air club with different bars, a small beach and places to hang out. There is no better place in Gdansk. 

To get the feel of it, check out the video below πŸ‘‡πŸ»

Bunkier Klubogaleria 

This place is also something that is unique in Gdansk. This is a nightclub in a six-storey cubic building. It is an old bunker from the World War II, that used to be a bomb shelter and anti-aircraft battery used by the Germans. It is located on Olejarna street in Gdansk.

This is the only building in the area that survived the war. For a long time this place was empty until recently when someone turned it into a club. 

The results of this makeover are amazing. 

When you walk through the door you'll be greeted by the original halls, flanked by walls thick 1,2 meters. This leads to a maze of bars, dancefloors and some of the most fantastic cabinets you will ever see. 

Check it out below πŸ‘‡πŸ»


The amount of strip clubs (and scams)

The amount of strip clubs in the Old Town Gdansk is way too high. Literally you would get bothered by the promoters all the time. They will be trying to get you in and offer all sort of different promotions.

Do not fall for it if you do not want to lose tons of money and if you do not want your drinks to be spiked.

On one of the trips to Gdansk I did with my brother, one night we were offered a free pint of beer if we decided to go and purchase a pint. Surprisingly the price of the pint was actually pretty low. It was comparable to other bars, so it was not like paying for 2x pints in one.

We were both pretty sober at that point. We have fell for the offer and very quickly after the first pint I started to feel really drunk. So I decided to leave and go home. I think it probably hit me quicker than my brother, as he wanted to stay out.

Until the day after.

In the morning it turned out my brother did not make it back. Shortly after I left he tried to follow but could not find his way back.

I found that I needed to bail him out of jail. It turned out his drink was also spiked. He was locked as he was unable to find our accommodation and he walked into a wrong hotel. By mistake he walked into a random room and the hotel called the police.

All together it costed around Β£450 to bail him out. It was obvious the drinks were spiked, as we weren't drinking prior to these two pints. Luckily we did not get mugged by the strippers, but equally it was an expensive night due to the "promo drinks" and the local police bill.

I later found on my online search it is a common thing that happens, and that this is something the police is fighting with in Poland.

How expensive is Gdansk

Personally I think Gdansk can be quite expensive. Especially the old town in Gdansk. It seems like Gdansk attracts a lot of Scandinavians, so people that tend to have quite a lot of money. 

You can find cheap drinks, food and accommodation but probably away from the old town. 

Drinks in the old town vary between Β£3-Β£10 a drink, and meals go between Β£8-Β£20. Not the most expensive, but comparable prices to other European cities in the west. 

I just think it is expensive for the polish standards. Usually away from the old town, or when visiting less touristic places in Poland you would probably pay half of what you pay in the old town Gdansk.

However, even if you get accommodation further from the old town to save some money πŸ’°  you can still as of now rely on Uber. Using Uber is dirt cheap in Poland. A 10 minute drive would cost like Β£2-Β£4 and a 20-30 minute drive would be like Β£7-10. So really cheap. Cheaper than normal taxis in Poland for sure.

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And also check out πŸ‘‰πŸ» What to do in Naples

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