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gdańsk guide by a local

Gdańsk reminds more of Scandinavia than it does of Eastern Europe - it keeps you coming back; here's what you should know.

- what are the things to do in Gdańsk?
- what are the best restaurants in Gdańsk?
- how does public transport in Gdańsk work?


what to see

what to see

where to eat

where to eat

best hotels

best hotels

day trips

day trips

getting there

getting there

getting around

getting around


what to see in Gdańsk

Grzegorz says:
Most of Gdańsk's attractions fit nicely into the Old Town in the heart of the city. Not to undermine my own list, but it may be best to simply head there and take a long walk, and you likely won't miss any of the must-sees.

top 10 attractions in Warsaw on greyscale simple map
top 10 attractions in Warsaw on greyscale simple map

icon of number 1 with pink text and shadow Royal Way

Starting off our Gdańsk guide is the Royal Way: an unofficial name for the main tourist route in Gdańsk, going through Długa Street and the Long Market, passing the City Hall, and ending at the Golden Gate, described later in the article. Being the main tourist route of the city, it is packed with restaurants, cafes, and urban life. Moreover, it is a great place to admire 16th-century Polish architecture.

view towards west

view towards east

icon of number 2 with pink text and shadow Long Embankment

The place in Gdańsk you see on all photographs - the Long Embankment is a beautiful promenade stretching along the river with unique architecture and landmarks such as the Gdańsk Crane (more on it below). Just like the Royal Way, it is filled with bustling, charming restaurants, cafes, and monuments. The embankment also boasts views of breathtaking modern buildings located on the other side of the river.

day view

night view

icon of number 3 with pink text and shadow Neptune's Fountain

Located in the centre of Royal Way's Long Market, Neptune's Fountain has been standing since 1633. Thanks to its age, the fountain represents a very unique style of craftsmanship, rarely found in well-kept monuments. The symbol of Neptune refers to the bond of the city with the sea, and the many times the fountain has been damaged in conflict reflects the troubled history of Gdańsk.

view towards the Long Market

view towards the city hall

icon of number 4 with pink text and shadow St. Mary's Church

Looming over the city since 1502, St. Mary's Church, or formally, the Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is an enormous Catholic church located in the centre of Gdańsk's Old Town. It is an icon of Gdańsk's panorama, and a must-see in Gdańsk. You can enter the church for free and witness its tall ceilings and beautiful gold accents and sculptures, so long as you are respectful and don't take too many photos.

Grzegorz recommends:
Not a lot of people pay much attention to St. Mary's Church, but I think it's crazy cool. Just look at the way it looms over the city.

day view

night view

icon of number 5 with pink text and shadow Gdańsk Crane

One of Gdańsk's oldest buildings, the Gdańsk Crane was constructed in 1444. It is also both the largest and oldest medieval naval crane. Initially, it was constructed for potential use in war - in the 17th century, however, it was converted to artisan dwellings and living areas. In 1945, the wooden section of the crane was burned down, but was rebuilt after the war. Today, the crane is a symbol of the city and a must-see.

day view

night view

icon of number 6 with pink text and shadow Museum of the Second World War

Opened in 2017, it is undoubtedly one of the best museums in the world, devoted to Polish history during World War II. It is a highly interactive, modern museum, with life-sized recreations of Polish pre-war streets and Soviet tanks which served during that time. It is also home to an enigma machine, as well as Hitler's birthstone.

It costs 23 zł [5.4 EUR] to enter the museum. See more on the museum's official website.

from the outside

from the inside

icon of number 7 with pink text and shadow Golden Gate

The Golden Gate was constructed in 1612 and marks the end of the Royal Way. It is a beautiful, grand and extremely well-preserved piece of architecture which aims to represent the values strived for by Gdańsk's citizens - Pax (Peace), Libertas (Freedom), Fortuna (Luck), and Fama (Fame). It is equally beautiful during the day as during the night, and it is a great site for photography and, thanks to the incredible preservation, a place to appreciate truly how beautiful the past was.

view from the embankment

view from the Long Market

icon of number 8 with pink text and shadow European Solidarity Centre

The centre is located in a beautiful, modern building that reflects the current architectural style of Gdańsk, and is devoted to a museum and a library to commemorate the history of Solidarity, the trade union movement that indirectly toppled communism in Poland, as well as other opposition movements on this side of the Iron Curtain.

It costs 20 zł [4.7 EUR] to enter the museum. See more on the museum's official website.

outside view

inside view


best restaurants in Gdańsk

Grzegorz says:
Gdańsk has an emerging culinary scene, but there are already tons of places to visit. In fact, unusually for Poland, even restaurants in the Old Town are quite good, and it's often to simply explore.

best local cuisine

Motlava Restauracja

Motlava Restaurant is located near the Old Town, and boasts some of the best traditional Polish food.

Dishes include black sausage, knuckle, pork ribs, vegetarian stuffed cabbage leaf, and pork chop.

go to official website

go to menu

best affordable local cuisine

Pomelo Bistro

A hidden gem located just beside the Old Town. Food full of flavor and quality - this is a must visit place!

Dishes include different types of dumplings, pork ribs, beef stew with potato, and chickpea with coriander.

go to official website

go to menu

best international cuisine

Restauracja Winne Grono

This French restaurant is located just outside of the Old Town, and offers delicious food, good vines, and a freindly vibe.

Dishes include beef fillet carpaccio, fried goat cheese, French fish soup, and duck leg confit.

go to official website

go to menu

best affordable international cuisine

Oliwa Do Ognia

A small, quaint pizzeria adjacent to the Old Town. If you're on a tight budget, don't miss this place.

Dishes include various types of Neapolitan pizzas, including margherita, Hawaiian, and quattro formaggi.

go to official website

go to menu

best luxurious restaurant

Restauracja Ritz

For modern and decadent Polish food, go to this lovely restaurant with excellent dining and presentation.

Dishes include sea bass fillet, lamb tenderloin, beetroot flakes with goat cheese, and cherry mousse.

go to official website

go to menu

best cheap restaurant

Avocado Vegan Bistro

A vegan restarurant with plenty of food choices. The atmosphere is very cozy and realxing.

Dishes include vegetarian burgers, miso soup, curry with tofu, salads, and delicious cakes.

go to official website

go to menu

best cafe


A simply delicious cafe. It is a place to go to for a bite of modern Polish pastrymaking and good coffee.

Dishes include various types of coffee, modern fusion-style cakes and pastry, and teas.

go to official website

go to menu

best bar

Labeerynt Craft Beer Pub

A great bar with a fantastic selection of craft beers. It will charm you with its atmosphere and subtle rock music.

Drinks include various types of Polish beer, as well as some snacks and soups.

go to official website

go to menu

best bakery

Stara Pączkarnia

A fantastic Polish-style donut chain with a rustic approach - 1950's-like.

The donuts come in a variety of flavors, including chocolate, rose jelly (a classic!) and more.

go to official website

go to menu

best breakfast

A la française Bistro Café

This small French restarurant is the place to go when you want to eat a good breakfast out.

Dishes include different types of pancakes, fruit salad, omelette, and cheese platters.

go to official website

go to menu


best hotels in Gdańsk

Grzegorz says:
Gdańsk welcomes increasingly more tourists each year, and the hotel market is adapting. However, don't bother booking long before your trip - the hotels are rarely even close to full.

our super low-budget picks

it's no bed of roses; it's no pleasure cruise - but these picks get the job done with dignity for a penny on the dollar.


A centrally-located great-value shared-bathroom hostel with very friendly decor.

Prices start at 46 zł [10.7 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com

4th Floor Accommodation

A shared-bathroom hostel in the undiscovered Southeast Gdańsk boasting great value.

Prices start at 35 zł [8.2 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com

Villa Aida pokoje gościnne

A great-value guest house in Western Gdańsk with very tidy decor for its price.

Prices start at 45 zł [10.5 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com

our low-budget picks

for those who want to spend the minimum, but not the bare minimum.

Littleheaven Apartments

An aparthotel located in the heart of Gdańsk with very nice furnishing and great reviews.

Prices start at 67 zł [15.6 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com


A colorful, tidy, and basic shared-bathroom hostel located a little east of the Old Town.

Prices start at 56 zł [13.1 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com


An amazing-value private-bathroom hostel located adjacent to the Old Town with amazing bathrooms.

Prices start at 72 zł [16.8 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com

our mid-budget picks

you don't want to miss out on any amenities, but you're not paying extra for fancy decor - this one's for you.

Stay Inn

A three-star hotel in the heart of the Old Town in an old tenement house with all the amenities.

Prices start at 94 zł [21.9 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com

Ibis Gdansk Stare Miasto

A two-star international hotel chain in the Old Town with everything you expect while traveling.

Prices start at 99 zł [23.1 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com


A beautiful aparthotel in the Old Town with an amazing, clean atmosphere for a perfect stay.

Prices start at 95 zł [22.2 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com

our high-budget picks

for the ones who are coming to Poland for the trip of their lives - or just for the one's who always want the best of the best.

Hotel Gdańsk Boutique

A 5-star hotel in Central Gdańsk with beautiful rooms, bathrooms, interiors, and surroundings.

Prices start at 172 zł [40.1 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com

PURO Gdańsk Stare Miasto

A 4-star chain-hotel with designer interiors located on the hip Spichrzów Island in the centre.

Prices start at 129 zł [30.1 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com

Blue Mandarin Old Town

A great-value designer aparthotel located in the Old Town with private kitchens and balconies.

Prices start at 141 zł [32.9 EUR] per person.

go to booking.com


day trips from Gdańsk

Grzegorz says:
Day trips are great, but I would only recommend taking them after you've seen the city itself. From Gdańsk, I would really, really recommend seing Malbork Castle - it will blow your mind.

top 5 day trips from Cracow on greyscale simple map
top 5 day trips from Warsaw on greyscale simple map

icon of number 1 with pink text and shadow Gdynia

Gdynia is a large city of 250 thousand located 20 kilometers north of Gdańsk. It boasts a beautiful beach, multiple piers with ship-monuments, a marina and aquarium, and a generally very different atmosphere from Gdańsk. Gdańsk has a touristy, big-city atmosphere, whereas Gdynia is a very accessible insight into Polish life outside of tourist centers. Last but not least, Gdynia's shipyard was arguably the starting point for the communism toppling movement and the Solidarity notion.

It takes about 30 minutes to drive to Gdynia from central Gdańsk by car, or about 20 minutes by regional train. The train will cost you 4 zł [0.8 EUR] each way.

Southern Pier

Gdynia Beach

icon of number 2 with pink text and shadow Hel

Poland's beach paradise - a 30-kilometer-long peninsula, called the Hel peninsula, in places as thin as 800 meters from side to side, stretching over the gulf of Gdańsk. Throughout the whole peninsula, you will find beautiful white-sand beaches, blue sea, and a lot of greenery. During the summer, the area is filled with holidaymakers from all over Poland, and the urban life begins to flourish.

The tip of the peninsula is located 100 kilometers away from Gdańsk by road, and it takes 90 minutes to drive there. However, it takes only 1 hour to get to the beginning of the peninsula. Quite amazingly, there is a train that goes all the way to the tip (to the actual city of Hel). Unfortunately, you have to change trains in Gdynia. The whole journey takes around 2 hours and costs 17 zł [4 EUR].

view from above

Hel's beaches

icon of number 3 with pink text and shadow Malbork Castle

Constructed in the late 13th century, Malbork Castle is a castle erected by the Teutonic Order to be the home and shelter of the Grand Master of the Order. It is undoubtedly one of the largest and most fortified castles in Europe and listed in the UNESCO heritage register. The rough aesthetic of the castle, coupled with its rich history of conquest and its interesting interiors, make Malbork Castle a must-see for anyone visiting Northern Poland.

It takes about 45 minutes to go from central Gdańsk to Malbork by car. Alternatively, you can take a regional train, which takes a little over an hour and costs 16 zł [3.7 EUR]. There are also bullet trains servicing this route, but we do not recommend them in this case as they are much more expensive and the journey is only 10 minutes shorter.

Grzegorz recommends:
Chances are that Malbork Castle will be the most impressive, largest, and most authentic and well-preserved castle you will see in your life. Go there.

view from across the river

castle gate

icon of number 4 with pink text and shadow Słowiński National Park

Słowiński National Park is very unique in its terrain. It consists of hectares upon hectares of lightly-overgrown sand dunes, surrounded by beautiful forests, and with a large lake in the centre. What is more, part of the park is covered by moss, and the area also boasts beautiful sand-dune valleys and formations. For bird lovers, the park will be a paradise. Other animals, such as frogs, toads, and some mammals, such as beavers, seals, otters, badgers, hares, deer, bats, and, amazingly, porpoises.

The park is accessible mainly by car - it takes 90 minutes to get there and it's a 110-kilometer drive. For public transport lovers, it's best accessible through the city of Łeba, which is reachable by taking a train to Lębork for 13 zł [3.0 EUR], and then taking a bus to Łeba for 8 zł [1.9 EUR] - the whole trip takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes each way, but may well be worth it.

the park's dunes

view of surrounding forest

icon of number 5 with pink text and shadow Tucholskie Forests

There are a lot of great things about Tucholskie Forests. It is one of the largest collections of forests in Europe, and it boasts many fantastic landscapes, such as rivers, lakes, and, well forests. It is also home for many animal species, namely deer, boars, foxes, beavers, ad wolves. It's a great place to trek, have a picnic, observe animals and birds, or kayak.

Like most nature, the forests are best reachable by car. It takes about 90 minutes to go there from central Gdańsk. If you choose to take public transport, it is best to take a train to Laskowice Pomorskie and then a train to Osie, a small town and a great access point for the forests. This will take you about 2 hours and 30 minutes and cost you 35 zł [8.1 EUR] in total.

one of the park's rivers

typical forest


travel to Gdańsk

Grzegorz says:
Gdańsk is located quite unconveniently in Poland, but is still very well connected to Warsaw. I would definitely recommend taking the train if you have the chance, though.


The most popular way of getting to Gdańsk is by plane. There is a number of things you should know in relation to that.

To learn about the standards of Polish airports, as well as about destinations, go to our transport by plane article.

Gdańsk Lech Wałęsa Airport (GDN)

This is Gdańsk's one and only airport, located 15 kilometers west of the city. It has one terminal and is the 3rd busiest airport in Poland.

Gdańsk Lech Wałęsa landside

Gdańsk Lech Wałęsa outside

getting to the city centre

There are three ways of getting from Gdańsk Airport to the city centre. The first and best solution is to take bus number 210 towards Gościnna and get off at Gdańsk Main Station (Gdańsk Główny). This takes 32 minutes. The other solution is to take an urban rail train towards Gdynia Main Station (Gdynia Główna), get off at Gdańśk Wrzeszcz, and take another urban rail train to Gdańsk Śródmieście. This takes 30 minutes. Both options cost 3 zł [0.7 EUR].

The final option is to take a taxi or an Uber. This takes 20 minutes and costs 28 zł [6.5 EUR] for Uber and around 50 zł [11.7 EUR] for a taxi.


The other fastest way of getting to Gdańsk is by train. This is a great option if you're coming to Gdańsk from a different Polish city, but can also be done internationally if you're all about train travel.

You can learn everything there is to know about the standards of Polish trains, as well as about types of trains, buying tickets, and destinations by going to our transport by train article.

Grzegorz recommends:
Generally, I recommend taking the train when traveling to Gdańsk domestically, and flying when traveling internationally. Though it may make sense to fly from Krakow, too.


In truth, Gdańsk has three main stations - Gdańsk Główny (Gdańsk Main Station), the largest one, located close to the Old Town, Gdańsk Wrzeszcz, servicing Gdańsk's business and residential centers, and Gdańsk Oliwa, mostly dedicated to residential areas.

Gdańsk Main Station outside

Gdańsk Wrzeszcz

destinations and prices


  • Warsaw - 3:30h | 62 zł [14.4 EUR]
  • Łódź - 8:00h | 66 zł [15.4 EUR]
  • Poznań - 3:00h | 62 zł [14.4 EUR]
  • Cracow - 8:00h | 80 zł [18.6 EUR]
  • Wrocław - 5:30h | 70 zł [10.4 EUR]
  • Katowice - 8:30h | 78 zł [18.2 EUR]
  • Szczecin - 4:30h | 54 zł [12.6 EUR]
  • international

    All relevant international connections to Poland, along with their prices and times, can be seen in the transport by train article.


    As long-haul buses re-gain popularity with the rise of companies like Flixbus, so does traveling to Gdańsk by bus. However, with the availability of cheap flights to Gdańsk, travel to Gdańsk by bus makes the most sense from other Polish cities.

    To learn about bus companies in Poland, as well as about how to find buses, buy tickets, and about the quality of buses, head to our transport by bus article.

    bus stations

    In Gdańsk, long-haul buses typically stop and depart simply at what is called the main bus station, adjacent to the main train station. What's great about this is that the main station is the most accessible spot in the city. Some other buses, especially Flixbus, also often departs from Gdańsk Hala Olivia, which is located near Gdańsk Oliwa train station.

    the bus station in Gdańsk

    Hala Olivia

    direct destinations


    Currently, from Gdańsk you can go to all major Polish cities via direct connections.


    The main direct bus destinations from Cracow are Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Paris, Amsterdam, Munich, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Brussels, Vilnius, Riga, Rome, and many, many more.


    Taking a road trip to Poland, or to Gdańsk in this case, is a great idea, especially from Germany, Sweden (with a ferry) or Lithuania. Everything you need to know is explained in our transport by car article.


    public transport in Gdańsk

    Grzegorz says:
    Look, you can rent a car and drive around the city, but if you want to be like a real local, you need to get up close and personal with trams and buses. It may seem scary at first, but it's super intuitive. Here's how I do it.


    To learn about ticket validation in a given vehicle, as well as how to check how long your journey will be, head to the vehicle's dedicated article.

    There are a number of types of tickets in Gdańsk, with the main difference between them being validity time. There are also reduced-fare tickets, but because of the inconsistency of the information given on the website with the information given by ticket controllers, we do not recommend buying reduced-fare tickets no matter your status.

    It's important that we first underline that all public transport tickets in Gdańsk are valid on all means of public transport (though this does not always include urban rail and regular trains - more on that below).

    types of tickets

  • single-journey ticket - regular routes - 3.2 zł [0.7 EUR]
    This ticket allows you to travel any one journey by any public transport during the day. This means that this ticket is only valid in the vehicle you validate it in.
  • single-journey ticket - all routes - 4.2 zł [1.0 EUR]
    This ticket allows you to travel any one journey by any public transport at any time of day. This means that this ticket is only valid in the vehicle you validate it in.
  • 60-minute ticket - regular routes - 3.8 zł [0.9 EUR]
    This ticket covers the entirety of Gdańsk, and can even be used for two-way travel if you're only going to the store to pick something up. It is, however, only valid during the day.
  • 60-minute ticket - all routes - 4.8 zł [1.1 EUR]
    This ticket covers the entirety of Gdańsk, and can even be used for two-way travel if you're only going to the store to pick something up. It is valid at all times.
  • 24-hour ticket - all routes - 13 zł [3.0 EUR]
    A great option for tourists; this ticket allows you to travel by public transport freely within Gdańsk for 24 hours after validation.

  • As you can see, there are a few types, but they are well-designed and catered to both tourists and locals. All of the tickets above can be purchased in any location that sells tickets.

    buying tickets

    In Gdańsk, the only sensible way to buy public transport tickets is using the ticket machines located all over the city. Whenever you will need to use public transport, you will easily find a machine. If not, there are also in-vehicle machines in most trams and buses. You can read more about buying and validating tickets in the dedicated articles of the various means of transport.


    To learn about ticket validation, standards in buses in Poland, finding routes, and the types of tram stops, head to our tram article.

    Gdańsk has a medium-sized tram system for Polish standards, with 12 lines and about 56 kilometers of tracks. Below is a metro-style map of the system.

    what are trams in Gdańsk like?

    Most of them are quite modern, especially those on more popular routes, meaning the routes you are more likely to take as a tourist. Moreover, most of Gdańsk's trams have in-tram ticket machines.

    Gdańsk tram outside

    Gdańsk tram inside


    There is nothing unique about the bus system in Gdańsk. For everything you need to know, head to our general city bus article.

    Grzegorz recommends:
    I hate saying this, but, if you can, take the tram over the bus. It's not a huge hassle to take the bus, but there's a reason why trams exist in the first place.

    bus outside

    bus inside

    urban rail

    To learn about ticket validation, standards of urban rail in Poland, finding routes, and stations, head to our urban rail article.

    Gdańsk theoretically has one, but effectively two, urban rail systems - SKM (Szybka Kolej Miejska) and PKM (Pomorska Kolej Metropolitalna).

    Gdańsk SKM and PKM map

    The ticket system in SKM and PKM trains is not integrated with the general public transport system in Gdańsk. There are ways to obtain an integrated ticket, but those come with many exceptions and it is better to ask about them at information desks in larger public transport points in the city.

    This means that you will have to buy dedicated urban rail tickets, the price of which is calculated based on distance. It is important to validate your ticket (not all tickets must be validated - if it fits in the validation machine, it does) before you start your journey or right as you step onto the train. The tickets can be bought in dedicated ticket machines on all stations.

    You can search for your journey and find the price of your ticket on the SKM website.

    SKM train

    SKM train inside


    Read all about calling taxis and Ubers, as well as the prices in Poland, in our taxi/Uber article.

    Our recommended taxi company, Green Cab Taxi, is reachable under +48 586 664 444, and costs 6 zł [1.4 EUR] initiation fee and 1.8 zł [0.4 EUR] per kilometer.

    good availability in Gdańsk

    taxi waiting area in Gdańsk