Europe, Gdansk, Poland

A Weekend Getaway to Gdansk, Poland.

May 19, 2012
Gdansk, Poland.

There’s nothing worse to a frequent traveller than being forced to sit still for a long period of time. After having not travelled for eight weeks and having endured the painful process of applying for a freelance visa to live and work longer in Germany, I was restless and stressed. To top it off, Easter weekend was coming up and I  suddenly had no plans due to a last minute cancellation. Ahh, the sometimes lonely life of a newly transplanted expat …

Perfect time to plan a weekend away all on my own! So true to form, I plotted my escape from Berlin and headed to Gdansk, Poland.

Those eight weeks of non-travel turned me into a bad travel blogger. A very bad travel blogger indeed. I’d forgot to bring the battery charger for my camera! After spending a couple of wasted hours trying to hunt down a new one and a lot of cursing (and I mean a lot), I reluctantly settled on using my iPhone.

My weekend started at the very cute Hotel Artus in Gdansk’s city center where I nabbed a rather sweet and stylish little room. Arriving here late Friday evening after a looooong eight hour train ride from Berlin, I was excited to call this my “home away from home” for a few days.

Hotel Artus in Gdansk

Hotel Artus in Gdansk

Best of all, I had a view of St. Mary’s Church and some other classic Polish architecture just outside my window!

St Mary's Church At Night

St Mary's Church in Gdansk.

Polish Architecture in Gdansk.

After get settled, I headed out and looked for something to eat. Unfortunately, being Easter weekend my options were limited (a lot of restaurants were closed) so I ended up at the rather touristy and overpriced Restauracja Euro where I got my fill of perogies and some snappes.

Perogies At Restauracja Euro in Gdansk.

Snappes at At Restauracja Euro in Gdansk.

Back at the hotel, I booked the sauna for an hour and spent the time relaxing in complete and utter bliss.

Tip – if you do ever happen to stay at the Hotel Artus in Gdansk, book the sauna and preferably for later in the evening. Not only is it super cheap, but you’ll have the entire sauna to yourself (no awkward encounters with other naked strangers is always a plus for me).

The next morning, I headed down to the hotel’s cafe Mon Balzac for breakfast. Cute, cozy and relaxing, I ate here rather joyously each and every morning of my stay. It’s actually open all day and plays host to live music some evenings.

Mon Balzac in Gdansk.

Mon Balzac in Gdansk.

Mon Balzac in Gdansk.

I then spent a couple of hours looking for a battery charger to no avail. To add to my frustration, it was pouring rain so I took a quick break to have a soothing tea at Cafe Retro which is by far one of the coolest cafes I’ve visited to date.

Cafe Retro in Gdansk.

Finally, the rain tapered off a bit and I was ready to explore a bit of Gdansk. Excited, I headed straight to the Neptune Fountain. Unfortunately, I found it’d been temporarily removed for restoration purposes …

Neptune Fountain in Gdansk.

A little sad, I continued walking along the wet streets admiring the historic building in Gdansk’s Old Town.

Old Town in Gdansk.

Lucky for me as I was walking along the Vistula river, I  glimpsed this old crane built in the 15th century which now is home to a Maritime Museum.

Medieval Crane in Gdansk.
Next, I had dinner at another tourist haunt Goldwasser Restauracja which is right next to the crane. I opted for a non-Polish meal and had steak but didn’t miss the chance to try Goldwasser, a herbal snappes infused with gold flakes and produced only in Gdansk.

By the time dinner was over, I was exhausted and headed back to my hotel for an early night. Lame yes, but I was sick with a bad cold.

Sunday was spent in nearby Sopot walking along the Baltic Sea and enjoying the best spa experience ever at the Sheraton Sopot Hotel.

Monday, I “attempted” to head home to Berlin but sadly didn’t make it, getting stranded for the night in Konin (otherwise known as hell).

Blog posts on my day in Sopot and a travel day gone horribly horribly wrong coming soon …

I did manage to get a couple shots of a more sunny Gdansk before I left. Even nabbed some shots of street art and graffiti!

Gdansk.

Pretty Wall in Gdansk.

Overall, it was a good weekend and increased my ever growing love for Poland and Eastern Europe. Yet somehow, I feel I barely skimmed the surface of Gdansk and didn’t get to know the city properly.

Gdansk, I will come back to see you (someday Bratislava too)! And when I do, I’ll remember to bring my camera’s battery charger.

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32 Comments

  • Reply Ryan at Travel and Graphs May 19, 2012 at 7:32 PM

    Loved that last shot! This just became one of the places I must stop at if I ever go to Poland.

  • Reply Michael May 19, 2012 at 8:07 PM

    Nice job, I like your photos. They really capture the all around mood of the day you were having….curse the battery charger!

  • Reply Roy Marvelous May 19, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    Wow Gdansk looks gorgeous! (Btw, love the post-production on the pics)

    • Reply Cheryl Howard May 19, 2012 at 8:35 PM

      @Ryan – Thank you! Gdansk is a really cool city. And Sopot too.

      @Michael – Thanks so much. The weekend was one of those weekends where one thing went wrong after another. Despite the mishaps (and there were many), I liked what I saw of Gdansk.

      @Roy – Thank you! I heart Instagram. 🙂

  • Reply fotoeins | Henry May 19, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    Gdansk looks lovely, Cheryl – thanks for sharing your time there!

  • Reply A Montrealer Abroad May 20, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    I really want to explore more of Poland – I’ve only been to Krakow and Gdansk is very high on my list of Polish places I want to go. You make it look so pretty 🙂

    • Reply Cheryl Howard May 20, 2012 at 3:24 PM

      @A Montrealer Abroad – Gdansk is worth a visit. I hope you make it there someday soon. 🙂

  • Reply Jarmo @ ArcticNomad May 22, 2012 at 12:56 AM

    Lovely photos, I think you did pretty well with just the iPhone 😉 And Gdansk definitely seems like a nice place to visit. I really have to get myself to Poland 😉

    • Reply Cheryl Howard May 22, 2012 at 11:29 AM

      @Jarmo – Thank you so much! Gdansk is good, Poland is good. 🙂

  • Reply Dean May 22, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    What a beautiful town! I love the old buildings and the river scene.

  • Reply Christy @ Technosyncratic May 23, 2012 at 2:30 AM

    Your iPhone didn’t fail you, though! We’ve had our camera battery die on so many “important” outings — we really need to either get an extra battery or an iPhone, lol.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard May 23, 2012 at 9:45 AM

      @Christy – I failed me though! Gah, how could I forget something so vital? I definitely have to get an extra charger as well …

  • Reply Lei May 23, 2012 at 4:58 AM

    Sounds like the weekend turned out quite well. I love your photos and the cute place you stayed in. Eastern Europe continues to call after reading posts like yours.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard May 23, 2012 at 9:48 AM

      @Lei – Wait until you read about what happened on the way home! All in all it was a good weekend, despite the weather, my cold and not having a proper camera to capture such a beautiful city. And thanks so much re: the photos!

      Eastern Europe is slowly taking my heart away from the more traditional beautiful spots. Might be rough around the edges but I love it! 🙂

  • Reply Alexa Meisler May 23, 2012 at 11:22 PM

    Wow I love every photo and I am in awe with everything Polish. Great shots I hope to visit this beautiful city some day.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard May 24, 2012 at 8:12 AM

      @Alexa – Thanks so much! You’ll love Poland. 🙂

  • Reply Dana May 24, 2012 at 12:31 PM

    Nice experience after all and gorgeous photos!
    Since you love Eastern Europe, try Romania. It will surprise you!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard May 24, 2012 at 2:20 PM

      @Dana – thanks! I really really want to see Romania actually. 🙂

  • Reply D.J. - The World of Deej May 24, 2012 at 2:04 PM

    Sounds like a great weekend…love the table in the cafe…

  • Reply A Day At The Baltic Sea In Sopot, Poland. | cherylhoward.com May 24, 2012 at 11:39 PM

    […] Season 1 of the Game of Thrones (and the urge was quite strong), I was very determined to enjoy my getaway weekend to Gdansk to the fullest and not let my circumstances bring me […]

  • Reply Stephanie - The Travel Chica May 25, 2012 at 12:22 AM

    These are great photos.

  • Reply Laurel May 30, 2012 at 3:52 PM

    Love how artsy the hotel looks and I can only imagine how good the perogies were. Too bad about your camera battery, but you still got some fantastic photos.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard May 30, 2012 at 5:06 PM

      @Laurel – The hotel was absolutely adorable! If I ever make it back to Gdansk, I can’t imagine staying anywhere else. And those perogies alone make me want to return. 🙂

  • Reply Jade Johnston - OurOyster.com June 5, 2012 at 3:44 PM

    So jealous! i have always wanted to go to Poland…. and btw… I am always amazed at just how amazing i phone photography can turn out!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard June 6, 2012 at 9:36 AM

      @Jade – You should go there for sure! I’m totally in awe of what the iPhone can do too. 🙂

  • Reply Stranded in Konin. | cherylhoward.com June 29, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    […] may or may not have already read about my Easter weekend in Gdansk, where I checked out street art and visited the nearby Sopot for my first glimpse of the Baltic Sea […]

  • Reply BJØRN A.FJELLE March 4, 2016 at 5:11 AM

    Gdansk is just fantastic! I love the city,interesting history,nice people.Polish food i also like.This year we are going to celebrate Easter here and look so forward to it,the city has many beatiful churches,much to see.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard March 5, 2016 at 5:33 AM

      Hey Bjorn –

      It’s definitely one of my favorite Polish cities as well. Very cool that you’re celebrating Easter there too!

      Enjoy your time.

      Cheryl

    • Reply oystein March 8, 2016 at 5:48 AM

      Well we also travel in Easter 2016 / 28.sunday 27/28 monday 28 Mars but lot museum and sight are closed even some restaurants and , just for info

      • Reply Cheryl Howard March 8, 2016 at 6:54 AM

        Yes, good point to make Bjorn. I experienced the same while there as well. Lucky, most places I really wanted to visit were open. 🙂

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