A Weekend Getaway to 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!


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.

Founder of cherylhoward.com. Canadian in Berlin. Frequent traveller now at 43 countries and counting.


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

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

  3. @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. 🙂

  4. 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 🙂

  5. 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 😉

  6. 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.

  7. @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! 🙂

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

  9. 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.

  10. @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. 🙂

  11. 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.

  12. 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.


  13. 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

  14. 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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