City Escapes Europe Poland

Gdansk; Poland: A Smaller and More Colourful Version of Amsterdam

“Dobry wieczór” and welcome to our next instalment of Gdansk; Poland.

Let’s start with the basics about Gdansk:

  • The airport is around 30-40 minutes away from the centre of town. A taxi will be around 80 Polish Zloty which is roughly 17 euros. On the two occasions I took a taxi, I found the drivers to be exceptionally chatty, honest and friendly. I’ve heard in other Eastern European cities such as Prague and Budapest, that you can’t trust the taxi drivers but Gdansk wasn’t like this at all.
  • For the second time in my life, I stayed at a Hostel called the Riverside Hostel Gdansk. Overall my experience wasn’t bad but it wasn’t anything to ring home about either. Look, I’ll be honest, I’m not really a hostel gal – normally I prefer Airbnb or hotels but I chose this place because it was extremely close to the centre of town and I wanted a relatively low-in-price final option for my big trip through Eastern Europe. The main receptionists were absolutely lovely, real gems and helped me with a lot during my stay. My room was quite clean but the *shared* bathroom was quite icky.
  • I believe there is one company which offers free walking tours. Unfortunately, because it was World Youth Day while I was there, the company had closed for a few days. This meant I had to go to the information centre and book a spot on a private walking tour. I was told I could expect 2-12 people in my group. When I turned up, my guide was an 83 year old Polish man and my group was just one British couple. The gentleman was really cute and sweet but somehow he had 1000% more energy than me, could talk under water and after 2.5 hours, I was pretty satisfied and could’ve gone home. In the end, his tour was around 4.5 hours. I think a spot on this tour cost me around 20 euros, which, when I think about it, is quite expensive. (When I join free walking tours in other cities, I normally tip around 10 euros.)
  • As someone who loves Amsterdam, I have to admit that Gdansk reminds me of a colourful mini version of AMS. Have a look at the photos below and see for yourself!
  • I was really pleasantly surprised by the food. There were so many stylish, cute and modern cafes and restaurants that I was spoilt for choice! Click here if you’d like a list of my favourites: The Surprisingly Foodie City of Gdansk; Poland
  • Most people I encountered spoke enough English that you could have a full conversation, so no lingual worries there.
  • Gdansk is fairly touristy – there are many of them everywhere but once you start getting outside of the main harbour district, you’ll find quieter spots to sit and enjoy.
  • I was told that you can do a boat trip out of the city to other historical locations nearby. I didn’t have the time for this but you can also visit the beach – there’s a town nearby called Sopot which is supposed to be what a lot of people do.
  • I’m not usually a fan or reader of the UK’s Mirror but this link has some nice historical information about Gdansk:

Overall, I’d happily recommend Gdansk to anyone visiting Poland or Europe. I found it to be cute, safe and enjoyable! And rather cheap coming from the Euro perspective. I just can’t believe I hadn’t made it to Poland before now – crazy. It’s been next door the whole time and I never thought to go.

Next on my list for Poland though: Krakow & Wroclaw. Does anyone have any insider tips for me for those cities?

So enjoy this series of photos. Below you’ll find photos from my walking tour and photos from my final day in Gdansk, when the sun finally reared its head.

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The harbour area is gorgeous – very modern and with lots of dining options.


Walking through town.


Absolutely stunning buildings.


For those who want to see Gdansk from up high.


The buildings in town have been nicely maintained and cared for.


A colourful Amsterdam.


Yay the sun has come out!


Some of the backstreets.


This could even be the harbour in Oslo – so cosmopolitan. 




Standing on the bridge, looking out over the harbour district.


The very centre of town.


There are hundreds of places in town where you can buy ‘amber’. In fact, this is probably one thing I saw everywhere. 


This ship actually goes on trips and it’s a restaurant/bar I think.


Wearing my Dad’s denim jacket from when he was backpacking through Alaska at the age of 18!


Did you know that the guy who invented Fahrenheit was born here!?


I hope you aren’t bored yet by all these photos of Gdansk’s buildings. 


The Fahrenheit conversion. As a user of Celsius, I’m not convinced :*( 


Town Square.


Some of the friendly locals!?  They were actually bothering my tour guide but when I took a photo of them, they gave me a big smile so that was nice.


Don’t you love the look of it?


A really good choice for spending a weekend away.


I climbed the top of that church!


Olso or Gdansk?


More gorgeous buildings in front of a bright, blue sky backdrop. 


Town Hall on the left, where my walking tour started.


Just like Amsterdam, the homes seem a little crooked.


Water restaurant.


At the harbour.


At the harbour.


So many cute and colourful homes.



One of Gdansk’s most favourite streets which happened to have my favourite cafe on it. (The cafe is called Drukarnia.) 


Looking very ‘Amsterdam-esque’.


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  • Reply
    August 8, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    It’s so odd that all along I thought a man was writing this blog because of the title. Then I just read “gal.” Ohhh.

    • Reply
      August 8, 2016 at 12:53 pm

      Hahah that’s hilarious!! Yes strangely a lot of people email me with “Hi Kenny” or “Hi Mr Kenny” like I’m a guy :/ Perhaps I need to rebrand?

      • myfemalepersuasion
        August 8, 2016 at 1:08 pm

        Maybe! Especially if I’m not the only one. Lol. I pictured you as a 60ish year old man with grey hair. Lol

      • kaptainkennytravel
        August 8, 2016 at 1:41 pm

        Gasp!!! Didn’t you see a lot of photos of me in the other posts? Wonder what made you think I was a 60 year old dude – lol maybe my jokes are lame! Actually I’m a 28 year old Australian girl 🙂

  • Reply
    August 9, 2016 at 10:25 am

    Hi, I live in Gdańsk so it’s nice to know you enjoyed it so much. It’s a shame though you haven’t been in Sopot or Gdynia. They have a different vibe than Gdansk but are also lovely. I totally recommend you Wrocław. Besides 3city it’s my favourite city in Poland. It has beautiful old town with lots of squares, great architecture and a lot of cute, little bridges. My friend says Wroclaw reminds her of Prague a bit.

    • Reply
      August 9, 2016 at 12:13 pm

      Hey Ewa! Thanks for your comment 😉 Yes you’re right, I did miss out by not seeing the other two places but now it gives me a reason to return. To be honest I only had one full day and two half days and it was the perfect amount of time for Gdansk only. I love your town!!

  • Reply
    Climbing St Mary’s Church in Gdansk – kaptain kenny travel
    August 12, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    […] Gdansk; Poland: A Smaller and More Colourful Version of Amsterdam […]

  • Reply
    jordan colless
    October 14, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    Hey Kapt. Kenny,
    I’m a long time reader, first time poster 🙂
    I’ve decided that this is my favourite article. Why this one, out of all the really fantastic articles? Well, where do I start!
    I like the concise information at the start – giving me an idea of some of your first impressions of the city, as well as your honest opinions on places to stay or eat – you’re not afraid to criticise a place if it’s not good – and that’s a refreshing change from most travel writers who only write up the positive things.
    I also love the pictures – I didn’t realise how colourful and eclectic Gdansk is, and as you point out, it really looks like a brighter version of Amsterdam in some of the pictures.
    I think the main reason I like this article though, is I can picture myself (if I’m so lucky) on a windy, or rainy day, gladly exploring these streets you write about, and kept comfortably dry in a brightly coloured Ember&Earth Rainwear jacket – matching the colourful Gdansk buildings around me. I think bright colours help to brighten people’s moods when the weather is dreary and gloomy, maybe help crack a few smiles, like the guys you photographed on the steps.
    Thanks for the great read 🙂

    • Reply
      October 16, 2017 at 8:39 am

      Hey Jordan,
      Thanks so much for stopping by, reading my work & of course for being such a friendly fan! Absolutely warms my heart that some people out there value my work so much 🙂 Have an amazing week, Phoebe

  • Reply
    Wendy Ellis
    February 16, 2020 at 2:44 am

    Hello Phoebe,
    Your photographs of the buildings in Gdansk are gorgeous and I was happy that you included that many. A few years ago, I spent 2 or 3 days in Warsaw and enjoyed that very much. Now, I want to see Gdansk and maybe Krakow and Wroclaw, as well 🤗.

    • Reply
      February 16, 2020 at 8:59 am

      Thank you so much Wendy! I’m glad you came across my website and took the time to tell me that! Have a wonderful future trip to Gdansk 🙂

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