Have you ever been in Poland? Tourists usually travel to Cracow or Warsaw, but trust me, there is much more to see out there. It often makes me laugh when people come back from Poland and they are surprised that we actually have cars, modern houses, shopping centres and the Internet. Well… yes, we do 🙂 Let’s restore Poland’s image 🙂
- Poland covers an area of 312,685 square kilometres and is the ninth biggest country in Europe. It is bordered by the Baltic Sea and seven countries.
- Poland population (2016) – 38,483,957; Gdańsk – 462,249
- Poland is in the Central European (CET) time zone (GMT+1hr). Polish summer time (GMT+2hrs) starts and ends on the last Sundays of March and October.
- Poland has a temperate climate with hot summers and cold winters – temperatures can get down as low as -20 C in winter and as high as +30 C in summer.
- Electricity in Poland is 230V, 50Hz AC. Plug sockets are round with two round-pin sockets. If you are travelling from the UK or Ireland, you will need to get a plug convertor.
- Polish is the official language of Poland. Polish is considered to be one of the more difficult languages to master by non-native speakers. Unlike English, Polish is pronounced phonetically.
- The currency of Poland is the Polish Zloty, literally meaning golden. The monetary unit PLN is also symbolised as Zl. One Zloty is divided into 100 Groszy (gr.). Currency can be exchanged in any bank or at an exchange centre called a Kantor.
Recently, we have come back from Gdańsk – historic seaside city in northern Poland. It is one of Poland’s oldest cities with a history going back a thousand years. This is where the famous Solidarity movement started and where the fall of Communism in Central Europe began. Together with neighbouring Gdynia and Sopot, Gdańsk forms a large metropolitan area called Trójmiasto (Tricity). Its rich heritage and history make this city the perfect place to visit for a weekend city-break. It is relatively easy and cheap to get there by plane. We were flying from London for approx. £40 – £50 return ticket. If you are planning to stay only in Gdańsk, it is perfectly enough to use public transport. However, if you want to explore the surrounding coastline, I would actually recommend getting a car (like we did).
Here are some of the amazing places we would recommend seeing while visiting:
Take a long walk through Gdańsk’s Old Town and Downtown and see the most important historic places: The Grand Mill (Wielki Młyn), Old Town City Hall (Ratusz Staromiejski), St. Nicholas’ Church (Kościół św. Mikołaja), King’s Chapel (Kaplica Królewska), Gdańsk Crane (Żuraw Gdański), the Old Port on the Motława River (Stary Port na Motławie), Długi Targ Street, Gdańsk Downtown City Hall (Ratusz Głównego Miasta w Gdańsku), Artus Court (Dwór Artusa), the Hall of Gdańsk (Sień Gdańska), St. Mary’s Street (Ulica Mariacka), St. Mary’s Church (Kościół Mariacki).
Take a walk on Sopot’s Bohaterow Monte Cassino Street from St. George’s Church to the Sopot Pier, admire an impressive architecture, and don’t forget to eat an ice cream or gofry (a waffle with whipped cream and toppings). Sopot’s Pier is the longest wooden pier in Europe (516 meters) and you need to pay 2 zl entrance fee.
Visit one of Poland‘s best zoos, set in the forests of Oliwa. You can spend most of the day here as there are many attractions such as staggered feeding times, a train tour of the whole park, pony rides for the kids (not in winter) and challenging high ropes course.
Opeing hours and tickets
Address: Karwieńska 3, Oliwa, Gdańsk 80-328, Poland
Attractions: 25m long pool, recreational swimming pool with cascades and a water grotto, a pool specially designed for children with slides, geysers and water cannons, Wild River, a seasonal outdoor pool with slides and climbing frames, saunas and steam rooms, a six-lane bowling alley, a ‘wet bar’ in the swimming area and the Aqua Spa Sopot which features a range of treatments.
Address: Zamkowa Góra 3/5, Sopot 81-713, Poland
And remember to buy some amber, a classic Gdańsk souvenir 🙂