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It was the month of September and the weather had already started to cool down leaving me stressed just with a thought of getting house arrest as the winters were about to hit us. So, without wasting much time, we planned for a short vacation to The Tricity Poland – Gdansk, Sopot, Gdynia. Though Gdansk is more of a summer destination, but we wanted to relax our bums on a beach, hence booked our travel and stay quickly. We boarded the train on Monday night and reached Gdansk early morning at 7 am. Our Airbnb accommodation was just 5 mins walk from the station. We rested for a few hours and then went out to explore the city.
Most of the tourist attractions in Gdansk are closely located and can be visited in a few hours except a few. So, we planned to visit far off places and reserved our evening for the main city close to our hotel. First of all, we took a train to Gdansk Oliwa station and visited Oliwa Park, which is one of the most beautiful parks I have ever been.
Spread in a lush green area, it was quite a relaxing place for us as well as for kids where they were on a run throughout. We spent around 1.5 hrs there and then went to Oliwa Cathedral and then Oliwa Zoo. It is a well-maintained zoo, I must say. Huge, hilly with a lot of animals to see. A must see place. It was 3 pm so we decided to go back to the city and explore the rest of the places.
On the way back, we grabbed some sandwiches and coffee from a bakery and headed towards the European Solidarity Centre which was very close to our hotel. European Solidarity Centre is basically a museum and library exhibiting the history of solidarity, Polish trade union and some movements of Communist Eastern Europe. We just took a stroll inside and then clicked a few pictures outside the monument. There was nothing much to do so we spent only 30 minutes there and then moved towards the Upland Gate, Golden Gate, the famous Dluga Street, The Long Market, The Main Town Hall, Neptune fountain, Motlawa Riverbank, The Crane, St. Mary’s Church, Great Armoury in this order.
Dluga street has its own charm of colorful buildings, restaurants, artists performances and shopping of course. The Long market is not too long but definitely worth a visit. Kids enjoyed at the Neptune’s fountain as there were many people feeding pigeons there. Motlawa River Bank was an interesting place, we got a closer sight of the enormous and beautiful ships. It was already 8:30 pm while exploring this beautiful city and we were hungry. We settled ourselves with Pizza and some vegan salad from Telepizza. It was not great though but we managed to stuff ourselves.
Next morning, we planned to visit Sopot, the second city on our itinerary. It is a small town situated on the Baltic Sea in the Northern part of Poland. We took our umbrellas, eatables, juices, water, settled kids in their stroller and headed towards the railway station to catch the train till Sopot. Traveling through trains was easy, cheap and comfortable too. It was just 20 mins journey from Gdansk. We went to the popular Monte Cassino street, quite a happening place. As it was off season, it was less crowded. We took a stroll, passed through the unusual shaped, fairytale-inspired building Crooked House and directly went to the see the Sopot Pier.
Crooked House was not at all as what we expected. There were just a sushi bar and a Costa coffee, nothing appealing to stay longer. Before entering Pier, we came across an enchanting fountain and a grand royal hotel which was surely a pictorial site. There was nothing much to see except the natural beauty and a not to be missed the captivating garden of the hotel. So, we spent some time there and finally reached the Pier. Pier was a long white wooden path, a kind of broad bridge, with the sea on both the sides. Amazing views we got while walking on it.
There was an entrance ticket of 8 polish zloty per person which can be bought just outside its entrance. The weather was great and we never wanted to come back but there were other places to cover so we left from there and went to the lighthouse just outside the Pier. It gave us an aerial view but can be avoided. I would suggest spending time on the Pier than visiting the lighthouse. Next, we went to the wax museum which was at a walkable distance from there. It was a decent museum with a few famous known celebrities. Not great but Ok to visit if you have time.
Now it was the time to relax on the beach so we walked to it. We found a play area at one place on the beach so we decided to lay down our stuff there itself. It was the best place of the city. We planned to visit Opera Lesna and a few other tourist places too but were so captivated by the beauty of the beach that we decided to spend the rest of the day lazing down there only.
There were many restaurants there and the beach was less crowded so it was quite a relaxing time for us. We ate while enjoying the breeze and orange hues of sunset. Then we rushed back to the railway station and boarded our train back to Gdansk. We still had few hours left of the evening and we didn’t want to waste them in our hotel room so we went to Dluga street again to enjoy the night view of the city which was truly mesmerizing.
In the end, we tried a traditional polish dessert, Gofry and left the city with a sweet note.
The third morning, we took a train to Gdynia. It is a port city, also situated on the Baltic Coast of Poland. We walked to the Kosciuszki Square first of all. Its a central point of Gdynia, a great spot at a seaside. On reaching there, we were a little disappointed assuming it’s just a fountain there and people chilling out but soon we realized we were wrong as we walked through the long pier.
It took us to the beachside, the aquarium, and the cruise. What an amazing view it was. We took a 50 minutes cruise which was an excellent experience. We enjoyed every minute of it, the fascinating sea, freshness in the air, the clean water, the cool breeze, the blue sky, soothing music and lots and lots of ships around.
Later, we sunbathed on the beach, walked through the port area and took a closer view of the ships of various shapes and interesting names. On reaching the beach we were surprised to see a huge play area for kids. We spent some time there and some time next to the beach. We met a few very charming creatures there, the crane. It was a soothing experience and half day was enough to cover it. We felt Gdynia is quite underrated by the tourists. It is a small port town but quite lively and relaxing place to be at. We returned back to Gdansk by train and the same evening boarded back to Krakow with great memoirs, loads of pictures and a refreshed mind and soul.