An October 1998 trip
to Gdansk by Scubabartek
Quote: Gdansk, like many other Polish cities are only recently being discovered as tourist meccas. This coastal city is reminiscent of Copenhagen or Amsterdam in its atmosphere, except at a fraction of a price.
You can see some photos and even book a room at URL:
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 19, 2000
293 Traktat Sw. Wojciecha Street
This just might have been the best hotel experience and value I have ever had in my life. For starters, this is a hotel with history... 500 year history! During the medieval times, it was used by the Knights of the Teutonic Order occupying the Malbork Castle as an infirmery. Not to worry though... you won't see any sick knights wandering the halls anymore. Rooms are small, but perfect. Dark wood walls, marble bathroom and a gothic pillar in the middle of the room give you an impression you're a guest of the Grand Master Ulrich von Jungingen. If you ask for a room overlooking the Nogat river, you'll have a spectacular view of some defense walls and pastures.
I booked the hotel through an online site:
Hotels Poland and paid $51 for it. The room prices vary by season, but you'll usually pay about $40-60 for a single, and $50-80 for a double. It's absolutely WORTH EVERY PENNY! Not only you get a premier location (Castle is eh... 10 yards to the left), you get to stay in a room with a history, and get a breakfast fit for a king. In fact, I have to mention the breakfast in its own paragraph.
Breakfast is served in the hotel restaurant, with huge wooden tables, you'd have difficulty touching hands with the person across from you. You get a breakfast set selection, and a large choice of breakfast pastries, beverages, and other goodies. It's also an awesome place for a drink after sightseeing in the castle on the previous night.
If you'd like to learn some more history of Teutonic Knights you can start at this
site. It depicts the greatest battle that ended their reign in Eastern Europe.
And by all means... Book a night in the hotel. You won't regret it, I promise.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 5, 2000
Ulica Staroscinska 14
The food was fantastic! I only ordered main dish which was trout in mustard sauce, but they brought me a little apetizer on the house (really little, it was a little fried tomato, wrapped with some bacon with sauce; very nicely presented, nice touch). Everything looked meticulously prepared and presented. The beer I ordered came in a gigantic stein featuring the seal of the City of Gdansk, the capuccino came with a little piece of chocolate to stir it with.
The decor of this place is awesome! Dark wood, dark interiors, expensive chandeliers, well-attired wait staff all adds to a very pleasant dining atmosphere. Which brings me to the definite low-point of my dining experience... Being totally under-dressed for the restaurant, I got a very cold shoulder from the door man, and I noticed being observed a whole time I was in the restaurant. The barman was sitting by the bar, wiping the same beer glass for about an hour. My feeling is: maybe they though I accidentally wondered into the wrong restaurant, and couldn't afford anything on the menu.
So in a nutshell my recommendation is: go and try the wonderful food and decor, but dress nicely. And try the Goldwasser if you feel like splurging a little. It's a traditional Gdansk liquor with flakes of real gold in the bottle.
Fontanna Neptuna (Neptune's Fountain) has been completely restored and looks absolutely spectacular. It's located in front of Dom Artusa (Artus' House), which houses a museum, and one of the only remaining medieval ceramic stoves in Poland, which happens to be three stories tall! Ratusz Miejski (City Tower) is a sight to see with a city museum inside. Other fabulous churches, museums and structures inhabit the Old Town here.
When you exit Dlugi Targ, you'll find yourself at Dlugie Pobrzeze (Long Harbour). There are loads of souvenir stores over here, as well as the famous Zuraw (crane). One of Gdansk's best hotels: Hotel Hanza happens to be here overlooking the harbour. And the harbour is also a good place to catch a boat tour of the city, port and Westerplatte peninsula.
There are lots of little places to eat around here as well. Try the seafood, as Gdansk is a coastal city. Nothing beats a nice plate of fish and chips with a huge mug of Hevelius beer.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 6, 2000
This place is a must see! Going through the castle complex will probably take you as it took me a whole day: about 6-8 hours. That's of course allowing for lunch and souvenir shopping. Going through the castle itself probably takes 3-4 hours. There are numerous rooms and dungeons with fascinating frescoes on the walls, and of course the guides have lots of stories to tell. There are two museums on site: one for amber jewelry (which comes from around the region) and a museum of weaponry (swords, maces and other weapons of painful and slow death...).
When it comes to the money, this place is such a bargain. Entry into the castle and museums is 13 zlotych (about $2.50) and that includes a guide in Polish. However guides are available for many other languages and will run you about $20 for a whole day for a group of up to 40 people. Quite a bargain, for about 4 hours of guided tour, wouldn't you say?
There is an on-site cafe, several souvenir stores and stands that sell everything from postcards and amber jewelry to wooden carvings and brass figurines of Teutonic Knights. There is also several souvenir stores right outside of the castle.
The castle has a web-site in english at:
http://www.zamek.malbork.com.pl/eng/. If you'd like additional information about it check out:
web-site for the castle. The castle has been put onto UNESCO'S World Heritage List in 1997, which grants it an internationally recognized status, as well as some money for reconstruction work.
Ulica Staroscinska 1